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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
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Apr 17th 2013 new
(Quote) Naomi-698107 said: As for equality in the faith journey, with no arrogance, I've met very few men, if any, that come close ...
(Quote) Naomi-698107 said:

As for equality in the faith journey, with no arrogance, I've met very few men, if any, that come close to where I am with the Lord. Not to mention, I think there will seldom be equality of pace, as the man is supposed to be the spiritual head of the household. If he's doing his job right, living his vocation correctly, he will be slightly ahead.



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How are we to judge whether someone or not is "slightly ahead"? What is the deciding factor here?

I do not go around trying to decide whether or not a woman grows spiritually enough. All I ask is for a Catholic woman who seeks the Truth with sincerity and actually believes there is a such thing as spiritual growth. I am not going to go around deciding whether this woman is spiritually mature enough for me. That's God's job.
Apr 17th 2013 new

(Quote) Paul-302787 said: How are we to judge whether someone or not is "slightly ahead"? What is the deciding fa...
(Quote) Paul-302787 said:

How are we to judge whether someone or not is "slightly ahead"? What is the deciding factor here?

I do not go around trying to decide whether or not a woman grows spiritually enough. All I ask is for a Catholic woman who seeks the Truth with sincerity and actually believes there is a such thing as spiritual growth. I am not going to go around deciding whether this woman is spiritually mature enough for me. That's God's job.
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The whole thing is based on a process of discernment.

The 7/7 are a good place to start, in the aspects of the combination of physical/spirtual areas of the faith.

Then there's the action of the faith, Mass & Confession attendance. How do they understand each? What do they understand of the Eucharist? WHat sort of ideas do they have about the Saints, about theology, about apologetics, do they have a grasp of Sacred Tradition, of Sacred Scripture?

What about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit? Do they understand these? Their place in the life of the Christian? In context of the individual's journey with God?

What is their love of God based on? Do they attend Church and Confession becasue they are soley affraid of Hell and dont' want to go there, or do they desire to do God's commands because they Love God and dont' want to dissappoint Him?

What is their understanding of the foundations of the faith, of God? Of hypostatic union?

Is their "faith" based soley on habit, on how they were raised? Or have they had some spiritual/intellectual realisation which has strengthened it?

There are screeds of questions that alert one to the spiritual standing of their prospective spouse. If the person is lacking in knowledge or experience, it is not always a bad thing, jsut an indication that further education is required, hence, they aren't as far along on their spiritual journey.

Or perhaps, they are just where they need to be?

For me, it would make no sense to be "yoked" to a man who doesn't understand the requirement of getting a priest into bless a new house. Or who doesn't take time out of his schedule to pray the Rosary. Would he take five minutes to "armour up" before leaving the house? Would he even know what the heck that means? How could I share my spiritual experiences with a man who religion and faith is just Sunday Mass and somethign cultural? If I shared with such a man half of what I've seen/experienced he'd probably commit me to the nut house.


This is what I mean by inequality in a spiritual journey or progression of such. Maybe its fine for the majority of people to marry someone who's completely unmatched on the spritual journey to themselves, but for me it would end in disaster; or a stink load of anti-psychotic meds.

Apr 17th 2013 new

God willing, the man I marry will share my Faith, so we would go to Mass together, pray together, etc. I think that's an important bonding experience, not only for spouses, but also for family. Of course, if God chooses to send me a non-Catholic spouse, I hope that he would be open to receiving the Faith and participating in (and hopefully encouraging) family prayer.

Apr 18th 2013 new

(Quote) Christy-929874 said: God willing, the man I marry will share my Faith, so we would go to Mass together, pray togethe...
(Quote) Christy-929874 said:

God willing, the man I marry will share my Faith, so we would go to Mass together, pray together, etc. I think that's an important bonding experience, not only for spouses, but also for family. Of course, if God chooses to send me a non-Catholic spouse, I hope that he would be open to receiving the Faith and participating in (and hopefully encouraging) family prayer.

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Christy, at my age I definitely would like someone who shares my faith as you have described. theheart However, your second thought about a non-Catholic spouse recalls my experience when I got married in my late 20's. It was hard for the first several years to have a man who stayed home on Sundays & who wasn't open to even speaking about religion. But the Holy Spirit did touch him at a critical point in his life & he did become Catholic. Our family life definitely changed for the better. So it is possible to evangelize.

Apr 18th 2013 new

Christine, you are talking about how equal is your yoke.

First, does he have all the sacraments? That is important.

Regardless of his non-practicing family, does HE go to mass every Sunday, and consider it a mortal sin to miss mass?

Is he (for want of a better short hand way of saying it) 7/7? Is he aware of what the creed means, and what the Church teaches us?

So far, it sounds okay to me.

I am the most Catholic person in my family and I hope I am not judged by the fact that my sister left the Church.

Judge him on his own beliefs and faith, not his family's.

I would play some Catholic game together and find out what he doesn't know about. BEcause that could be an indication of how much "work" you would have ahead of you.

I firmly feel that Catholic women need to concerned about "missionary dating"--dating a guy who is not a believer, or not a Catholic or not a "good" Catholic, and try to DRAG him along into the faith. That is a disaster waiting to happen. It works out maybe 1 in 100 times. he will seem to be with the program, and then you marry, and he won't go to church, wants to use contraception, etc.

