This blog's mission is simple--to encourage moms who are married to non-Catholics and raising their children in the Faith. If you know a mom who needs a little encouragement in continuing her efforts, I would be delighted if you would share Kathleen's Catholic with her. Thank you!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Envy At Mass Was Finally Put Away

by Kathleen Blease

Going it alone was hard, but the Lord gave me my solution.

I used to sit in Mass, in between my two boys, and look around and notice all the families. Moms and Dads flanking the kids. I envied them. When one child acted up, Dad was there with silent discipline. When the family prayed the Lord's Prayer, they were united with clasped hands. Kids could look to the left and see their mom, then look to the right and see their dad. When my children were little and hard to contain, I longed for my husband to attend Mass with us, but I knew I couldn't force it. Yet my longing turned into frustation and then into envy as I watched other families march to Holy Communion together.

Then one day, it hit me. It was so clear. It happened while I was teaching our boys about the Mass, how the gifts are taken to the altar. And when the bread, wine, and treasure are offered to the Lord, we should be putting ourselves there on the altar as well. We should offer Him everything, I told them. Offer your successes throughout the week, your failures, your fears, your celebrations...everything that is in your life and in your heart. Who knows you better than Our Lord? He will treasure what you give to Him.

Yes, there it was. All those years when I stewing in my envy I should have been offering the needs of my husband and putting them on the altar. At first, I offered his discernmnet of conversion, not sure there even was a discernment, but it didn't hurt to try. Then over time I decided to forget about what I wanted my husband to be, and I began to think about what my husband really needed on a daily basis. Even though he hadn't detailed his challenges in a list for me, as his wife I knew well what those were. So I offered them at the altar, right along side my own little successes and failures and needs and fears and wants. And, yes, even my envy. I finally gave it to the Lord. It was time to give it away for good.


  1. I can only get my husband to go perhaps once a mo. It is hard. I have 3 sm. children. One has Asperger's Syndrome and one has ADHD, and then I have a four yr. old with a ton of energy!! My husband is a cradle Catholic and is very faithful in his daily living, but he just doesn't value/ appreciate the Mass as much as I'd like him to. To his credit, our parish priest is awful!! I cannot wait until they reorganize and give us somebody that doesn't make me SMH ea. time he walks up to the alter to give Mass.

  2. You are working hard, and it's so important to train our children to attend Mass weekly. I give you credit for doing the right thing, even though your husband doesn't attend and the priest is not to your liking. But praise God that your husband goes with you once in a while..what a blessing. Be sure to give him a big hug and kiss before and after Mass, and during The Sign of Peace!! And receive Holy Communion with a heart that is filled with gratitude for your husband.

    It's helped me to remember, too, that the Mass will always be Heaven's gift to us and the most powerful prayer we can participate in--regardless of the quality of the priest!! Jesus' sacrifice and love for us transcends all that, praise God!

    If your children are affected by the priest's personality and how he celebrates the Mass, it IS okay to visit other parishes (Catholic, of course), to give you a little breather and encouragement--which we all need once in a while to keep our spirits with the Lord.

    May God continue to bless your family and your work in raising your little ones in the Faith. :-)

  3. We do visit other parishes A LOT more than we should. We visit the priest that we used to have (he's still somewhat local), and when we are down at my in-laws campground area we go to Mass with the rest of the beach goers but during the school year the principal of my childrens school and the priest expect that I'm taking them to our church each weekend and expect to see us there physically and not just though our envelopes :) I have a lot of support though my former RCIA friends, my neighbors and a Catholic homeschool group of woman and my husband too. He (my husband) supports me emotionally and thinks that what I'm doing is right for the children, but saying it and actually going with me is two different things. At first while my kids were still babies I would go to church alone or with one child at a time, because he refused to attend on a reg. basis. Now I take everyone but the baby. I have three kids. But the baby starts Catholic pre-school this year and will need to learn to sit and behave in church also. It's been a little bit more difficult than the adverage large-family Mom because my oldest who is supposed to set the example for the rest of the troops to follow is autistic and requires a lot of prompting and attention and medicine to attend in church however blessings have arrived and now that he can read he is following along with the Mass and engaged much better. My five year old still thinks it's boring and sometimes falls asleep in Mass until I poke her. It's a stuggle but you keep on because you know what you are doing will pay off in the end. Thanks for your support and for talking about something that really hit home :)

  4. Yes, it will pay off. In Deuteronomy, we are instructed to teach our children when we are at home, when we are away, when we are at work, when we are at rest.

    God looks at our efforts, blesses them, and even makes them much more than we ever thought--even if we think we're downright failing. It all works out.

    I remember those years when my boys were little, too. They were so hard, and they seemed to move very slowly. But those years did pass, and going to Mass has become much easier, so I'm so glad I put in the effort.

    To all moms going it alone...Keep up the good work!! It will pay off!


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