April 23, 2014

Regina Magazine: When God Hated Susan

Leaving aside any comment about divorce/annulment/relationships, this article clearly states what Catholic spouses willingly do to themselves when Catholic "rules" are not followed - whether its for fixing troubled marriages or getting remarried out of the Church - and how warped, confused and truly alone they really are, as evidenced by this woman's journey. 

But mainly, it is a humbling example of the power of Grace, recognizing it as such and the affect it has when one accepts the Gift being offered. 

This is just an excerpt, but click the link at the end for the full article at Regina Magazine, itself an excellent Catholic media and one I highly recommend to all. 



July 31, 2013

When God Hated Susan

They are that rare bird, English Catholics. Susan’s mother had insisted on the church wedding to her first husband. Her mum wanted to ‘make things respectable.’  As far as Susan was concerned no amount of respectability could make her stay  with her partying, abusive ex-husband. He was in the Queen’s Arms in Coles End, utterly stoned, while she was in court for the divorce.
Jim was nothing like her ex, though. He was a tall, dark and handsome civil engineer, well-paid by the local council.  And at 29, Susan was still a charmer — small, lithe and filled with fun. Her eyes danced with mischief, and the rollicking good humor of her Irish ancestors. After a quick wedding with a hired preacher in a hotel (“We don’t need to be paying the Church any money for one of their divorces,” Jim had said) they settled in an ‘upper middle-class’ suburb of Birmingham.
She couldn’t get pregnant right away after all those years on the Pill, so she’d endured a year of intensive hormone ‘therapy.’ Two births quickly followed, a boy and a girl. She promptly commenced to take the Pill again afterwards, reasoning that there was no sense in endangering their financial well-being. Plus, Jim showed signs of impatience with the strain of caring for two little babies.
She spent the next few years blissfully caring for their family. But by the time the children were in their early teens, Susan knew there was trouble. First there was the porn she found on his computer, then the pay-for-sex telephone numbers on the bill. Confronted, Jim broke down and sobbed. He was a ‘sex addict,’ he said.
Susan knew there was trouble. First there was the porn she found on his computer, then the pay-for-sex telephone numbers on the bill.
Things didn’t get any better when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40. Shortly after her course of radiation was complete, Jim was arrested for the first time. A ‘sting’ operation had swept him up, along with dozens of other hapless men, in a porn-and-prostitution ring. As it was Jim’s first offense, he was let go with a stern warning. But the illness and the arrest had taken its toll on Susan; she slept in a separate room, and prayed that the nightmare would go away.
It was not to be. Over the next ten years, the internet sex business exploded. The third time Jim was arrested, the police came to the house. He was led away before the incredulous eyes of his 19 year old son and 17 year old daughter. This time, the judge was not so lenient. Jim had progressed further in the sex business, going from consumer to procurer, hustling girls younger than his own daughter for paying clients.  He was convicted on seven felony counts of human trafficking, and sentenced to a minimum of twenty years in prison.
The judge gave Susan control over their finances, which helped them survive. Without marketable skills, she was reduced to stocking shelves in the local Boots pharmacy, at L4.92 (US$7.48) an hour. Their house was put up for sale.
Her son’s fury and shame erupted on the football field one day, and he was beaten quite badly in a melee sparked by his attack on an opposition team player. As he lay unconscious, Susan found herself sobbing uncontrollably in the ladies’ room at the local hospital, when the nun walked in.
Her son’s fury and shame erupted on the football field one day, and he was beaten quite badly in a melee sparked by his attack on an opposition team player.
There’s something about a sister in a habit, as any nun will tell you. People tell you their troubles – especially fallen-away Catholics in deep trouble.
Her excruciating story came out all in a rush. Through her tears, Susan wanted to know what she had done to deserve all this pain, she told the nun. Why did God hate her? She had wanted a family. Was that so bad? She had taken some shortcuts, okay. A marriage outside the Church. All that contraception. But what did the Church expect? That she be a baby-making machine? Jim would have never agreed to any of it, starting with the pre-Cana classes.
“That’s probably true,” Sister Mary Clare nodded, looking into Susan’s swollen red eyes. She handed her a Kleenex. “And then what would have happened?”
“If I-I followed what the Church said, I would have n-never married him.” Susan heard herself say it, as if in a dream. For a moment, she contemplated the truth of this. Her life would have been completely different, had she followed the rules.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are welcome, just keep them civil and within Catholic Charity. Any comments made assume permission is granted for re-posting. I and Blogger determine what is spam or otherwise not fit to be published here and will act accordingly. Differences of opinion are welcomed; emotional only arguments are not. Corrections willingly accepted of anything I post, especially if contrary to Catholic doctrine.