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Richard G. Malloy, SJ Answers:
Maybe it would help to ponder the famous saying of St. Francis: “Preach the Gospel always. Sometimes use words.”
We religious people can sometimes fall into the temptation of running ahead of the grace of God. Try and remember that God is involved in all this. It’s understandable that you want your husband to find the peace and power, the joy and justice, the life and love, that you have found by attending church. Still, you have to let God get to your husband’s mind and heart. Pray to know what God would have you do to help God reach your husband. Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, not only our efforts. But don’t be afraid to gently challenge your husband. You want to invite, but not nag, your husband to join you in church.
Read Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, the story of Louie Zamperini. A 1936 Olympic runner, a World War II prisoner of war who suffered horrifically at the hands of a sadistic Japanese captor, Louie is a man who triumphed over the horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome with the support of the love and commitment of Cynthia, his wife. She sustained Louie as he struggled with self-destructive dynamics and abuse of alcohol as he strained to recover from having lived through the horrors of WWII in the Pacific.
In 1949, Cynthia dragged a resistant Louie to a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles. Something happened there that turned Louie’s mind and heart and soul upside down and inside out. As he answered Graham’s altar call, he experienced being back on the raft in the Pacific, and remembered a prayer he had lifted heavenward: “If you will save me, I will serve you forever” (Hillenbrand, 2010, p, 375). After the powerful experience of the Holy Spirit at Graham’s crusade, Louie immediately quit drinking and his life resurrected. Louie’s conversion is particularly notable for the manner in which he eventually came to forgive his persecutors.