Monday, August 11, 2008
People always want to know where in the world celibate clergy and religious get off giving people advice on love and marriage. I can't say I blame them. I certainly have no desire to give advice on love and marriage.
That said, it's not as though I know absolutely nothing about it. I'll admit there must be plenty I don't know. But I do live on the planet, I read, I see movies, I know a few people, some who are successful in love and others who are not.
And I have one big advantage from my side of the fence: total objectivity. Well, almost total. I do live on the planet, know people and have opinions.
Dear Sister Mary Martha, OK, I got the Novena stuff down...almost. Here are some questions for you on a similar matter (that's the closest thing to a seguey I can get): Like an idiot, I have fallen for my best friend (opposite sex). I want marry him. He knew this at some point, but seems to have forgotten it and we remain friend-like. I have been praying on this a lot, to/for the following: *That God will re-create his heart. *Heal his mind body and soul (he'd be more disposed to a relationship with me if he could get his health in order). *That I will be able to accept God's will (though I have NO IDEA how I'm going to know what that is). *That Mary our Mother will take an active role in match-making (MY mom would if she were alive--at least kick down with some comforting words and carrot cake). *St. Joseph for meaningful employment for the two of us and his obvious family ties. *St Ann because she must have had something to do with Mary and Joseph getting together. *Sts Jude, Francis and Anthony because we have always been close and their reps for coming through with difficult cases. *The Holy Spirit for guidance and clarity on the situation. *PadrePio because he loves families so much and we both come from very loving homes. The questions? Am I praying against myself? When does it cross over into superstition? When is it "perseverance" to keep praying and prudence to stop? Did I miss any Patrons who are known to help out 40 year old teenagers? Sorry this is so long--I've been trying to sort this out through my prayers and still don't feel like I'm any closer to an answer. Thank you in advance for your help! Regards, M
I just want to know, before we talk about this, is there something wrong with him? By that I mean, he's never dated anybody in his whole life, he won't leave his sainted mother's side, he's so shy he can never assert himself or speak up for himself, that sort of thing?
Because if he's just one of those people who stumbles cluelessly through life, unable to take charge of want he needs or wants, I'd say stop praying and state your case.
But if he's a relatively normal man (who is normal, after all?) then I think you are praying for the wrong person. It seems to me that you are praying for this person to completely change, when the truth is, he either gets it already and he just doesn't want to marry you, or he doesn't get it at all and you are going to have to tell him. You should be praying for yourself to find your nerve to talk with him about it, or move on.
Between Padre Pio, St. Jude, St. Ann, St. Joseph, St. Francis and St. Anthony, you've become a prayer stalker. That is you are stalking this poor man through prayer. Next you'll be driving by his house day and night with your novenas in one hand and a rosary in the other.
I love a good novena, but it seems to me you are just throwing all the spaghetti against the wall and hope that some of it sticks. Did you know that is an excellent way to find out if spaghetti noodles are done? Throw one noodle against the wall and if it sticks up there it's done. Be sure and take it back off again or before long you'll have the city map of Houston up there. Did you ever see a city map of Houston? It looks like someone threw a pot of spaghetti against the wall and it was all done.
You seem to know what's what here, referring to yourself as a forty year old teenager. I wish I had some carrot cake for you.
Here's my advice. Tell him you are in love with him and want to marry him. If he says he can't because he is in ill health and has no job, ask him if he is in love with you and wants to marry you. Is the old nun missing something here? Why is this not an option? If two adults can't do that, then I suppose you really do have to find one more patron saint, Maria Goretti the patron saint of teens.
And depending on his answer, either St. Elizabeth of Hungary, patron saint of a happy marriage or St. John the Baptist, patron saint of a clean slate.