Wife wants to church shop


#1

Help needed. We are both cradle Catholics. A recent event brought up a Church teaching on missing Mass, and when explaining why we don't miss, showed her the catechism, to which was her reply, "well I am going to have to find out how it is in other Christian churches, that is a bit too tough for me." This isn't completely new. She thinks it is ok to miss if she is busy, or can't fit it in(her words). 2 years ago, I had a renewal and began to take my faith seriously, and now see that I am failing miserably as a husband and father in the spirituality department. No matter what I can show her, she dismisses it because it is Catholic(real presence, authoritive church, confession, etc). Whats a husband and father of 3 to do, and I've tried teaching the faith as best as I can, using words only when necessary. Do I resort to attending by myself, and having the attitude if they come great, if not oh well? This is exactly how she put it to me-. If it is a "grave sin" to miss mass according to the Catholics than I'm not sure I want to be Catholic.


#2

my prayers are with you and your family. Your wife will do what she will. But if your children are minors, why not insist that they go to Mass with you? If you do go alone, share with the family all you get out of it. Show some enthusiasm around the children. If they are older, share with them your "renewal"- where you were before, how you got there and why is it all so important to you now.

And Pray Pray Pray!


#3

If God is not worth one hour a week to her then I fear you will be unlikely to persuade her with words.

Lead by example; go without her; and politely (not forcefully) offer to include her.

Keep her in your prayers.


#4

I'll be sure to pray for your family.

I feel sorry for anyone in this situation. It's sort of like your the victim of a "bait-and-switch".

Having said that, let's be honest-being Catholic is, simply put, HARD. It's tough.

I think it's best to "bleed this one out" and see where it goes. The WORST thing to do (and No, I'm not accusing of this) is to act "holier than thou". Keep talking to her, tell her how much you love her, and what the Catholic faith means to you, and your family.

Again, I'll keep you in my prayers. Sorry I'm not more help.


#5

Thanks for the responses and prayers.

I am not completely sure how to handle it. We've had our fair share of issues through the past 2 years, but I thought she was finally coming around. I mean we are both Catholic, it is not like I am trying to get her to convert. She definately has an issue with authority, whether it is the Church, my boss, or her mom. She doesn't have an issue with going, when convienent. She does not believe in the real presence, symbolic only. She wanted to teach CCD, and I told her they might have an issue with that stance. She said the parents would have an issue with me telling the kids that missing Mass can be sinful. I can just hear the Priest, now don;'t be teaching the kids that they need to go to Mass every week. I don't have the holier than attitude with her, just a very firm grasp on the teachings of the Church. It isn't an issue with the kids, except when we are out of town, and then it becomes, well were on vacation, God understands why were not in Church. But I go, and everyone is more than welcome to come along. Sorry guys, just venting. This is just hitting me out of left field.


#6

[quote="Rascalking, post:4, topic:208432"]
I'll be sure to pray for your family.

I feel sorry for anyone in this situation. It's sort of like your the victim of a "bait-and-switch".

Having said that, let's be honest-being Catholic is, simply put, HARD. It's tough.

I think it's best to "bleed this one out" and see where it goes. The WORST thing to do (and No, I'm not accusing of this) is to act "holier than thou". Keep talking to her, tell her how much you love her, and what the Catholic faith means to you, and your family.

Again, I'll keep you in my prayers. Sorry I'm not more help.

[/quote]

It is hard, I always find some humor in your posts, nice.

What do you mean by a non Catholic Catholic? Curious, it seems to change alot.


#7

Have you tried to "shop" Catholic parishes. It's perfectly alright and it may give you a parish that fits your needs alot better than your current one does. Look at Mass Times for local parishes and see what they have to offer. I know in most towns there's a mass at 4pm saturday to 5pm and as early as 6am on Sunday then to noon with a few 6 and 7pm masses. Be flexible in going. Find ways for her to connect to a parish, perhaps she is feeling out of place.

