most likely the lawyer is training his children well
but I give up. So what happens now if parents messed up their children? Is it
a life sentence to hell?
o one goes to
hell who truly loves God. Of course, many individuals
fool themselves into believing they love Godjust
as they deceive the world around them into believing they love Godwhen
they are really doing many things contrary to love
that only push God away. In fact, thats one of the purposes of this
website, to reveal the psychology of such unconscious
Saint Teresa of Avila,
for example, lived for 20 years as a nun before she discovered
real love. She spent the early years of her vocation
engaged in vain gossip, attractions to worldly status, and superficial
prayeruntil an experience of mystical love set her heart on fire. Finally
understanding what it means to stand in the real presence of Our Lord, she
set about reforming her own life, along with her own religious
Saint Catherine of Genoa grew
up with a yearning for holiness but once she got married she turned from
God into a life of perversion. After about ten years of self-indulgent
love for the world, she suddenly had visions of Gods pure
and patient love for her. And this is
how she responded:
I give myself to Thee. I know not what I am fitted for but to make a hell
by myself alone. O Lord! I desire to make this compact with Thee: I will
give this sinful being of mine into Thy hands, for Thou alone canst hide
it in Thy mercy, and so dispose of me that nothing of myself can anymore
be seen. Occupy me wholly with Thy love, which will extinguish in me every
other love and keep me wholly lost in Thee, holding me so engrossed by Thee
that I shall find neither time nor place for self.
Saint Catherine of Genoa
Spiritual Dialog, First Part,
Now, the example of the saints
might sound like a radical proposal to many persons todayespecially
those under the pernicious influence of liberal, watered-down
Christianityyet remember what Christ told us Himself about
the conditions of discipleship:
Whoever loves father or
mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter
more than Me is not worthy of Me; and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose
it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
In regard to your question, then,
this all means that if parents want to raise children
properly, it is necessary to love God more than they love their children,
and more than they love their life, and more than they love their work in
the world. By loving God as Saint Catherine describes, parents make it possible
to show their children how to love and to serve God.
Otherwise, the parents botch the whole job.
If, after living a life of
self-indulgent love for the world, you finally discover that
you have botched the job of raising your children, then you have one
choice: return to God as Saint Catherine describes. In other words, take
that cross you wear around your neck like a piece of jewelry and start carrying
This necessitates about three
reparation to God for your past mistakes, and for
the sins your children have committed as a result of your
failure to direct them properly. And by making
this reparation to God you make it possible for your children to recognize
real love and to return to God as well.
Admit openly to your
children that your previous behavior was
wrong, and that youre sorry for the mistakes you made. Much of the
psychopathology of those who feel
victimized derives from their unconscious
desire to show the world
how much they have been abused and to hear someone acknowledge their pain.
Anyone who has ever been injured, therefore, really wants nothing more than
to hear the one who hurt him admit he was wrong and to apologize. So give
your children the honesty they deserve.
Set about living
a truly holy life, free of every shred of
hypocrisy that your children can point to
in scorn. In all of this, pray for your children with the intensity
of Saint Monica and Saint Rita. After heartfelt
contrition, much sacrifice and prayer, deep sorrow, and many tears, you might find your
children coming around back to the Church.
This is all a heavy price to
pay for your past mistakes. But if you dont pay the price, you will
spend the rest of your life getting angry at
anyoneincluding God Himselfwho points out your
self-deceit. And being angry
at God is, well, not the path to heaven.
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information
gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips
in book form.
Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do
our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for
God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle
with the evil of the world? More often than not our children donít see living
faith. They donít see protection from evil. They donít see genuine, fruitful
devotion. They donít see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external
acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that
contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibilityóand when parents lose credibility,
children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for
identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval
than for loving God. They are fallen children. Letís bring them back.