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Divorce & Annulments

Men and women who have gone through a divorce can offer many descriptions about what it’s like to experience the loss of a marriage. They compare it to falling down a well and not being able to get out, or wandering in a seemingly endless desert and never coming across an oasis. I have often described my own divorce and post-divorce years as being similar to standing alone in the middle of a room in total darkness. I didn’t know how to get out. All I was able to do was feel my way around in the darkness, try not to get hurt by what I couldn’t see, and search for the light switch so I could turn on the lights.

It’s experiences like these that can affect a person so harshly and is why oftentimes you might just beg God to tell you why He’s allowing this kind of suffering to happen to you. You can’t see a good reason for it and you can’t understand God’s way of doing things. But inevitably, it’s only when you come out on the other side of suffering that you begin to understand, even if it’s not a complete understanding.

Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer, author of the powerful book, The Gift of Faith, writes:

Faith does not remove the darkness, it does just the opposite; it requires it.

This idea that darkness in your life is required for your faith to help you really is kind of the opposite of the way we normally look at things, wouldn’t you say?

For example, when my ex-spouse walked out on me, I was shocked, appalled, and indignant. What’s interesting to me about that to me now, is that I didn’t feel that way simply because he left. I felt that way also because I couldn’t believe God would let that happen to me.

It was as if my Catholic faith was supposed to be an insurance policy against trials; as if it were supposed to protect me from the darkness, when in reality, it was the very thing I needed for my faith to grow. I remember thinking, “I’ve been a good Catholic all my life, Lord. I never miss mass, I go to confession frequently, I share my faith with others, etc. How could you let me get divorced? Well the answer to that question opened my eyes to the reality that not only was God drawing me closer to Him through this terrible divorce, but He was also allowing me to experience humility. Being a good Catholic should not set me apart from other people, it should connect me with them all the more. It shouldn’t be a holier than thou identity, it should make me more compassionate. And in receiving my heavy cross, I should look to Christ for advice on how to carry it. These were just a few of the lessons I learned through faith because of the darkness.

Fr. Dajczer continues to illustrate his point:

When it seems to us that Jesus is silent and absent, it is not really so. This is indicated by the words God told St. Teresa of Avila: “When you thought that you were alone, I was nearest to you.” When you feel very alone, when it is hard for you, when you are experiencing some kind of nakedness, He is closest to you. However, He does not give you signs because He wants you to trust in Him even more.

It’s much easier to see God’s work in your life when you look back. You can’t always understand in the present. For this reason, you should never give up your faith in God. Although you may not understand what He is doing or why He is doing it, trust Him that in His love for you, He knows what He is doing and will bring you into the fullness of light if you hang in there and trust Him.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Rita-980172 July 11, 2013

    I really enjoyed this post. It gave me some new resources to help validate what I’ve already been thinking. Also, I guess misery does love company, because I felt better reading about someone who went through the same experiences and had the same thoughts.

  2. Lisa-933589 July 11, 2013

    Thank you Lisa for this reminder…

    It is precisely in my vulnerability that I am most able to love and be loved–with God and others…In our weakness we truly are made strong through HIM, —-a lesson learned on the Camino de Santiago …we also have the best opportunity to extend love to others who are most vulnerable–through Jesus.

  3. Anthony-931830 July 11, 2013

    Thank you for writing this. I am going through a very rough patch and I feel that God sent me to read this. Thank you! Deo Gratis

  4. Richard-828895 July 12, 2013

    I don’t know that there is anything worse than the betrayal of a loved one! My wife left as Lent was starting so it was a unique perspective on Holy Week and how Jesus suffered the betrayal at the hands of Judas. I don’t know if we will ever know why the Lord allows this to happen but at least it does draw us closer to Him.

  5. Tim-616385 July 13, 2013

    I agree through our suffering and taking up our cross we are drawn closer to Him. As you said it is hard for us to understand this in the present, but we must trust Him.

  6. Brenda-933888 July 16, 2013

    I am confused to say the least. I have been a good wife, loving, caring, honest, trustworthy and a good lover to my husbands. Yes Husbands 3 of them, My first husband flipped out when his mother passed and was sexually abusive. The second abused my son’s all the while lying about what they had actually done. The third was it he was catholic, good, loving, caring, and then one day I realized he was not who I thought he was. His job got really hard and demanding and the people he worked with were trying to make him mess up and lose his licenses. Next thing I know I was fighting for my marriage by myself. He closed off completely from me and went into a deep depression which destroyed our relationship.. I tried to get him to counseling, through the church or anywhere, he would not even consider he was depressed and stopped going to church, out with me, even stopped taking showers only one on Saturday. So, what am I supposed to make of that? He also, told me to leave 3 times the third time I left and have not been back. We are now going through a divorce and I feel lost. That is an understatement. However, I still believe in love, and trust most everyone till they prove me wrong. Not disappointed in God, rather myself as to why I cant seem to stay married. It is all I ever wanted to do be a Mother and a wife, be like my parents married to each other till they died. I am 60 in good health starting on a new career and new life so, for that I am thankful. Just don’t know whether to even consider another relationship.

  7. Regina-911983 July 18, 2013

    Herat article. Need the church 2 address this issue more!

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