My Father is concerned about me praying too much?


#1

So I have a rather rigorous prayer-schedule which I based on praying a handful of times throughout the day at the suggestion of a priest. The reason for this is due to what was suggested by a priest in a confession to help me overcome sin. My father has become concerned, believing that something bad must have happened to me at some point since I have begun this prayer schedule, and unfortunately his fears are solidified every time that I refuse to divulge what was said in confession, which would explain it, but at the cost of massive personal shame and the breach of the seal of confession. One of his main concerns is because of the name of the prayer itself, which is called a “Prayer for all thing necessary for salvation.” I chose this prayer because it adresses a bit of an issue and helps because it treates a good number of potential and very real weakenesses in my own character, and it has helped immensely. I don’t, however, want ot reveal this to him because, by its very nature, it is a highly personal, extremely private matter.

Does anybody have any advice? I don’t quite know what to do here, since I could break the seal on my confession and tell my father, even though I am not required to so that I can allay his fears and assure him that I won’t “lose myself” in college, but that would also potentially backfire, since my past could make him fear it even more. It is really making him worried, which in turn worries me, but I am so ashamed of what I would have to reveal to get him off my back that I just don’t know what to do.


#2

Well, you would not be breaking the seal of the confessional by telling your father your sins. Only the priest or someone who overhears or translates in the confessional can break the seal, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Having said that, though, no one has the right to demand you tell him your sins, not even a parent of a minor. The best way to allay your father’s fears is to tell him that your sins aren’t special. That you are praying the prayers to prevent serious sin. And that, quite frankly, it’s none of his business. This last to be said as nicely as possible.

The only person who has to worry about your prayer life is you. Your father is being a helicopter dad, but you have to set boundaries with him. Be firm, be nice and kind, but be firm about it.


#3

Any tips on that? I’ve tried simply saying that “nothing is wrong” and “I’m just fine, Dad.” “If it was something that was dangerous, I would have told you already” and even outright saying that it wasn’t his business when sub-text ceased to work, but the poor man is still worried. Any advice on another strategy?


#4

Oh, if only all Fathers had children that pray so much! Is there a way for you to pray more privately so that your father’s attention is not drawn so much to it?

As Della says, your confessions are private. You are doing a good jobs of reassuring your father. Keep that part up.


#5

Bring this matter to the attention of your confessor and ask him what would be the best thing to do.

Clearly this is interfering with your prayer life, which has turned from something meant to edify you into something that is leading to some degree of conflict with your father - thus affecting him as well.


#6

That, ironically, was the issue that brought up the conversation. My schedule is based off the liturgy of the hours and I pray for a few minutes every 2-3 hours, it takes up a very small portion of my day, but the frequency of my leaving was noticed, and that brought up the conversation in the first place. I moved, eventually, to doing it wherever I was, preferably with the text of the pray up, since that helps me focus on it through distractions if I am in a distraction-filled place, but then, when my dad was working on my computer (he was transferring the hard drive to another laptop because mine was breaking) he came across the tab that had the prayer’s text and title in it, which was what led to the main conversation that got me to make this post. I am going to college next month, so his worry will not affect my prayer schedule then, but it will still worry him, which is something I hate to do.

@R_C: I would, but my family tends to be the “go to mass, attend, participate, leave” type, and speaking to my confessor, who is the parish priest of our church, would probably arouse more suspicion, since it would inconvenience the rest of my family (I can’t drive on my own and thus I would need to involve my family in order to speak to him) and could very possibly worry my dad more and make the rest of my family worry.


#7

It is obvious that your family cares about you very much. This is a great thing. Your dad is asking questions because he cares about you, but his questions are an invasion of your privacy. You have rights as a human being to be allowed to keep your own secrets. Sins that you commit can be confessed to a priest. You do not have to tell anyone else including your father what you wish to keep secret.
He is overstepping his boundaries as father in asking to know more about you and your possible transgressions. These are none of his business. Be firm and resolved not to disclose the things that you wish to be kept private. This is your right.


#8

First of all, you do NOT need to tell him what you said in confession. Even if he’s your father and he has the best of intentions, it is absolutely none of his business. Also, it may help alleviate his fears if you were to volunteer him some information about what it is not (not having any diseases, not having kids on the way you’re not prepared to have, not suicidal, not in legal trouble, not abusing drugs, not in serious financial trouble, etc.- whatever the case may be- by the way, the things I just mentioned are some of the most common fears one has when they think someone they love is hiding something).


#9

You are not under the seal of confession only the priest is. Remember you should always honor your father and mother so you should tell them. I know it is hard but by doing it you will be able to stop worrying about it


#10

I **strongly **disagree with “loving disciple.” What goes on between you and the priest in the confessional is none of your father’s business - he has no right to know your sins or your specific struggles with temptation. Maybe you could explain to your Dad that there is nothing he should worry about, that this is just a matter between you and God, that it’s going to stay that way, and you are following a priest’s advice about it.


#11

Honoring father and mother does not extend to having to tell them things that are none of their business, such as sins. No one can demand that any Catholic divulge his sins, not even a priest or a parent. Doing so is completely voluntary and involves no sin against honoring a parent if he wants to keep his sins to himself.


#12

You do confess at least once a year, though…when that happens, talk to him :o


closed #13

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