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Jane wrote:

Hi, guys —

My husband is very upset that I am attending RCIA classes and want to become Catholic. He thinks that the Catholic Church is corrupt and hypocritical since they do not allow open Communion. He is getting rather ugly with me when he even looks at me. I ask him what is wrong and he says it's that Catholic nonsense.

I have been a faithful Protestant woman my entire life. I am 60 years old. My church was dying. I have worked in a Catholic hospital and had multiple friends that are of the Catholic faith. The idea to become a Catholic has been in the back of my mind for several years.

My daughter-in-law is Catholic and my granddaughter has also been baptized Catholic. This seemed like a good time to change so I can be a part of my only grandchild's spiritual life.

The problem is my husband has told me when the current Protestant church closes, he will not attend church with me anywhere. I don't understand how whatever I decide matters since he won't be going to church with me anyway.

My husband suffers from severe depression and is on disability. He does not want to be around people and the current Protestant church is about the extent of his going into public.

On the other side, I am actively employed as a nursing instructor. I have an active social life with friends. My faith and spiritual life are very important to me. I have found a peace and spiritual rebirth that I have not had in many years. I prayed for over two years before I made this life change. I do not feel it was a hasty decision. I want to complete the RCIA classes and become Catholic at Easter.

I don't plan on changing my decision as I feel God is leading me to this place but it has not been easy with this kind of opposition.

Please help me on persuading my husband to accept my decision.

Thanks in advance for any help you can be.

Jane

  { Given his views, how do I persuade my husband to accept my decision to become a Catholic? }

Bob replied:

Jane,

You need not apologize for your faith journey, and while your marriage is important, your following the Lord cannot be stifled. Perhaps your husband too will come along — sometimes the most ardent critics of the faith become the greatest adherents and evangelists for the faith. I have the feeling he may just be one of them, and your faith could be just the witness he needs.

Bear with him patiently and lovingly, drop him a good Catholic book to read, even do it covertly by leaving something in his path that he stumbles upon. Have fun with it and remain joyful.

Your social life will keep you buoyant though he may be slow to come around; trust in God! I have heard countless stories just like yours where the love and grace of marriage changes an otherwise intractable spouse.

So in the end, it’s not defense but offense you must realize. The gates of Hell haven’t sufficient strength to resist.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

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