My Prayers Have Been Answered, Now What?


#1

I can’t really think of how to begin this post, and I’m a little nervous about posting personal stuff, but I really need some help and PRAYERS! My husband and I were recently married in the Catholic Church in a wonderful joint Jewish-Catholic ceremony (He’s Jewish). He doesn’t really practice, doesn’t have much of a relationship with God, doesn’t like people to talk to him about religion or God (unless it’s me), and was raised in a way that has left him ridiculously confused about religion.

Our marriage has changed his thoughts on a lot of that and it’s exciting, but I’m nervous. I have been praying every day (since we started dating about 5 years ago), SEVERAL times a day, more than I’ve ever prayed before, that God would soften his heart and bring him peace (and hopefully that peace would be the Catholic Church :slight_smile: ) Well, God has been doing some marvelous work and I can see such a change in DH. He prays with me (and without me) now, we’ve started doing a bible study together (Our Father Plan - Salvation History), and he talks more openly about faith and how everything happens for a reason - God’s plan. I wish I could express how big of an amazing change this is.

My problem is, I am terrified that I’m going to say something that will push him away. I’m just now renewing my faith and I’ve forgotten a lot of the teachings, so I’m reading as many books and articles as I can get my hands on. I am constantly asking God to help me say the right thing and I know He’s with me, so I feel silly for being scared. I see such a spiritual thirst in DH now, and I don’t feel like I’m giving him enough information to quench it. And, my biggest question, how do I introduce him to Jesus? Whenever we approach the subject of the trinity, DH has alway been timid, mostly b/c so many other Christians (of a certain denomination…) have tried to push their beliefs on him and it’s only pushed him away. He doesn’t like going to church b/c he’s intimidated by the publicity of it and the crowd of Catholics (he feels left out), although he could and has talked to a priest for hours one on one. How can I make him feel more comfortable at mass? And I don’t feel like I’m setting a very good example for him, b/c it is so hard for me to go to mass alone - so I don’t sometimes and that’s a sin and I don’t like him seeing me sin (I keep praying for strength in this area).

Anyways, I’ve explained to him how I don’t have all the answers and that God is a mystery, so no one has all the answers, that’s where faith comes in. Now, money has been getting tight and DH has had some health problems, so he’s wondering where God is. And he’s had a rough life, his family has had horrible illness and death, so he says he can’t see God in his life. I’ve told him God is always with you and sometimes He tests you and He even tests the people with the strongest faith. To which DH responds, why would he do that? Why would he bring about a hard time to test someone who had followed him so closely? I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I just say my typical response - well everything happens for a reason, maybe your test plays an important part in the bigger plan. Then he says what kills me the most, “you have such peace and I can see God so much more in your life than mine.” So, I counter with, “well we’re married now so my life is the same as yours and God’s in it.” - but I still don’t think he’s satisfied. He’s been asking more and more questions everyday, mostly about specific Catholic beliefs. So I’m constantly on this site sifting through threads and looking for answers that I don’t have. I just feel such a heavy responsibility.

I guess I’m just asking for PRAYERS and any advice on delicate ways to introduce him to different parts of the Catholic teaching - maybe books (do they make one about introducing Catholicism to Jewish people?). And what happens when he disagrees with a teaching? I don’t want him to be pushed away. I’m just nervous, b/c I feel like God has finally answered ALL my many prayers for this and now it’s my responsibility to help DH along. Plus, I love:heart: DH very much and I long to be able to share a common faith with him. I hope I didn’t babble on too much in this post, but it’s very hard to talk to family members or friends about this b/c they don’t understand how delicate DH is when it comes to this topic, and tend to get a little too excited about sharing their beliefs - which can be intimidating.


#2

wow what a big God we serve , who answers prayers !! I am so happy for you . Have you thought about rcia ? Its designed to go over all our Catholic faith .and it is usually a small group … My beloved husband is a cradle catholic who did not practice for many years , yet when he did , he began to pray for me … I joined the church this year . Remember to not take his struggles with the teaching as a rejection of it …keep up the good prayer life , and remember this is a journey … you dont have to have all the answers and it can bring you two closer to learn together too . YAY for you !!! Debbie:thumbsup: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping: :clapping:


#3

I am so moved by everything you wrote, and I do understand your concerns.

But: you say you feel such a great responsibility, both to fan the flame of his faith, and not to push him away. THIS IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. Only God can convert. Yes, we can be instruments, but your duty is to pray for and with your husband, not to give him all the right answers and responses and introductions to the faith at exactly the right time. That’s not only too large of a burden, it’s not one you’re called to bear. He is not your child - you are not called to constantly guide and protect and nurture him. You are there to support him and walk with him in his faith journey, but you are his companion, not his scoutmaster!

If his newfound faith is real, nothing you say in the way of wrong answers or doubts will do permanent damage. If you become his “teacher,” however, the one with the answers and the connections and the good ideas about how his conversion should proceed, rather than simply his seeking companion, you may indeed run the risk of turning him off. Your marriage could suffer for it as well.

