Cathechumen in Trouble


#1

Hello, some of you have read the thread I created last summer regarding my decision to enter the Catholic Church. For those who are interested, here’s the thread for some background:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=159219

I’m enrolled in RCIA, participated in the Rite of Acceptance, and am scheduled to participate in the Rite of Election this coming Sunday. This journey is very difficult for me. I believe the Catholic Church is Christ’s church and have felt pulled to Catholicism for many years and am very happy that I’m on this path. I know God has called me to follow it The trouble is that I’m completely alone and feel very isolated. My wife, in the end, doesn’t understand why I’m doing this and is becoming less supportive. It’s causing some strain in our marriage as the Easter Vigil approaches. Perhaps I was too optimistic in thinking that she would be interested out of a desire to finally have some spiritual unity in our home. But she has zero desire to learn more, she just accepted a teaching position in the local mormon congregation she attends, and my boys are continuing to attend with her and are being formed as little mormons. My wife is not equipped with theological or doctrinal proclivities and doesn’t care about Truth per se. She is eminently practical in nature and knows nothing else and doesn’t care to learn anything else, and that’s what drives her spirituality. My in-laws also live near by and are devout mormons, so my family is strongly embedded in mormonism. I struggle on a daily basis with a feeling of hopelessness and I know that’s a sin since I’m lacking faith in the promises of Christ that he will answer my prayers. But I fear that as I continue on this journey that it will take me further from my wife and sons. My sons are already talking like mormons, saying things like “Dad, we’re not catholic why do you have that book? We’re mormons.” “Dad, our church is the only true one because there was an Apostasy.” It really feels like I must choose between becoming a Catholic and my family’s happiness and unity. I know my wife sees it that way. And now, I found out that a major extended family event - a marriage - will take place on the same day as the Easter Vigil (March 22). I had hoped that at least my wife would attend my baptism with me, if nothing else out of a desire to share this step in my life with me. Perhaps she still will. But now she’ll have the added tension of potentially alienating her anti-catholic mormon family if she skips the wedding and reception to be with me, and all to support me in something she doesn’t want me to do.

I really need your prayers. I’m really struggling and wonder whether I should even continue on the path toward the Easter Vigil. I suppose now’s the time that God wants to see what I’m made of. At the moment though, I fear that I’m not strong enough to see this thing through.

NewSeeker


#2

I am sorry I don’t have good advice for you during this difficult time. Although, I am sure that there will be some on here that do.

I will keep you in my prayers!!!

Peace be with you

:signofcross:


#3

I didn’t know the LDS had weddings the day before Easter at their temples. WOW!

Even though it is your big day, and I know you can’t get into the temple to see the wedding, nor would you want to do what it would take to do that; is there any possible way you could attend even a bit of the reception? Is the Easter Vigil totally blocking that? That would be my first inclination.

As far as your sons go: You can tell them as nicely and gently as possible that yes, Mom and you boys are mormons, but Dad has found a different path he believes to be the Truth. If they force the issue, or are made to force the issue, you can always tell them both mormons and Catholics believe in the commandment, Honor Thy Father and Mother; therefore, please do not question what Dad reads, esp. to his face.

I really wish all catechumen in this situation could just take a leave of absence fromwork and go off to a monastery until Easter Vigil!

I have LDS friends in the suburbs of SLC. They have never tried to convert me, but their son has married a young woman he converted from evangelical protestantism. They had a big temple wedding in another state, and some sort of ring ceremony to appease her parents at the reception. I beg your prayers for them, and ask that you offer a portion of your suffering in this matter for them. I don’t think it would hurt to offer a portion of your suffering for your sons. Be assured you have my prayers as you make it through the final end of this portion of your journey.


#4

NewSeeker - this is something I have read about and heard about quite frequently from those who are converting. Amazingly, Satan is very good at undermining your desire to become Catholic. Because you have reminded me of this I will offer up my Lent in prayer for those who are converting and having these specific problems (family and outside influences making things difficult).

Thank you for reminding me of this and the need for prayers for all who are converting including you. I will put you on the top of my prayer requests as NewSeeker (God knows who you are and will accept this from me!)

May God grant you the courage to continue on this journey and finish it. Prayers for your wifes conversion!

Brenda V.


#5

Seeker:

My response is answer your own call to grace and allow God to work in His time to give the gift of faith to others in your family.

Be kind and courteous to your wife, but continue forward!

Honestly, the best advice I can give you is to read Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis. See what advice Aslan gives Lucy

We are not responsible for other’s choices, only our own.

Hang in there, and keep us posted on your journey.

Scott


#6

Hey, NewSeeker…

There is some good advice on this thread…
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=206985

You will notice you aren’t alone, issolated maybe, but not alone.

Peace!


#7

I’ll check with my wife about Easter Vigil. I’d love to be there.

New Seeker. Sorry for bombarding you with all sorts of stuff…

Apologetics is something I’m starting to get into. Defense of the faith. It looks like you are being called to defend your decision to your children. It actually looks like a great opportunity (known at where I am employed as “a ton of work”) to open a dialogue with your boys. You may be able to go back to the bible and answer their questions. Nothing makes a boy appreciate his dad more than playing a challenging game with him. Make this a game? Like chess? Just a thought.


#8

NewSeeker,

I just want to say that although it feels like you are alone, you are not. There are many people coming to this Easter Vigil facing the trial of possible separation from loved ones, some have already done so.

I know that you are frightened, because you don’t know what the future holds for you, for your family. I do know that God doesn’t make mistakes, and for some reason, he has given a special grace to you, a grace that has driven you to seek Him in all Truth no matter where it leads.

