A Rash of Unwanted Divorces – Prayers Needed

21 Apr

Recently I have personally witness a seeming rash of divorces by long married couples with wives leaving husbands of 20-34 years. The wives have left without saying a single word prior – and in several cases gutting the couples financial resources just before retirement. The husbands are left confused and conflicted. One thing that has stood out to me is that the husbands all did not see any signs that the divorce was coming – until the day it happened.

This is a subject near and dear to my heart. My wife has pointed out that there is definitely a failure to communicate in many instances and cited some examples for me. I was not shocked by anything she said. I was however shocked that small wounds were allowed to fester to a boiling point before anything was said. Often, these women have suffered in silence for years. It was not generally the size of the wounds which were killing the marriage, but rather the untreated festering infection.

What is the solution? As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One thing I observed is that some of these women feared their husbands in some way – some even physically. These bother me the most – your wife should never fear being physically harmed by you as her husband.  Others were just averse to conflict. You need to learn to listen carefully, and reply thoughtfully. You can chew your food before you swallow – do the same with your thoughts – chew on them a bit before you blurt them out. Words are the single most dangerous thing we have in a marriage. Be careful with yours always, think before you speak – and speak kindly always. We can blame the wives all we want for what they did or did not do, but it won’t save your marriage from divorce or make your wife happy. The fix requires more than being attentive, it means serious effort on your part. Remember that you cannot change other people – you must accept and love her as she is. Instead change yourself as that is something you do have control over and can change.

Trust is paramount. She has to be sure she can share honest feelings with you without facing retaliation emotionally, verbally, or physically. You have to listen, consider, and find ways to address her concerns in a matter that resolves them to both of your satisfaction. I highly recommend the tactical approach of listening carefully while repressing negative facial expressions or comments, then thinking carefully about how to respond, only after that – do you open your mouth and do so. Peoples tongues are the source of more self inflicted marital wounds than many realize. DO NOT tell her it is her fault, denigrate her, or blame her in your response. Focus your response solely on what you can do to alleviate her concerns and then do it. This is NOT a negotiation, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT say things like I’ll do X if you do Y.

Keep in mind that often women just need to vent their feelings in a safe environment. They do not expect you to necessarily fix it – what they want is for you to listen. Letting her get her feeling out by listening attentively. Act when it is appropriate, and listen and hold her when action is not required.

Your wife might trust you with her life and well being, yet not trust you with her heart. This is where the problems fester and grow. You need to regain her faith in you to counter this, and open deep lines of communication. While you might want to say that telling her to make changes would make more sense – it does not. The only person you can change is you, so work with what you have. Make sure you are attentive to her feelings, emotions, and the little things she says. You won’t get this right most of the time being male, but she will appreciate sincere interest in her and her feelings. For what you have done, and what you have failed to do… Often we hear Catholics say this mantra, but fail to heed it. Have you given your wife cause to think that there are things important to her that she cannot accomplish within marriage – things in keeping with sacramental marriage, of course? Maybe it’s travel, education, learning to play an instrument, learning to ride a motorcycle, learning to hunt/shoot/fish, or becoming a HAM radio operator. Don’t fail her by ruling things out. Don’t put unnecessary impediments or barriers on your marriage. Married life is like a dance, it works best if both parties move together as one. If your wife takes the time to tell you about her dreams and goals – listen and then start working to make them happen. Learn to take a hint, and act on it.  Where such is feasible it is an opportunity for you to grow together – find joy in it. Service to your wife does not have to be a sacrifice – it can be a source of unending joy and discovery for both of you. Don’t fail to make sure your wife knows that there is nothing she can accomplish outside marriage that cannot be accomplished within marriage more easily. Don’t fail to support and work towards her goals as well – after all you expect her to work towards and support yours.

Intimacy is always of paramount importance – I cannot stress this enough. It is through intimacy that the bond between man and woman is strengthened and maintained. Sexual relations are a byproduct of intimacy, not the other way around.  So many marriages suffer from unresolved sexual issues because people refuse to communicate. Do not assume you are “doing it right” – even after years of marriage. Do not ask for a critique of your performance. Instead, do ask your wife what would please her – and then follow her guidance exactly and without hesitation. Too often women are shortchanged here because they are making a sacrifice to protect their husbands ego and self-image. Frustration builds over time, never deny her the marital embrace and accompanying intimacy – ignoring her or refusing her is a rejection. Rejection destroys intimacy at the root.. Give her the opportunity to protect your self-esteem, your marriage, and have her needs met by opening lines of communication. You may find yourself surprised at the changes in your experience when you stop worrying about yourself and focus every fiber of your being on pleasing her. You may also be astounded by the levels of intimacy that can be achieved when she does not feel sex is a sacrifice or worse that she is being used as a repository for your sexual angst. It is that intimacy that will keep your bond both sealed and renewed.

