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A Mother’s Prayer

My wife is my godmother. On the day of my baptism, my wife stood by me as my sponsor, holding our newest baby girl in her arms. But more than that, she helped lead me to the Catholic Church, nurturing my desire for faith, and preparing me to receive the gift of rebirth. It was a shared journey—one to become a child again, and the other to become godmother to her husband.

I never thought I would become Catholic. I was raised without any religion or faith, and though I longed for it, I also expected to remain outside, “on the border of things,” as Jordan Peterson put it. But my wife saw my passionate love and desire for truth and believed I would eventually find my way into the Church. The challenge for her was that, despite her trust in my eventual conversion, she did not know when it would take place. She could only walk in faith, as I searched for mine.

Because I was an unbaptized non-believer, our “disparity of cult” marriage needed a special dispensation from the Church, and this gave my wife an additional solemn responsibility—to help me find my way to heaven. I was to be “consecrated” or “sanctified” through her (1 Cor. 7:14). In some mysterious way, she would bear some of the burden for both of our souls, for it was her faith that would “set me apart” for the sacred. It was her witness that would serve as the principal example of what it meant to be Catholic, and it was her prayers that would prepare me to freely receive the grace of conversion. And while she shared the beauty and richness of the Church’s teachings with me, she also patiently believed in God’s time. Faith is God’s gift, and it does not happen on our timetable. She trusted that God would lead me to the truth, and trusted that I would follow where truth led me.

Her prayers were answered in the most unexpected way for both of us. I received an irresistible call from the Blessed Virgin Mary to join the Church. As I was struggling with an ailment that my wife was unaware of, I felt moved to pray to Mary for some relief. That same day, unbeknownst to me, my wife went to our parish, and for the first time in her life, she lit a prayer candle to Mary to show me a sign. When I returned home from work that night, my wife and I shared equal astonishment when the ailment was suddenly gone. It is fitting that Mary would intercede on behalf of a mother’s prayer, especially a prayer for her children to be raised by a faithful father. And it is fitting that two mothers would lead me to the Church and enable my wife to fulfill her other “motherly” role—to help give birth to my faith.

Read more at First Things 

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