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Traditional Catholic Moms Advent/Christmas chat - Page 2

post #21 of 112

I have a question for you AP/GD Catholic mamas about confession.  My sweet baby has now turned into a wonderful toddler who is helping her mother grow in virtue, and I'm finding myself seeing a need to go to confession much more often than ever before.  The trouble is that I feel like I'm talking about my discipline problems in broad terms out of fear that if I shared the specifics on what I did, I would get told that I shouldn't be confessing that.  I should be disciplining like that, and if I'm not, then there's a problem.  The times that I have felt comfortable giving more details, I feel like I've been able to get better spiritual direction, develop a concrete plan, and make more progress.  I feel like I'm pretty new to this confessing discipline mistakes thing since my only child (so far) is not yet two.  For those of you who have been at this for longer than I, without confessing to me your failings, can you tell me about your experiences with confessing things that most Christian parents would do and think they're doing their job, but you believe it's wrong?

post #22 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post

I have a question for you AP/GD Catholic mamas about confession.  My sweet baby has now turned into a wonderful toddler who is helping her mother grow in virtue, and I'm finding myself seeing a need to go to confession much more often than ever before.  The trouble is that I feel like I'm talking about my discipline problems in broad terms out of fear that if I shared the specifics on what I did, I would get told that I shouldn't be confessing that.  I should be disciplining like that, and if I'm not, then there's a problem.  The times that I have felt comfortable giving more details, I feel like I've been able to get better spiritual direction, develop a concrete plan, and make more progress.  I feel like I'm pretty new to this confessing discipline mistakes thing since my only child (so far) is not yet two.  For those of you who have been at this for longer than I, without confessing to me your failings, can you tell me about your experiences with confessing things that most Christian parents would do and think they're doing their job, but you believe it's wrong?


Sorry, I can't help here. I am pretty new to Confessing (recent Convert). When I confess discipline things it is usually in very broad terms, like "I was uncharitable to my kids" or "I'm angry much of the time". I'm never sure what exactly I *need* to confess because venial things I seem to do all.the.time so I couldn't give a good number account: I yelled x times or whatever. Mortal sins, like missing Mass, I can keep track of pretty well. So I always feel really dumb saying the venial things. I don't usually go unless I have a mortal sin to confess. Then there's usually only one or two things to tell the priest so I fill in the time with venial things.

 

So a confession might run something like this:

I missed Mass 1 time.

I'm angry at my husband a lot.

I'm jealous of women that can get pregnant.

I use curse words.

 

I'm probably doing it all wrong, huh?

 

**These are real life things I might confess, but I'm not re-hashing an exact Confession. I hope this is OK to do.

post #23 of 112

So what are everyone's plans for Mass today? We're going this evening.

post #24 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post


I have a question for you AP/GD Catholic mamas about confession.  My sweet baby has now turned into a wonderful toddler who is helping her mother grow in virtue, and I'm finding myself seeing a need to go to confession much more often than ever before.  The trouble is that I feel like I'm talking about my discipline problems in broad terms out of fear that if I shared the specifics on what I did, I would get told that I shouldn't be confessing that.  I should be disciplining like that, and if I'm not, then there's a problem.  The times that I have felt comfortable giving more details, I feel like I've been able to get better spiritual direction, develop a concrete plan, and make more progress.  I feel like I'm pretty new to this confessing discipline mistakes thing since my only child (so far) is not yet two.  For those of you who have been at this for longer than I, without confessing to me your failings, can you tell me about your experiences with confessing things that most Christian parents would do and think they're doing their job, but you believe it's wrong?





Can I join you ladies? I've read this thread for a while, but never got around to introducing myself! I am in the process of converting and I feel so at home in the RCC! It all makes so much sense, I can't tell you what a relief it is to finally find my spiritual home.
I highlighted your post JMJ because I was wondering the same thing. I think what I might say in my next confession is that I've punished my child out of anger instead of for discipline. In other words I have expressed anger towards her to relieve my own frustration not to help her learn how to behave.
post #25 of 112

I am popping out of lurker status now, too, I guess.  Hi!  Me: lifelong Catholic with four boys and a non-religious hubby.

