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by Catherine Frakas 05 Jul 2002

Marriage QUESTION from mtrinque November 28, 1998 marriage? My husband and I are both catholic, raised in very catholic houses and when we became pregent before we were married we went to our catholic church and told the priest we wanted to be married before the birth of our child. this was very important to me that my child be born with a mom and dad married. He told us to wait till we had the baby and then get married, I could not do that, so we got married in my parents house(with family and friends)by a justice of the peace. Now 3 years later my husband is rapiedly turning away from the catholic church because they do not except us a being married and we do not receive communion, each sunday when we attend mass. It is very important to me that our daughter(almost 3) attends church, makes her first commioun, sunday school and so on just as I did growing up. But with my husband turning away from the church, he is ashamed to talk to the local priest about this, so we can have our marriage blessed and we can be forgiven of our sins and then we will be able to recieve the body of christ along with everyone else on sundays, and our child will not have to wonder whats going on here. Please what should I do? I really want to be excepted into the catholic church as I always used to be until I was married outside the church, please help, what do I do?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on November 30, 1998 Dear mtrinque:
I am so sorry that this situation is in your life and we will pray for you and your husband.
First, I want to commend you and your husband for your courage and obedience to the Church by attending Mass each Sunday and not taking communion until this situation is resolved. God will honor your integrity and obedience.
I also want to commend you for the loving concern you expressed about raising your daughter in the Church and to be a good example to her in the faith. God will honor that too.
I am saddened to hear that your husband is turning away from Church, but you need to remember where these thoughts of his are coming from.
The solution to this situation is so easy and you spelled them out very well. You and your husband need to go to confession to confess your sins, ask the Church for a blessing on your marriage, and then you can stand before God and the Church in good standing and receive our Lord in the Eucharist.
Our Lord Jesus so want you and your husband to partake of Him.
But these thoughts that your husband has that the Church won't accept your marriage --- that is just not true. But, you and he must owe up to your mistake first. Part of the problem with your husband might be pride in this regard (embarassment and shame is a form of pride when it leads us away from God).
Go to your husband and ask him: Who has the motivation to keep you feeling like you can't go to the priest and confess this?
The answer to that is the evil one. God WANTS you and your husband so bad that he died on the cross after some of the most cruel torture known to man. He volunteered to be nailed to that Cross just so you, your husband, me, and all people can bring our sins to that cross (in the Sacrament of Confession) and have them forgiven, wiped clean, as if they never existed.
Going to confession after a long time is like taking a shower after being dirty for years. One might be used to the dirt and hesitate taking the shower, but once you're in the shower it feels ah so good. And when you come out of that shower, you feel like a newborn baby – because your are. You have been reborn.
Ask your husband to reflect upon these things and how not going to Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession is a form of denial of Him. In fact, to not go to confession when one needs to, is choosing to be separated from God. Do not travel that dangerous road.
A story is told of an experience of a Saint. I don't remember which saint it was -- it might have been Teresa of Avila, but I am not sure.
Anyway, there was an old and holy nun in the convent who died. As is the custom the sisters prayed for the dead nun that she would be released from purgatory soon.
One night when the Saint was praying for the soul of this departed sister, she had a vision. The old sister came to her. The Saint was startled, and was even more curious in that the vision of the old sister before her looked so miserable. The Saint asked, Sister, why do you visit me?
The old nun answered, Sister, do not pray for me for I am were your prayers cannot be effected. Sister I died with mortal sin on my soul. I was ashamed to confess a particular sin and died without ever confessing it. Sister, please tell all the sisters to not be ashamed.
This old nun apparently went to hell because she was ashamed to confess whatever her sin was – the story doesn't tell us what that sin was.
Shame can be a form of pride and pride is as dangerous as striking a match while standing in gasoline.
Relate these thoughts to your husband when it is good to do so, and then pray, dear, pray hard that the Holy Spirit will get through the depression or the pride or whatever it is to enlighten your husband to the truth of God's love.
God loves you so much dear. And he loves your husband so much. I am sure He is crying that your have been away so long.
But healing is there for you. The arms of Jesus await you. Go to Confession. Confess your sins (even if your husband doesn't, then you go alone). Tell your husband that that Jesus is waiting for him to embrace him with such love that he has never known.
When you guys do this, you, your husband, and your entire family will receive graces beyond your desires.
Jesus awaits. We will pray for you.
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