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When You\’re Not Married to a Saint

July 11, AD2013 11 Comments

\"Anabelle

My husband and I are as opposite as coffee and cream. He grew up as up as West Coast of the West could be, with a palette made exclusively for hamburgers and hotdogs. I was raised in the Philippines amid mango and coconut trees. His dream home is a garage packed with a Ford Mustang, organized tools and a large screen featuring reruns of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mine will have wall-to wall bookshelves (though books are everywhere but there) and a closet that leads to TJ Maxx. On Sundays, he’s over at the Benedictine Abbey, listening to the monks singing their Gregorian Chants in plain English, while I would rather be at the Latin Mass.

In short, no dating service — no one in their right mind — would have matched us up for better or worse. But when we both prayed for our future spouses, discernment led us to conclude (individually) that God, the Matchmaker, had written our love story. We were married in less than a year of meeting each other … and that was ten years ago.

During a season of marital disharmony, I was so sure God hadn’t meant to put us together or I was supposed to be a nun in a cloistered convent. So we both sought help in church: I prayed, he ran for the priest (I told you we\’re different).

If you think priests have no business giving out marital advice, think again. Here are the top three words of wisdom that our shepherds have personally given us:

1. “When you are married in Church,” said our Marriage Encounter priest, “there is nothing that God will withhold to keep you married. Grace is always and freely given, and graces are found in the Sacraments.”

2.  “See a therapist to learn how to communicate,” our pastor, a trained counselor, advised us. “And remember your job is to get your husband or wife to heaven.  When you’re married, your mission in making your spouse a saint should be so consuming that you forget about your own self. You can’t expect to enter heaven’s doors by yourself without Jesus asking you ‘Whoa! What about the spouse you left behind?’”

3.  “Satanists fast for the break up of families” an exorcist from Europe told me. “So you should counter evil with all the spiritual weapons given to you: receive Communion as a family, in a state of grace. Pray the rosary regularly in front of a statue of Our Lady with a blessed candle because that will seal off all evil.  Sprinkle your home with holy water frequently. Wear the miraculous medal. Fast and give up a little treat here and there when you can. And most of all, lead a holy life because the blessings will be passed on to your children, just as the curses of a sinful life will be passed on to your children.”

Despite taking the advice, we’re still not as sinless as Mary or humble as Joseph. But I can say with conviction that our shared love for the Catholic Church has enabled us to love each other in and through Jesus Christ.  More so than the day we said “I do –because a marriage without the sacrifice of the cross is a marriage without the Paschal mystery of Christ.

So, if you’re not married to a saint, my one advice is to seek help: both spiritual and practical. The Church has abundant resources (from sacraments, to pastors, counselors and sacramentals) that will help you become a saint and raise a holy family. She is on a mission of preparing us for the wedding feast of the Lamb.

© 2013. Anabelle Hazard. All Rights Reserved.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

Filed in: Marriage & Family

About the Author:

Anabelle Hazard is a practicing Catholic, non-practicing attorney, learning homeschooler, penniless novelist (of Catholic novels “Written in the Sand and Stars” & “Fireflies Dance”), and unpredictable blogger at Written By the Finger of God.

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