The Gremlins of the soul

English: Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

English: Robert Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fellow mom how has your day begun?  I wish I had spent more time in bed sleeping well than just sleeping.  I stayed up way too late out of sheer rebellion and this morning I am paying for that.  But it is like Father said at morning Mass: Lent is a time to move forward not be stuck in the past.  It’s a time to fight the spiritual gremlins.  The readings today speaks of that fight.  Jonah going to Nineveh and transforming the whole city down to the animals, and Jesus referring to that very story when describing this generation as an evil generation

I love the Rector at the Cathedral!  He said that we were not to read these words as Jesus pointing fingers and saying to each of us: “you wicked person”, no.  Jesus was reminding each of us that EVERY generation has to deal with evil.  What popped into my mind was the movie Gremlins.  In the movie you were not to feed the cute little mogwai, (per-sin state) after midnight, (nagging of the devil), or it would turn into a nasty, nasty gremlin.

Lent is about fighting those spiritual gremlins.  When our children were little I wanted them to have more control over their emotional states, to use emotions in strength, not having them be controlled by their emotions.  So when they would begin to whine I would say to them: “Oh honey, I am so sorry but whining time is over!”  They would look at me as if to say: “OK, there must be a time to whine but its not now.” Every once in a while I would announce that whining time was now and if they had anything to whine about this was the time to do it.  Never once did the children have anything to whine about.

I introduced the boys to Angry Bear as a visual to controlling their anger.  The bear would grow as their anger grew and the object was to show us, mom and dad, where angry bear was and how we could make him a cuddly cub again.

For the girls the Harry Potter series was just becoming available and they were at an age when some of the concepts like Dementors, (devil trying to take away our joy and replace with sin and sorrow), and how we could combat, pray, thinking of a pleasure thing, AND a helpful person who can protect you, (Jesus, Guardian Angel, Mom, Dad) were being introduced. (I know moms, there are some of you who say that Harry Porter is about witchcraft so therefore is sinful, but I look to Saint John Paul II who loved the books and found them to be a source of spiritual goodness, and I felt good about having the children read them.)

Now we are dealing with very early adults/late teens and adult children.  For our adult boys, the tools have become crystallized.  For our twinnie girls, there is still work to be done.  Sometimes you have to say to yourself: “Alright, enough already!  get the gremlins, dementors, angry bears under control, or they are going to control you!”


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Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director


  1. We often do not think about the challenge of helping our children understand the importance of faith to their lives. We lose them because we are not able to make faith understandable or relevant to them. Blessed are you for your talents and for sharing your thoughts.

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