Relationships, love, God, and time: All in 1.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
Hi to all,
For a while I've been reading through posts looking for info on interfaith marriage to all sorts of other things. It has really strengthened my background as a Catholic and so I first want to say thank you to all of you. You have all really helped.
My thanks and this post all revolve around one thing (or one person): My now ex-girlfriend of 3 1/2 years. I won't get into all the details but here's a rundown. I think it's needed to fully show where my final question is coming from, so please bear with me.
I met her through a friend. She's a Pentecostal. We were 19 (her) and 20 (me) when we met. We're now both 23. Both through college and starting our own lives. When we first met things were great: We had fun and enjoyed each other. Then when things were getting serious for her (4 months into it) she started asking why I didn't read the Bible regularly, go to Bible studies, why I went to Confession, etc. etc. etc. Being the fairly-uneducated twenty-something who went through CCD without getting much because of the lack of structure and control and parents who didn't teach that much except "that's-just-the-way-it-is" I tried my darndest to explain things. She invited me to her church and I went a few times. Belive me, that did not effect me at all. In fact, it made me want to learn more about my background. Back to the issue, the 4-months thing was that she knew that I was the one she was supposed to marry, so she wanted to start preparing things: Me go to her church, her to mine, find out how it would work. She even proposed to me twice in the next few months. I said no, we weren't ready, etc. Things got better. MUCH better. We learned more. She became more patient, more understanding, and even went to say that she would maybe convert to Catholicism depending on...
8 months ago things started to go down hill, but I didn't know until 2 months ago. During this time I grew stronger feelings towards her and I came to the conclusion I wanted to be with her. I checked out Canon Law to find out how it would work, you guys for advice, etc. The impatiency thing came back: One weekend she gave me an ultimatum, I said no, then turned it around, and she said yes. Then it went downhill even quicker. Then she asked God for a sign. Her words:
"I asked him to take my love away if we were not meant to betogether or make me more passionate about you than ever before if we were and... I needed something tangible and so I asked that you would have given me a ring...I know that sounds funny or stupid or materialistic, but that is what I asked , but the first thing was the biggest sign"
...Which is fine... Except she then went on to say:
"I asked him to do it in a certain amount of time"
It didn't happen in time for her, which was a few days / weeks. So she broke us off based on the results of the sign, told me to throw her stuff away, forget about her, etc.
My question to you is this: Was this a little too overboard? I tried to explain to her that putting this expectation on God was a little too much. In my mind it was a test to see if He would do anything. Am I going nuts? I sent her a link to 1 Cor 13 (NAB of course, not her NIV): http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/1corinthians/1corinthians13.htm
She said she knew... Blah blah blah. (This coming from a minister's daughter.)
What is God's take on time? I always thought that God does not look upon time at all. I feel that she jumped to conclusions and demanded too much out of Him and me. I told her that I think her sign hadn't come yet. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't... I don't really know.
Final question: Was her request to God to have a sign in a particular time wrong?
Thank you again to all, Mark
-- Mark Wishneusky (IamWishing@aol.com), August 26, 2003
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 26, 2003.
Just a note, I hadn't read some of the previous subjects regarding signs. This whole "sign" issue of mine was completely by accident that it was following Gail's and John's threads.
-- Mark Wishneusky (IamWishing@aol.com), August 26, 2003.
As someone from a Pentecostal background, I can understand this situation and where your girlfriend is coming from. Unfortunately, there is a line of thinking among some Pentecostals that uses the old fleece method for trying to determine God's will. By "fleece method", I'm referring to Judges 6 in which Gideon uses a fleece to test God's will.
Here it is:
"Then Gideon said to God, "If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken." And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, "Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground." God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground."
Since God demonstrated His willingness to cooperate with Gideon in this (and I have had personal accounts where a similar approach worked before), we really can't say the method is intrinsically wrong, but I do view it as an immature and flawed way of finding God's will for our lives.
Be that as it may, any serious Catholic who wants to marry a serious Pentecostal (especially a minister's daughter), is going to have a life full of challenges to overcome - this kind of decision-making methodology is just typical of the challenges ahead.
-- non-Catholic Christian (email@example.com), August 26, 2003.
