Happy Tuesday! Let’s talk!
UPDATE: Okay people, don’t be so polite. The next time I misspell “Coffee” in “Coffee Talk” feel free to point it out to me. And then offer me a cup!
2nd UPDATE: Some comments deleted, all comments closed. Nobody is in trouble, but here’s the deal: The magazine article about baptism in case of a miscarriage that a commenter posted in its entirety is not something I have permission to reprint on my site, and I am afraid that its tone and content would do more harm than good here anyway. But the commenter was correct in pointing out that this is an important topic for Catholic families to think about and discuss.
Here is some helpful information on the topic:
1. Baptism is an important sacrament and Catholic parents should take seriously their duty to have their infants baptized as soon as reasonably possible after birth. They should also familiarize themselves with the proper way to perform an emergency baptism in case their child faces a life-threatening condition any time before receiving the sacrament.
2. Only the living can benefit from the sacraments, including baptism. In the case of miscarriage, it is not at all wrong to baptize an unborn child no matter what its stage of development. Many parents do choose to baptize the embryo, even when they are reasonably certain the baby has died — both because they cannot be 100% sure when the baby died and because doing so provides them with a tangible way of expressing a real desire to have their child baptized. Doing so is not wrong, but it is also not a sacrament if the child is no longer living.
3. Parents who worry about the fate of their un-baptized unborn babies, can find a helpful guide to Church tradition and teaching in this article: Let the Children Come to Me: The International Theological Commission Clarifies Limbo. I think it is especially comforting for us to remember, as the article points out, that “God’s power is not restricted to the sacraments.”
[tags]coffee talk, catholic family life[/tags]
Hi Lady Hatton!!
Hope you had a good long weekend! I believe Cursillo is still around. Last time I checked into it, hubbies had to go first. It might be different for you though. I can make a call if you’d like.
I still see some of those Cursillo people sometimes!
Cell phones and texting are not inherently evil. Yes, teens with cell phones need monitoring-when don’t they? I think for many parents its an issue about control. I see it differently-my children have more chances to prove they are trustworthy. I said it earlier-we are living in a vastly different world than when I was a teenager. I would get in trouble for passing notes in High School! My children are bright and eloquent-they also know I am only a phone call away.
To unhappy – I posted awhile back about my husband struggling to keep custody of his eyes, and I wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. You sound a lot like me, and I know exactly the feelings that you describe. Betrayal, “why?” “am I not good enough?” and feeling used or objectified. My husband was honest with me when I asked him in jokingly about something; he had wanted to tell me for a long time, and we both think the Holy Spirit really picked the right time for us.
I agree with what someone else said about how important it is for us to help out one another in temptation. We have been getting Victoria’s Secret catalogs every 6 months or so for the previous resident. I called last summer to cancel them, and they ended up actually signing me up under MY name! Lovely. When the last one came, I was glad to have checked the mail, and I tore it up, so angry with them and their seductive faces. I called the company right away, told them that my name was the previous resident’s name, and told them I wanted them to stop sending me their catalog. “Customer service is our number one priority,” said the young lady, “so could you please let us know why it is that you want us to take you off the mailing list?” “Sure! I have a husband and innocent young boys in my home, and they find it very difficult on a moral level to have your catalog coming into our home. Very difficult. I don’t want that pornography near my property.” (I really said that.) And that was that.
Last week I was going to be leaving the house for the morning, and he was going to be home with our kids alone. He asked me to dig that catalog out of our stinky garage and take it away, knowing that he might be tempted to find it himself. I was shocked, honestly, that he might have done that, and kind of angry, too. But at the same time, I was grateful that he could be honest with me, and he was anticipating his temptations and wanting them gone. You better believe that I marched out there, dug it out, and shredded every last page, then taking the bag of shredded paper along to the store with me and throwing it away.
I have a friend who has a filter on her computer, at her husband’s pleading. He doesn’t want to be tempted, but he knows that he is, and so he needs her help.