Pax Christi,

Colin

How Americans have Failed the Church – and our Children

19 Apr

Buddy_christ

You know, I keep hearing people arguing about the Church losing a whole generation because it was focused on moral issues out of tune with society and not focused on serving as the public demanded, and ignoring their lesser sins to keep people interested.

Crap – Total crap. When we lose young people it is because we have failed to instill proper moral and ethical values through religious education. When we waffle on issues of doctrine and faith, how can we expect them to hold firm? When we embrace with open arms and acceptance that which is antithetical to our faith and tell them it is good and must be accepted outside the Church, but inside the Church say something else – our faith loses both credibility and moral authority. We are losing because we do not follow our own faith except on Easter and Christmas. Our children do not go to church because we do not. They do not share Catholic Values when their parents and peers do not. They divorce because they came from broken homes and that’s what their parents did – you can fool yourself but the statistics are clear that children of broken homes are far more likely to end up divorced. If you don’t have an annulment don’t remarry. All of these kids rejecting the Church means more than a few Parents are failing to instill not just the values, but display an open example of faith for their children. When we don’t properly Cathechize our children we make them easy pickings for those who would talk them out of their faith with lies and misconceptions. When we ignore our faith – they see it. When we place God first in all things they see that too. America must accept that God has not failed us, nor has the Church failed us – WE FAILED THEM. Stop passing the blame to others, address the issue penitently and start LIVING OUR FAITH IN OUR DAILY LIVES!

Pax Christi,

-Colin

Father Charles’ Reflections

14 Apr

Compline – A Reflection on a major problem in the contemporary Church: “Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments.”A major problem in the Church today is the profusion of people who, with neither study nor formation, presume expertise in theological, liturgical, and miscellaneous Church matters. We read one or two blogs on the internet and we presume on having a better understanding of the Church and spiritual matters than the Pope. Everybody has an opinion on how best to govern the Church; on what the liturgy should be or not. At a recent committee meeting someone even suggested that we should include catechumens and first communicants among those whose feet are to be washed on Holy Thursday. But in the Roman Missal it is clearly stated that “MEN” should be invited. In celebrating the liturgy, we priests are bound to do what is typed in red in the Roman Missal and say what is in black; the laity is expected to participate actively, reverentially and prayerfully. Any other thing becomes an innovation or distraction. Today, many Catholics seem to forget that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not utilitarian; it is not a Church of opinion polls. Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments. If we fail to attain this purpose then we have truly failed in life, and it would be better that we were never born. And the Lord in His perfect wisdom, and knowing the brokenness of man, has made is such that the efficacy of the sacraments is not affected by the sinfulness of the minister. So we have no reason to fail.

3/30/2014 Kathryn Update (By popular Request)

7 Apr

I have had a large number of requests for further updates on Kathryn’s status. She is still in my prayers every day. She remains extremely ill and requires a bone marrow transplant from her youngest sister who is a compatible donor. The Gardeners and her doctors are getting her ready for that. The local community is also sponsoring fundraisers and events to try to help offset the crushing medical bills. You can follow it all on Facebook in near real time here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/GForcePage/

Please keep her in your prayers – and join the group on Facebook to show your support (as well as see updates in real time)

Pax Christi,

Colin

** 3.30.14 ++++ MEDICAL UPDATE ++++

This past week has been a little rough for Kathryn. Since they are slowly taking her off of the steroids, she is feeling her body more and more. She is experiencing headaches, and all over body aches so much so that she switched beds with one of her sisters in attempts to get some sleep. That did not work. She is just feeling cruddy.

On Thursday, she received the 3rd of 5 shots of the new chemotherapy. Blood results showed that her Ferritin is back up to 540 but they were told that it may fluctuate some weeks. The blood results from Karlie have not come in yet.

On April 2, Kathryn will have to have 4 baby teeth pulled. Since dental work can pose a bacterial risk, they were waiting for her medical doctor to give her dentist approval for the extractions.

