i’ve been attending rcia classes for the past 2 months, come from a hindu background, and am 20 years old (in college.) a little over a week ago i went back home for the weekend. finally decided to tell my parents about my decision to convert. they took it much worse than i thought, especially my mother. she was super upset, and cried a lot. which made me question if i was doing right or wrong, b/c i had never seen my mother that disappointed and upset in me. anyways, my mother told me to not go to church anymore. i told her i won’t just b/c she wouldn’t let me go back until i agreed. anyways, of course i went to church. when my mother asked me last night if i did, i didn’t want to lie, so i said yes i did. she yelled and cried a lot on the phone, said i wouldn’t be related to her and all, even though i explained everything as nicely as i could. so today i found out that she had been sick all day (blood pressure maybe) and when i talked to her on the phone today she sounded so sad and sick, and now i feel so terrible Previously I decided to join the Church after being lost in depression for several years (that my parents didn’t know about) b/c i did really bad things before, due to which i also went through drugs, alcohol, suicidal thoughts etc. now all those thoughts are coming back, and i don’t know what to do, i feel like hurting myself for all this. i mean, i’m literally hurting my parents. And am losing a little faith. what should i do, should i continue with rcia/church? also please pray for my mother to get better, and pray that my parents understand. thank you.
My personal opinion is since you are already grown up each of us will crawl for our Eternal Salvation. Your original religion is Hinduism which means you don’t believe Jesus Christ at all. It is in our Holy Book/Holy Bible that whoever doesn’t believe Jesus Christ will never be saved. But you should be first baptized by the priest with the Holy Spirit and you will go from there. You know to help you grow in our Catholic faith please continue the RCIA and please find time in youtube how Hell is really like for the unbelievers/sinners to our Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. Hell was seen by people who had an NDE (near death experience) where they saw Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. They described in youtube how horrible life is in Hell. I fervently hope that if you want to save your parents from the torment of Hell then it is time for you to evangelize them and be converted so all in the family will be in Heaven. Praying for you and the entire family. God Bless!!!
I am sorry you had to read that first post when you are so worried for your mother. I believe it to have been insensitive and a bit overblown.
Here is my take on what you have asked. The Bible tells us that Jesus said in order to love him and follow him we must leave our mothers, fathers, and other family members. For many of us, this is not as hard as for you. But the point is that following Jesus requires total commitment, which can be heartbreaking. We don’t follow Him to avoid Hell, we follow Him because we love God and want to be close to God. God the Son brings us into communion with God the Father. He sacrificed himself for us to do so. He loved us that much. It is not a scary thing, it is a natural thing for us to want to be close to our Creator and Redeemer.
It must be so hard to be in your position and I can hear the struggle in the words you write. My advice would be to continue to go to church and go through RCIA and pray for your mother as well as yourself to overcome these struggles.
Others may disagree with what I am about to say, but it would be better to lie to your mother than to tell a truth that you know will hurt her and you both. Her religion means a lot to her and it sounds as if she is worried for you and your soul if you leave it. You must do what your heart tells you to do and, even though your heart is breaking, it is saying follow Jesus.
Your mother should not tell you not to go to church because your soul belongs to you and not to her. I don’t know the Hindu religion or if there is belief that families who practice it will be united after death. If so, that could be very upsetting to her. So while you make your independent decisions in regards to your soul, I feel the best way to honor her or, better worded, protect her is to not be forthcoming with answers to questions regarding your choice of what you want to do about your soul. There will be a time in the future when you are stronger to be able to approach this with honesty.
My biggest concern for you is whether you live with your parents, how often you see them, and how much pressure this puts on your home life.
But it is often said that when someone draws near to God and becomes a believer in Christ, it makes Satan mad and causes pressure on the believer. So, keep faith.
Your journey is a painful one; I can speak from experience.
I, too, converted from my family’s faith (Judaism) while in college. My mother was also extremely upset; so upset, in fact, that for many months she said a daily kaddish over me (Jewish prayer of morning for the dead).
But I slowly came to realize that she was more upset because she took it personally. “What kind of a Jewish mother, am I that my son became a Catholic?” “What will the family say”? “How can I ever show my face again?” Her anguish was more about her perceived humiliation than her son’s eternal salvation.
