Teenager in mortal sin?

daily mass…jeesh. No wonder she’s rebelling. The girl has no breathing room and it’s probably time for you to re-evaluate things. Find some areas where she can have some say and some freedom and at the same time let her know the rules are the rules and there is a penalty to be paid for not following them. But I suspect your rules and her age do not match up very well. I also suspect that half the things she says she’s done, she hasn’t. But it sure is fun making people think so.

She gets to school early. She could hang out with her friends, but she chooses to go to daily mass on her own. It’s completely her idea. She has plenty of freedom. Too much, in fact.

Keith, in your original post you said, " I’m trying to impress upon her the fact that with such flagrant disobedience, she is in danger of having committed mortal sin." That is saying to a teenager either obey me or go to hell. You might not mean to say that, but that’s how I received it.

I’ve got teens, too, and I know this is a tough time. The days of motivation by fear are over. You need to apply (teen) logic to your persuasive discussions.

And, as for mortal sin, there are three factors that must be true for the sin to be mortal for the individual. If you didn’t know or don’t think.(with a properly formed conscience) that you were committing a mortal sin, then you didn’t.

Yes.

I don’t think she is even thinking straight. Tell her you love her and that you are worried about her well being. Let her know that a normal 25 year old doesn’t look for young girls on the internet.

I agree with purplesunshine in that your daughter probably isn’t in mortal sin because of full knowledge being required. That being said, you’re informing her now and making rules now and if she disobeys them now she would be in danger of mortal sin. Get a good examination of conscience, the one I have is from a book of prayers and it talks about deliberately disobeying parents. But, I’m with the poster that said the 10 commandments should be enough.

If she goes to daily Mass on her own than she is doing better than a lot of teens her age. Whether she’s in mortal sin or not is between her, God and her confessor. Leave it be.

She is still a child but she has her own spiritual relationship with God -as do we all. You can’t force a conscience on someone -it has to develop, and seems she has a decent start by attending Mass freely.

She is at that scary age between childhood and adulthood where she’s trying to find her way and her independence. You have every right to set forth rules for her to abide by, but you can’t dictate her interior spiritual life. Give it God, he’ll handle that part.

I don’t know if handing her a pamphlet is going to help at this point. You might want to consider that her attending Mass daily may not be about devotion but about presenting herself the way you want to see her. Both my brothers did this till the oldest of the two finally decided he didn’t care what mom and dad thought anymore. He seemingly did a 180 and has been constantly frustrated at my parents for blaming his now ex-girlfriend and for not realizing he wasn’t the picture perfect son he’d been displaying himself as being for years.

I’d present all the evidence and explain to her that behavior like this is completely unexceptable and take away her cell phone and internet privledges at least temporarily. She needs to earn back your trust. Her going to daily Mass should not at all influence you protecting her from predators on the internet and such things. Her attending daily Mass should be about her relationship with God, not her relationship with you. I would think at this point in her life, she knows the commandments of honoring her father and mother. If she’s mature and honest, she will humbly see your actions as displaying the gravity of her actions rather than hearing lipservice about it. Actions speak louder than words, anyway.

how to impress upon her that she may be in the state of mortal sin?

first, if she’s been raised in an environment that rightly forms her conscience

and if she has graces of the sacraments to enlighten her conscience and intellect and strengthen her will

and if you react to the situation with appropriate concern, communication with authorities and with significant reduction of privalidges,

and if you storm the gates of heaven that the TRUTH will set her free,

then your daughter may come to understanding that her sins may be mortal, IF they are mortal.

the hard part is this: you can only say the sins are objectively mortal (i believe they are.) you cannot say that she is culpable of mortal sin, else you would be judging her.

and no parent (i’m a mother of ten, five already grown) can be their child’s conscience. i cannot force my kid to see the seriousness of his/her sin. i cannot force them to repent.

1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47

1784 The education of the conscience is a lifelong task. From the earliest years, it awakens the child to the knowledge and practice of the interior law recognized by conscience. Prudent education teaches virtue; it prevents or cures fear, selfishness and pride, resentment arising from guilt, and feelings of complacency, born of human weakness and faults. The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart.

your gentle but very decisive response will further inform her conscience of the seriousness of her actions. but the repentance borne of all this is only the work of the Holy Spirit. be careful keith, to not tread where you should not.

ps: this is terribly judgmental. daily mass…jeesh. No wonder she’s rebelling.

That’s great that you’ve put your foot down. You’re doing all you can do. What she’s done is a grave offense. A mortal sin requires having knowledge at the time that what you’re doing is gravely offensive. If she is in mortal sin, she already knows it. She may be in denial about it and it may take awhile for her to get the courage and humility to confess it, but I don’t think there’s any thing you can do to rush her through that process. Pray for her and be patient. Remember that God loves her more than you do. Just as you want to do everything to make her make a good confession, so does God.

It really is a humility thing. If someone tries to tell you that you’re in mortal sin before you’ve gotten the humility to admit it yourself, you’re just going to be stubborn about it and deny it. That’s pride.

Excellent post.

I was going to post that the Holy Spirit is the One Who convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgement, but monicatholic said it so well.

So my answer to your question is to pray for her and ask the saints to pray for her.

And please listen to what others are saying–a 25-year-old shouldn’t be contacting your daughter. Please make sure to contact the police.

Your desire is to keep her soul and body safe. To this end:

  1. Notify her school counselor and priest about her behavior and ask that they meet with her or you all as a family. They can do this at school by having her come in during lunch or her religion class.
  2. Take her to confession
  3. Pray with her and for her.

Also, keep her body, literally, safe and…

  1. Go to the cell phone provider and ask them to show you how to restrict her phone. Make the phone active only from 8am-4pm (or whenever she gets home). Period. The carrier can literally cause her phone to only be available during these times.
  2. Take away text messaging all together
  3. Get rid of facebook, if she has it, and password protect your computer so tha tyou or your spouse have to let her one to use it.
  4. Make it clear that you will report this grown man having contact with her to the police.
    CLOSE THE GATES, as they say, to your daughter so that she has few is any means of engaging with people for awhile.

She broke your trust and put herself in danger. You have to punish and protect her. She will be FURIOUS…but tough luck. She is too close to really going the wrong path to danger.

Taben

Your desire is to keep her soul and body safe. To this end:

  1. Notify her school counselor and priest about her behavior and ask that they meet with her or you all as a family. They can do this at school by having her come in during lunch or her religion class.
  2. Take her to confession
  3. Pray with her and for her.

Also, keep her body, literally, safe and…

  1. Go to the cell phone provider and ask them to show you how to restrict her phone. Make the phone active only from 8am-4pm (or whenever she gets home). Period. The carrier can literally cause her phone to only be available during these times.
  2. Take away text messaging all together
  3. Get rid of facebook, if she has it, and password protect your computer so tha tyou or your spouse have to let her one to use it.
  4. Make it clear that you will report this grown man having contact with her to the police.
    CLOSE THE GATES, as they say, to your daughter so that she has few is any means of engaging with people for awhile.

She broke your trust and put herself in danger. You have to punish and protect her. She will be FURIOUS…but tough luck. She is too close to really going the wrong path to danger.

excellent , practical suggestions.

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