I am the worst Catholic in the world!


#1

I might as well as introduce myself since I’m new here – like the AA style testimony… “Hello, my name is Michael (not Mike) and I am a cradle Catholic. lol

In any case, I wanted to check this place out because I am learning more about my faith all the time. And because I have a lot of questions. AND because I’m sort of in a bad way myself.

You see, I’m married to a wonderful woman and I love her very much. But when we were married, I wasn’t serious about being a Catholic. I wasn’t really serious about God at all in fact. She kind of inspired me to re-connect with my faith because she had such an admirable and wonderful faith-life herself. And her family (parents) are really great people and very devoted Christians (Baptists.)

I didn’t really care that she was a Protestant when we got married. And she didn’t care that I was a Catholic either. But, I sort of think (now) that my “not caring” was very different from hers. I didn’t care that she was a Protestant because I pretty much thought that all Christians were the same. I think she didn’t care that I was a Catholic because I didn’t really ACT like a Catholic, or seem to care about BEING a Catholic (never went to Mass, openly questioned Church teaching, and made jokes about the Pope and stuff.) So, in my mind – I thought it was great that she WAS a sincere and devout Protestant-Christian. In her mind – she thought it was great that I WASN’T a Catholic by anything but heredity.

We got married in a civil ceremony (justice of the peace) and later had a “church” wedding at a Baptist (now it’s a nondenominational) church. Now we’ve been married for a few years and things are going fairly good. EXCEPT that I’ve reconnected to my Catholic faith!

I sort of thought she would be excited about it – like, while I was growing spiritually and learning (or re-learning) a lot about the Catholic Church, I sort of thought she would grow along with me or at least be somewhat interested, but she is pretty far from it. I guess I was naive to think the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism don’t matter that much – because they do. My wife refuses to discuss having our marriage validated, she doesn’t trust me, we can’t talk about anything spiritual in nature (and it’s pretty much ALL I want to talk about, so that’s pretty hard!) and we get angry with each other all the time, especially on Sundays.

I’m trying to be patient, trying to talk to her so she doesn’t feel like I’m attacking her faith, and trying not to “force” the issue, but I feel much neglected. I go to Mass, but I’ve separated myself from the Sacraments and it feels lonely. And now that I have an appreciation for the Eucharist, it’s so hard to even GO to Mass anymore! Because I don’t know if I’ll ever be in communion with the Church again! I used to encourage her to go to her Baptist services and I would always go with her… but the more I go, the more I feel like I’m condoning or approving of what that church teaches, so I’m not as “encouraging” as I used to be. And sometimes, I just want to smack the minister there! He always takes cheap shots at the Catholic Church, at least once every service. Some of them are worse than others, like, some are sort of “jokes” while others are seriously offensive and outright lies. It seems like most people don’t even realize it though, even my wife! If I try to point it out to my wife afterwards, we just get in huge fights, even though at least a couple of times she admitted that the minister was out of line a little.

Now, I don’t want to beg her to help me or anything, but I really feel stuck. I’ve tried to illustrate to her that I am in a state of mortal sin and without her help I am kind of powerless to get back on track and get myself “right” with God. She doesn’t believe in mortal sin though and doesn’t see why her refusal to have our marriage validated should keep me from practicing in my Church. And she doesn’t seem to care that my soul could very well be in danger (it certainly is) because she believes you can’t lose your salvation.

Continued…


#2

So, for a couple of years now, I’ve been separated from the Sacraments (and I can’t even begin to explain how painful that is) with no end in sight. The rift between my wife and I keeps getting worse and worse. She flat out refuses to talk to me about our spiritual issues, no matter how carefully and sensitively I try to approach the subject. And I am feeling more and more alienated from not only my wife, but everybody who I care about (my nominal Catholic family can’t relate at all and I feel like her family sort of “pities” me for re-committing myself to the Catholic Church.)

But, not just alienated and lonely anymore… I am feeling more and more angry! I feel angry with her for not caring that I can’t take Communion, I feel angry with my in-laws because I guess I kind of blame them for the way she feels about the Catholic Church, and I’m angry with myself most of all, because I don’t know how to bridge this gap and reach out to the woman I love!

