Friday, December 23, 2011

My kind of confession...part 2

As I mentioned earlier, education was and still is very important for my parents. I grew up knowing that I had to get the best grade I could get. Surely I was taught about thy shall not kill, thy shall not steal or lie, no drugs, etc, and other common social laws, but it was never emphasized to me about other more important virtues such as faith, hope, love, self control, fear of the Lord, etc. As long as I got good grades, and I didn't do drugs, steal, lie, or in other word kept myself away from jail, I was good to go. I knew about sins, but never really knew about mortal and venial sins. My parents were really supportive in  education, they were loving parents, and they tried to raise their family as best as they can. Of course they made sure that none of their children bring shame and embarrassment to the family. Family honor is very important.

I never knew about modesty, that my body is 'the temple of Holy Spirit' so I dressed that kind of fashion. My world was basically about...ME...

Since I entered school, I tried so hard to be accepted, to be that popular girl. At the age of 18, after graduating from high school, I went to college overseas, an hour away from my country of origin, in attempt to get 'better' formal education. 18 year old young girl, with no strong foundation in Catholic Faith teaching, venture around enjoying her freedom, well, I still had to attend classes, of course. I did good in classes, though, but not in the area of my faith and salvation. I wanted to look 'cool', and did things that I wasn't supposed to do, of course I didn't do things that will put myself into jail, no drugs, and no gambling.

When I was a little girl, growing up, I was never really close to my dad. We never really talked heart to heart, and I feel that my dad never made an effort to get to know me. I was a little girl who was lacking of a fatherly love and cuddles. So, when I had my 'freedom', I was looking for male's attention that I didn't get from my dad at the wrong place. I always thought that having a boyfriend is cool. My parents, of course, didn't know my 'social' life, I wasn't that 'stupid' to tell them what I did. Besides, as long as my grades were good, no child, and healthy, they believe that I was behaving well enough and didn't embarrass them.

Graduating from this college, then I transferred my grades to another college in a different country in order to get my degree. This time, the country was a little bit further from my country of origin. It started the same all over again. I kept my grades well, found a part time job, while my faith, salvation and moral were questionable. It was all about good grades, fun, and guys.

Now, looking back, I could see the Good Lord's hands. Maybe..I should say I could see what He allowed me to experience. Remember when I wrote that I went to Mass out of obligation? well, every time I went to a new country for school, I felt homesick as I didn't know anybody and everything was still new to me. The only place I ran to is the Church. Mass was the only thing I felt I was home. There were 2 reasons I went to Mass, obligation and it felt like home. Yup, I went to Mass filthy, without even realizing the need of going to Confession. So...I kept on sinning, and at the same time I kept on going to Mass.

The lacking of father and daughter relationship in my life while I was growing up, made me realize how crucial the father's touch and love are for little children, especially girls. I am blessed with a husband who loves spending time with his kids. He loves cuddling with his girls and son too. They love tackling and climbing on top of daddy. He understands very well his role and how important it is for his children to have their daddy involves in their lives, especially for the girls.

I pray so hard that through my husband's love for his girls, if the Lord chooses married life as vocations for my girls, they will look for husbands who are no less than their earthly daddy. Our son will know how a husband should treat his family, or how a father should be, in married life or in priesthood.

Monday, December 19, 2011

My kind of confession...part 1

I've been re-typing and re-reading this post over and over again. I've been debating if I should even post this story or just keep it for my personal journal, because I don't know what's going to happen once I put my deepest secret out there. On the other hand, it might be a story that will encourage people.

Pride is my root sin. Combine that with my Melancholic-Choleric Temperament, then it will be a nice combo for a disaster. That is why I feel the need to be very careful in writing this story. I need to write the story from my point of view, stating the fact without degrading anyone involved as it is easy for me whenever I get hurt to point finger at other people.

My story is ugly, it is filled with sins...any kind of sins. It is filled with anger and betrayal and pride. It is a story about an unforgiving soul, a broken one. This is a story that the Good Lord allowed and has been allowing me to experience. I'm still struggling to believe that nothing, I mean NOTHING will happen unless He wills it. This is a story about my youth, my failings, my joys, my losses, and my pains. This is a story about how angry I can be to The Lord, to myself, and to everyone involved.

However, as ugly as it is, The Good Lord is in it. Did I write this story because of pride? to feel sorry for myself? or is it for healing? I don't know. There are times that I feel the need to let it out. Not many people know my story. and to put it out there for who knows who might read it...well...I don't know.

I'm a cradle Catholic. I grew up in a Catholic family, but I didn't practice the faith so much. I couldn't remember if I went to Mass every Sunday or not when I was a kid. There were statues of Our Lord and Our Lady at my parents' house, but we never prayed as a family. My parents sent their children to well-known Catholic schools run by Ursulin nuns. They let the school taught the faith to their children. Only when I was in Junior High that I remember we went to Mass every Sunday, but at home, we never pray as a family. Mass was just an obligation. I didn't know much about Catholic Church, very little in fact, except Mass, 7 Sacraments, and there is a Pope. I very seldom went to Confession. Pathetic? yes..I know.

Both of my parents worked, all day. Education is their number one priority, and they vowed that they will give their children the best education they can give.

Everyday after school, since my grandparents' house closer to my school, I would go to my grandparents' house and spent the rest of the day there until my mom came home from work, and together, we went back to my parents' house. My grandparents were not Catholics, they love their grand kids so much that they spoiled us.

Everyday, my mom would call me from her work to make sure that I did my homework. My dad.....he was not involved so much, more to a quite type and let my mom took care of the kids, unless of course the kids needed discipline. 

Growing up I was always told to do good to other people then they'll do good to you. A very wrong value I must say, as this is the value that I carried in my relationship with The Lord, and I'm still having trouble to assure myself that I don't have to do anything to get what I want, because no matter what I do, if it's not good for me, I won't get it anyway.

During our journey to our second child, I'd bargain with Him. I felt that maybe I was a bad mother, I couldn't even handle and got angry easily with one child, and He knew that, that's why He didn't want to give me more children. Maybe if I could prove it to Him I can handle more children, He'd give me what I want.

As an oldest child, a heavy burden was put on my shoulders, that I'm responsible for our family honor. I have paid a great price for this belief. I'm carrying a heavy cross because of this belief, and I'm suffering because of this belief. I have cried and cried asking for mercy to be freed from this suffering. I'm scared to repeat these words "Not my will, but Your will be done". I'm struggling to embrace this cross, and maybe that's why it feels heavier. Like I said, pride is my root sin.

Today, it is even hard for me to let go this belief. I am what I am, that God created me for His purpose only. I am not responsible for my family's honor. It also opened my eyes that children are not supposed to be given such heavy burden. Children are gifts from God. Who are we to put the responsibilities of family honor on their shoulders? they..all of us...are only expected to be responsible to God alone.

I should say that my experience growing up has taught me how important our Catholic faith is for a soul. It motivates me to grill my children, to plant the seeds in their hearts about the truth of the Catholic faith teaching. There was a lack of faith in my life when I was growing up and I pray so hard that the Lord will help me to teach my children about our Catholic Faith so that they don't have to learn it the hard way like I did.

I'm praying that I'm able to write the next part with deep humility.