Given from the Catholic Broadcasting Station 2SM Sydney Australia
Choose a topic from Vol 2:
You did the right thing in following your conscience. Since theothers in your family did not perceive the truth of the Catholicreligion as you did, they could scarcely be expected to wish you tobecome a Catholic. But at least they should wish you to do what youyourself thought to be right.
That is the correct attitude to adopt.
She knows quite well that you love her. She is merely trying touse your love for her to persuade you to abandon the CatholicChurch. But she is asking too much. Love for one's mothershould impel us to give her all the lawful happiness we can. But nolove for any human being can justify our offending God andviolating our conscience. If a mother said to her child, "Ifyou love me you will steal $5,000 for me," the child would beobliged to refuse. That is not a lawful test of one's love. Nowreligion is one's duty to God. Yet your mother would have youacknowledge no duty to God at all, rather than see you a Catholic!She would not mind your doing what you believe to be sinful beforeGod provided she gets her own way. It is her love for you that isdeficient, for if she loved you rightly she would think of yourgood, and she would not have you incur the guilt of sin before Godfor any earthly consideration. Only selfishness, based on woundedpride, human respect, and prejudice, could make such demands.
You are not doing so. That commandment, as all other subsequentcommandments, is regulated by the preceding commandments which dealwith God's rights. God comes first. "I am the Lord thyGod. Thou shalt not have other gods before Me." Duties toparents can never come before duties to God. "Thou shalt lovethe Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul"leaves no room for conflicting loves, though it can include lesserloves. So Christ said, "If anyone love even father and mothermore than Me, he is not worthy of Me." He knew that, for Hissake, many would meet with opposition from their own parents, andwould have to choose between pleasing them and pleasing Him. Andwhen a conflict arises, He must come first.
She is not right. You are justified in your action. You can butsay to her, "Only for God you would not be my mother, nor Iyour child. I must do God's will. In fact, the more I love you,the more grateful to God I am that He should have given you to meas my mother; and the more grateful I am to Him, the more obliged Iam to do His will. I will do anything I can for you, except what Iknow will offend God." In standing to a principle like this,of course, you are not unaware of the fact that she does not seethings as you do. You do not forget that she can have littlesympathy with the step you have taken; and that it causes her avery real suffering. Appreciating that, you should be twice as kindand devoted to her in all the ways you can be to make up for thepain your necessary fidelity to God inflicts upon her.