Choose to be Misunderstood

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Prayer, Society, Spirituality

When we choose to live our faith, we choose to be misunderstood.

A few weeks ago, my older sister entered into one of the rarest vocations in the Catholic Church: consecrated virginity. She has discerned this vocation for the better part of fifteen years, and has actively prepared for her consecration for two. Although my family has known this would happen for years, we were unclear on why she chose this path. Then the priest delivering the homily summed it up perfectly: living our faith means we choose to be misunderstood.

1 Corinthians 34.

The second reading at her consecration Mass described her unique vocation. St. Paul cautioned the Christians to direct their lives toward God, not towards the world. “The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord. That she may be holy both in body and spirit. But one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.”

Listening to this reading while juggling my two children struck a chord with me. I am, inevitably, often more concerned with the world than with God. How many Masses do most parents spend tending to their children rather than their souls? Do we go to confession or adoration nearly as much as we did before children? Even aside from what happens in the church, how many of us struggle to explain our choices of marriage and parenthood?

I’ve had two children less than two years apart within three years of marriage. I can attest our choices are often questioned. My husband and my choices have been questioned since we got engaged. Why don’t you live together? How are you getting married so fast (three years of dating and nine months of engagement is apparently fast)? Are you just planning to have fifteen kids if you don’t believe in contraception? All questions I was asked when this ring landed on my finger. Now that we have one boy and one girl, I know it’s all downhill from here. Every child we have will be misunderstood in the eyes of the world.

We have to choose to be misunderstood and turn ourselves to the Lord.

My sister will spend a lifetime answering questions so few will understand. Why does she wear a wedding ring? How real is her marriage to Christ? Can she really live forever without sex? I will spend my life being asked how I can live without birth control. How I can bear having the children I pray I am blessed with. Every couple, every person, who lives for the Lord will live misunderstood. We cannot be concerned with the world. The only way to live our faith is to live concerned for God. We must choose to be misunderstood.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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