I am a Protestant and so are the rest of my family members. I wish to start RCIA classes in hopes of becoming Roman Catholic, but my wife told me she does not want me to start classes or become Catholic. She does have issues with the Church stemming from a messy divorce of her parents and how the Church handled it. Any suggestions as to how to follow what I know is right but not offend the woman who I am to love and honor?
I would gently but firmly tell her this is not about her, and also tell her you have no ideas in your head about converting her. Tell her your love for her will remain a constant, no matter what faith you practice.
Be very careful not to engage in any arguments. There will be several tests of you during your conversion, tests that will surface in your most important relationships. You must persevere with humility, charity, and faith in God’s will for you.
Keep reassuring her that your conversion has nothing to do with your marriage. Always always be kind, even when she may appear to be attacking you.
You may be interested in reading by Lynn NordhagenWhen Only One Converts. Not all the couples’ stories end happily, but I found it to be very illuminating on how differently one person’s conversion can affect a relationship.
May God bless and keep you and your family as you embark on this journey!
I urge you to consider deeply before doing so. This is a unilateral decision that you are making that affects both of you. It could be the end of your marriage if you handle this wrong. Talk with her - a lot. Talk before you start, as you are converting, afterwards. Tell her why you are doing this and be open to hearing how it makes her feel.
When my wife did the exact thing you are doing it nearly ended a wonderful marriage. I am still suffering deeply from her decisions and to some extent feel like she has abandoned me. She did not talk to me even though I begged her to. That made it even harder. Maybe you can do better if you take the time to explain and appear to care about her feelings.
This is dangerous ground if both of you are deeply convicted about your relationship with God. Take care. It pretty much ended my life as I knew it.
I recommend reading Scott and Kimberly Hahn’s conversion story, Rome Sweet Home. Kimberly was dead set again Scott converting, but he was convicted in his heart that he needed to be in the Catholic Church. Eventually, she came too, but it was a difficult journey. Read it, pray, and find a priest that you can talk things through with as they come up.
Pray and once you KNOW the truth of the Faith - God will give you the grace to follow. Find a good Priest who can speak with both of you.
Having just read the Concierge advice on editing our posts, let me apologize to the OP, who I incorrectly addressed as “Ghostman” - sorry, T68WARE! I caught it after the 20 minute time when I could have edited . . .
I would remind your wife of exactly what RCIA is - a course of enquiry for those wishing to learn about Catholicism. It in no way obligates you (nor means that you are obligated) to convert.
You may well, on pursuing RCIA, decide you don’t wish to convert after all. Lots of people do so, and it’s perfectly fine.
Excellent advice, Lily. The OP should stress just those thoughts to his wife. He can invite her to go with him if she would like to know what is going on, but having her understand that this is a “trial” period, so to speak, should help. I will pray for him.
If she’s willing to go, having her also attend RCIA would be an excellent opportunity for her to know what is being taught. Tell her that you will dedicate a certain portion of your week to discussing with her and or her minister the points you are being taught in RCIA. This should help her to know that you are not going forward on this blindly, that you are open to her input and the input of those whom she most trusts in matters of spirituality.
Then, pray, pray, pray to the Holy Spirit that you be guided in each and every word you speak on religion from here forward. This will be an incredible time for you to test your Theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity (Love).
Have Faith and Hope that Christ Loves you enough to bring you and those you Love to see Him as fully as possible in this live and with the veil lifted in the next.
Know also, that the evil one hates it that so many are coming to know and accept the Truths of the Church, so you are likely to find yourself under spiritual attack. Therefore, you will need Faith, Hope and Charity in all areas of your life. Give your life fully to God, submitting fully to the path on which He leads you.
Although it needs to be handled with the utmost of care…Don’t let any person on this earth keep you from God.
I went through RCIA last year and I was baptised Catholic at Easter. Receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Catholic Church was an incredible healing for my soul.