Reflection on the commandment to honor your parents

Libby Anne over at Love, Joy, Feminism has two new posts up about adult relationships with parents. The first post describes how her relationship with her father evolved (or devolved):

My father simply didn’t know how to let me grow up. He didn’t know how to switch from interacting with me as his golden daughter to interacting with me as an adult making my own way in the world. He couldn’t handle me disagreeing with him, because in his mind that meant he had failed me. Perhaps he was so afraid of seeing me hurt and so sure that his way was the only way for me not to be hurt that he simply couldn’t handle it when I saw things differently. Perhaps he simply wanted to protect me, but in doing so he forgot that he couldn’t protect me forever, and that at some point he had to let go and let me grow up.

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Sunday reflection: what God has done for me

Despite my functional agnosticism, I still attend an Eastern Catholic parish (side note: if you don’t know much about Eastern Christianity, you should learn about it – it will expand your world as to how broad Christianity really is). During the announcements at the end of Divine Liturgy, our priest always says something along the lines of, “Have a blessed week, and tell someone what God has done for you.” I normally let this go in one ear and out the other, but today I asked myself, “What has God done for me?”

Both growing up Evangelical and later as a Catholic, prayer was very much emphasized. As an Evangelical we were supposed “pray in the spirit” – i.e. the Holy Spirit would supposedly give us the words to say, which apparently included a lot of emphatic sighs and using the word “just” as much as possible (“Lord God, we just come to you to day to ask you to just help [insert person and concern here]”). As a Catholic, prayer was more repetitious – the rosary, ancient prayers written by saints, etc. – even my more free-flowing prayers included the sign of the cross and one or more common Catholic prayer. The thing is, while the emphasis was different, both were simultaneously personal and formulaic in their own way. And, in both traditions, prayer was a big deal. If you want to be closer to God, pray. The adverb “prayerfully” was included in any major (and sometimes minor) decision in your life. And, I prayed. Although, I was very careful to do my best to only pray for “important things” (health, salvation, etc.) and not be so presumptuous as to pray for “stupid things” (football games, parking spots, etc.). Continue reading