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Old Jun 27, '12, 11:37 pm
HisIsTheCrown HisIsTheCrown is offline
Join Date: June 26, 2012
Posts: 373
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Becoming Catholic with a non-practicing Catholic wife - what to do?

Originally Posted by EasterJoy View Post
Should you come to Mass regularly with the kids and without your wife, you won't be alone. As a former catechist, suffice it to say that the parish is usually very pleased when there is at least one parent who sees to it that the children always come to Mass. You do not have a reason to be embarrassed, because most Catholics I know have a family member who regularly failed in their Sunday obligation or who left the Church entirely. It is not at all uncommon for a couple that started out on the lukewarm side to have one spouse re-kindle their devotion to the faith somewhat ahead of their spouse. If I had to guess, I'd say it was more the norm than not.

You should impress upon your wife, however, that going to Mass when you aren't being given the consolations that everyone else seems to be getting is nothing to feel guilty about!! If you are going to Mass only because it pleases your husband and pleases the Lord, you have spent a selfless hour, and that is pleasing to God. Her attendance may even please God far more than the attendance of someone who is there because they are a connoisseur of Mass "performances", or who goes primarily for his or her own consolation.

Having said that, I have found that Mass is a lot more engaging when it is better understood. I highly recommend that you obtain "What Happens at Mass--Revised Edition" by Fr. Jeremy Driscoll, OSB (,+O.S.B.). He is a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship; the book is both theologically sound and accessible to the lay reader. If you read that, I think you'll be in a better position to highlight why the Mass is put together the way it is. (Amazon has it, but you can also have it mailed to you from the Mt. Angel Abbey bookstore; then Fr. Driscoll's monastery and seminary will get more of the proceeds.)

Another thing you can do with your wife prior to Mass is to go to the USCCB web site and read the readings beforehand. It really does help in terms of picking up the themes that weave through a particular Sunday's Eucharistic worship.

Mostly, though, realize that you are not alone, and your wife is not alone. Due to some spotty formation and catechesis in the Church, there are many in your boat. You can both catch up, and you in particular can trust in the Holy Spirit's consistent pursuit of both you and your wife. Ask St. Monica to pray with you; there is a great deal of endurance to be had in that. (She mostly gets prayers from mothers; you will be a delightful addition.) Also, there is truth to "by their fruits, you will know them." Regular Mass attendance will undoubtedly bear good fruit in you if you continue with your current concern to be faithful, and that fruit may be what impresses your wife concerning the value of regular Mass attendance more than anything else. Put your own oxygen mask on first, they always say in the airplanes!

PS Questions about a "missing spouse" usually show an interest in meeting her, in hearing about some travel she may be on, or in making sure that you are not the victim of divorce who needs support. In other words, they usually just want to get to know you and your family. Share the information you want to, and don't feel you need any excuse to keep the rest private. Anyone who would judge your situation can take a leap, but I think they will be rather rare.

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