Wednesday

Prayer, A Way Of Learning Hope

"... When I can no longer talk to anyone or call upon anyone, I can always talk to God. When there is no longer anyone to help me deal with a need or expectation that goes beyond the human capacity for hope, he can help me. When I have been plunged into complete solitude ... if I pray I am never totally alone. The late Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, a prisoner for thirteen years, nine of them spent in solitary confinement, has left us a precious little book:
Prayers of Hope. During thirteen years in jail, in a situation of seemingly utter hopelessness, the fact that he could listen and speak to God became for him an increasing power of hope, which enabled him, after his release, to become for people all over the world a witness to hope - to that great hope which does not wane even in the nights of solitude."

"Saint Augustine in a homily on the First Letter of John, describes very beautifully the intimate relationship between prayer and hope. He difines prayer as an exercise of desire. Man was created for greatness - for God himself; he was created to be filled by God. But his heart is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched. 'By delaying [this gift], God strengthens our desire; through desire he enlarges our soul and by expanding it he increases its capacity [for receiving him]'. ... 'Suppose that God wishes to fill you with honey [a symbol of God's tenderness and goodness]; but if you are full of vinegar, where will you put the honey?' The vessel, that is your heart, must first be enlarged and then cleansed, freed from the vinegar and its taste. This requires hard work and is painful, but in this way alone do we become suited to that for which we are destined. ... not only are we made free for God, but we also become open to others. ... To pray is not to step outside history and withdraw to our own private corner of happiness. When we pray properly we undergo a process of inner purification which opens us up to God and thus to our fellow human beings as well. In prayer we must learn what we can truly ask of God - what is worthy of God. We must learn that we cannot pray against others. We must learn that we cannot ask for the superficial and comfortable things that we desire at this moment - that meagre, misplaced hope that leads us away from God. We must learn to purify our desires and our hopes. We must free ourselves from the hidden lies with which we deceive ourselves. God sees through them, and when we come before God, we too are forced to recognize them. "But who can disceern his errors? Clear me from hidden faults." (Psalms 19:12 [18:13]) Failure to recognize my guilt, the illusion of my innocence, does not justify me and does not save me, because I am culpable for the numbness of my conscience and my incapacity to recognize the evil in me for what it is. If God does not exist, perhaps I have to seek refuge in these lies, because there is no one who can forgive me; no one who is the true criterion. Yet my encounter with God awakens my conscience in such a way that it no longer aims at self-justification, and is no longer a mere reflection of me and those of my contemporaries who shape my thinking, but it becomes a capacity for listening to the Good itself." (Spe Salvi, - Encyclical Letter of Pope Benedict XVI on Christian Hope, paragraphs 32-33)

Parenting (A Synopsis)

Friday

Parenting Moment By Moment

Do you ever feel you're not a good parent? ... Do you find yourself looking at your child sometimes, and wonder where have you gone wrong? Do you sometimes conclude in your thinking that your kid's misbehavior and sometimes defiance is your fault? "Maybe I've been too hard on him," you reason with yourself. Or, "Possibly I've not been hard enough!"

The point in this reading today is, "Begin where you are in this moment, regardless of what has happened before. God has not only given you your child to parent, but He also gives you what you need, moment-by-moment, so that you "can" parent your child.

Without forgiveness as a cool soothing cream to apply gently on ourselves, there is no way we can parent our children effectively in the manner we must.

Did a while ago anger, doubt, fear or impatience surge from your lips in the heat of a moment? Then welcome the next moment. It is new. The one you are in now. View it as an opportunity to be what you can be then. Take into yourself the love, patience and forgiveness God gives you from Himself. Remember, He is a Parent too. Knowing this, you can pass this love, patience and forgiveness to your son or daughter afresh and anew.

Forgive yourself. You "are" a good enough parent. Don't let unnecessary guilt take your strength away.

Written by Jim Hogue, MA, MFTI
Supervisor: Peter Mosgofian, MA, MFC

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Has your parent broken the "law" in any way? I mean specifically in relationship with you. Has your mom or dad "abused" you, as it were, in a way that is legislatively declared "illegal"? ... OK. If not, then you have the responsibility as their kid to be "respectful" and "kind" to them. It is necessary that you speak and act toward your father and mother in ways that do not bring stress upon them.

You see, it's your parents duty to provide a place for you to live. You are to have food and clothing. Beyond this, the rest is just "icing on the cake", so to speak.

My point is this, "Being a parent is difficult." If that was all your parents had to do was "parent you", then "parenting you" would not be so difficult!

But you see, you are "not" the only thing going on in your parents' lives. Your mom and dad have jobs to do, bills to pay, a house to clean, and grocery carts to push at the store to keep you fed. I mean there's like a "thousand" other details they have to care of beyond just thinking of you!

A good idea would be for you to sometime "thank your parents for how they are so nice to you." (They don't have to be so nice, and you know it!)

I know telling your parents you appreciate them asking a lot. (Or so you might think.) But actually, doing this is not as "difficult" as you might think. Yet, if it "is" that difficult for you, then "write something nice on a piece of paper and act like you accidently dropped the paper at their feet while passing by them! If you have to, run out of the building rapidly after doing so. Do "anything" it takes to get a the least bit of thankfulness across to them!!!

Remember, you might be a parent yourself someday. If this happens, may God help you, because you will need it!!!

Written by Jim Hogue, MA, MFTI
Supervisor: Peter Mosgofian, MA, MFC

Thursday

Train Up A Child??? (Help!!!)

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)

Is this statement from the Bible true? Based on what we see today, it is easy to believe that this well known and much studied verse is out of date, insignificant, and has entirely lost its influence.

Let me tell you now, this profound psychological principal embedded in scripture, remains valid today. It is more true today than perhaps ever before.

Then why are we losing confidence in this ancient proverb? For what reason have we "lost touch" with this vital principle, as we as well-meaning parents, search for ways to raise our children?

It is because, in many families, it is the "children" who are training "parents" in how "they", the children, wish to be raised!

A child can "turn-the-tables" on his or her parents. A mom and a dad can "think" they are parenting when they're not! A child can "parent the parents" on how to parent. All this, remarkably, while the child, not even for a second, assumes no responsibility to respect the needs and wishes of others.

There are many ways this is accomplished in homes. For now let me ask you, do you ever become "weary" of the fight? Do you ever just "give-in" to the demands of your son or daughter, just so there can be some "peace" at the end of the day? Then your child, regardless of age or weight beyond infancy, is using "shere fatigue", your fatigue, to train you in how he (or she) will be parented.

There are many other tricks used against parents to rob you of your empowerment as a parent. Not only from children, but also from the society we live in. ... More on this later. ...

Written by Jim Hogue, MA, MFTI
Supervisor: Peter Mosgofian, MA, MFT

Wednesday

The Umbrella Of Parental Authority

When a kid shows basic respect and honor to his parents or guardians, he or she is "protected" under that parental "umbrella of authority." One example of this is when a child continues angry defiance against parents, that child is left to depend upon his or her own "reasoning" to "make sense of the world."

All adults understand how confusing matters of the world can be. Think of how that is like for s newly maturing mind of a child or teenager. Because of this, when a son or daughter gives basic respect to the thoughts and feelings of his or her parents, that child can trust that the adults in charge in the family know best what decisions and actions are best for the problems in the world. Then, for the periods of childhood and adolescence, the young one has the luxury and safety to not "worry" about such complicated and profound matters. Instead he or she need only experience childhood and adolescence with all its enjoyments and opportunities as they happen daily towards personal growth.

"What about the war in Iraq," ... "World hunger", ... "Who will be our country's next president, and what will happen when that president is elected?" A child who has reasonable respect for mom and dad need not worry about such matters, for he or she knows decisions of this kind can be trusted to the more experienced intellects of father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, teacher, principal, pastor or priest.

Basically, if a child thinks his parents are "stupid", then that child's mind has no alternative but to default to solving major problems in life "alone" intellectually, before he has acquired coping skills to do so. This subtle, but stressful, mental experience is enough to drive any kid to anger, depression, drugs, fighting, arguing, defiance and many other bad decisions and behaviors.

Let's return to realizing the great honor of being a parent in our childrens' lives. And if they defy our healthy judgment, may we remember the valuable, God-given position we occupy.