I don’t want to be selfish you know, but what do I have to do!? What am I supposed to do? Anything I say, I mean, any time I even mention anything slightly religious anymore is an attempt to try to “convert” her and things can get really out of hand. Is this just my “cross to bear” because of all those years I took the Catholic Church for granted? So now I have to live the rest of my life outside the Church for the sake of my marriage? What am I supposed to do?

She doesn’t want our children raised “just” Catholic. She wants them raised as both, so when they’re older they can make the choice. But, although I haven’t objected to our future children (we don’t have kids yet) going to Protestant services for her sake (I would always go as well of course) – I have to admit that I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with the idea. I imagine our children will be very confused about what they “are,” and why they have to go to TWO church services every Sunday. Not to mention the fact that a lot of what they teach at her church is very… well, Protestant! How can I raise our children to have faith in God, trust in Jesus, and to seek Him in and with the Sacraments when the other “church” they go to tells them they are all sort of meaningless? And I know my wife is suspicious that I’m feeling that way, that I’m feeling unsure about how much involvement I would want our children to have in her church. And she is also aware that if we were to have our marriage validated, that I would be making a promise to do everything I can to see that our children are raised in the Church – which sort of cuts her out in her mind. Like she would be an outsider in her own family.

It’s rough! I mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if she came from an Episcopalian or even a Lutheran background or something, she could still relate to a lot of what the kids were learning and she could support them… but Baptists are so far from the truth in so many cases… I just can’t see it working. When I was reading C.S. Lewis’ book, Mere Christianity, I kept thinking, “I know that I can relate to a lot of this, but how can a Baptist really get anything out of it?” It’s almost like a completely different religion!
Sorry for ranting, I know this was way too long probably. But, I really don’t have anyone I can talk to about this stuff and I feel like I’m becoming so ugly and wretched with all my sins piling up and no way to seek absolution… it’s just frustrating.
If anyone has been in a similar situation and has any advice, please let me know! God bless you.

M


#3

Hi Michael,

My heart goes out to you. I have a situation in my family with brothers and sisters and that is hard, so I can imagine it being with my spouse. All I can say is pray and keep going to church. Being a good Catholic is about the hardest thing you will do, however it is also the thing that will bring great peace and reward, it’s like having a baby, the pain a women feels is nothing compared to the joy she is bringing into the world. This may take time, and your test will most likely be perserverance. Pray and seek advice from a holy priest and I know that you will get what you need through your faith.

God Bless
Kathleen


#4

MIchael,

I do need to disagree with you in one respect: you are NOT the worst Catholic in the world.

It would be vain to say that I (Al) AM the worst Catholic in the world I don’t publish my sins for everyone to see and snigger at ], but I would say that you are in good company!

Your situation is not all that unusual. [You would be shocked at how many Catholics become mildly anti-Catholic when a family member goes and gets “all Holy”.]

There are lots of approaches to this situation.

And many of them can be engaged in at the same time.

There is a fellow named Scott Hahn, who was in an even more difficult predicament than you: he was actually a MINISTER!

So I would recommend reading Scott Hahn’s first book (check the bookstore on this web site.)

Don’t argue with or try to convert your wife. Agree to disagree, whatever that means and re-acquaint yourself with the Catholic faith.

Make an appointment and visit with a priest… call around if necessary to find one who is trained to be a personal spiritual director. Let him suggest some things for you to do to reaffirm your faith AND at the same time, keep peace in the family.

And, if you feel strongly enough, write a letter to the Baptist minister asking him to resolve the contradictions that you perceive. Don’t argue or browbeat or insult; just ask for the scriptural resolution to the issue(s), because you are a traveler. Show the letter(s) to your priest/spiritual director for his comments. And, you may even feel after writing the letter(s), that it might be better to simply not mail them right away.

Finally, pray. Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Pray CONSTANTLY. When you’re driving. At work. Walking down the hall. In the “throne room”. Everywhere and all the time. If there is a Catholic church with Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, see if you can make frequent visits. PUT THE BURDEN ON JESUS – He is INFINITE… and can figure out win-win solutions to the most intractable problems.


