Hello everyone! This is my first day here and my first post. So, I was raised Catholic, my parents are Catholic and all my family and so on. I have faith. I do, I believe in the Trinity and the Saints and Angels but it’s hard for me to believe in all the teachings of the Catholic Religion. My husband and I are raising our children Catholic as well. One of my issues is, my husband is not Catholic but he will attend mass with us once in a while and I pray every day for him that he will want to convert to the Catholic Religion. I would love to get married by the Catholic Church, I feel this will help our relationship, marriage and life. Has anyone gone through this or is anyone going through this now? This isn’t something I want to push on him, I want him to want to be Catholic.
Hi! Welcome to the forums!
I have gone through a slightly similar situation, but one not as difficult as yours, and from the opposite side. My husband was raised Catholic and I was anything but Catholic when we met and began dating. It was simply by his example, faith, and passion for his beliefs that I was led to convert… he never asked me or “bothered” me about converting, though he did express that, were we to marry, he’d want our kids to be raised Catholic.
I went to mass with him a few times and while he answered my questions and gave me lots of guidance, I was led to convert, as I said, mostly by his example.
So my advice is that if you want your husband to convert, maybe express how much it means to you when he attends mass with all of you, pray for him, and renew your own faith. He had told me that by my conversion he was led to a deeper understanding and faith in the teachings of the Church. Search out your own doubts and pray about them. I’ll be praying for your family, too.
Welcome to the forums. Your post seems to pre-suppose that in order for your marriage to be recognized by the Catholic Church, your husband would have to join the Catholic Church as well. This is simply not the case. While it would be wonderful if your husband decides to join the Church, there are many, many mixed faith couples in Catholic marriages (including my parents, my wife and I, and several other couples we know).
If your husband is willing to attend Mass with you and help you raise your children in the Catholic faith, then he should not have trouble with taking the steps needed to make sure that your marriage is recognized by the Church. Make an appointment with the preist at your parish, and ask him to help guide you through that process.
Welcome to the forums. First off may God bless you and your family. yes at times I have struggled with some teachings of the Church manly because sometiems it is hard to know what is the true teachings and what is someone’s opinion. But I have learned to ask someone who would know like a priest or deacon or read a book on it or something. Just keep praying and be a witness with your actions for your husband. Be willing to answer his questions. Sometimes what we do and how we live is a more powerful witness then what we say. I have had Prostant friends tell me they know I am Christian by my actions. So sometimes that speaks louder then words. This is how I try to witness to my family members who are non practicing Catholics and prostants.
one of the things the church teaches is that birth control isn’t allowed. Having a lot of kids is a hard thing to do given the state of today’s economy.
And i’m not sure it should apply if one parent has an illness.
I think there definitely should be some leeway given certain circumstances.
Wow, Louise, your comments certainly have come out of left field. So, let’s clear up a few misconceptions you have.
First, you are incorrect regarding the Church’s teaching on “birth control.” Controlling births-- spacing, timing, or limiting the number of children one has due to serious reasons-- is certainly allowed.
Contraception is an immoral means of achieving the spacing/planning/limiting of children. Abstaining-- periodically or more completely-- is not an immoral means of doing this. One may abstain from sexual relations, one may never take an action to sterilize the marital embrace.
You also state that, " Having a lot of kids is a hard thing to do given the state of today’s economy." Well, there are many people I know (my friend due soon with her 7th child) who disagree with your assessment. But, if this is true in particular cases, there is no obligation of a couple to have “lot of kids.” There are many who cannot for financial, physical, or other reasons. And, the Church does not teach that anyone must have a certain number of children or “lot of kids.”
You also wrote, " I think there definitely should be some leeway given certain circumstances." That leeway is called periodic abstinence through natural family planning. Contraception is intrinsically evil-- that means it is ALWAYS an offense against God and his plan for our sexuality. Abstaining periodically respects God’s law and our sexuality, and allows couples who need to space/plan/limit their family size to do so.
thanks for clearing that up ~ although i’m not quite sure what your clarification was for someone with an illness (say ms) like me. Should i abstain periodically or all the time??? I’m not sure which one ~~ could you let me know? Thanks.
My husband IS Catholic and won’t attend Mass with me so you are a step ahead of me.
