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Psychological Healing
in the Catholic Mystic Tradition

Spiritual Counsels

To develop love for God and healthy self-love

Neither shall you allege the example of the many
as an excuse for doing wrong.

— Exodus 23:2

Fear  |  Love  |  Humility  |  Therapy  |  Books  |  About CSF

Introduction | The Mandate | A Basis both Ecclesiastical and Psychological |
Rationale | The Counsels

Christ may be telling us that time is running out. Yet, if you follow the counsels on this webpage, you won’t have anything to fear. It’s that simple.

THE MANDATE of Christianity is simple: love. Love is the “crux” of the matter—literally—of living a holy life. Yet, in this simplicity, complicated problems can spring up like weeds. First, real love must be learned and separated from common secular distortions about love. Second, prayer for divine protection of love must be learned; we must constantly pray for protection from the evil that will assault us as we progress on the path to living a holy life.

Regarding common love, more often than not we use “love” as a mere excuse for self-indulgence and sentimentality (the reduction of a virtue to a mere feeling). In the modern world especially—although it has been a problem throughout Church history—we commonly scorn real love because we prefer the warm feeling of being accepted by someone. Thus we scorn the suffering, self-sacrificial love with which Christ loved us to save us from our sins. And even though Christ commanded us to love each other “as I have loved you,” we scorn this love because we have so perverted and sentimentalized the concept of “love” that we even condone sin today in the name of Christ. Today, many of us believe that Christianity amounts to the warm feeling of an unconditional acceptance of anything, even to the point of unconditionally accepting sin—and we do it in the name of “Christian love.” 

Regarding evil, we have forsaken real love because children are brainwashed from infancy by movies, television, social media, magazines, popular music, and sports that are all awash with the evil Satanic vices of aggressiveness, competition, defiance of authority, disobedience, entitlement, hatred, anger, revenge, and lust. Today, these vices, rather than Christian virtues, unconsciously motivate everyone’s behavior. In today’s culture of insanity the fundamental Christian principle of dying to the self  has so lost its meaning that even most Catholics find the concept to be incomprehensible. Instead of dedicating their lives to fighting the great spiritual battle against evil, using love for God as their weapon, most Catholics welcome moral corruption into their hearts as they go about seeking social acceptance from a corrupt world.

The Mandate

So, before explaining the spiritual counsels that can assist the development of your love for God and your protection from evil influence, let’s consider the practical framework of a Christian life, reduced to its own simplicity: before we can enter into the pure love within the Kingdom of Heaven, we must be purified of all that is not genuine love.[1] Therefore, our mortal life should be a life of spiritual refinement, whereby we

recognize our own sins;

repent our sins, looking always to God’s infinite mercy;

put our hope in divine love, which the devil cannot destroy, rather than waste our lives with hope in things that come to an end in hell;

live holy lives of chastity, modesty, and humility, while detached from the corrupt social world and praying constantly;

grow in faith by facing our constant trials without anger or resentment but only with perseverance and trust in God;

treat others with patience and forgiveness while assisting them—that is, by instructing them with our actions and words and praying for their enlightenment—that they might eventually recognize and repent their sins.

Therefore, a life of genuine Christian faith and love must be directed to doing everything we can to fulfill the Christian mandate and to avoiding anything that contradicts this mandate.

A Basis both Ecclesiastical and Psychological

Through its Tradition and laws, the Church is able to “guarantee to the faithful the very necessary minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2041). Now, in this context, the very necessary minimum means that salvation is not possible with anything less than what the Church requires.

But can it be advisable to do more than what the Church minimally requires?

Read an opinion of dissent 

Well, remembering how easy it is to pervert love into something it isn’t, it is just as easy to make “the very necessary minimum” into a mere intellectual performance. If we do that, we end up deceiving ourselves—and that, sadly, is far from what is really needed. Even at its very necessary minimum, love must be more than a surface scratch—it must cut deeply into the heart.

Now, in the realm of psychology, when attempting to heal emotional wounds that block spiritual growth, we need to go far deeper than surface appearances. We need penetrating psychological insight to get to the roots of the weeds that choke our spiritual development. 

The best way to develop psychological insight and spiritual development is to turn away from social “outsight”—that is, attachment to social identifications that merely cover over our inner confusion and turmoil with a surface feeling of acceptance by others. So, considering that unconscious psychological conflicts [2] more often than not lead us away from complete trust in God and right into spiritual disobedience, and considering the consequences of disobedience—all the temporal misery of purgatory, or, even worse, the unending misery in hell—it would be prudent to make certain that “the very necessary minimum” is not just an intellectual superstition.

