Possibly deist parent... any advice?


#1

My mother was raised Baptist, though she's usually pretty skeptical towards any open displays of religion (my sojourn as an Anglican caused some problems with both of my parents). I think she is what I would term a "country deist": God exists, but He's not really that involved in the hardscrabble life she's known. He doesn't put food on the table or wash the dishes.

As a result, she puts a huge strain on herself and exacerbates her numerous ailments,* making our rather gloomy home even gloomier :( ... I'll be living with my parents at least until I complete my Master's, so there's no way to pack up and give comfort from a distance. I wish there was some way to make the divine more real to her--we're of two different minds, and she can be quite venomous if called into question.

*Not being insensitive here--we've had to deal with these problems for years.


#2

Yuk. This is a tough one. Remember that she still commands respect as your mom. Regardless of her religious views, never forget she is still your mom. No, I'm not saying you've disrespected her or would, it's just a slippery slope sometimes.

One thing you should NEVER do is lecture her or feel superior to her because of your faith. If discussions between the two of you cause uncomfortable feelings, then simply avoid the subject. It's her house.

Pray for her. It is, without question the best thing to do.


#3

[quote="fons_vitae, post:1, topic:212408"]
My mother was raised Baptist, though she's usually pretty skeptical towards any open displays of religion (my sojourn as an Anglican caused some problems with both of my parents). I think she is what I would term a "country deist": God exists, but He's not really that involved in the hardscrabble life she's known. He doesn't put food on the table or wash the dishes.

As a result, she puts a huge strain on herself and exacerbates her numerous ailments,* making our rather gloomy home even gloomier :( ... I'll be living with my parents at least until I complete my Master's, so there's no way to pack up and give comfort from a distance. I wish there was some way to make the divine more real to her--we're of two different minds, and she can be quite venomous if called into question.

*Not being insensitive here--we've had to deal with these problems for years.

[/quote]

As others have said, the best option is the easiest- pray for her.

The other parts of this are harder. She is your mother. Per the 4th commandment, you must honor her- not in lavishly attending to her, but in ways that are proper to her state and yours. This is part of your personal cross. I had to deal with a difficult father (may he rest in peace), and I know a small part of the pain you are dealing with.

If you can find time, read up on St. Therese of Lisieux. She mentioned having to deal with other Carmelites who were rude and obnoxious. She relished these opportunities because they were mortifications to humble her, they were sufferings which can be offered up to God for the salvation of souls and, in the end, she won the hearts of those nuns.

If you are living out your Christian life, it will shine through in your attitude toward life's problems (and her), and bring about a conversion of heart. That is my hope and prayer for you and your mother.

Blessings,
Fred


#4

Wise counsel, both of you. :) Yes, I am a fan of St. Therese because her Little Way does not intimidate quite as much as some other methods of spirituality (though to read how well she followed it is intimidating nonetheless). Also, I don't know my parents' hearts for sure, so I probably shouldn't speculate... there might be more personality clashes than anything. Thank you again for your excellent advice!


#5

I would pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet for every day if possible. I would also offer up any and all of your sufferings for her salvation. You might also offer up some of your Masses for her salvation. Also, remember to preach the Gospel at all times and use words when necessary. :)


#6

[quote="Holly3278, post:5, topic:212408"]
I would pray the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet for every day if possible. I would also offer up any and all of your sufferings for her salvation. You might also offer up some of your Masses for her salvation. Also, remember to preach the Gospel at all times and use words when necessary. :)

[/quote]

I could definitely deal with everything except the first two. I can do the Divine Office (with relative frequency) and some other memorized prayers, yet I haven't had much success with the Rosary or other repetitive prayers due to my flighty mind...


#7

Update: Things are actually going smoother with my mother. Still distant from my dad though, hmm. :(


#8

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