Smoking and the sin of disobedience
#1


I am having a moral concern regarding committing the sin of disobedience. To put some context I am currently 22 (turning 23) on January. I currently live with my mom and some other extended family members (aunt and uncle). I have never smoked but I have had a genuine desire of smoking a cigar. Some friends from Church are having a New Years Party (these are well grounded individuals) and they are having some cigars at the party and they invited me to join. I told my mom if I could join them in smoking and not surprisingly she said no.

I went to Confession today (to a traditional minded priest whom I trust).I brought up the fact of whether it would be against the fourth commandment (honoring thy father and mother) if a particular parent was really against smoking but that I genuinly desired to do this. He said that it would not be so since I am an adult and that your parents can't control every aspect of your life as to these sorts of decisions. He said that it would only be sinful if I were to smoke at home despite my parent's wishes. The only problem is that I feel that there are some details that I should have brought up that I failed to do so. I did not bring up the fact that I live with my mom ( I don't know if this would change the circumstances) and I also did not bring up that my mom specifically said not to smoke (I also don't know if this would change the situation or if my Confessor had this in mind already). I just don't want to feel that I am disobeying my mom and I definitely don't want to sin. But I also don't want to feel that something might be sinful or even gravely sinful when it isn't (since I suffer from scrupulosity).
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#2
Quote:He said that it would not be so since I am an adult and that your parents can't control every aspect of your life as to these sorts of decisions. He said that it would only be sinful if I were to smoke at home despite my parent's wishes.

Yup.  Once you hit 18 your parents can make suggestions, but you are not bound to obey them.

Also, once you hit 18 and you continue to live at your parents home, you are a guest in their home.  Therefore you are bound to obey the rules of the house just as if you were renting a room in someone's house or an apartment. (My apartment is no smoking for instance.)

You are an adult under civil and moral law.  You are old enough to be fighting the war in Afghanistan.  You are certainly old enough to smoke cigars if you choose.  That is the free will that God bestowed on you.

While you are no longer required to obey your parents, you are always required to honor them.  This would mean not spreading gossip about them, speaking to them in disrespectful ways, leaving them hungry or homeless...

But you are free to disagree respectfully with them.  You can ask for their advice if you really feel you need it, but you are not bound to follow it.

It's important to know that you are not obligated to always please your parents.  You are not obligated to make them happy.  You are not responsible for their happiness.

Many parents manipulate their adult children with these false obligations. My parents and my spouses parents did this. I have also seen it in friends of mine well into their 50's (with parents in their 70's)!  It's abuse.

You can't follow God's will if you are obligated to follow your parents will.  Many saints have shown this by running away against their parents wishes to become priests or religious.

If a man is obligated to make his Mom happy he can't fully give himself to his wife, whether that be a woman in Holy Matrimony, or the Church in Holy Orders.

"On account of this a man shall leave father and mother, and shall be united to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh"  Matthew 19:5


God Bless! :)

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#3
Adding a few things:

You are not obligated to please your parents.  You are not obligated to make them happy.  You are not responsible for their happiness.

Many parents manipulate their adult children with these false obligations.  It happened to me and my spouse.  I have friends whose parents continued with this into their 50's (with parents in their 70's)!

This is abuse.  Respectful boundaries must be set.  If boundaries are not respected then sometimes a period of separation is necessary for them to grasp that you are now an adult.  (I'm not sure if you have these issues, but just in case.)

It's lovely to please them when appropriate and within certain limits but you have to live your own life now.
An analogy that helped me learn this was the idea that your parents put an overcoat on you while growing up.  As a young adult you need to take off their coat they've given you and go through all the pockets, discarding what is not in line with your likes, desires, personality and values;  but keeping the cherished traditions, values, likes and preferences that do fit with who you are.  Now you can put the coat back on and make it truly your own. :)

As an adult, you cannot follow God's will and your parents' will.

I had this problem with my parents even after I was married and had kids and a priest told me that the best way to honor my parents was to follow God's will.

Many saints set an example by disobeying their parents and running away to become priests or religious.

If you are obligated to please your Mom you cannot fully give yourself to your spouse, be that a woman in Holy Matrimony or the Church in Holy Orders.

"A man shall leave father and mother, and shall be united to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh." Matthew 19:5

God Bless! :)
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#4
"But I also don't want to feel that something might be sinful or even gravely sinful when it isn't (since I suffer from scrupulosity)."

Here's my big piece of advice: always, always obey your priest. Your priest gave you advice on how to handle the situation. Follow that advice. You will always remain scrupulous if you seek out one opinion after another in the attempt to quiet your anxiety.  All it does is keep your cycle of unease active, instead of cutting it off at the source.

Check Vox's page on the Ten Commandments for the Scrupulous and see which areas are your sensitive areas, then follow that advice and your confessor's.

Find a devotion that you can turn to when you feel anxious, one that gives you peace of soul. The Rosary is always a great option, or the Jesus Prayer. Know that God will not let you out of His hand unless you consciously, willingly, obstinately, and gravely force yourself out, with no attempt to ever seek that place in His hand again.
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#5

All I have to say to you is this:

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#6
I've recently been in a similar situation but with a pipe.  :crazy:
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#7
Thank you "Sacred Heart Lover" and "In His Love" for the great advice and help. It completely makes sense and I agree with it. I also do agree that I need to rely on my Confessor and Spiritual Advisor. Thank you Vox for the music video. It definitely made my day :)
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