Chancellare, thanks for your suggestions. Some I had thought of, but I haven’t prayed the rosary in many years. I think I will take that up again.
Some good news for those of you following this thread. I had a long talk with my wife during a car ride. The conversation kind of wandered, but eventually I mentioned that I really wanted her to choose to be baptized, even in a protestant faith. She said that she wouldn’t do that until we found a church that we could “both be happy with.” I told her that I believed the Catholic church was the fullest expression of Christianity, and that the more I learned about my faith the more I realized it was both true and what I wanted. For that reason, I would not leave the Church ever, but rather am being drawn into full communion with the Church. At first I thought these statements would start World War III, but I was surprised. She was frustrated and irritated, and still has no intention of converting - ever - but she seemed to accept it. We talked a little about why the Church is true, but I strove to be gentle and loving and not didactic. I had to avoid confrontation on some issues for that reason, but I was making progress!
We also talked about our marriage. I told her how I felt about her and our marriage, conveying the Catholic teachings on marriage without identifying them as Catholic per se. She seemed relieved. She was worried I would leave her. She did say she couldn’t see a circumstance about her leaving me, other than extremes that just would’nt happen (adultery, my parents moving in (a whole 'nother story), abuse, etc.).
I asked her whether my growing faith and being more close to the Church would be a sticking point for her. She said it wouldn’t separate us and that she loved me. I said, “even as I teach Lexie (our daughter) about the Catholic faith and try to raise her in it?”) Again, she said no in a relaxed way. She did say that she didn’t want me to “force it down Lexie’s throat,” but I explained that faith in Christ and His Church is never forced. I would teach her, but she would have to choose on her own. Which is true.
I admit I was genuinely surprised. She still hates the Church, won’t go herself, and is very frusted by my renewed faith, but if she moved towards being accepting towards me and my daughter being in full communion with the Church, then more goodness can follow later. The whole talk gave me renewed hope. There’s a LONG way to go, but at least I felt like we had made progress. Baby steps, I guess.
I know that she can change her mind again - she’s famous for that. However, I can only deal with the present. I chose to believe that she will continue to move towards Christ, and I continue to pray that she will.
One other story that happened last week that floored me because of what my wife said. The story starts as my daughter came crying into our room at 3:00 am. She was scared of the monster in the dark. I calmed her down and then decided I would help reason away her fear. To do this I decided first to identify what she saw as the monster so that I could find a way to make her feel better. I figured it would be a monster under the bed, or some such silliness (recall that she is 4 years old).
My daughter talked and I listened without saying anything at first. She told me that the monster only came out at night. He was a bad guy that was a shadow full of dark. He was angry. He wanted to take over the world and draw everyone into his family. He was trying to get Lexie and take her away.
You can imagine what I was thinking. I asked her what was the name of the monster. She said his name was “Schizain.” She had never mentioned such a name before, and nobody has taught her such a name, and she hasn’t heard the word “schism” before. Now I was scared.
I told her that she should ask God to help her, and to ask Jesus for help. That Jesus had defeated the monster, and that the only way the monster could hurt her is if she listened to the monster.
She emphatically said she would not listen. She said she was angry at the monster.
I told her not to be angry. I said to her, "baby, the monster likes people to get angry. Don’t be angry, just ask God for help and God will chase the monster away.
She asked God to help her. That seemed to work almost immediately.
We let her fall back asleep in our bed. No more trouble with the monster that night, or since thankfully.
Here’s the twist to the story: My wife, who was thinking the same thing I was, said that we should have a priest come to the house and bless it. My jaw hit the floor.
Anyway, I just wanted to share, especially for those of you also going through hard times. There is most decidely hope.