 

I wanted to share that it has been my experience that confession can be frutrating when it comes to the "motherly" stuff.  IN NO WAY do I mean to disrespect the priesthood, not at all.

I would never say any particular priest, either.  I just think that sometimes you get a priest who is trying to soothe/reassure/redirect you.  And not all of them *get* the daily grind of parenting.  Not to say that you have to experience something to advise on it; just that there is with some priests a dimension that is not there.  This is not to denigrate them or the priesthood.  But it speaks to what a priest can be always expected to give.

 

Like, I always find myself wanting spiritual direction when I am in there..... but itis not always possible.  Practical reasons of time, etc., but also not all priests are trained for that, or good at it.

So confession can't meet all my needs but I have begun to recognize that if I come out feeling like I still need something then it is definitely good to pray about it, like. "Do I need a counselor? (the answer to taht one last year was YES)  Do I need a communtiy of support?  (Hoping to find some here)....etc.

 

If I feel moved to confess then there is probably sin there, even if I am not expressing it properly. 

 

So the Lord sees our hearts, I think, and forgives us through the priest, even if he priest's human frailty means that he did not see everything.  I always have to remind myself to put my faith in the sacrament, which is not dependet on the priest, but on Our Lord.

 

 

Quote:
  I think what I might say in my next confession is that I've punished my child out of anger instead of for discipline. In other words I have expressed anger towards her to relieve my own frustration not to help her learn how to behave.

 

 

I think this sounds really good;  highlighting the sinful circumstances (anger) rather than the action (discipline) which is morally good. 

post #26 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by lavatea View Post

So what are everyone's plans for Mass today? We're going this evening.


 I took my one Communion-receiving child and the baby with me to 7:30 a.m. Mass.  Wrote him a late note that said, "Late for religious holiday services."

post #27 of 112

Thanks for your responses, lavatea and scottishmommy.  I do usually use more broad terms and try to keep the emphasis on my own lack of self-control and sinfulness that caused an unloving response, and I have yet to have a priest tell me that I wasn't wrong.  It's just that there's so many Christian (even some Catholic!) people who advocate spanking, time-outs, CIO, shaming, demands of blind obedience, etc.  If I were ever to do any of those, I would feel a need to confess that.  Yes, I think that it would be important to talk about the impatience, selfishness, lack of charity that lead to my response, but I would want to share my response as well.  I just have a fear that some time, I'm going to have some priest tell me that leaving my child to cry alone after doing something wrong isn't a sin.  It's a time out, and it's how they learn.

 

I guess I'm just falling in love with the sacrament of Reconciliation as the best form of GD for adults.  Maybe it's that I'm a mom now, and I want my daughter to have a saint for a mother, but she got me instead.  Bringing my failings to my father and figuring out how I can make amends, figuring out how I can do better next time, receiving his forgiveness and encouragement, and going in peace.  It's the discipline model I want to use for my children.  Venial sins are a part of our lives every day, and they're also some of the hardest to get rid of.  It's easier to never kill people, never steal, never commit adultery, etc. than it is to be patient and kind all the time.  I really feel like confession is a wonderful way submit myself to discipline that will help me to grow, just as I hope my discipline will do for my daughter.  I'm finding that I make more progress when I make it back to confession before I have more instances of my sin than I can count.  It all gets forgiven either way, but I get better advice if I'm talking about a specific situation or even a few specific situations.

post #28 of 112

Ambivamom, I hear you about priests sometimes not understanding the daily grind of parenting.  I've been lucky enough to find a wonderful priest, our new pastor actually, who is quite empathetic to parents and what he talks about as "practicing your faith."  I just can't always go to confession to him, and I don't have a good read on him yet as to what he thinks about discipline.

post #29 of 112

We made it to noon mass today.  My hubby is out of town, so he is going late tonight when he gets back.  The parish had a penance service last night (hence my other concerns today) followed by a vigil mass, and I was planning on going to that, but at 8:20 when confessions were still going on and mass wasn't, we went home to go to bed.  Tired toddlers aren't the best mass attendees, and I'm uncomfortable with going to the vigil when I can actually go on the holy day itself.  The tired toddler was just enough to push me over the edge into going today.  I still got teased by my pastor when I walked in the door about going twice and had to explain that I had ducked out before mass last night.

