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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

How do you live in San Francisco and have such a trite understanding of feminism? Catholicism makes little room for the thinking woman or for that matter the thinking man. The request of equality is a basic one and is not based on making God pay. . . . Denial and love are not one. Life is about living not abstaining. You are one of the non-adaptive, narrow-minded interpreters of the tradition and history that make Catholicism ritualistic, patriarchal and hierarchical.

Outline of the Answer
• Feminixm
• Shaking Off the Supernatural
• The Dignity of Male and Female
• The Bond of Holy Matrimony
• Your Cross
• Beyond Lack and Limitation: The Mystical Experience

 
Actually, if you really dare to think about it, for ages men have been saying, “Life is about living, not abstaining” and women (or for that matter, men, especially in San Francisco) have been paying the price all along.

And so it is precisely because I live in San Francisco that I understand feminixm so profoundly. I have seen first-hand that feminixm does not liberate women. It does not free them from anything. It has its origin in Marxism, an atheistic ideology. Its agenda is to destroy the family, and its agenda depends on free access to artificial birth control and abortion. Its all an anti-Catholic plot centered on making fatherhood despised and irrelevant to the social success of women and on stripping sexuality of its procreative sanctity and reducing it to a mere pleasure principle—the real opiate of the masses.

Furthermore, because of its spiritual blindness, Marxism, as well as feminixm, fell right into the hands of Satan, who has always been intent on destroying holiness in the world. Thus you, in falsely believing that you can be Catholic and a feminist, have been deceived by the same spiritual blindness that enslaves women to the devil as his prostitutes.

 
Shaking Off the Supernatural

Saint Paul wrote (1 Timothy 2:9) that a woman should adorn herself with modesty and chastity. Saint Peter wrote (1 Peter 3:4) that a woman should adorn herself with a gentle and calm disposition. Yet the proponents of feminixm teach women to forsake feminine modesty, throw off the yoke of the “supernatural,” and adorn themselves with lust and anger. To get on the fast track of social success, women are encouraged to compete with men by dressing in the same uniforms as men, to compete with other women as sex objects, to despise motherhood and feminine tenderness, and to compete with both men and women in business by acting like hostile, cold-hearted men.

But what happens when the supernatural is thrown aside as an impediment? Children are emotionally neglected and denied the gentle care of a mother’s arms, men lose respect for women, and women lose their dignity. Duped by the ideology of anti-Catholic feminist beliefs, women still fight the spiritual battle against evil, but they fight on the side of evil.

 

 
 
The Dignity of Male and Female

Now, if you dare to look at tradition with an open mind, you will find that God, with an “open mind,” created men and women equal. In Genesis 1:27 we read that God created man, and that “man” is male and female. Moreover, in Genesis 2:18 ff. we read about God’s plan for those male and female individuals: God wanted to give “the man” a “partner.” Notice this carefully. God made the woman to be a wife—not a slave and not a sex toy—for the man.

Christ, therefore, insisted on the dignity of human relations. We read in Matthew 5:28 that He even raised lust to the level of the high sin of adultery. Moreover, Christ taught that neither spouse in marriage should be seen as mere property and that the bond between the husband and wife cannot be broken as if one person were legally disposing of property.

The early Church said nothing to contradict the equality of men and women. Ephesians 5:21 instructs all Christians to “be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Only in Holy Matrimony—not in any other social relationship—are wives specifically instructed to be subordinate to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1), but husbands are instructed to treat their wives with love (Ephesians 5:28)—and real love, if you think about it, demands equality.

So why must there be subordination in marriage?

 
The Bond of Holy Matrimony

The bond of Holy Matrimony reflects the loving bond between Christ and His Church. This is a loving bond because every aspect of Christ’s relation to us is ordered by His will for our good, and every aspect of the Church’s relation to Him is (or should be) ordered by her will to accept and be governed by his love. Consequently, in marriage, the man, in his love and concern for his wife, represents Christ, and the woman, in her love for and trust in her husband, represents the Church in obedience to Christ.

Furthermore, this loving bond manifests in the process of reproduction within marriage. Just as in all of nature where a male fertilizes a female’s egg so that the egg can grow and develop into an independent organism, for humans the woman nurtures and protects the baby as it grows within her body; then, as the child becomes independent from its mother, the man provides the guidance and instruction of a father to prepare the child to function productively in the world in service to God the Father.

This natural, reproductive function between a man and a woman serves as a signification for Christ’s relation to His Church: Christ provides Sacramental “fertilization” to souls so that they can grow and develop within our mother the Church, and, ultimately, after death be received into the Father’s presence forever.

