Q. My mother was raised as a Catholic and feels that it is the one true church and is upset that we (her children) have turned to Bible based churches. My biggest concern is her praying to Mary and her siblings veneration of Mary. They travel to Lourdes every year to pray and bring home holy water She has started reading the bible, but interprets it as she feels the Catholic church believes. She is afraid that if the Catholic Church is wrong then her parents and family may not be saved…so I believe that fear is keeping her prisoner to these beliefs. I would love for her to have peace and unconditional love in her life Do you have any suggestions?
A. First let me say that I believe many Catholics will be saved. I get this from the Lord’s letter to the Church in Thyatira (Rev. 2:18-29) I believe that Thyatira is a model of the Catholic Church. In verse 24 the Lord says that those who have remained faithful to Him and have not adopted the idolatry and works based salvation that’s so prominent in the Catholic Church will be saved.
This means that your mother’s perception that leaving the Catholic Church will be the same as saying all her relatives aren’t saved is not necessarily accurate. Realizing this might make her less fearful. It also means that if she can remain focused on the fact that it’s the shed blood of Jesus, and that alone, that saves her then she, and you, can have peace about her eternal destiny.
Obviously it would be better for her to leave the Catholic Church. But the more important matter is what she believes is the basis for her salvation. You might make more progress in just talking about that than in insisting that she leave the Church she’s known all her life. Perhaps, through your discussions on salvation, she’ll decide to start attending a Bible based church on her own. But if not, they could at least help you be sure that your mother will join you in eternity.