#5

Hello, I don’t usually put my oar in unless I’m asked :slight_smile: and you did, first of all not knowing you personally I’d say your a bit like the alcholic who only can be helped when they admit they have a problem.

How ? well you said you don’t know what to do about it and that’s a good start, because then it’s up to God.
Jesus said “we can do nothing without Him.”

John Found 6:5 ** I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.**

So now you know there is nothing physical you can do to change anything so what do you do ? well it’s up-to the spirtual things now, prayer.

Now I’m the worst person in the world to recommend the Rosary, if you read my other threads you’ll see I shunned it for 30 years, I still have my join date in my little book, 14th Sept: 1980. (Confraternity)

It was only after reading Saint Louis de Monfort’s book the The Secret of the Rosary that my eyes were opened to the beauty of this prayer.
Oh you may say you pray the Rosary and you said it last week or two days ago, meditation is important when saying the Rosary.(you will become distracted)

I’ll try and keep this short and sweet and just say pray, if you can’t pray the Rosary in the house, then do as I do sometimes, goto a secluded place and pray.

I actually sometimes goto a secluded wooded area and all I hear are the chirping of the birds, I sit on a rock and say the Rosary and I arise a better man.
Well we learn from the Master, Jesus often took Himself off to be alone with His Father.

All I can say is try not to bring up the subject of religion too often, oh I know Sunday’s are hard, but now it’s up to God.
And if you can, do try and obtain this book “The Secret of the Rosary” I say the decades recommended for that day, I now have grown to love this prayer.

And I hope you do obtain this book, pay attention to the 48th Rose, it advise’s against losing heart and giving up saying the Rosary.Here

There is a part in there from a theologion who said the Rosary taught him more than all his studies.
I could have simply said pray at the start of this thread without anything else, but some things must be said, sorry for preaching. :eek:

Ok God Bless and success in the future, and don’t forget Prayer.


#6

Michael,

I have been reading the forums here since they were opened, but have never written a post until now. Your situation is heartbreaking, and touches a personal chord with me as it seems our faith walk was similar (I was also a pretty nominal Catholic who poked fun at what I didn’t understand, etc.)… but I am married to a Catholic, so when I caught fire it had plenty of room to spread. I simply cannot imagine getting excited about the faith and not being able to live it to the full, so I feel for you and will pray for you.

On the one hand, count your blessings, as your wife apparently loves Jesus. This is fundamental, and should be the basis of all your discussions. For instance, you might ask her how she would feel if you did something to impede her from reading her Bible (assuming she does - and perhaps she does not). If this is important to her, then equate it with your desire to receive the Eucharist. Convince her that you’d never keep her from growing spiritually, and in fact, consider it your primary duty as a husband. All you are asking is for a little spousal support in that same direction by allowing you to do what you must to participate in the Church. Admit to her that you realize many of the issues may seem trivial in her eyes (such as getting your marriage blessed, etc.), but ask her to see that they are important to you and your walk with Christ. These things will be painless on her part, yet you have been dealing with immense pain over the course of years. Finally, ask HER to pray about it as you continue your prayers as well.

In the meantime… if you are serious about living the faith and conforming your life to Christ through the sacraments, you DO have an immediate remedy for this, though I am not in your situation and could not imagine how difficult it would be for you. You COULD (and I would even say SHOULD - but again, I am not in your situation):

  1. Go to confession
  2. Abstain from marital relations until your marriage is blessed
  3. Receive the Eucharist as long as you are in a state of grace

Granted, this may upset your wife at a whole new level, but it really comes down to a matter of choosing - Christ and His will or your wife and hers? I know that sounds cold, but in the end, this is what it comes down to. Perhaps this might be what it would take for your wife to truly understand how important your relationship to Jesus is, and how much you believe that relationship is nurtured most effectively in the Catholic Church.

Mark M.


#7

I am gonna borrow a line form Bishop Sheen when trying to get a young woman to go to confession (modified of course).

You are not the worst Catholic in the world. The worst Catholic in the world thinks they are the best Catholic in the world.


#8

My husband was an agnostic/atheist when we married and I was a fallen away Catholic. I know how it can freak out a spouse when you start changing.

