Home

Introduction

Self-help

Doctrine

Prayer

Recommended Readings

Spiritual Counsels

Consultation

Questions and Answers

Subject Index

Contact Me

Related Links

Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Four Fundamentals
of Christian Life

 

Fear  |  Healing  |  Therapy  |  Spiritual Counsels  |  Books  |  About CSF

 

The Demand for Spiritual Fruits | The Eucharist | The Passion | Repentance | A Holy Lifestyle

 
TRUE Christianity is far more than a collection of intellectual assertions; it demands a way of life that produces real spiritual fruits. Therefore, if you say you love Christ, and if you want to follow Him, and if you are willing to do anything it takes to live a holy life, then cling reverently to the following four fundamentals of Christian life. For the sake of your own soul, shun any teaching that neglects these fundamentals. Be wary, too, of any bishop or priest who advocates any teaching that neglects these fundamentals.

 
The Eucharist

The entire mystical basis of Christianity is Christ’s real presence in this world. He came into this world in the form of real flesh and blood, as an act of divine love, on a mission to save us from our slavery to sin. And, on the eve of the day when He would be tortured and crucified by His enemies, He instituted the Eucharist, so that His Church would never be without His real presence.

“Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you. . . . Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me and I in him” (John 6:53, 56).

 
F YOU WANT to live a Christian life, then adore and receive the Blessed Sacrament with chaste purity of heart, making the Eucharist the core of your life.

 
The Passion

When Christ shed His blood for us, He fulfilled a triple purpose. First, He gave us life—that is, freedom from our bondage to sin. Christ’s death was a glorious mystery that reverberated from Heaven down to earth, for “obliterating the bond [of Original Sin] against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, He also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14). Second, the redemption worked in Christ’s death was an example to us. It showed us, in a way that no event in the world has ever shown before or since, how we, in our hearts—the very hearts God has created—and through our own free will, constantly injure others and defile, mock, and execute divine love in every moment of our lives. Third, Christ died in order to be raised again, to show us that God raises into His glory only those who, without obstinacy or presumption, without cunning or intrigue, without strife or schism, empty themselves of all their social illusions in humble, obedient service to Him.

 
F YOU WANT to live a Christian life, then meditate on Christ’s Passion, thinking His thoughts, participating in His mission, and, by repeating what He suffered, being filled with Him, over and over, day after day, praying for the salvation of all (even your enemies), persevering until the end.

 
Repentance

Repentance is the key to salvation in that it allows us to accept the redemption worked in Christ’s Passion. Those who understand the reality of their sins can then repent those sins, and thus they can die to their old way of life that is caught in pride of self. Thus they can be purified—starting in this life and then to be completed in Purgatory—of all that is not holy, so that the desire for holy love will grow and overshadow every other desire.

Note carefully that, contrary to popular belief, the purifying suffering in Purgatory is not punishment. In its psychological sense, punishment is a technique to decrease specific behavior. After death, however, no one can commit sin, so after death there is no need to decrease sinful behavior. There is, though, a need to purge from all souls the desire to sin which is spiritually bound to all the sins the souls have committed. In a loose sense, this purging of a desire and its associated effects could be called “punishment,” but it is more fitting to call it purification.

Thus, even though God forgives our sins when we repent them while we are alive—that is, He welcomes us back to Him—the stain of our sins must be removed from us after death before we can endure the fire of His love in Heaven. In Heaven, any stain of impurity will burn and torment a soul.

Yes, the purification process is painful suffering, but it’s not arbitrary, and it’s not something that can be evaded. You cannot buy your way out of Purgatory with money or good works. You can decrease the time of your purging after death if, before death, you follow a spiritual life that helps to purge from your heart the desire to sin. Then, depending on the depth of your spiritual life, after death the remainder of the purging work will be done in Purgatory until your soul becomes pure in its love for God.

But you can’t do any of this if you tell yourself that the sins you are committing are not really sins! You can’t repent your sins if you condone sin.

 
F YOU WANT to live a Christian life, then recognize sin for what it is. Only the Catholic Church preserves the teaching that tells us what sin really is, so fidelity to the Tradition of the Church, unless it be absolute, is no faith at all.

 
Holy Lifestyle

Every sin you commit after your baptism will be accounted for, and you will pay for them all, either in Purgatory or in hell, depending on whether you repent or not.

 
F YOU WANT to live a Christian life, first repent and confess all of your past sins and then do anything it takes thereafter to avoid sin and remain pure of heart through surrender to the will of God. Well, the only way to do this is to dedicate yourself to deep study of the faith; to living in chastity, humility, and modesty; to praying constantly; and to self-sacrificial service to others, in imitation of Christ Himself through loving consecration to His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

 

 

No advertising—no sponsor—just the simple truth . . .

For the sake of truth, this is a website with NO ADVERTISING.

If you find these pages to be informative and helpful, please send a donation in appreciation,
even if it’s only a few dollars, to help offset my costs in making this website available to you and to all.

Home

Imprimatur?                                           

Questions and Answers

Spiritual Counsels                                                         

INDEX of Subjects

SEARCH                                                       

Privacy Policy

Permissions Policy                                           

Communications

Consultation                                   

Social Media

Chastity

In San Francisco?

www.ChastitySF.com

CATHOLIC PSYCHOLOGY

in association with
A Guide to Psychology and its Practice
 

 
Copyright © 1997-2022 Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
 

All material on this website is copyrighted. You may copy or print selections for your private, personal use only.
Any other reproduction or distribution without my permission is prohibited.
Where Catholic therapy (Catholic psychotherapy) is explained according to Catholic psychology in the tradition of the Catholic mystics.