I am new to this forum, so I hope I am posting this thread in the right place.
Before I ask my question, I will provide a little background:
My wife and I will, Lord willing, be joining the Catholic Church this coming Easter. This decision is the culmination of a long intellectual and spiritual journey. I grew up in a protestant home, and though my parents never identified with one specific denomination, they did skew more reformed/Calvinist–think John MacArthur.
My family was never virulently anti-Catholic, though they always made it clear they thought Catholics were superstitious and gravely wrong on many important issues. My parents always spoke of Catholics respectfully, however, and more recently, they have even sent my brother to a conservative Catholic high school. The same brother is even taking organ lessons from a nun.
Now for my question:
Since I have decided to become a Catholic, my parents have ratcheted up their anti-Catholicism tenfold. In addition to enduring regular mocking, anti-Catholic comments, I am being told to keep my Catholicism to myself (very hard for a convert to do), even though I have mentioned it very seldom out of a desire to avoid conflict. Now, I am being told not to talk to my little brother any longer, as my parents are worried that I might “seduce” him into Catholicism.
I knew my family wouldn’t be happy with my decision, but because I have always had a good and very strong relationship with them, I never thought it would come to this. Nothing has ever come between us before.
How do I respond to this in a Christ-like way? I have tried very hard to be loving and to not respond in kind to the attacks I have experienced so far. I truly want to honor my father and mother. But it is very hard to hide (and never defend) what I now believe and never express it publicly. It is even harder to be cut off from my little brother.
I want to do what’s right, and I certainly do not want to harm my relationship with my family. How do I handle this? I’m sure I’m not the first to experience such things. Thank you for your counsel.