Thoughts on Family Relationships

I had a parent's meeting on Reconciation last night. My oldest son will be having his first reconcilliation this year. It's being done after his first communion. Those of you that know anything about liturgical abuses probably know that the "Church" says reconcilliation should happen before communion, but our diocese states that since we are "teaching reconilliation" before communion, we're covered. That's an entirely different discussion.

What I really took away from last night was not anything about the sacrament of reconcilliation. One of the staff talked about Peace in our Families. He described his dream Saturday morning then went into the reality. It was just like my Saturday mornings. I'm the type of person that prefers to be left alone for a few hours in the morning, especially on weekends. I want to have a quiet breakfast, read the paper, plan my day, etc. Anyone with childen knows that in order to do this you need to sleep somewhere your family is not.

Anyway, he said that we could try putting up walls, making rules for our spouse and children, but we all know that wouldn't last very long. It's hard to tell your 6 year old they can't come to you because it's too early in the morning. Also, you end up looking cold and unfeeling to the rest of the family. It boiled down to the need to force our version of reality on the others around us. Essenitally, it comes down to being selfish. The thought hit me like a cold dose of water.

My wife has been on me for a while now saying that I'm "mean" to the kids. Again, there are times in my day that I prefer to be left alone. Reflecting on it, I realized that perhaps I am being selfish and trying to impose my will on the rest of the family. The talk last night said that this behavior is not the compassionate loving attitude Christ calls us imitate. We are called to be servants. It appears I may not be serving the needs of my family enough.

Now comes the hard part. It's easy to recognize the fault, harder to correct it. I'm going to try to let go of my needs and listen to the needs of the kids (and the wife). Hopefully, that will reduce the amount of stress in the home. I never had a problem with a temper until I had children. No I need to figure out how to let it all go. I'll pray for strength and just keep trying. Who knows, maybe the Lord will grant me the peace I need.


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