Written by Jim Hogue, MA, MFTI
(Supervised by Peter Mosgofian, MA, MFT)

Thursday

Wednesday

Building Emotional Walls

Once upon a time there was a family who lived in a beautiful house. The family had lots of the material things that many people think are important for contentment. The family, however, was not contented. With one misunderstanding and another, the situation grew worse and worse. Nobody would give way an inch in their bitter arguments, until at last the family's love turned to hate. Finally certain ones in the family insisted that inside the house they would build brick walls to divide other family members. Each went his and her own way, and each never spoke to the others again as long as they lived. The family had many wretched years in their isolation.

Today's Reminder
Am I unknowingly building walls between myself and the people in my family? Are the walls being made of stubbornness, self-will, self-righteousness and a desire to punish? Such walls can be as hard and unyielding as though they were made of real bricks. It would leave me no space in which to grow.

"God grant me the wisdom to recognize the faults I am building into walls, such walls as cannot be penetrated even by love."

[Taken and fashioned from "One Day At A Time In Al-Anon
for general family relationships by Jim Hogue, MA, MFTI]

The Role of Father in Raising Children

A father must “come between” a mother and her child to sever the child’s natural bond of dependence on the mother and to lead the child out into the world so that the child can develop his or her talents and take up a meaningful, productive life of honesty and integrity.

All of us have experienced the delight of being fed and protected when we were helpless infants. In fact, if we don’t experience it, we die. And the delight of this early infantile experience, which makes no demands on us and leaves us free simply to enjoy it, is at the root of our adult yearnings for a “utopia” in which all of our needs are taken care of effortlessly.

But to function responsibly as an adult, a child must pass beyond this care-free infantile state of dependence. If this task fails, the child will remain neurotically dependent on maternal protection and will be afflicted with doubts and anxieties about assuming personal responsibility in the world. Moreover, the child’s talents will either remain buried in fear or will be expressed largely through an unconscious grandiosity. And, in its most severe manifestations, alcoholism and drug addictions can develop in adolescence and adulthood, because all addictions have their roots in a desire to escape the demands of personal responsibilities and return to an idyllic feeling of care-free bliss.

A child, therefore, has three essential tasks which must be accomplished under the guidance of a father.

1. To learn how the world works.
The father must teach the child not only about the abstract—and often dangerous—dynamics of social relationships beyond the family itself but must also provide instruction in the practical rules governing the physical world, including honest, productive work in the world.

Imagine a primitive society of forest dwellers. To teach the child how the world “works,” the father must take the child out into the depths of the forest and show the child how to survive and eat by using weapons, building fires, and making shelters. Now, the modern world may not be a forest anymore—though it is often enough called a jungle—yet the forest metaphor aptly describes the process by which a father must teach a child “how the world works.”

2. To learn to trust.

Yes, a child will more-or-less “trust” a nurturing mother. This sort of trust, though, is a necessary part of mother-infant bonding for the sake of the infant’s physical survival.

Real trust requires that the child grow to depend on and respect the father, a person different from the mother from whom the child originated; that is, the father is a different body and a different gender from the mother. The father—and only a father—can therefore teach the child to enter the world and encounter difference confidently. But, to be a successful teacher, the father must teach this from the place of his own faith and obedience. In other words, the father must live from his heart by the rules he teaches to his children. In this way the children can learn to trust him through his own integrity. Otherwise, the children will see him for a hypocrite and will disavow—openly or secretly—everything he represents.

3. To learn to trust oneself.

As a child receives instruction from a trustworthy father and develops a sense of confidence under the father’s compassionate guidance, the child will then be able to function more and more independently, assimilating the father’s external guidance into an internal, psychological confidence.

First the father builds a fire, saying to the child, “Watch me.” Then the father encourages the child to build the fire. Finally the child goes off into the forest alone, and builds a fire on his own, confident in what he learned from his father.

*Lack*

Now, considering all of this about the role of a father, look about you and see how many fathers fail miserably in their responsibilities. How many fathers are absent from the family because they were nothing more than sperm donors in a moment of lust? How many fathers are absent from the family because of divorce? How many fathers are absent from the family because their adultery draws them away to another woman? How many fathers are absent from the family because they are emotionally insensitive to their children’s needs? How many fathers are absent from the family because they are preoccupied with work or sports? How many fathers are absent from the family because they are preoccupied with their own pride and arrogance? How many fathers are absent from the family because of alcoholism? How many fathers are absent from the family because of illness? How many fathers are absent from the family because a woman decided she didn’t need a man to have a child? It can go on and on. And it does.

And the sad thing is that when a father is absent—whether physically or emotionally—his lack causes a lack in the children. Lacking understanding of how the world works, lacking trust in others, and lacking trust in themselves, children—whether they be boys or girls—become lost, insecure, and confused. They lack confidence. They lack real faith. They lack a spiritually meaningful future. They lack life. All because their fathers were lacking.

Please note, though, that all of this lack resulting from the lack of a father is, in many cases, largely unconscious.

Yes, some persons are truly crippled—both emotionally and socially—by the lack of a father, and their lives become dysfunctional and stuck.

But other persons are able to keep up a surface appearance of functionality; they hold jobs, they get married, and they have children. Yet under the surface of normality a deep secret of anger and victimization is buried. Here are the dark roots of symptom after symptom of secret resentment for the father. Argumentativeness. Passive-aggression. Suspiciousness. Trying to make others “face the truth.” Being late for appointments. Procrastination. Learning disorders. Difficulty following directions or reading maps. Getting lost. Mental confusion at just the times when clarity of thought is needed. And all addictions—not just drug and alcohol addiction, but also obesity, cigarette smoking, and pornography. This list can go on and on. And it does. All because a father, in his physical, emotional, or spiritual absence, failed to instill in a child a sense of inner stability, trust, and confidence.

(This article is again a work of Dr. Raymond Lloyd Richmond.
For this and other writings by him, go to The Role Of Father .)

Sunday

Depression & Suicide

He was about 7 years old. It was after dinner, and the evening sun of midsummer still hung low in the sky. Suddenly, he ran into the house and threw himself onto his bed, crying, saying, over and over through his tears, “I wish I were dead.”

Dr. Raymond Lloyd Richmond continues to write: ... As I look back on this event, I can now also recall the rest of the story. My mother had denied me something I wanted (though what it was is long forgotten), I felt unrecognized and unloved, and I was angry at her. In my mind, I began to wish she were dead—but only for a split second, because on the edge of consciousness it occurred to me that if she were to die, I would have no mother and that I would be left all alone in the world with no one to take care of me. So my mind quickly turned away from that wish for her death, with all of it’s lonely implications, and, feeling quite guilty about the whole thing, I began to wish for my own death. After all, what kind of a person could be so dependent on someone else, so helpless and afraid? A no good piece of nothing, that’s who, and he deserves to die.

In psychological terms, I repressed my anger for my mother and ended up turning my frustration against myself. The proverb “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” sums this up nicely. It’s a terrible bind for a child. And, if it happens often enough, it can prevent the child from being able to express emotions appropriately—because with every angry thought comes the fear of losing someone’s love or protection.

In my own life, beginning with my psychoanalysis as a student, I have had to come to terms with this event and how it has affected my life. I, like many of my own patients, have been forced as an adult to learn how to come to terms honestly with feelings of insult and hurt.

Now, the fleeting suicidal fantasy that I encountered in that moment of childhood frustration was not a clinical case of suicidal depression. Nevertheless, in my professional experience I have seen the dynamic of suppressed anger as a major motive behind clinical depression, and ultimately, as the unconscious motive for serious suicidal thoughts. Someone close to you hurts you, and “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” kicks in from childhood. Fearing the loss of that person’s love, you keep silent about your feelings and ultimately—as a way to escape the guilt of your dependency—you begin wishing for your own destruction. (Which, as an adult, you actually have the power to bring about.)

But there is one other element to the process.

It isn’t just that a person fails to communicate with others honestly. If you are hurt often enough, in keeping silent about it, and in feeling guilty about being so dependent on someone’s love, you can begin to believe not just that you are unloved but that you are despised. If you ever reach this point you then seemingly become a “partner” in your own destruction.

In fact, some persons will even kill themselves to avoid admitting that their parents did not love them—that is, that the parents did not acknowledge the child’s individual needs with true love.

