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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I was sexually abused by my father and raped by my uncles. Now I’m a Lesbian, and I know that God loves me as I am.

 
God is a loving God who wants to forgive and heal you. God loves you. He also loves fathers who abuse their children. He loves rapists. And, as you can read in the Gospels, He loves tax collectors and prostitutes as well, and He has a special concern for the sick, the wounded, and the poor. God even loves those who, despite His love for them, refuse to repent their sins and send themselves into eternal separation from His love.

  

To say that “god loves us as we are” means that God gives His love to us as a gift and that we can do nothing to earn it. But we can do many things to push it away. To push God’s love away is a sin, and, if we don’t repent our sins before we die, then those sins will condemn us to everlasting separation from God in the spiritual realm.

  

God’s love for us, therefore, is not an “anything goes, I’m OK, you’re OK” kind of sentimental acceptance. To say that God loves us means that God calls us away from our sins into a life of holiness.

As Saint Thomas Aquinas explained, to love is “to wish the good of another” (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica. I-II, 26, 4).

Therefore, God, in His love for us, calls us to a life of holiness, looking to our good and our salvation, knowing full well that left to our own blindness and slavery to sin we will send ourselves to hell.

Rape and incest are despicable crimes and grave sins, and children abused by persons who commit those sins suffer tremendous emotional trauma. Yet in choosing to live a life-style defiant of chastity you “act out” the emotional pain of your childhood abuse. That is, instead of seeking to heal the emotional wounds of the abuse through forgiveness and trust in God, you use your bodily sexuality to express the confusion and bitterness you feel about the failure of your mother and father to protect you from abuse. It’s as if you are saying, “I’m so angry that you allowed this to happen to me that I will desecrate love itself to pay you back for what I have had to suffer.”

  

In healthy psychosexual development, the daughter’s bond of dependent neediness on the mother must be broken through her affection for her father. By “coming between” the daughter and the mother, the father ensures that the girl will eventually be able to function independently in the world. But the master-slave dialectic by which one woman offers herself in total submission to another woman represents an angry rejection of the father’s proper symbolic protection of the family.
 
Moreover, the masculine affectations of the “master” in such a relationship represent an identification with masculine brutality—which, in psychological language, is called
identification with the aggressor.
 
This master-slave dialectic can also be motivated by the girl’s unconscious hatred for her mother for failing to be a trustworthy source of emotional consolation. The dialectic thereby reduces true motherly love to caricatured extremes: the “mother’s” complete domination of the “child,” and the “child’s” complete submission to the “mother.”

  

So, in His true love for you, God constantly calls you away from the unconscious anger at your parents that will lead you into spiritual self-destruction, and He calls you into the way of chaste holiness. Just as Christ Himself forgave those who persecuted Him, you, too, can forgive those who hurt you, taking up your cross and following Christ in chastity and obedience—rather than make a mockery of divine love and protection.

 

When they tell you
that the Catholic Church is wrong
about sexuality


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Where Catholic therapy (Catholic psychotherapy) is explained according to Catholic psychology in the tradition of the Catholic mystics.