01 August 2011

I had never considered this until a regular reader mentioned it in a comment, and, frankly, I don't think I've a large enough readership for it to make a difference, but, considering your hostess has fallen on rather thorny financial times, I didn't think it would hurt to add a Paypal Donate button to my right-hand sidebar.

As my readers know, some years ago, when I had my first child, I forsook the prestige and profit of law firm life to stay home and raise her. I'm now expecting baby #4 this Fall, and, in spite of the limited income, I would not have changed my decision for the world. I've been fortunate enough to find some part-time work online, but the spotty income it brings has forced me to the difficult decision of having to return to part-time work outside the home--employ I am in the process of now seeking.

Although I'm not one to post personal information in public, I will add that I was forced to brave some rather rough waters some months ago when I found out (during Lent, appropriately enough) that my 11-year marriage is sacramentally invalid. Back when I was a lapsed Catholic, I married a Protestant in a Protestant ceremony, without the required dispensation from the bishop. That ipso facto makes the marriage null and void on its face. When I returned to the Church, no one ever raised the possibility of impediments to marriage, and it was something that I, as a revert unschooled in the faith, never even thought about. When I began thinking about it, I assumed that our marriage had been properly convalidated at a marriage retreat we had taken in 2003, where the priest had had all the couples repeat their vows, after which he gave us a blessing.

I discovered in March that this was not a proper convalidation according to canon law, and therefore our marriage remains null and void.

Convalidation is a simple enough process, taking all of fifteen minutes. It simply requires going before a priest in a Catholic church, saying vows in front of two witnesses, and receiving his blessing. In our case, however, things are not so simple. After lengthy converse with my parish priest, it was agreed that--because of numerous serious, ongoing issues--convalidation at this point is out of the question. And, if I am completely frank, it's more likely than not that it will forever be out of the question. That has all sorts of implications no wife and mother would like to face--but face them I must.

This post probably raises more questions than it answers, but suffice it to say, the situation is far from ideal. The uncertainty that looms before me is, I admit, frightening. It is a test of faith. But when I find myself faltering, I say with King Solomon, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Prov. 3:5

I would very much appreciate your prayers.