I have a dilemma. A friend of mine is having some major marriage problems and may well be on the brink of divorce. She is a long-lapsed Catholic, currently attending a Methodist church, and this is her third marriage. #1 was in the Catholic Church, #2 wasn’t but ex-h died in a car crash after the divorce, and #3 was in a non-denominational church. This friend knew me before I converted to the Catholic faith, and she wasn’t too thrilled about it but she accepted it. I’m wondering how to be a friend to her through this, knowing that she may soon be ending a marriage which wasn’t valid to begin with in the eyes of the Church which she has abandoned. Religious issues aside, this current marriage is a mess and both parties would probably be better off going their separate ways. Knowing this, and knowing it is an invalid marriage anyway, I am secretly somewhat glad that it might come to an end. But I am truly sorry to see her hurting in the way that she is. She has a lot of hostility toward the Church, so I don’t see this as a time to encourage her to return to the Sacraments if they split up; I can only offer my good example at this point. So I listen in a non-judgmental way and I pray for her, but does anyone have any other ideas on how to deal with this situation? Do I encourage her to try to make things work anyway and hope that she eventually makes her situation right with the Church, do I encourage her to leave, knowing that she will probably go out and find hubby #4 if she does, or do I just shut up and pray?
Thanks in advance, and happy new year!