Also, if you have young children it IS permissible to miss Mass. If you are caring for the elderly or away on a trip and you can't get to Mass it's OK. I think that telling a young mother that she MUST go to Mass when she's stressed hurts the mother because she feels tired already. As a woman who has cared for young children and aided elderly people I know how exhausting mentally, physically, and emotinally it can be and if the Catholic Church was telling me that it was a grave sin to miss Mass when I had that on my plate I wouldn't want to belong either.

I would say, "Dear Wife, I know you don't want to go to Mass becuase you feel so busy. I'm sorry that things have come to this point. Why don't I take Kid 1 to Mass and give you a break for a bit. We can go as a family when the kids are older and you don't feel so frazzled and against the Church."

She may be looking for mercy. If that's the case give her all the mercy she needs. OR how about you skip mass and offer her all of Sunday morning to go to Mass, sleep in and eat out. You then are caring for the kiddos and she has a break.


#8

I appreciate the response, and some valid questions.

First, we have been at our parish for 5 years, hardly newcomers. We know our pastor very well, and at a parish of over 6,500 registered families, he knows me, my wife and 3 children on a first name basis.(He is very good with names and people though) We have ample Mass times, 5pm vigil Mass, 7;30, 9, 10:30, 12 and 5:30pm on Sunday. Plenty of options. Our children are 7,8, and 11. Of course, I have a preferred Mass time, but am very flexible when going, so that we as a family can go together. As when the children were infants, we were what one would call non practicing Catholics. We tried, but found it very difficult. When we moved into this parish, we found it more feasible to get to Mass, and the kids were older, which made it easier, and the parish was more inviting(for children-ie childrens liturgy, etc). At times I feel like she knows most of the people in church, I would say she is very comfortable.
Like I said earlier, this just hit me out of left field, church shopping. I know she is not a devout die hard Catholic, nor do I ask this of her, and neither am I, just she has issues with some of the church teachings, and some of the core beliefs of the faith. I never thought I’d be defending the faith in my own household.


#9

[quote="Rascalking, post:4, topic:208432"]
I'll be sure to pray for your family.

I feel sorry for anyone in this situation. It's sort of like your the victim of a "bait-and-switch".

[/quote]

Ehhh, might want to wait on that conclusion.

Notice he said he had a "renewal" 2 years ago. Most every time a post like this is made, one of the two spouses has a "change" of some sort, causing a rift. With three kids, I would bet that this was not a family that took religion too seriously for many years before this "switch". Now one does, and the other has not signed on. Anytime you change the family dynamic, problems arise. If anything, he may have been the one performing the "switch".


#10

Was typing as your response was made. Sounds like your wife may not be following your new found renewal of faith.


#11

[quote="belmontmac, post:6, topic:208432"]
It is hard, I always find some humor in your posts, nice.

What do you mean by a non Catholic Catholic? Curious, it seems to change alot.

[/quote]

Rascalking, I also have been really curious about its meaning (sorry this is off the topic of the thread, but it also might put Rascalking's posts here into better context). Your previous description was something along the lines of, "somewhat irritated Catholic" or something.


#12

My prayers are with you, and yeah I think at some point providing the best witness you can will be the most important aspect here. It sounds like at this point in time (with no offence intended, I've certainly been there my self before my renewal) your wife is very luke warm. Sort of like, well I want my life to be good with the Church, but only in so far as that means me not having to put so much effort into that.

Just continue to witness, most importantly to your childeren first, and then also to your wife. Last thing you want is for your childeren to leave the church too, or obtain the same luke warm attitude. Be respectful, pray, when necessary explain the importance of Church teaching, and if you can frame it in context of every day life even better!

