Family prayer time, a source of conflict

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Sunday, March 30, 2014


DEAR Cindy,

My mother insists on us praying the rosary together before going to sleep every night. So while my brother and I do our homework, she watches TV. Good if the show she’s watching is a short one. But if it’s a long one, we have to wait for her to fi nish it. By then, we are too sleepy already. So she tells us to sleep and she would just wake us up for the prayers. Because of this I have come to resent her and don’t want to say my prayers together with her.

What good are our prayers when we are very sleepy? Don’t you think it’s better not to say these evening prayers? Thank you and God bless you and your loved ones.

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Abby

Dear Abby,

You don’t hate your mother. You merely dislike what she’s doing. I agree with you that the quality of your prayers is greatly diminished when you’re just doing it because your mother told you to do so. It has become lip-service already.

No, don’t stop this beautiful practice of praying together. Instead, suggest that you recite your evening prayers earlier, before watching TV and doing your homework. That way, your minds are still alert; your prayers are not mere recitations
from memory but yearnings from the heart.

Fortunately, we need no mysterious etiquette to open up the rich joys of prayer. The desire to pray itself is all you need to start. Not through coercion, necessity or despair, but with a simple willing heart.

Abby, prayer then begins with whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever you can give. You are ready to begin praying the moment you sense that there is something more to life and to faith than you now know. You won’t want to—and don’t need to—stop there. But such talking to God, simple and stuttering as it may be, can lead to relationship far beyond what you may ever thought possible. Short, sincere, and selfless prayers are more pleasing to God than long and memorized ones.

God bless,

Cindy

Husband reminds wife of her past

Dear Dr. Dana,

I wasn’t a virgin when I married. I had an intimate relationship with my first boyfriend. I told my husband about it before we were married. For a time, everything went smoothly until I noticed that every time we quarrel, he would remind me of my past.
He knows that I would be hurt when he does that, especially if there are other people around. Now I regret marrying this man whose mind is always focused on my past. I want to end our marriage once and for all.

Doc, why does my husband always remind me of my past during our quarrels? Does he also have regrets about our marriage. I want
to start all over again together with my son and have peace of mind. I’m also ashamed of my husband and sometimes feel that I’m not worthy as his wife. I’m serious with my decision but still would like to hear your advice.

Lorraine

Dear Lorraine,

Let us try to salvage your marriage not just for the sake of your son but for the sake of your love for each other. It may escape you for the moment but wasn’t it obvious that your husband must have loved you very much because despite what you told him he still married you? And you yourself had a special kind of love for him to enable you to be totally frank with him.

We can say that your union had a good start with that beginning of complete honesty. That’s a good place to begin any endeavor. And that’s why we’ll strive to keep the fi re burning. You say that during your quarrels that he becomes a “historian” and recalls your indiscretion still alert; your prayers are not mere recitations from memory but yearnings from the heart.

Fortunately, we need no mysterious etiquette to open up the rich joys of prayer. The desire to pray itself is all you need to start. Not through coercion, necessity or despair, but with a simple willing heart.

Abby, prayer then begins with whoever you are, wherever you may be, whatever you can give. You are ready to begin praying the moment you sense that there is something more to life and to faith than you now know. You won’t want to—and don’t need to—stop there. But such talking to God, simple and stuttering as it may be, can lead to relationship far beyond what you may
ever thought possible. Short, sincere, and selfless prayers are more pleasing to God than long and memorized ones.

God bless,

Cindy

with your ex-boyfriend. What usually triggers these quarrels, by the way? Perhaps if you could cut down on these quarrels, you’d also minimize the chances of his “ridicules.”

The fact that he promises not to do it again is an indication that he intends to reform, to change, so a little more understanding and love may go a long way. If he didn’t care for you he would just have walked out of your house and out of your life, don’t you think so?

Try to see things from your husband’s (a man’s) point of view. He loves his wife but feels incapable to undo something that he dislikes.

In a way, he is immature. But take the positive outlook: he feels this way because he loves you and is unwilling to let you go.

He’s going through some confusing issues. Don’t make it worse by admitting that you’re “not worthy as his wife.” Of course you are, believe it in your heart.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Dana R. Sesante

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 30, 2014.

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