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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

Today [someone] told me about a [woman] who has recently had a baby. She . . . is living in hell—her partner is a womanizer and he drinks. [The person who told me about this] said that he would not wish for anybody to live such a life. I replied: “All the sinfulness and hell she lives in can not outweigh the fact that she is blessed with a child. All the holiness and life in perfection is worth nothing compared to the gift of having her own child. Even if the child and the mother both suffer to hell and back.” I told him also: “You see, I don’t suffer anything like that, but my empty life, filled with religion, is pitiful misery, compared to what she has been given—despite her suffering.” But I bet, you would disagree with me. If you bring a child into this world, you love God more than if you don’t. Children are the gift from God and are not born to their parents solely, but are given this life to praise God and to partake in this earthly drama, no matter how tragic existence may be. Can you imagine that your mum & dad had such abortive mentality and attitude as you do, and never gave you the chance to live on earth. . . . And you say that you are a bit of a mystic at heart?!

 
I agree that children are a gift from God. And I know, from my clinical work, that many parents treat their “gifts” with such indifference and ingratitude that the children grow up filled with bitterness and anger, even to the point of hating God. A fine way of praising God that is! But this is not the point of your message.

I also know that those persons who were not raised by their parents to love and to fear God can, through the hard work of spiritual healing, resolve their anger and bitterness and learn to love God. But this is not the point of your message either.

I also know that if I had not been born, God would have raised up someone else to do the work I’m doing. The mere fact that I was born does not mean that I had to have been born. But this is not the point of your message either.

Anyone can tell, from what you say, that you are desperate to have a child. Even with all the resources of the Catholic Church —even with the Eucharist itself—you feel miserable because you do not have a child. And that’s sad, because it misses the point about Christianity. And this is the point of your message.

Taking the vows of Holy Matrimony and having children to raise them to love and to fear God is one way to praise God. But it’s not the only way.

We praise God primarily by recognizing that, however we came into this world, and despite any pain or suffering that ever happened to us, we are ultimately God’s creation and that God calls us continually into holiness and away from our sins.

Furthermore, we praise God by living out this holiness as an example to others, so that they might see us and, desiring to share in our great peace and joy, they might be saved from slavery to their sins as well.

Now, if instead of showing others your inner peace you show them how miserable you are because you can’t have what you think you want, you aren’t living your faith. In fact, you are showing others that you lack faith. If you had real faith you would accept everything that God gives you or does not give you. You would accept it all gratefully, and you would accept it with the understanding that it is given to you precisely for the sake of your spiritual purification, to polish out from your soul all the various stains left in you by your past emotional injuries.

So, it is important to accept the fact that God knows exactly what you need and that He will give you what you need and will lead you where He knows you need to go. If you resist, you will be miserable. And what pitiful misery it is, to be miserable even in the presence of all God’s gifts. But if you cooperate, you will be plunged into the fullness of the gift of love.

 

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