What a mess I am...

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!

Relax. Remember, the Church is a hospital for sinners, not a hotel for Saints. No one has messed up too much to be forgiven. Read about St. Paul or St. Augustine before their conversions.

If you are not civilly married to anyone, all you need to do is to go to confession, and you can fully participate in the Sacraments.

If you wish to explore marrying your new lady friend, then you would need to explore an annulment, or annulments if she was also married. Your parish priest can help you explore that.

God Bless and welcome (almost) home :slight_smile:

The thing is, you’re not receiving the Eucharist now. You’re not receiving any sacraments at all, and you are not even able to worship our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

You haven’t done anything that requires that absolution go through the Holy See. You are not currently in a situation that precludes an immediate return to the sacraments, after you make your confession. You could just go to the normally scheduled confessions at a parish near you, and make your confession. I’m thinking, however, that you might prefer a longer time to talk with your confessor than that will allow.

Call your local chancery office and tell them you need to find a really good priest for an appointment, because you’ve been away from the Church for–what has it been, 30 years or so?–a long time, you’ve been divorced, remarried, and divorced again, and you need to talk and make your confession. They can help you out. You can also call the parish office, if you know what parish you belong to. Tell the secretary you’re returning to the Church after a very long time away (you can mention this includes divorce or not, as you see fit) and need to talk this over with the pastor and make your confession. That way you will have more time than you would during the time scheduled for more routine confessions.

Have your friend do the same. Then go from there. I think you’ll both be glad you did. :thumbsup:

Welcome! :extrahappy: the son was lost, and wandered home and it is party time.

You will be a strong witness to the faith now.

Get to a priest and start a new walk on the narrow path. (It might take some paperwork and effort, you can do it)

Then write a book. (I’ll buy:D)

I’ll buy too!

Welcome home!!!:smiley:

Yes, talk to your priest and welcome HOME! We are all sinners. Welcome!
Steph;)

Brother!

Welcome back. Remember that though human failings are the reason we fall, the mercy of Christ is stronger than the the ties that bind us to sin. Keep moving forward, and remember, even falling flat on your face is forward progress.

Once again, Welcome home!

Call the parish office and make an appointment to speak with a priest. He will be happy to hear your confession and answer any questions or concerns you have about your marriage situation. Welcome (back) Home! We missed you. :wink:

These responses are so wonderful, they actually made me tear up.
How wonderful to be told, when you think you couldn’t be more of a mess, that you’re celebrated and welcome?!
It`s the prodigal son all over again! :thumbsup::thumbsup:

~ PetiteFoi

I’m going to be returning after a few years hiatus from the Church. I just need to get my act together and go to confession. I’m thinking maybe the Advent season.

Don’t see why you can’t just go to confession and be in full communion. You’re not living in an irregular situation now. Your life doesn’t sound extraordinarily unusual.

You need to find a good priest, one you can talk to, and hang out with him a bit.

Prayers

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.