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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I am generally a good Catholic, meaning that I pray the Rosary daily, go to mass on Sundays, and try to go to confession at least once a month. However, I have nagging doubts about my faith and have since I was six years old. At that time, the idea that God didn’t exist occurred to me and since then, my faith has not been a source of comfort to me, but simply a practice. Throughout my adolescence I had doubts and so did my friends even though we were all in a Catholic high school. My mindset is that it is generally better to believe and not be sorry. I suspect that most people of faith have their doubts as well, though I am not the type of person to antagonize them or play devil’s advocate.

My family is mostly lukewarm and I believe that one of my siblings does not even go to church anymore. There is nothing actively hostile in them, no rebellion, just the sense that it is there and it may be true, it may be not. That is what I suspect because nobody in my family, except my mother, discusses religion. She says that we’re adults now and we can do what we want, but for her, religion helps keep her on track.

That is my family background in a nutshell and I am more or less like them except I always have more anxiety about if God does or does not exist. Deep down I do not know. In fact, I recently looked at a website called why doesn’t God heal amputees and I was not satisfied with any of the answers that religious people gave to this question. To me, they seemed evasive. One person said something like “Amputees feel no pain.” Another said, “God is so far above me I do not question him.” Another said something like “The spirit is more important than a missing foot.” These answers bothered me because they’re not answers at all, but statements that hover in ambiguity and doubt, and seem to hide pain and confusion. Yet, I see the atheistic attack as insensitive and missing the point because they will “go in for the kill”, sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully, by either making Christians question their intelligence or by intellectually debunking a statement that was not really meant to be based on reason.

I don’t understand why God doesn’t heal amputees, and, as always, I am on the fence on the issue of religion.

Outline of the Answer
• The Answer
• Knowing
• Lukewarm
• Beyond the Superficial

 
The answer to your question is really quite simple. God does not heal amputees because, if He did, everyone would know that He exists.

 
Knowing

Now, I’ll bet that this answer is not what you expected. Nevertheless, it’s the truth, because knowing that God exists does not do anyone any good. Even Satan knows that God exists; but what good does that do him? Satan fell from grace not because he doubted God’s existence but because he refused to serve God.

And right there, understanding Satan’s fall, we have the essence of Christianity. Christianity, rather than being a matter of knowing that God exists, is really a matter of serving God, freely and willingly.

 
Lukewarm

Once you understand this matter of serving God, then you can comprehend what religion is not.

Religion is not about keeping God’s commands because you are afraid of going to hell.

Religion is not about doing things that would appease God just in case He exists.

Religion is not about being happy and free from pain.

Consequently, your mother’s belief that “religion helps keep her on track” has missed the point completely. Your comments about your family being lukewarm in faith only confirm what I say throughout this website: a dry, intellectual knowing about God does nothing for anyone and will only cause the children to abandon their “faith” as soon as they can think independently. The path to the Kingdom of Heaven requires a strenuous climb far above the superficiality you received in your family.

 
Beyond the Superficial

Those answers you received on that website were also superficial, and they demonstrate how many people do not have very much to say and yet take very much satisfaction in hearing themselves say it.

So let’s come back to the true answer.

God does not heal amputees because, if He did, everyone would know that He exists. This means that God does not want us merely to know that He exists; God wants us to know Him. God wants us to know love, and, by knowing love, to become love, and, in becoming love, to serve love, and, in serving love, to assist others in finding their way out of superficiality and into the Kingdom of Heaven.

To do this, to stay on this track, you don’t have to believe anything; all you need to do is believe in Jesus—that is, listen to what He tells us, so that you can know Him and receive Him.

Moreover, in doing this, you will discover the true meaning of an amputation. Ask yourself this question: “What does a missing body part signify?” Well, it signifies—that is, it points to—that which should be missing in a holy life: the desire to commit sin.

 

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