10 tips for parents
who are out of their minds with worry
Dear Fr. Thaddeus,
I really am desperate. .... My son left his wife
and children and moved in with another man. ....
I just cannot sleep. ... What did I do wrong. ...
Dear Fr. Doyle,
Forgive me for writing, but I am sick with worry.
My children have all turned out bad. ... Two of
them are in jail. I always lived a good life
..... How did I end up rearing a family of
Dear Fr. Thaddeus
I am on a big guilt trip, as I feel I have gone
very wrong somewhere along the line as a mother.
Once or twice in the last month I have felt like
taking an overdose of anti-depressants.
Decide on a campaign of prayer and spiritual
warfare on their behalf. Take the following
Each day in prayer, meditate on the Scripture
verse, "His salvation is to children's
children of those who are faithful to His
(See page 7 of A Shower of Blessing).
This scripture verse promises that if you are
faithful to the Lord's covenant, then He will
look after the salvation of your children and
your children's children. It is not a promise
that they will go straight to Heaven, but that
they will escape Hell.
Drink in the meaning of this verse. Use it to
renew your trust in Jesus, and your trust that
Jesus will look after the person in question.
Then start thanking God for His great love, and
that He is going to look after the person you are
2. Write Down
Develop a little prayer page or diary that you
will use for daily intercession for them. Write
on it the Scripture verse above. Write the
person's name and the name of others involved.
Learn to pray for each person - even someone you
may consider a bad influence. Add bits to the
prayer page as you take the other steps. Then use
this page each day as you pray for the person.
3. Renounce Worry
"Do not worry about anything" Phil 4:6
It is totally right that you grieve in your heart
when a family member has problems, just as Mary
grieved in her heart when Jesus was missing. If a
family member has serious problems, and you are
not grieving in your heart, then your love is
But while grieving for them in your heart,
renounce the spirit of worry. In particular
renounce worry about material things. "Do
not be anxious about what (they) shall eat nor
what (they) shall wear." Lk. 12:22
As soon as you spot a particular worry, write it
on the prayer page, and hold it before the Lord
each day until you can hand it over to Him.
Make a decision that you are going to seek to
forgive everyone involved. Forgiving doesn't mean
that you can't be firm (- as you can see from
this issue of the Diary.) But seek to bring your
own hurt and disappointment to the Lord. This is
important for becoming open to the Lord's
anointing, and it is also important, as when we
speak out of bitterness or disappointment, we end
up saying things that hurt the situation rather
than help it. Indeed, if you find yourself
furious, deal with your own emotions before
challenging the person
God loves the person in question even more than
you do. Make a decision that, while you are going
to do what is in your power, you are also going
to surrender them into God's hands with trust in
6 Give Thanks
Start thanking God for the person you are
concerned about. Bitter, negative and fearful
thoughts block blessing. Thanksgiving drives away
these thoughts and opens us to God's anointing.
So soak your prayer in thanksgiving. Thank God
for the person with the problem. Thank God for
His love for this person. Thank God that He will
look after their salvation. Thank God even when
the situation is most upsetting.
(See booklet To Pray With The Voice of Jesus)
7. Pray for
Identify any evil spirits that may be involved,
and pray against them.
When we make wrong choices, the forces of evil
can infest our lives, leading to compulsions. For
every human spirit of weakness there is an evil
spirit that may latch on to it. Focus first on
the one's that may be attacking yourself - the
spirit of worry, the spirit of anger, etc.
"Lord, I renounce the spirit of .. "
Then the ones that may be attacking the person in
question. "Deliver ... from the spirit of
(See booklet To Pray With The Voice of Jesus)
8. Use Blessed
Place blessed Miraculous Medals or other blessed
objects close to the person for whom you are
praying - in their car, under their mattress, in
the lining of their clothes etc. (For clothes, a
soft object like a small green scapular may be
less likely to be detected.)
