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FIFY: Advice on Handling Money Worries, Facebook Insecurity and Finding One’s Place in Church

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Katrina Fernandez fixes your life

Katrina,

Let me ask you what you think about this — my fiancee read somewhere that social media contributes to divorce and now she wants me to delete all my accounts on Facebook and Instagram. I like my social media accounts; they help me stay in touch with family and friends. I’ve got nothing to hide, and I even offered to give her my passwords but she’s pretty insistent that she doesn’t want me on social media anymore.

T.K

Dear T.K.

I read somewhere that infidelity was the leading cause of divorce so I suppose you should probably avoid all contact with other women for the duration of marriage.

I would say mistrust in the other spouse probably leads to more divorce than Facebook does.

Unless you’ve given her reason in the past for her to mistrust your online activity, her request is unreasonable, distrustful, and downright paranoid. Before you two get married you both need to sit down and discuss the source of her fears. Her issues with trust and control should be resolved through the Pre-Cana process.

Further reading: Annulment Questionnaire: the marriage prep that came too late.

I wish you both the best.

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Hello Katrina,

I’m 25 years old and I’ve never helped out at my church before. I’m returning to the Church after a long absence. My parish has two groups that I know of: a youth group (that I don’t feel young enough to be part of) and a liturgy group. The liturgy group seems like an option, but I don’t know if I know enough about the “rules” to help out. I need to be honest: I’m reading the Bible for the first time now, and if you ask me about the objects that we use in our celebrations, I don’t know their names. I’m open to learning, but to I admit it, I’m a little afraid of going there and volunteering. What if they refuse me because I never helped out before? The people in my parish have known me since I was like 10 years old, so they know that I am not a really engaged Catholic. What you think I could do to get better involved and help out in my parish the best I can?

Regards,
Newly returned and a little worried Catholic

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Dear Newly Returned and Worried,

Welcome home!

I would recommend you make an appointment with your priest to discuss your absence and your active return to the Church, then follow his recommendations. You say you lack a lot of knowledge about the liturgy and the Bible. It sounds like RCIA might be the perfect refresher course for you, or an adult Bible study group or prayer group. Learn the liturgy first and you’ll be better able to help with it later. I know you’re anxious to help out at your parish but I would focus more on familiarizing yourself with your faith and becoming a more engaged Catholic first.

I certainly don’t think anyone would refuse your request to volunteer at your parish, but realize some people have certain talents that make them better predisposed to various ministries within the Church. A good volunteer coordinator can help you decide where the best fit for your specific talents will be.

Check out Catholics Come Home for information about returning to the faith, make that appointment to speak with your priest, and focus on actively practicing your faith. Eventually, when you’re more at ease at your parish, speak to a volunteer coordinator about putting your gifts and energy to good use.

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Katrina,

My husband and I hit on some financial hardships. He was out of work for 9 months, and during that time our car broke down, our A/C stopped working, we had to replace 2 kitchen appliances, and our eldest broke his arm and his glasses riding his skateboard. We depleted almost 6 years of savings in those few short months, and now we are struggling to catch up on all the past due bills. We fight about everything now, and every penny spent seems to set us both on edge to pick at each other. All this stress is really putting a strain on our marriage. I’d love a little practical advice to get through this.

Thanks,
Liz. M

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Dear Liz,

My grandfather once told me that birds worry no more about the worm than flowers worry about the rain.

I’ve found that in every instance in my life where I’ve worried myself to death over a matter, all that worrying did absolutely ZERO to actually improve the situation. The only thing that worrying has ever done for me was give me high blood pressure and distract me from seeking God out in prayer during the times I needed Him most. That’s what worry is, distraction. It distracts us from God and from the problem at hand.

I know the temptation to fight is strong because you both are under a great deal of pressure, but fighting won’t solve anything. You two need to come together as a team to get through this and not let bickering compound your struggles. You’ve been presented with a challenge in your marriage that you will get through. You have to trust in that.

You both are feeling out of control of your finances. Recognize that it’s that lack of control that is causing tension, not your spouse. Take control. Don’t let the situation rule your emotions or your marriage. Pray together daily, make a budget together as a family, talk to a financial advisor about consolidating bills, call the collectors to arrange lower payments or waive late fees. And in between all that, pray some more.

It’s a challenge you’ll get through and your marriage will be made stronger. Trust.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your lifespan? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.

Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.” [ Matthew 6:25-34]

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