Therefore, seek true love—the true and single ecclesiastical and psychological goal—at any cost. Aim high or you will miss the mark altogether. It is necessary to do everything we can to remain aware, at every moment of our lives, from the very depths of our hearts, that we are totally dependent on God’s love for us.


All the counsels that follow derive from pure love as exemplified by the Catholic mystics through the ages. There is nothing arbitrary, or artificial, or puritanical about them. As Christ told Saint Catherine of Genoa:

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

Yet, sadly, most everyone who reads these counsels will balk.

“I can’t do that,” they say. “I’ll die if I have to give up masturbation, television, Facebook, video games, cigarettes . . .” “I’ll die if I have to stop wearing sexy clothes.” “I’ll die if I have to give up the emotional and financial security of living with my boyfriend.” “I’ll die if I can’t watch football every Sunday.” “I’ll die if I have to wear a chapel veil.” Well, maybe you get the idea. We claim that we want to follow Christ, but, like the rich young man of the Gospels, we all have something we refuse to do because we’re afraid that life will be dull and empty at the foot of the Cross.

Christ told us, however, that in order to follow Him we had to take up the cross and die to our social identities. What is Christianity but death to this world and birth to a new, ineffably delightful spiritual life? And what is the basis for this new life? Love. Pure, simple love. And what are the things that obstruct pure, holy love? Well, how about entertainment, cigarettes, sports, and lust, for example—the very things to which you cling in order to preserve your social life as you think it should be.

So how do these things obstruct love? Well, in trying to preserve what now seems to you to be “life”—that is, in defending your pride of feeling accepted by the world—you in effect prevent yourself from doing what Christ told us all to do: give up everything for Him, from the very depths of your heart, so as to serve Him with every aspect of your being, as preparation for everlasting life. To do what He asks is love, for it is to value the holy everlasting life He offers through Himself more than your own illusions about how you think life should serve your own pleasure.

The present time is very precious. Now are the safe days. Now is the acceptable time. But how sad that you do not spend this time well while you have strength to gather the merit which will allow you to live forever! The time will come when you will wish for one day or one hour for changing your ways, and I do not know whether you will get it. . . . Learn now to place Christ at the center of your life, that then you may begin to live your life with Christ. Learn now to let go of all things that stand between you and Christ . . . . Do, do now, dear friend, whatever you can do, because you do not know when you will die, nor do you know what will happen to you afterwards. Gather everlasting riches while you have time. Think of nothing except your eternal well-being. Care only for the things of God. . . . Keep your heart free and lifted up to God, for this world is not your permanent home . . . .

—Thomas à Kempis
The Imitation of Christ, 1. 23
(Trans. by William Creasy)

Right now, with all your illusions wrapped around you, you are dwelling in blindness, even though you deny it. Of course you can’t see it. Without deep spiritual scrutiny, who could see it?

Read an excerpt about spiritual blindness
by Saint Theophilus of Antioch, bishop

Just remember, for example, that many individuals caught up in addictions, such as alcoholism, will, while in a state of intoxication, claim that they are doing nothing harmful to their lives. It’s only when they get into a sober state of mind that they can perceive how close to death and total destruction they really were. And so it is in the spiritual realm. When you’re caught up in all the attractions of the world it’s literally impossible to see how much of your life is a refusal to serve God and how close to spiritual ruin you really are, even if you already claim to be a devout Catholic.

I have seen this in myself, for from time to time I have found many natural desires destroyed within me which had previous seemed to me very good and perfect; but when they were thus removed I saw that they had been depraved and faulty, and in accordance with those spiritual and bodily infirmities which, being hidden from me, I had not supposed myself to possess. And this is why it is necessary to attain such a subtlety of spiritual vision, in order that all which at first appears to us perfection may in the end be known as imperfections, robberies, and woes: all this is clearly revealed in that mirror of truth, pure love, in which all things appear distorted which to us had seemed upright.

—Saint Catherine of Genoa
The Life and Doctrine of St. Catherine of Genoa
Chapter XXIV

Therefore, if only you would now do what I tell you here, in true imitation of Christ, you would soon discover for yourself an experience of holy love so palpable and real that every unconscious resistance will dissolve into oblivion and only pure love will remain.

Instead of seeking your own pleasure, seek to do God’s will. Instead of defending your pride, defend the Faith. Instead of serving your self-interests, serve others with real love, as Christ Himself commanded us to do.