Through my speaking engagements, I now have
several friends who were in the IRA before their
conversions. One was an IRA explosives expert.
One of his bombs should have detonated in his
hands, due to an error when setting the fuse. It
didn't, yet it detonated perfectly later. On
another occasion he was planting what was
effectively a suicide bomb at a military centre.
A soldier pointed a gun at him when he was
placing the bomb, yet didn't pull the trigger.
Despite the extremely short fuse, the bomb didn't
explode until both he and the soldiers were
clear. Nobody was killed.
So twice he should have been killed, but somehow
was 'miraculously' protected.
Likewise others were protected from his bombs.
Since his conversion, his life has been a
blessing to many. The Lord already knew that his
conversion would take place, so that may help
explain the amazing protection he experienced.
But he himself is convinced that it was because
his mother had miraculous medals hidden
everywhere she could hide them - even in the
lining of his clothes.
9. Bless with Holy
If you have access to the person's room,
regularly bless it with Holy Water. If you don't
wish to go in, bless the door. Ask Jesus to
deliver the room or house from the power of the
evil one, and to counteract any evil, (in
pornography, or in alcohol, or in drugs, or in
the occult, or in music, or in guns), that the
person will bring into the room or house.
"Lord deliver this house from the power of
evil. Deliver this house from the scourge of
St. Monica prayed for St. Augustine for up to 30
years before his conversion. Set yourself for the
long haul, and trust.
I am at my wits end as to what to do with my
family. They have all gone badly astray. One
daughter, I don't know whether I should even be
still visiting her den of iniquity - though I
still do so. She has six children by different
fathers. When I visit, I feel like an alien.
Sometimes I also feel that there is a spirit of
evil following her. (Extracts)
It is clear from
your letter that you are most likely the only
apostle that Jesus has in that situation. Because
of that, and because of the fact that you are
clearly faced with spiritual warfare, it is so
important that you yourself come into an ever
deeper living relationship with Jesus.
I recommend our Living in Jesus Association -
take on the spirituality even if you don't feel
led to become a formal member. (Or alternatively
the lay apostles of Jesus Christ the returning
King - or both.)
Jesus is inviting you to a life of deep union
with Him. He then offers you the opportunity to
be His hands and His voice when you visit your
daughter and the other members of your family.
In coming into ever deeper union with Jesus, you
will also be enabled to pray more and more with
I recommend that you read John 4:1-26 often, the
passage where Jesus met the woman who had had
five husbands and was now living with yet another
man. In reading this passage regularly, enter
into the great compassion that Jesus had for this
woman who had turned to sex and relationships to
satiate the 'thirst' in her life. Invite Jesus to
visit your daughter. Invite Him also take up
residence in your heart, indeed in your entire
being, so that when you visit her, you will be
doing so in union with Jesus.
Pray daily for her and for the other members of
your family. In praying for your daughter, use
the method of intercession in pages 19, 20, 21 of
"To pray with the voice of Jesus",
starting with forgiveness and thanksgiving. Then
using the method of prayer on pages 22 to 30,
identify what your daughter needs to be delivered
from and pray for that for her.
I also recommend the Chaplet of Mercy, changing
the words, "Have mercy on us and on the
whole world" to "Have mercy on X (or X
and X) and on the whole world." Insert the
names of different family members in different
decades of the chaplet.
Jesus promised St. Faustina to both bless the
person who says the chaplet and the person for
whom in is said, recommending it especially as a
prayer to offer for sinners.
(You will find the chaplet in the back of 'The
Miracle Rosary' with suggestions for how to say
it in a situation like this.)
Continue to pray like this with total trust in
God, and with confidence that your prayer will be
heard. Persevere regardless of how long it takes.
The Bible promises, "His salvation is to
children's children of those who keep His
covenant." Even if there is no sign of
conversion in your daughter's life, trust that
Jesus will somehow lead her to Himself - even if
it is with her dying breath.