Wife is desperately unhappy with Church


#1

Its been a long while since I’ve posted anything here at CA, but I need some help with this one…

My wife is a convert to the Catholic faith. She was a Baptist, and her family is part of the whole ‘Christian Church’ thing (fundamentalists). Anyway, she has become more and more dissatisfied with church over the years, to the point now that she loathes going to Mass. She absolutely dreads it…as the weekend goes on she gets more and more upset, until she’s crying.

She doesn’t hate the Catholic Church, but what goes on in our diocese. She came from churches where, as she put it ‘people cared’ about each other. She says that there is no ‘fellowship’ and that no one reaches out. Not to mention that she can’t stand the ****** 70’s folk music that you get at all of the parishes, and the overall ‘liberal’ & heterodox tone of our diocese.

Anyway, I’m at my wits end. She’s absolutely miserable as a Catholic and regularly wishes that she’d never joined the Church…she thinks that God hates her…wants it all to end, etc…

Just not sure what to do anymore…


#2

Hello Isadore,

I am sorry to hear about your situation and will pray for you and your wife.

First of all, I would encourage you to lead your wife to this website and to look around: staycatholic.com/ It provides all kinds of compelling reasons why one should remain in the Catholic Church.

Secondly, are there really no parishes nearby that are more traditional? I know that in my diocese, some parishes seem far more “liberal” (hate to use the word, but eh) than others. Perhaps you could consult a priest and say that you’re looking for a more traditional style of Mass? Or, at least at my parish, there are different Mass styles at different times…Does your parish offer multiple Masses with varying styles? I’m guessing you already looked into those things, but I thought I’d just throw it out there.

Finally, the Mass is so beautiful, and when you really consider the miracle that we get to be present for every time we attend, I don’t know how anyone could even consider going somewhere where this isn’t the case (I admit that I’m a recent convert, but I HAVE heard many cradle Catholics say the same thing). And keeping that in mind, I think we need to be careful about seeing our church attendance as something completely “for us,” because it’s also something that we offer to God in order to comply with His Will.

So, although it’s undeniable that God does SO much for us at each Mass by letting us partake of his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, maybe you could talk to your wife about viewing Mass also in terms of something WE do for GOD. We shouldn’t be showing up with the attitude of: “Okay, Lord, I know you’re going to let me receive You completely in the Blessed Sacrament and all, and that’s nice, but I’m not going to be happy unless the music is just right too and the people are all friendly too and the priest gives good homilies too and the pews aren’t uncomfortable too and…” You get the picture :slight_smile: Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that your wife is that way, but I have heard some priests on Relevant Radio respond to questions from callers who felt like they “weren’t being fed” at Mass in a similar fashion, so I tried to imitate their response.

As far as her being so miserable about having converted, does your parish offer Eucharistic Adoration? I’ve heard so many people say that when they started using that form of prayer, their appreciation of their Catholic faith really deepened. I also know it really helped me. Maybe that could help her? And also, many parishes have women’s Bible studies or other opportunities to meet and form friendships in the context of faith…Are none available at yours?

God bless you and your wife, and I hope SOMETHING in all that rambling might help a little :o


#3

To put all the problems in your diocese and the lack of ‘fellowship’ in perspective…which is what I did when I felt like this a few years after converting from the Mennonites: the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus through Peter, so it’s the church JESUS wanted! And…it’s the only church where you receive JESUS into your heart and soul! If she can believe THAT, trust me…nothing else matters! I still don’t agree with a lot of God’s ‘work-men’ (i.e bishops, priests etc) BUT I strongly believe it’s Jesus I’m called to follow!

