by Rita Davidson
In the movie, “It’s a wonderful life!” we are reminded how much our lives affect those around us. So frustrating life can be sometimes we don’t realize that not only are we accountable to God for our sins and actions but also, to a certain degree, those whose lives we affect by our lack of giving a good example.
In the true action of Christian charity we should always seek to act Catholic, at all times, to always be a good example to unseen eyes who may be watching. Sometimes this takes more courage than we have. It is then we must console ourselves with the thought that God has said with Him ‘all things are possible’. Surely, God will provide us with all the graces to live an authentic Catholic life, for this is His will too!
I came to see this more and more in my life as I was placed in positions, which because of my circumstances, I was persecuted for my Faith (although I know so many others who suffer worse than I do).
Years ago, when I got married I did not understand, how important a Catholic spouse was. So loving, very dearly, my husband; I got married to a non-Catholic. We did get married in the Church so at least we had a Sacramental marriage but I was not prepared for how I would need great courage if I was to succeed in keeping my Faith.
In the early years, as I grew in my Faith and it began to become the center of my life, I began to experience ridicule, anger and humiliation at times from my, well-meaning, husband. I had to become a great apologetic to be able to successfully answer the many pointed questions concerning my Faith.
I was determined to “win” as I realized this battle was one for my Faith and the Faith of my children and eventually the salvation of my husband. So began the great thirst for my Faith.
I devoured all that I could get my hands on; theology, catechisms and more. Having only a shell of a Catholic education growing up I had barely used a confessional or was taught what a rosary is, let alone how to say it.
As I slowly learned about the Faith, that was already mine, I realized the – Catholic education – I thought I had, was really just icing on the cake. And poor icing at that!!
So, I persevered. At first it was a battle to simply have a Catholic picture on the wall. I persevered and continued putting them up, while listening to arguments against it.
Then it was bringing the children to Sunday Mass. Another heated argument against it. I learned to pray and pray I did and I began to see small victories. As I prayed more and argued less – a BIG lesson here for all you! I seen more progress with my husband’s attitude.
There was always an argument on certain issues, like before a baptism or upcoming First Holy Communion. I could see the hand of Satan using my husband’s lack of Faith to scare me into giving up. I prayed and prayed some more – for courage, for grace. It was at this time St. Michael, became my best friend.
Much of the time when there was not much progress visible, something was said and I realized that all that time my husband was learning the Faith by osmosis- I live like a Catholic! We must be the best example we can be to bring someone to the faith!
The funny thing is, as he struggled to believe, without the gift of Faith. I could see that his soul recognized the most amazing things. For example, we now have Catholic picture’s throughout our home a victory? Yes, but my husband will argue against poor, irreverent artwork. Preferring the beauty of older, Traditional Catholic artwork. Funny isn’t it?
He also despised the unCatholic atmosphere of most Church’s with all the innovations. This lead us, by God’s grace, to the immemorial Traditional Latin Mass. There my husband recognizes so much reverence and beauty his soul cannot contain it all, without being covered in tears.
When we began to say the nightly rosary, we heard all kinds of humiliations and it took great courage for us to persevere. Now, my husband loves the smell of incense and asks to sit in the room to hear us pray.
My husband still searches sometimes, in a dark world, for a Faith that he has not yet been given and there are only glimmers of light that come through so agonizingly slow. But it seems that his soul recognizes true holiness even when his mind rebels.
He has a great reverence for good, holy Priests but recognizes lack of grace in others. As I watch him struggle, he is like a child coming to terms with God’s truths late in life. How many of us can relate to that?
I still struggle with opposition to my Faith at times but in another breath he thanks me for being such a good Catholic.
He once said to me, he never knew a Catholic as good as me. (God help me live up to such a claim).
You see all those Catholics around us are either a scandal or have either left the Faith! It is those people that I am most ashamed of because everyone looks at them and says, “That’s a Catholic?” With all the scandals in the Church today, is there any wonder that there is a growing hatred of the faith? Where are the holy, examples of a good practical Catholic today?
Where is my husband’s faith today? Well, he fasts with us on Fridays, observes holy days, tells the boys it’s time for the rosary, comes to Mass when we go and now works with me with Little Flowers Family Press. Is he all there yet? Well, it’s a work in progress and above all he is very patient with me too. 🙂
You see, our example is the most precious thing we can give to someone who you wish to become a Catholic. It takes courage to live our faith today. Our patience, our charity, our modesty all will win the hearts of those around us. So, next time your fervor impels you to correct someone on their faith. Think again, hold your tongue and pray with all your heart, mind and soul, for that person. Let God do the work. Our silence is more powerful than we could ever know.
May this bless you and give you hope today!
Share with me below, your successes in the faith!
©Copyright 1999-2013 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife and mother of seven children. Mark is her ever patient husband. She reverted back to the faith when her oldest was making her First Communion. By then, she had completed degrees in Hairdressing and Make up artistry. She went on to receive a degree in Natural Health and another degree in Art. At age 26, Rita suffered a minor stroke. With no lasting effects, this dramatically changed her outlook on life. In 1996, Rita began ‘Little Flowers Family Apostolates’ to reach out to other families with her new found faith, by creating unique Catholic books and resources.. In 1999, she wrote the bestselling, ‘Immodesty; Satan’s Virtue’. She was editor of ‘The Catholic Health Letter’ for 7 years. She has been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years, and has written for various magazines. She is honored that families have trusted her with their questions, needs and concerns over the years. She continues to write and reach out to Catholic families with her husband, Mark and their 4 boys through