Hello CAF readers. I suspect this subject has been addressed elsewhere. If so, my apologies for duplicating forum topics.
Here’s our situation. My wife and were received into the CC 9 years ago. We had a wonderful priest who was a great teacher and shepherded throughout RCIA. For my part, becoming Catholic was inevitable. The better part of my scholarly life has me in continuous contact with classic Catholic sources. Indeed, reading and writing provides me with constant reminders of why I am Catholic. It also helps me endure the less than inspiring features of parish life.
My wife, however, is truly struggling. Rightly or wrongly, she followed me to the Church from a fairly dynamic tradition of worship and preaching. Its theological shortcomings aside, that tradition has (for her) set a precedent for what Christian worship should be. I empathize with her, although my vocation makes available to me resources that compensate for the conditions over which she mourns.
Please know that she understands fully that we are not passive vessels whose spiritual fulfillment depends solely on the quality of the Church services. Also, she has sought ways to get involved in the Church. Still, the platitudinous homilies, the awful music, and the spiritual nominalism that characterizes our parish life make it hard to appreciate the centrality of the sacraments, and forestalls the creation of a dynamic worship community she insists she needs. Of course, our deacons, priests, and parish musicians–God love them–no doubt abide in their vocations in earnest. But as a frustrated Catholic seeking spiritual community, there is (for her) little there to nourish the mind and heart. She is simply not the sort of person to take on a steady diet of Chesterton and Augustine. And while she does not look to the Church as a therapeutic venue for her own emotional fulfillment (she is not that sort of person), our parish (as opposed to the Church as a whole) is, she fears, failing to bring solid, dynamic, doctrinally sound teaching to compliment its sacramental practices. And as a mother, she worries that our young sons will grow to dislike or become uninterested in Mass.
This has been an ongoing conversation in our home for some time. I would very much like both your suggestions as to how I can help/encourage my wife and how we might address the ongoing “sociological” challenges of our parish life.