As difficult as it was for me to wrestle with the fact that my acceptance of Jesus’ call was causing her pain, I found strength in His example. No one endured more pain for God’s glory and for my salvation than He did.
In time (and through my own consistency, aided by His grace), my mother learned acceptance. She even attended the baptism of my son.
Many people try to block out God’s call, but once answered, He gives us the grace to endure any trial, even a mother’s tears.
Stay strong & resolute in your studies and in your prayer. Trust in Jesus and His mercy.
Could you please tell me if your parents practice Hinduism?
I have an answer for you but please let me know first.
Yes you should continue. Some cultures take this more seriously than others. These problems have plagued converts from the beginning. But remember you are fighting for your soul. Your Mother may get over it in time, perhaps not. But you have to look after your own salvation first. But don’t bring up the subject yourself.
That’s not necessarily true - there is invincible ignorance, etc, to consider. Also don’t tell someone that their parents are headed for hell, that’s just mean! We can really only speculate as to how God will ultimately judge people.
By the way, in most NDEs I’ve heard of the person felt calm and happy, regardless of their faith. :shrug:
When an adult child has a conflict with a parent over a serious issue it is very difficult to know what to do. Your situation is very sad to read about as you sound like you feel your faith choice is making your mother sick as well as making her threaten you if you continue. Certainly you will have your faith choice feel like a bad one of you care at all for your mother and her feelings but somehow you must continue. I am going to support you with prayer and I hope you will find the strength to continue with this journey. God can take of of this if you can just let Him. God bless you with the wisdom you need to move forward in peace.
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Yes continue onward to the Church. The devil will do everything in his power to make sure you don’t come to Christ. I bet she will get better soon after your baptism. Though I will pray for your mother because I can’t stand to see someone in so much pain and suffering. You have a hard road ahead of you and Jesus did say that families would split because of him. I hope that you can take courage in the fact that you can help your parents.
You should read about Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati. He would be a wonderful intercessor for you
His parents were Catholic, but actually a bit anti-religious. He had to develop his faith life in private.
Absolutely! Continue your journey, and DON’T STOP or second guess yourself.
You have to continue, not only for yourself, but for your family. You have gone through ALL that and are starting to get worse, now. You’ve come so far.
Do not feel guilty. Your mother is hurting YOU! She’s hurting you physically, emotionally, and spiritually! You are now likely to fall back into a terrible place! You’ve seen, firsthand, what our faith can do! You’ve seen the miracles it can work! You seem to have been one of them!
I know this is terribly hard. I’ve never experienced that, personally, and am sorry for those who have to go through this. However, you will be in a much better position to truly help, both yourself, and your family, by continuing your journey.
Your parents and family, have the freedom to believe what they believe. You have not told them to convert to Catholicism. You have that same right, or should. Guilt shouldn’t be part of the equation.
My parents are Catholic, but if a family member ever tried to manipulate me to leave my faith that I wouldn’t let him. Sometimes, I have some family members who have left the Church and try to get me to go with them. Some have been very strong. Once I went with one for a time, but I’ve since come to my senses and decided that I will no longer let anyone, or anything, take me away from God!
A family member could say they’d be sick…and have a heart attack, then, if I stayed with my faith. I’d have to answer…“Well then, so be it”.
I’ve got a lot of my sisters and one brother who have viciously attacked the Church, the Pope, the faith. I would rather not speak to them than leave my faith!
This is a test! Christ said anyone who loved a father or mother more than him was “not worthy” to be his disciple. He said that nobody who laid his hand to the plough and looked back was worthy of him.
I hope I’d prefer to be hung up on a cross or die a martyr’s death than leave my faith!
If you truly wish to convert to the Catholic Faith you should continue, but with the awareness that your parents may never approve. I am a convert and some of my family thought it was crazy for me to convert. Others where fine. But I knew that I had always wanted to be a Catholic despite my own families beliefs or lack there of. I was prepared to accept any criticism or rejection. This was part of accepting God as being first in my life, even over family.
This has not always been easy, and there will always be questions from family members. I was fortunate enough that no one dis-owned me because of it, though I have known those for whom this happened. As you make your studies in RCIA try to seek advise from your instructor or the local Priest. Remember you are not alone in your journey.
