Yes, I am a complete mess. I was baptized and raised as a Catholic going to a parochial grade school. I married in the church at age 22 and had four kids. Soon after my last child was born, when I was 36, my then wife and I divorced. She was also Catholic. I drifted away from Catholicism. I married a second time in a non-Catholic ceremony when I was 46. That marriage ended in a civil divorce when I was 53. In the meantime, my first wife re-married, also. I married again for but one year when I was 54 and that marriage ended in divorce. Talk about three time losers, that I am. I didn’t want to get into the reasons why each marriage ended in divorce but they were significant to me at the time. In the first, Catholic marriage, We both felt we had drifted apart and the love was gone (looking back, not a good reason at all). In my second marriage, she was controlling and had an explosive temper. In my third marriage, one day she just left me.
I am almost 62 now and in the past few years, I have been fining myself again. Six years ago, I was hit with MS and it took me out of work, putting me on permanent disability. When the MS hit me, there was a point where my doctors told me I had a 50/50 chance of surviving. That’s when it happened. It was like a miracle in my life. Previously, I was a workaholic. I pretty much raised my four kids (a long story). I had a great career and I was always busy doing something until the MS hit. I see MS as my “gift” from God. MS opened my eyes to all the beauty in the world that I never took the time to notice. I saw people and instead of seeing just somebody like before, I saw a story or life’s experiences. I remember looking up to the sky on a sunny day, never realizing the sky to be so blue. Life for me really did change, not for the worse, but for the better, in every way imaginable.
I have always regarded myself as a Catholic in my heart, but so much of what I have done in my past is so contrary to Catholicism. It’s far too late to correct all the mistakes of my life, that I know. For the past seven years, I had been attending various Christian churches, but as many of them have fallen away from God (i.e. the UMC supporting abortion), I have been drifting back, attending Catholic services. A couple of years ago, I met a wonderful, Christian woman (another ex-Catholic). We read the Bible together every day and we pray together. I have never experienced anything like this, that is, sharing Christianity so closely with another.
I have no idea where I am in my standing with the Catholic Church. I tend to think that I can attend services, but that’s it, no more than that. My first ex, that was also Catholic, sought an annulment, but never followed through around 25 years ago. To become a Catholic in good standing ever again, it just seems like I’ve messed up too much and that all I can do is to attend services, but no more (as in Communion). I guess I wrote about all of this today because it has been weighing on my mind. I wonder how many other Catholics have gone through divorce without annulment. I can say one thing. God tells us to be in the world and not a part of it. I was a BIG part of it. Thanks for reading!