Stop talking about your faith and just live it. Stop, stop, stop talking about it. Your wife is probably scared she’s losing the person she married. Stop criticizing her pastor, as hard as it is bite your tongue. Offer up your sufferings.

You are not a bad Catholic. I want you to remember though it is not your wife’s fault that your marriage is not valid. You chose to stop practicing your faith before she came into the picture (or never really practiced it at all which ever the case may be) and you chose to marry outside the church. When you married your wife married a non-practicing Catholic and you told her all Christian churches were fine. Now you are the one that is changing and your expecting her to just jump on board.

Imagine your wife was a non-practicing Hindu when you married her. And you were a church going Catholic. Then a couple years into the marriage your wife decided to return to her Hindu faith and wants to marry in a Hindu temple and raise the chilren Hindu. All she talked about was how wonderful the Hindu faith and how your priest was wrong about what he taught at Mass. Well for a your wife as a Baptist you might as well becoming Hindu.

Pray, pray , pray and trust in God’s mercy. Those who desire Batism but die before they recieve it are not condemned to Hell. God know’s your great desire to have your marriage validated and your great desire to return to the sacraments. Trust in his mercy. This is heavy cross but you can bare it.

Do not discuss religion at all for at least 6 months at all. Then maybe in six months maybe ask your wife if she would reconsider the convalidation. If she says no, drop it and wait again another 6 months. Live your faith, show her the joy that comes from being Catholic. Don’t talk about it, let it show. Be the best husband you are capable of being. Be kind, loving and considerate. All she sees right now is that you being Catholic is driving you two aprat and causing trouble in your marriage and she feels threatened by that.

By the way my agnostic husband is now a devout practicing Catholic, so pray and be patient (and bite your tongue.)


#9

Pray and Pray often!

God can do anything if you give it to him! I know this is difficult, but you have to trust God to make it better.

I would suggest reading Keatings book, Catholicsim and Fundamentalism. This will give you a better perspective from where your wife is coming from and how to latter refute those misconceptions, I do not refer to them as lies but some misconcieved information that got all twisted. Also leave the book laying around, this way when you are not looking, your wife might pick it up to see where you are coming from. This would be optimal, but it would have to be of her own accord and not you pressuring her, hence the Holy Spirit guiding her towards the book.

Trying to go to both churches is hard. When I married my hubby he was Presbyterian but raised Lutheran. I was Catholic-light but felt very uncomfortable in his church. Actually the first time I went to his services, I was laughing inside my head becasue I felt I had been transported to the time of the Puritans and was imagining William Bradford’s sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” with such dramatic flare. Then later I felt like the minister was always looking down on me. It made me uncomfortable. However, my husband was uncomfortable with what my priest had said to him about not being Catholic and not being able to participate in Eucharist. We were also killing ourselves trying to make it to both services and social functions. We broke and decided on attending Episcapalian, a good middle ground so to speak. the small church was very nice and one of his friends ffrom work attended there. this worked for about 8 months. Then we moved due to his job. When we moved, we tried a local Epicapal church, I started to get that uncomfortable feeling. I then realized what it was, I was missing the rest of the mass that the Epicapals were leaving out, the real presence of Jesus and the other sacraments. I told my husband I had to go back to RCC, I just did not feel whole in a spiritual sense. He said we would try it out. We went to church and I tell you my sould rejoiced when I was in the comforts of “home” again. My husband and I di dnot really talk about faith too much, but we attended mass together nearly every week. I was becoming a stronger Catholic too. then one day my huband came home and said he had just met with the priest and was going to start RCIA classes. I about fell over! He told me he did not want to tell me until he was sure this was what he wanted to do. He said that without the pressures from me or my family he was able to discover that many of his taught misconceptions where just that. He said that once the truths unfolded for him it became clear to him what he should do. Had I pressured him, he would have just balked and not joined me.

Now it has taken some time for us to get to where we are today, more orthodox, attending rosary recitation, benidictions, discussion groups, and my hubby is even a lector and EMHC. My hubby even talks to Non-Catholic spouses in a non-confrontational way. He said one of the guys from his work asked him when we were trying to decide where to go, why are you fighting her faith? Why not just let go and believe? This guy is Catholic also, but he planted the idea in his head to be open to the RCC.