Has anyone ever pushed you away when you wanted to be held? Has anyone ever given more attention to a bottle of alcohol than to you? Has anyone ever laughed at you when you were hurt? Has anyone ever told you that you were too dumb to succeed? Has anyone ever refused you help when you asked for it? Do you get the idea? No one may have actually told you to kill yourself, but all these sorts of behavioral cues give a clear impression: “You are of no importance to me.” “I have no concern for you.” “You’re not special.” “You don’t deserve to be alive.” “You are garbage.”

So, to the “Other,” you (and all of us, for that matter) are just an object to be manipulated to satisfy someone else. It’s a losing game to try to make the “Other” love you. It’s a losing game to make the “Other” say you’re special. Sure, you can try to do all the right things, like drink the right brand of cola, eat at the right fast-food place, wear the right jeans, expose all the right pieces of flesh, pierce and tattoo yourself in the right places, use the right lingo, work for the right company—but once you slip up, then it’s the garbage can for you.

Thus you can “tune in” to the resentment of others subliminally, and, if you’re not psychologically aware, you can come to believe that these perceptions you receive from others are truth and reality about your personal value—or lack of it.

I’m not trying to tell you here that no one feels affection for you. You can argue all you want that your mother and father care about you somehow, and I won’t object, because on some level they do care about you. The real point is that many persons who claim to care about you also give indications, through behaviors and things they say and think, that their affection for you is mixed with resentment. Thus, instead of teaching you how to love by the example of true love, they “infect” you emotionally with a fear of love. It’s not pretty to see this directly, so that’s why you have defenses that blind you to it. But it’s real. At the core, that’s where suicidal feelings originate. Not that anyone is necessarily literally wishing you to die, but that the feeling of resentment that they project can get so strong that you end up feeling like garbage. And from there it is only one small step to make yourself garbage.

So, once your psychotherapy drags you through the pain of this realization about human nature—and you accept it all without defense and resistance—you will then have the strength to “see through” the illusions of the “Other” and claim your own right to exist.

(For the above quote, go to Depression And Suicide by Dr. Raymond Lloyd Richmond.)

Saturday

Parent Digest (a Blog also by Jim Hogue)

This is to introduce another one of my blogs: PARENT DIGEST .

I have worked for years with teens and children with problem behaviors and/ or users of drugs. The following is a growing list of videos that are available as a portion of assignments to families I'm counseling. Readers to "Catholic Psychology Blogspot" are also welcome to access this valuable video collection. (In parenthesis you find the length of each video in minutes and seconds.)

* Dealing With Deception And Lies (3:33)
* How To Discipline Teenagers (2:41)
* Causes Of Compusions And Addiction (32:22)
* Kids Who Say "Don't Drink!" (6:21)
* Daughter Having Sex With Boyfriend (Help!) (2:27)
* Why A Daughter Needs A Dad (2:12)
* House Of Tiny Terrors!!! (2:53)
* Marijuana (What Many Teens Think) (22:22)
* What Age To Begin Consequences (1:51)
* The Teenager's Brain (7:12)
* Have Kids Changed, - or Parents? (4:55)
* "I'm Afraid To Let Others Help Me Parent!!!" (1:49)
* How To Not Spoil Your Kid (1:26)
* Tolerating Poor Behavior? (4:38)
* Daughter Cutting Herself (Help!) (2:11)
* "Is My Kid Too Old To Control?" (2:44)
* Consequences (to Drugs and Alcohol) (10:00)
* Prescription Drug Abuse (60:00)
* Marijuana (The Facts) (60:00)
* Electronic Game Addiction? [1 of 4] (5:22)
* Electronic Game Addiction? [2 of 4] (7:08)
* Electronic Game Addiction? [3 of 4] (7:46)
* Electronic Game Addiction? [4 of 4] (9:08)
* Bill Cosby On Parenting [1 of 3] (7:39)
* Bill Cosby On Parenting [2 of 3] (9:35)
* Bill Cosby On Parenting [3 of 3] (8:06)
* Using Consequences (4:45)
* Creating Boundaries (4:17)
* Warning Signs Of Drug Use (2:06)
* Introduction To Alcohol And Drug Use (3:04)
* Protective Parenting (1:31)
* Parenting style (2:57)
* Adolescent Development (3:47)

Thursday

Last Rites / Anointing of the Sick

This is a beautiful story by Aimee Milburn of Historical Christian, regarding her brother Mark, his death, and how the Catholic Sacrament of "Last Rites" played such a vital role in both of their lives. In her own words she writes the following:

Mark was born just 17 months ahead of me, and we grew up together, one grade apart in school. We fought like cats and dogs when we were little, but by the time we got into high school we realized we could be allies against mom and dad, and became friends.

It was a pretty free-wheeling time, the sexual revolution was in full swing, and I decided I was a liberated feminist, and my brother decided he was gay. We both embarked on our respective free-wheeling lifestyles, my brother plunging into the gay lifestyle. We traded stories with each other, commiserated about relationships, went dancing together when we got old enough to get into clubs, and traveled together. We really had some adventures, and I loved my brother dearly.

This was before anybody had heard of AIDS, but within a few years we did hear about it. And one Christmas afternoon I received a phone call I will never forget: my brother, telling me he had contracted the virus. I was 25. I knew my brother had just received a death sentence. I cried that night like I’d never cried before.

As it turns out, my brother was a long-term survivor, lived 15 years with the disease. During those years I lived in different parts of the country, but we stayed in touch, carried on long talks on the phone, and always sent each other $20 on our birthdays. One year I received a $20 bill on which he had written, “This is the $20 bill we always exchange on our birthdays.” I kept it, still have it packed away somewhere.

I always told my brother during those years that if he really got sick and it looked like the end was coming, I’d move back and help him, and be with him when he died. He managed to stay somewhat healthy for several years, with the help of drugs and good diet, but gradually he declined. He went on full disability for a few more years, but hated it, so developed hobbies to stay busy. He turned his entire front yard into a flower garden, filling it with rose bushes and giant sunflowers and all kinds of other flowers. He filled his apartment with plants and aquariums.

Finally, one day I got a call from my parents that Mark had gone into a real decline, and it wasn’t clear how long he would last. I was living in Seattle, a place I loved with a job and a community I loved, but I resigned the job and moved back home, to help my brother and be with him when he died, as I always said I would.

Continue reading "The Death of my Brother, and Hope" »

Saturday

The Teenager's Brain (Not Yet Complete!)

Have you ever wondered why it is sometimes difficult to get a teenager to listen and do what you want him to do? Have you ever wondered why it is often best to not entirely leave an adolescent alone to make his or her decisions? Well, watch this video and the proof will become very clear to you. It makes me think of Proverbs 22:6 ...

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

I mean, literally, there are "Neronic Pathways" permanently formed in the organicity of your kid's brain matter, as you do what that Bible tells you to do in training him!!!

(NOTE: The Frontal Lobe Cortex of the brain of young men and women do not mature to full growth for functional decsion-making until about ages 22-24.)

Thursday

Finding Purpose in Life ("The Station")



As fish in a pond, describing something outside ourselves is impossible for us to do. Yet, God looks in on time and sees our lives from beginning to end.

We, however, being mortal, possess only one thing, that is this moment. The past is not here, it has already gone. The future is not real, for it is beyond our reach and may never arrive. The only thing that is real to us, is this moment, and only that which is in this moment.

Too often we think of a "made up" future we invent with our minds, but actually, this made up future does not exist in the real world. We do this, sometimes feverishly, while the moment that is real eludes us.

The past is not here, to us, it has already left. Still we think on it and think on it, as if the past were now with us. It is not.

All that is real is what is in this moment. The sensation of feeling the chair we sit in. Awareness of the air we breathe. The experience of realizing thirst, then quinching that thirst in the moment, with cool, clean life-giving water.

And it is in this moment that God is on His throne. We are not seated on that throone, neither should we be.

How do we do this? I mean, give command of our lives to a Higher Power? It is by staying in the moment, knowing that our Creator promises to give us what we need to survive, to thrive, completely, but only one moment at a time. Then it is in the moment that we see opportunities to love where love is needed. Only then, in each moment, do we see what is beautiful, beauty we would normaly miss by being busy in our heads.

We don't need to save the world. God is busy doing that. We need only take in life as it comes, and thus, let God do His work through us, each moment. Only then can we perform acts of kindness that we would otherwise fail to attain.

And, oh yes, this God loves us more than our minds in this life can possibly conceive.

