Dealing with Different Spiritualities
Being Catholic is spicy. It’s spicy because there isn’t only one way to be Catholic. In fact, there are countless ways to express and live your faith! We all have our own traditions and favorite methods of prayer. When you get married, you might find that your variety of Catholicism is different from your wife’s.
I consider myself a moderate Catholic. I’m serious about my faith, but I’m not super pro-Vatican II. I’m also not very charismatic. That puts me, as I see it, right in the middle of the road. My first experience with the charismatic movement was when I set foot on the campus of Franciscan University. It was a big shock, to say the least. To this day, I still have some difficulty understanding some parts of the movement. What I did come to figure out, in a practical way, was how each expression and devotion in our faith adds to the overall flavor of the Church.
I’m not sure where you’d put yourself, or where your wife may be. But I am sure that there is a chance that your wife will have been raised differently from you. I’ve figured out a thing or two about how to deal with differences in spiritualities.
- Realize that there is no “right way.” As long as an expression of faith is in union with the Magisterium, it’s usually good to go. The Church herself recognizes that the depth of faith is unimaginable. That’s part of the reason why She is so lenient on private revelation.
- Recognize that spirituality is a component of her. I’m a pretty regimented guy, so I like for prayer to be structured, at certain points during the day. Alison is a bit more free-spirited. It’s unfair of me to expect her to change who she is to fit into a certain prayer regimen. If she is more free-flowing in her daily life, I should’t expect her to be highly structured in her prayer life.
- Be open to new experiences. Faith, like relationships, go through seasons. There will be great springtimes when you have an almost retreat-like high. There will be dark and cold winters when you wonder what you’re doing. Finding a fresh new avenue can bring the spark back into your relationship with God.
We have a lot to learn from each other, and the Spirit moves people in different ways. You never know, you might just like moving in a new direction!