So sorry for being so long, but you are not alone. We are all “Sinners in the hands of an all loving God”. Go to confession, you will feel 200% better! Pray the rosary for your wife and the Holy Spirit will open her heart. If she asks you could point out ot her that the rosary is an meditation on scripture, something many Protestants do not realize. Or the Divine Mercy Caplet because it only contains one Hail Mary as opposed to 53.


#10

Michael,

Your post sounds very familiar to what I have been through. (except on your wife’s side)

I am/was a very devout Baptist, raised in a very devout Baptist family. My husband is Catholic, but when we met, not that great a Catholic. He went to Mass on Christmas and Easter and hoped we would Baptise our children in the Church, but since I wasn’t on board, he was okay with that too. I was still skeptical about marrying a Catholic, but he assured me we could raise our kids in the Baptist church and as long as we both loved the Lord, that is all that mattered.

Fast Forward about a year… He was going to church with me every Sunday which lead him to investigate his own faith. I thought for sure he would eventually convert to Baptist. To my horror, he started growing in his Catholic Faith. I was angry, hurt, betrayed… I felt like I had married into something I never wanted. I was adamant when we were married that I would not compromise my faith for anyone… and here he was going against everything we had discussed before we were married, my worst fears were coming true. This was a very difficult time for us.

But here is what happened. Ryan started going to Mass on Sunday or Saturday nights. He continued to go to church with me. Sunday School, Bible studies…etc. He eventually built up to going to Mass everyday…abstaining from meat on Fridays, etc. He began to know scripture even better than me, which was a biggie for me in learning about his faith. He never made a big deal out of it, we never talked about it, he just said I’ll be back and took off. Of course, I knew where he was going and what he was doing…but I wasn’t going to condone his behavior. Eventually my perspective changed… I went from thinking he betrayed me to being glad he was growing in his faith.

I also took notice of how his practiced his faith, studied Scriptures and grew even closer to our Lord. He was a changed man for the better. I also noticed he played around on this board a lot. So I started checking it out…just lurking, learning a bit here and there. Eventually, I started going to Mass with him as well. That took some getting use to, but we have been going to mass together for about 7 months now. This Christmas was stopped going to my Baptist church. (as an experiment for me) I am still not sure what I am going to do. I am not ready to convert to Catholicism, but I am now aware that everything the Baptist church teaches isn’t necessarily correct. I have agreed to get our son Baptised in the Catholic church and am just seeing where the Lord lead me. I could go on an on about what Ryan did and how things changed, but this is just to give you an idea that your situation isn’t hopeless.

When the time is right, you might consider asking your wife to pray, not that you will leave the church or that she will convert to Catholicism, but that God will open her heart to what He wants for your family. (That is what I have been praying for the last year)

Also, about your marriage. There is a way to get it “fixed” without your wife. I will ask my husband what it is called. I too, refused to get it blessed by the church. In my mind, I would be acknowledging that we were living in sin, fornicating. And I made great effort in waiting until we were married until we were together and then to have a Church tell me I was fornicating anyway…well at the time, that made me VERY ANGRY. (it is kinda petty now…but that is how I saw it at the time) Anyway, there is something you can do…it is kind of like a retro-active thing… like getting a dispensation after the fact. I’ll let you know.

Anyway, I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please ask. I will help as much as I can. (I might be able to give you more insight from your wife’s perspective.

God Bless,

RyanL’s Wife


#11

I think the process RyanL is speaking of above is called “Radical Sanation” (spelling is wrong, I’m sure). Keep praying and being the best examply of a loving Christian Catholic husband she has ever seen -


#12

[quote=kage_ar]I think the process RyanL is speaking of above is called “Radical Sanation” (spelling is wrong, I’m sure). Keep praying and being the best examply of a loving Christian Catholic husband she has ever seen -
[/quote]

Yes, that is what my husband was referring to, Thanks!

Michael, here is a link to an explanation of Radical Sanation.

