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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

Why do religious and clerics have such a hard time with chastity and celibacy?


Outline of the Answer
• Two Wagers
• Spiritual Disintegration Among the Clerics
• The Problem with Friendships
• Teaching Intimacy with Humanistic Psychology
• A Gift of Grace
• The Pearl of Great Value

 
Ages ago, Satan made a bet with God that he would be able to undermine a man of great faith. The book of Job tells the story.

More recently, Satan made another bet, this time about the Church herself. Toward the end of the 19th century, Pope Leo XIII mystically “overheard” the details. Allegedly, Satan declared that, given enough time, he could undermine the Church. Christ asked him how much time he wanted. Satan said he could do it in a hundred years. Christ asked which hundred years he wanted. Satan chose the 20th century. 

Now, we don’t know exactly when the wager formally started.[1] Nevertheless, we are witness today to three effects of Satan’s work, one effect spiritual, the other two psychological. They are grave problems because they attempt to defile the divine mysteries by reducing worship to acts of human fellowship.

 
Effect 1:
Spiritual Disintegration Among the Clerics

The best way to confuse and scatter the sheep is to cripple the shepherds. This was initiated in several ways.

Fostering laxity in Mass attendance and indifference to, if not outright contempt for, daily Mass.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, authentic liturgy.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, Church Tradition.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, the literal reality of demonic influence in our daily lives and our need to fight a constant spiritual battle against evil.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, constant contemplative prayer.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, devotional prayer, such as the Rosary.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, Eucharistic adoration.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, prayers for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Fostering indifference to, if not outright contempt for, veneration of all the Saints.

  

The third secret of Fatima points directly to this problem because the text of that secret, which has been suppressed by the Church hierarchy, warns of a great apostasy that will begin at the very top of the Church hierarchy itself, as the reason for multitudes of souls being lost like so many stars being swept from the sky (see Revelation 12:4). Moreover, the consequence of this betrayal of true Catholic dogma will be schism, war, and martyrdom. Where will the faithful be then? Well, if they remain under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, they will be safe, but those who reject true dogma will be doomed.

  

 
Effect 2:
The Problem with Friendships

Before Vatican II, there was a rule that religious and clerics were to avoid close friendships. This rule wasn’t bad in its ultimate intent, for mystics have long emphasized that no human relationships should interfere with love for God. And, if you really experience true love for God, it will be impossible to desire anything other than being absorbed in divine love.

But this rule also caused many unexpected problems, for if human friendships are forbidden, as a misguided way to inspire love for God, then everything backfires, and it only strengthens and amplifies the desire for human emotional closeness in the hearts of spiritual novices. The frustrated desire for friendship can easily become a secret desire for sexual satisfaction.

Vatican II reversed this rule and now encourages intimacy in all relationships. But for pre-Vatican II religious and clerics, this reversal was a bit like taking a soldier trained for combat and discharging him to civilian life without “untraining” all the combat defenses. Such military foolishness only encourages the ex-soldier to continue living a life based on aggressive hostility.

Well, imagine someone trained to fear and avoid his inner emotional life who is then told to be “intimate.” First of all, this demands that that person give what he never learned how to give (emotional honesty); second, it overwhelms him with freedom and responsibility he never learned how to wield.

And this leads to a second psychological problem.

 
Effect 3:
Teaching Intimacy with Humanistic Psychology

Today, in order to reduce fears of emotional intimacy, we have books and articles and retreats based on humanistic psychology and Jungian pseudo-mysticism that teach the value of the psychological “self,” of human “energy” needs, and of “natural” sexual wholeness. They preach that self-denial amounts to self-hatred, that the saints represent emotional repression raised to unhuman ideals, and that Scripture demands something unrealistic for ordinary persons.

Consequently, the Church has been infested with psychologists, counselors, priests, and lay ministers who idealize and glorify “love” relationships as the real meaning of Christianity. In essence, the divine mysteries have been reduced to human fellowship, and many Catholics have now succumbed to the popular notion that Christian communion is a matter of happiness and friendship, and coffee and donuts, rather than the Body and Blood of Christ.

Because of this subversion of faith, Catholics have been cheated of any awareness of the spiritual battle necessary for their salvation. Thus many Catholics today have become lukewarm, making them easy targets for the devil.

I have nothing against friendships. But I know that anyone who plays chess with the devil and expects to win is a fool.