I need my husband to turn off the computer for me some evenings, knowing that if it’s on, I might spend way too much time on here, even doing good or neutral things. We help one another. We’re faithful Catholics, we love God and we want nothing other than heaven. But we struggle, we are tempted, we fall, we hurt one another, and we forgive. We lift one another up in prayer. I am glad to know about his temptations, because now I can pray for this specifically every day. He has assured me that he loves me, wants only me, has no emotional attachment to anyone else, and I believe him. This has helped me a lot. One night I was in tears, asking him if it’s the faces that he has looked at, was it the faces that you were drawn to? (and this is, like, in the store ads for lingerie that come with our free newspaper) I was so desperate, wanting him to tell me that it wasn’t the faces, since that, to me, meant an emotional attachment. I’m learning about men – you can guess that it’s not the face. And stress and tension can also exacerbate the temptation, I’m learning, too.
My husband also had access to pornography at a pre-teen age, I think at his friend’s house and some magazines his dad has. So did I. It is evil stuff. I pray everyday for my kids, and we will do whatever we can to keep them from seeing it.
I’ve gone on and on! I could say more! But I’ll stop there for now. Just wanted you to know that you’re not alone, that prayer helps, good spiritual guides can help, and I will promise my prayers tonight. God bless you, friend.
I’m a little bit late to coffee talk tuesday but I hope I can reach some of you out there…I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but I’m reeling from reading the first post by Theresia. Warning: you are about to hear a coffee-fueled sermon.
I take child safety very seriously and when I saw the term ‘double buckle’ in her post I did a double take. You mean people still do that!?!?! I feel like I’ve been transported back to the 1970’s again when news of improperly restrained children being ejected from vehicles and killed was commonplace. With all of the technology and safety measures and LAWS in place how could anyone jeopardize their darling’s safety on the road.
My husband is a cop and has seen his fair share of tragic and grotesque carnage on the roadside. A drunk driver in our county plowed into a minivan full of seven who were innocently on their way to a Mother’s Day brunch. Everyone inside walked with minor scrapes and bruises save the 8 yo boy who wasn’t properly resrtained.
For the longest time, before our van, my husband and I split our family into separate vehicles to family outings and church because we couldn’t afford a large vehicle. On days when he was working, my five kids and I stayed home or did things within walking distance of our home.
Please, please, please consider that just because you may be the best driver on the road and your intentions are good, it’s every other jerk on the road you have to worry about. Please don’t take unnecessary risks with your children. God bless.
Mary B says
Yes Cursillo is having a researgence— maybe because our founder recently went to heaven?
Methodists and Episcopalians have a Cursillo retreat– I think the Methodists use Greek nomenclature instead of the original Spanish (Cursillo means little course, its a little course in Christianity- not a retreat)
You do not have to be Catholic to go on the Catholic Cursillo as long as you understand that the Eucharist will be central to the weekend.
One big difference is those who have made one attend the end of the weekend to meet the ‘babe chicks’ and show them how much community is available. There were 2 women this weekend where Cursillo is a family right of passage: it was there turn, or they came to get it over with! In the end they were very glad they went.
What many of us miss is the Post Cursillo experience: finding a small sharing group, attending a group reunion or Ultreya, attending Formation School or Leadership school.
Mary B says
Boy my spelling is worse than usual! I did have my coffe two!
sorry its ‘rite of passage’
And Danielle wonders why we didn’t tell her she had a spelling error 😉
Maybe it would help, “Advice for Keeping the Faith,” if you considered that some of those 2-kid parents are also working hard to keep the faith.
We’ve talked before about not rushing to judgment about family size or other factors — surely all those families you describe don’t deserve such harsh words. I have two wonderful children who attend public school, a husband with a very demanding job and I, like Danielle, work (but from home, so I can be available to my children, participate in their schools, etc.).
It isn’t crass materialism that prompts any of this and I, like you, struggle with keeping the faith alive for my children in a culture that seems focused on other values. However, the saving grace is to realize that many families do put their faith foremost, despite outward appearances.
Please, let us support each other in these good intentions–not assume the worst. As someone who absolutely supports and honors the choice others make in homeschooling, I wait patiently for the day when the choice to public school is considered equally honorable.
“Your children can not hear God’s voice if they do not become accustomed to (and enjoy) long periods of quiet.”
I absolutely second this observation! Hard to do when you’re constantly running to classes, sports, organizations, etc., but it’s helped us to create stronger family bonds as well as giving our children the opportunity to consider the spiritual and develop the ability to productively entertain themselves.
