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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Thanksgiving: Skin-Deep vs. Profound

weekly reflections Nov 23, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

When it comes to giving thanks, the hard truth is that most Catholics fall into one of two camps – they either forget to give thanks, or their thanksgiving is superficial, only skin-deep and limited.

Rare is the Catholic whose thanksgiving is both complete, with gratitude for all things in his life and profound, rising from the heart, the whole of his being rather than just emanating from his skin, the surface.

In this reflection, we discuss human...

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Anti-Masturbationism – A False Religion

weekly reflections Nov 16, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Flash announcement: Join me for a live experiential exercise on receiving the love of God.

To celebrate the 100th episode of the Interior Integration for Catholics podcast, I am inviting you to join me in co-creating that 100th episode live with me. On Friday, November 18, 2022 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM Eastern Time, join me in a Zoom meeting where you can join me in a live experiential exercise, informed by Internal Family Systems and grounded in a Catholic...

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Legalism vs. License – Two Bad Options for Sheep

weekly reflections Nov 09, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In tempting us, Satan likes to present two bad options and give us a choice. (Perhaps I’m thinking about this more than usual because the midterm elections were yesterday.) The two bad choices we are examining today are legalism and license.

In last week’s reflection, The Whys of Catholic Legalism – with Solutions, we enter deeply into Catholic legalism – and Theopedia defined legalism thusly:

Legalism, in Christianity, is a term...

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The Whys of Catholic Legalism – With Solutions

weekly reflections Nov 02, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Legalism. Legalism has been getting a lot of negative press. No one wants to be labeled a legalist. In recent years, Pope Francis has been calling out legalism, though he does not always use that particular term. Here is an example from his homily from Mass at Santa Marta Residence from October 31, 2014:

This way of life, of being attached to the laws, distanced them [the Doctors of the Law] from love and from justice. They followed the laws and they neglected...

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Why We Resist Change – And Especially Radical Transformation

weekly reflections Oct 26, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

So how do we love ourselves better, in a more ordered way? I ended our last weekly reflection titled Examples of Bad Self-Love and the Consequences with this question.

In the next several weeks, we will be exploring ordered love, with practical recommendations to increase our ability to love properly.

Readiness to change is essential

Catholic philosopher and phenomenologist Dietrich von Hildebrand, in his book Transformation in Christ, writes the following: ...

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Examples of Bad Self-Love and the Consequences

weekly reflections Oct 19, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

In our last two weekly reflections (the archive is here) and in the last Interior Integration for Catholics podcast episode, we have been exploring the importance of ordered self-love. In agreement with St. Thomas Aquinas, I have been making the case that ordered self-love is a prerequisite for loving your neighbor.

In today’s reflection, I want to offer you some examples that illustrate how our love for neighbor is greatly impacted by how we love...

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Why Is Interior Integration Crucial for Union with God?

weekly reflections Oct 12, 2022

Dear Souls and Hearts Members,

Recap: Proper self-love is indispensable

In last week’s reflection, titled St. Thomas Aquinas: You must love you. First., I laid out the arguments from our Angelic Doctor about why proper self-love is essential to being able to love your neighbor.

But not everyone agrees…

Dietrich von Hildebrand, in his book The Nature of Love, describes “the dreadful error…of trying to derive love from self-love.” (p. 162). Dietrich von...

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