COUNSELS for Healing
To Develop Love for God and Healthy Self-love

The greatest commandment is this: to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. If you really loved God, all the things you do and all the things you refuse to do—that is, all the behaviors of your life—would express your love for God. Although many various behaviors characterize this love, the mere performance of such behaviors is not an act of love. Still, practicing behaviors that characterize love can help to lead you into an understanding of divine love. Therefore, the goal of these counsels is not to strive to perform them perfectly; the goal is to perform the counsels in the hope of growing in love.

Practice the counsels now as an act of discipline to start your healing; eventually, when you have healed from your emotional pain and trauma, you will be performing the counsels spontaneously and gracefully as an act of love for God.

There are four basic aspects to this growth process: prayer, abstinence from defenses, charity, and self-encounter.

1.  Make prayer the basis of your emotional stability. Prayer has its foundation in the formal prayers of the Church, but reciting them out of duty will not help much with your emotional healing. Instead, your healing will depend on the power and efficacy of constant moment-by-moment quiet love for and trust in God.
     Note that prayer is not about bribing some cosmic magician to get rid of your problems, it’s about doing the hard work of bringing your emotional pain before God so as to face your problems and overcome them through trust in God’s guidance.

Maintain a constant awareness of the presence of God by practicing gratitude throughout the day. Also, teach yourself to pray the Jesus Prayer as a moment-by-moment ongoing practice. Interspersed with this prayer, add constant prayers of supplication for guidance and protection. State what you are feeling, and then ask for the guidance to work through your experiences. such as the following: “God, I feel so helpless; teach me how to do this.” “God, I’m so alone; give me strength and courage to continue.” “God, I don’t know what to do; show me what to do and help me.” “God, I’m overwhelmed with temptation; help me to resist.”

Sit frequently in silent prayer and accept your helplessness before God. Feel the pain of the emotional wounds from your childhood, and let your tears be prayers. Weep for what was inflicted on you, and weep also for the pain you have inflicted on others because you have not dealt in a healthy way with your own emotional wounds but instead have used defenses such as addictions, lust, and anger to suppress your pain. Admit that you cannot make others act as you would like them to act. Admit that you cannot save the world from its insanity. Admit that without God you are nothing. Feel the nothingness and accept it. Accept that only in your helplessness and nothingness will you ever receive a mission from God to do anything meaningful. When we try to flaunt our greatness—whether it be physical allure, athletic prowess, military power, social celebrity, intellectual finesse, philosophical reasoning, or whatever—we push God out of our lives. A life of humility, however, keeps us oriented toward God’s majesty.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments and how unsearchable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord or who has been His counselor? Or who has given Him anything that He may be repaid? For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be glory forever.  

—Romans 11:33-36

Miraculous MedalWear the Miraculous Medal [3] around your neck at all times as a seal upon your heart; having it on your Rosary beads misses the point. The chain for the medal, therefore, should be long enough to keep the medal over your heart, rather than over your throat as a piece of jewelry. Say its prayer (“O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.”) many times a day.

Like the angels, Mary had free will, and in her conception she was given the grace, like the angels, to be free of the desire to commit sin. Unlike Mary, the rest of humanity, in its state of original sin, is afflicted with the desire to commit sin, and so, for the sake of our salvation, we must endeavor always to renounce that unholy desire which lurks deep in the heart of our fallen being. Keeping the medal of the Blessed Virgin over our hearts gives us assistance in our battle of renouncing sin and evil.

Attend Mass every Sunday (if not daily) and on every holy day of obligation. Wear modest and reverent dress clothing. Women, wear a skirt, not pants, and cover your heads with a scarf or chapel veil before entering the church. When you enter the church, look at the tabernacle and genuflect, saying silently, “My Lord and my God.” Be careful to arrive on time (before the priest enters the sanctuary); if you do arrive late, do not receive the Eucharist. Receive the Eucharist only on the tongue  and only from the hands of a priest  (never from a lay person). Do not leave before the dismissal, and, when you leave, look at the tabernacle and genuflect, saying silently, “My Lord and my God.”

If you have a family, read the Scriptural texts for the next day’s Mass in the evening as a family activity. Spend time reflecting on the meaning of the texts. If you need help interpreting the texts, then use the book A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture as described on the Reading the Bible page of this website.
Also, if you have young children, teach them how to sit quietly at home in prayer so that when you take them to Mass they will not be unruly and noisy. Unruly children at Mass are an indication that the parents have an unruly prayer life.