Two years ago I went through something very similar, although not a marriage, but a family division that remains to this day. It is painful, but there is a grace that comes with this yoke, this burden, and you will get through it. I can also say that if you were to chose not to follow the path the Lord has set before you, you will be more miserable than if you keep putting one step in front of the other on the path He’s put you on.

I am at more peace now than I have ever been, and the trials have not disappeared, the suffering has not gone away, but the peace that is given to you is only explained by grace. You cannot unlearn what you have learned. Just be a witness to the truth, to your wife, your sons and all you come in contact with. You have been placed in their midst as a missionary, one that is to live out his faith with prayer and offerings on their behalf, always with humility and the greatest charity. Even if they don’t know it, they are depending on you to be a light.

Along side Brenda V., I am going to offer up my fasting this Lent on your behalf and on behalf of all those in your situation. It is through the Church that the graces flow from Christ, we are here to hold you up when you feel weak.

And just a little food for thought: in the Church’s long history and in today’s Church in many parts of the world, people have faced and still face much worse trials in becoming Christians, sometimes torture and death. In light of these things, know that God always gives you what you need to face *your *calling in Him.

I will be praying for you. God bless and please keep us posted on how you are doing this season and beyond. This place was a Godsend to me when I went through what you are facing, and still is. :console:


#9

NewSeeker, I think I know where your wife is coming from. Here she is thinking she is in the true religion and thinks you’re making a mistake. I’m really sorry that is the case though. I am Catholic and my husband is a Jehovah’s Witness. I’ve always been Catholic and it hurts to know my husband was Catholic once and he’s a JW now. He was shunned for marrying me, but after about15 months of being shunned, the elders decided to let him be a JW again. I was devastated. That would mean giving up more of our family time for him to be in that man-made religion. It would bring more arguments about religion to our house (we had already had enough while he was shunned).

But the one thing is to pray to the Lord. The day DH was going to be reinstated, I was heart broken, I was devasteated. I felt I was losing him. But I still went with him. When I heard the words “(His name) is a JW once again”, and everyone applauded, stood up and went to congratulate him, I cried. I was so sad. Sad that Dh and I would grow further apart. But you know? It didn’t happen because of the religion. Have some faith. I really hope your wife goes with you even though it’s against her beliefs. Pray for her conversion. All you can do now is pray for her and your sons’ conversions.

Do not feel like you are choosing Catholicism over your family. This is something you must do for your slavation. In the end, who knows, maybe they’ll be so interested in your faith, that they’d eventually convert. I’m still hoping my dh comes back to the Church one day.

My prayers are with you and congratulations on your coming Home.


#10

this is extremely common
you are not alone
hundreds or thousands of your fellow catechumens this year are in the same position, accused of hurting or abandoning spouses, children, parents, dear friends.

if you remained in your current faith you would do all in your power to discern God’s will for you and your family, and follow it.

if you are convinced the Catholic Church has the fullness of truth you are obligated in good conscience to become Catholic. that is the very same discernment process at work.

If God is calling you to become Catholic he is doing it because of, not in spite of your family, and there is a reason for you to go through this time of trial and isolation, and that reason is for the ultimate good of your own soul, and of your family, even if you never become aware of the reasons in your lifetime.


#11

The best thing you can do for them is pray, and stay with them. They say that a person’s grace will spill over onto the ones they’re near, even if those people aren’t doing the things to deserve it. You also might want to look deeper into the lives of St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica. The power of prayer, especially the prayer for conversion, can be overwhelming. Let the Holy Spirit change their hearts. You simply need to pray, and live your life as a Catholic. Don’t push them away with catechetic or doctrinal arguments. If they ask you questions, answer them, but don’t confront them over it. If they do start asking questions, be prepared to lead them to resources they can use to look up answers for themselves - finding the answers tends to be a great deal more effective than having the answers dictated to you by someone you think isn’t right in the first place.

I hope this helps a little. I’ll be praying for you. Perhaps you could make a Lenten intention for their conversion - or at least their understanding and acceptance - and then fast and pray on their behalf.

Good luck, and God Bless.


#12

Thanks for the great advice, support, and prayers. The one thing I need to take home from all of you is to focus more on gentleness and leading by example in the home. The Holy Spirit converts, not me! So…I’m giving up my love for debate and sharing of evidence for Lent…:slight_smile: From this point forward I will take St. Francis’ advice to heart: preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.

One clarification about the upcoming wedding. It’s not an LDS temple wedding. This is the wedding of my LDS sis-in-law’s mother. She’s LDS too, but she’s marrying a recent LDS convert - who works with and was converted from Catholicism by my LDS brother in law. Both the bride and groom are from Mexico and he is too new in the church to be able to enter an LDS temple. He has to wait 1 year after his baptism and they don’t want to wait to get married. So the dynamic is - a brand new ex-catholic mormon is marrying into my wife’s anti-catholic mormon family and the only family member who won’t be there will be away being baptized a Catholic! :eek: Unless my wife attends with me (which I pray is the case). I must admit I will miss the fun of a Mexican wedding and reception. If any of you have been to one you’ll know that they put our stodgy gringo weddings to shame in the fun department. But hey…I’ll be joining the Body of Christ…the source of true joy. I might be able to get away after practice to attend the reception for a while before needing to get back to the parish for the Vigil. I’ll make sure and do that if I can.

Newbtx - I’d LOVE it if you could be there at the Vigil with me.

NewSeeker


#13

Well, the clock is running… I was wondering, if, over spring break here in Austin, the RCIA CAF posters here might want to meet somewhere person to person? I’m pretty sure your weekends are packed already, but maybe one evening? A resturant? Church?

And yes, I plan to be with NewSeeker at his Vigil!


#14

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