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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I find your website useful and informative but narrow in scope. How about talking directly about Carl Rogers and his effect on the Catholic Church. Leave out the hell, fire and brimstone and give a logical explanation of how the humanistic, person centered theory doesn’t work in the Church. I, personally, get turned off with the negative approach of Protestant theology on the website especially when combined with psychology and I do enjoy the “real love” aspects so concentrate on that. I think your apostolate will reach more people if you appeal to those on the fence who might have been told all of their lives that they are garbage. Learning all about garbage does not make it smell any better. It is still garbage until it turns into compost with the real love of Christ. Allow real love to radiate from you . . . and allow negativity of the past to rot in its own misery.

Outline of the Answer
• Truth and Facts
• On the Fence
• Two Choices
• Psychotherapy
• Scandal in the Church

 
There really is not much to say about humanistic psychology [1] except that it advocates the erroneous idea that psychology itself can be a replacement for religion. And, of course, its adherents do not believe in the reality of sin.

And sadly enough, as I learned from my religious studies in a Protestant seminary, much of Protestant theology today has degenerated into nothing but humanistic psychology, in which Christ is seen as just a metaphor for the so-called “collective unconscious.”

 
Truth and Facts

You find this website “narrow in scope” because, with your liberal ideology, you would like to throw Tradition into the garbage. Yet to speak at all about Catholic psychology one must of necessity speak about—and correct—the anti-Christian errors that have been purchased wholesale by our contemporary culture. Moreover, to speak the truth, one has to speak about sin and repentance. These are the facts of Christian faith; the hell-fire and brimstone part comes only as a warning, from Christ’s own mouth, about rejecting His mercy by persisting in sin. And this hell-fire and brimstone warning permeates the Gospels.

  

His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the granary, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.

  

—Matthew 3:12
 

But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, “You fool!” shall be liable to the hell of fire.

—Matthew 5:22
 

Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

—Matthew 7:19
 

The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will collect out of His Kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.

—Matthew 13:41–42
 

Then He will say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

—Matthew 25:41
 

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.

—Mark 9:43
 

Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

—Luke 3:9
 

. . . on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all. So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

—Luke 17:29–30

 
On the Fence

Now, you make a good point about appealing “to those on the fence who might have been told all of their lives that they are garbage.” These are today’s lost sheep who have wandered off into spiritual wilderness because of family dysfunction. The deceit, the game-playing, and the abuse that have been inflicted on children—by parents, mind you, who claim that sin and hell are old-fashioned up-tight ideas and who have discarded the fear of God—have created generations of poor lost souls, completely lacking in moral guidance, who feel like garbage.

The sad thing is that, when we listen to Christ’s own words, we hear what will happen to garbage. Fire. Yet Christ speaks of the fire as a warning to us; He speaks in mercy, with real love, for behind His warning is a final plea.

  

Tell sinners that no one shall escape My hand; if they run away from My Merciful Heart, they will fall into My Just Hands.

  

—as told to Saint Faustina
Diary (1728; see also 1146, 1588)

 
Two Choices

These wounded souls, therefore, have two choices for genuine spiritual healing—and neither choice is easy. They can follow the advice of the Catholic mystics through the ages, like Saint John of the Cross, and let go of all their illusory attachments to the world—attachments that make you feel good temporarily, even though you know you are standing on a rotting garbage pile—and plunge into the abyss of Christ’s mercy. Or, if these poor souls lack the courage for such a radical change of attitude, they can turn to psychotherapy, through Catholic psychology, to overcome the resistance and fear that prevents a complete plunge into real love.

 
Psychotherapy

To accomplish the work of psychotherapy, however, a person will perform a difficult task that even you don’t seem to understand. To heal the belief that you are garbage it is necessary stand directly on the garbage pile of your life and dig down into it with your bare hands. It is necessary to feel the hurt—and the hate encrusted around it—from every wound, raw and bleeding in the depths of your heart. And then, seeing it all, feeling it all, and knowing it all, it is necessary to dissolve that crust of hatred and bitterness in the cleansing waters of God’s forgiveness and, in turn, forgive those who have hurt you. This is hard work because it amounts to seeing sin for what it is—in yourself and in others. But it’s the only path to the honesty that will lead, in turn, to total trust in God.

And if you don’t do the work, all that garbage will rot under the surface, and you will be left rotting in your own misery.

 
Scandal in the Church

Talk about garbage may be a hard thing to hear, but why do you think we have had so much scandal in the Church recently? So many men who felt like garbage took up the priesthood to cover over their pain—rather than heal it—and yet it leaked out anyway onto the lives of innocent victims. And why did Carl Rogers succeed in ruining those religious orders? So many men and women who felt like garbage underneath their habits turned to humanistic psychology to feel good about themselves without having to be bothered about discipline and obedience. They threw away the “old-fashioned and up-tight” ideas of sin and hell, and, finding themselves with nothing to repent, they soon found their religious lives collapsing around them, more useless garbage for the garbage pile.

 

Who wrote this web page?
 

Notes

1. In an interview about Carl Rogers and humanistic psychology, Dr. Coulson, a contrite Catholic psychologist, discusses his role in the destruction of Catholic religious orders, and his subsequent change of mind. See The Story of a Repentant Psychologist.

 


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