Help with agnostic spouse


#1

I hope ya’ll can give me some help here. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. I was not an active Catholic for about 10 of those :o . We did get married in the church though. My husband’s family identifies themselves as Protestant though also inactive. My husband says he is agnostic, but will occasionally go to Mass with us. He does get irritated when I have to go for Holy Days or it otherwise interferes with his life. He has been very good about the kids being baptized and my daughter’s First Holy Communion. The problem is that we now have a son who will look to my husband as his role model. I guess having had girls I never worried so much because I thought they would identify with me who is attending church and talking to them about God a lot. I worry that my husband’s refusal to even read anything or discuss religion will be the path my son follows. I would love for my husband to be baptized and to show my son how wonderful a man of faith is. He is currently deployed to Iraq and I had thought of sending himsome books to read. They can’t be too preachy and maybe could be something that is a really good read. Any suggestions?


#2

[quote=Monica37]I hope ya’ll can give me some help here. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. I was not an active Catholic for about 10 of those :o . We did get married in the church though. My husband’s family identifies themselves as Protestant though also inactive. My husband says he is agnostic, but will occasionally go to Mass with us. He does get irritated when I have to go for Holy Days or it otherwise interferes with his life. He has been very good about the kids being baptized and my daughter’s First Holy Communion. The problem is that we now have a son who will look to my husband as his role model. I guess having had girls I never worried so much because I thought they would identify with me who is attending church and talking to them about God a lot. I worry that my husband’s refusal to even read anything or discuss religion will be the path my son follows. I would love for my husband to be baptized and to show my son how wonderful a man of faith is. He is currently deployed to Iraq and I had thought of sending himsome books to read. They can’t be too preachy and maybe could be something that is a really good read. Any suggestions?
[/quote]

Maybe now that he’s in Iraq he will begin to see how short life is and his conversion will take place. Go ahead and send him books because it might be just the right time for him to read them. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in what books to send him. I don’t have any suggestions, but maybe other’s here will.

The best that you can do with your children is to see that they are properly instructed in the CC and to be a good example to them,


#3

Pray for him and get the children praying with you. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet using his name where it goes "…have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Pray that he will learn to know God and love Him as you all do. I also read about praying a Novena to the Holy Souls in Purgatory ewtn.com/Devotionals/novena/Purgatory.htm where you mention your intentions ie the conversion of your husband.


#4

My first thought was “there are very few athiests or agnostics in foxholes”.

However, I also know that many men and women have experienced such horrors during wartime that they have lost their faith.

What interests your husband? For instance, is he interested in history or in archeology? Would he be open to reading books by men who challenge his intellect, or would he be interested in reading books of someone’s personal journey of faith?

Is he hostile to learning about the Catholic faith, so that he would not feel threatenned by having his son brought up a Catholic? Sometimes men, especially men who consider themselves ‘manly men’ will think that a manchild brought up in faith will be feminized. You want to expose him to strong, masculine men of faith so that he will know that men of faith are not wimps, and that having a strong relationship with the Holy Trinity enables them to meet calamity with serenity.


#5

[quote=LSK]My first thought was “there are very few athiests or agnostics in foxholes”.

I** actually said that to him the day he left. He just smiled and nodded. He is well aware of what I want for him. **
What interests your husband? For instance, is he interested in history or in archeology? Would he be open to reading books by men who challenge his intellect, or would he be interested in reading books of someone’s personal journey of faith?

I was thinking maybe something about a personal journey where the person was a strong person before and after conversion. Maybe someone who had made a few mistakes along the way, but found a loving and fogiving Father he could turn to. Any ideas?
Is he hostile to learning about the Catholic faith, so that he would not feel threatenned by having his son brought up a Catholic? Sometimes men, especially men who consider themselves ‘manly men’ will think that a manchild brought up in faith will be feminized. You want to expose him to strong, masculine men of faith so that he will know that men of faith are not wimps, and that having a strong relationship with the Holy Trinity enables them to meet calamity with serenity.
[/quote]

He has always been supportive of me “taking care of that”. Our son was actually baptized by my distant cousin who is an FSSP priest. My husband actaully liked the baptism and my cousin a lot. Unfortunately, they did not get a chance to talk very much before my husband left. My cousin has offered to write to him and send him any info he may want. This is something I am working on as well.
Thanks for all of your answers. We do all say prayers for my husband and will continue. Thanks again


#6

as long as he is agnostic, then I keep courage in knowing he has not denied the faith. he wants to understand more.

