It’s Not Easter Yet (or, If Your Lent Didn’t Go Well, There’s Still Time!)

I know for some of us, our Lent chose us in the forms of physical or emotional or spiritual suffering. I know you’re hurting and sad and just want it to all be over. I also know if your Lent wasn’t as Lenty as you’d hoped – if, like me, you failed miserably in your chosen disciplines – you have a chance now to focus on the present.

Live as fully as you can in the spirit of these holiest of days. We’re all busy and we’re all overwhelmed, I know, but look for opportunities in the midst of your vocation to live these days well. If you can, try and make it to some or all of the beautiful Masses and services. These are the highest days in our liturgical year and the rituals we’ll celebrate have been handed down to us as a gift from our beautiful Church. They are powerful and opportunities for such grace.

Easter Triduum Catholic

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I Am Not the Savior

I am not the Savior

I sat in his office, my body wracked with sobs. I went through quite a bit of Kleenex. Thankfully, he had a whole box. I couldn’t speak very clearly through my tears. Emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally – I felt like I was drowning. My husband and I weren’t communicating well. Someone I knew was about to make a choice that terrible for her soul. A fallen-away Catholic, she also put me in the incredibly uncomfortable position of explaining to her non-Catholic spouse exactly why it was considered sinful, and now they were both angry with me. My sister was in nursing school and was struggling to get good sleep and good nutrition. Her health has always been a challenge, so this was a lot for her body to go through. My brother was in his sophomore year of college, and still struggling to adjust to college life. Another brother was going through teenage challenges. My life at work was difficult due to a lack of direction and poor communication. I was a wreck, and I knew it, so I’d finally made an appointment with my pastor. Which brings me back to the sobbing.

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I See You, Hardworking Mama

Path to sainthood

Maybe, just maybe, God calls mothers to different stations in life for the benefit of their souls. Maybe I benefit from working outside the home because God know it’s the best way for me to provide for my family since I have more earning potential than my husband. Maybe it would be a temptation to spiritual pride if I was a SAHM (pretty sure it would be. Like 100% sure, because I know me…) Maybe the searing pain I felt for the vast majority of my working years – the anger and jealousy that I couldn’t stay home with my newborns – gave birth to an understanding between me and God that I was squandering the opportunity He was giving me to embrace where He has me “right now,” versus pining over what I thought was best for me, at the time. I slammed the door to holiness in His face, every day, as the opportunity for embracing my Cross of being a working mom was wasted. I spent many years being angry, bitter, and sad. In part, it was resentment that my husband couldn’t find better work, so it made me angry and resentful towards him. In that respect, it drove a wedge into our marriage. In part, it was because I kept reading on the internet (usually in the swampy muckiness of the comboxes) that anything but being a SAHM would irreparably harm not only my soul, but the souls of my kids.

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Unequally Yoked: A Catholic Marries an Agnostic (Part III)

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***This is the final post of a three-part series chronicling the spiritual journey of our marriage. Born and raised a devout Catholic, I didn’t take my faith as seriously in college and began dating a pro-choice agnostic. This is the story of how we balanced the yoke. If you’ve ever wondered if a Catholic can marry an agnostic without compromising the Catholic’s faith, read on. Our story may help you discern whether a marriage of “mixed cult,” or between a baptized and unbaptized party, is a good idea.

Read Part I and Part II to get up to speed!

Well, we got pregnant again, and I suffered a temporary setback. I remember throwing my pregnancy test against the wall, and yelling that I just couldn’t do this.   I literally threw temper tantrum while my five month old slept soundly.  My husband just stared at me – I have a feeling he was trying to figure out how my hissy fit factored into my Catholic belief of being “open to life” and babies being a blessing.  Though he was happy about a new baby, he announced that he would be getting a vasectomy (he announced that he was seriously considering a vasectomy).  I was crushed.  I knew this was against God’s plan for our marriage, and that it would only cause more heartache in the long run.  I also remembered thinking maybe, just maybe, I should get some formal instruction in this NFP thing, because clearly I wasn’t getting something right.  I decided right then that every prayer and every bit of suffering of the next nine months would be offered for Superman to change his mind about his vasectomy.  I began to pray and open my heart to God in ways I never had before.  I began to ask for His will to be done, not my own.

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Unequally Yoked: A Catholic Marries an Agnostic (Part II)

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***This is the secondof a three-part post chronicling the spiritual journey of our marriage. Born and raised a devout Catholic, I didn’t take my faith as seriously in college and began dating a pro-choice agnostic. This is the story of how we balanced the yoke. If you’ve ever wondered if a Catholic can marry an agnostic without compromising the Catholic’s faith, read on. Our story may help you discern whether a marriage of “mixed cult,” or between a baptized and unbaptized party, is a good idea.

Read Part I here.

He called the next day and said “I have been thinking, and I am ok with getting married in the Church.  You were raised Catholic and you’re a good person, so it can’t be all that bad.”  I was overjoyed! I promised God I would thank Him for that grace the rest of my life.  Superman also agreed that we would use Natural Family Planning (NFP) in our marriage for the times we had serious reasons to avoid pregnancy.  Although he didn’t understand the moral consequences of artificial birth control, he knew that he didn’t want me pumping my body full of cancer-causing hormones.  That September, our precious daughter was born, and we were married in the Church three months later. I offered up the pain of my first childbirth for my husband’s conversion. Since I waited a *bit* too long to get my epidural, well…I’m pretty sure his soul made some decent progress because of that! Hah!

The first years of our married life were tough for me spiritually.  Though I had made much spiritual progress from the place I was when I resented the Lord, I was now resenting our disunity in faith.  Because I resented it, I didn’t go to Mass every Sunday.  I went once a month, maybe.  I reasoned that my infant didn’t know we were missing Mass, so did it really matter?  My prayers were sporadic at best.  My love for God was more like a wimpy tealight candle than a blazing inferno.

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