Monday, January 4, 2010

Advice needed

I will post more tomorrow as it's 12:30 am and I really need to get to bed. Lots to talk about from this weeks RCIA class tho!

Mainly I want/need some advice. My 15 year old daughter is refusing to go to church. I could not get her out of bed this morning and finally did leave without her so we wouldn't be late. Mind you, lots of things went through my mind. Everything from punishing her with chores to giving up and letting her stay home from now on.

Rite of Acceptance is next Sunday. She says she isn't doing it.

I don't know exactly how to handle all of this from my usually perfectly behaved and well mannered.. never the squeaky wheel child!

Please give me your thoughts here or send me an email dixon.julia@yahoo.com

Feel free to ask around for other opinions!

Thanks so much in advance!

9 comments:

Mary333 said...

I wish that I had some advice for you. The truth is I started refusing to go church at 15 or 16 and I ended up deeply regretting it over the years. I came back, after much needless suffering caused by my own rebelliousness, but it took a conk over the head to get me there. You are already in my prayers but I will start a novena for your daughter. Place her trustfully into the Lord's hands. He will never let you down although it may take a little time. I will offer some Masses for her, too. Teenagers need all the help they can get in these days.

Sarah - Kala said...

This is tricky if you have never been steady in church attendance with her. However, my rule in my house has always been "if you live here, you go to Mass/Church". There can't be any real argument about going if that's always been the rule. Still, you are the parent and you can make a new rule and it has to be followed. All the time. That said, I would have a chat with her . . . just tell her you want to know why she is resisting going and not wanting to be Catholic. She does have a say, in being a follower of Christ. If she doesn't want to, she won't - even if she "fakes" it (and that would be the worst kind of follower of Christ, IMHO). I tell mine they do not have to BE confirmed when they go through the classes . . . it's their choice. I also tell them that they do not have to believe. They do have to attend Mass and behave while there (and they know that they should not receive Jesus in the Eucharist if they do not believe).

But, I would wait to lay out those kind of "rule" until you have heard her out. Remember how difficult it is to be a teen, then add "now we have to go to Church after all this time we haven't" to her thinking . . . but we do not know what she is thinking/feeling nor why . . .and that is why you must try and find that out so you can respect it, for lack of a better word . . . and then work together to a compromise EVEN IF that is she must attend as long as she is in your home and as long as you monetarily support her (in case she threatens to move out or run away???).

And, it is hard to do this when I do not know either of you in real life, so please accept my sincerest of apologies if I over step - it is just that there is no way we can have the full story in blogging.

Prayers for you and her in this journey.

Thou Art Jules said...

Thank you both for your comments! I was at my wits end yesterday. Frustrated and really not knowing what to do. I have more peace about it today.

Sarah, Thank you for being so open and honest! I was thinking along these lines after I had time to really think about it. The main thing that bothers me is that she cannot be baptised without also receiving confirmation and the whole 9 yards. I wish I could have them both baptised and then allow them to go through confirmation with their peers. Thank you again!

Mary, Thank you as well! I know that several years ago when I first started this journey I had the same battle with my oldest daughter. Eventually I gave in to the stress and quit going to classes and to church all together because it was "so hard." I regret doing that not only for myself but for my children. My oldest now does attend church although it is a protestant church. I will not give up this time. I will not allow it to be "too hard!" That is probably when I need to buckle down and dig in my heels anyway :-)

oh... a little more info for you two or anyone else who reads this. Her reasons for not wanting to go are that she says she does not believe in God. She said she believes in the big bang theory and doesn't understand how God could create the world and most everything about Mary hits her the wrong way. It is hard for me because I don't understand it all either. I just tell her that we are learning together.

Thank you both for your time!
Julia

Mary333 said...

Julia,
I left you a blog award on The Beautiful Gate. Thank you for sharing your journey with us :)

Katie said...

That's so hard. At her age though and with her profession to being an atheist, I wouldn't try to force her to go through the rite of acceptance. I would, however, say that Mass is a family event and although you respect her right to not believe in God or His Church, she's expected to attend as a family and be polite.

Definitely pray for the intercession of St. Monica! She's the mother of St. Augestine, who had turned his back on the Church. She prayed and prayed and he came back and became a great Saint!

Also, let your daughter know that one of the forerunner's of the big bang theory was a Roman Catholic priest and that the Church has acknowledged that evolution is not necessarily incompatible with the faith. (Basically,that it's okay to believe in some kind of evolution of the body, provided we acknowledge that Adam and Eve were real and were our first parents, and that our souls are uniquely created by God and did not "evolve.")

Good luck!

Julia said...

Hi Julia! LOVE that name! :-) I've come via Mary333's blog. What a tough age to be going through RCIA. You already know that teenagers question everything because the know e v e r y t h i n g! LOL I would ask her to please accept the right of acceptance, go to the classes and if at the end she still feels she does not want to join then you can deal with that if and when it comes. If she feels she has NO say whatsoever then she will continue to rebel. Just keep showing her your joy and she will come around...even if it's years and years from now.

God Bless and I'll be checking back to see how things are going!

Julia said...

Oh also....science and religion go hand in hand....ask her who created it? LOL:-)

Sarah - Kala said...

Knowing a bit more, I think just saying the House Rule is you go and be polite. Keep being joyful, as suggested in the comments. Don't you stop just 'cos your kids are having a hard time. Be resolute! Let the Lord work in you and trust He will work in them. It may be many years, but do not stop praying for them. Keep your faithfulness to the Lord . . . and the suggestion about St. Monica: YES! Ask her intercession, too.

BIG HUGS.

Thou Art Jules said...

Thank you all! We had a nice long talk the other day after school. Basically I've decided that she will continue to go to classes with us and to Mass. I told her that is not negotiable but I don't feel that making her go through the rites would help. I don't even know if our priest would allow that. I think at her age the aspect of free will would play in. I know I would have wanted it to when I was her age.

We have to be at the 8:30 Mass this sunday for the Rite of Acceptance so we will see how that goes. We always go to the 11:30..

I will do some research on St. Monice. i think I've read a bit about her. I'm still new at this Saint stuff :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...