St Francis Q&A

Friday, October 19, 2007

Confession of a parent

1) Eucharistic Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All who wish to adore Jesus in the Eucharist are invited!!

2) DC ‘Hood vs. St. Jerome’s / Sacred Heart (Bowie), tonight, 7 pm, St Jerome’s gym, 5205 43rd Ave., Hyattsville, MD 20781. Go ‘Hood!!
Recently, an anonymous blogger asked whether or not she should require her daughter to go to Confession after she caught her lying. The following are excerpts from the insightful, creative, and inspiring responses which “Joan” wrote:

…You must also realize that your lie offended God. He loves you more than I ever could. You can tell him you are sorry, but unlike me sitting here next to you, we can only hear His forgiveness in confession. I know it’s hard to tell someone else what you did wrong, believe me I know, but it’s so great to hear God forgive you, and He so wants to tell you. Confession isn’t punishment – that’s the loss of the cell phone. Confession is apologizing to God, like you did to me, and receiving His forgiveness. I can take you with me when I go on Saturday. I won’t make you go to confession, but I do ask that you at least go in there and talk with Father about what happened. If you don’t want to go with me on Saturday, I can call Father and set up a time for you to meet with him; unless you would like to call him yourself.

It seems if we speak of Reconciliation in a positive manner and receive regularly, our children will become more accepting of it as a regular (and wonderful) part of our life.

…I have allowed them a distinction between 'going to confession' and 'talking to Father'. Sometimes, the only wrong they see is that they were caught; they aren't at all sorry for what they did (and it doesn't matter how old they are). So, I give them the option of going to confession or going to talk, a kind of 'see what Father thinks'. If they prefer the anonymity of going to the Shrine, then that's what we do.

When they have elected the 'talk' as opposed to confession, they have come to see what they did and the gift of the Sacrament. Then they are the one asking for it, instead of me making them do it.

…Speaking only for myself, there have been times I have had to go talk to a spiritual Father to figure out whether I was right or wrong. It was the only way I could lay out all of the details and get an objective answer. I had no doubt he would either tell me directly whether I was right or wrong, or he would help me figure it out. Sometimes, I realized anger and/or pride had affected how I handled a situation with the kids, and so asked for confession and then apologized to the kids for losing my temper. What they had done was wrong (and they still had consequences), but that didn’t give me the right to behave badly. This was/is particularly true if what they did embarrassed me in some way.

Other times, I realized it was parental guilt - guilt that I hadn’t taught the children properly; guilt that I had to deprive them of something or make them do something they didn’t want to do; guilt that my actions would drive them from the Faith; guilt that I was a bad parent.....

I think the hardest parts for me, whether I was wrong or right in my response to their actions, are to (1) “go talk to Father” and (2) let it go and quit beating myself up about it. But, it’s getting better.

If this situation is bothering you, you may want to call Father and talk about it in person.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter