Reply To: Oldest Child and Confirmation

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Hi, I’m not sure this will be any comfort to you unless just knowing there are others in the same position helps. My second son spent the whole of high school avoiding being confirmed each Easter vigil.( we live in the cathedral parish and there is no Catholic school so parents present their children whenever they think best and the bishop confirms them at the Easter vigil along with the converts’ baptisms)It was frustrating and every year we would have a discussion that ended with “I just don’t think I’m ready.” followed by my “what will it take , who do you need to talk to?” and then he would speak to the pastor or the assistant but nothing ever came of it. Of course, concern led to more fervent prayer on my/our part, but that was all as far as I can see. When he had graduated from high school , he took our advice and went to Stuebenville College, because I knew that they insisted that all non confirmed Catholics take instruction and be confirmed there. He did all he was asked. He has always been committed to respectful obedience, still is. He was confirmed at the end of his freshman year, and came home to finish his schooling more economically. Within monthes he was asking us to not make him go to communion on Sundays. He said he just couldn’t in conscience, believe enough. By Christmas he asked if he could skip Mass! His stated concern was the example he was giving to his younger sister and brothers. My husband and I prayed and talked about it and we decided to ask him to go to Mass as long as he lived with us, but he could go to a different Mass than the family. We wanted him to present himself to God , to give Him the opportunity to fix whatever was wrong. For the rest of the three years he lived at home he got up early every Sunday dressed in his suit and went to early Mass. Every Lent we would make him go and talk to a priest about what was bothering him, but the situation didn’t change. When he got his degree he moved away (about one and a half hours drive) and has not gone to church since.(well, weddings and funerals) Some of what bothers me most is that I know if we said “just go” he would do it, but it just doesn’t seem right for that to be our call. He is now 31.
I have spent lots of time in pretty desparate prayer along the lines of “I don’t think I can be happy in heaven without my children.-Please please, please!” It’s been almost two years since I came to some more peace about my worries for them. I have repented of my statement that Jesus alone would not be enough for me- of course He is! God has more power than Brian’s sin and desire to be miserable, which he is. Someday he will crack and grace that has been dammed up will come pouring in.
I thought maybe my story would help you see that making the choice for your child may not help in the long run. Brian’s story just shows how much all that we have in the Church and our relationship with God is grace and gift, not us at all.
I’ll be praying for you and your family.