I understand you very well, 'cause I’ve the same painful experience, and even still have been undergoing it. No doubt, you should continue with catholic church. True faith is invaluable treasure whithout which we can neither get a true knowledge of God nor be saved. Remember Christ’s Words Matthew 10:37. If you follows God (by following His Church) you will finally “rediscover” your mother (God will sure appreciate you sacrifice and will sooner or later convert your mam and save her soul) but if you follow your parents denying Divine grace you are now given you risk not only to loose your own soul but also that of you parents, whom I’ll strongly believe God wants to save through you.
So, courage!!! All Heaven is at your side! And I myself promise you to offer my humble and un worthy prayer in your intention.
I just want to add that going to church during the approaching season of Advent is very important. It is spiritually fulfilling as at the same time - at least in America - we are often surrounded by commercialism and the more secular images of the Christmas season that can end up making one feel depressed.
While the world surrounds us with “Christmas” and asks us to find the true spirit of Christmas, it distracts us from the real reason for the season. Attending Mass during Advent and on through Ephinany reinforces faith.
For me, when I am out and about and hear a traditional carol played or sung I hear the true meaning of the words and it brings me joy. But without that support of church and faith it would become just a pretty song that would annoy after hearing it hundreds of time.
In regards to your mother hurting you, she doesn’t mean to and just doesn’t realize that you are both hurting.
Others are giving you good advice, but I want to mention this point. It is true that your decision is causing emotional pain to your parents. But your mother’s extreme reaction is her choice, not yours. She is choosing to let her disappointment and worry end up in physical distress. Her physical condition is not a result of your interest in Catholicism, and it is unfair of you to put that blame on yourself. I don’t know anything about her, to know if she has a psychological disorder of some kind that makes it harder for her to handle stress. But if not that, it is simply manipulation - of herself, and of you. Either way, it is right for you to continue doing what you know to be true. But this sounds like something best left undiscussed as much as possible with your parents, for now. Whether or not she is intentionally manipulative of you, it sounds like you could tell her that you think that arguing over this isn’t good for her or for you, but that you love her and hope that you can still have a relationship with each other. Then try to relate to her about other things in a loving way. Whether or not she is willing to do that will be HER choice, not a result of your faith.
That is not true. You should never lie. Lying is a sin. Always prioritize truth. God=truth.
You should realize that she is making herself sick- not you. Reach out to her with love, and if she doesn’t react in kind, it has nothing to do with you, but with a lack of love in her heart.
Yes, I have changed my mind. TRY not to lie. I like the advice I quoted above better.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to avoid answering questions directly, especially for a young adult trying to make choices independently of parents. It can sometimes be the only way to become an independent thinking and acting adult when a parent is strong minded and attached. At this point in his life, he should not need to give an account for where he goes and he is being questioned about church attendence. He is being told not to attend.
When he tells the truth, he is threatened with losing his ability to attend college or at least no transport to return after his visit. In my opinion, whether he attends a Catholic Mass or RCIA is none of her business now because she has made it clear she will fight him on that. He didn’t want to lie, told the truth, but not only can she not handle the truth, she asserts parental control over an adult by telling him not to go to the church of his choice. Dishonesty is not good, but neither is directly answering a question you know will cause someone to engage you in a power struggle.
She is not making herself sick, the situation is making her sick. The kindest way to handle a parent when you need to assert your independence and they won’t let go is to just make your independent choices and don’t tell them when they ask. This is the way to maturity, in my opinion. It took me a long time to learn that myself.
You are not doing drugs, etc, anymore and are on the right path. If anything keep saying this to reinforce your choice has taken you away from your bad choices. (Hopefully, you were honest about those bad things.)
The best way to handle the situation, though, is the way ThyKingdomCome advises.
She has a lot of love in her heart, maybe even too much. I agree, reach out to her in love. But if she doesn’t respond in kind it is simply because she is a mother and having trouble letting go. Her cultural upbringing may be a strong pull for her.
This should maybe be posted in the scrupulosity thread rather than here, but the (mildly irreverent) image that popped into my mind when I read this was of Mary saying exactly that.