'Doing Our Own Thing' Wasn't the Way

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By Judy Sieren

My husband, Gary, and I have a strong devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Even though we've had our ups and downs, our 43 years of a happy marriage is due to her intercession. Shortly after we were married in 1965, a woman told me about the events in Fatima. We were both interested in the messages, but I didn't start applying them to my life until difficulties arose in our marriage around 1969-70.

The 1960s were the beginning of the "me society" when everyone became focused on self-gratification. Gary and I adopted the attitude that we could be married and still do our own thing. It was destroying our marriage. We grew distant and I resented him "doing his own thing." Though I prayed daily, I never asked God to handle the situation. I just did what I wanted.

As I learned more about Our Lady's messages at Fatima, my prayer revealed that I needed to change. God laid on my heart that I needed to be obedient to my husband. I understood that the husband and wife are equal, but the wife should be submissive enough for him to be the leader.

I had to let go of wanting to be first. My hardness of heart prevented me from seeing my own sins. I rationalized that if everyone else is "doing it," then how can it be wrong? I needed to take responsibility for my sins and actions. Only through God's grace was I changed.

I was like a sponge reading all I could on what the Church offered especially about Divine Mercy and Fatima. Our Lady kept responding with many graces. Over time, I discovered I was no longer centered on worldly things or my own desires. Mary taught me to lead a more prayerful life, to turn to God for everything. This new disposition led me to find joy in everything. I became peaceful and happy.

However, it took about five to six years for the graces to touch Gary's heart. I noticed Gary changing after we enthroned the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our home. Eventually, we went to a Marriage Encounter group where Gary and I learned to listen to each other. Through Our Lady's intercession, we learned to do everything out of love for each other and for Jesus. Mary taught us humility. Now we try to give ourselves for the salvation of each other's soul.

I only share this story in the hope that it will help someone else in their marriage. Our Lady's graces are there for the asking. I think of the Miraculous Medal, where Mary told St. Catherine Laboure about the rings on her fingers. The brilliant ones represented graces available for those who ask. The dark ones represented graces that were wasted, because no one asked for them. Mary and her Son want us to ask. So I encourage others to ask too.

Judy Sieren lives in Washington, Iowa.

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Brendan - Feb 9, 2009

Priests need to be very, very careful when they tell women to be "more submissive" to their husband when the marriage appears to be on the rocks. It is the man that needs to get on his knees and start vigorously praying, prudently fasting, and entering into an intense sacramental life. Women are generally doing their part. It is men who are often utterly failing to be real men of prayer and self-sacrifice, addicted to every peversity, and priests should lay down the law with men and tell them to shape up or risk being shipped out to hell. Men need to start acting like men after God's own Heart.

Mary - Sep 5, 2008

Dearest Sherrie,
My heart aches for you! But God loves it when we come to him on our knees, in distress. Please do 2 things: 1. Tell Jesus and Mary that you want and need them and make time ever day to sit quietly and listen for them in your heart. 2. Call the Intercessory Prayer Line on Eden Hill and someone will help you to pray. They will pray with you. The number is 1-800-804-3823.

Sherrie - Sep 4, 2008

Please someone help me. Teach me what you know. I dont know exactly how to pray so that I feel our mother and Lord hear me. I have so many things to share with them and ask for forgivness for me and my family. What I know about the Lord and his of his Mercy is what I've read or been told by others.I too have problems with my marriage.I feel very lost.

Jacinta - Jun 21, 2008

Dear Maureen,
pray the 911 = 9 Memoraries, 1 Rosary and 1 Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Try and make it so that you pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 o'clock, "the hour of great mercy for the whole world", as Jesus said.
The best thing you can do is to pray, TRUST in God, and fast on Fridays on bread and water. Mark 17,20: " But this kind [of demons] is not cast out but by prayer and fasting."
Best of luck!

canticle - Jun 14, 2008

Dear Maureen...if you e-mail me, I will try to get you some material to view on the subject of Spiritual Roots of various addictions, especially the ones you mentioned. A DVD lecture by Father John Corapi, comes to mind. I will see what I can do, his insight and advice will be helpful. NO charge to you, of course. I will also look at the radio broadcast archives from "Catholic Answers" and see if theres a program or two you might want to listen to, that may help your situation. If I may assist you in any way, please let me know. My prayers are with you and your husband. God bless you!


e-mail address canticleofthesun@yahoo.com

Mary - Jun 14, 2008

Dear Maureen,
You must be suffering terribly. I am so sorry.
Your husband is under the influence of Satan, and is in desperate need if healing and deliverance.
Have you talked with a priest about this? Find a priest who can teach you prayers of deliverance.
I will pray for you both. Our culture is so saturated with self-degradation! Jesus can and will heal and deliver him. As his wife, your prayers are so powerful and effective.
Honestly, I will be praying for you both!

maureen - Jun 13, 2008

What do you do about a husband who is into porn, drugs and alcohol and selfgratification? I did quite q bit of praying and was submissive, etc.