Hi there! It’s been very quiet around here. I’ve had lots of ideas floating around, but some of them haven’t fitted into the remit of this blog (i.e. not related to being in a mixed marriage). I’ve been contemplating whether to slightly readjust the premise of the blog to make room for a wider variety of topics – whilst still keeping the original theme the main thread – but I haven’t quite figured out how to do so. I’m praying on it! Meanwhile, I wanted to share something that I’ve found incredibly helpful, and I hope it will be for you, too.
Seeing as how I can’t get to Confession at the moment, I decided to do a proper Examination of Conscience and make a “spiritual Confession”, as it were, on Divine Mercy Sunday. Although I always try to do an examination of conscience before going to Confession, I admit that I often don’t give as much time to it as I ought. So, this time I wanted to really set aside some time for it.
I remembered that on the Laudate app (free! highly recommended!) is an Examination of Conscience, and when I opened the app I realised that, even better, there’s one designed specifically for those whose vocation is marriage. The Examination is broken into various categories, one of which is something like “duties towards your spouse.” Now, without going into details… This was *definitely* the area where most of my sins occurred. The app is designed so that you check boxes, and at the end it provides you with a list of *your* sins.
It was quite a shocking realisation. I mean, I tend to think I’m a reasonably good wife 😛 But seeing these sins written out, unemotionally, disentangled from my particular marital issues… It made me realise that I leave a lot to be desired. A LOT. And it is also a very helpful starting point to try to do better going forward.
Pretty much anybody who has ever had a marital conflict has likely thought, at some point, that it’s mainly the other person’s fault. Why can’t they just do things the way I’m suggesting?! Is it really so hard?? But for Catholics married to non-Catholics, we may go a step further and attribute their ‘failings’ to their lack of Catholic faith. “If only they were also Catholic,” we think, “then they would be a better spouse.”
Oy. Way to fail to see the log in our own eyes! As Catholic wives or husbands, it is absolutely our job to start by doing the very best we can ourselves. And you know what the list made me realise? That my husband is doing *at least* as good a job of being a “good Catholic spouse” as I am, without even thinking about it.
I’m planning to make this Examination a weekly practise, and I invite you to do the same. Let’s strive to be the best Catholic spouses that we can be, before we think of ruminating on our spouse’s shortcomings.