I think it would be very difficult for a woman to just “watch and pray” when it comes to a differing Religion in their home. It is what matters most to us who want to do what is right by our family. How hard it would be not to needle and nag the one we live closest to, so he will see things “our way” …for the sake of the family! You can relate? Me, too! It would be an awful struggle and I’m glad that’s one I haven’t had to tackle!
God bless my friend, Anne, who has lived and learned this lesson. Read and listen as she tells of her own walk in this area in the following testimony:
Just Pray and Get Out of the Way
(or the Power of the Rosary)
Anne Ross Kootz
How often I am my own worst enemy!
A cradle Catholic, I never left the Church. I always thought myself among the most devout and dedicated. Oddly enough, I did not insist on this quality when I met and married my husband, Buddy. Brought up as a Methodist, now he was essentially agnostic….and my temperamental opposite, though I didn’t see that yet. A very good man in every respect except this area of religion.
Most of my extended family married Protestants of one stripe or another. All converted to the True Faith within a couple of years. Buddy already courteously attended Mass with me; surely he will convert in short order. I believed, when I thought about it at all, this problem would be easy to fix.
Those of you in ‘mature’ marriages are chuckling. Little details, insignificant in the glow of romance, glare in day to day married life. High expectations soon submit to dull reality. I advised Buddy of his need for religious growth. But what began as warm, loving suggestions gradually became shrill. Five years later I was at my wit’s end. This had become the greatest handicap to my domestic bliss. Completely out of patience, I shook my fist at Our Lord (forgive me!) and shouted – OK. I’ve done ALL I can. This is NOT my problem anymore. It is YOURS!
Notice it was my issue, not Buddy’s. As I struggled at this time, I did read a helpful book on temperaments. It was an eye-opener. So Buddy really wasn’t trying to make me crazy? God made him that way! Our personality conflicts – choleric wife and phlegmatic husband – became more acceptable. However, the disconnect in our spiritual lives did not mend. Not that this was the only trouble.
Months and then years passed. No children. Nine failed attempts to adopt. At the nine year point, with both the spiritual and fertility issues unresolved, I needed a diversion – a challenging occupational interest. I began the process to enroll in Optometry school.
Of course! Hearing me resolved to accept His Will in this as in all things, suddenly Our Lord stepped in. On our return from a Christmas holiday a phone message greeted us. Our 10th attempt had succeeded in the adoption of our first son. Our 2nd son was underway within two days. Go ahead – no one laughed louder than Buddy!
Our family life became intense. There was no time to pine about our spiritual disagreements – babies to feed, toddlers to corral, and children to prepare for First Communion. Nonetheless, our common adversary was not idle. At 16 years a new, very painful threat to our marriage emerged.
In agony, I pleaded with Our Lord. In response, a still, small voice whispered, ‘You say you are such a good Catholic. Have you been praying for your husband?’ Oh — my! Immediately I started a daily rosary, for ‘whatever Buddy needs.’
At precisely the 90 day point in my desperation-novena, Buddy returned from a long, work-related trip. He invited me out for a drink. Understand, we never went ‘out for a drink.’ I could hear it coming… “I want a divorce.” With nothing left to lose, I got a sitter and joined him at a nearby bar for a cocktail.
You guessed it. “I’ve decided to join the Catholic Church.” A pause to pick my jaw up off the floor! Our Lady had interceded so completely – beyond my wildest imagination! As he related the process, during that long trip he had decided to quietly “try on the decision, like a shoe you wanted to buy. Then if I didn’t like it…” So like him to be ultra cautious! But Our Lady had the last laugh. Once he had ‘tried it on,’ it stuck!
Buddy was received into the church about a year later. He remains steady, if not overtly, devout. On occasion he relates a funny exchange with co-workers in which he defends the Church. He quietly endures his extended family’s preferred misinterpretation … “well, Anne is so outspoken, he finally gave in.” Sadly, never has his parents or siblings or in-laws offered him an opportunity to explain himself. It is our little secret.
Meanwhile, our 4th, and evidently final son, Peter was born, named in honor of our family’s safety in the Barque of Peter. But even here I am still wary of my own worst enemy.
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“A decent young man really respects the young woman who quietly refuses to be ‘pawed over’ and ‘necked’; he wants a wife who has kept pure.
A decent girl breathes a sigh of relief when she finds that a young man respects her as a human being, as a friend, and as a lady.
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