We all know the cliché of smothering mothers and overbearing fathers. Parents who view their kids as a vicarious extension of their own ambitions. The dad who screams at his kid during Little League practice. The mom who will do anything to make her daughter a cheerleader.
Conversely, there are grown kids who are the mirror image of this codependency. They live to please their parents. Go to whatever college their parents prescribe. Major in whatever field their parents prescribe. Marry the “right” man or woman. Work for the “right” firm. Join the “right” country club.
Their parents have a script for how their kids were meant to live, and their kids dutifully play the role their parents have assigned. And their parents continue to control them from the grave.
We see the same mentality in the way Catholic and Orthodox believers worship the ground on which the church fathers walked. It’s as though they’re striving to win the approval of mom and dad. The church fathers have a blueprint for their lives, and they comply with their every wish. Mama’s boy and daddy’s girl.
It’s symptomatic of the spiritual and emotional immaturity which Catholicism and Orthodoxy foster in their charges that this is considered virtuous.
But maturity involves a capacity to emulate the good without a fawning emulation for all things traditional.