One-sided spirituality


#1

I’m getting so frustrated with my family. I realize I don’t know what is in their hearts, and even if I did, frustration is not charitable. But it seems like I am pulling the spiritual weight around here.

I’ve got the wife, son and my mother. We are all Catholic. My son is only 6. For weeks I instigated the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a family at night, just before going to bed. A lot of the free time I have is spent reading about the faith, or browsing the Internet about the faith, or praying. No one else in the family seems to spend any significant time focusing on God.

I’ve told my wife that I’d appreciate not being the only one suggesting to pray the Chaplet. She agreed, but hasn’t done it once. It was a nightly prayer that we did, like I said for weeks, and now we haven’t done it for a long time, because I refuse to carry the load. I don’t want to force the issue; I want them to come around on their own.

I’m starting to get my son much more involved, particularly because I’m preparing him for his first confession and communion. But at 6 years old, I can’t expect a whole lot from him.

How common is this? Any thoughts?


#2

I can’t comment on how ‘common’ this situation might be… but I do have some thoughts on it.

Push the matter with your son and continue to develop him in the faith. That is your responsibility as his father, a promise you made at his baptism. He is watching you and learning from you: you must set the example for him.

Now, it is of course it optimal to have both you AND your wife teaching and setting an example for your son. I would suggest sitting down with her discussing your son’s interest in this matter. If she is not interested in deepening her faith, will she at least join in family prayer (and maybe a bit of enthusiasm?) for the sake of her son?

If this is not possible from her, continue to develop your son. It’s essential.


#3

Vittorio,

Thanks so much. I should have clarified one thing though. They aren’t at all opposed to spirituality. That’s the funny thing. They don’t ever say “no” to praying the chaplet, or complain about.

Why won’t they just take the initiative?


#4

Join the club.:frowning:

My husband never joined me and the children for night prayers. I have asked him to pray the Rosary with me but he just avoids it. He comes to Mass every Sunday, except when I am sick - or for 8weeks when I broke my ankle & he wouldn’t even take me.

He doesn’t read the Bible or spiritual books and the only opportunity I have is to play an apologetics tape on the 10 minute journey to and from Sunday Mass.

It’s disheartening. None of my 6 children attend Mass anymore and all I can do is pray for their souls by myself as DH won’t pray with me. :banghead:

Once in awhile I put a Fr John Corapi DVD on to play and he sometimes sits and watchs it because he is such a TV-holic he will watch anything.


#5

They probably feel that what they are already doing (housework… whatever) is more importnat… I have found that housework can be overwhelming… Of course, i don’t have any help…

Anyway, i used to have a little “chapel” in my home… Now my place is too small… but anyway, if you had a little altar or something and just went there at a particular time & prayed every night, maybe others in the family would follow??


#6

:smiley:

It sounded funny but i do know how you feel… I am one of the only devout Catholics in my family. I feel very alone sometimes and don’t want to alienate people by preaching… etc… Yet, sometimes i can’t help “preaching”… and it annoys certain people…

Anyway, i feel the most powerful thing is to pray the rosary over people… and also to sit at the Blessed Sacrament and think about them/ give them to God, etc…
You may have to do it more often??? :shrug:


#7

Well, at least you have one thing going for you! :thumbsup:

Perhaps, if you keep pushing and certain things become family ‘habit’, the rest of your family will beging to show more initiative.

But definitely “roll with what you’ve got”, as the saying goes. If they’re willing, that’s a good thing. With time and prayer they will become more enthusiastic and initiative.


#8

Maybe you aren’t aware, but men are meant to be the spiritual leaders of their families. I’m surprised that requesting the family to pray together is so burdensome. :confused: I can see that it might be disappointing that no one else is enthused enough to bring it up first, but maybe God has given you your enthusiasm precisely to be the initiator. Perhaps you could simply say, “Does everyone agree that barring some unforseen circumstance, 7:30pm every night is when we will come together as a family and pray the chaplet and night prayers?” Then you no longer will have to ‘ask’ everyone each day. It will be an expectation. Maybe it will take a few reminders, “hey everyone, let’s hurry and finish cleaning dinner up so we can get to night prayers, it’s almost 7:30!” But isn’t a reminder worth it when their souls hang in balance?

Remember that virtue is habitual–just like vice. The Holy Spirit seems to have lit a fire underneath you! How blessed you are and how wonderful for your family–imagine if all of you were lukewarm, then who would initiate? What good is your fire for God if you cannot help stoke the passion in those around you? They need time to grow in faith and their prayer life must become a habit. But if no one helps them form that habit, it might never happen at all.


#9

Princess,

I can’t argue with anything you’ve said.:thumbsup:


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.