At a recent doctor’s check for Kathy, she was diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (HBP). She was given medicine and told to change her eating habits. She is supposed to record her pressure daily and go in for a followup appointment in 2 weeks. She told me that even on medication her daily pressure is 150 over 100. Unfortunately, caregivers all over are so frazzled, they forget to take care of themselves and this sort of thing can happen. Her eldest daughter, Kassidy who is an EMT, will be taking her pressure daily.

Starting in April, the Gardner’s will NOT need meals for Monday’s and Thursday’s because Kathy and Kathryn will be in the hospital for the bone marrow transplant. What they need during this time will be meals that can be frozen. Meals like Chili, Lasagna, Meatballs, Roast, Beef/Chicken Enchiladas, any type of casserole. Anything that can be defrosted and popped into the oven quickly. Again contact Marianne Bell the food coordinator @ 985-285-5359, if you can help in this area.

Kathy and Kyle have been Eucharistic Adorers for over 20 years. Kyle sits with Jesus every Friday morning from 3am to 4am. and Kathy sits every Saturday from 3am to 4am. While in the hospital with Kathryn, Kathy would like to have someone take her Saturday hour. The weeks we need covered are April 26, May 3, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28. (9 weeks).

Please contact me if you can cover her adoration hour during this 9 week time frame. My cell is 985.502.6412.

Ideally Kathy would like 1 person to cover the first half of the 9 weeks then a second person to cover the last half. We are hoping that Kathryn will be home by the end of June and Kathy will be able to return to adoration then.

I hope that everyone is getting the word out about our big Dinner/Comedy Night on April 25 and 26 at St. Margaret Mary. It’s going to be a wonderful event and I can’t wait to meet all of you. Tickets go on sale April 1, and the G-Force T-shirts should be arriving by the end of this week.

Husbands Love Your Wives…

7 Apr

ephesians

This seems to be a serious issue in marital relationships.  Lets be honest for  a moment. I have gotten dozens of emails over the last few months about this particular issue and a shocking number of personal inquiries, especially over the last few months on the subject of husbands denying wives intimacy. Not exactly what you might expect to hear – but the complaints against husbands are running 5 to 1 or so over complaints about wives withholding intimacy.

Lets put the locker room talk and jocular speech on hold. Let’s not pretend this isn’t happening, or that it is not embarrassing for the men involved. Both are true, and both are deeply hurting marriages. I will explain. Embarrassment over an inability to perform due to any variety of valid reasons, is the leading cause of the rejection of intimacy. The sad side effect is that it also is something men don’t want to discuss even with their wives or doctors. As was so aptly put in the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here, is a failure to communicate”. Seriously,  secrets are bad for marriages. Anything which affects you is your wife’s business, especially when it affects her too.

She cannot nurture, comfort, or help you if she does not understand what is wrong or what is going on – nor can she help. In all fairness, there may be nothing more she can do than hold your hand – but let her at least do that. Do not dismiss her and ignore her ever. Such a course of action simply leaves her mind reeling with possibilities (none of them good) for why you are suddenly detaching yourself from marital intimacy. Marital Intimacy is not just sex! It is holding hands, displays of affection, cuddling, touching – not necessarily involving coitus. To deny your wife all these things because you are for some reason incapable on the action you consider the “Big One” is deadly sin in a selfish wrapper. Marital intimacy is not about you, or your groin. It’s about sharing and being close to each other, touching, caressing, and in general emotionally, physically, and spiritually bonding.

In short – you need to take care of your wife both physically and emotionally, intimacy is critical to marriage. Carefully explain the issue(s). Work through what you can. Work around what you cannot work through, and tackle the problem as partners like God intended. Your wife cannot support you if you do not tell her where to raise you up! Stop and think for just a moment how you would feel if she suddenly refused you for weeks on or months on end, gave you the silent treatment, and offered no real explanation? Now be honest with yourself, and tell me that you would intentionally inflict such hurt into your marriage as actions like that cause. If you do not already do it – I strongly urge you to consider prayer together. A strong marital bond requires physical, spiritual, and emotional intimacy. Husbands, even if it is just holding her hand and saying responses as your wife leads a rosary, or for the more adventurous – a recitation of the wedding night prayers from Tobit. Keep spirituality in your marital intimacy. Personally, I keep a crucifix up in the bedroom as a reminder never to act or not to act towards my wife in a manner that I would be ashamed for Christ to witness. Remember, God is always watching.