post #30 of 112


 

 

Quote:

 It's just that there's so many Christian (even some Catholic!) people who advocate spanking, time-outs, CIO, shaming, demands of blind obedience, etc.  If I were ever to do any of those, I would feel a need to confess that.  Yes, I think that it would be important to talk about the impatience, selfishness, lack of charity that lead to my response, but I would want to share my response as well.  I just have a fear that some time, I'm going to have some priest tell me that leaving my child to cry alone after doing something wrong isn't a sin.  It's a time out, and it's how they learn. 


I don't think that enough people, even priests, realize how important our own conscience is in directing us to or sins.  It's probably easier to just go by a set "list" (that is, apparently, different for each priest) but even the Church teaches that the old list of mortal and venial sins is not the best way to look at it any more.  We are called to examine the sin in the context of our intentions and the circumstances as well. 

 

If I confessed to walking away from my child when I knew I should be holding him, and the priest said,"Oh,that's not a sin," then I might not say anythign at all, and just ask Our Lord to read my heart.  IfI did say anything in response, it might be, "Father, I knew in my heart it was wrong when I did it.   So I feel I have to confess it." 

 

I wish they would stop telling us things aren't sins when they are things that *definitely* could be in a given circumstance.

 

 

Quote:
   

 I guess I'm just falling in love with the sacrament of Reconciliation as the best form of GD for adults.  Maybe it's that I'm a mom now, and I want my daughter to have a saint for a mother, but she got me instead.  Bringing my failings to my father and figuring out how I can make amends, figuring out how I can do better next time, receiving his forgiveness and encouragement, and going in peace.  It's the discipline model I want to use for my children.  Venial sins are a part of our lives every day, and they're also some of the hardest to get rid of.  It's easier to never kill people, never steal, never commit adultery, etc. than it is to be patient and kind all the time.  I really feel like confession is a wonderful way submit myself to discipline that will help me to grow, just as I hope my discipline will do for my daughter . .

 

I just wanted to say that I think this is absolutely beautiful.   You have articulated something that I have been thinking about more and more over the last year and a half and have not been able to put into words.

post #31 of 112


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ambivamom View Post
I don't think that enough people, even priests, realize how important our own conscience is in directing us to or sins.  It's probably easier to just go by a set "list" (that is, apparently, different for each priest) but even the Church teaches that the old list of mortal and venial sins is not the best way to look at it any more.  We are called to examine the sin in the context of our intentions and the circumstances as well. 

 

If I confessed to walking away from my child when I knew I should be holding him, and the priest said,"Oh,that's not a sin," then I might not say anythign at all, and just ask Our Lord to read my heart.  IfI did say anything in response, it might be, "Father, I knew in my heart it was wrong when I did it.   So I feel I have to confess it."


 

I think you're really hitting on the proper role of the conscience here.  I think it's largely misunderstood in our culture today.  Its purpose is not to excuse us from things that we don't want to be sins, but to help us avoid sin by making the sinful choice not sit right with us.  Thinking about that does give me more courage because even if the priest does not believe my action was wrong, it is pretty clear in Catholic teaching that doing something when your conscience is telling you not to do it is wrong.

post #32 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
 Thinking about that does give me more courage because even if the priest does not believe my action was wrong, it is pretty clear in Catholic teaching that doing something when your conscience is telling you not to do it is wrong.


Unfortunately it is not simple. Lots of people are also scrupulous and their consciences think just about everything is a sin...

 

Someone asked about Mass on Wednesday. We had one option, at 6 pm and dd was super tired. We ended up leaving too late (half hour drive to the nearest church, in good weather) and then realized that the blizzard did not help. This was the first time, ever, I was 40 mins late for Mass. :(

 

I am so looking forward to holding Baby Jesus, in my heart!

post #33 of 112

Is anyone's parish having a special Our Lady of Guadalupe service - either yesterday or tomorrow? I don't know if mine is or not.

post #34 of 112
Thread Starter 

I give my children time-outs.  It's certainly not anti-Catholic to do so, and I don't even think it's particularly un-GD.  The Church gives parents a fairly wide berth when it comes to disciplining their children, and I think we should try to be mindful not to represent a particular discipline style as The Official Catholic Way unless it actually is.  Our consciousness is flawed and can't be implicitly relied upon to lead us (if it was, we wouldn't need the Church!)

