Faith Strengthens Marriage (and Vice Versa)

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I have been married for just over 16 years and would like to share with you all how happy I am and how my Faith has strengthened my marriage.

At the start of our married life I was ‘just a Catholic’ - I went to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and that was about it. I was not fully participating in parish life, not openly witnessing for fear of offending someone, not willing to publicly defend my Faith for fear of becoming unpopular etc.

However, following the deaths of several family members (including our first child) in quick succession my Faith grew stronger, as the result of a journey that started with the Catholic Church and took me to various other Christian churches before leading me back to the Catholic Church two years later.

My husband was at my side the whole time - in fact, we travelled the same path and shared the same faith journey.

Because God blessed me with a wonderful husband who nurtured and encouraged me through every tragedy and trauma, my faith in Him (God) never faultered. I never questioned why things were happening to me and although I lapsed from the Catholic Faith for a while I never stopped believing and I never stopped going to church. With each tragedy my faith seemed to increase and my marriage grew stronger.

After the 2-year lapse we had gone full circle and found ourselves back in the Catholic Church, but this time we had a real passion for the Faith and a longing to know, love and serve God. I have never looked back since the day we were received back into the Church.

During the whole time I know God was above me, below, behind me and ahead of me - never once did I doubt this. And during this time my husband was by my side. I wouldn’t be the Catholic I am today had it not been for the love both God and my husband have for me.

I strongly believe my Faith has strengthened my marriage and my marriage has strengthened my Faith.
Marian–Thanks for sharing your experience. My spiritual journey has been so similar that I could have written most of what you wrote. I have struggled with enough in life–haven’t we all?–so I am glad that my husband and I were both Cradle Catholics who journeyed together in our faith as a married couple.
Mines a little different, but when life circumstances pushed us to have more faith than what we were trudging along with, my marriage has never been better. I am blisfully happy, and that is strengthening my faith. Wonderful stories, thanks for the thread.
:tiphat: Thanks for reading my message, and even more thanks for posting replies.

Let’s keep The Faith and let’s stay Married - like ‘bread and butter’ they go together, I can’t imagine having one and not the other!
Marian–And did you notice we were all women on this thread! I also see that you are from Nottingham England. What is it like being Roman Catholic in England? My understanding is that Catholics are quite a minority in England, though I understand Tony Blair’s wife is Catholic and something of a novelty in their circles.
:eek: Being a Catholic in England - where do I begin?

Having never been a Catholic anywhere other than England, I suppose to me it’s normal. But, how does one define ‘normal’? Let’s see…
  1. People give me a hard time at work - sarcastic comments, starting controversial conversations on purpose, inuendos etc.
  2. People give me a hard time in the parish - whenever we have any sort of discussion group and someone says something contrary to Church teachings I try to defend the Faith, but people just won’t listen. Maybe it’s because I’m an ‘outsider’ geographically, only moving to the area 3 years ago, maybe it’s because people know that 12 years ago I lapsed for nearly 3 years, or maybe it’s because I’m younger than most of those who attend such meetings (I’m nearly 40, they are all 15+ years older than me).
  3. The media always picks up on errant Catholic Priests and plasters them all over the newspapers. Even errant Protestant ministers are referred to as ‘priests’ by the media, which means that people point the finger at Catholics even when they are not at fault.
  4. Cherie Blair does the Catholic Church no favours - she has been at the centre of one or two scandals herself.
  5. When asked questions like “what did you do at the weekend?” I get funny looks/responses if I mention anything to do with the Church.
  6. Even with no proof, most people try to discredit the beliefs/teachings of the Catholic Church - when I told people (work colleagues) that I’d been to see “The Passion” they were quick to tell me that it wasn’t true/it didn’t happen like that etc.
  7. When I lapsed from the Church, Catholic friends/family shunned me because I had denounced the Faith. However, since I returned to the Catholic Church the same friends/relatives have been wary of me because I now have a Convert’s passion for the Faith and am no longer ‘just a Sunday Catholic’!
  8. People do not understand that Catholics are Christians - when I mention that I’ve been to a Christian bookshop, people say things like “Why did you go to a Christian bookshop, you’re a Catholic”. Trying to explain and make them understand that we are the original Christians is almost impossible.
  9. Applying for jobs is not easy - I have been unsuccessful with several job applications because I will not work on Sundays.
  10. TV channels often have days set aside for programmes relating to other faiths, but there has not yet been a ‘Catholic Day’.
  11. At my teenage daughter’s Catholic school the RE teacher told the class that there had been a female Pope called Joan, and also that there will one day be women priests - when my daughter questionned the Head of RE about this, he confirmed what the teacher had said.
  12. At our local Catholic primary school only 50% of the pupils are Catholic - the figure is similar in most Catholic schools in England.
Would you like to move to England and boost the number of loyal Catholics over here? Alternatively, can we come over to you as we are desparate for personal contact with fellow loyal Catholics - we would love to experience a real Catholic community.
Have you experienced a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend? Faith and communication are key elements in the experience. Your marriage DESERVES the weekend. Find one today!

:gopray: melis
Excuse a mere male to jump in to this thread 😉 , but have you ever thought of starting a Catholic Evidence Guild in your area? Sounds like you could use one–providing, of course, you could find enough like-minded Catholics in your area to join in. 🙂
Good to know the guys are doing some reading here too! Tell us what is this guild about and where do you find info about it?
The Catholic Evidence Guild is a group founded in the last century in England. It is composed of lay persons who train for street corner apologetics and door to door evangelization.

Noted apologist Frank Sheed and his wife Massie were very active in this group. Catholic Answers offers several of his books on basic theology and apologetics including Catholic Evidence Training Outlines. Here is a link to a chapter in New York where you can find more info.
Have you experienced a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend? Faith and communication are key elements in the experience. Your marriage DESERVES the weekend. Find one today!

:gopray: melis
From the sounds of it… you would probably be a great couple to help as presenters. Other couples could learn a lot from your experiences.
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