Does he spend a lot of time bored? Maybe a book of puzzles or something else to do, to follow up on another posters of finding something he’s interested in.

In his situation, I’m guessing the “facts” are pretty realistic before him, more than we might know – but to know that no matter what he has support back home will be the biggest faith builder I can think of. Also sometimes Julie has put the kids up to making me cards, and even occasionally “books” and stashed them in my luggage when I was leaving town. Maybe some of this kind of stuff would go over well, along with some photos of them having fun.

Alan


#7

…hmmm…books…a couple of things come to mind…

If he has a good logical base, I would recommend C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. This is an excellent book that was written by a former athiest. If he thinks in a rigorously rational way (like an engineer), this is an excellent book. It is highly readable and very straightforward.

If he is more of a “where’s the evidence” kind of guy, I would recommend Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ. He’s a Protestant, but presents well articulated evidence supporting the rationality of the Biblical presentation of Jesus.

If you’re looking for a saint’s biography, you might consider St. Augustine. He was a complete lout (drunk, prostitute-visiting, gambling, lowlife), who converted after years of stubborness. (As a side note, you may want to start praying with St. Monica, his mom, who prayed for Augustine’s conversion for years and years - she would make a great prayer partner.) St. Augustine is one of the greatest Saints of the Church.

Also, you may consider sending him some audio. If you can burn CD’s, there are a number of great resources online. My favorite is www.peterkreeft.com, but there are plenty of other audio subjects at www.ewtn.com. Personally, I would start with Peter Kreeft’s Arguments for God’s Existence. If you decide that you would like more audio, let me know and I’ll recommend more.

Hope this helps.

God Bless,
RyanL


#8

Ok - this is going to take some research…there is a book I heard about on Catholic Radio written about a Marine Chaplain who was in combat duty during the Vietnam War…you may need to call Catholic Answers and ask one of the Apologists to see if anyone there knows about it…I heard the radio show a long time ago and so (OF COURSE!!!) cannot remember the name of the priest…however, it was an incredibly moving story. Does ANYONE on the forum remember the story? MODERATOR???ANYONE???


#9

I have not been able to find the book but I found a website for Catholics in the Military

catholicmil.org/

they have a bookstore with a great variety of books and cds available for our fighting men and women. PLEASE contact them, Monica…they have a support group also - and I would bet they would have some suggestions as to reading material you could send your husband to help him on his search for Truth.


#10

[quote=LSK]Ok - this is going to take some research…there is a book I heard about on Catholic Radio written about a Marine Chaplain who was in combat duty during the Vietnam War…you may need to call Catholic Answers and ask one of the Apologists to see if anyone there knows about it…I heard the radio show a long time ago and so (OF COURSE!!!) cannot remember the name of the priest…however, it was an incredibly moving story. Does ANYONE on the forum remember the story? MODERATOR???ANYONE???
[/quote]

Funny you should ask. Could you be talking about chaplain Emil Kapaun? I just went to a lecture a few weeks ago from our associate pastor, who is in charge of his cause – latest news is the Vatican has given go-ahead for the cause, so under current terminology (as of VII I think) is “Servant of God”.

My children go to Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, named after Fr. Kapaun, and they have lots of memorabilia on display. They have a web page dedicated to him, including a link to the “official” page for his cause by the Fr. Kapaun Guild. Too bad – I offered to host the web site but someone else got the job first. :rolleyes:

I’ve heard a good book about him (have not read myself) is “A Shepherd in Combat Boots”

There is also some information on our diocese web site

Alan


#11

WOW… you just described my husband to a T and he’s heading to Iraq in January. I’ve never pushed the issue with him but he knows it burns on my heart about his lack of being baptised. I’ve even gone so far as telling him to “just do it, right about now I don’t care if it’s not even Catholic but as long as it’s the Trinitarian baptism.” He respects my longing for his baptism… but I can’t force the issue.