 

I attended a late Mass on Wednesday, 7pm!  So only took my eldest and the baby.

 

We could use prayers for employment for dh.  I found a perfect job opportunity for him, but it's a very hard place to get in to.  I'm hoping his 9 years of experience will be enough to get his foot in the door.

post #35 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post

I give my children time-outs.  It's certainly not anti-Catholic to do so, and I don't even think it's particularly un-GD.  The Church gives parents a fairly wide berth when it comes to disciplining their children, and I think we should try to be mindful not to represent a particular discipline style as The Official Catholic Way unless it actually is.  Our consciousness is flawed and can't be implicitly relied upon to lead us (if it was, we wouldn't need the Church!)

 

I attended a late Mass on Wednesday, 7pm!  So only took my eldest and the baby.

 

We could use prayers for employment for dh.  I found a perfect job opportunity for him, but it's a very hard place to get in to.  I'm hoping his 9 years of experience will be enough to get his foot in the door.



I do time-outs. As a very last resort I spank. duck.gifBut before I try either I really try to talk and reason. I also occasionally yell, and I feel worse about that than the spankings (I grew up with a yeller and hate repeating that pattern.)

 

I went by myself to Mass Wednesday. I wanted to take DD, but she napped (a rare occurence) and was uncooperative when she woke up, and I didn't have time to mess with her. I barely made it myself. I really try to take at least her whenever I go to Mass, but if she occasionally misses I'm OK with it b/c she's not Baptised yet so I don't feel like I'm causing her to sin.

 

Prayers for your DH and your family.

post #36 of 112

A little off topic ladies, but I have a question. Do any of you veil? I have been doing a lot of research on head-covering/veiling and I'm still not sure about it. I got a lot of good information from here:

http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2007/12/chapel-veil-veiling-or-head-covering.html and as silly as it may seem...I'm afraid if someone came up to me and asked me exactly why I'm covering my head...I wouldn't be able to explain it to them. I feel like its something I'm being called to do, but I'm just not quite there. Any advice?

post #37 of 112

(About the disciplining thing....there is this book that I really want to get called Parenting With Grace ( http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Grace-Catholic-Parents-Raising/dp/0879737301 ) and apparently its all about gentle disciplining. (has a lot to do with attachment parenting.)

 

"This book's "uniquely Catholic" approach to parenting combines vigorous relational advice with careful theology and plenty of good humor. (The chapter on family planning is entitled "Is Eight Enough?"). The Popcaks guide parents through each stage of child development from infancy to adolescence, offering age-specific advice on "parenting with grace." They call upon natural law theology to encourage attachment parenting, co-sleeping and extended nursing through infancy, and urge parents of older children to consider home-schooling so that children always understand "that family is the primary relationship." Later chapters address a few Catholic-specific issues, such as stimulating children to pursue Church vocations."

post #38 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemamaturtle5 View Post

A little off topic ladies, but I have a question. Do any of you veil? I have been doing a lot of research on head-covering/veiling and I'm still not sure about it. I got a lot of good information from here:

http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2007/12/chapel-veil-veiling-or-head-covering.html and as silly as it may seem...I'm afraid if someone came up to me and asked me exactly why I'm covering my head...I wouldn't be able to explain it to them. I feel like its something I'm being called to do, but I'm just not quite there. Any advice?


I do, and I do almost everyday.

CatholicKnight has a wonderful blog, but there are some ideas and feelings that are uniquely female.

 

What are your specific questions?

post #39 of 112


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LessTraveledBy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by JMJ View Post
 Thinking about that does give me more courage because even if the priest does not believe my action was wrong, it is pretty clear in Catholic teaching that doing something when your conscience is telling you not to do it is wrong.


Unfortunately it is not simple. Lots of people are also scrupulous and their consciences think just about everything is a sin...

