Abandoned Spouses that are Separated Faithful are More Prepared
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On March 17, 2020
My list to practice “Jesus I Trust in You”
by Bai Macfarlane
With all the activity surrounding the Coronavirus National Emergency, it has occurred to me that I am more prepared emotionally than I would have been prior to undergoing marital abandonment and forced no-fault divorce.
Prior to being abandoned by my spouse, our life seemed, pretty much, under control. We had savings, a home mortgage and a growing family. We could plan a family vacation months in advance. We could plan to relocate, switch jobs, or enroll children in various activities with no reason to question our ability to undertake these tasks. We could jointly decide what rules to have in our home for which we could follow through. It all sounds pretty normal.
After being an abandoned spouse, everything turned upside down. A newly-forced single parent typically has to straddle raising children who go back and forth between two households. When one only has their children for a mid-week visit, those natural conversations and follow-ups the next morning after serious issue arise, are impossible. Say good-bye to any ability to really follow-up on discipline, or hold children accountable to doing chores. Furthermore, after divorce lawyers take tens of thousands of dollars, say good-bye to savings and financial security. After having all the marital property split, know one’s standard of living just went down 50%. You get the picture.
So, how does one deal with this? I think one either has a mental breakdown, or one learns to “play new keys on his piano” as a wise priest told me. When a new abandoned spouse contacts me at Mary’s Advocates, I typically show them writings about complete surrender to God. With the non-profit organization, Mary’s Advocates, I work to reduce unilateral no-fault divorce, and support those who are unjustly abandoned. We practice “Jesus I trust in you.” So many securities that we knew in our previous lives were ripped out from under us, that we get accustomed to having to simply do the best that we can with the information in front of us and the options available to us. Everyone bracing for the Coronavirus is having to do the same and they may not have as much practice as my separated-faithful friends.
Here’s my list to practice “Jesus I Trust in You”:
- One of my favorite recommendations for separated faithful is the Novena to Surrender to the Will of God, by Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo.
- For a lengthier discussion of the same attitude read, “Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart” by Fr. Jacques Philippe.
- For an exciting story of a priest who grew to have the same attitude, read “He Leadeth Me: An Extraordinary Testament of Faith”, by Walter J. Ciszek. I loved it and his conclusion is that wherever we are is God’s will for us right now. We are to be Jesus’ presence to those whom only we can come in contact. The author was in prison camps.
- Because we are upholding marriage, another recommended long read is St. Thomas More’s A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation, available on PDF here, or Amazon books and free audio from Catholic Audio books.