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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I have gotten involved in the setting up of a parish pastoral council in my local parish. I figured that, as a young catholic, I would have something to offer, but I am not blind to the fact that there is so much dissent and liberalism in the Church today, and parish pastoral councils, whilst having a valid role with the potential to do good, have the potential to turn into destructive dissenter’s groups. At the first meeting, there was a lot of talk about power, finance, lack of priestly vocations and the pastoral group needing to have “teeth”, and talk about the bishop in guardedly critical ways etc... I was wondering to myself if the desire for holiness and sanctity feature in these lay people’s thinking, or was it more for them the desire to be part of a group of elites to “change the Church” and feel good about themselves? I was wondering what I should aim to achieve by being part of such a group, or really if it is a waste of time. I know that if orthodox Catholics do not involve themselves in these things, then modernists and progressivists will be only too happy to take over. The question is, can a lone person make much impact with people whose minds are already closed?

Outline of the Answer
• Introduction
• One Wise Counsel

  
Yes, a lone person can be effective in the Church. Moreover, in fulfillment of our obligations [1] as Catholics, we should all be trying to exert a healing influence on others, whether those persons be inside or outside the Church. Nevertheless, it takes considerable finesse and sensitivity to witness the faith in a fitting manner—that is, without protest or politics.

In this regard, the best way to be of influence on others is to live a chaste and pure life yourself. And how can you tell that you are really doing this, rather than just trying to look good to others? Well, if a person’s life manifests all the fruits of the Holy Spirit, then it would truly be on a good path.

 
One Wise Counsel

I recommend that you engage in this sort of holy work, however, with no expectations of having any visible effects on others. This counsel will protect you in two ways.

First, it will protect you from the temptation of believing that you are “special” and that the Church needs you to protect Her from the rising flood of apostasy that surrounds us all. The truth is, Christ promised us that the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail (Matthew 16:18). The Church is in His hands. He knows very well what is happening these days, and He will raise up servants to do His work. But never forget that the work is His, not ours, and that His ends remain beyond our comprehension.

Second, the counsel will protect you from the disappointment of seeing that your work is met with indifference and ingratitude by others. Remember that Christ worked miracles of healing, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven, and, in spite of it all, He was treated with indifference and ingratitude. And, even to this day, and even by His own anointed, He continues to be treated with indifference and ingratitude. So, as His servant, expect no better treatment than He Himself receives. Only in the Kingdom of Heaven will the effects of our temporal work be revealed; there, everything—even the least blade of grass—will be accounted for, and justice will be administered.

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

Notes

1. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2472).

 


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