A Mom says
Beautifully put Elaine! In the past I have done Orthodox Catholic Montessori, a parish school, homeschooling and now public school. Public school has been the best for us, so far. I too have to rigorously “defend” our choice – but that’s okay – because I know most of my friends are defending their school choices to others too! It’s really crazy, isn’t it? Too much mother bashing and judging. I have never and I mean NEVER met a mother who wasn’t serious about raising her children well. Every mother I know (and not only in my conservative Catholic circle) weighs their every decision; work vs sahm vs pt work, public vs private vs homeschooling, cell phone vs no phone . . . In my early 30’s I had a list of things I would never do. I would never send my children to public school; I would never home school; I would never have children close together; I would never breast feed for under a year; I would never leave a sleeping baby in a crib to pick up another child 5 minutes away; I would never stay home full time; I would never shop at Aldi; I would never allow my kids to watch t.v. for more than 2 hours a week etc. I have done everything on that list and more – show you what I knew about real life with 5+ kids. My point is, things change, situations change and except for the biggies that our Catholic Faith teaches (Weekly Mass, Passing on the Faith, No artificial birth control and others) there is room to do things differently from one another. Have some faith in your fellow parents. Let us love, encourage and pray for one another.
Re: comments on family size
I don’t know if anyone is left here listening but I have another thought that is important to consider. It is not directed at anyone specifically but is a general observation that I have seen over and over again.
I know many moms are tired of comments they hear about their large families. I understand and you shouldn’t have to be constantly challenged for living the life God has called you too.
On the other hand I hear comments made about families with 1 or 2 children in general in the orthodox Catholic community. There are judgments made about their motives and their faith. It goes both ways. A women I know who struggled with infertility and had one child at the time remarked how she made sure to make it clear to others that she was open to life but had fertility problems. How unfortunate that someone has to feel this way in our Catholic communities. That she has to justify to everyone that she is following church teaching and reveal personal information to them. (I personally wouldn’t feel the need to justify anything, although I too often see when Catholics are doing the checklist to make a conclusion about if someone is following church teaching) Really it is not anyone else’s business why you are not having another baby or are having another baby for that matter.
Let’s realize that it is our job to live the life God has called us too and not make judgments on other couples as to why their family size is not as big as our own. I feel that somehow the definition of open to life has been turned into how many children you have. As in if you have more than say 4 you must really be open to life, 3 well maybe, one or 2 well then there is something wrong with your faith life. This is not what the church teaches.
Seasoned Mom says
I just wanted to add something regarding the conversation about lonely moms of preschoolers and making new friends. I was there once. We moved to the burbs when I was seven months pregnant with our first child. For the first time in my life since my college years, I had to make new friends. By nature, I’m somewhat shy and reserved, but I knew for my survival I had to challenge myself to get out there. It was difficult at first. I tried a few mothers groups until I found one that clicked. I met a nice mom at the playground and we ended up forming a little playgroup. She invited a few other moms into it. We stuck together for a couple of years until my oldest started preschool. Those were some of the happiest memories that I have from those years.
I think you have to walk a fine line between being eager to form a new friendship with another mom and being too desperate for friendship. I remember hiding in my house because this one woman was ringing my doorbell after she called me a dozen or so times to get together. I just couldn’t deal with her desperation. She kind of freaked me out. And for the life of me, I couldn’t bring myself to say to her that I didn’t want to be friends. Because it wasn’t really her that I didn’t want to be friends with, it was the way she was going about it.
Thank you, Elaine!
I’m going to jump in, even though it’s late.
I come from a family of 2 (and my father was strongly opposed to birth control even before he became Catholic) so I’ve been on the receiving side of the judgment that some Catholics feel free to heap on others concerning family size. One time it was especially hurtful because I was an adult interviewing for a job in a Catholic church! Needless to say, I realized pretty quickly that I was not a good fit for that job.
Since I’m going to be a mother in just a few months, I’m looking at education options for the future. My husband went to school (but learned huge amounts at home) and I was homeschooled. I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but I know we’ll get plenty of flak for whatever decisions we make. My parents will be convinced that we’ve set our child(en) on the path to hell if we send them to public or Catholic school. To others, we’ll have to defend our choice if we homeschool. I’ll have to take some skin tougheners no matter what. 🙂
About the number of kids you have:
I agree we shouldn’t be sitting around judging others by the number of children they have. Whether it’s one or 12. What really is a problem is when we hear others say, “That’s it. I’m done.” or “My husband is going to get fixed.”
