Supporting Each Other in the Sacraments


I described the disaster that resulted from skipping out on family confession for nearly two months in the series Driven to Drink. As each family member went to the sacrament of reconciliation, the level of peace in our home increased incrementally.

Ian and Gianna went to confession during the week of Totus Tuus, our vacation Bible school. I finally made it a priority to attend confession as I fetch my son from his altar serving during the early mass. I was amazed how much better I felt and the reduction in conflict, improved obedience, and better teamwork among the kids.

My husband is the last holdout to get to confession. Despite his regular comments on the need to go, he was still unable to get the body there. I even got as bold as to mention to him at 7:20 a.m. when he was reading the paper on the porch that he could run to the 7:30 a.m. confession five minutes down the road at our parish. But he didn’t oblige.

Being the observer of people that I am, I could not help but notice the contrast among Ian, Gianna, and me after going to confession compared to my spouse. It wasn’t that Joe was being a monster. “Monster” is a word that better describes me when I have an extended amount of time between the sacraments of reconciliation. It is just that there is a barrier between Joe and the rest of us, a distance that isn’t there when he is frequenting the sacrament.

It reminded me of what Father James Perez shared during my Ignation silent retreat a couple of years ago. He demonstrated the effects of sin in a drawing on the board. He drew a small “S” on the left, a large “I” in the middle, and a small “N” on the right. He said “SIN” puts “I” or me in between myself, “S”; and my neighbor, “N”.

As we celebrate Father’s Day, it is important to be sensitive to the pressures our men feel that make them feel as if doing the things that are good for them would be too overwhelming to so at the moment.

With gratitude I relish that my spouse embraces his Catholicity and strives to be the spiritual head of our family. But even strong leaders need our help. I resolved to offer my rosary so that God would give Joe the grace he needed to get back in the box soon.

The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Say a prayer and take an action to show support and love for the father in your life.