Loving Conversations on Controversial Subjects: A Parts-Informed Approach 

weekly reflections Feb 01, 2023

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

This week, I am excited to share a reflection written by my Souls and Hearts co-founder and dear friend Dr. Gerry Crete. Offering a parts-informed approach to engaging with others constructively and positively in the culture wars, Dr. Gerry uses abortion as an example of an emotionally-charged, hot topic. His example models a way to authentically love others who hold radically different beliefs with an eye on how our own parts work will help diffuse conflict and...

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Distracted Prayers: Hidden Reasons for Avoiding God

weekly reflections Jan 25, 2023

Dear Souls and Hearts members,

Journeying together over the past few weeks, we have been exploring the inner psychological factors that fuel our distractions in prayer, impelling our redirection and ultimately undermining our prayer life, causing us to avoid God.

Hidden reasons of the heart

Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French Catholic mathematician, philosopher, physicist, inventor, and lover of God wrote in his Pensées:

The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We...

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Distractions in Prayer: When our Parts Cry for Help

weekly reflections Jan 18, 2023

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In my last weekly reflection, titled Distraction and Prayer: Satan, Symptoms, or Something Else?, I offered you some action items geared toward helping you understand how your distractions in prayer can be a gift. The assignment was simply to jot down the specific distractions as you noticed them interrupting your prayer time, with just enough detail to remember them later.

Maybe you haven’t noticed any interruptions in your prayers, or maybe you...

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Distraction and Prayer: Satan, Symptoms, or Something Else?

weekly reflections Jan 11, 2023

Dear Souls and Hearts Member,

my deepest desire for you is that with all your being, embracing your identity as a beloved child of God and Mary, you engage with the three Persons of the Trinity and our Lady in a deep, intimate, loving relationship.

I want you to be with God and Mary, as outlined in my recent reflection Catholic Being vs. Catholic Doing. Last week we focused on The Secret Psychological Reasons We Fail to Make Time for Prayer, examining what gets in the way of our intimate and...

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The Secret Psychological Reasons We Fail to Make Time for Prayer

weekly reflections Jan 04, 2023

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In last week’s reflection, Catholic Being vs. Catholic Doing, I promised to dive more deeply into practical recommendations to help you let go of “doing” and enter into “being.”

N.B.: I am focusing primarily on the realm of human formation here (the natural realm); my wheelhouse as a Catholic psychologist. Of course, there are many spiritual reasons why prayer time is diminished or avoided altogether, and these are discussed...

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Catholic Being vs. Catholic Doing

weekly reflections Dec 28, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Many of you may be exhausted in the aftermath of all the “doing” in preparation for Christmas Day. The annual marathon of planning, scheduling, shopping, decorating, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, preparing food and drink, facilitating family traditions, visiting relatives and friends, traveling, dealing with the excitement and fatigue of small children, the list goes on and on. Extreme weather in many parts of the US this month increased the...

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From Rejecting to Embracing Aging

weekly reflections Dec 21, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In last week’s reflection, titled Seeing your Difficulties through the Eyes of Providence, we began the journey that the saints take from rejecting the PIECES (the Persons, Institutions, Events, Circumstances, Experiences, and Systems) of their lives to embracing those PIECES with a firm confidence in God’s Providence.

I use the acronym ROTATE to describe this progression, where we start with Rejection of the PIECES, then moving to a little Openness...

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Seeing your Difficulties through the Eyes of Providence

weekly reflections Dec 14, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

It is good to be with you again. Thanks for opening up another weekly reflection from me to you. You and all the other readers are the ones that make this effort possible. So, thank you again for being here and for making the time to take in what I offer you.

Just a word before we begin this weekly reflection -- I do intend for each of these reflections to stand on its own. As you likely have noticed, I include lots of links to other resources -- those are...

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Moving from Rejecting to Embracing God’s Providence

weekly reflections Dec 07, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In last week’s reflection, titled How and Why We Reject God’s Providence, we zeroed in on the single most important predictor of a deep sense of peace and joy. I wrote:

In my experience, the primary difference between Catholics who live lives of profound peace, joy, security, a deep spiritual childhood, with a sense of awe and wonder from those who do not boils down to one primary factor and that one factor is this:

The degree to which you sense...

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How and Why We Reject God’s Providence

weekly reflections Nov 30, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In last week’s reflection, Thanksgiving: Skin-Deep vs. Profound, we explored why so many of us Catholics have such difficulty with a deep, wholehearted thanksgiving to God, living in a complete gratitude, in all circumstances, with all our being. In that reflection, I focused on how our internal fragmentation contributes to a lack of thanksgiving.

This week, we are focusing on another critical cause of a lack of thanksgiving: failing to recognize...

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