Bill Cosby on Parenting

In North America so many of us value Bill Cosby as a person, not only for his marvelous humor for decades. One thing that is interesting in this video presentation of Mr. Cosby speaking at the coronation of a mission for children, is when he says he thinks churches should remain open at all costs, and be always available to answer the perplexing questions of young people. Also interesting about this talk by Bill Cosby, is the context of his humor, yet good advise, having experienced the murder of his own son several years ago.





Wednesday

Moral Compass Examination for Couples

The following "Moral-Compass-Examination- for-Couples" is not the creation of "Catholic Psychology Blogspot", but is solely to be credited to Susan Vogt, MA, CFLE at the valuable Christian internet website "For Your Marriage" . I place Counselor Susan Vogt's statements and examination here to call complete attention to this much needed testing instrument. For access to the examination in PDF, click on "Do The Two Of You Have The Same Moral Compass?".

"Couples don't have to always agree on what color to paint the kitchen, but disagreeing on when to have a baby or whether both spouses should work outside the home are decisions of values and conscience. If it's a matter of morality, the rule of thumb is to not violate the stricter partner's conscience."

*********
Circle the number that best reflects how much you care about the following moral issues:

(The scale is from 1 to 5. Beginning with "Don't Care", "Some What", then number "5" is "Very Important".)

1. Attending religious services religiously, i.e. weekly. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

2. Raising our children in a religious faith. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

3. Have our children attend religious schools even if it's a financial hardship. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

4. Having our children attend a religious education program if they don't go to a religious school. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

5. Donating a portion of our income (ideally a tithe of 10%) to charity. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

6. Planning our family in accordance with church teaching. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

7. Having one parent at home while the children are young. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

8. Paying our legitimate taxes even if others do not. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

9. Caring for the environment by doing things like recycling, avoiding excessive packaging, minimizing car use, composting ... ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

10. Taking good care of my physical health through eating nutritious foods, exercising, notsmoking, and avoiding excessive alcohol or drugs. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

11. Living simply, avoiding undo consumption and a luxurious lifestyle. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

12. Live within our means. If our means are great, then our moral responsibility is to use our excess to help others. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

13. Being responsive to my spouse's requests for sexual intimacy. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

14. Being an active citizen, voting, working for political issues or candidates, doing volunteer comunity work, etc.. ( 1 2 3 4 5 )

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Bonus questions for discussion:

What social and religious causes are you most passionate about?

Politics is grounded in many moral assumptions. What political candidate did you support in the last election? Does your spouse share your politics?

SCORING:
Add up all your points. If your totals vary by:

Less than 15 points: Your moral compasses are very compatible. You may not always be right, but at least you share similar values. Consider if there are many moral issues that call you to become more generous or life-giving.

16 to 49 points: Time to discuss the issues you differ on by more than one number. Try to balance rationalizing away differences with being overly scrupulous.

Over 50 points: You're living on different planets. Talk with a priest or a pastoral counselor soon.

Tuesday

Abortion (Post Abortion Distress Symptoms)



Post Abortion Distress Symptoms
(Immediate and/or delayed symptoms may include):

* Anxiety/stress;
* Severe guilt;
* Regret;
* Sadness/sorrow;
* Feelings of loss and emptiness;
* Crying (sometimes for hours or days at a time);
* Depression;
* Inability to concentrate or work;
* Lowered self esteem/self-hatred;
* Desire for secrecy about abortion;
* Nightmares or flashbacks;
* Inability to sustain an intimate relationship;
* Anger or rage;
* Hatred towards anyone connected with the abortion;
* Emotional numbness;
* Severe emotional pain;
* Drug or alcohol abuse;
* Eating disorders;
* Sexual dysfunction (loss of pleasure, frigidity, and/or increased sexual activity);
* Desire to become pregnant again;
* Compulsions to touch or avoid babies;
* Repeat abortions; and
* Suicidal impulses.

(Women may experience some, all, or none of these symptoms. If these symptoms occur or persist, it is important to get help. )

[Taken from the internet site Abortion Concern . ]

Sunday

Parents, Stop Feeling Guilty!!!



Stop feeling guilty parents. As long as you're not breaking the law, nothing says you have to be a "perfect" parent! Just be a PARENT! Speak frankly to your children about what you know to be true, and don't fall for the "guilt trip". Your kids will respect you and love you more for it later.

For short videos of excellent professional teaching on how to deal with problem behavior in children and adolescents, go to my new developing website entitled Parent Digest .

In my counseling practice in Eureka, California, I do much work in the area of changing the behaviors of acting-out youth. Some posts in the future on "Catholic Psychology Blogspot" will address this very important issue in our society.

For now, just know this, in the Ten Commandments it says that a son or daughter is to "honor their father and mother". It says further that this is the one of all the ten commandments that has a promise. That if the kid "does" honor their father and mother, "the rest of their life will go well!" ... Note the commandment does "not" say, for example, to honor your mother, "unless she happened to have gotten up that morning in a bad mood", or, "if she didn't select the best of words when telling you to wash your plate after eating breakfast!!!"

Remember, not only did God give you your child with all that child's uniqueness, so that you will survive and raise that child up to be an adult, but God also gave your child "YOU" as his "PARENT", so that that child will survive "YOU" who are also "UNIQUE"!!! ... Some how this is to prepare that kid for other trials that will come in his or her future ...

Yes, speak the truth to your children. Tell them what they need to hear. They need it. (And don't feel guilty.)

How To Love Those We Live With!!!


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To All The Mothers...

This is for all the mothers who froze their buns off on metal bleachers at football games Friday night instead of watching from cars, so that when their kids asked, "Did you see me?" they could say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world," and mean it.
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This is for all the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying, "It's OK honey, Mommy's here."
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This is for all the mothers of Kosovo who fled in the night and can't find their children.
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This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see. And the mothers who took those babies and made them homes.
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For all the mothers of the victims of the Colorado shooting, and the mothers of the murderers. For the mothers of the survivors, and the mothers who sat in front of their TV's in horror, hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
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For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.
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What makes a good Mother anyway? Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips? The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time? Or is it heart? Is it the ache you feel when you watch your son or daughter disappear down the street, walking to School alone for the very first time? The jolt that takes you from sleep to dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put your hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
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The need to flee from wherever you are and hug your child when you hear news of a school shooting, a fire, a car accident, a baby dying?
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This is for all the mothers that sat down with their children and explained all about making babies. And for all the mothers who wanted to but just couldn't.
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This is for reading "Goodnight, Moon" twice a night for a year. And then reading it again. "Just one more time."
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This is for all the mothers who mess up. Who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair and stomp their feet like a tired two-year old who wants ice cream before dinner.
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This is for all the mothers who taught their daughters to tie their shoelaces before they started school. And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
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For all the mothers who bite their lips -- sometimes until they bleed -- when their 14-year-olds dye their hair green. Who lock themselves in the bathroom when babies keep crying and won't stop.
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This is for all the mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse. This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
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This is for all mothers whose heads turn automatically when a little voice calls "Mom?" in a crowd, even though they know their own offspring are at home.
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This is for mothers who put pinwheels and teddy bears on their children's graves.
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This is for mothers whose children have gone astray, who can't find the words to reach them.
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This is for all the mothers who sent their sons to school with stomachaches, assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there, only to get calls from the school nurse and hour later asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
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This is for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation. And mature mothers learning to let go. For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. Single mothers and married mothers. Mothers with money, mothers without. This is for you all. So hang in there.
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Please pass along to all the moms in your life. "Home" is what catches you when we fall - and we all fall. PLEASE PASS THIS TO A WONDERFUL MOTHER YOU KNOW.

Author Unknown
Since the writer wanted her message passed along --
We share it with you.
( http://www.butlerwebs.com/holidays/mothersday.htm )

Wednesday

Fearing Life's Monsters (Grown-Up Phobia's)



It is a grave mistake to believe that just because the words "religion", "faith", "prayer" and "God" are used in a sentence, that the sentence is no longer a psychological application and solution for life's problems.

Psychology means "the study of the soul". It was from religion, and particularly from the Bible, that the initial concept of "soul" came to be truly grasped, studied and applied in personal relationships. Shall we throw all this away in the name of theories of our own reasoning?

And what if "making our souls comfortable", with acrobatics of human reason, is merely placing a small "bandaide" on a "gapping wound" in a world that has gone mad!