I recently read, in a missal produced by the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, a movement which has the blessing of the local ordinary here and approval from Rome, a listing of the Six Commandments of the Church. They were listed in the missal as follows:
1. To hear Mass on Sundays and Holydays of Obligation
2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed
3. To confess at least once a year
4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time
5. To contribute to the support of our pastors
6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times
Now this thread, which incorporates within it the issue of marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics, instantly brought these Six Commandments of the Church to my mind. So I looked it up. One of the first hits I found was this link to the New Advent site. Well, check it out. Scroll to the bottom of that page. Well, my my my and a big Hmmmmmm… large question mark over my head and a dim lightbulb for a companion! It seems as if they did a little editing. They have clearly laid an axe this portion: ”Not to marry persons who are not Catholics…”. Far be it from me to question New Advent, right? So I looked for other sources, and found this, from the Baltimore Catechism: Q. 1327. Which are the chief commandments of the Church?
A. The chief commandments of the Church are six:
1.1. To hear Mass on Sundays and holydays of obligation.
2.2. To fast and abstain on the days appointed.
3.3. To confess at least once a year.
4.4. To receive the Holy Eucharist during the Easter time.
5.5. To contribute to the support of our pastors.
6.6. Not to marry persons who are not Catholics, or who are related to us within the third degree of kindred, nor privately without witnesses, nor to solemnize marriage at forbidden times.
Seek and you shall find! Submitted only as a matter of intrigue and with the intention that we are all always faithful to Holy Mother Church.
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 26, 2003.
In fact, the sixth precept of the Church is and always has been:
"Observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage".
Period! Anything more specific is inappropriate, since these precepts do not address unchangeable matters of faith or morals, but matters of church discipline, which are subject to change. What these precepts state is that Catholics are required to obey the CURRENT teaching of the church regarding fasting, abstinence, mass attendance, holy days, tithing, and sacramental reception, including marriage. That's why the second precept reads "Fast and abstain on the days appointed", not "abstain from meat on all fridays of the calendar year". Abstaining from meat on fridays was required by this very precept forty years ago. It is not required now, though the precept has not changed. That's precisely why the precepts are written in such general terms. Whoever rewrote the 6th precept in the terms you stated obviously had a personal agenda which went well beyond the teaching of the Church.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 26, 2003.
"Whoever rewrote the 6th precept in the terms you stated obviously had a personal agenda which went well beyond the teaching of the Church."
That would have been the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism seems to have went well beyond the teaching of the Church.
People have been saying that the current CCC is infallible, or have been treating it with a similiar weight of authority. Is it the latest catechism that's infallible, or are we in a new solar cycle? =)
-- Emerald (email@example.com), August 29, 2003.
It's the doctrinal/moral teaching of the Church itself that is infallible, not the books which serve as compilations of and references to that teaching.
-- Paul (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 29, 2003.
Ahh, take it with a grain of salt. Man, the server went down, and get this: I was enjoying myself for the last couple days! lol!
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 29, 2003.
Green man, how things?
I see youve striked out yet again, Paul throws a mean curve ball eh! I cant ever recall you hitting a home run! That batting average is getting dangeroulsy low, its much more than just a slump .... face it... time to look for a new team ;-)
Ok enough lame baseball metaphors Id be more interested in which groups make up the "Coalition" in Support of Ecclesia ie have any schismatics got their little grubby fingers involved in this organisation?
-- Kiwi (email@example.com), August 29, 2003.
Things done be o.k. around here as far as I can tell, but you know, vincible ignorance is bliss. Wait... do I have that right?
Oh well. Hey! There's a new beatitude: "Casey at Bat" shall inherit the earth. Or: he that stiketh out in the ways of men shall hitteth a holy homer in heaven.
God bless thee... uh, you. =)
Oh, btw your post reminded me of New Zealand, which, in turn, reminded me of Tolkien and the Two Towers movie. I rented it a couple nights ago. As soon as someone else does the dirty work of getting the transcript up on the net, I'll butcher up a new load of traditional Catholic anologies for 'ya!
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 29, 2003.
Mark no advice from me, a old conservative priest once said to me "dont take your religion too seriously, its not healthy" I think I know what he meant excuse my words to EMerald
Hey!cheeky spohist bugger, yall cant paradoy me without a fite mutha *&^&^&*, nuthin down with my spellin n style..."laud of da rings 2"??? sooooo 2002. where u been at?... me knows "1+1=2"& "I know that I do not know" but how do I know Gid? all us bruthas are beneath yo'll now, spread da luv trad and tel me why our supa natrale is 4 reel?
