Is it a sin not to love my parents?

I moved in with my elderly parents about 5 years ago to provide domestic support, since both have disabilities; they are currently 89 and 90. I used to love them a lot until I got to know them so well. My mother is very rigid and domineering, and my father swears constantly and is verbally abusive to my mother. BTW, for what it’s worth, I am a convert and the only person in my entire family who practices a faith or appears to care about God (although that is a judgment I really can’t in fairness make).

Because I love Jesus with all my heart, I am very kind, respectful, generous and charitable to them nearly all the time–which takes tremendous patience and self-control–but I recently realized that I will not care when they are gone, which honestly shocks me. I feel like I must be a horrible person. I would love to talk to my pastor about this, but I am afraid of what he will think of me, since I know he is devoted to his parents.

You are loving your parents by your actions. Love is much more than feelings. Close proximity, and the wear and tear of care giving, can really wear on the warm fuzzy feelings, as you are finding.

Make sure you take care of yourself and don’t harbor bitterness in your heart. You may very well miss your parents when they are gone. But even if you don’t, you are loving your parents by doing right by them.

God bless you.

Thank you SO much! I am taking care of myself very well by receiving the Sacraments as often as possible, staying recollected throughout the day and praying a LOT. I have actually grown in charity through those means, for which I am profoundly grateful to God. It’s not as hard for me to be good to them now, as it once was, I am happy to say.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s very difficult to be a caregiver and it does take its toll on people. The other thing is that maybe your parents’ physical difficulties are contributing to their own emotional states.

Some say that love is what motivates a mother to get up in the middle of the night to care for her child.

What a wise post. All I could add would be a reminder that love is an act of the will, which you show in your patient care and attention. Love can be very hard, imagine how hard it is for the Lord given our failures and lack of respect. You carry His love to your parents and thus have nothing to be ashamed of when you feel the hard burden of caring. Forgive them their failures as you would have Him forgive you. Carry on, you are doing fine.

but I recently realized that I will not care when they are gone, which honestly shocks me.

I lived with my father for the last 5 years of his life. He was a good man and always provided for us when we were growing up before myself and my siblings left home to start own families and careers.

My father wasn’t a “loving” man but I knew that he loved me even if he didn’t say it. We weren’t very close but he was “my Dad”.

My mom and I were at his bed side when he died. I couldn’t stop crying. I hugged my mom and cried in her arms.

He died 3 years ago and not a day goes by that I do not think about him. I have Masses said for him every month and pray for his soul every night. I would give up everything if I could just have 5 minutes with him again…just to tell him “I love you”.

Please, please do not make the same mistake that I did. Cherish every moment you have with your parents.

And vice versa. Prayers for you and your parents. God sends angels to those who need them. God Bless. Memaw

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