The Christian life is full of conversion. Whether it’s turning to God for the first time, or whether it’s the daily conversions we need to draw closer to the Lord, each of us needs to turn away from our sins and return to the Lord. But sometimes conversion is complicated. Maybe you are divorced and remarried without an annulment, and returning to the Church now could upend your family life. Or maybe you have sins from your past that make getting right with God more difficult.
This was the case for an anonymous listener who wrote in to The Patrick Madrid Show. He told Patrick his story of how he found out his fiance was pregnant, and moved in with her. He explained that listening to Relevant Radio® awakened his conscience to his need for conversion, but how can he get right with God when that would make life more difficult for his fiance? Patrick offered him the following advice:
First of all, your conscience is functioning properly. And that’s a great thing because you realize that you’ve been straying from the path that leads to eternal life. Jesus said the road is wide and many travel it that leads to perdition, to hell. And the gate is narrow and few find it that leads to eternal life. And He finishes by saying strive to enter by the narrow gate, and that’s what you’re doing. Maybe your striving hasn’t gotten into high gear yet, but you’re on the way.
You’re on the off-ramp now. That twelve-lane superhighway to hell that you’ve been on, a lot of people who wind up in heaven were on it, but they got off and they found the narrow gate. So I want to encourage you. Don’t get depressed, don’t get beaten down. You’re on the right path, you’re doing the right thing, you’re getting on the off-ramp. So let’s start there.
Get Right with God
Go to Confession. Make a good, sincere confession of all the sins. And remember, you don’t have to give the priest all the gory details. All he needs to know, all he wants to know, in the Confession with regard to your serious sins is number and kind. What kind of sin and how many times. … Don’t be afraid. The priest is there to help you. And he will give you absolution and, time-permitting, he can even give you some encouragement and advice on how you can proceed. So that would be the first step. Get back on track sacramentally.
You can fix this. It may mean you’re going to have to tighten your belt, it may mean you’re going to have to adjust your lifestyle. But if you really want to follow Jesus, then move out and don’t live under the same roof with her. Because as you said, you know the temptation to fall back into sin is too great. And it’s understandable. I’m sure she’s a lovely girl, and you love her, and she loves you. So just move yourself out of that near occasion of sin.
Don’t Delay in Making Things Right with Those You’ve Hurt
You and she love each other, you have a child coming, you’re committed to her, she’s committed to you, she’s coming into the Church, you’re both going to do the things that the Church asks of you in terms of preparation and all that. Then I would say once you’ve completed those requirements, get married. Get going and start building a life together under one roof where it’s mom, dad, and the baby. Give that child the kind of home life that he or she needs.
Because otherwise what will happen is if you defer your marriage unnecessarily then now she has a baby and you’re not there because you’re doing the right thing. You’re not there to support her. That child needs a daddy from day one.
Those are my thoughts, and I really encourage you to give that some thought. And I hope you find that helpful. I’d love to hear from you, maybe down the road if you want to call me and tell me how things played out. God bless you.