Advice!

Hello I’m 15 years old and I’m very religious. I try to go to mass evry day or two, say rosary(15 decades) and other prayers. Recently my parents have become “worried” about me because I’ve been fasting and have lost a lot of weight (unintentionally). Now they want me to almost stop praying. I’m only allowed go to mass and say 5 decades of the rosary daily. Also they have banned me from watching EWTN and looking up spiritual matters on the internet. Now more than anything I want to do the will of God and become a saint - I’m inspired by people like St Therese, St Dominc Savio, Pier Georgio Frassatti, etc. What do you think I should do, Is this God’s Will? How can I become a saint if they dont let me practice mortification, prayers etc? Should I continue to be obedient or are they hindering my relationship with God and my spiritual journey. They make me very frustrated, saying I have OCD even though I know for a fact I dont. By the way I’m male and intending on becoming a Capuchin Friar when I’m 18. Much appreciated!

the commandments come first
honor your father and mother
obedience is the foundation of all spiritual life and growth
your life with your parents now is your school for obedience
obey them in all things that are not sinful
you have no business fasting at all beyond the ordinary disciplines of the church (2 days a year) without the express permission of your confessor, and of your parents who are responsible for your care including nutrition at this stage of your life.

if you are undertaking any spiritual discipline at all beyond the ordinary requirements for lay Catholics you MUST have express permission from your confessor, and from your religious superiors, who at this time are your parents.

people do not become saints because they undertook mortifications and penance. those are tools to conform one’s own will to God’s will. They are paths to obedience. You have the path to obedience clearly marked as long as you are a minor under your parents’ roof. follow it.

At 15 you are still under your parents authority. They are concerned about your health and well being. How do you know you don’t have some form of OCD? What kind of mortifications are you practicing. You should not practice mortifications (except minor ones) without the advice of a spiritual director.

You parents are allowing you to go to Mass and pray the rosary which is good. I am sure you can pray and meditate at other times as well. Perhaps they see other behaviors in your that give them cause for concern.

Have you spoken to a priest. Perhaps you and your parents can sit down with a priest to discuss the situation. Also, you can apply to the Capucins but there is no guarantee they will accept you or even if accepted that they will ask you to become a priest. Also part of becomng a monk is obedience to your superiors, so what better way to be prepared is obedience to your parents.

Perhaps at your age, they are just looking for you to be well rounded and adjusted. I wish you the best.

Sometimes obedience, and accepting the limitations placed upon us by those in authority, is the toughest discipline of all. Subjugating your self-will— even though you’re willing wholesome things for yourself— is an incredibly difficult struggle for all of us, no matter what our station in life.

Consider this as your exercise in humility and obedience. Don’t lose sight of your dreams— but bear the burden with good grace in the meantime. Good luck! :slight_smile:

Well, one of the great gifts God has given you are parents who care about you and are willing to share the wisdom of their years with you. They have probably seen others hurt themselves by taking fasting to an extreme. Follow their advice, it’s called learning things the easy way instead of the hard way. Practical advice, but if you contemplate most of God’s rules for us they are based on our nature which He knows intimately as our creator. They don’t just lead us to salvation, they improve our lives in this world as well.

Health is also an enormous gift from God. Many struggle with health issues and would give anything to be healthy. Taking fasting or mortification to an extreme where it damages your health-- unintentional weight loss etc. is abusing (at least in my opinion) one of God’s greatests gifts to you. Are you aware that obese people put on extreme diets have their hearts monitored because severe caloric restrictions can result in the body catabolizing-- that is using it’s muscle tissue for fuel instead of fat, and that can include heart muscle. Unintentional weight loss can also be an indication of several diseases, cancer being among them. It’s easier to help others when you are healthy and taking care of yourself.

Like any gift, the best way to show appreciation is to give thanks, take care of that gift and use it wisely.

I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters.

Maybe from your view it looks like your parents just “don’t understand” your zeal to follow God, but as the others have said, not only is it proper and necessary to be obedient to your parents, obedience in itself is a denial of self. If you only obeyed when you agreed with them, then you really aren’t obeying at all.

There are times I’ve heard when spiritual directors actually temporarily ban those they are directing, from religious articles such as their Rosaries and even certain practices. It isn’t because there is something wrong with the Rosary, but evidently it can be healthy at times to step back from the outward signs and devices of our religious rigor. Since I’m not an SD myself, and this is a very personal issue, I’ll let it go at that for now.

Meanwhile, I think it is pleasing to God for us to examine all of our relationships with other people and see if they are all they can be at our end. That includes not just your parents, but any siblings if you have any, friends, teachers, etc. and even those we would rather not have to deal with. I say this partly because I myself grew up with great prowess in academic knowledge and care and concern for other people, but I felt like I was a bit short on the “people skills” I needed both to get along with others and to evangelize others toward those things I believed in. I’m not talking about right or wrong here, more about strategy. Maybe this would be something you could do in order to grow in a way that doesn’t cause the same concerns for your parents. If you want to hear more about what I am talking about, or scriptures to back it up, let me know; otherwise since it might be slightly off the topic of your OP, I’ll just throw it out there for your consideration.

I think it’s great to see young people who are on fire about their faith. With plenty of love and guidance, no doubt you’ll be a great tool in the hands of God. :slight_smile:

Alan

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