If you go to Eucharistic Adoration, rather than pray the Rosary or read spiritual texts, use the time to reflect on the emotional pain of your past and to shed prayerful tears for your emotional wounds.

Pray the Waking Prayers every morning to begin the day.

Pray the Deliverance from the Tyranny of Evil as daily protection from demonic influence.

Pray the Litany of Humility daily.

Every noon (and at 6:00am and 6:00pm also if possible) stop what you are doing and pray the Angelus (or the Regina Coeli during the Easter season). Note that the Angelus is prayed kneeling while the Regina Coeli, because of its joyful character, is prayed standing.

Endeavor to pray the Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (adapted) as much as possible as a critical part in the spiritual battle against the smoke of Satan in the deep Church.

Endeavor to pray the Rosary as much as possible.

If you have a family, pray the Rosary in the evening after dinner with your family, in lieu of watching television. Teach your children that prayer is protection, and let them witness your seeking protection when you pray; in this way, they will want to imitate you, rather than think of prayer as a boring duty.

Practice a constant attitude of gratitude.

Every night, before going to bed, go before the Crucifix, review the day, and give thanks for everything you accomplished that day.

Pray always for all the souls in Purgatory (and know that they will be praying for you, in return).



2.  You can encounter your inner brokenness by abstaining from all self-indulgent defenses that serve only to distract you from your brokenness. These defenses do nothing to lead you to spiritual purity and do quite a bit to seduce you into spiritual impurity. Have you ever affirmed a vow to renounce the works of Satan? Well, think carefully. The things that follow are—either directly or indirectly—all works of Satan. 

Sexual activity. Sex is not love, so outside of its procreative function in Holy Matrimony,[4] it serves only the narcissistic purpose of making ourselves “feel good.” Learn, therefore, to place your trust in God, not in your own body or in the body of a “partner”—that is, a “partner in sin.” To learn to trust in God, it is important to face your emotional emptiness directly, without defenses. Therefore, to develop a love for God, live in chastity and abstain from eroticism: no fornication, no masturbation, no pornography; in general, no lust.

If you are struggling to overcome an obsession with pornography or masturbation, keep in mind that following the other counsels on this page will aid your struggle against sexual temptations. Also, add the Litany of Chastity to your daily prayers.

Immodesty. For both men and women, immodesty is a grave opening to sin. Avoid tight or revealing clothing, sports insignia, piercings, and tattoos. (If you have an existing tattoo, cover it in sorrow for having defiled your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.) For women, do not wear leggings, jeans, or slacks, keep your shoulders and chest covered, and cover your head with a chapel veil when praying, especially in church. To learn true humility, set aside all vanity.[5]

Social Media. As popular as they may be in contemporary culture, social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest) have only one psychological purpose: to get approval and acceptance from others. In your desperation to get approval, you are drawn into an evil breeding ground for pride and lust, as well as for anger, rudeness, hostility, hate, and bullying of anyone you don’t like—and so you are drawn away from developing contemplative love for God. Note carefully that these evil behaviors, as Saint Paul warned, will exclude a person from the Kingdom of Heaven (see Galatians 5:19–21). It’s that simple.

Entertainment. Most entertainment, such as TV, movies, social media, sports, electronic gaming, gambling, and secular music, distracts you from a prayerful focus on holy things. Entertainment, in general, not only squanders your time and talents on frivolities, but it also infects you with the anti-Christian values (such as lust, pride, avarice, vanity, self-indulgence, competition, hostility, etc.) of contemporary society. Furthermore, these things incite you to idolize (that’s a mortal sin, remember) social acceptance, to neglect constant prayer, and, ultimately, to dilute the holy presence of God in your life. So, instead of turning to a corrupt social world for emotional satisfaction, turn to God in contemplative silence and prayer.

Tobacco. Tobacco smoke floods the body with noxious chemicals. Furthermore, in contrast to cigarettes, cigars have a different psychological meaning. A cigar is not just a cigar. A man who smokes cigars does so to create the illusion that by smoking cigars he is confident and powerful. Yet a man who smokes a cigar has experienced some emotional trauma in his childhood (such as loss or abuse); not only is he unconsciously psychologically insecure, but also he is angry at the cause of his insecurity. Thus, when he smokes a cigar to feel manly and powerful, he is really smoking anger. Therefore, anyone who remains enslaved to any addiction, including smoking, is too angry to fulfill Christ’s command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). To be addicted to anything means, by definition, that you love the addiction more than anything else—more than the welfare of your own soul and, therefore, more than God.