And we hear that a lot. I also hear the comments about the church’s teaching on birth control. “Oh, nobody listens to that anymore.” In other words, more often than not women are choosing (choosing!) to limit their families by means of the birth control. And they’re telling us. Women are like that. They’ll tell you anything. Whether they know you or not. (And I don’t mean here…I mean on the phone or in person.)
These are supposed to be Catholic women. I live in a predominantly Catholic area but honestly? Sometimes I think it’s Catholic in name only. Don’t torch me over this. What I mean by this is that they’re not really interested in what the church teaches. Unless it’s to give money to the poor. (which is a good thing). We’re all struggling so I don’t mean any criticism of those who struggle with their faith. I guess that I just get upset by those who diss their faith.
I know all too well what you are going through. And I think the pregnancy and post-partum hormones are going to make your emotions even more intense for awhile. Now that my youngest is weaned I feel I have a calm of mind that was not th ere before.
I can only imagine that the lie(s) you may have caught him in are even worse than the porn because of what it does to marital trust. My husband cannot lie to me at all (he’s really bad at it), but that didn’t keep me from being suspicious after absences from each other! I was a wreck, worrying about what he MIGHT do. Horrible. But I had to realize that he is a free person and I have no control over his actions. I will pray (hard!) for him and offer occasional suggestions on how to avoid it, but he must do the work. There is no way to forcibly keep him from those things that lead him into sin.
I also started to feel superior and to look down on him (and other men) for succumbing to such desires. I am learning that God desires Mercy, and it is for the sick that Christ came, not for those who don’t need a doctor. Who am I to judge?
I don’t really have any advice here, just empathy. We are still working through it, and in the meantime my husband is having a “crisis of faith” and won’t really talk about matters of faith at all. We still go to Mass as a family, but his heart is not in it. I think it is because of the guilt he feels because of repeat offenses. He knows how much it hurts me and he hates to see me go through that over and over again. He says he avoids nasty websites and magazines for my sake now, not because of any feeling that it is a morally right thing to do.
In the meantime, I entrust him to St. Monica’s prayerful care.
Advice for keeping the Faith says
Dear Jennifer, Katherine and PM,
Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words, and thoughtful responses to my question. I appreciate that you took time to read what I *ACTUALLY WROTE* and read between the lines enough to realize that I felt alone, needed a cheering up and sent me in the right direction for prayers, reading material and ideas to live this life that is working for our family. I felt so much better last night as I fell asleep because I had a plan and I felt like my “love bucket” was filling back up!
I appreciate your time and energy so deeply.
As for the others who used my post to jump on the “number of children public/private sahm/work away soapbox”, you completely missed my point.
For the consideration of space on the Coffee Talk, I left out a LOT of the details of the families in this area.
*We are the only family with more than one child in our small parish. In fact, after the Mass, when we go to the store to get milk and bread, other parish members will say, “Hey, that is the family with CHILDREN”!!
*The other wives and husbands we know (IN OUR TOWN AND NEIGHBORHOOD) wink, and say “Snip, snip!”
*When I am having a tough day and let that slip, all of the family members at one time or another say something along the lines of: “Well, you could send them to school to have some alone time/Why don’t get back to your REAL JOB (teaching in a public school)/You were the ones who CHOSE to have all of these children/You do know, don’t you, that the Roman Catholic Faith is actually a cult?” (!!!)
* I am generally pretty understanding and careful not to judge other people according to number of children they have. My husband and I prayed to God every month for 7 years to have children! We were told we could not. Whenever I got my cycle after we were in the hope of the possibility, we cried because we considered it a dream not realized. Now we are blessed with 4 darlings. I love them so much, as I know you must love your children.
In fact, this on-line community, until this morning’s posts in response to mine, is the closest I have EVER felt to having a few very good and holy friends. And I loved that. I would set my alarm to get up early to have tea with my “friends on this journey”. And for those of you who went out of your way to be positive and understanding–Bless you.
I guess next time I feel like asking for a little compassion and loving support about MY LIFE when I am having a crummy day I will not bother to ask it here.
Dear Advice for Keeping the Faith:
I guess next time I feel like asking for a little compassion and loving support about MY LIFE when I am having a crummy day I will not bother to ask it here.
Wow. That’s a little harsh, isn’t it? Am I missing something? (That is entirely possible. I have to go back and forth between the computer and taking care of the kids/house so maybe I did miss something. )
I’m really confused. You sound for a moment like you are really happy to have us here and then at the final paragraph you post the above quote. If I’ve offended you then I am truly sorry.
