My confusing life


#1

This may be in the wrong section. Sorry I am new. I met my husband July 2005. He was going through a divorce at the time. We were just friends for a while; I didn’t think anything would EVER come of our relationship. That quickly changed. We began cohabitating (sp?) three months later. We never used birth control because I put that to God’s hands. I did ask God to allow me to get pregnant if he was the one chosen for me. I got pregnant 7 months later. I did begin birth control after that because I have arthritis in my lower back and pubic joint. My body can’t handle carrying weight. My condition has gotten worse because of holding my son, loading/unloading him from the carseat, etc. Being a mother has been very rough on my body. Is it a sin to use birth control to prevent having a child until my first child is old enough to not need my assistance? I really don’t want a hip replacement if I can avoid it and I can.
Another thing is I only had a civil wedding because my husband went to Iraq and once he got back he was out of a job. He’s only been working for less than 3 months since returning from Iraq. He also feels he is not ready to be a full fledged Catholic. He wants to do it but he doesn’t want to do it halfway. His first marriage was not a Catholic unity either so I don’t believe that is a problem. Can I still receive communion and participate in confession since we are now married? Or not until we do the church wedding? My dad talks about my lifestyle as if it is the most repugnant thing ever but I talked to a nun and she said that its not that bad since we are in a monogamous relationship and that God knows my heart. I am so confused about the wrongs and rights.


#2

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]
This may be in the wrong section. Sorry I am new. I met my husband July 2005. He was going through a divorce at the time. We were just friends for a while; I didn't think anything would EVER come of our relationship. That quickly changed. We began cohabitating (sp?) three months later. We never used birth control because I put that to God's hands. I did ask God to allow me to get pregnant if he was the one chosen for me. I got pregnant 7 months later.

[/quote]

This is called "putting God to the test." God is not a magic 8 ball and he does not operate this way. Getting pregnant is the natural result of having sexual relations. God does not affirm our sins the way you are inferring. He allows natural consequences.

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]

I did begin birth control after that because I have arthritis in my lower back and pubic joint. My body can't handle carrying weight. My condition has gotten worse because of holding my son, loading/unloading him from the carseat, etc. Being a mother has been very rough on my body. Is it a sin to use birth control to prevent having a child until my first child is old enough to not need my assistance? I really don't want a hip replacement if I can avoid it and I can.

[/quote]

Contraception is always a gravely wrong act. If you need to space/avoid children you can do so in moral ways through periodic abstaining via natural family planning (NFP). Yes, contraception is always wrong.

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]
Another thing is I only had a civil wedding because my husband went to Iraq and once he got back he was out of a job. He's only been working for less than 3 months since returning from Iraq. He also feels he is not ready to be a full fledged Catholic. He wants to do it but he doesn't want to do it halfway.

[/quote]

If he was baptized a Catholic he IS a "full fledged Catholic" but one who is a state of serious sin.

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]

His first marriage was not a Catholic unity either so I don't believe that is a problem.

[/quote]

If he is a Catholic, he can complete paperwork with the diocese regarding lack of form. If he is not Catholic, his prior marriage must be investigated through a full tribunal investigation for nullity.

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]
Can I still receive communion and participate in confession since we are now married? Or not until we do the church wedding?

[/quote]

You are in an invalid marriage. You can participate in confession if you have firm ammendment of purpose-- this means you intend not to sin anymore. So, this would mean that to make a good confession you would have to get your marriage convalidated in the Church and refrain from sexual relations with your spouse until your marriage is valid. This would all be under the guidance of your priest.

Until such time as you have made a good confession, no you can't receive Holy Communion.

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]

My dad talks about my lifestyle as if it is the most repugnant thing ever but I talked to a nun and she said that its not that bad since we are in a monogamous relationship and that God knows my heart. I am so confused about the wrongs and rights.

[/quote]

Your father is partially correct. You are in a serious state of sin. I suggest you talk to your priest about convalidating your marriage so you can return to the sacraments. You and your husband should go together since he will have to have his prior marriage examined.

You should also seriously think about the way in which you went into sinful relationships testing God. Your father saying it's the most "repugnant thing ever" isn't helpful. You've made mistakes. But, God loves you and he is waiting for you to make this right and return to the sacraments.

The nun is totally off base and you should not return to her for advice. It is a sin on her part to deny what you are doing is wrong. She should have counseled you to go talk to your priest.


#3

[quote="mayrag86, post:1, topic:177907"]
This may be in the wrong section. Sorry I am new. I met my husband July 2005. He was going through a divorce at the time. We were just friends for a while; I didn't think anything would EVER come of our relationship. That quickly changed. We began cohabitating (sp?) three months later. We never used birth control because I put that to God's hands. I did ask God to allow me to get pregnant if he was the one chosen for me. I got pregnant 7 months later. I did begin birth control after that because I have arthritis in my lower back and pubic joint. My body can't handle carrying weight. My condition has gotten worse because of holding my son, loading/unloading him from the carseat, etc. Being a mother has been very rough on my body. Is it a sin to use birth control to prevent having a child until my first child is old enough to not need my assistance? I really don't want a hip replacement if I can avoid it and I can.
Another thing is I only had a civil wedding because my husband went to Iraq and once he got back he was out of a job. He's only been working for less than 3 months since returning from Iraq. He also feels he is not ready to be a full fledged Catholic. He wants to do it but he doesn't want to do it halfway. His first marriage was not a Catholic unity either so I don't believe that is a problem. Can I still receive communion and participate in confession since we are now married? Or not until we do the church wedding? My dad talks about my lifestyle as if it is the most repugnant thing ever but I talked to a nun and she said that its not that bad since we are in a monogamous relationship and that God knows my heart. I am so confused about the wrongs and rights.

