Informing the family
My mom and dad did not take the news as gracefully. I informed them that I would not be regularly attending church with them any more and they questioned me as to why. I told them my personal story... leaving out some details of course, or I would have been there all night!
My mom asked me how I justified praying to Mary. I explained that one is not required to pray to Mary to be a Catholic but explained the difference in prayer to Mary and prayer to God. "They are 'dead'" was her main point... dead in body, yes... but their soul lives on and is still a part of the body of Christ. I don't think my answer was heard, much less accepted... which was to be expected.
What hurt the most about the whole thing was my mom asked if I was "saved". I couldn't believe my ears. It was like my own mom didn't even know me. I told her that I do not believe that salvation is a one-time event and that is why we are called to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling". She told me that that is not what that verse means! I suppose there are a million different interpretations for that verse, able to be used by anyone for their personal advantage...
In short, when the conversation began to heat up a bit, I simply said, "I don't want to argue... I just wanted to let you know what was going on with me. I don't expect you to understand and your reaction was also not unexpected. I have a book I can leave with you that easily explains various doctrines of the church if you so choose to read it."
My mom then asked me if I would be willing to read a book written by an "ex-Catholic who left the Catholic Church". I told her I'll read whatever she wants me to read.
I left the book but she didn't have on hand the one she wants me to read.
She asked me if I believed "this" and "that" and I told them yes but explained that I am not willing to answer questions shot at me like ping pong balls. I told them if they wanted to discuss a particular area of concern, that I'd be more than happy to plan a subject and a time...
I also explained that I was no just jumping blindly into Catholicism... that I've been reading and studying and praying for a while about everything... and that I'm only following God.
Both of my parents hugged me when we were done talking with each other (so at least I know they aren't going to disown me!)
My prayer is that they will see I am still the same person.
I thank God for my sister and her very kind and loving reaction.