Anxiety About Being “Good”

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I am Catholic, and I don’t say that to alienate anyone in the audience, but I had an encounter earlier this week where 2 individuals were in deep theological discussion of that Churches canon law because of a simple question: I’m leaving for vacation on a Sunday, can I miss mass?

I pointed out to these people that perhaps they were being over scrupulous, and that we should look at the intention of missing mass. The person didn’t *want* to miss mass, but was leaving at a time that would impede her from being able to go to mass. Surely, God will show mercy to some one who doesn’t want to miss church, but does. They questioned my integrity and told me that I was cynical and imprudent for calling them scrupulous. Ok, I thought, to each their own! And went on my merry way.

The point it this: I didn’t let their criticism shake my personal beliefs in God’s mercy. I didn’t begin to question what kind of Christian I am after this encounter. So why do I feel so shaken when some one criticizes my parenting choices? I mean, these people called my own integrity into question and I just let it roll off me. Why then, am I so scrupulous when it comes to every decision I make as a mother?

It is my goal this week to extend myself the same grace and mercy that I believe my God extends to everyone, and not let the opinions of others destroy the confidence of my decisions.

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