A young woman called yesterday. We discussed some of her trials involving parents who have difficulty letting her live her life as a married woman and mother. Their issue is that she moved a few hours' distance away. The stress created by her mother, in particular, has been oppressive and upsetting.
We came up with possible reasons why her mother (who also then stirs the father) cannot let go. It is good to have compassion and to understand possible motives and explan-ations for weari- some ugliness. I shared with her the idea of holding it out like a mouse by the tail, or a rat, and understanding that these creatures act by instinct and do not realize they are offensive or are spreading disease that infests another life. They don't even realize they are carriers of disease.
So we can have compassion, and we can learn patience with them. She admitted in the recent calls from her upset mother, she did not respond with anger or upset. Ah, she is learning and progressing!
We discussed, also, how God works with us as individual souls, for no one life or path pattern is exactly the same as another. I admitted I did not have much first-hand knowledge of parents who could not let go--at least who kept up pressure on a daughter to "come home" well into her sixth year of marriage. But, I know there are parents out there who cling negatively, probably mostly mothers as it seems fathers do not have such need for control or vested interest in wanting to keep the adult children close at hand.
But God knows all matters, and He allows what seems negative to us as a means of growth and to all the more focus on remaining in His Love and fulfilling our vocations. But how sad that time and energy is taken by distractions of unnecessary ugliness. Well, unnecessary in our view of matters. But again, God knows all, and we can certainly learn to detach with compassion but with firmness of intent.
We then discussed how others can influence, and that one can ask any number of people for advice or receive opinions from them (even if we've not requested), and they all will be different in some way or other. She mentioned her thoughts on hermits, and that she always thought they were out in some woods and did not want people around. But she laughed and said that is just one view, isn't it? Yes, just as with married vocations--they are each and all unique in the living out, with but a few basic benchmarks.
And, as to advice and guidance, we discussed the various spiritual directors, confessors, parents, spiritual friends, parish priests (or for non-Catholic Christians, ministers) we have encountered just between the two of us, and the advice and guidance can vary greatly for the very same issue or situation.
It is so. For any time we want to substantiate some view or opinion or piece of advice, we can find some one or other person considered holy or sanctified, dead or alive in this world, and say, "So-and-so did it this way or advised this or that." Then we can find another, equally holy and upheld as an authority figure, who represents an alternative, or who would propose some opinion or advise, otherwise.
She mentioned the various suggestions from wise and good priests and spiritual friends regarding how to deal with her situation. I mentioned the many different opinions regarding my mystical state during Mass--each with its own twist and turn and not from anyone who had personally experienced the same.
We concluded that while it is all right to ask for input, but when it is all said and done, the Lord will choose for us, and in the end it will all unfold according to His choosing. In the meantime, we are to do all we can for our part, to practice virtues and to keep from any ugliness as far as we are concerned, and to pray for purity of heart.
Perhaps the best advice and opinions we can offer others, is, if they ask (that is rather important--to not interject if not asked), to preface our comments with prayerful acknowledgment that we are only able to encourage practice of the virtues and to pray and lean upon His Real Presence for unfolding the situation according to His will. For all views, just as with perspectives in nature--human or other-- will vary.
At one point, I had thought she could try writing a letter to her parents, establishing that she is married, has children, and cannot turn time around and move closer to them. But, with discussing it and considering aspects in my own life, we decided that in some cases, setting words in writing only pokes the hornet's nest. She said that would be likely her parents' reaction to a letter. It would engage and stir them into more rile and buzzing.
God has sovereignty over our individual souls. We must simply place all our trust in Him and give over to His wisdom. Our best tactic when asked to give advice is to remind ourselves and others that God is personally and uniquely with them. We can encourage in whatever ways to assure them of our prayers and our love. We can offer ideas and suggestions but keep them as such, and only if asked. God will speak to us. He will speak to them. He will show each and all of us His way and purpose if we keep to prayer and the virtues, especially faith, hope and love.