What if all that we fear today, is a projection of what is our greatest fear, that is, "Will there be a loving God at the end of our lives, who will love our souls and protect us from harm in the events of the coming eternity?"

Perhaps knowing what to do with our souls now; what to do with our thoughts, feelings, desires, hopes and wishes (our psychology), more completely includes knowing there is something beyond psychology, - beyond just ourselves. Maybe then, and only then, do we completely see that the things we fear in life, ... each phobia, each situation, each word, each person, each event, are in fact opportunities to witness the endless ocean of God's love when we turn to Him for strength, love and salvation.

How Big Is God? (Our Source of Wisdom)



For review of this video:

The Milky Way is 588 quadrillion miles across.

There are 50 billion other galaxies in the universe.

At the Pacific Ocean's deepest point, Mt. Everest could be submerged and the summit would still be nearly 2 miles from the surface.

Your body makes and destroys 10 million red blood cells every hour. If that ratio is off 1% your life ends.

It is true that no two snoflakes have ever, or will ever, look alike.

Scientists believe there are 2,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe. (Note: Our sun is a star, and not among the largest of stars.)

It's estimated as many as 5 million species in the world have yet to be discovered.

The energy in one hurricane is equal to 500,000 atomic bombs.

"Who endowed the heart with wisdom, or gave understanding to the mind? Tell me if you know all this." (Job 38:36)

Sunday

Pick-&-Choose Cafeteria Catholics (#2)



I hope the readers of "Catholic Psychology Blogspot" realize the relevance of humor in the past two posts. However, we must agree we are discussing a very serious issue here. There were generations once referred to as "Baby Boomers". Then there was the "Love" generation. Some how what resulted from that was "Generation X", then finally "Generation Me"!

Let's examine ourselves carefully. In so many ways, and on so many levels, much of what we say and do can rotate solely around ourselves, and it is possible we won't even know it. This is a sobering thought if we will think about it in connection to our individual lives.

It is like this question I will now ask you. ... "Of all the creatures in the world, what is the one creature that does not know of the existence of water?" ... The answer to that question in many cases is the "fish". Often it is the "fish" that "does not know of the existence of water!" ... The reason many fish do not know of there is water, is because the fish is immersed in water constantly, thus fails to realize water exists!!!

This cannot be said regarding a "deer" for example. The deer definitely "knows" there is "water", and knows where to go get water when it needs it. When the deer is thirsty, the deer walks to the edge of a pond, bends down, then drinks from the pond which contains water. ... Being separat socially at times with the water, a deer has a profound consciousness of water! The deer realizes itself as a separate entity from water itself, and can thus go to water to drink it, or can choose not to on occasion.

This cannot be easily said for we humans in our relationship with selfishness. We people at this point of what has become a narcissistic generation. Truly "Generation Me".

In a highly technological age we are so surrounded, so immersed in selfishness in all fabrics of culture around us, that we can easily fail to see ourselves as self centered in what we do with our time, how we make our decisions, and how we honestly conduct ourselves in our personal relationships. Even doing something sacrificial for someone else, can interestingly turn out to be more for our own selfish desires, than than to be truly sacrificial for the interest of a person we say we are doing a thing for.

This is a psychological frame of mind, a process of thinking and feeling in relation to the world around us, that robs us of what we can do and be as Christians, thus Catholics, in service to our God who we say we truly believe in.

"And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are luke warm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' - and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked" ... "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me." (Revelation 3:14-17, and 3:20)

Thursday

Pick-&-Choose Cafeteria Catholics (#1)



Most of us, at one time or another, have enjoyed a meal in a cafeteria. Customers pass down the line of a great variety of foods, picking this or that according to their taste, and passing up other things they do not want. You might say it is a “pick and choose" kind of eating house.


It seems that some Catholics look upon their Church in the same way, that is, as regards the doctrines of the Catholic Church. They are sometimes referred to as “Cafeteria Catholics.” They feel they can “pick and choose” among the various doctrines and laws of the Church, some of which they accept, others they feel they are not obliged to obey. More and more today there are those who call themselves Catholic, who feel they can, and must, decide for themselves which of the teachings of the Church they will accept, and which they will not. How many, for example, do not accept the clear teaching of the Church in regard to such basic things as birth control, or premarital sex, or divorce and remarriage, etc. They look upon these teachings not as laws, but, at best, as ideals that they may not be able to live up to. Many things have changed in the Church, they say, since the second Vatican Council.


Yet, Cardinal Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now Pope Benedict), stated clearly and emphatically in the book “The Cardinal Ratzinger Report,” that it is absolutely incorrect to refer to Pre-Vatican Council II and Post-Vatican Council II, as if there were changes in the Church’s position in matters of faith and morals. The only changes in that respect have sprung from erroneous interpretations of the Council.


As regards the “picking and choosing” of what teachings of the Church some will follow or not follow, Pope John Paul II stated in his talk to the Bishops in Los Angeles in 1987:


>“It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the clear position on abortion. It has to be noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teaching. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the magisterium is totally compatible with being a “good Catholic,” and poses no obstacle to the reception of the Sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching of the Bishops in the United States and elsewhere.”


If we can believe the polls, we are experiencing in the Church at the present time a considerable amount of dissent from the teaching of the Church. ... (All of the above was written in an article by Father Paul A. Duffner, O.P., The Rosary Light & Life - Vol 46, No 4, Jul.-Aug. 1993 )

Wednesday

The Psychology Of Seeking Poverty


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Let us not be fooled. ... There is a Christian Psychology, thus a Catholic Psychology. Among others, we see it in St. Francis of Assisi. His father was a wealthy merchant, but St. Francis chose to leave his life of wealth to pursue utter devotion to Christ in poverty. Before Catholic religious, he stripped himself of his clothing and took on a poor man's garb to symbolize his devotion.

The Catholic Church was in need of reformation. That reformation happened not by protesting reformers, but by people like St. Francis of Assisi, who stayed in the Church and created change from the inside as a servant.

He had a dream that God wanted him to repair His Church. St. Francis saw an old church building, and thought this was what God wanted him to repair. He did so, but then realized that perhaps God meant more than simply this.

Then St. Francis asked to see the Pope. Arriving at his door, the man at the door would not let him in, because St. Francis looked like a beggar from the street. The Pope finally let him in, then knew God would use St. Francis to do that very thing. The Roman Catholic reformation that St. Francis influenced has continued to this day.

We do not all need seek utter poverty as powerful ministries to our Lord. However, the principle remains true and has great application in our modern time.

Do you find yourself misrepresented in the things you do and say for others? Are you sometimes taken advantage of in ways that are truly not fair? Is your husband, wife or children sometimes cruel or impatient with ? Does your employer take advantage, or place someone of less skill in your place? God wishes that the spirit that was in St. Francis of Assisi, also be in us who follow Him in these times of persecution. Persecution, although sometimes mild, remain very real none the less, and painful.

Remember what St. Paul wrote under inspiration of the Holy Spirit:

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (II Corinthians 12:10)

Tuesday

How To Deal With Change





In a world where it is believed there is no "right or wrong", think about it, it can be psychologically satisfying to know you are moving in the correct direction. That "knowing" you are moving in the right direction is not always related to how you "feel", neither is it necessarily dependant on what you might "think".

Sometimes "thinking" gets in the way. You know, our "busy-ness" of thought. Even sometimes we must ignore what we feel, not because God doesn't care about our feelings, but because feelings at times cloud our judgment. In many decisions of life this can be dangerous.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away." (James 1:5-10)

Saturday

Chastity Ring In British School (Rejected)


This is an update in the case of 16 year old "Lydia Playfoot" of England who has worn a small silver ring to school as a symbol of Christian purity. "The ‘Silver Ring Thing’ is a Christian education project aimed at helping teenage girls value themselves, make right choices about their futures, and reduce Britain's ever-increasing rise in sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies amongst teenagers." (For the first post on this situation by "Catholic Psychology Blogspot", click on Silver Ring In High Court (Britain) .

Ms. Playfoot lost her case. Now she is considering if she should appeal. On Monday, July 16th, she said, "I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside marriage.” ... “I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organizations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practicing their faith.”

