Category Archives: Psychology

To Have a Child and Other Transformations: Falling in Love

Several years ago, a Wall Street Journal article (I have searched in vain for the citation) explained how it’s impossible to make a rational decision about whether to have a child. The author, a mother herself, contrasted the decision to … Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Psychology | Leave a comment

No Pit So Deep: Jesus’ Descent into Our Pain

“There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper.” These are the words of Corrie ten Boom’s sister, Betsie, in the former’s autobiography, The Hiding Place. Betsie is dying from the horrible conditions of the Ravensbruck concentration camp, where … Continue reading

Posted in Apologetics, Psychology | Leave a comment

From Neurotic to Transformative Suffering: Getting Off of the Rollercoaster

Freud’s brilliant but troubled disciple, Carl Jung, discussed the journey from neurotic to transformative suffering. (Just a caution: Jung’s elaborate psychological system is riddled with problems from a Christian point of view. For example, he insisted that Satan and evil … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | Leave a comment

True Images

The use of imagery in therapy is common. We can use imagination to calm ourselves down or take a mental break. A popular guided meditation goes something like, “Imagine you’re sitting on the beach, the sun on your face, hearing the … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Prayer, Psychology | Comments Off on True Images

Practice People

Years ago, I attended a 12 Step meeting for relatives of alcoholics. “Rick” also attended the meeting. At any good 12 Step meeting, you’ll find one or more people like Rick. When people like Rick speak, people listen. His sharings were humble, … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | Comments Off on Practice People

Community and Freedom, Part II

The relationship between community and freedom is foundational to the Christian worldview. First, we know that nothing happens apart from God’s directly willing it or permitting it (Rom 8:28 and many other passages). It follows that absolutely nothing happens by accident … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Western Culture | Comments Off on Community and Freedom, Part II

Community and Freedom, Part I

In a culture where individual rights and autonomy have become our gods, the concepts of community and freedom seem to contradict each other. Your needs and wants interfere with my needs and wants. More for you means less for me. … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Western Culture | Comments Off on Community and Freedom, Part I

Our Cheatin’ Hearts

I returned to work yesterday after a wonderful week of Christmas vacation. The day after Christmas, we got the long-expected but glorious news of our son Michael’s engagement to his lovely girlfriend, Grace. And in another celebration of love, on … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology | Comments Off on Our Cheatin’ Hearts

Feeling Stuck

I was feeling stuck as I wondered what to blog about today. I went for my morning walk, praying for some inspiration. “Lord, what’s the word You want me to speak?” Crickets. The last seven days of Advent are the … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Prayer, Psychology | Comments Off on Feeling Stuck

Be Here Now

“Be here now” was Fr. Dacian’s mantra. He was the director of my novitiate in the Franciscan seminary. A novitiate is a year dedicated to prayer and discernment of one’s vocation. It should be ideal for focusing on the present moment. Yet even … Continue reading

Posted in Catholic Prayer, Psychology | Comments Off on Be Here Now