Monday, January 26, 2009

Holiness and Hormones

I have read a lot of good spiritual books in the last 14 years. I have heard many good spiritual talks. Despite all that, I have yet to hear or read anyone discuss how a woman is supposed to retain her holiness while under the influence of her hormones! I suppose it's because many of the talks I've heard are given by priests and they probably don't have a clue about PMS or the like. I just know that there have been many times over the years where I've been yearning for someone to tell me what role hormones play while trying to maintain my state of peace and joy.

For example, can I use them as an excuse for my behavior? I always feel contrite at the end of the day, but in the midst of emotional chaos, I find it hard to reign them in. So, do I have to confess my inability to control my emotions during those few days out of the month? How did the female saints deal with them? Have you ever read the biography of a woman saint that told about what she was like during a PMS day? I haven't. And why is that? I find it hard to believe that they didn't have them, so why is it never mentioned?

Now, before I go any further, I know that diet has a lot to do with how bad or how many PMS days a woman has. I know that my irrational behavior can be controlled to a certain degree with OTC or homeopathic medicines. What I want to know is this:

How HOLY does a woman have to be in order to control her emotions on a PMS day?

Does it require a couple of extra rosaries during those days? Or what about some extra adoration time? How about becoming a hermit? That way you get the extra prayer time and you're not forced to talk to anybody - a great way to lessen the number of offenses against the whole "Love Your Neighbor" thing and therefore, less to confess. The way I figure it, it takes a lot of extra holiness!

The thing I hate the most about PMS is the unpredictability of its appearance. One minute peace, love and joy can be oozing from my pores. The next instant I'm having an out-of-body experience; I don't even recognize myself. This happened to me last week during dinner and I just wanted to scream at my son, "Can I please sit on my own chair, by myself and eat my own dinner? And would you PLEASE stop kissing me and telling me how much you love me!!" (Don't worry, I shoved food in my mouth so the words wouldn't come out!)
My husband says he can tell when "it" shows up because it's like a shield that pops up around me and whenever he tries to come near me he bounces back across the room!

Every month this happens and every month I spend a lot of time pondering how to overcome it. I mean, I should be able to do something, shouldn't I? Retreating is not a viable option all the time, so in the face of wanting to scream irrational thoughts at my family, I have to ask myself, "What would a saint do?" Unfortunately for those around me, I have yet to figure out the answer.

God Bless!


  1. Laura, This post is golden and so true. I often think of this! Many, many times during the day I just call on the Blessed Mother to help me. I think of the fact that they had much better diets back then. They also didn't have to drive so much :) and probably didn't have to watch the clock so much. But, I agree, it sneaks up and I don't like that at all. God love you, Dolores

  2. Another thought....maybe we should be praying for the intercession of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla? She was a wife, mother and doctor. FYI Her book on letters to her husband was exceptional. (I think every wife should read that book to see the tenderness of Gianna's heart towards her husband.)

  3. Dear Mrs. Dominck, your daughter Amanda is a wonderful, devoted follower of my Middle-earth blog and she guided me to your other blog. My sister is a homeschooling mom also of a couple of her 9 (8 here, one in heaven) and so I found this other blog of yours. What a hoot! Have you read Searching for and Maintaining Inner Peace by Fr. Jacque Phillipe? That could be helpful. It's an awesome book.

    God bless,
    Anne Marie

  4. I think about this ALL THE TIME. Still searching for an answer. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!