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  #1  
Old Feb 22, '13, 8:49 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default my weakness in faith/limits with children

I have struggled with what was once, I thought, a very devout Catholic faith, for the last 12 years, since my husband died. I was pregnant with child number 5. I couldn't pray for a long time after that, but I always went to Mass and spoke of the faith with a high regard to my children. However, deep down, I have struggled, I am angry and I couldn't accept that God allowed this. I have this bitterness. Of course I know how stupid this is, there is no way to do this job of being a single parent without an extremely active faith. So, flash forward, one of my five has left the Church altogether, one is in and out, and one is having trouble. So, I have gotten back to eucharistic adoration and am getting stronger, which is good for the last two still at home. But since I have been so permissive, depressed, luke warm etc, it is scary to suddenly get active with being more disciplined and active in the faith - they are not used to it, and I fear their rejection. Like all of a sudden I am setting more appropriate limits, and asserting things with them - hopefully in a nice way and out of love which I think they can tell - but it is hard! I am going from a minimal version of being Catholic to something better, God willing. Anyway, I guess I am asking for prayers, and advice from anyone who has gone through a long period of luke warmness and is trying to get the fire back, with teenaged kids.

Thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
Old Feb 22, '13, 9:31 am
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Polycarp1 Polycarp1 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

You are planting the seeds. The Lord will make them grow!
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  #3  
Old Feb 22, '13, 9:41 am
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mountee mountee is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

You have been through quite a bit, raising 5 children after losing their father would bring most of us to our knees. But, look, God called you back and He is making you stronger. Don't bash yourself, thank God for this blessing, keep you heart open to the return of your children and keep praying, trust in God to help them back too.
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  #4  
Old Feb 22, '13, 9:47 am
Chantal25 Chantal25 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Anyway, I guess I am asking for prayers, and advice from anyone who has gone through a long period of luke warmness and is trying to get the fire back, with teenaged kids.
I love by the way what Polycarp1 wrote for you, so simple and so true.


I am replying because you are asking if someone had a period of luke warmness. Well i did, i always prayed but i stop to go to the church regularly and the first thing i knew, i wasn't into Catholic faith anymore. Thanks to God, i finally came back to my sense and realize how wrong i was. Something started for a long time but when i got my daughter baptized, something in me started to grow back.

What you need to do is to start the Rosary. Pray as much you can, to maintain this bound with God. In the mid time, ask for Mother Mary intervention. Get books or dvd about the catholic teaching, Saints or anything that inspire you.

Once you have your root strong enough, your children will sense it. Don't give up talking with them and pray for them. Prayer and fast are so efficient. I one week fast and my husband started praying and months after he had the desire to convert to Catholic faith.

I am glad that you are carrying your cross with faith. It must be a very heavy one, i cannot imagine to be in your shoes but good for you for going back to church.

I pray for you and your children!
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  #5  
Old Feb 22, '13, 10:04 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

I think you should tell your kids, all of them, what you told us here. Let them know you struggled and that you realize you have been angry with God, etc. They will understand--and more, a lot of things you thought you hid from them they knew about anyway. Kids are pretty smart and know when a parent is not living what they profess. Honesty is your best bet. Enlist them in praying for you and for your family. Let them know that God is still God even when we don't understand and can't feel love for him. I think a lot of things they couldn't understand will fall into place for them, and for you, as well, because it will give them the chance to tell you how they feel and what they've been dealing with over the years, also. And pray----of course. And be the best example of love and faithfulness you can be. You and your family have my prayers.
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The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

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  #6  
Old Feb 22, '13, 10:30 am
pollynova pollynova is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Didn't Paul say something like, "Let me boast about my weakness, because that's where God is strongest."
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  #7  
Old Feb 22, '13, 10:38 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Just wanted to amend my "kids know when a parent is not living what they profess" to "is conflicted about his/her beliefs". I did not mean to imply hypocrisy on your part, emat321, but realized too late that my words might come across like that.
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The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87.

Inklings!

