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in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Questions and Answers

So then, let’s say that we are not seeking to be loved, but rather to love. And let’s say that we understand that to love means to give love, that it is an action verb—that to love means to promote the well-being of another, to extend oneself for the good of another. And let’s say that after all the mistakes in interpreting love, possibly over several decades, we understand that we cannot heal our broken selves through another—not through their body, their head, their spirit, etc. And let’s say that we understand and are now willing to accept the context of a loving male/female relationship; i.e. within the Lord’s context. And we can say it’s a given to want this—after all, the Lord created woman from man so that man would not be alone. She is of him. She wants a him and he wants a her—partners to share whatever. . . . Obtaining it and maintaining it within the Lord’s context is our challenge. And so let’s say we are ready for that, in the right way, that our will is His will. We cannot expect perfection, for only Christ was that, but we can still seek it. We can aspire to love perfectly. What then are the odds that we will find, and recognize, another who is at the same point, or at least of the same will, so that we engage in a healthy relationship? And if we don’t, then what becomes of the yearning to generate and nurture a union that is more than the sum of two individuals?

Outline of the Answer
• Trust in God
• A Gift from God
• To Love Perfectly

Well, you say it all very eloquently. And when we get to those final questions, what then? That’s where we simply have to remain “within the Lord’s context,” as you say, and trust in God.

Christianity has nothing to do with odds or fortune or luck. Nor does Christianity have anything to do with happiness. The word happiness derives from the word hap, which means “chance,” so happiness means “good fortune” or “good luck.” But nothing in God’s creation occurs by chance; everything is in accord with God’s will. Therefore, Christianity is all about total dependence on God. Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well (Matthew 6:31-33). So, if there is “another who is at the same point, or at least of the same will,” then God will arrange the meeting—and if such a meeting is not in God’s plan, then we should accept that fact, without grumbling or complaining.

Holy Matrimony, after all, is not for everyone.

A Gift from God


Christ’s disciples said to Him, “If that is the case with a man and his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered that not all can accept this word, but only those to whom it is granted. Some are incapable of marriage, He explained, because they were born so, some because they were made so by others, and some because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. “Whoever can accept this,” He said, “ought to accept it” (see Matthew 19:10–12).


This tells us that Holy Matrimony is a gift from God. Although some persons do not receive that gift, and although some persons pass it by for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, anyone who can accept the gift must also accept the strict conditions under which it is given. Christ’s own words show us, therefore, that Holy Matrimony is not a civil right or a way to avoid feelings of loneliness or a way to achieve happiness.

To Love Perfectly

But to “love perfectly” is for everyone because that is what Christianity is all about:


My love so delights the soul that it destroys every other joy which can be expressed by man here below. The taste of Me extinguishes every other taste; My light blinds all who behold it . . .


—as told to Saint Catherine of Genoa
Spiritual Doctrine, Part III, Chapter VII

Sadly, our secular culture, lost in its own humanistic emptiness, has made idols of “romance” and “partners in lust” as the gods of happiness. Even those who think they are Christian fall into the deception of their seductive allure. And oh, the many cases of insomnia, anxiety, and depression that result from all this empty yearning!

But if you are truly willing to be Christian and to surrender your self to the great love for Christ, then you have found at last the deep “yearning to generate and nurture a union that is more than the sum of two individuals.” When any soul enters into union with Christ, the two become more than two “individuals,” for the soul literally enters into union with God Himself. There is no greater desire than to desire this perfect love.

If, then, I am no longer
seen or found on the common,
you will say that I am lost;
that, stricken by love,
I lost myself, and was found.

—Saint John of the Cross,
The Spiritual Canticle,
The Poem, Stanza 29



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Recommended Reading
A treasure of a resource for psychological and spiritual healing. Information gathered from my websites (including this webpage) is now available at your fingertips in book form.


Falling Families, Fallen Children by Raymond Lloyd Richmond, Ph.D. Do our children see a mother and a father both living in contemplative love for God with a constant awareness of His presence and engaged in an all-out battle with the evil of the world? More often than not our children don’t see living faith. They don’t see protection from evil. They don’t see genuine, fruitful devotion. They don’t see genuine love for God. Instead, they see our external acts of devotion as meaningless because they see all the other things we do that contradict the true faith. Thus we lose credibility—and when parents lose credibility, children become cynical and angry and turn to the social world around them for identity and acceptance. They are children who have more concern for social approval than for loving God. They are fallen children. Let’s bring them back.

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