Help me talk to my mom


My mom disagrees with several Catholic teachings/practices. I have some issues that often come up between us and I would just like some suggestions on how to progress our conversations.

  1. My mom is ‘catholic’ She is was baptized, confirmed and had first eucharist when she was about 26. She did not deal with religious education of myself or my siblings. She says that religion is personal and shouldn’t be forced on a child. :rolleyes: (Luckily the Holy Spirit worked in me and I entered into the church Easter 2006 :extrahappy: )

My two oldest (3.5 and 2yrs) were baptized in September. I am in the process of getting my youngest (2 months) baptized. My mom is not happy with me for this decision. What I am looking for is some good reasons to explain to her that are not simply because the church says so. Her argument is that the bible does not say to baptize infants.

  1. She has a huge problem with confession. She says it is none of a priest’s business what her faults are and that she can just as easily sit in the back yard and have a conversation with God and be forgiven.

  2. She does not like me to pray my rosary when I visit her. She says that I am praying to Mary, and therefore worshipping a false god. I’ve told her that it is the same thing like saying, “Mom, I’m going through a tough time. Please pray for me.” I have also tried to point out how there is scriptural background for prayers such as Hail Mary.

Okay, these three are just the icing on the cake. I would really like some back up info in my arsenal when engaging in religious discussions with my mom. Any insight would be appreciated.


It’s good that you want to defend the faith by giving good reasons for it.

I would suggest reading some of the excellent resources here at Catholic Answers.

For instance, Infant Baptism and Early Teachings of Infant Baptism.

See also: Forgiveness of Sins and Confession.

Above all, your example of joy and Charity will underscore the truth of the Church’s faith. Also, keep praying for your mother. Good luck!


The Bible does not say NOT to baptize infants either. Acts 16:15 and 1 Corinthians talk about “entire households” being baptized. Surely some of these included small children. This would be the place to mention any prohibition! My little book “Where is that in the Bible” by Patrick Madrid lists lots of other references…about Jesus telling his disciples not to stop the children from coming to him, etc.

The ancient Jews circumcised their infants as a physical sign of their Covenant with God. Awfully familiar… :slight_smile:

We Catholics can do that too. But does she get to hear God’s voice (or his representative) telling her that all is forgiven? We do! :slight_smile:

Sounds like the arguments I would make. It’s your business where you pray the Rosary.

Check out the Madrid book, it has tons of topics, each covering only 1-2 pages and is indexed well. It probably covers most of her objections, especially if she is a “Bible” Christian and needs quotes for everything.

Praying for you!


Thank you both. Those links were really great and I was able to learn some new stuff from them. I will also check out that book.

One of the hardest parts for me in discussing these issues with my mom is that she says she is Catholic. I do not want to attack her, but I want to gently point out and explain why her beliefs are not in line with Catholic teachings.

One thing that I am thankful for is that she never disparages my beliefs to my children. She will keep her comments private between the two of us. She respects that they are MY children. I am so glad that that is a battle I do not have to fight.


She is Catholic, even if in name only or in some measure of dissent.

Be patient and prayerful and fight the spiritual battle on her behalf. The Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet are two of the strongest weapons.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.


Kanda, since my husband’s family are all Baptists and very big on scripture, I have learned to find justification in the bible for our Catholic traditions. I specifically have faced your dilemma.

There are a couple of spots in scripture that back up infant baptism even though it’s not written specifically–and someone else mentioned that entire families were thought to be baptized as scripture mentions “entire households” and it rightly makes sense that infants would be included.

Mt. 19:13 At one point, children were brought to him so that he could place his hands on them in prayer. The disciples began to scold them, 14 but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

And we’re assuming here that since children were “brought” to him that they either couldn’t get there by walking themselves which would indicate infants. Clearly Jesus did not intend that children should be left out of his kingdom.

Another scriptural reference: Luke 18:15-17: They even brought babies to be touched by him. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them roundly; 16 but Jesus called for the children saying: “Let the little children come to me. Do not shut them off. The reign of God belongs to such as these. 17 Trust me when I tell you that whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a child will not enter into it.

Also, insofar as baptism is concerned, Luke 3:3: He went about the entire region of the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins.

And John 3:5 is VERY clear with regard to baptism:

Jesus replied: "I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and spirit.

