Let me tell you something about being Catholic. Being Catholic is hard. The hardest Catholic thing I have done lately is to give birth to my baby girl and still believe that contraception is wrong. Yeah, really. It was much easier to believe that contraception was wrong intellectually as a seeker. It was easy to believe contraception was wrong when my husband and I didn't mind if we got pregnant. It is still easy to believe that contraception is wrong, but it has been much harder to practice this belief. The difficulty lies in confusing postpartum fertility signs (cervical mucus, temperature etc.), a husband who is definitely putting the pressure on me to contracept or at least practice certain *ahem* acts which are wrong for the same reason contraception is wrong (but I give him credit for putting up with the abstinence this long even though he doesn't understand the beautiful reasons why the Church teaches against contraception between spouses!), and the abstinence. Oh the abstinence! It's been twelve weeks since the baby was born.
I believe that no one reads this blog, so I will write something personal. There has been a constant animosity between my husband and I ever since I started seeking God. He is deeply suspicious and threatened by "religion". I put that in quotes because he says the word the way someone else would spit out the word "cockroach". As a result of this animosity, I feel like all of my relations with him have been guarded. The walls are up, the lips are sealed. I cannot trust him with my heart because every time I hand it over I receive it back with pins and needles stuck in it. He constantly laments the days of Old Rachel. Past Rachel. I feel so unloved as Present Rachel. Present Rachel is defective. Not what he signed up for.
We do manage to keep a peace as long as the walls are up, but I just wish I could be truly naked with him again and live a life with no pretenses.
I was praying the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary today and was particularly struck by the final mystery, the crucifixion. This decade ends on a doleful note, the Lord has been crucified! I tried to put myself into the place of the women and the Beloved Disciple at the foot of the cross looking up--all hope for my son, my friend, my Lord dashed in a dreadful few hours. All dreams of the Messiah crushed. This is how I feel sometimes looking at the ruins of my marriage. We have no plans to divorce, and we don't have yelling matches. But sometimes things inside it feel so hopeless for me. I am unequally yoked, and not by choice. Where Truth goes, you follow. Where Christ goes, you follow. Jesus has not come to bring peace, but a sword (Matthew 10:34).
"He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me." Matthew 10:37.
I am living this out in my marriage. I can only hope that a resurrection will eventually follow this trial just as the resurrection followed the crucifixion. Patience, fortitude and constant prayer will be my companions through this difficult time. And smiles from my growing baby will also not fail to help!
Our Lady, undoer of knots, pray for us!