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Forming A Stronghold Against The Darkness
Written by Allison Ricciardi, L.M.H.C.   


Many of us today are feeling a sense of doom with the current political landscape.  The spectra of expanded government control over the most personal decisions in the lives of a previously free people have left us reeling.  

We see the IRS scandal emerging of government officials using the power of their federal offices to discriminate against those who support conservative causes - with no one taking any personal responsibility for their actions. 

To make matters worse, those who have been fighting in the cause for life are left grief stricken at the expansion of abortion and taxpayer funding of abortion that is forced upon us by further legislation.  We hear false pledges by our public leaders for abortion to be 'rare' and 'safe'. Instead we see public leaders advocating for less-regulated abortion clinics, thereby decreasing the safety of young girls and women.  Instead we see public leaders fighting against informed consent legislation that would inform women of possible risks (there are many) and afford them the opportunity to view a sonogram to see their baby before giving consent to the "choice" of abortion.   Instead we see public leaders disregarding the horrors committed by abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell which are not rare but common in this industry.  Instead we see public leaders working to ensure  that 'Back Alley' infanticide abortion mills like Gosnell's will thrive even more in our country by our state and federal governments' furthering of late-term abortion legislation and taxpayer funding of abortion.    

These are just some of the serious infringements that are being forced upon us by expanded government control.  While there are some public leaders bravely taking a strong stand, many are running away from the fight for life, religious freedom, freedom of speech and true virtues - caving into political pressure, the lure of political donations or other financial gain…the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.  

It’s easy to yield to depression right now.  If you’re already struggling with depression or anxiety, all this can really exacerbate things for you.

But, God has His day.  After the crucifixion came the resurrection.  God used the wickedness of the Pharisees and the Roman soldiers in His higher plan for our salvation.  He will use this too.  Justice will arise like the dawn for those who trust in God. But, we must PRAY.  We must pick up our [spiritual] weapons and fight the evil that is befalling us. 

“Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.”- (Ephesians 6:10-11) 


So, how should you deal with the emotional fall out of these and other events and the frustration and fear that comes in its wake?


Read more: Forming A Stronghold Against The Darkness  [Forming A Stronghold Against The Darkness]
Reflecting On The Five Hearts
Written by John M Chavez, PhD   



Along with being a Catholic psychologist, I have been a Secular Discalced Carmelite for many years now.  As Secular Discalced Carmelites, when engaged in Contemplative Prayer, members of my community are asked to open our hearts to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to allow the Holy Spirit to draw us closer to Jesus. Scripture tells us we must love our Lord with all our heart, mind, all our soul, and all our strength. In other words it is the heart that must be changed. Let us recall Psalm 51:3-4 where it is written: "A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.”

However, through our experience of living in the world, we know that not everyone we come into contact with is of like mind; or should I say, of like heart.

During your time in contemplative prayer, reflect on the Five Hearts revealed in Holy Scripture and in Tradition. For example, Scripture and Catholic Tradition clearly mentions the Evil Heart; the Good Heart; The Pure Heart; the Sacred Heart; and the Immaculate Heart. 


Read more: Reflecting On The Five Hearts  [Reflecting On The Five Hearts]
CHRISTIAN COUNSELING - A Wonderful Specialization Of Therapy
Written by Steven Kopor   



Professional Christian Counseling is a wonderful specialization in which the psychologically trained licensed mental health professional integrates their knowledge, skills and abilities with their Christian faith, values and beliefs.  It's a match made in heaven, giving you the best of both. 

It’s the Professional Christian Counselor's sensitivity to perceive their client’s problems as including a blend of psychological, emotional, moral, and spiritual concerns, combined with their ability to expertly deal with the religious domain which sets them apart and makes them very helpful.  To address emotional and behavioral problems which have a spiritual connection, clients will benefit by receiving help for their whole person - emotional, psychological and spiritual.  People who go to the Professional Christian Counselor have a set of expectations which are different from those who seek a secular scientific psychotherapist.  Clients can have the assurance that their fundamental Christian beliefs will be valued.  For Catholics, a Professional Christian Counselor who is also a Catholic shares and understands the perspective of our Catholic faith.

As a Catholic therapist, we don’t coerce non-Catholic nor our non-Christian clients, apply undue pressure, or proselytize.  We respect people of all faiths as well as those with no religious or spiritual beliefs.  We are to honor client choice and receptivity to any counseling practices, Christian or secular.


Read more: CHRISTIAN COUNSELING - A Wonderful Specialization Of Therapy  [CHRISTIAN COUNSELING - A Wonderful Specialization Of Therapy]



Catholic Psychotherapy Association - Annual Conference 2014


cpa conference logo-2014


ct angel"Remain in me as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on it own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him, will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing."  - John 15:4-5