  

. . . the one who would go to God relying on natural ability and reasoning will not be very spiritual.

—Saint John of the Cross
The Living Flame of Love, 2. 14

  

The devil knows more about psychology than anyone who tries to stand up against him, so no Jungian psychobabble can teach holiness.

  

Carl Jung’s mother practiced spiritism and his father was a Protestant minister who lost his faith. Jung grew to despise his father’s hypocrisy, and his “spiritual” attitude to life was stained with a secret need to disavow authority. Therefore, his psychology, too, is fundamentally anti-Christian. His article, Answer to Job, is filled with blasphemy.

Is it any wonder, then, that a man who discarded the concept of sin and made every effort to reduce evil to a mere psychological problem could have committed adultery with one of his patients, right in his own house, right under the nose of his wife, and say that he was doing nothing wrong?

And yet you don’t have to look very far today to find “Catholic” retreats that claim to provide “spiritual” healing through Jungian psychology.

  

 
A Gift of Grace

The hard truth of all this is that you can never live an emotionally open life of chastity unless you understand it as a gift of divine grace. Saint Augustine, for example, learned this the hard way. He repeatedly failed to control his rakish desires until he gave himself over totally to God:

  

I thought that continence arose from one’s own powers. . . . I was foolish enough not to know . . . that no one can be continent unless You grant it. For You would surely have granted it if my inner groaning had reached Your ears and I with firm faith had cast my cares on You.

  

—Saint Augustine,
Confessions 6.11.20

But when temptations abound and prayer has been undermined, there can be only one consequence: sin, in abundance.

 
The Pearl of Great Value

Therefore, there’s only one way to live in chastity: glorify God, not “relationships,” glorify the Cross, not Quietist “spirituality”, and let the Holy Spirit, not humanistic psychology, teach you how to love with a pure heart.

But to purchase this “pearl” you have to pay for it with everything you have.

Nevertheless, many in the Church will continue to have problems with a chaste, continent lifestyle, and liberal humanism will thrive in place of sound theological counsel.

Why?

“Well, that pearl you speak about is nice,” they will say, “but it’s just too expensive. We need something the ordinary person can afford.”

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

Notes.

1. In her visions, the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich said that Satan would be freed for “awhile” about fifty or sixty years before the year 2000 AD. See Emmerich, Anne Catherine. The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations (TAN Books and Publishers), Vol. 4, pp. 353–354.
    Hmm. . . right around the spread of Communism. And modern cinema. And television. And New Age spirituality and psychology. And Vatican II. . . well, it’s not that Vatican II was evil in itself, but that in acquiescing to secular humanism, the Church opened the doors to the devil along with the rest of the crowd.

 


 Back to the list of questions

 

Additional Resources

The Story of a Repentant Psychologist  —in an interview with Dr. William Marra, Dr. Coulson, a contrite Catholic psychologist, discusses his role in the destruction of Catholic religious orders, and his subsequent change of mind.

 
AA-1025

Abandoned in childhood by his father, a man sought his revenge by laying plans to destroy the Catholic Church from within. With the support of his Communist backers, he became a priest influential in Vatican II and beyond—but then something happened that he didn’t plan. The God in whom he did not believe caused him to write his memoirs and then brought about his unexpected death in a traffic accident. Subsequently, the memoirs were brought to light and published. Moreover, in His great mercy, God gave the man a short time in a coma to contemplate his sins before he actually died. We don’t know the ultimate disposition of his soul, but we do know the reason for the unexpected disruption to his plans: the mystical sacrifice of a young woman known to the man as “Raven Hair.” Her sacrifice? She set aside her romantic hopes for this intriguing man and became a Carmelite nun to pray for his soul and for the good of the whole Church.
 

TAN Books and Publishers

 

Healing
Psychological Healing in the Catholic Mystic Tradition


by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D.


A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information gathered from my websites is now available at your fingertips in book form with a comprehensive index.
 
Psychological defenses help to protect us from emotional injury, but if you cling to the defense mechanisms that were created in your childhood and carry them on into adulthood—as most everyone does unconsciously—your quest for spiritual healing will be thwarted by overwhelming resentments and conflicts.
 
Still, God has been trying to show you that there is more to life than resentment and conflict, something so beautiful and desirable that only one thing can resist its pull: hate.
 
So now, and in every moment until you die, you will have a profound choice between your enslavement to old defenses and the beauty of God. That decision has to come from you. You will go where you desire.

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