I cannot deal with my mother anymore. Here’s the thing. My dad joyfully accepts that I want to become a priest. My mom accepts it, but she is resentful.
She throws insulting comments at me about it. Tells me that she hopes I enjoy living in poverty. Thinking that I want to become a priest out of a sexuality issue. I am 100% straight. These comments deeply offend me. The worst part is, I don’t even have the desire to pray for her anymore. Her comments have just built up a wall of hatred. And it saddens me. What should I do?
I think the best thing to do is to open up to a priest that you feel you can confide in.
I’m sure they can give you some advice, as I’m sure they have had their instances too where they felt misunderstood by others in their paths to being ordained.
In regards to your mother, I’m sure it’s very painful to have your sexuality questioned simply because you are discerning the priesthood. I can understand why you are hurt and angered, but don’t let it harden your heart. If you don’t feel like praying for her, simply ask God for the grace that you may forgive her. Ask God to form your heart into His Heart.
Well, first things first. Did you try telling her that her comments were hurting your feelings and if she can’t be supportive then she should talk about something else? After that, I would draw a boundary. “I don’t like the way you are speaking to me and if you don’t stop, I’m going to leave.” If it continues, leave.
You’ve gotten some good advice above. For encouragement, you might look up the backstory of Fr. Mitch Pacwa from EWTN. He has mentioned several times how his father was dead-set against his becoming a priest. Fr. Mitch persevered with his vocation (that could not have been easy!) and eventually, years after his ordination, his father came around and they made peace. Do your best to pray for your mom - she probably fears she is losing a son. With time and grace, she will hopefully accept and even rejoice in your decision
Your mother needs prayers. Don’t succumb to the temptation not to pray for her. You are being tested by the tempter, and unfortunately your mother has opened herself up to be his tool. This is your opportunity to grow in virtue.
Prayer is the only thing you can do. Unfortunately, there are so many people - Catholics and non-Catholics alike - that don’t understand vocations and have built up so many false beliefs in what the priesthood is all about. It’s sad. But the only way to get through to her is to show her your love even when it’s difficult. Think of Christ when He was on His way to be crucified or during His ministry - He was hated by so many people yet He showed them nothing but mercy and forgiveness. That is true love. So often, our parent’s concern for us comes out in negative ways and though your mother may think she is protecting you, it comes across as being hurtful. Keep your heart open to her. It took my mom a long time to understand that my discernment was what was going to lead me to what would make me truly happy. Hopefully, in time, your mom will understand. She may have questions and you should be prepared to answer them. This is what I did and my mom has now become my biggest supporter. Prayers for strength being sent your way! In the meantime, have a look at these q&a:
Do you have any siblings? Is she upset about not having grandchildren?
Are you in seminary yet? Other comments here seem to indicate that you are still young and not yet in it. Please remember that many feel called to become priests, go to seminary, and find out that was not for them.
Tell her that you are interested in discerning priesthood. It does not mean you absolutely will.
**Talk to your spiritual director about it **and possibly a family therapist. Mother problems are quite common in any vocation. (Ever hear of the dreaded mother-in-law) My mother put me through h— and high water when I was entering a community for discernment. Quite simply, your mother is being selfish. However, continue to pray for her, but perhaps pray in a different way… pray for her fears to be at ease, for her anxiety and loneliness to be filled through Christ (rather than her children), and for understanding.
A change will not happen overnight, but it will happen. St. Monica and St. Rita prayed for years for their husbands. Praying for any difficult situation takes time.
If God is calling you to the priesthood, then it is He whom you obey. Don’t let others (your mom) cause you to sin in your heart. The enemy will throw many obstacles in your way when you are trying to do God’s will. Practice interior silence and discernment.