Alcohol. A small glass of wine can be a legitimate part of a meal, and an occasional glass of beer or a cocktail can be a part of a festive celebration, but any habitual use of alcohol simply for pleasure is nothing but a way to soothe yourself when you should be turning to God in prayer. 

Marijuana (cannabis). Recreational drugs, especially marijuana (now called cannabis to hide the fact that it is an age-old street drug), cause you to let down your guard against evil. Marijuana—even “medical marijuana”—deceives you with the false belief that you can function competently even though your brain is scrambled, and this self-deceived state opens a hellgate to demonic influence, making you the plaything of demons.[6] 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.

“Junk” foods and “fast” foods. If you really believed that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, you would eat a healthy diet, not “bad for you” foods. As much as possible, avoid eating meat, because meat is an expensive luxury. Eat simple foods.[7] And avoid a use of restaurants, because, no matter where you go, from fast food to fine dining, morally corrupt hands will be touching your food and transmitting demonic influence onto you. 

Colas and soft-drinks. Drink water. Our bodies need water for survival,[8] but soft-drinks are just self-indulgence: empty sweetness with no nutritional or spiritual value.

Coffee. Avoid coffee or tea that is not a part of a legitimate meal (i.e., breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner). Coffee and tea, like wine, can aid digestion, but, taken repetitively throughout the day simply as pleasure, coffee or tea become harmful addictions. Drink water throughout the day for healthy hydration, rather than poison yourself with an addiction.

Secular reading. Avoid magazines and newspapers not necessary for professional purposes. Read literary classics to understand the history of Christian culture. Read spiritual texts that will help you understand the true Faith. (You can begin with the recommended readings from this website.)


Neither shall you allege the example of the many as an excuse for doing wrong.

—Exodus 23:2

For many, as I have often told you and now tell you even in tears, conduct themselves as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is their “shame.” Their minds are occupied with earthly things.

—Philippians 3:18-19



3.  You can learn to minimize your sense of self-importance and pride by treating others with charity.

Avoid swearing, whether aloud or silently. Train your thoughts to be as calm, peaceful, and prayerful as possible. Avoid all hostility. Do not engage in protest or seek revenge, and do not make arrogant, angry threats. When injured, give a silent blessing to the person who injured you and pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for the sake of that person with the intention that he or she will come to recognize and repent such hurtful behavior.

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths.

—Colossians 3:8


If anyone who does not control his tongue [9] imagines that he is devout, he is self-deceived; his worship is pointless.

—James 1:26


For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy.

—James 2:13

Avoid all gossip and competitive behavior, including sports. Learn to focus instead on your own inadequacies.

Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but everyone for those of others.

—Philippians 2:3-4

To every beggar who asks you for money, give a silent blessing—along with money, if it’s clear he or she is not an addict, and if the beggar has a reverent attitude and asks politely. Learn to feel the enormity of the world’s need and your inadequacy to provide for it. Moreover, you don’t have to be concerned with whether the beggar is a fraud; just give a silent blessing for his or her spiritual enlightenment.

Give to everyone who asks of you.

—Luke 6:30; Matthew 5:42



4.  You can learn to encounter your unconscious fears and conflicts by

entering into the scrutiny of Healing and the Four Steps to Humility;

keeping a nightly log of your dreams—and interpreting your dreams;

keeping a personal journal of your experiences;

reading spiritual texts and setting aside time for contemplative prayer.

Study the books on the Recommended Readings page of this website. Begin with the Imitation of Christ. Read it straight through once, quickly, but thereafter open it at random and read bits of it in depth, as a sort of daily guidance, while reading the other books, including the Bible, and keeping the Liturgy of the Hours.



EMEMBER , the mystics did all these things, and more, out of pure love and reverence for God. The martyrs gave their lives out of faithful love for Christ.

The prefect Rusticus said: “Now let us come to the point at issue, which is necessary and urgent. Gather round then and with one accord offer sacrifice to the gods.” Justin said: “No one who is right thinking stoops from true worship to false worship.” The prefect Rusticus said: “If you do not do as you are commanded you will be tortured without mercy.” Justin said: “We hope to suffer torment for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so be saved. For this will bring us salvation and confidence as we stand before the more terrible and universal judgment-seat of our Lord and Saviour.”

