Living with secular parents


#1

It's been a while since I posted on these forums. I've been growing in my Catholic faith daily; the more I learn about God and His Church, the more I love Him. Since it's summertime and I have few other commitments, I've been going to Mass three or four times a week and started praying the rosary every day. I've also been reading the YouCat and striving to follow all the teachings of the Church, which for the most part seem like a really natural expression of my own ethics.

So I know that all seems really good, and I love it, but my parents don't share my Catholic faith - or indeed, any faith. I know they're trying to be supportive, but it's starting to feel like I'm torn between two different worlds: out in the world or at church, where I can freely express my faith, and at home, with my depressingly secular, 80s-rebel parents.

I just don't know how to resolve this. I feel a growing conflict of ethics between myself and my immediate family. I can't evangelise to them; I'm their son, and anyway they're dyed in the wool against any sort of conformity, which I think they perceive Christianity to be. I'm praying for a miracle, like the working of the Holy Spirit which brought me to the Church in the first place.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide, and pax Christi vobiscum.


#2

[quote="matthewdknight, post:1, topic:250464"]
It's been a while since I posted on these forums. I've been growing in my Catholic faith daily; the more I learn about God and His Church, the more I love Him. Since it's summertime and I have few other commitments, I've been going to Mass three or four times a week and started praying the rosary every day. I've also been reading the YouCat and striving to follow all the teachings of the Church, which for the most part seem like a really natural expression of my own ethics.

So I know that all seems really good, and I love it, but my parents don't share my Catholic faith - or indeed, any faith. I know they're trying to be supportive, but it's starting to feel like I'm torn between two different worlds: out in the world or at church, where I can freely express my faith, and at home, with my depressingly secular, 80s-rebel parents.

I just don't know how to resolve this. I feel a growing conflict of ethics between myself and my immediate family. I can't evangelise to them; I'm their son, and anyway they're dyed in the wool against any sort of conformity, which I think they perceive Christianity to be. I'm praying for a miracle, like the working of the Holy Spirit which brought me to the Church in the first place.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide, and pax Christi vobiscum.

[/quote]

I thought I couldn't evangelize to my parents either. After several knock down drag outs with my fallen away Catholic father and arguments with my Protestant mother I dropped it, shut my mouth and lived it. My father started attending mass like he should, found out some of his friends went to our parish and is now considering joining the Knights. My mother went to a social justice class with me. And my mother is considering attending RCIA in the fall to check it out. Sometimes our actions lead a lot further with the Holy Spirit's help.


#3

[quote="matthewdknight, post:1, topic:250464"]
It's been a while since I posted on these forums. I've been growing in my Catholic faith daily; the more I learn about God and His Church, the more I love Him. Since it's summertime and I have few other commitments, I've been going to Mass three or four times a week and started praying the rosary every day. I've also been reading the YouCat and striving to follow all the teachings of the Church, which for the most part seem like a really natural expression of my own ethics.

So I know that all seems really good, and I love it, but my parents don't share my Catholic faith - or indeed, any faith. I know they're trying to be supportive, but it's starting to feel like I'm torn between two different worlds: out in the world or at church, where I can freely express my faith, and at home, with my depressingly secular, 80s-rebel parents.

I just don't know how to resolve this. I feel a growing conflict of ethics between myself and my immediate family. I can't evangelise to them; I'm their son, and anyway they're dyed in the wool against any sort of conformity, which I think they perceive Christianity to be. I'm praying for a miracle, like the working of the Holy Spirit which brought me to the Church in the first place.

I'd appreciate any advice anyone can provide, and pax Christi vobiscum.

[/quote]

You mention that your parents are supportive; however, you feel torn because of living at home in a secular world and outside, where you feel freer to express your faith. You also state you don't feel you can evangelize to them as their son and also because it would probably not do any good. My advice then, as a non-Catholic, would be to try to change your own perception of your parents at home and meanwhile, until you are able to move out of this environment, continue to honor your father and mother by treating them with love and kindness as their son. I have a cousin who, many years ago, experienced a somewhat similar situation to yours. He had become an Orthodox Jew, while his parents were, at best, Reform Jews, but probably more secular. They did not abide by any of the Torah Law, including observing the Sabbath, eating kosher food, and such. Neither were they non-supportive of their son's orthodoxy. My cousin chose not to impose his religion on his parents but instead continued to love and support them for who they were. All the while, he made adjustments, where necessary, such as preparing his own food and using his own set of dishes since theirs were not kosher. The result was that he managed to live in peace and harmony with both his parents until he moved out and could behave more freely in accordance with his faith. To this day, their relationship is still a mutually loving and respectful one.


#4

Meltzerboy makes an excellent point! Your parents are individually on their own journey. Accept them where they are. One of the main things God teaches us is patience. You want so much for them to be on the same page as you are, you want to see them in heaven. But how much more do you think God wants them there with Him? The problem with desire is there is a living, thinking person with a free will. He wants them to choose Himself and his son. He sometimes uses a side door…he did with me.

Continue to live your faith. They are supportive, so that is saying a lot…the thing too about Christianity is that it is now counter culteral to be a Christian. So who knows maybe they will see that.

Peace be with you!


#5

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