When ‘life’ is in the way 

Jesus said in the Gospels,

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

When we love God and He comes first, we may feel that family, even ourselves, get in the way of that love. We start disliking these obstructions. As an example, let us bring the topic of having a narcissistic parent: there is usually no praying in that family, they don't say sorry to each other, always right and proud, the children catering and following the mandate of the narcissistic parent, masked by politeness and helpfulness to friends,

The narcissistic mother projects her own desires/aspirations etc. on her child, and when her child succeeds, it's perceived as her own success... they take pride in their accomplishments, but narcissists take this to an extreme. For the narcissist it's not about their children, but themselves...When the narcissist's child is amazing, the narcissist is amazing.

Catholic psychologist Dr. Raymond Richmond expands on narcissistic characteristics,

What is the purpose of honoring our fathers and mothers? Well, by honoring them we make it possible to learn from them, so as to acquire their wisdom and their love for God. This therefore shows that the assumption made in the commandment about honoring parents is that fathers and mothers love God, are living holy lives, and care for their children and want their good. . . So what happens when parents don't really want the good of their children? What happens when parents constantly criticize their children, abuse them, and essentially stifle any good that the children could achieve? . . . Well, parents such as this don't love their children because they don't love God either. These parents have broken the first commandment, and, to their children, that makes them enemies, not parents.

As we don't honor enemies, we can pray for them. It is very widespread nowadays; narcissistic pride leads parents away from God, the faith of their children is therefore lukewarm. God said:

How I wish you were one or the other! So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:16)

Saint Bernard(1090-1153) may further clarify,

It is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, although it is impious to despise a mother, yet to despise her for Christ's sake is most pious. For He who said: "Honour thy father and mother" (S. Matt. xv. 4), Himself also said: "He who loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me" (S. Matt. x. 37).

Book: Life And Works Of Saint Bernard, Abbot Of Clairvaux (1889) by John Mabillon  

There is nothing wrong in not pleasing those, who do not please God. For no one can by one and the same act please God, and the enemies of God. He proves himself no friend to God, who pleases His enemy; and he whose soul is in subjection to the Truth, will have to contend with the enemies of that Truth. 


For we must not allow any time to lapse, but at once follow the Lord. After these again, He [Jesus] catches James and John, because they also, though poor, supported the old age of their father...they left their father, because he would have hindered them in following Christ. Do thou, also, when thou art hindered by thy parents, leave them, and come to God. It is shewn by this that Zebedee [father] was not a believer.

Book: Catena Aurea by Saint Thomas Aquinas 

Let Saint Jerome (400) also clarify what's evident,

Nor will I boast of his family, that is of the good points belonging not to him but to others; for even those holy men Abraham and Isaac had for sons the sinners Ishmael and Esau... Jephthah who is reckoned by the apostle in the roll of the righteous is the son of a harlot... Neither the virtues nor the vices of parents are imputed to their children.