—From the Acts of the martyrdom of Saint Justin
and his companion saints
Office of Readings, June 1:
Saint Justin, martyr

So what are you willing to do for the sake of love? Can you keep these counsels? Ultimately, you may do what you want—that is, no one can force you to live a holy life, because if your actions are not based in love, then they are all worth nothing, as Saint Paul said (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). And the spiritual awareness that our lives, without grounding in divine love, are worth nothing, is the justification for these counsels. So, having successfully encountered the work of your healing, you just might have a changed outlook on Christian mysticism and morality, and love—real love.

Now I occupy my soul
and all my energy in His service;
I no longer tend the herd,
nor have I any other work
now that my every act is 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, Stanzas 28-29


Who wrote this web page?


1. Keep in mind this analogy: fire does not burn itself—only that which is not fire is burned by fire. Thus, in the spiritual realm, God’s love burns and torments whatever is not love. The fire of Purgatory is God’s love purifying and burning out of repentant souls every worldly attachment that is not love, until those souls become pure love. And the fire of Hell is God’s love that burns and torments unrepentant souls who are “not love” because in this life they have chosen lifestyles defiant of love, thereby refusing the opportunity to become love. 

2. A conflict refers to the psychological fact that one part of your unconscious mind wants healing and health and another part of your unconscious mind resists healing. This resistance usually derives from two things. First, because you have been so mistreated by others, in the depths of your mind you secretly believe that you are worthless and don’t deserve anything good. Second, because you are so angry with others for having mistreated you, you experience a certain unconscious satisfaction in remaining a victim so that you can “throw your pain back into their faces” in protest. 

3. Just as Christianity “began,” so to speak, with the Blessed Virgin, so your spiritual healing should begin with her guidance.
    But please understand that the Miraculous Medal is not “magic.” The graces that flow from its use, through the hands of the Blessed Virgin, depend entirely on your willingness to open your heart to them totally, free from superstition, with a deep yearning to have your life profoundly changed by them.
    In this sense, then, the Miraculous Medal is a sacramental. Tangible things, such as holy water, icons, statues, medals, and scapulars, as well as intangible things, such as blessings, are all sacramentals. Sacramentals, says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them, men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (§ 1667).
    Thus, whereas sacraments, which in and of themselves are God’s real presence in this world, produce graces of divine love for those who are properly disposed to receive them, sacramentals inspire us to desire and hope in divine love rather than put our hope in frivolities that come to an end in hell.   

4. In lieu of genital contact, try practicing non-genital emotional and physical intimacy such as cuddling, holding hands, and embracing. 

5. Please understand that I’m speaking here of vanity (from the Latin vanitas, meaning “emptiness” or “worthlessness”). We all need to go shopping at times, but some persons make shopping into a self-serving hunger for materialism. We all must keep our fingernails trimmed, but wasting money on having them painted is, well, wasteful. We all have hair that must be groomed, and premature gray hair is sometimes more attractive if it is returned to its natural color, but some persons change the color of their hair just to project an illusory sense of identity. The point here is that personal grooming shows a necessary respect for the body, the temple of the Holy Spirit, whereas self-indulgence and vanity—both sins of pride—impede not only humble service to Christ but also true love to others and are therefore spiritually worthless. 

6. Marijuana is an evil substance. “Medical marijuana” is a demonic deception. No matter what your reason for using it, marijuana opens you to demonic influence. If you use marijuana you are playing with hell fire. If you don’t want to believe this, then do what you want to do. And if you don’t learn the truth until you get to hell, then have no doubt the demons will be roaring with laughter at you. 

7. Don’t be rigid about this, however. The point here isn’t to punish yourself or make your life misery; the point is to introduce simplicity to life. Even though simplicity is a core value of Christianity, there is nothing wrong with eating special foods once in a while or of feasting occasionally. 

8. In general, one glass (8 oz—or 250 ml) of pure water per hour is recommended for good health. Be advised, though, that exceeding the maximum recommended water intake—½ qt/hr (500 ml/hr) in moderate temperatures and easy work load—can lead to a medical condition called water intoxication (hyposmolality/hyponatremia). 

9. “If we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. It is the same with ships: even though they are so large and driven by fierce winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination wishes. In the same way the tongue is a small member and yet has great pretensions” (James 3: 3–5).


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the Veil of





the Liturgy of
the Hours


the Pain
to God


The Veil
Of Purity








Obsessions With
and Masturbation

From Emotional


How to Pray
the Liturgy
of the Hours

The Path To
Emotional Healing
and Forgiveness

The Supernatural
Purpose of the
Chapel Veil

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A Catholic Perspective
On Behavioral Change
and Its Subversion

A Catholic Explanation
Of a Universal

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