I would recommend accessing apologetic materials, you may find it will come in handy. Here are some good primers:

amazon.com/Bible-Proofs-Catholic-Truths-Apologists/dp/1933184574/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281387686&sr=8-1
Bible proofs for Catholic Truths

Bible Christian Society
biblechristiansociety.com/

Alabama Catholic Resources
alabamacatholicresources.com/

The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth (warning, heavy into revelation but you need to know this stuff)
amazon.com/Lambs-Supper-Mass-Heaven-Earth/dp/0385496591/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281387753&sr=8-1

Dr. Hahn's study guide for the above book
amazon.com/Scott-Hahns-Study-Guide-Supper/dp/0307589056/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281387753&sr=8-2

Jesus of Nazareth By Pope Benedict XVI
amazon.com/Jesus-Nazareth-Pope-Benedict-XVI/dp/B00394DGZK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281387815&sr=1-1

Study guide for above book
amazon.com/Study-Guide-Joseph-Ratzingers-Nazareth/dp/1586173189/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281387857&sr=1-1


#13

[quote="PassingThru, post:9, topic:208432"]
Ehhh, might want to wait on that conclusion.

Notice he said he had a "renewal" 2 years ago. Most every time a post like this is made, one of the two spouses has a "change" of some sort, causing a rift. With three kids, I would bet that this was not a family that took religion too seriously for many years before this "switch". Now one does, and the other has not signed on. Anytime you change the family dynamic, problems arise. If anything, he may have been the one performing the "switch".

[/quote]

I can appreciate that. But being raised Catholic, married as such, one would hardly think that wanting to attend Mass weekly is hardly out of the ordinary. As we do call it our obligation. She's actually going to be calling our local Luthern church, so whats the take from your camp on Sunday attendance, permissable to miss because you're too busy, say with sports?


#14

[quote="belmontmac, post:5, topic:208432"]
Thanks for the responses and prayers.

I am not completely sure how to handle it. We've had our fair share of issues through the past 2 years, but I thought she was finally coming around. I mean we are both Catholic, it is not like I am trying to get her to convert. She definately has an issue with authority, whether it is the Church, my boss, or her mom. She doesn't have an issue with going, when convienent. She does not believe in the real presence, symbolic only....

[/quote]

Here's an angle you could take:

Can she defend why she does not believe in the Real Presence? Clearly, either it MUST be true, or it MUST be false. Ask her if it wouldn't make sense to see what the earliest Christians believed. We have lots of historical sources, so we can be pretty sure which belief is actually correct. It can be clearly demonstrated from their writings that the Real Presence was around from the beginning. Therefore, if this is true, then any church that doesn't believe in the Real Presence has to be ruled out, because they are teaching a falsehood.

After that, you could ask her by what authority the Bible was compiled. How were the various books selected? It was left to the Catholic Church to decide a canon, and that authority came from the Holy Spirit.

If you would like me to provide you with some good concise arguments for these ideas, complete with quotes and sources, I'm happy to provide you with some.


#15

Thanks for the links. I feel fairly well versed in apologetics, thanks to CAF, and the many recommendations on books and such to read and study with. But I am always up to another good read. Yes luke warm at best. She’s into relativism. your truth, my truth, good for you, not for me. She needs the truth, she just wont acknowledge it. I’ve tried many times, walking her gently through the Bible and the teachings of the Church. She just won’t have it, actually she laughs. I’m no Scott Hahn, but I can defend the faith. Like I said, on the street its one thing, but in my house, whole new ballgame.


#16

[quote="belmontmac, post:8, topic:208432"]
I appreciate the response, and some valid questions.

First, we have been at our parish for 5 years, hardly newcomers. We know our pastor very well, and at a parish of over 6,500 registered families, he knows me, my wife and 3 children on a first name basis.(He is very good with names and people though) We have ample Mass times, 5pm vigil Mass, 7;30, 9, 10:30, 12 and 5:30pm on Sunday. Plenty of options. Our children are 7,8, and 11. Of course, I have a preferred Mass time, but am very flexible when going, so that we as a family can go together. As when the children were infants, we were what one would call non practicing Catholics. We tried, but found it very difficult. When we moved into this parish, we found it more feasible to get to Mass, and the kids were older, which made it easier, and the parish was more inviting(for children-ie childrens liturgy, etc). At times I feel like she knows most of the people in church, I would say she is very comfortable.
Like I said earlier, this just hit me out of left field, church shopping. I know she is not a devout die hard Catholic, nor do I ask this of her, and neither am I, just she has issues with some of the church teachings, and some of the core beliefs of the faith. I never thought I'd be defending the faith in my own household.