An article put out the next day by Reuters News Service stated: "Playfoot’s legal challenge was the latest in a series of disputes in British schools in recent years over the right of pupils to wear religious symbols or clothing, such as crucifixes and veils." ... "Playfoot’s parents are key members of the British arm of the American chastity campaign group the "Silver Ring Thing", a religious group which urges abstinence among young people. Those who sign up wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is inscribed with “Thess. 4:3-4,” a reference to a Biblical passage from Thessalonians which reads: “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.”

"During the case, Playfoot’s lawyers argued that the ban by her school in Horsham, West Sussex, breached her human rights to 'freedom of thought, conscience and religion” which are protected by the European Convention on Human Rights.' "

It is interesting to me how during the interview recorded in the video above, the man and woman presenting the questions to Lydia and her father, would not dare pose a positively directed question or comment regarding teenagers who wish to remain chaste and save sex for marriage. The questioning was more like an "interogation", as if young Lydia Playfoot had some how "set fire to her school", or arrogantly "adorned herself in Nazi war clothing".
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Regarding an adult who wrote in saying she "had been a Christian for 50 years, and never had need to use a ring to represent her Christianity." I wonder if this woman was ever married. If she had ever been married, being married would have included the Christian ritual and tradition to use a "RING" to "SYMBOLIZE" sexual devotion to her HUSBAND!!! I assure you at the beginning of the Christian Church, most citizens of Rome had virtually no concern for remaining chaste and devoting the sexual act to their spouses alone!
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Hmmmmm, it's interesting how history appears to come around full circle. I believe if this interview had been with a young lady who had been promiscuous given birth to a child outside of wedlock, the interviewers would have raced to the young lady's aide with nothing negative to say or question her about.
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Let us keep young Ms. Lydia Playfoot in prayer for her courage to stand up for Chastity in what is, and always has been, true Christian belief and devotion.
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Friday

How To Love Your Family

Can I ask you a question? Actually two. The first question I wish to ask you is, "Do you think these things are true?" I mean, "The life of Christ as we know it to be through the words of the gospels in the Bible?" ... If your answer to the first question is "yes", then the second question I wish to ask you is, "Do you love Jesus?" - I mean, do you "really" love Jesus?

You see, if we love Jesus, and "really" love Him, then perhaps it is of great importance that we also love His "family".

Yes, I know, this "loving-the-family-of-Christ" can mean many things, and can be acted out on many levels. A few of which are:

(1) Loving the saints, brothers and sisters in the Lord who have gone on before us.

(2) Loving fellow believers, ... men, women and children, who are with us now on this earth at this time.

(3) Loving the family that Christ was born into when He was birthed in the flesh as an infant in Bethlehem.

It is to number "3" I wish to respond at this moment.

Yes, it is true the men and women in these videos only depict events as they believe them to have been at the time of Christ. Yet, there are many truths in the acting of these events by these dear people which are valid. That are personally true historically, because Christ, very God, took on flesh, and like us, dwelt among the human race in human form.

My point is this, "Catholic Psychology" that is particularly relevant for personal application in our modern day, is "To love Christ, the Trinity, and His Church through also loving the family within which Christ Himself was born into in the event of his initial infancy upon earth. I’m referring to our opportunity to discover a very real joyous relationship within the sacred emotional bond that existed and continues to exist between Jesus and His mother Mary.

Great passion was involved in these events for the sake of our salvation. And certainly, Jesus loved his mother, and she loved Him. There can be great healing and growth for you, the more you make real in your life, closeness in the family that included Jesus and His mother Mary. Feel yourself in that family. Share in that family. The beauty, the sacred. The easiness, joy and difficulties. The passion and the glory. ... Cry with them, and laugh with them. See what they see. Feel what they feel and grow by it. ... It is then when we find more to give to our families who are with us now on this earth.

Knowing since ancient times how the words "brother/sister" were culturally interchangeable with "cousins", and that Mary was loved by Jesus in ways that are commonly honorable between a son and his mother, view the following as an invitation for each of us to join intimately with that sacred family, Jesus and Mary, and personally apply that familial relationship to the desires of our hearts, as well as to the personal needs of others in our daily lives. (Together let’s say, "Jesus and Mary, our Lord and our Mother, we love you, and together we will share with you the sacred story of your most holy passion!!!")

"Then one said to Him, ‘Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.’ But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother."
(Matthew 12:47-50)

Wednesday

Events Greater Than Our Own


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It helps us to remember that there are events happening in the universe far greater than the casual activities of our ordinary daily lives. Actually, there is a war raging all around us. A war that is fought between spiritual forces far greater than our human intellect can now conceive. A Christian Psychology, thus a Catholic psychology, takes into account the entire picture of human existance and history. It places into perspective mankind's petty relational contentions, and views them in the context of all creation.
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"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)
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These forces are envious because very God in Christ took on human flesh, thereby welcoming and paving the way for the human race to become God's very family for those who will be His disciples. ... So now Satan, and one third of the angels that he brought down with him with vicious lies and defiance against God, jealously battle to destroy we of flesh who are made in the Creator's image.
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This is our psychology, our thinking, our manner of inter-relating in this great war that goes beyond just ourselves:
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"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of the flesh) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, " (II Corinthians 10:4-5)
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Monday

*Internet Pornography ("Out of Control!!!")*

"One hears a lot about how pornography harms women, children, families, and society. And it does victimize these groups, no question about it." ... "Feminist rhetoric aimed at pornography is couched in the language of the ‘victimization of women.’ But what about the victimization of MEN? I rarely hear pornography spoken of in terms of the harm it does to men. There seems to be an underlying assumption that because men enjoy pornography, then it’s not really bad for them. It’s taken for granted that men are just doing what comes naturally, what they’re hardwired for, being the visual, testosterone-driven creatures that they are. I submit that men are not only victimized by pornography, but that they are the primary victims of pornography. Men are the targeted audience for pornography. If you’re a man reading this, you must realize that pornography is aimed at you, at your mind, your soul, and your pocketbook – to the tune of billions of dollars a year." (Aimee Milburn of the highly informative Catholic Blog Historical Christian.)

In her post Aimee Milburn says further: "And men are very susceptible to it. I think we’re all familiar with the reaction of the ordinary, healthy male to the sight of an attractive, half-clad female form: the eyes-wide instant double-take, faster than thought. Men are wired to respond, and they do. ... pornography is carefully filmed, airbrushed, glossed, manipulated in every way precisely to get the man hooked, so he keeps coming back for more, keeps on feeding the giant sucking hole of hell that pornography is – feeding it not just with money, but with the priceless currency of the eternal agony of souls, the real wealth of hell. ..."

"Pornography is a giant dragnet for hell. A man hooked on pornography not only becomes a slave of hell himself, he becomes a pimp for hell, feeding the demand for men, women and children to be used in porn, and victimizing them directly when, driven by porn, he acts on his porn-fed fantasies. And then everyone, men, women, children, and society, is victimized by porn."

In her post Aimee also quotes from a pastoral letter written by Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, entitled "Bought With A Price: (Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God)". In the pastoral letter Bishop Loverde states: "While husbands and wives share equal dignity as persons, they do not share temptations equally - especially the temptations associated with the scourge of pornography. It must be admitted that the use of pornography is largely, although certainly not exclusively, associated with males. If a marriage begins to be damaged by pornography, it will most likely be introduced by the husband."

In the pastoral letter he goes on, "Husbands, be aware that your solemn promise of faithfulness, which is the foundation of the formation of your family, is damaged by any use of pornography. Strive to bring honor to the promise you made at the beginning of your married life. The times where intimacy is difficult are opportunities to practice the sacrificial love of a spouse that only your noble vocation illustrates most perfectly." ... "Seeking comfort in the illusion of pornography will incrementally corrupt your understanding of self, your perception of your beloved wife, and the model you present to your children. It is futile to believe that this secret preoccupation can be contained and isolated from family life. In small ways, the self-centeredness and disrespect of self and others, which lie at the heart of this vice, will become manifest within your relationships with your family."

To conclude this post on "Internet Pornography", here are three minutes of counseling strategy explained by a counselor, George Collins, MA, the founder and director of "Compulsion Solutions" (an outpatient counseling service specifically for the treatment of men who suffer from the results of sexually compulsive behavior).


Sunday

*How To Love A Woman*

"Complacency is an enemy, easy to recognize in others but difficult to admit in ourselves. It is rarely listed among the major human faults, yet it can hinder us in every form of personal growth. Complacency simply means being sure we're right, taking it for granted that our view couldn't possibly be wrong. It means judging others by what we think is right. It blocks out understanding and kindness, and justifies qualities in ourselves that we wouldn't find tolerable in other people. Smug complacency is often at the root of family dissension. ..."

