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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

[Recently] my husband started to yell at our son and I tried to stop it. It ended up with his becoming angry yelling and accusing me. He called up his mother and cancelled her coming over to have dinner with us and the kids because he said there was a commotion going on at our home (I couldn’t believe it) and proceeded to talk to her about me. I heard all this and what he was saying. To top it, I know my mother-in-law doesn’t keep things to herself. I know that she will talk about this with others in the family. What I was trying to settle turned out worse. I am so beyond this. I feel it inside. For years now I have been trying to live this Marriage vow that I took so long ago so blindly. My instinct is not to be a part of all this. It’s wrong and so immature and I certainly don’t want to act immaturely either. I feel caught in this. What would Jesus do? I have been accepting this as a suffering, offering it up to God to use to redeem since I know about this. But I feel such a humiliation. My instinct is to become aloof to this immature man and now if they invite us to any of his family things I wouldn’t want go anymore. I have been aloof to my husband since this and pondering it and praying for my direction here. My husband makes it like nothing ever happened and life goes on. I don’t want this occurring anymore. How can I be an instrument here of God’s unconditional love and break this cycle?

Outline of the Answer
• Two Roles
• Imitate Christ
• Protect Your Children

 
Your role as the wife and mother in a Christian family has two aspects to it.

 
Imitate Christ

In regard to your own behavior, endeavor to imitate Christ in all things. And so, in regard to insult, learn to accept all insult gracefully (that is, with God’s grace), remain calm, give a blessing in return to a curse, and pray for the repentance of the offender. This is how Christ acted, and this is how He commanded His disciples to act. That’s hard, because you will experience recurring temptation to seek revenge on others when your pride or honor is threatened; it takes constant patience and perseverance to entrust the pain to God and respond with charity instead of hate.

 
Protect Your Children

Be careful to attend to the physical, mental, and spiritual protection of your children. Here are four things to guide you.

1.

Explain. Whenever your husband does anything inappropriate, explain to your children (at an appropriate time) that he has acted in a way contrary to Christian behavior. Do not be critical of him as a person; just explain to the children why the behavior is wrong, citing Biblical examples as illustration.

You must, however, ensure that nothing in the family ever degenerates into child abuse or domestic violence; if it does, then seek protection immediately, calling the police if necessary.

For more information about child abuse and domestic violence, see my webpage called Family Therapy on A Guide to Psychology and its Practice.
 

2.

Reassure. Once things have calmed down, reassure the children that you are OK and that you are not afraid of your husband. Convey to them your faith in Christ as your protector—and as the protector of the family.
 

3.

Apologize. Admit to the children your role in what happened and how your attempts to help may have gone wrong. Tell the children that you will do all you can to prevent such a problem from reoccurring, and ask for their help and understanding.
 

4.

Promise. Let the children know clearly that you have no intention of leaving the family. And ask the children to pray with you for the conversion of their father so that the family can become a real Christian family.

Step-by-step instructions for praying
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy

Step-by-step instructions for praying
The Chaplet of Saint Rita

 


 
Recommended Reading
 
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.

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