-- Frod discovers his ring (email@example.com), August 30, 2003.
*ahem* Emerald, if you didnt quite get that nonsense I wanted your take on the way Christians apologists say that non belivers also take everything they know on *faith* as well, it seems a rather desperate position to take: comparing faith in the existence of supernatural truth to the faith in such truths eg 1 + 1 = 2, in that such faith is not untestable and it is observable and testable... does existence infer logic?...am I making sense now? I need to think about what I really want to ask Ill get back to you later but its all bugging me and swirliong around. Ill elaborate later on the problems bugging me from a rational point of view. Blessings
-- Kiwi (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 30, 2003.
Imho it's the flipside of that.
Maybe this what you are asking: by a really strange coincidence, last night at dinner, my son shows me this Euclid's Geometry book my wife picked up at the library for him. She's going to teach him this stuff. That's strange even right there. But I remembered the layout of the book, and that it started with the definitions, and so I opened it there and started asking my myself and my wife if they were true all over again, just to test them.
It made me think of this book and the first couple paragraphs, which to be honest, have always had me real, real suspicious.
Is that pretty much along the lines of the nature of your question?
-- Emerald (email@example.com), August 30, 2003.
I'm not sure if that made any sense to you kiwi, but I think I know what you are asking.
But poor Mark here, this isn't helping him to do this here (my fault), so maybe we should talk it up on another for his sake.
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 30, 2003.
Hi Emerald yes youre on the exactly the right track with that link, thanks for that. Ive been trying tyo get my ahead around Karl Poppers writing( have a search of him on net, search logic of scientific discovery if youre interested) and a few other scientific philosphers but Ive got sensory overload at the moment. Im trying to digest too much for my poor little brain. Ill get back to you on another thread later, I saw Chris Butler posted today he might be able to help as well once ive got my mind a bit more focussed.
-- kiwi (email@example.com), August 30, 2003.
That appeared to be a new person, maybe even a woman. There were lower-case letters ("chris butler") instead of mixed-case ("Chris Butler"), and the e-mail address indicated West Coast ("pacbell" = Pacific) instead of East Coast (like the former Butler).
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 31, 2003.
I guess I should say thank you to all those who read and at first tried to help, but I think people ran on with what was said around the 3rd post.
Maybe I posted in the wrong group. If I did would someone direct me to the correct one? I know it's more about teaching of God than Catholicism, but I had to wonder about the differences between the two and whether or not there is something about Protestantism that leads people to rush with things. After talking to a friend (who, sadly, is converting from Catholicism to some non-denominational church because she said she never felt "Welcome"), she's been telling me about these people all getting married at a young age. I asked her if it was something they taught and in a matter of words it almost was. I'm not saying it's not taught at Church for us, but I've always been brought up with the idea to be patient and let God do his work, not necessarily rush into things which I've seen far too many times with other groups.
Thanks in advance to all.
-- Mark Wishneusky (IamWishing@aol.com), September 04, 2003.
Mark, I think your best bet is to read the Saints and find out how they understand the human response to the Will of God vs. God's reponse to our own will.
Jesus' prayer to the Father was "not My will, by Thine be done", and He makes it clear that He came into the world to do the Father's will. So in that sense, to this question:
"Final question: Was her request to God to have a sign in a particular time wrong?"
I would figure, well absolutely! That's fitting the Almighty God, Creator or the universe, omnipotent, omniscious, into our limited- vision, finite, sinful, fallen and selfish little world of running after things that rot.
Not to smite your ex-girlfriend into an oblivion with these words, since this is probably the sin of most of us most the time, but just to tell the truth.
St. Louis De Monfort has an incredible book called Uniformity With God's Will. This would make for a good read to understand how we aren't supposed to be doing anything else but accepting the Will of God without question, out of love. Easier said than done, but then again, no pain... no gain.
From this book:
"It would be the delight of the seraphs [high angels serving at the throne of God] to pile sand on the seashore or to pull weeds in a garden for all eternity, if they found out such was God's will."
-- Emerald (email@example.com), September 04, 2003.
Correction: not St. Louis De Monfort, it's St. Alphonsus de Ligouri that wrote the above book. I keep doing that; sorry.
-- Emerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 04, 2003.