Oh my heavens have I a story for you. I was raised Catholic as well. My husband was not raised anything really. Our son attended a Catholic school and we too attended Mass regularly. In April of 2004 I met a woman at the Catholic bookstore in town. I told her my plight. She immediately bought us both a Miraculous Medal and said with prayer to the Blessed Virgin my husband would be Catholic w/in the year. Our priest blessed the medals and my husband had no problem wearing it. I did not disclose that I would be praying for his conversion as I wanted him to come to the faith of his own will. The following fall our RCIA program sign-ups were announced at church. My husband without my even knowing signed up. This was 3 days after another plea I made to Mama Mary for his conversion to the Faith. Tears of joy came upon me when I got home one afternoon and our parish had called about his attending the classes. I did not tell him any of this until the night of his Baptism 7 months later. It was a great joy. So I want to support you in learning about the Miraculous Medal and Mary’s promise to those who where and share it.
Regarding your concern about following church teachings. Please know that Mary was obedient, Jesus was innocent and obedient, we are all called to be obedient to God, regardless of our level of belief in the teachings. God does know what is best for us. Ask Him to grow your faith and believe. Blessings, Lisa
Welcome to CAF!
I pray for you and your husband in this situation. There are many stories similar to yours on the site and hopefully you can find some of them and get some inspiration.
The only question is what are the teachings that are hard to follow? I am not sure that you posted that above?
What you need is information about Natural Family Planning. There are 2 different methods–it seems that some people get along better with one, some with the other, so look into both. Your parish or diocese should be able to direct you to the appropriate people.
Also, you might contact the Pope Paul VI Institute, which is a group of Catholic OB/GYNs who deal with these issues.
I will let 1ke answer this fully, but have you heard about Natural Family Planning? NFP?
That is something each couple would need to take under prudential judgment.
There are several posters on here who have conditions (rayne89 comes to mind, she has congestive heart failure) that coupled with pregnancy could mean life threatening issues. In those cases a couple would have to decide if periodic continence (NFP) or complete continence is the most prudent. Rayne has been using NFP for 12 years. She and her husband have chosen not to completely abstain. Another couple might decide that even as good as NFP is, they are not willing to risk it and decide to abstain completely.
The modern methods of NFP have many things to offer couples who have serious reasons to avoid pregnancy temporarily or indefinitely. Years ago, a couple in the same medical situation may have had to opt for complete continence. Many have done it down through history due to necessity. It can be done. But, NFP gives couple the opportunity for intimacy those in the past did nto have.
There are actually many methods. The following four are the most common and most effective and use the actual observations of fertility signs each day to determine when to abstain:
Sympto-Thermal taught by either Couple to Couple League or Northwest Family Services
Billings Ovulation Method
Creighton Model Natural Family Planning
Marquette Model Natural Family Planning
There are also several other methods that are **not **as effective such as the Standard Days Method which uses averages and estimates instead of actual observations to determine days to abstain.
Just for comprehensiveness sake, the SDM is very effective for women who have regular cycles between 26 and 32 days long. It’s perfect-use rate is not as high as the sympto-thermal method, but it’s typical-use rate is comparable. It might still be a good option for women who don’t like to chart and who have very regular cycles within the defined cycle-length parameters.
I’m not sure what your illness is - but I will mention that if this has todo with you time of the month (as in my case among other things it does) then the church does give some leeway. Personally, I have used “the Pill” or some form of it since I was 13 years old due to a very heavy monthly (that would sometimes force me to get transfusions) along with kidney disease. Anyway due to “double effect”, I am allowed to use the birth control because my reason for using it has been to help contolthis problem. If my reasons for wanting to use it were just to not get pregnant then the church wouldn’t o.k. it. I would talk to a Priest and see what he says. Good Luck!
Did anyone ever tell you it would be easy to follow Catholic teachings? Of course it isn’t. It isn’t easy to follow the teachings of most flavours of Christianity - and I’d go so far as to say that if any Christian tries to tell you it is, then he or she doesn’t know whereof they speak. Why else does Jesus discuss the necessity of daily taking up our crosses? Of entering into the narrow gate and the narrow path that leads to eternal life, the one few will enter?
She stated her illness is Multiple Sclerosis. The Pill is not a treatment for MS.
We’re talking about people with serious medical (life threatening) reasons to avoid. Standard Days is a bad idea for anyone in that situation.
thank you for being not so judgemental of me this time ~ i was so upset when i read your answer to me last time.
Thank you again ~ l.