25 January 2009

How others do it

I have been enjoying reading Sr Susan Francois' blog from the "very beginning" over the past few days. Susan is a Sister of St Joseph of Peace who made her First Profession late last year. she started her blog years ago when she was just beginning to hear the call to religious life, after returning to the Catholic church after 10 years away.

The thing I've liked about Susan's story is that she's brutally honest with herself - and us "bloggy readers" about what the journey of finding out is like. We're much of an age (she's a couple of years older than me) but our journeys are similar. And she's helped me see a few things about myself and my journey as a Franciscan that I wasn't thinking about!

Today was a mixed bag. This morning's church at St James' was a bit mixed. I was at a wedding yesterday that included communion so I had had a very focused liturgy yesterday, surrounded by my Community and celebrating a very wonderful day. Today's liturgy was much less focused - small daughter wanted to have stories read to her (which we did very softly so as not to disturb people), but at the same time, I know she was listening. Yesterday when we did our regular evening prayers at home, she prayed almost the entire Lord's Prayer on her own, with only a couple of prompts from me. I know she probably doesn't understand it, but she has been steeped in the liturgy from birth and it does change you. She loves communion and understands (as much as a 2-year-old can) why we do it.

This afternoon, however, was a nightmare. She was really tired and we put her into her room for a rest, which turned into a war... I totally lost the plot with her at one point after she'd been screaming for over 20 minutes.

It made me realise (later, when I'd calmed down enough to think slightly more clearly - after she finally fell asleep) that parenting is about power: how we use it to influence and train. The priest yesterday preached at the wedding about Richard Foster's book Celebration of Discipline and that discipline comes from disciple - training, sharing, growing, being friends, learning together. It's a positive thing. And losing the plot at one's 2-year-old is not a good use of parental power, even if said 2-year-old has been a total pain the neck! And here's me deceiving myself into thinking I'm a peaceful person....

Pachyderm tssf

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