We tried to post to you before, but the site went down and afterwards we had trouble finding the post without your name to guide us. Now that we finally found you, here is our original response and hopefully it is more of what you were looking for:
We're sorry to hear of the stress you went through. Unfortunately, it seems that it is part of the growth within our relationships with G-d and one another. As to your question:
<<<"Was her request to God to have a sign in a particular time wrong?">>>
It seems that you can receive two answers to this question. First, consider Gideon who asked HaShem for a sign with the fleece and he asked for it in the morning- twice! Now this would seem your answer should be that it was not wrong, however let's look at a key point. Gideon needed an answer about going to war, and time was a real issue. In the case of your girlfriend, time was not as important as the growth you both needed in the relationship.
The second piece, we can look towards James who wrote:
"You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you asked wrongly, to spend it on your passions." Jam.4.2-3
According to what you stated, she said:
>>>"I needed something tangible and so I asked that you would have given me a ring...I know that sounds funny or stupid or materialistic, but that is what I asked, but the first thing was the biggest sign">>>
We do not see where both of you came together to pray as one (where two or more are gathered...) in this very important decision, even to base this answer upon a "sign" from above. It may be true that she couldn't have revealed the content of that sign due to its nature, but shouldn't you have been in that decision process as the outcome would indeed affect you? She should have come to you and asked to pray together and either have that "sign" revealed or fulfilled. Though we suspect the choice of the "sign".
You see, it is vital to understand about the core beliefs when it comes to interfaith relationships. We Catholics believe in a Sacrament of Marriage, that two come together and through a miracle above and become literally (in the Spiritual sense) one flesh, not two. True this blessing does not come from above until after the blessing is given during that Mass, yet the two of you should have begun this process long before either of you pop that question or made any ultimatums.
Still this isn't to say Yeshua didn't give her what she asked for because by not telling you her request He exposed the fruit of her heart. You are still young, Mark, and as long as you grow to be that person that G-d desires, He will in His time reveal that special person for you so you three may grow together as one.
In regards to your more recent post, you stated:
>>> After talking to a friend (who, sadly, is converting from Catholicism to some non-denominational church because she said she never felt "Welcome"), she's been telling me about these people all getting married at a young age. I asked her if it was something they taught and in a matter of words it almost was. I'm not saying it's not taught at Church for us, but I've always been brought up with the idea to be patient and let God do his work, not necessarily rush into things which I've seen far too many times with other groups.
Any suggestions? >>>
If your friend did not feel “welcomed” at her local parish, why did she not seek out another nearby parish (Vatican II made this possible)? After all, if she believes the Catholic Eucharist is the very Body and Blood, then why seek after something inferior? The answer, we suspect, is that her lack of interest in our Church goes far deeper and to reach her you need to get beyond her excuses.
As for the preference of marrying young, per se, this is not the only difference between our Church’s views of marriage and those of other groups. Catholics believe Yeshua is in their union, that they literally (in a spiritual sense) become one flesh; or in other words marriage takes three. Also our Church demands each couple to go to pre-cana to learn about marriage and the commitment they are about to embark upon. Also each couple must also go before the priest ultimately who then can decide if that “young” couple is also mature enough to understand what they are getting into. And in these days of record high divorces we find these teaching highly prudent and feel that if maybe more people looked into this wisdom more seriously, we might see a reverse in the trend that threatens the very fabric of society at large. Perhaps as you better understand these teaching in our Church you could bring this to your friend’s attention.
Shalom, C & C
-- C.Foegen (email@example.com), September 04, 2003.
Thank you Emerald and C.,
Your entries helped out a lot, thank you to both of you.
After I think about it though, maybe she did the right thing: By showing that she's impatient and wanting things to be done in X time and by asking God to do it for her, etc., her sign came through: That we're NOT supposed to be together because of her issues of not being as close to Jesus as she said she was. Always saying she wanted to be closer to God, and so on, she revealed that inside she has not really aksed for that help from Him, and so God didn't put here here to be with me. If He did, there's a lot of growth needed on her part (not to say we all need growing inside). But right now her demands went against everything that God teaches and so it pushed it away from a God-matched relationship. I know this whole paragraph may have sounded confusing and I hope some people understand it. If not tell me and I'll try to explain it more in detail.
Again, thank you to all who have posted and contributed, even if we got sidetracked. :-P
-- Mark Wishneusky (IamWishing@aol.com), September 05, 2003.