Getting in Synch


#1

I’m in need of some advice about how my wife and I can get on the same page in our spiritual development/advancement.

We are both practicing and serious Catholics, but we come from very different religious upbringings. I was raised in a series of evangelical traditions and became very disenchanted in high-school and collage. Shortly after collage, after much searching, I discovered the truth of and fell in love with the Catholic Church. My wife was baptized as an infant and raised in a Catholic family, but her family did not practice the faith with a great deal of devotion or consistency. She strayed from the faith quite a bit during her collage years, and at the time that we started dating was at a point where she really wanted to return to the Church.

We were each about three years out of college when we met. We were married last summer and are expecting our first child sometime in late July.

Now we both practice the faith consistently in as much as we attend mass weekly and seek to live according to the teachings of the Church, but I feel very much like we each have great difficulty understanding each other’s inner spiritual life. We pray together occasionally, but it’s still a little awkward. At times that I find myself particularly moved by a mass, or a particular practice of some devotion, I have a really difficult time explaining that to her because I’ve never really seen her become emotional over a religious experience.

I find that trying to talk to her about this kind of thing too easily begins to feel like I’m beginning to talk down to her from my spiritual high-horse. I happen to know a lot more about the church than she does just because, frankly, I’ve studied it much more. She likes that about me, but certainly doesn’t like to feel like she’s being talked down to. This creates an impasse because, whereas I want to express my heart to her, I find I can’t really do it without somehow hurting her feelings.

This explanation has gone on much longer than I meant for it to. I’ll cut it off here.

Any advice for a new husband and father trying to start things off right?


#2

maybe start small… like praying with your wife every night before bed. It can be the Rosary, or just a decade, or something just short from your heart, and hers. you know, whatever is burdening you or that you’re rejoicing over on that particular day. Maybe because you’re addressing Christ in the prayer, it won’t be as awkward? Also, give it time! My husband and I do this, and I must say, it’s a great way to end the day together, no matter how exhausted i think I am! HTH.:slight_smile:


#3

Thanks, Consecrated.

I’ve been trying to figure out a regular time for us to pray together, even if it’s something short, but it’s been hard because she works first shift and I work second. So we seldom go to bed or wake up at the same time. But the work schedule problem will solve itself soon because she’s going to stay home once the baby is born.


#4

ahhhh, yeah. that’s tough. In the mean time, is it possible to make time right before/after one of you goes to work, or share a meal together?
BTW, I meant to say how wonderful it is that you’re making this a priority in your marriage. I truly believe that all couples who do so will reap the rewards for the rest of the their lives, and into eternity! So, don’t give up. :thumbsup: Oh, and don’t forget to pray *for *your wife, too. Offer the whole thing up to God, and beg the Blessed Mother’s intersession, and you will not have to worry about your efforts having results!


#5

Your story is similar to my husbands and I. I am a cradle Catholic and he joined the Catholic Church about 5 years before I met him.

He is more verbal about his religious experiences and loves to pray out loud and together at home. While I keep most of my religious experiences and prayers to myself with exception of during Mass of course.

He would love to pray together more. I am not really against it, I just am not as verbal about it. I do better with moments of silent prayer. We do pray together before every meal and I am a stickler for that!!

I do think that one thing you might want to suggest is that you take some religious classes at the Church together. We have one called Why Catholic, it is a basic review of Catholic beliefs and practices. Even though I have never been to it, we have many people in our parish who also suggest attending Christ Renews His Parish. (not sure if South Bend is as into this program as ours is)

Oh, I think DH and I learned things a bit different due to when we entered the Church. I was taught by mostly family, and we also had a VERY stubborn priest back then :wink: a lot of the pre Vatican II. There are some slight differences. I also think some were just regional differences. My family is an old German Catholic farming family from a small rural parish, where my DH has only attended urban Catholic parish.

All in all I think there is nothing wrong with differences in the daily practicing of our faith.


#6

Find some things that are “normal” conversation starters, with a Catholic twist.

Subscribe to a Catholic magazine or newspaper (National Catholic Register, Faith and Family, This Rock…)

Read Catholic books - does your Parish have a library where you can borrow books?

Catholic media - EWTN (if your cable company does not have it, Dish does), Catholic Radio (again, if you do not have one locally, you can listen via Sirius Satellite Radio or on the internet - www.ewtn.com and www.avemariaradio.net are two places). Catholic Podcasts (I love Lino at Large and the Rosary Army podcast, both are available free on Itunes).

Even if you are not on the same schedule, you can talk about what you listened to or read, and it may feel more natural.

Also, maybe plan at least one retreat a year either togheter or one for each of you.


#7

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.