[/quote]

Just because one nun said it was OK does not make it so, considering that many religious orders in the US are under investigation by the Vatican and there is one local nun who has been serving as an "escort" at a local abortion mill.

To my knowlwdge, a civil marriage is not a valid sacramental marriage, so my thoughts would be that this would be a similar situation as the advice given to people who were divorced/remarried without an annulment or death of the previous spouse, which would be that the only way you could receive Communion would be not only to go to confession, but also to refrain from sexual relations and live as "brother and sister" until you could have a valid sacramental marriage.


#4

mayrag86,

1ke has given a most comprehensive respone. all aspects-- authoratative information, good counsel, unapologetic tone of immedicy, and gentle invitation to enter into God's mercy-- all hit the nail.

**please **don't ignore any of it.


#5

The nun I spoke of wasn't saying that what I am doing is right. Well the thing is I asked her for advice because I think God is bestowing a gift upon me. I think of people when they are in great need (example: their family member is close to death) so I was asking her why me if I am living in grave sin? She said that that is true but that God still loves me and he sees all my good deeds and that although he hasn't blessed my marriage it is still monogamous. I guess I made it sound like she was all gun-ho about my current living situation. She does wish for me to get married in a jiffy.
On another note I was reading the Humanae Vitae. "With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time."
Does that mean that you can decide when to stop having children? The more I research the more confusing it gets. I desperately want more children but with my health problems I don't think I can handle more than one more. It really makes me sad but I want to do my best parenting and if I get any worse I won't.
Thank you all for your help thus far.


#6

It sounds like she was trying to find the positive elements in the situation, rather than praising it.

I guess I made it sound like she was all gun-ho about my current living situation. She does wish for me to get married in a jiffy.

As do we all. :slight_smile:

On another note I was reading the Humanae Vitae. "With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain or an indefinite period of time."
Does that mean that you can decide when to stop having children?

Yes, but you have to do so by means of moral methods - you can’t use artificial forms of birth control. Natural family planning works and is not forbidden by the Church. Total abstinence for a period of time is another possibility, as long as both you and your husband agree to it.


#7

But doesn't total abstinence take away from the marriage just as bad as using birth control? Isn't sex not only a means for children but a way for husband and wife to bond spiritually? I mean that's the way a priest described it at mass.


#8

Put it this way - sex is to marriage what food is to the body, nourishment and sustenance. If you eat healthily and moderately it’s a good thing for your body, but you don’t need to eat non-stop, and in fact to eat immoderately does you more harm than good. And the Church wisely places limits on our eating - such as required fasting and abstinence during Lent, and reminders that gluttony is a sin - to encourage us to moderate our eating.

Same with sex - so many couples complain of their sex lives being boring and routine, occasional abstinence can be a remedy for that, and make you appreciate it more those times when you CAN be intimate.


#9

MayRag - I think you and your husband need to visit a priest and let him know the particulars of your situation. I think you both have some work to do… and you may be discouraged at times during the journey but it sounds like God has been reaching out to your and your husband and it is awesome that you are listening to the call and are interested in reconsiling with him. I don’t want my post to be a long judgement of you but I have to say that I can see many ways in which you are cutting yourself off from the full graces God wants to give you. I know it can be hard to hear that you are not “living right” when you feel love towards your husband and towards God and you feel “right” - but if you really study the nature of God and of marriage, you will come to see ways in which you can make things right. Loving God is not an emotion, it is an action. Sometimes it is a great sacrifice in which we have to let go of our comforts and take up a cross and walk with him. I know that giving up contraception might seem like too heavy a cross to bear right now…just let the idea stir around in your head and pray on it. You may find that your heart softens to the idea and it might suddenly “click” for you.


#10

Meet with a priest, get things back in the proper order.

Get relationship with God and His Church fixed.

Get marriage regularized.

Learn NFP and begin to practice it if you have just reasons to avoid.


#11

[quote="mayrag86, post:7, topic:177907"]
But doesn't total abstinence take away from the marriage just as bad as using birth control?

[/quote]

It does not "take away from" the marriage. It may be a difficult sacrifice, but marriage is a total vocation to sacrifice. It is a total vocation to family and spouse. That sacrifice will come in many forms over the life of the marriage. It may be sexual intimacy that is sacrified for a time.

Contraception is a *violation *of the marriage. Abstinence is not.

Few are called to total abstinence, but when they are it is a sacrifice for Christ.

[quote="mayrag86, post:7, topic:177907"]
Isn't sex not only a means for children but a way for husband and wife to bond spiritually? I mean that's the way a priest described it at mass.

[/quote]

Sexual intimacy is for both procreation and unity of spouses. Sexual intimacy is not the *only *way in which spouses express their love, however.

A couple called to abstain for a lengthy period of time for the good of their family is making a sacrifice of love for Christ, each other, and their children.


#12

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