"Let me not be quite so sure that my thinking is always correct. Let me begin by being a little critical of my iron resolution to have things my way. I will keep my ears and my mind open to the ideas of others, even when they don't square with mine. Then I'll be opening the door to growth. ..."

"My serenity does not depend on my winning every round in my battle with life. It does depend on my acceptance of others on their own terms. God grant me that serenity." ("One Day At A Time In Al-Anon", page 197)

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself." (Ephesians 5:25-27)

Saturday

*Commercializing Of Women*

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end there of is the way of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

We are all greatly affected by the way we view women in our homes, our lives and society.

1. Women, used as objects to sale products, if not to sale themselves.

2. Women, made to appear as something they are not.

3. To fulfill fantasies in men. Fantasies women cannot live up to.

4. Women, left wondering what is beauty, not seeing their own beauty.

5. Women, unable to leave their homes for fear of how they look without make-up.

6. Women, when being loved, hate their lovers, for they know they are not being loved for what they truly are, but for what they pretend to be.

7. Women, living in society of fundamental dishonesty, inspired to place fantasy above what is true and real.

8. A society where men are no longer respected, and women are no longer cherished.

9. A society where teenaged girls call boys on their cell phones, and "going-on-a-date" means something different than it once did.

10. A socity where women are promised love, but are used instead, then left to swim in loneliness, despair and resentment.

12. A society where men hate themselves, having no examples to follow for knowing how to be men for their wives and children. Grasping for anything to fill the void of their own shame and guilt.

Thursday

*Divorce ("Nobody's Home")*

"Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasures with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs were love is, than a fatted calf with hatred." (Proverbs 15:16-17)

"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails ..." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8[a])

Monday

*The Perverting Of Catholic Religious (Part 2)*

There was another psychologist of high acclaim at the time Rogers and Coulson were pumping philosophies of relativism into the minds of a large number of American Catholic nuns and priests. His name was Dr. Abraham Maslow. Coulson said Dr. Maslow warned both of them (He and Rogers) that their problem was their "total confusion with evil". However, the documented research on innate evil by Maslow, a humanist himself, and the father of "Hierarchy Of Needs", was not published in journals until 1979. By then the damage had already be done.

Among other activities, Rogers and Coulson had distributed a teaching tape promulgating that "when people do what they deeply want to do, it isn't immoral." About this Dr. Coulson later stated that it became obvious to both he and Rogers that they had not waited long enough for the results of their pilot testing. "The lesbian nuns' book, for example, hadn't come out yet; and we hadn't gotten the reports of seductions in psychotherapy, which became virtually routine in California."

Regarding the intervention teams of therapists that were intitiated under his direct supervision, that eventually dotted parts of the nation, Coulson replied in an interview, "We had trained people who didn't have Rogers' innate discipline from his own fundamentalist Protestant background, people who thought that being themselves meant unleashing libido." ... "Maslow saw that we failed to understand the reality of evil in human life. When we implied to people that they could trust their impulses, they also understood us to mean that they could trust their evil impulses, that they weren't really evil." ... "But they were really evil."

"We did similar programs for the Jesuits, for the Franciscans, for the Sisters of Providence, Sisters of Charity, and the Mercy Sisters. We did dozens of Catholic religious organizations, because as you recall, in the excitement following Vatican II, everybody wanted to update, everybody wanted to renew; and we offered a way for people to renew, without having to bother to study. We said, we'll help you look within. After all, is not God in your heart? Is it not sufficient to be yourself, and wouldn't that make you a good Catholic? And if it doesn't, then perhaps you shouldn't have been a Catholic in the first place. Well, after a while there weren't many Catholics left."

One example of the negative effect of this "Therapy For Normals" presented as Truth to Catholic Religious, was in the Summer of 1965 when Dr. Rogers and Dr. Coulson did a workshop at a Jesuit University. One young Jesuit, about to be ordained, wrote a letter. Here are the words of that letter in verbatim:

"It seemed like a beautiful birth to a new existence. It was as if so many of the things that I valued in word, were now becoming true for me in fact. It is extremely difficult to describe the experience. I had not known how unaware I was of my deepest feelings, nor how valuable they might be to other people. Only when I began to express what was rising somewhere deep within the center of me, and saw the tears in the eyes of the other group members because I was saying something so true for them, too - only then did I begin to really feel that I was deeply a part of the human race. Never in my life before that group experience, had I experienced me so intently; ..."

Dr. Coulson, again I remind you, the supervisor of the entire Rogerian encounter group program at the time, said later the following in response to this letter by the soon to be ordained Jesuit priest: "The proof of authenticity on the humanistic psychology model is to go against what you were trained to be, to call all of that phoniness, and to say what is deepest within you. What's deepest within you, however, are certain unrequited longings, including sexual longings. ... We provoked an epidemic of sexual misconduct among clergy and therapists."

He went further, "... I'll tell you what Rogers came to see, and he came to see it pretty quickly, because he really loved those women (the nuns of "The Immaculate Heart of Mary"). They were a wonderful order, unconventional in the best sense, for example going around in their old habits playing Mozart for Catholic school kids; and that doesn't exist any more. Rogers came to call it, "this damned thing." I'm going to quote him in a tape that he and I made in '76:" ... (Thus the words of Dr. Carl Rogers himself:) ... "I left there feeling, well, I started this damned thing, and look where it's taking us; I don't even know where it's taking me. I don't have any idea what's going to happen next. And I woke up the next morning feeling so depressed, that I could hardly stand it. And then I realized what was wrong." ... "did I start something that is in some fundamental way mistaken, and will lead us off into paths that we will regret?"

Regarding more history in the movement of relative psychology into American leadership of the Catholic Church, Dr. Coulson stated: "Well, actually we started with the Jesuits before we started with the nuns. We did our first Jesuit workshop in '65. Rogers got two honorary doctorates from Jesuit universities. They thought we were saviors." ... "I don't know whether you remember, but in '67 the Jesuits had a big conference at Santa Clara, and there was a lot of talk about the"Third Way" among the Jesuits." ... "The first two ways are faithful marriage and faithful celibacy. But now there was this more humane way, a more human way - all too human as I see it today. The idea was that priests could date. One priest, for example, defined his celibacy for me as, "It means I don't have to marry the girl." (This was not a Jesuit priest. Dr. Coulson believed that at least the Jesuits could rebound from the teaching of relativism, because at list their history was immersed in strong Catholic tradition.) ... [Note: A "Father Becker" wrote a book on "the collapse of Jesuit training" between 1965 and 1975, documenting what he referred to as influences of Rogerian teaching.]

To conclude this post on "The Perverting of Catholic Religious", read the following two excepts as short recent examples of where the aforementioned Rogerian humanist relativism has taken some IHM's:

From "Turning Chapters" ... "The IHM Sisters began in 1845 steeped in Christianity within the Catholic Church. Now, we know we are rooted also in a much older story - that of the universe itself. Integrating the older universe story into our familiar IHM history and faith will play an important part of our next six years. Using the UN Earth Charter as a resource will inform our conversations, decisions and actions."

From "The Universe Story" ... "the universe story reveals that we carry within us the very energy that fashioned the stars, that we are related to all creation, that our ancestry is a family tree inclusive of all life forms, a family much larger than we have ever imagined possible." ... "We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that we are only fellow voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time, a sense of kinship with fellow creatures; a wish to live and let live..." ... "The IHM Sisters and many religious have begun to study the universe story through the lens of the Gospel." ... "The Body of Christ, rather than simply being a group of like-minded human beings, includes all of life" ... "The revelation in and through Jesus was not intended to be an end in itself, but instead was meant to usher in a new age of connectedness that Jesus called the "Kingdom of God," ... "This reign of God would unfold as the human species embraced a new way of living. The keeping of the memory and mission of Jesus is not about making him the object of our worship, but about making ourselves the locus of the reign of God."

All I will say now as the writer of this post, when I was a child, I attended a traditional Catholic school." The nuns there were Godly and they did me good. The above quotes "do not" represent those nuns, neither the Catholic Church governed by the Vatican in worship of Christ as He revealed Himself! ... I understand not all nuns of the Church, not even all IHM's, believe what is quoted above. However, I say for the increasing numbers of Religious who believe this is our mission, those who promote this gross distortion of our Lord's very words, they truly do not represent, nor do they deserve the title, the "Immaculate Heart of Mary"!

