Need Help With Mother

I really don’t know how to ask this question, exactly. I’m having a very difficult time explaining to my mom that the Catholic Church is not just another denomination, which by the way is a far more enlightened point-of-view then most of the people I have come across in the last couple of years.

Let’s face it: it’s easier to be a Protestant then a Catholic. You can make up your own rules and pick and choose what rules you want to fallow as you go along. The issue I’m having a hard time with is the Sunday obligation to attend Mass. Right now I have some things going on in my life that make it difficult to go to Mass, but not impossible. There are some safety concerns (very long story and I don’t want to go into it now or here) about my going, but I think they are not sufficient to keep me home. She is putting me under pressure not to go, to stay at my home and “watch EWTN.” She doesn’t seem to understand that this is a religious obligation, not something I can pick or choose to fallow as a matter of convenience. I am an adult and living on my own so I don’t need anyone’s permission to go but she is my mother and I also have an obligation to “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

I could just go and not tell her, maybe that would be best.


Ten Commandments are in order of importance, so if your mother feels dishonored by your attending Mass, it’s unfortunate but not a sin. As you say, you are an adult and don’t need her permission.

‘Honor’ and ‘obey’ are not the same thing. You’re living on your own – managing your life isn’t her responsibility anymore.

Do not use “honor your father and mother” as a way to rationalize not going to mass.

“Honoring” parents can never mean transgressing the moral law. If your mother told you to steal, would you do it? No.

Your mother is telling you to transgress the moral law when you know it to be wrong-- therefore, there is no honor in doing that.

you do not say whether or not your mother is in fact Catholic. If she is, she promised at your baptism to raise you in the faith, including getting you to Mass. If she is failing in her obligation, a gentle–not whining, not demanding, not critical–reminder from you is in order, but the obligation is hers and so is the failure, so do not judge her.

If she is not Catholic, no she probably does not understand and you can’t make her. Either way, if she has legitimate concerns about your safety–walking along a crowded highway or riding your bike long distance etc.–you must obey her, that is also one of the commandments. Offer up your sacrifice in missing Mass for those souls who have never had the opportunity to share the Eucharist. If you truly cannot get to Mass without grave (not minor) inconvenience or risk, you have no obligation.

I am assuming that you are a minor living at home. If you are in fact over 18, okay to manage your transportation to work, school and recreation, you can find a way to Mass. If you wanted to get to the Mall or a rock concert you would find a way. If you live on your own, the obligation is yours, and your mother has nothing to say about it, so just don’t have the discussion.

I am sorry I see I misread OP, I thought you said “I am not an adult”. If you are living on your own I am willing to bet you do not ask your mother’s permission for other activities in your life, so why would this be a matter for discussion, other than the aforesaid gentle reminders (not criticism) of her own obligation.

Brian, thank you Mom for loving you and having concern for your safety…and then go to Mass and say a prayer for her.

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