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Let's say someone is an only child and is discerning religious life. Very common advice is to trust God with the parents being taken care of, because the intent of the person is not to disrespect them, but to do God's Will. But there are two things that really confuse me...

1. In the Catechism it says we are bound to take care of parents when they are elderly. Of course a person going into a religious vocation can make sure they are taken care of ahead of time, for example financially... Regarding taking care of them in old age, some communities allow the Sister or Brother to live with the parent in old age, or I've heard of the parent being given a place beside the monastery.. I understand it all depends on the community. But I've still always been afraid (being an only child who is discerning) that I'd somehow be sinning and not fulfilling my obligation... Even though it seems like communities work with this and if its impossible they would say.

2. I don't know how to interpret this passage: this is probably the more difficult problem for me and I just don't get it. I'm including the commentary too:

Matthew 15:

Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying: [2] Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread. [3] But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said: [4] Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death. [5] But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.

[5] The gift: That is, the offering that I shall make to God, shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves; by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents, if they once offered to the temple and the priests, that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns.

[6] And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition. [7] Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying: [8] This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. [9] And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men. [10] And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.

I see here its talking more about something financial, like giving money to the church or a monastery instead of parents when it was money that was meant for the parents in old age. But could it refer also to time, assistance, etc? That is what I'm worried about..  I don't want to just abandon my parents of course. But even if I try really hard to make sure they are safe and taken care of in old age, I wouldn't be able to be so present to them, and there are no other siblings who could be. How can someone who is an only child see their discernment in relation to this passage, or is it not applicable here?
(07-12-2016, 01:47 PM)little_flower10 Wrote: [ -> ]Let's say someone is an only child and is discerning religious life. Very common advice is to trust God with the parents being taken care of, because the intent of the person is not to disrespect them, but to do God's Will. But there are two things that really confuse me...

1. In the Catechism it says we are bound to take care of parents when they are elderly. Of course a person going into a religious vocation can make sure they are taken care of ahead of time, for example financially... Regarding taking care of them in old age, some communities allow the Sister or Brother to live with the parent in old age, or I've heard of the parent being given a place beside the monastery.. I understand it all depends on the community. But I've still always been afraid (being an only child who is discerning) that I'd somehow be sinning and not fulfilling my obligation... Even though it seems like communities work with this and if its impossible they would say.

You would not be allowed to enter a religious institute if you were the sole support for your parents, but let's be careful about what we mean there. If your parents were financially unable to support themselves and you were making ends meet, then you wouldn't be able to enter a religious institute while they were alive. If however, the can and do financially support themselves, and you would just be an extra hand to care for them in old age, then it is probably acceptable. It will depend on which community and what their rules are.

You'd have to discuss your situation with your spiritual director, but what the Church wants is to avoid a family losing its only means of support.

(07-12-2016, 01:47 PM)little_flower10 Wrote: [ -> ]2. I don't know how to interpret this passage: this is probably the more difficult problem for me and I just don't get it. I'm including the commentary too:

...

I see here its talking more about something financial, like giving money to the church or a monastery instead of parents when it was money that was meant for the parents in old age. But could it refer also to time, assistance, etc? That is what I'm worried about..  I don't want to just abandon my parents of course. But even if I try really hard to make sure they are safe and taken care of in old age, I wouldn't be able to be so present to them, and there are no other siblings who could be. How can someone who is an only child see their discernment in relation to this passage, or is it not applicable here?

It had become common for the Pharisees of Christ's time to instead of supporting their parents, instead giving that money to the temple so they could keep more of their own money for themselves. In effect the Pharisees were trying to fulfill the law by refusing to support elderly parents.

Your particular situation is best addressed with a competent Spiritual Director, which is essential if you are thinking of entering religion..
What if the parents have enough money to get by but no one else to take care of them in old age, not financially but otherwise?

I do have an SD but I'm somewhere else at the moment and won't get to really speak with him until autumn.
(07-12-2016, 04:23 PM)little_flower10 Wrote: [ -> ]What if the parents have enough money to get by but no one else to take care of them in old age, not financially but otherwise?

I do have an SD but I'm somewhere else at the moment and won't get to really speak with him until autumn.

It will depend on the Institute and what kind of vows are taken, etc.

Perhaps if your parents are financially able to make ends meet without you, they will be able to find a good Catholic retirement home when they can no longer care for themselves independently. I know the SSPX has one in Canada and was looking to set up one in the U.S. I can't imagine they are the only group that has a Catholic retirement home.

In short, it does not per se exclude you from religion, but there are plenty of factors to consider.

If you think God may be calling you to a religious vocation, pray and stay faithful, do your best to stay in His Grace, and if you do He will arrange it so you can do so.

As regards your SD, don't worry about it, there's no rush to talk immediately, or have immediate answers. In due time, though, do make mention of your thoughts.
In the case of an only child discerning a vocation to religious life it would be up to the parents. If the parents need the child to take care of them then maybe this child doesn't have a call to religious life. Or it could be that this option would have to be deferred. I know of an instance when someone answered a call to religious life in his forties after his mother died. It could also be that a professed religious would ask for a leave of absence in order to take care of a parent who was unable to take care of themselves. 
(07-13-2016, 12:34 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]In the case of an only child discerning a vocation to religious life it would be up to the parents. If the parents need the child to take care of them then maybe this child doesn't have a call to religious life. Or it could be that this option would have to be deferred. I know of an instance when someone answered a call to religious life in his forties after his mother died. It could also be that a professed religious would ask for a leave of absence in order to take care of a parent who was unable to take care of themselves.

I'm confused about the first point because everything I read about religious vocations, it is not up to the parents, though the parents view should be respected... I understand if someone must be there to take care of parents and there's no other way then its an obstacle. But what if the parents of an only child just don't agree with the vocation, though they don't absolutely need the assistance? I was told that communities look at the present situation, because the future can be figured out in cases... I don't know

Its very hard for me to consider that because of my situation, I may never be accepted anywhere. I need to surrender totally to God in this... If He doesn't will it, then I need to follow His Will. But I'm kind of wondering what to do then because I have decided not to marry and I feel drawn in a particular direction. I guess its all up to Him and I need to trust!
(07-13-2016, 01:20 AM)little_flower10 Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-13-2016, 12:34 AM)Poche Wrote: [ -> ]In the case of an only child discerning a vocation to religious life it would be up to the parents. If the parents need the child to take care of them then maybe this child doesn't have a call to religious life. Or it could be that this option would have to be deferred. I know of an instance when someone answered a call to religious life in his forties after his mother died. It could also be that a professed religious would ask for a leave of absence in order to take care of a parent who was unable to take care of themselves.

I'm confused about the first point because everything I read about religious vocations, it is not up to the parents, though the parents view should be respected... I understand if someone must be there to take care of parents and there's no other way then its an obstacle. But what if the parents of an only child just don't agree with the vocation, though they don't absolutely need the assistance? I was told that communities look at the present situation, because the future can be figured out in cases... I don't know

Its very hard for me to consider that because of my situation, I may never be accepted anywhere. I need to surrender totally to God in this... If He doesn't will it, then I need to follow His Will. But I'm kind of wondering what to do then because I have decided not to marry and I feel drawn in a particular direction. I guess its all up to Him and I need to trust!

Talk to your SD, and institutes where you may feel drawn.

That's the only way to actually get solid and definitive answers to your questions.

Speculations on a forum are just going to rile you up, and are just that ... speculations.

Each community is different and your concrete situation will dictate a great deal of what is possible. We can't know that, and shouldn't, and even if we did, it is not our place to pass judgement here at FE.