Book of Proverbs

(Psychological Scripture Verses:)

" To know wisdom and instruction. to perceive the words of understanding, to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion - a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of under-standing will attain wise counsel, to understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (1:2-7)

"My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck." (1:8-9)

" For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path. When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you." (2:6-11)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." (3:5-6)

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones."
(3:7-8)

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her." (3:13-18)

"When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror. Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught." (3:24-26)

"Do not envy the oppressor, and choose none of his ways; for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright." (3:31-32)

"Keep your heqrt with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life." (4:23)

"For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword." (5:3-4)

"Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be sispersed abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love." (5:15-19)

"These six things the Lord hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren." (6:16-19)

"Reproofs of instruction are the way of life. To keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids. For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; and an adulteress will prey upon his precious life." (6:23[b]-26)

"Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared? So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; whoever touches her shall not be innocent." (6:27-29)

"Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away." (6:32-33) "Do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men." (7:25-26)

"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength." (8:12-14) "... he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death." (8:36)

"He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (9:7-9)

"If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone." (9:12)

"A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the rief of his mother." (10:1)

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins." (10:12)

"In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise." (10:19)

"He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his peace." (11:12)

"Where there is no counsel, the people perish; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." (11:14)

"The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh." (11:17)

"As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion." (11:22)

"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones." (12:4)

"The thoughts of the righteous are right, but the counsels of the wicked are deceitful." (12:5)

"A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel." (12:10)

"The wicked is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous will come through trouble. A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth." (12:13-14)

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. A fool's wrath is known at once, but a prudent man covers shame." (12:16)

"... There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health." (12:17[b]-18)

"The truthful lip shall be established forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment." (12:19)

"Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but counselors of peace have joy." (12:20)

"Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight." (12:22)

"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad." (12:25)

"The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray." (12:26)

"He who guards his mouth preserves his life, but he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction." (13:3)


"There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." (13:7)

"By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom." (13:10)

"Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored." (13:18)

"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed." (13:20)

"He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly." (13:24)

"The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands." (14:1)

"Go from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge." (14:7)

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (14:12)

"A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, ..." (14:17[a])

"In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge." (14:26)

"He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly." (14:29)

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness." (15:1-2)

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit." (15:4)

"Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred." (15:16-17)

"A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention." (15:18)

"A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish man despises his mother." (15:20)

"Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established." (15:22)

"The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and a good report makes the bones healthy." (15:30)

"The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility." (15:33)

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits." (16:2)

"Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." (16:3)

"When a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (16:7)

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit befor a fall." (16:18)

"Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones." (16:24)

"A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates the best of friends. A violent man entices his neighbor, and leads him in a way that is not good, he winks his eye to devise perverse things; he purses his lips and brings about evil." (16:27-30)

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." (16:32)

"Better is a dry morsel with quietness, than a house full of feasting with strife." (17:1)

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnce for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts." (17:3)

"He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends." (17:9)

"Let a man meet a bear robbed of her cubs, rather than a fool in his folly." (17:12)

"The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts." (17:14)

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." (17:17)

"A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." (17:22)

"A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him." (17:25)

"He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive." (17:27-28)

"It is not good to show partiality to the wicked, or to overthrow the righteous in judgment." (18:5)

"A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul." (18:7)

"The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body."" (18:8)

"He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him." (18:13)

"The spirit of man will sustain him in sickness. ..." (18:14[a])

"The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him." (18:17)

"A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle." (18:19)

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue." (18:21[a])

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." (18:22)

"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (18:24)

"He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will find good." (19:8)

"The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression." (19:11)

"A foolish son is the ruin of his father, and the contentions of a wife are a continual dripping." (19:13)

"Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord." (19:14)

"Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction." (19:18)

"A man of great wrath will suffer punishment; for if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." (19:19)

"Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days." (19:20)

"There are many plans in a man's heart, nevertheless the Lord's counsel - that will stand." (19:21)

"What is desired in a man is kindness." (19:22[a])

"He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother is a son who causes shame and brings reproach." (19:26)

"Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise." (20:1)

"It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since any fool can start a quarel." (20:3)

"Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out." (20:5)

"Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?" (20:6)

"Who can say, 'I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin'"? (20:9)

"There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel." (20:15)

"Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel." (20:17)

"He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips." (20:20)

"Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp will be put out in deep darkness." (20:20)

"An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning will not be blessed at the end." (20:21)

"Do not say, "I will recompense evil"; wait for the Lord, and He will save you." (20:22)

"A man's steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?" (20:24)

"It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows." (20:25)

"The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart." (20:27)

"The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head." (2029)

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts." (21:2)

"Getting treasures by a lying tongue is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death." (21:6)

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman." (21:9)

"A gift in secret pacifies anger, and a bribe behind the back strong wrath." (21:14)

"Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman." (21:19)

"Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles." (21:23)

"The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord." (21:31)

"A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold." (22:1)

"By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." (22:4)

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." (22:6)

"Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave; yes, strife and reproach will cease." (22:10)

"Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?" (22:20-21)

"Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul." (22:24-25)

"Do not overwork to be rich; because of your own understanding, cease!" (23:4)

"Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he. 'Eat and drink!' he says to you, but his heart is not with you. The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, and waste your pleasant words." (23:6-8)

"Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words." (23:9)

"Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day; for surely there is a hereafter, and your hope will not be cut off." (23:17-18)

"Listen to your father who begot you, and do not despise your mother when she is old." (23:22)

"The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice." (23:24-25)

"My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways. For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim. And increases the unfaithful among men." (23:26-28)

"Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 'They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it, when shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?" (23:29-35)

"A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety." (24:5-6)

"If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." (24:10)

"My son, eat honey because it is good, and the honeycomb which is sweet to your taste; so shall the knowledge of wisdom be to your soul;" (24:13-14[a])

"... a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity." (24:16)

"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him." (24:17-18)

"It is not good to show partiality in Judgment." (24:23[b])

"He who gives a right answer kisses the lips." (24:26)

"Do not say, 'I will do to him just as he has done to me; I will render to the man according to his work." (24:29)

"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter." (25:2)

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver, like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear." (25:11-12)

"A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow." (25:18)

"Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint." (25:19)

"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than a house shared with a contentious woman." (25:24)

"Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls." (25:28)

"Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him." (26:4)

"Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (26:12)

"The lazy man is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly." (26:16)

"He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a dog by the ears." (26:17)

"Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death, is the man who deceives his neighbor, and says, 'I was only joking!'" (26:18-19)

"Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife." (26:20-21)

"He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; when he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly." (26:24-26)

"A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin." (26:28)

"Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips." (27:2)

"A stone is heavy and sand is weighty, but a fool's wrath is heavier than both of them." (27:3)

"Wrath is cruel and anger is torrent, but who is able to stand before jealousy?" (27:4)

"Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed." (27:5)

"Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." (27:6)

"Ointment and perfume delight the heart, and the sweetness of a man's friend gives delight by hearty counsel." (27:9)

"He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him." (27:14)

"A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand." (27:15-16)

"As in water face reflects face, so a man's heart reveals the man." (27:19)

"Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him." (27:22)

"The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion." (28:1)

"Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all." (28:5)

"Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich." (28:6)

"Whoever causes the upright to go astrain in an evil way, he himself will fall into his own pit;" (28:10)

"Whoever robs his father or his mother, and says, 'It is no transgression,' the same is companion to a destroyer." (28:24)

"He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, ..." (28:25[a])

"He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." (29:1)

"If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace." (29:9)

"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back." (29:11)

"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother." (29:15)

"Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul." (29:17)

"Do you see a man hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him." (29:20)

"An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression." (29:22)

"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." (29:25)

"There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness." (30:11-12)

"This is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats and wipes her mouth, and says, 'I have done no wickedness.' (30:20)

"If you have been foolish in exalting yourself, or if you have devised evil, put your hand on your mouth. For as the churning of milk produces butter, and wringing the nose produces blood, so the forcing of wrath produces strife." (30:32-33)

"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." (31:10-12)

"Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates." (31:30-31)