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?
ctually, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.