Anna x


#4

I am sooo sorry to hear about your situation, it has to be really tough on the both of you. For a very long time I felt the same way she did. I absoultely dreaded it as well because I really didn’t understand the miracle that was happening during Mass. It didn’t help my situation when I attended youth group at my friends Pentecostal Church. The fellowship was there, the music, the liveliness etc. Then I would go to Mass and think blah…

I ended up straying from Church all together for about 10 years and it wasn’t until I returned to the CC after many many months, maybe even over a year, of visiting this site regularly and reading the posts of others about what really was going on during the Mass. That prompted me to do some soul searching, praying and studying on my own as to the CC’s teachings, the Catechism, buying books about what is happening in the Mass etc. When I finally returned to the CC formally, I realized that, with my newfound knowledge, Mass and everything the CC teaches was VERY exciting! Now I look back to my Pentecostal youth group days and think geez they are missing out on SOOOO much! Sure they have more fellowship, fun music etc. than the CC but they don’t have the miracle of the Eucharist, the Sacrament of confession etc.

Maybe she just doesn’t understand what the CC really is? Has she been to this site? I would HIGHLY recommend her coming here, voicing her concerns and problems and taking it all in with an open heart and mind.

So sorry if I have been rambling. It’s very late and I’m afraid lack of sleep may be making me ramble on and on incoherently lol (my husband says I do that a lot) :smiley:

You and your wife are in my prayers.


#5

That’s kind of foolish to say but it’s perfectly understandable.

I think both of you need to renew your realization of what Mass is. Dr. Scott Hahn has wonderful books about the Mass. He notes how Mass and Scripture are one that the Bible is nothing more that Liturgy. He also has a book called the Lamb’s Supper which discusses the book of Revelation as Mass.

Along with that, I would also try church hopping. Go to where you are most fed. I go to three different churches here in the Chicago area just so I can revitalize myself. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not about being entertained in Mass, no no. It’s more of what you give into the Mass. And you’ll only be able to do that if you have a better understanding of what Mass is.

Hope it helps.


#6

You know, I think many converts go through this at some point and it IS hard. We enter the church because we believe so much in it. We basicly fall in love. And like any other situation when we fall in love, we have the “downer” when the honeymoon phase is over.


I agree with others that you need to remember WHY and WHAT you love and know in the Church and cling to that.


I also think it’s a good idea to try some different parish masses. Call around. Talk to others. Word gets around real quick about which ones are more orthodox. Maybe try a TLM even?


THEN remember the rule that you have to be a friend to make friends and the same is true of fellowship. If she can find a parish that she can tolorate (hopefully enjoy!) then it’s time to leave her comfort zone, stick out a hand, and say, “Hi! I’m ___, would you care to join me in a scripture study? Or in organizing a children’s adoration?” or “Father, you may not be aware of this, but there’s not much community feeling here and I’d like to help change that - what do you think would be a good way to get started?”


The great thing about being the person to get the ball rolling, is you can roll it in a direction that helps YOU.:wink: And one would hope others benefit too.


**I’ve never considered leaving, but then again I wasn’t religious before converting so there’s nothing to return to. I did and sometimes still do shed tears over the lack of community and support. It is hard and exhausting to walk this faith alone. At least your wife is blessed to have you, my beloved and truely wonderful hubby is not even christian yet.:frowning: **


#7

My wife went through exactly, precisely the same thing several years ago, Isidore…she’s not over it yet. We didn’t have a bishop at the time, and the priests were (and are) few in number and overwhelmed, and the liturgustas in all the local parishes were more or less running amok.

After a Mass in one local parish which consisted of nothing but noise and distraction, people milling around and talking loudly (we had to change seats three times in order to try to hear the Mass) accompanied by a rock band complete with electric guitars and Peavey amps, she left the church in tears and didn’t go back for two years. For a while she talked very seriously of finding a Protestant church.

She still has issues with the Church; doesn’t go to Mass much during the summer. She goes in the fall and winter, I think, basically because our son has CCD classes after Mass every Sunday, and she goes for his benefit.

As an aside, my obervation in all this is that Pope Benedict was absolutely correct when he said that the years following Vatican II were “not kind” to the Church. With some of the liberal balderdash I’ve witnessed over the years, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I believe so strongly in the Eucharist, I would have left myself, long, long ago.


#8

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