I’m having trouble with something. Is it charitable to “give in” because others have a problem with something, and, if so, in what cases? I’ve had the charity card pulled on me before in regards to breastfeeding openly at Mass, and now it’s being played in regards to where I sit and how my children act at Mass.
So, for example, if you find out the priest gets distracted easily, is it uncharitable to continue sitting in the front? Is it uncharitable not to remove my three kids at the slightest noise? (Edit: my priest has not said anything to me, so it’s just a question)
If I know people around me are distracted by my children, is it uncharitable to continue sitting there? If a recovering alcoholic is going to be bothered by someone drinking alcohol, I try not to drink in front of them out of charity, but is that at all the same thing?
And what about my children? I sit in the front specifically so thy can see and learn; if they aren’t with me, I don’t usually sit in the front. Their behaviour is worse if we sit where they can’t see the altar, so then they’d disrupt people still. Their behavior isn’t bad, and certainly not atypical for their ages. They are mostly quiet, though Charlotte moves around and talks, because that’s how she is able to process things. They may not always appear to be paying attention, yet this past Sunday Kieran sang the Sanctus, in Latin, and Charlotte wants a statue of Mary and her own mantilla, so obviously they’re getting it.
And then I wonder about humility/pride and obedience. I think of some of the Saints who obeyed their superiors even when what they were doing wasn’t bad (thinking specifically of Padre Pio obeying the order not to celebrate Mass publicly for a time). But then I’ve taken no vows like that, and the Church as a whole has made no declarations about my predicament, but instead gives us great freedom in such things. I have enlisted the help of another parishioner who has agreed to sit with me when we’re both there, because I feel I should accept appropriate help when available. I declined the offer of another to help by watching Kieran so I could remove Charlotte, as I don’t feel the need to remove her unless she’s actually throwing a fit (rare) and because Kieran is fine on his own for a few minutes.
Someone also point out Jesus’ silence before His accusers, which some took as giving up or a sign of guilt. Does that apply here?
I know I’m stubborn to a fault at times – am I just being stubborn here? If it were something about me and that just affected me, I’d willingly comply, but it isn’t. My children are affected, and if I know they do best and learn most when sitting where they can see the altar, should I move? I know I can’t be stricter and expect perfection, because when I do that we all get stressed and they beg to miss Mass; when I don’t do that, Kieran gets upset when we miss.
So what’s the answer? I really would appreciate feedback, please.