Lady Hatton says
I am just amazed by how many people seem to have issues in their lives with people criticizing their family choices–number of children, schooling, etc. I don’t see that so much where I am. I don’t know if it is a function of my age (50), where I live (NYC), or my cultural background (2nd-gen. Irish Catholic) but NO ONE in my extended family would EVER comment critically on such personal issues. My sisters and I are close, but we would never ask each other if a child was a “surprise” or if we are “done”. I can’t believe strangers would be so rude. When I did get the occasional comment from a stranger or acquaintance I had no difficulty brushing them off. I hope everyone here can be happy or at least at peace with the decisions that they and their husbands have made. You are all such loving moms and faithful wives…it just shines out from the computer screen. Please don’t let these grumps get you down. Everyone needs to tend to their own business, then they won’t be so busy worrying about everyone else’s. Peace everyone and have a lovely day.
Keeping the faith,
My heart really goes out to you. It sounds like you are surrounded by people tearing you down and really need some good support. I hope with time you will get the connections you need to affirm you and support you in what God has placed on your heart.
The internet is such a vast place. We all come here from different places and perspectives. We can’t read into the tone of a post or know all the details behind it or the exact state of the writer. I am very sensitive myself so I understand when you come just feeling down and are looking for support and feel you got what you didn’t ask for.
I don’t think anyone meant a personal attack on you. I didn’t read all the posts so I’m not sure what specifically upset you.
It sounds like you must live in a small town and have difficulty finding other Catholic moms you can identify with. In many ways the internet is a real gift to come here and get connected. Try to give it another try.
I promise I won’t torch you:)
I am a very private person so I find it offensive to when people make comments about getting fixed and begin done. I usually just let it go by.
There are many ways to share our faith. I realize that conversion just doesn’t happen overnight or all at once. The Holy Spirit works over time in someone’s life. Sometimes people are Sunday Catholics for along time before they get it. We have to trust that God is working on their hearts.
I think people may make comments but inside you don’t really know what is behind it. Maybe they are just selfish and materialisitic who knows I tend to lean on the notion that something else deeper is going on in their life and marriage that might be very painful.
Recently, I had a conversation with a mom on one of my kids baseball team. She had mentioned how she is Catholic but only goes on the big holidays because she doesn’t get anything out of Mass and her 5 yr old twins don’t sit still. While part of me really want to throw the book at her so to speak. I really had to be careful to listen and see what open doors God has into her heart. She obviously doesn’t understand the meaning of the Eucharist. At one point in my life I didn’t either but by the grace of God I get it. She is really searching and would like to join me sometime for a prayer group. I trust the the Holy Spirit will continue to bring her into a better understanding of the faith.
I don’t think it brings people to God when we condemn them. While it would be great if everyone hit adulthood and completely embraced the faith we have to realize that people come from all differents kinds of backgrounds and need some time to let God work in their hearts.
I know I’m posting this very late, hopefully you’ll see it. My husband has set up an account with Covenant Eyes (online) for about $7/month. It send me (and any other accountability partners he chooses) a report of EVERY site he has visited every 3 days. This has been a huge help to him, the temptation is more easily resisted when he knows that other people will know. In our experience, it has been very effective. He has found his way around every filter (including BSafe). This is the only tamper-proof accountability we know of. Also, I get an email if he has shut the tracking off, which he has had to do with his work computer when it was being worked on by the IT guys. But it gets turned off and then he comes home from work. I get the “on” notice again as soon as he picks it up in the morning.
A Mom says
May I suggest that how one reacts to people commenting on the size of ones family may be part of the “problem”? People!! Be confident in your family size! Be proud! If you’re open to life you have the family your suppose to have. Don’t fret. Most people do not mean to be unkind. They’re only ignorant or worse, guilty. Meet them with love.
Just want to give you a link for the Covenant Eyes program that mnmom recommends:
If you need a vehicle to seat 8 total including the parents, we have a Pontiac Montana that seats 8. We like it a lot, and I think it gets decent gas mileage.
Recently finished our first year of Sound Beginnings – biggest pain of the year! I started with just the teacher book. Later on I got the note cards of phonograms (helpful), worksheets (helpful), and the Composition notebook – which we forgot to add to a lot of the time. My suggestion, go ahead and get the whole set. Most of it you can use for future children – photocopy the worksheets.