Also, many people have already said it, but I just wanted to say it once more. When it comes to your wife. Your actions will say much more than your words. Talking about it will just lead to anger. She will get much more out of it by seeing your faith, than hearing about it. (at least at this point)

God Bless,

RyanL’s Wife


#13

Michael, my heart also goes out to you. You’ve had some excellent advice, so I can’t add anything to that. I hope it wouldn’t be too insulting to hold up your situation as an example for young couples in your situation. While my wife and I weren’t practicing Catholics, (we really had no clue what being Catholic was even about), we agreed that we were both Catholic, being baptised as children. I had an inkling in the back of my mind that one day that might be important issue. Well years passed and we both did come into the Church (much to my utter surprise and shock) and it made life so much easier being of the same faith. Taking children to two different churches and living with 2 faiths that so conflict with each other will only lead children to eventually reject both and come to the conclusion that religion is just a “personal” preference, much like preferring a certain color. I’m sure there are exceptions, but I believe this is more apt to happen than not.


#14

Well, you sure have a situtation. I’m a very similar situation with a Lutheran girl. When we met I was “Catholic” as in “My parents are Catholic but it’s all the same to me”. I originally even told her I’d switch when we marry. I came back home to the Church full force in April. While it has caused some disagreements, we’re working it out very slowly.

I would suggest that you set up a meeting with her minister. Try to do it WITHOUT her. Don’t hide that fact that you’re meeting, but let her know that you need for it to be just you and the minister one-on-one. That way you’ll be free to be as open as possible with him. Maybe begin by telling him that you come from a Catholic family and his Catholic “jokes” offend him. Approach him as a Christian first, and a Catholic second. When he losens up a little start explaining your feelings. Read Karl Keating’s “Catholicism and Fundalmentalism” first perhaps.

Let your wife know how your meeting goes; maybe it will open some new discussions with your wife. Also, meet with your priest. He’ll have ideas for you.

No matter what, keep praying, keep reading, continue to attend Mass, and keep posting here. You are in my prayers!


#15

I hate to mention this, but you have an excellent case for annulment. You could get a civil divorce, and your marriage would be annulled very easily and quickly since it was never convalidated in the Church (and you never formally renounced your Catholic faith). As you know, you are NOT married as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. You are very lucky that there are no children involved (yet). It sounds like you got married when you were essentially a different person, and you and your wife have grown apart and not together in these years. Pray about this and see if your separation from the Church should end in annulment of what may have been a very bad mistake.


#16

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought the OP already had two children?

Michael,
DO NOT seperate yourself from the Sacraments!! Confession brings graces!! So does a Spiritual Communion!! Whatever you are going through, you can be sure God wants to go through it WITH you. Even if you cannot participate FULLY … you can participate, and distancing yourself from the Sacraments is not the answer!!

I am an idealist, so I am going to recommend not seeking an annulment but commiting yourself even more to your marriage. Focus, not so much on the difficulties your wifes resistance is presenting, but more on your vocation and role as husband. Are you loving her with the love of Christ, or your own (self seeking) love? Pray for her and leave it to God. Stop being so uptight. Learn to have fun again together. Remember that God is love. If you want to see God move in your marriage … it will be through the love of you and your wife. Is there room?

You worry about loving her … God will bring this to victory.

Love romances.
Love surprises.
Love invites.
Love dispels fear.
Love disarms.
Love heals.

Did God not love you until you became “reconnected” to your faith? His love for you has always been and always will be. Constant, faithful, steadfast, PATIENT, meeting you where you are, and constantly giving, not according to what you deserve but according to His mercy. Her resistance … Love it out of her … don’t leave her. You did say “for better or for worse”, loving someone at thier worst is being faithful.

BTW, I would be VERY careful before deciding to abstain from relations. I do not see where this would be helpful. Saturate this in prayer. In fact I would say the opposite … that some of those “blow your mind” lovemaking sessions, can really help to “reconnect” with your spouse and break down lots of barriers.

God bless.


#17

[quote=Ana]Perhaps I am mistaken, but I thought the OP already had two children?

Michael,
DO NOT seperate yourself from the Sacraments!! Confession brings graces!! So does a Spiritual Communion!! Whatever you are going through, you can be sure God wants to go through it WITH you. Even if you cannot participate FULLY … you can participate, and distancing yourself from the Sacraments is not the answer!!