 
Your Cross

So why are you so sensitive to hypocrisy? Well, look to your own parents, who, in their emotional dishonesty failed you and hurt you miserably. Your anger at your parents—especially your father—has been misdirected at the Church. And even though hypocrites are everywhere, even in the churches, the real, mystical Church is pure.

Yes, you could complain in bitterness that you’re not getting what you want from life, but if you think about it, the purpose of life is not to get what you want by denying the cross because you don’t want to serve holiness. The purpose of life is to serve God with pure love, regardless of what afflicts you or how others treat you, so that your graceful endurance of afflictions can help lead others to true healing from the bitterness they feel about their emotional pain. That is, rather than get angry because of your afflictions and spew strife, criticism, dissent, rebellion, hatred, and revenge all around you, a graceful endurance of afflictions through love for God can contribute to peace and compassion in the world around you.

Hence genuine Catholicism is about healing—but the ideology of feminixm is about hatred, as you, in your own words, have shown.

 
Beyond Lack and Limitation: The Mystical Experience

Jacques Lacan, in his writing (see the book Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and the école freudienne and the chapters “God and the Jouissance of The Woman” and “A Love Letter”) speaks of the psychoanalytic concept of “lack.” Although he uses some complicated mathematical imagery and abstruse psychoanalytic language to describe the matter, this concept of “lack” could be summed up theologically by saying that we cope psychologically with our human brokenness—that is, our separation from God—by using illusions to create for ourselves experiences of comfort in the midst of our misery. The illusions are varied, such as food, drugs, romance fantasies, sexual activity, sports, militarism, and politics, and the comfort can take the form of pleasure, pain relief, social acceptance, and personal valuation.

Lacan points out that one “side” of life is characterized by the use of this dynamic of illusions/comfort as an unconscious compensation for our brokenness. Moreover, Lacan demonstrates that there is another “side” of life that isn’t trapped in lack but that experiences something very real, albeit “unknown.” Lacan speaks of this experience as something that some women have encountered; it’s an ecstasy they experience without knowing what it is, and so Lacan refers to it as something “beyond sex” and thus as something mystical. Furthermore, Lacan states that even though most men are trapped on the “lack” side of life, some of them also encounter the mystical experience.

Note carefully that Lacan spoke as a psychoanalyst who was concerned with issues of neuroticism and sexuality, and so he didn’t elaborate on his ideas as theological concepts. Nevertheless, to speak theologically, it can be said that the side of life not trapped in lack is the place of mystical religious experience, and that it is characterized not by futile efforts of compensation for what is lacking but by a real experience of a fulfillment of a yearning for God.

Hence we can define mystical ecstasy as a prescient experience of a complete union with God.

Because the mystical experience is beyond sex, both men and women can be mystics; nevertheless, more women than men tend to have mystical experiences. This can be explained by the fact that anyone who preoccupies himself or herself with illusions of compensation is obstructing the mystical experience. In the past this was true of most men, and it is still true of most men today. And, in the past, many women were not drawn to these illusions. But today, sadly, because of feminixt efforts in regard to “women’s liberation,” more and more women are being “liberated” into sin and are crossing over into the use of illusions typically used by men.

Nevertheless, women who value the supernatural—rather than shake it off as a burden—can have a special role in their spiritual influence on men. In the book of Genesis we are told that the desires of man’s heart are evil from his youth (see Genesis 8:21). In other words, both men and women are prone to all illusions as a fact of (fallen) life, just as much today, in the modern world, as in the past. Women, however, can be the glory of man (see 1 Corinthians 11:7). “Woman is the glory of man” means that when women seek the mystic way of life—that is, a way of life governed not by an attempt to compensate for lack and limitation but by a profound embrace of the fullness of God’s love—they renounce illusions for the sake of an experience that is beyond sex, and so they take up a God-given spiritual authority to relate to men with a real love that puts men in their proper spiritual place of loving God rather than loving illusions.

Consequently, the containment of men’s proclivity to using illusions of compensation can take place through the supernatural help of women yearning for the mystic life. If a woman detaches herself from worldly approval, renounces lust, dresses modestly, and acts in all things with humility she will be of glorious spiritual help to men.

Thus when both women and men seek the supernatural side of life they participate in an equality that the trite illusions of feminixm can never attain.

  

Mysticism is located on the side of life not constrained by lack and limitation. Mystics, therefore, are filled with all the fullness of God, and so they are always looking forward to God with love. Feminixts, however, define themselves with ideologies of “oppression” and “disempowerment” and so they are always looking backwards with resentment and anger over what seems to be lacking in their lives. But really, what is lacking in their lives is simply love for God.

  

 


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