Q. I frequently make New Year’s promises. Even with my best intentions, I often fail to implement them as the year unfolds. Is it necessary for me to confess these promises in confession?
A. No, it is not necessary to confess such promises. Every person in the world probably makes some kind of promise, to themselves, at the beginning of the new year. Not all such promises are kept. Both the making and the breaking of intentions are normal and common. These are examples of normal human weakness, not sin. We are often unable to implement things in our life that are helpful. Regardless, we get up and try again.
Q. I care for my aging mother in her home. She has demonstrated dementia and other struggles that often make the caregiving difficult at best. I find myself getting upset and angry. Am I breaking the commandment to “honor your father and mother” when I react this way? I am really confused over this.
A. You honor your mother by engaging in her constant care. You are showing great love and devotion with a very difficult task. Everything you are feeling is the result of the difficulty of what you have committed to do. Your anger is not a sin. It is a manifestation of God’s grace.