 

Someone asked about Mass on Wednesday. We had one option, at 6 pm and dd was super tired. We ended up leaving too late (half hour drive to the nearest church, in good weather) and then realized that the blizzard did not help. This was the first time, ever, I was 40 mins late for Mass. :(

 

I am so looking forward to holding Baby Jesus, in my heart!


I guess I see scrupulosity differently, like seeing a negative outcome (such as your example of being late to mass) and blaming yourself because of all the things that you didn't do that might have prevented it as sinful.  For it to be a sin, you have to know it's wrong when you do it.  Scrupulosity could also come because of other compulsions, but as far as the conscience is concerned, if your conscience thinks its wrong, and you willfully go against it, that's sin.  Certainly, we need to form our consciences so that we know the difference between sin and not, but if I think it's a holy day of obligation, and I miss mass, even if it turns out that it wasn't a holy day, my intent was to sin by missing mass, and even if I did not objectively miss mass on a holy day of obligation, I sinned.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post

I give my children time-outs.  It's certainly not anti-Catholic to do so, and I don't even think it's particularly un-GD.  The Church gives parents a fairly wide berth when it comes to disciplining their children, and I think we should try to be mindful not to represent a particular discipline style as The Official Catholic Way unless it actually is.  Our consciousness is flawed and can't be implicitly relied upon to lead us (if it was, we wouldn't need the Church!)

 

I attended a late Mass on Wednesday, 7pm!  So only took my eldest and the baby.

 

We could use prayers for employment for dh.  I found a perfect job opportunity for him, but it's a very hard place to get in to.  I'm hoping his 9 years of experience will be enough to get his foot in the door.


I'm not trying to imply that time-outs or even spankings are banned by the Catholic Church, and on this thread, as we seek to follow the teachings of the Magisterium, you are right that parents are given a lot of freedom in the Church to decide how best to discipline our children.  I'm not trying to criticize any of you for what you have decided for discipline within the bounds of Catholic teaching.  I have looked into a lot of different discipline philosophies, Catholic and non-Catholic, and I have looked a lot at my parenting goals and how I want to bring about the ultimate goal of giving my children their best shot at heaven (since I know they have to use their own free will to get there), and from what I understand, spanking and punitive time-outs are contrary to what I believe is best for my children.  I cannot, in good conscience, take part in those practices.  Additionally, if I did, it would be because I had lost control over myself, which would compound the problem and definitely put me into the category of sin.  Perhaps there is a way that some other people can do it "right," but since I obviously don't know how to do it "right," what I would do if I did them would be "wrong."

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemamaturtle5 View Post

(About the disciplining thing....there is this book that I really want to get called Parenting With Grace ( http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Grace-Catholic-Parents-Raising/dp/0879737301 ) and apparently its all about gentle disciplining. (has a lot to do with attachment parenting.)

 

"This book's "uniquely Catholic" approach to parenting combines vigorous relational advice with careful theology and plenty of good humor. (The chapter on family planning is entitled "Is Eight Enough?"). The Popcaks guide parents through each stage of child development from infancy to adolescence, offering age-specific advice on "parenting with grace." They call upon natural law theology to encourage attachment parenting, co-sleeping and extended nursing through infancy, and urge parents of older children to consider home-schooling so that children always understand "that family is the primary relationship." Later chapters address a few Catholic-specific issues, such as stimulating children to pursue Church vocations."



I've heard a lot about this book and love the other things I've read by the Popcaks.  It's on my Christmas list.

post #40 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplemamaturtle5 View Post

A little off topic ladies, but I have a question. Do any of you veil? I have been doing a lot of research on head-covering/veiling and I'm still not sure about it. I got a lot of good information from here:

http://catholicknight.blogspot.com/2007/12/chapel-veil-veiling-or-head-covering.html and as silly as it may seem...I'm afraid if someone came up to me and asked me exactly why I'm covering my head...I wouldn't be able to explain it to them. I feel like its something I'm being called to do, but I'm just not quite there. Any advice?



 I wear a veil, or some sort of headcovering to mass. My understanding is that veiling is inherited from the Jewish tradition. Saint Paul also recommends it in 1st Corinthians. This sounds crazy, but my head starts to itch and burn if I don't cover in church. I feel weird if I don't cover.

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