Wives – the reverse applies to you as well. Men tend to react very quickly and negatively to a sudden disconnect in emotional and physical intimacy. Communicate if accommodations for some issue are necessary – allow them to be part of the solution and not yet another problem.

Pax Christi,

Colin

Hey gay rights militants: your fascism is showing

6 Apr

Colin Corcoran:

You know – I’ve been thinking this for a long time. I just did a blog post on Standing Tall and being Unashamed or Apologetic about the Catholic Faith. This is a great piece as well. Matt Walsh really nails it (as usual).

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

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Dear gay rights militants, dear progressive tyrants, dear liberal fascists, dear haters of free speech, dear crusaders for ideological conformity, dear left wing bullies:

You will lose.

I know you’ve got legions of sycophants kowtowing to you these days, and the rest you’ve set out to destroy — but you will lose.

So, you’ve tracked another dissident and skinned him alive. You’ve made an example of Brendan Eich, and now you dance joyously around his disemboweled carcass. You have his head on a spike, and you consider this a conquest in your eternal crusade to eradicate diversity and punish differing opinions. You launched your millionth campaign of intimidation, and now another good man has been dragged through the mud, to the sounds of taunting and jeering and death threats.

You found out that the CEO of Mozilla gave a few dollars to support a pro-traditional marriage ballot measure several…

View original 1,108 more words

Quit Apologizing for the Catholic Faith

6 Apr

CATHOLIC AND NOT AFRAIDI have been watching events unfold in more than one arena inside the Catholic Faith. Too often we have allowed ourselves to be bullied into apologizing for our Doctrine on issues of faith and morals. Things like the prohibition on Gay Marriage, the belief the homosexual sex is intrinsically evil and a mortal sin, remarriage without an annulment leaving people doomed for the unrepentant and willful mortal sin of adultery. Need I really go on?

People try to engage Catholics in debate about doctrinal and dogmatic issues like abortion or birth control, or some aspect of the Mass. Even though science and history support our Doctrine the faithful mistakenly think that their position needs to be justified to those outside the faith with some rational explanation. It does not. When that fails, either the name calling or the demanding of an apology begins. Don’t even go there!

Don’t ever apologize for the faith. Don’t allow people to blame the actions of a few bad priests on the theology and doctrine of the Church – you are dealing with criminal actions by individuals and not a matter of faith, morals, or dogma which has caused their criminal behaviour -rather a lack of those things is at the problems root. Don’t apologize because remarried people without annulments are offended because they cannot partake of the sacraments. They freely chose to remarry, in willful defiance of the Church Christ founded. Why should anyone apologize for another person’s sin? Pushing their guilt onto you and “making you the bad person” for not telling them it is A-OK to willfully be in mortal sin. To  just pretend like they are any other couple, is NOT OK.

Next we hear the compassion argument – we must show compassion. Jesus himself offered the rich man a place following him, but the man turned away. Did Jesus grab his shoulder and say wait a minute – you can keep all you money and things and it will be just the same, come on. No he did not – he watched the man make his choice and walk away. We have a society today addicted to sin. Just as they people are addicted to any combination of drugs and alcohol. Their sin like the other addictions. It brings them pleasure and the removal of it will cause them discomfort. Would you ever think that providing an alcoholic, puking and dirty in the gutter begging for money and booze, with another fifth of liquor was an act of compassion? I wouldn’t either. Would you give a heroin addict in withdrawals in an alley a big bag of heroin and call it compassion? I wouldn’t either. Such things are not what they need, in fact – they are just exactly what they do not need.

Then why on earth would you give a person in willful mortal sin a pass either – the compassionate thing to do is to save their immortal soul, not to pander to their feelings. Never say you’re sorry that the Church’s belief is “such and such”. Never acknowledge that there are special circumstances that make willful mortal sin OK. Never assume that someone’s suffering or discomfort because of the doctrine of the faith is truly assuaged by you demeaning the Church or the faith in an effort to make them feel better. In fact, when you do that you actually make it worse and just make the recovery harder. Love them support them and assist them in reconciling their sin with the Church – this is compassion that saves the soul. Telling them it’s OK, that their circumstances are special, or that “rules were made to be broken” – that is not an act of compassion, but the facilitation of evil, and I want no part of it.

Think about it -
Pray about it -
Act on it -

Pax Christi,

Colin

 

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