"Sanctum erit, facere bonum" Della's blog: http://dellakmg.blogspot.com/
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  #8  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:38 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by Della View Post
Just wanted to amend my "kids know when a parent is not living what they profess" to "is conflicted about his/her beliefs". I did not mean to imply hypocrisy on your part, emat321, but realized too late that my words might come across like that.
No worries! No offense taken, I know exactly what you meant. I was doing my best but of course they could tell of my conflictedness... Thank you for your support.
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  #9  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:39 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polycarp1 View Post
You are planting the seeds. The Lord will make them grow!
thanks for the encouragement. I only hope you are right!
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  #10  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:41 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountee View Post
You have been through quite a bit, raising 5 children after losing their father would bring most of us to our knees. But, look, God called you back and He is making you stronger. Don't bash yourself, thank God for this blessing, keep you heart open to the return of your children and keep praying, trust in God to help them back too.
Thats what I will have to do I suppose. I am not entirely out of the woods myself I think. I just have to keep praying and keep it a priority. Thank you for your encouragement!
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  #11  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:43 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chantal25 View Post
I love by the way what Polycarp1 wrote for you, so simple and so true.


I am replying because you are asking if someone had a period of luke warmness. Well i did, i always prayed but i stop to go to the church regularly and the first thing i knew, i wasn't into Catholic faith anymore. Thanks to God, i finally came back to my sense and realize how wrong i was. Something started for a long time but when i got my daughter baptized, something in me started to grow back.

What you need to do is to start the Rosary. Pray as much you can, to maintain this bound with God. In the mid time, ask for Mother Mary intervention. Get books or dvd about the catholic teaching, Saints or anything that inspire you.

Once you have your root strong enough, your children will sense it. Don't give up talking with them and pray for them. Prayer and fast are so efficient. I one week fast and my husband started praying and months after he had the desire to convert to Catholic faith.

I am glad that you are carrying your cross with faith. It must be a very heavy one, i cannot imagine to be in your shoes but good for you for going back to church.

I pray for you and your children!
All such good advice. Thank you for that and for your story. That reminds me how strong the sacraments are.
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  #12  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:45 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by Della View Post
I think you should tell your kids, all of them, what you told us here. Let them know you struggled and that you realize you have been angry with God, etc. They will understand--and more, a lot of things you thought you hid from them they knew about anyway. Kids are pretty smart and know when a parent is not living what they profess. Honesty is your best bet. Enlist them in praying for you and for your family. Let them know that God is still God even when we don't understand and can't feel love for him. I think a lot of things they couldn't understand will fall into place for them, and for you, as well, because it will give them the chance to tell you how they feel and what they've been dealing with over the years, also. And pray----of course. And be the best example of love and faithfulness you can be. You and your family have my prayers.
I will think about what you have said. I am not sure how I could say this to them exactly... I feel like they would say, great mom, but you are a day late and a dollar short - and they would be right, they grew up with this black hole... I am going to keep this in prayer. Thank you!
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  #13  
Old Feb 23, '13, 9:46 am
emat321 emat321 is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by pollynova View Post
Didn't Paul say something like, "Let me boast about my weakness, because that's where God is strongest."
Encouraging words. Thank you!
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  #14  
Old Feb 23, '13, 10:18 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

Quote:
Originally Posted by emat321 View Post
I will think about what you have said. I am not sure how I could say this to them exactly... I feel like they would say, great mom, but you are a day late and a dollar short - and they would be right, they grew up with this black hole... I am going to keep this in prayer. Thank you!
It's true we cannot change the past, but no one is perfect, not even your kids so they'll have to put on their grown up pants and accept that you are a fallible human being who is trying to make amends. They may not accept it at first, but just saying the words will let them know you understand how your choices affected them, and although you can't change that, you can and are changing the future and hope they will see that and be helpful.

The grown up kids will have to deal with it as best they can--it's up to them how they will do that and the choices they will make, not you. But the ones who are still at home might have a better chance of coming around if they hear from you that you made mistakes and are trying to do things better. It's hard, I know, like going to confession, but once it's over and done with, they may surprise you--in a positive way. God bless you and your family.
__________________
The external deserts in the world are growing, because the internal deserts have become so vast. -- Pope Benedict XVI

Tiber Swim Team, Class of '87.

Inklings!

"Sanctum erit, facere bonum" Della's blog: http://dellakmg.blogspot.com/
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  #15  
Old Feb 23, '13, 10:51 am
7armyrugrats 7armyrugrats is offline
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Default Re: my weakness in faith/limits with children

I don't have any advice for you, I'm sorry to say. But I wanted you to know that you are an inspiration to me. You are so strong and courageous. I don't believe that I could make it through the way you have. My biggest fear at this point in my life is loosing my children, followed very closely with being widowed.

I lost my baby brother a few years ago and it nearly killed me. Your loss is so much more significant. I have struggled with my faith as well but never wanted to admit that I do. It takes courage and strength that I don't have to admit this. I believe with all my heart that God is and will continue to reward you for this and WITH this.

May God continue to bless you and your children. You will be in my prayers.
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