This summer, I attended an Episcopal church with my MIL. When it was time for communion, she stood up and turned to my son (8 years) and said, “Let’s go.” I grabbed his hand and said, “We’re staying,” with a very friendly tone and smile to go with it. She gave me that withering look with corners of the mouth pulled back, and looked as if she wanted to argue, but she went on to communion.
When she came back, she was in tears!! She said, “I wouldn’t have asked to come here if I knew you wouldn’t go to communion.” She said that I should “just go and receive the Holy Spirit.”
I am soooo dreading future conversations about this - and there will be some. She is verrrry opinionated, and I am terribly non-confrontational. I hate disagreements, and get nervous and can’t speak in a “debate” situation. In most situations, I would just give in and let her have her way. But this is too important, and I would be comprimising my faith (and committing mortal sin) by giving in.
The future discussion of this is going to set me up as closed-minded and ‘separatist’. The opinion of the women in the family is going to be that I am teaching this to my sons, and how awful that I Iet my church do this to us. I can almost hear the behind-the-back talk, too.
I understand why the Church forbids partaking of communion in another denomination. It’s not “guilt” (her word) that makes me do this. I just want to do what my conscience dictates, and not have to argue with her, or anyone! AAAArrrggghhh!!
I need help, words, and reassurance that God and the Holy Spirit will assist me as I speak to her about this. I need prayers that my sons and daughters will grow up strong in the faith, and that this issue will resolve with us doing what we must do while the family maintains the strong love for each other that is present.
You may wonder about my husband - he is not Catholic, but not a practicing Episcopalian either. I don’t think he’ll know what to do with any of this!
My MIL is a wonderful woman. I love her dearly. I love my SILs dearly. They are very liberal - at least, they pretend to be. And they think that the love of God means tolerance and acceptance of anything, above all, all the time. They feel they can worship anywhere as well as they can in church. So, I am just being a stickler and holier-than-thou …
What to do???