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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

I sometimes struggle with clinical psychology. Not because I don’t believe in the importance of psychology, but because separate from understanding and knowing God I believe that psychology does not help us. Nevertheless, I am trying to find a Catholic psychotherapist for my daughter who is struggling right now because she has an addiction to marijuana and extreme levels of social anxiety. Do you have any advice?

Outline of the Answer
• Introduction
• Playing With Hell Fire
• Impure Faith
• Repairing the Damage

Actually, psychology does help us immensely to live the Catholic faith as Christ intended for us to live it: from the heart, not just as an intellectual duty.[1] People who practice the faith as a duty tend to do so for social recognition, and so they neglect real love for God—and it’s all because of unresolved psychological conflicts [2] from childhood. Furthermore, as I have learned from clinical experience, many persons who practice the faith out of duty, fear of punishment, and a yearning for social acceptance will proudly call themselves “devout Catholics”—yet they are far from living the Catholic faith as it should be lived, all because many of these persons have families that are riddled with dysfunction and disobedience.

Playing With Hell Fire

Recreational drugs, especially marijuana (often referred to as cannabis for the politically correct motive of deceiving you into believing that it is a medicine with a legitimate Latin name and not a dangerous hallucinogenic drug), cause you to let down your guard against evil. Marijuana deceives you with the false belief that you can function competently even though your brain is scrambled. Unlike alcohol, which is a general depressant that relaxes inhibitions by degrading performance, marijuana loosens inhibitions by making them seem meaningless. This gives the illusion of creativity, but it really makes a laughing mockery of moral authority—and this self-deceived state opens a hellgate to demonic influence, making you the plaything of demons.

Consequently, marijuana is for atheists (those who reject the idea of God) and for Satanists (those who reject God). Self-induced altered states of consciousness are all a fraud, in the spiritual sense, because recreational drugs have no place in real love and devotion to holy things; instead, they manifest a hatred for authority. Those who use marijuana, therefore, are playing with hell fire.

Impure Faith

When a child uses marijuana, it’s a sign that the parents’ lives are disordered and that their faith is impure. Marijuana reeks with demonically incited eroticism; that is, the thrill of just reaching out and taking whatever pleasure you desire without regard for moral values. Children are drawn to this perverse looseness because of lust and anger in their parents’ lives, whether the lust the anger are blatant or hidden.

Keep in mind here that the hidden sins of the parents are always “seen” by the children through the unconscious network of family relations.

Even if a woman appears to be devout in her faith through pious actions of duty, if she wears immodest clothing she declares to the entire family that her life is ordered by lust, not by love for God.

Even if a man appears to be devout in his faith through pious actions of duty, if he takes pleasure in pornography or believes that his wife must fulfill her marriage debt of giving him sexual pleasure, he declares to the entire family that his life is ordered by lust, not by love for God.

Even if either parent appears to be devout in his or her faith through pious actions of duty, unconscious anger can manifest in many ways that are socially commonplace but that still are sins. In regard to their children, parents can be demanding, critical, accusatory, argumentative, manipulative, and condescending. In regard to their general social actions, the parents can be rife with discord, contention, strife, scandal, vengeance, boasting, quarreling, vainglory, and pride. In their own eyes, the parents can believe they are not doing anything wrong. Yet in reality they are filled with anger.

Hence, in regard to marijuana, if the children’s faith is weak because the parents’ faith is weak and impure, especially because of sins of lust and anger, then when the children are exposed to marijuana they will be inclined to use it.

Conversely, if the children’s faith is strong because the parents’ faith is strong and pure, then when the children are exposed to marijuana they will be inclined to reject it.

Thus, when children do use marijuana, even though the children need psychological and spiritual treatment, the parents also need to be in treatment to resolve their secret traumas and unconscious sins.

Repairing the Damage

So it’s possible that your lack of respect for clinical psychology may have prevented you from recognizing the unconscious damage done to you by your own childhood emotional wounds, and this in turn may have been a breeding ground for psychological dysfunction in your family. Now is the time for you, in true humility, to say, “Lord have mercy, I have failed; help me now to learn how to repair the damage.”


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1. In its psychological sense, duty has nothing to do with love. When you act out of duty you are trying either to gain someone’s approval or to avoid losing someone’s approval. Love, in contrast, has no ulterior goal; the purpose of love is love. Love is its own reward.
     Nevertheless, it is possible to speak of one’s “duty” to love and worship God, but when used in this unique theological sense the word duty simply points us to a need to avoid being careless about, or ungrateful for, the ineffable love which God bestows upon us.

2. A conflict refers to the psychological fact that one part of your mind wants healing and health and another part of your mind resists healing. This resistance usually derives from two things. First, because you have been so mistreated by others, in the depths of your unconscious you secretly believe that you are worthless and don’t deserve anything good. Second, because you are so angry at others for having mistreated you, you experience a certain unconscious satisfaction in maintaining feelings of victimization so that you can “throw your pain back into their faces” in protest. Thus, to be psychologically and spiritually healed you must recognize and resolve your conflicts about healing itself.


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