I am an idealist, so I am going to recommend not seeking an annulment but commiting yourself even more to your marriage. Focus, not so much on the difficulties your wifes resistance is presenting, but more on your vocation and role as husband. Are you loving her with the love of Christ, or your own (self seeking) love? Pray for her and leave it to God. Stop being so uptight. Learn to have fun again together. Remember that God is love. If you want to see God move in your marriage … it will be through the love of you and your wife. Is there room?

You worry about loving her … God will bring this to victory.

Love romances.
Love surprises.
Love invites.
Love dispels fear.
Love disarms.
Love heals.

Did God not love you until you became “reconnected” to your faith? His love for you has always been and always will be. Constant, faithful, steadfast, PATIENT, meeting you where you are, and constantly giving, not according to what you deserve but according to His mercy. Her resistance … Love it out of her … don’t leave her.

BTW, I would be VERY careful before deciding to abstain from relations. I do not see where this would be helpful. Saturate this in prayer.

God bless.
[/quote]

Ana, Michael cannot maintain marital relations and partake in the Sacraments at the same time as this would constitue mortal sin. He is not married as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, and any so-called “marital relations” at this time would be the same as fornication/premarital sex. Here are some moral solutions:

  1. Have the marriage convalidated (or “blessed”) in the Catholic Church.

  2. Abstain from sex until the marriage is convalidated.

  3. Divorce and seek annulment (which will be granted in his case–it will be one of the easiest cases, actually).

  4. Formally leave the Catholic Church (although this is an intrisically evil act and sinful in itself, it will make the marriage valid). I guess I can’t really put this on the list of moral options.

Well, since Michael is on fire for his faith, #4 is out of the question. And his wife refuses to have the marriage blessed, so #1 and #2 are severely hindered (although I believe there is a way for some people to have their marriage convalidated without their spouse’s cooperation). But if Michael went behind his wife’s back and against her wishes, this would probably do more harm than good for their marriage. So this leaves #3, civil divorce and Catholic annulment.

As for children:

[quote=Michael-Peter]She doesn’t want our children raised “just” Catholic. She wants them raised as both, so when they’re older they can make the choice. But, although I haven’t objected to our future children (we don’t have kids yet) going to Protestant services for her sake (I would always go as well of course) – I have to admit that I am becoming more and more uncomfortable with the idea.
[/quote]

So no, they don’t have kids yet.

Michael, whatever course of action you take, offer all of your sufferings up to Jesus to unite to His sufferings. This is your cross, and this heartache will not be wasted if you offer it up for your wife’s conversion or any other intention.

Also, when the Baptist minister belittles our faith, why not make a nice, obvious sign of the cross and bless yourself while slowly shaking your head with a sad expression, followed by putting your hands together in prayer and looking up at the ceiling for a few moments :smiley: This might work especially well if you sit front and center!


#18

Just in case it is any consolation to you, I was married to a Protestant who was also less than thrilled when I started practicing my faith.

It was extremely painful as you pointed out in your post, and our relationship suffered immensely. Well meaning people recommended an annullment, even a priest. I am so glad that was not the result, or I would have never had the opportunity to witness God’s glory made so manifest through our marriage. We have now been married almost ten years and our marriage is rock solid, beautiful and ever new and full of surprises. Also, my husband converted in 2003, but that was a result of God’s improvement in our relationship FIRST.


#19

FYI:

The dispensation called sanatio in radice consists in the revalidation of a marriage by reason of a consent formerly given, but ineffective at the time owing to some ecclesiastical impediment. When the impediment is removed, the consent is ipso facto ratified and no renovation is required. [RyanL: This means she doesn’t need to “renew” her vows] In such a case, it is requisite that the consent of both parties to the marriage had not ceased and that their wedlock had had the external appearance of a true marriage. Sanatio is resorted to when… one party would be unwilling formally to renew a consent that is presumably existent.… In the United States, the ordinaries [RyanL: Bishops] may grant such dispensation, under certain limitations, when only of the parties to the marriage is aware of the impediment.