He doesn’t say, “except children or infants.” He explicitly says, “no one.”

So there is another reason for baptism itself.

A good scripture to show her is Mt. 9:6-8. It says:
6 “To help you realize that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–he then said to the paralyzed man–“Stand up! Roll up your mat, and go home.” 7 The man stood up and went toward his home. 8 At the sight, a feeling of awe came over the crowd, and they praised God for giving such authority to men.

Note that it says specifically that authority has been given on earth…to MEN. It’s reiterated in Luke 5:18-24.

Furthermore, not only do we have scriptural back up, but our own ORAL tradition as Catholics. So the Apostles did as Jesus did and continued to do as he taught them, generation after generation to current times.

There is also another good reference in scripture, Mt. 19:15-18. It says: 15. "If your brother should commit some wrong against you, go and point out his fault, but keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 If he does not listen, summon another, so that every case may stand on the word of two or three witnesses. 17 If he ignores them, **refer it to the church. ** If he ignores even the church, then treat him as a Gentile or a tax collector. 18 I assure you, whatever you declare bound on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you declare loosed on earth shall be held loosed in heaven.

A specific mention of reconciliation would be in 2 Cor. 5:18-20: 18. All this has been done by God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. 19. I mean that God, in Christ, was reconciling the world to himself, not counting men’s transgressions against them, and that he has entrusted the message of reconciliation to us. 20. This makes us ambassadors for Christ, God as it were appealing through us. We implore you, in Christ’s name: be reconciled to God!

This is all written in sacred scripture! The inspired word of God! If she’s going off what the bible said, show her the passages because it’s all in there!


Well, you have mentioned the scriptural basis for the prayer to Mary–which I’m sure you know is in Luke.

Another good way to get around this is in the 10 Commandments, and granted that they are OT, but they are still pertinent. “Honor thy mother and thy father.” What are you doing but honoring the mother of God, the mother of us all?

Also, another scripture that might be worth mentioning: John 19:26-27: Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, “woman there is your son.” 27. In turn he said to the disciple, “There is your mother.”

He was not only transferring her care and entrusting him to another man, he was establishing her place on earth and in heaven. She is even mentioned in the book of Revelations–and there is is wearing a crown–so she is royalty and is meant to be venerated. Rightly so, she is the mother of God.

I hope some of this helps you. I’ve certainly found it helpful, if not to persuade my husband’s family, at least it has solidified my own beliefs.


Why not enlist the Catechism? It’s put out by the Vatican - can’t get more Catholic than that. And that way it’s not you correcting her, it’s the Catechism.


The reason I do not wish to use the Catechism is that eventhough she is Catholic, she does not agree with a lot of Catholic teachings. I wish to be able to show her that those teachings are in place for a reason. It wasn’t just some old dude making up rules. I want to be able to show her it is the heritage that God gave us.

I also don’t want to come across as correcting her, persay. I want to be able to back up the reasons for my faith. I know in my heart what I believe, but sometimes I have trouble forming the right words, so that is why I turned to the people here.

Hopefully once she accepts what I can point out from scripture, we can then move on to the Catechism. Thankfully she is open to discussion.


Thank you very much for the references, both here and in your previous post. I am beginning to feel that I will really be able to have an intelligent discussion with her.


References from Scripture:

Infant Baptism

Confession & Forgiveness of Sins

Mary as Intercessor

Intercessory Power and Veneration of the Saints

A good reference to have bookmarked is Radio Replies, with its Q & A format.

Another resource site is

If you don’t know the answer to something, just tell the your mother that it is an interesting point and you will look into it and get back to her.


You can do it! Lots of us used to run screaming like little girls from these types of discussions. It’s something you can learn and as long as you’re coming from a place of respect, you can’t really do any harm.

Go Kim, go Kim, go!



Tonight, I was listening to a talk by John Martignoni, and I STRONGLY urge you to listen to it. You can either listen online or download and then put it on your iPod. :slight_smile:

It’s entitled “The Sacraments and the Bible” and John talks about Baptism, Confession and the Eucharist. I also think you will want to listen to the talk on “Infant Baptism and Original Sin”.

Come to think of it, you’ll want to listen to them all.

I know I did. I went out and bought an iPod specifically to put apologetics MP3’s on. Just visit:

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


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