Apr 18th 2013 new

Carol, yes, I've seen mixed marriages where the spouse has converted. I know it's possible, and if that's God's Plan for me or any of us here, I pray we will have the strength and fortitude to endure and bring Him greater glory. But my spouse would need to be open to doing religious activities for me, just like I would be open to doing things for him. I see it as a two-way street, and if he's not comfortable with my religion, I don't think we would ever get anywhere with a relationship, much less make it to marriage.

Apr 18th 2013 new

(Quote) Frank-410833 said: I'll let you know when I find her. Joan - was your marriage a valid one from the get go?
(Quote) Frank-410833 said: I'll let you know when I find her.

Joan - was your marriage a valid one from the get go?
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Frank, in my opinion, yes the marriage was valid from the get go, however the diocesan tribunal did not see it that way or they would never have granted an annulment (my former spouse filed for the annulment as I was told there were no grounds when I inquired). THe first 16 years of our marriage my former spouse and I prayed together as a couple and as a family, went to mass as a family every Sunday and sometimes during the week, and attended Catholic school functions as a family. When he turned 42 he suddenly "flipped out". He bought a Harley, spent his time at the local Harley bars and the weekends on Harley rides. I continued to take the kids to CHurch and attend functions as a "single mom". Eventually he lost his job and ran off with a 4 x's divorced, former drug addict. He returned, said he had been "visiting his parents", but I knew differently, and told him to leave. He said he was sorry and asked for forgiveness. He became a "stay at home" dad while I worked 60 hours a week to support our family. Eventually he became reemployed. In an effort to restore our marriage we went to Retrovaille, LOTS of counseling, spent time traveling together, and in prayer/communication. Our efforts helped but he still seemed to have an "itch"; he wanted to be "FREE". When he was 47 he had another affair with a married mother of our son's friend from Church. After 5 months we mutually agreed that he had to move out, which he did, and I filed for legal seperation. THe other woman moved out of state so that relationship ended. Multiple times he attempted to move back home but didn't want to be "tied down" nor did he want the responsibilities that go with having a family. He seems to have settled down now that he is 55, living with a 40 year old woman who lost custody of her child because she isn't a US citizen. He is still not financially responsible though, as he had been before the "midlife crisis". He is in debt, though he makes a 6 figure income. He is very dissatisfied, unhappy, and angry.


The point I am trying to make is that even a "shared faith journey" during a relationship will not sustain a marriage. People change, especially from 40's to early 50's. According to the therapist it is like going through adolescence all over again, but without alot of "hope". THis is why it is SO important to stay close to God AT ALL TIMES! There is nothing, and I repeat nothing, that a spouse, friend, family member can do, to ease the discomfort/dissatsifaction that SOME people experience during their middle years. Some people go through a severe depression (like my former spouse) and look to the wrong places to ease that depression. In the end they lose their friends, their job, their family, and their retirement savings. Even a "shared faith journey" cannot make up for an unwavering PERSONAL relationship with God.

Apr 18th 2013 new

My sister has been "happily" married to a Lutheran for 30 years. THeir kids attended Catholic school and one of their sons wants to become a Lutheran minister while the other wants to become a Catholic priest. I married a strong Catholic from a very strong Catholic family and am divorced. There was no divorce on either sides of our families. So go figure.

Apr 18th 2013 new

(Quote) Christy-929874 said: Carol, yes, I've seen mixed marriages where the spouse has converted. I know it's possi...
(Quote) Christy-929874 said:

Carol, yes, I've seen mixed marriages where the spouse has converted. I know it's possible, and if that's God's Plan for me or any of us here, I pray we will have the strength and fortitude to endure and bring Him greater glory. But my spouse would need to be open to doing religious activities for me, just like I would be open to doing things for him. I see it as a two-way street, and if he's not comfortable with my religion, I don't think we would ever get anywhere with a relationship, much less make it to marriage.

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The problem is that the conversion can work either way, and more often than not it is the Catholic party that ends up ceasing to practice their faith. It is for this reason that the Catholic Church cautions against marriages outside the faith.

Far too many people approach such relationships completely backward: proceeding until/unless they discern (often without making any appreciable effort to do so) that it is NOT God's will, rather than actively attempting to discern that it IS God's will.

Apr 18th 2013 new

Jerry, yes, that's the flipside I worry about. Or rather, I'm not so much worried about losing my own Faith (although it is a real concern for the obvious reasons), but I'm way more concerned about raising kids in a mixed household. It would be my responsibility as the mother to make sure that my kids are strong in their Faith, and grow up to be responsible, strong Catholics. If there wasn't the correct emphasis on religion from my spouse, that job could be much more difficult, especially in the teenage years: "Oh, well, Dad doesn't care that much about religion, so why should I?" type of response. For this reason, I think it would be difficult for me to build a long-term relationship with a non-Catholic because there are just too many variables, but I know that every time I think I have a plan, God will surprise me with a twist, so I'm definitely not closing my mind or heart to the possibility of a mixed marriage. No matter how much I'd really like to avoid that decision, God's Will be done in all things.

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