Okay, so my mom has constantly been telling me (and probably anybody else who will listen) about her devotion to the Confraternity of the Holy Face or something like that. One of her ‘offerings’ or whatever is that she does not do unnecessary commerce or servile labor on Sundays. Good, great! Nevermind I have mentioned this practice to her on a few occasions over the last couple of years as a practice that I borrowed from a mentor of mine. No, she came up w/ this completely on her own!
So the problem, as often is, w/ my mom (and myself at times) is that she is constantly seeking recognition and praise for being so pious and holy, it all seems to be for show which really discounts its genuineness. For example, when I visited my folks this weekend, my dad wanted to go to their usual after-mass breakfast hangout. Now, I generally practice not buying on Sundays b/c it causes others to work on what should be a day of rest . . .but in ‘special’ cases like this, I will make an exception. However, mom was just beside herself! She stood there at the door telling my dad ‘you know I made a promise to the Confraternity of the Holy Face’ and trying to convince him that he shouldn’t eat out on Sunday either. I told her basically to give it a rest and not snub us at breakfast, but she could just sit there and drink water.
What’s especially irritating is that she no longer cooks, so basically, she either wanted dad to cook a continental breakfast (that she would turn her nose up at anyway and insist he not eat either b/c they’re on a diet), or insist that everyone just eat cold cereal or fast b/c of her convictions.
Now, the lady I picked this practice up from does not preach her convictions to others publicly (she does so in private at the appropriate time), and if she had company, she would make a special point to go all out on breakfast if she was truly convicted about not eating out on Sunday. The point is, when do you decide that your convictions are more important that being hospitable to your guests? Would Jesus really want you to hold to your convictions if it meant alienating your company? Mom just really has a hard time striking a harmonious balance, and sometimes I do too.
I am often conflicted w/ being holy and pious in private, and living my faith ‘out loud’ so to speak so that others will ‘see our good works and be drawn to the Lord.’ Any suggestions on striking a balance? My thoughts at this time are that if you are seeking recognition from others for your faith, it is better for the time being that you live your faith in private.