Mary Kearney tells how she experienced God in the difficulties she had in her marriage. As a young married woman I was a routine Catholic, until, in my thirties, I realised that, one day, I would meet my Maker. And I was far from prepared for it. I had umpteen questions about my faith, and […]Mary Kearney tells how she experienced God in the difficulties she had in her marriage.
As a young married woman I was a routine Catholic, until, in my thirties, I realised that, one day, I would meet my Maker. And I was far from prepared for it. I had umpteen questions about my faith, and only a child’s understanding of it. Luckily, a retired priest took me under his wing and straightened out my quite skewed version of Church doctrine, Sacraments, prayer etc.
It was as if a switch had suddenly clicked and shed light on my confusion. Up to this I had only a few pieces of the jigsaw; now, with all the pieces in place, God’s plan for us became clearer.
As my faith was deepening, my husband’s, unfortunately, was going in the opposite direction. Caught up in the rat race, living the high life, God got pushed further and further away until eventually he stopped receiving the Sacraments altogether. For about 3 years our relationship was very strained.
Trouble piled upon trouble at his work. He was drinking heavily; his moods were invariably dark and angry; he had financial and health problems. Both his parents died. Our children were unsettled after moving house and school. He talked about us getting separated.
During this time I stormed Heaven with prayers, Masses and novenas, but God seemed to be asleep. After the death of my own mother, I poured out my troubles to a priest. He told me that my prayers had not disappeared into a vacuum and that in God’s own time he would answer them.
But I had had enough. I sat down one day with my husband, ready to ask him when he was going to leave. To my amazement I found myself asking him if we could try to fix up our marriage. He agreed!
The very next day, as he was leaving for work, he kissed me and told me that he loved me. And quite literally we have not looked back since. I am quite convinced that what took place since then is a miracle.
My husband’s kind and gentle ways returned almost straight away. He cut back drastically on his drinking. He was happy to stay at home more often and be with his family. His business picked up.
Within a few months he was back receiving the sacraments. His attitude towards the Church, which had been scathing for the most part, now changed to one of listening and trying to understand. He started to read the occasional bit of Catholic literature. He took up voluntary charitable work and recently attended classes in adult Faith Development.
All of this was without any encouragement from me. I just stood back and watched the miracle happen.
I have learned so much from this experience – patience and trust in God are two of them. But the greatest lesson I learned is God’s goodness. He has given me so much more than I could have ever dreamed in answer to my prayers. For this He gets my heartfelt gratitude as the miracle continues.
by Mary Kearney | mother of three children
[Courtesy Alive Paper]