[/quote]

If the problem is theological grab some Hahn tapes, cd's or books or even a video, cuddle up on the couch and read together.

Things like this don't come out of "left field" they precipitate.


#17

[quote="Rolltide, post:14, topic:208432"]
Here's an angle you could take:

Can she defend why she does not believe in the Real Presence? Clearly, either it MUST be true, or it MUST be false. Ask her if it wouldn't make sense to see what the earliest Christians believed. We have lots of historical sources, so we can be pretty sure which belief is actually correct. It can be clearly demonstrated from their writings that the Real Presence was around from the beginning. Therefore, if this is true, then any church that doesn't believe in the Real Presence has to be ruled out, because they are teaching a falsehood.

After that, you could ask her by what authority the Bible was compiled. How were the various books selected? It was left to the Catholic Church to decide a canon, and that authority came from the Holy Spirit.

If you would like me to provide you with some good concise arguments for these ideas, complete with quotes and sources, I'm happy to provide you with some.

[/quote]

I've tried going through Luke with her, and Acts, John 6, and others. She gets hung up on symbolism. I think you once posted a nice timeline of the Church, I printed it as well. She just laughs when I show her the Bible came from the Church, that Jesus founded the Catholic Church. She, like many, has a problem with the authority of the Church.


#18

[quote="PassingThru, post:9, topic:208432"]
Ehhh, might want to wait on that conclusion.

Notice he said he had a "renewal" 2 years ago. Most every time a post like this is made, one of the two spouses has a "change" of some sort, causing a rift. With three kids, I would bet that this was not a family that took religion too seriously for many years before this "switch". Now one does, and the other has not signed on. Anytime you change the family dynamic, problems arise. If anything, he may have been the one performing the "switch".

[/quote]

Except for Catholics this does not work. It sounds like they had their children baptized which they promised to raise the children in the faith. The children are all now of the age of reason which they too have an obligation to attend Mass, and it is the parents responsibility to make sure the children can fulfill their obligation. They are both cradle Catholics (probably married in the Church) and should know the obligations of their faith. He did not Change religions, and it sounds like they have been going to Mass frequently for 6 years, this is not new to her.

OP you can't make her attend if she doesn't want to, but I would put my foot down and say that she must uphold her promises both at your wedding and the kids baptisms and either must attend Church with everyone (she can then attend a protestant service after, oh and no receiving communion) or make sure the kids go to Mass with you. Another approach would be to talk about her relationship with Christ, how would a friend (like Christ) feel if you couldn't spend an hour a week with them, explain this is what Mass is. It doesn't seem like she has a very strong belief in God or Christ (which is why I am not sure other Christian churches will help, just make it easier for her to feel like good person).

Keep praying for her and I will will keep you and your family in my prayers.


#19

[quote="purplesunshine, post:16, topic:208432"]
If the problem is theological grab some Hahn tapes, cd's or books or even a video, cuddle up on the couch and read together.

Things like this don't come out of "left field" they precipitate.

[/quote]

I've got his books and cd's all over, no interest on her part.
I have some of the best cd's from Lighthouse, she won't listen to them with me.

I would have to say really bad catechism, which I see I had as well, early 80's.


#20

Thanks for the prayers.

This is what I keep telling her, that we married Catholic, this is not a surprise, which she states, well we married Catholic because that is how we were raised. She claims she would have married anywhere, it didn’t matter(hindsight). I try to explain how beautiful the faith is, the Church, and that everything is done for a reason, she just sees it differently. Yes she is more into the feel good feeling you get elsewhere. I really think if she knew more, she would feel so different, she is just not open to it, not at all.


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