I’ve prayed many chaplets for him and will continue to do so, but I also gave him Rome Sweet Home. He hasn’t read it at all, so I doubt it’ll be read.

But thanks for asking this question and thanks so much for all the people that responded… It’s helped me too!!
Theresa


#12

Ok guys, fess up! Who said a prayer for my husband! I know at least one of you did because of the e mail I got from him the other day. Apparently he has gotten himself a prayer book with devotions to the Blessed Virgin and Litanies to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He said he carries it around but did not say he is reading it. He did tell me to send him The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and that he wanted to read it. He also said that he is not converted yet ( I take that t mean convinced yet) so please keep those prayers coming. Most of all, thank you guys so much.


#13

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Funny you should ask. Could you be talking about chaplain Emil Kapaun? I just went to a lecture a few weeks ago from our associate pastor, who is in charge of his cause – latest news is the Vatican has given go-ahead for the cause, so under current terminology (as of VII I think) is “Servant of God”.

My children go to Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School, named after Fr. Kapaun, and they have lots of memorabilia on display. They have a web page dedicated to him, including a link to the “official” page for his cause by the Fr. Kapaun Guild. Too bad – I offered to host the web site but someone else got the job first. :rolleyes:

I’ve heard a good book about him (have not read myself) is “A Shepherd in Combat Boots”

There is also some information on our diocese web site

Alan
[/quote]

ALAN!! That’s IT!! Thank you thank you! and Monica and Theresa, I tell you that praying for your husbands right this minute is St. Therese of Liseux and Father Kapaun…I didn’t know Father’s name but I had asked St. Therese and “the priest who was in Vietnam” to start working on Monica’s husband’s heart…and Theresa, I have now asked them to start working on your husband too…be not afraid.


#14

[quote=LSK]Theresa, I have now asked them to start working on your husband too…be not afraid.
[/quote]

Thank you so much!!! I really appreciate it! At least I’m comforted so far that he will at least carry a rosary with him and it happens to be a rosary a Jewish friend of mine got from Venice and it’s been blessed by PJPII. :slight_smile: So we’ve got some extra help there. Thank you so much for your prayers… gotta love being Catholic, I love the fact that we pray to saints and therefore we’ve got the communion of saints on our side (ok, at least we recognize their communion). :slight_smile:
theresa


#15

[quote=Monica37]I hope ya’ll can give me some help here. My husband and I have been married for 13 yrs. I was not an active Catholic for about 10 of those :o . We did get married in the church though. My husband’s family identifies themselves as Protestant though also inactive. My husband says he is agnostic, but will occasionally go to Mass with us. He does get irritated when I have to go for Holy Days or it otherwise interferes with his life. He has been very good about the kids being baptized and my daughter’s First Holy Communion. The problem is that we now have a son who will look to my husband as his role model. I guess having had girls I never worried so much because I thought they would identify with me who is attending church and talking to them about God a lot. I worry that my husband’s refusal to even read anything or discuss religion will be the path my son follows. I would love for my husband to be baptized and to show my son how wonderful a man of faith is. He is currently deployed to Iraq and I had thought of sending himsome books to read. They can’t be too preachy and maybe could be something that is a really good read. Any suggestions?
[/quote]

MONICA!!!

I found another book:

The Grunt Padre about Father Vincent Capadano. He served in Vietnam. He was an amazing man. You can purchase it on Amazon and your husband should love it…a real man’s man.


#16

[quote=LSK]MONICA!!!

I found another book:

The Grunt Padre about Father Vincent Capadano. He served in Vietnam. He was an amazing man. You can purchase it on Amazon and your husband should love it…a real man’s man.
[/quote]

I was going to suggest this book - and you beat me to it!

Consider this a big fat DITTO - fantastic story (in fact, I need to order it for a friend for Christmas, thanks for the reminder!)

Since he read the “Screwtape” - send him “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis. Amazing book.


#17

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