I don’t mean this at all as criticism, but rather, encouragement. Remember the Scripture, “Cast your burden upon on the Lord, for he cares for you!”. God cares more about your husband coming to Him than you ever could; leave everything in His hands.


#4

AMEN TO THAT !! :bowdown2: :gopray2: :crossrc: :hug3: :blessyou: :heart:


#5

RCIA - it is just getting started in most places, you can go together!

Do you have Catholic Radio? EWTN radio or Ava Maria Radio are availableon the Internet, EWTN and Catholic Channel on Sirius - they are GREAT for learning the Faith.

hebrewcatholic.org/ is a grear resource for someone from a Jewish background…

One more thing - Father Stan Fortuna has a video instrictional Mass, where he explains everything. You might get a copy of that video to help you BOTH appreciate the Mass more.


#6

My advice would be to relax. He’s doing great. I wouldn’t even introduce a topic unless you need help understanding something. I’ve been amazed that my nonCatholic husband can really help me understand Catholic theology I don’t get. I’ll ask him to help me think through something. But, don’t do it as a manipulation, but because you are sincere.

The only thing I would do is ask him to go to Mass with you. If you have children, they really need to see their dads at Mass. If not, it’s a wonderful source of grace and unity for you. It’s okay if he doesn’t love it. Do you watch a sport you don’t love, just so you can be with your husband? I know it’s an imperfect reason to go to Mass, but it will strengthen your marriage.

I’d reward him by taking him out for a huge breakfast!


#7

"Anyways, I’ve explained to him how I don’t have all the answers and that God is a mystery, so no one has all the answers, that’s where faith comes in. Now, money has been getting tight and DH has had some health problems, so he’s wondering where God is. "

God is right there in your marriage. You are showing him the face of God with the love and acceptance you are giving him. God doesn’t prevent bad things from happening to us. But He does help us through it. The Jewish and Catholic traditions are VERY similar in the understanding of the salvific nature of suffering. Job is a good example. Study that story together. God is with you both.

“And he’s had a rough life, his family has had horrible illness and death, so he says he can’t see God in his life. I’ve told him God is always with you and sometimes He tests you and He even tests the people with the strongest faith. To which DH responds, why would he do that? Why would he bring about a hard time to test someone who had followed him so closely? I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I just say my typical response - well everything happens for a reason, maybe your test plays an important part in the bigger plan.”

Again… see Job. The testing is like the story of the silversmith. God is likened to one. The silver goes into the fire over and over as the impurities are burned away. Finally, the silversmith knows his product is pure silver. How does he know? Because he can see his own reflection in it. That is like God. He knows when we have been purified in the fire, when He sees His own reflection in us. :wink:

“Then he says what kills me the most, “you have such peace and I can see God so much more in your life than mine.””

Sweetie, you are on the right path. When you radiate peace, he wants that. THAT is how you will bring him to God. :thumbsup:

“So, I counter with, “well we’re married now so my life is the same as yours and God’s in it.” - but I still don’t think he’s satisfied.”

He won’t be satisfied until he stops watching your faith from the sidelines and makes it his own. But he seems to be well on his way.

“He’s been asking more and more questions everyday, mostly about specific Catholic beliefs. So I’m constantly on this site sifting through threads and looking for answers that I don’t have. I just feel such a heavy responsibility.”

Buy a Catechism of the Catholic Church, and a “This is the Faith” book. Those have everything explained in very clear fashion. Again, the Catholic faith is built on the beautiful bedrock of Judaism. Your respecting of that gives you much in common.

You’re doing fine! Just love him and show peace, and persevere in prayer. I see so much grace at work here. Don’t doubt it.

And ask him to go to Mass with you. The more he goes, the more comfortable he will feel. And when he starts recognizing people, it will become easier. Tell him you are lonely without him there and sit and hold his hand. Just kneeling and praying side by side is a grace.

Keep us posted! :slight_smile:


#8

Thanks for the suggestions and support, it’s really good to hear things that I sometimes forget b/c I get so caught up in worrying. I think sometimes I forget that God is the most excited about DH discovering Catholicism and that He will be with both of us during this journey. We will definately be taking your suggestions on places to get info! I will keep you posted and we’ve already decided this Sunday we’ll get up, have some coffee, go to Mass and then go to breakfast together. For some reason lately I’ve really wanted to say the rosary, so every night as I’m laying in bed I’ll say it in my head, I don’t remember all the mysteries, so for that part I just say an extra prayer for him. I’ve really had this urge lately to say the rosary with him, so maybe we’ll try that, he’s always thought the Hail Mary was a beautiful prayer. Please keep praying for him! I’m so excited! :smiley:


#9

I would 2nd the rcia motion because some of these questions he asks need so much background info, like we suffer because of original sin, etc.


#10

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