Thursday, January 27, 2011

When Something Good Can be a Burden

There are many Catholics in Korea who feel an extra burden when someone in the family is in religious life. The writer on spirituality in the Catholic Times discusses this often troubling situation. 

The pressure they feel is many times more than what others are likely to feel because of what they see as a deterrent in doing what they feel they should. When living in an impossible situation, liked a failed marriage where divorce seems out of the question, they are depressed not knowing what to do  because they have a religious in the family.

And there are difficulties not only with divorce. When there is a suicide in the family, an abortion, a mental problem, they have difficulty talking about it with others because of the self-imposed  burden. It is something that they brood over and speak about only within the family circle.

Yes, it is a fact, says our writer, that those with religious in the family are faced with pressures that others don't have. Even if they are not living an exemplary life they are concerned about what others will be thinking, and it affects their life. The religious person may tell the family to go about their lives and forget about having a religious in the family, but these are just words and do little to relieve them of their concerns. 

There are times when a  priest or a religious, even though choosing the life he wanted, has difficulties of his own; where can he go to complain? Often, during vacation or when free he can go home and unburden himself with the family. He can then give vent to his irritation, complain, lose his temper and find relief in the family. The family also has to endure these outbursts and pray that he continues in his calling.

The writer figures that with the number of priests and religious in Korea, the  immediate families would be about 100,000. If  you include the close relations the numbers would be much larger. Having a person devoted to this way of life, though most often a cause of joy, can at times bring pain. All this may be overcome with prayer, and these  efforts deserve our applause.

He feels that there should not be a burden on others in these situations. Those who are neighbors or friends of these families should  pray for their happiness and relate with them naturally, casting  away all uneasiness. Though the writer knows it may not be that easy, with right effort and prayer he knows it can be done.