The process can take about a month, and would require a couple of things from you and your wife. First, you will need a new copy of your baptismal certificate. Second, you need two affidavits from people who have known each of you for several years (four affidavits total) testifying that neither of you were married before and that you were both baptized.

Your impediments should be (1) lack of canonical form and (2) disparity of cult (don’t mind the name, it just means that she wasn’t Catholic).

You would pursue this by talking to your parish priest and offering to go straight to the Vicar General for your Diocese yourself (this makes things faster, but priests may be reluctant). Once things get rolling, be a thorn in their side until it gets through (paperwork tends to bog down without someone who cares pushing the issue).

Words of advice:

  1. Stop arguing about it - just don’t do it. You will never convert her. If it is God’s plan, the Holy Spirit will do it. You do your part (pray and be faithful) - let God do His.
  2. Read your Bible - “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” -St. Jerome
  3. Memorize Scripture - www.scripturecatholic.com has a “top 10” which I recommend. Start with those 10. After that, pick another 10. Unless you know Scriptures, no Protestant will take you seriously.
  4. Go to confession.
  5. Go to Mass - don’t ever miss it agian.
  6. P.U.S.H. - Pray Until Something Happens

You’ll be in my prayers. PM me if I can be of any more assistance.

God Bless,
RyanL


#20

[quote=CatholicSam]I hate to mention this, but you have an excellent case for annulment. You could get a civil divorce, and your marriage would be annulled very easily and quickly since it was never convalidated in the Church (and you never formally renounced your Catholic faith). As you know, you are NOT married as far as the Catholic Church is concerned. You are very lucky that there are no children involved (yet). It sounds like you got married when you were essentially a different person, and you and your wife have grown apart and not together in these years. Pray about this and see if your separation from the Church should end in annulment of what may have been a very bad mistake.
[/quote]

Catholic Sam,

Why would you even mention this? He said he was very much in love with his wife and that she was a wonderful woman! Why would you divorce someone you are in love with. (Because that is how his wife would see it, as a divorce) I would think if he loves her as much as he implied, he would want the best for her. Most likely, leaving her isn’t going to be much of a witness to the love and greatness of the Catholic Church. It is very possible for him to get his marriage recognized by the Church so he can easily receive the sacraments within a month if he starts the process now. (or he can abstain for a month and receive it sooner)

But yes, almost every devout Protestant is going to rebel, be angry, reject their spouse’s change in faith, if it is contrary to what they previously believed. Look at Kimberly Hann and other posts on this particular forum. It just makes sense for them to be upset, even if the person in question is actually growing. But to suggest an annulment just because things aren’t going great from them right from the start. That is just ridiculous. Don’t you think he should give his wife some time to adjust to the idea. One doesn’t just give up everything they believe, and have been taught, overnight. I guarantee, if Michael leaves his wife before she has a chance to hear the holy spirit, he will create a great anti-catholic. Does the world really need more of those? 5 years down the road, if things haven’t gotten any better than maybe…but to have an annulment be his first action of solving the predicament he is in, is just ignorant, IMO.

Also, when the Baptist minister belittles our faith, why not make a nice, obvious sign of the cross and bless yourself while slowly shaking your head with a sad expression, followed by putting your hands together in prayer and looking up at the ceiling for a few moments :smiley: This might work especially well if you sit front and center!

By the way, while it is indeed very sad that a Baptist minister would do this, throwing his Catholicism in his wife’s face in this particular manner, at this particular time, will do absolutely nothing for her conversion, or even acceptance of his faith. In fact, it will do just the opposite. She will see it as a smack in the face and it will just make her mad. Trust me! I’ve been in his wife’s position and I have to say all your advise may be well and good for some, but it will in NO way help his wife.

So if it is all about him, the maybe he should take your advice. But if he cares even a little about his wife, I would highly suggest he ignore your suggestions.

Again this is just the opinion of a Baptist wife who use to feel the same way about her Catholic husband, but is now even considering converting. Hmmmmmm, wonder where I would be now if my husband had just got an annulment…oh yeah, I would be in my Baptist church telling everyone how horrible the Catholic church is… now, do we really want that???

RyanL’s Wife


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