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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I read your answer to my question. Thank you. I am the Mormon. Maybe you have become overwhelmed with the sorrows of sinfulness but nothing human is all good or all bad I have found. Would Jesus the shepherd see the lost sheep as an unworthy sheep for wandering off? If Jesus thought so he might scold the sheep without loving him and caring for his wounds. Maybe then Jesus would give up and leave the sheep there to die lost in his pain. Maybe the sheep needs many lessons of love from Jesus so he will not keep wandering off away from the shepherd. The real love you write about is in loving service to sinners with a gentle heart. Then the lost sheep would be taken back to the flock in the arms of the joyful shepherd before he dies of his wounds. That is what draws me to the Catholic religion.

 
You’re welcome. And I fully agree with what you say about the sheep and their need for lessons of love.

In reading between the lines, though, I can tell that you yourself have suffered considerable abuse as a child, but that you have not yet healed from it. To help you here, let’s consider the function of a shepherd.

A shepherd loves his sheep, yes, but he does not just say to them, “Anything goes. Do what you want.” No. The shepherd—at least, a good shepherd—has to establish boundaries and set rules for the flock’s movements. If he doesn’t, the sheep will be scattered everywhere and all the sheep will be lost sheep.

In a similar way, the Church has its laws and regulations and traditions. These aren’t just dry, empty rules that stifle love. The Church doesn’t speak about sin to scold you; it speaks about sin to save you from your own self-destruction. Church laws are the protection necessary for love to grow and flourish. You already know this deep in your heart. You know that when your parents failed as parents and did what they wanted to your emotions and to your body, your soul was crushed. You became a lost sheep.

Now, your experience as a child is not that uncommon today, and, as more and more lost sheep grow up and raise their own lost sheep, everything is getting worse, and lost sheep are becoming the norm.

Nevertheless, good shepherds are trying to find and save the lost sheep.

The problems start, however, when the lost sheep, all because of their anger at their parents’ hypocrisy, decide to talk back to the shepherds. Some of them say, “We don’t believe in wolves, so we’re happy where we are. We like it here, on our own, with no one to tell us what to do.” Then there are those who say, “We’re sick of being chased by the dogs. Let us take care of ourselves; we can live by our own reason. We have science and technology to protect us. We don’t need dogs barking at us all the time.” These are the ones in danger of being lost forever, devoured by the wolves of hell.

So what can be done for them? All we can do is live the truth through sacrifice, obedience, and prayer, as an example to them, and hope some of them will listen. And we must always pray for all the lost souls in danger of hell who have no one to pray for them.

If you decide to convert, then you really can start fresh and have your wounds cleansed. Because the Catholic Church does not recognize Mormon baptism as a Christian baptism, however, you will be baptized into a new life. Then it will be up to you whether you stay clean and pure in the arms of the joyful shepherd or whether you wander off from the flock to find your happiness in a world that wants only unconditional acceptance of anything.

 

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