As Christians, we are always looking for ways to develop a closer relationship with Christ. Many turn to many devotions, such as the Sacred Heart, others find recourse to the Eucharist. Some delve deeply into scripture and meditate upon the life of Christ and his message. In order to grow, we must all have a closer and more personal relationship with Christ.
The article, “21 Ways to Revive Your Relationship With Christ” lists a variety of ways we can remember Christ and become closer. The article states,
“Even the most dedicated Christian may sometimes struggle with their relationship with God. They love Christ and want to be close to Him, but for whatever reason, they have begun to drift away from Jesus. It may have been the result of a tragedy or simply from allowing spiritual growth to take the backseat while they focus on more immediate seeming concerns. Once your spiritual growth stagnates, however, it can be difficult to find your way back to Christ.”
By becoming closer to Christ, we can become better Christians and bring Christ to the world. Christ is our Redeemer and as our Redeemer, we need to find faith in Him, and what better way to strengthen faith than to become closer. Please also review our Christian Counseling Training.
Hexes and curses are a reality that many Christians overlook. The ability to have a hex put on oneself can happen. Christians can protect themselves with prayer, sacramentals and a close devotion to Christ, Mary and the saints.
The article, “Hexes and Curses Reveal Need for Spiritual Vigilance” by Patti Armstrong states,
“Of late, the war between good and evil has made news as the veil is pulled back, revealing who the players are and their intent. This, we just witnessed with a call to curse and cause harm to the newest Supreme Court Justice. The three-hour, event to “Ritual to Hex Brett Kavanaugh” took place Oct. 20 at Catland Books in Brooklyn, New York. They scheduled another one for Nov. 3.”
Hence, it is important to remember that Christians must always remain vigilant in their spiritual hygiene in protecting oneself from the evils of the occult and witchcraft. Please also review our Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
The dramatic shift from a day of paganism and occult to a day of holiness and Christianity is not a coincidence on the liturgical calendar, but was planned by the Church. In fact, All Saints Day was purposely switched from May to November 1st to show the victory of Christ and Christianity over Satan and paganism.
Samhein, the ancient Druid feast. Celebrated the changing of the seasons from Fall to Winter. In it, a celebration was given to the ancient gods for a good harvest and a safe winter. During this period, it was thought that the portals between the temporal plane and supernatural plane overlapped, allowing the communication with the dead.
This led to many occultic rituals and the celebration of many pagan traditions. Many of these traditions dealt with warding off evil spirits, communicating with the dead, and offering sacrifice to the old gods. To combat this, the Church looked to show the people the victory of Christ over Satan and Christianized the day to All Hallows Eve to be followed by All Saints Day
To this day though, the neo pagan movement and occult celebrates Halloween with all of its rituals and sacred pagan beliefs. While secular society may trick or treat and dress up, the day has a sinister history and deep meaning to those in the occult. Many innocent traditions, such as bobbing for apples, or carving a pumpkin all have ancient meanings that predate Christianity and the faith.
Christians can still partake in Halloween from a secular view, but they need to avoid any of the divinizations, or practices of spiritualism that can dominate the feast, even if in jest or fun. It is important to avoid Ouija boards, as well as tarot cards and to remain vigilant to one’s faith.
In fact, the remembrance of the saints can still be portrayed on Halloween during trick or treat with various Christian themed costumes that remember, God, Mary, and the saints.
The following day, or All Saints Day, portrays the ultimate victory of God and his saints over Satan and paganism. It celebrates the holiness of the saints and how we are all called to that holiness to emulate them and imitate them in their lives.
In doing, so the Western Church has made November 1st a holy day of obligation for Western Catholics to jointly affirm the victory of Christ over Satan and the celebration of holiness found in his saints.
If you would like to learn more about All Saints Day, please take the time to study the deep and rich history of the day. Also, please review the Christian Spiritual Counseling Program offered at AIHCP and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
The teenage years and later adolescent years can be filled with turmoil for the teen. Physical changes, social dealings, and trying to find identity can create havoc in study, home life and moral values. In adhering to these moral values, teens can struggle if not properly supervised or cared for by a loving parent. It is essential to encourage values and practices to keep the teen on track.
The four moral virtues, which when applied to teenage life can be very beneficial. If they do not always manifest, as long as the seed exists, their advancement no matter how dormant they may seem may reemerge in early adulthood. The reason being is that many of the norms of teenage behavior due to hormones and development prevent their manifestation.
For instance, the virtue of prudence is associated with wisdom. Wisdom is not for the young, but we hope at least, our teens are able to form logical and good moral decisions against the most blatant of wrongs. We hope they will utilize prudence in not drinking and driving, or not taking drugs, or not being involved in various serious illegal activities. It is difficult to expect a teen to show prudence in all decision making, but as chemicals in the brain stabilize and the mind develops, clear thinking with prudence can develop later if it is already there.
In the case of justice, teens can sometimes have a distorted view of right and wrong. They may not have the ability to understand all the angles of what one should or should not do in their relations with others, but if parents can at least instill the basics of the Ten Commandments as a paradigm, then a good foundation can prevent disaster.
Fortitude is an important moral virtue as well, but many teens fall to depression, or give up so very easily. Teens need praise and self esteem boosting. They need to be told they are can succeed and when things go wrong, to properly adjust and persevere. The virtue of fortitude helps someone deal with spiritual, mental and physical problems.
Finally, the virtue of temperance is definitely a struggle for teens who are experiencing urges and pressures to experiment and push the limits in many ways. Drinking and sex are all temptations that overwhelm a teen. Temperance is put to the ultimate challenge with these urges both internal and external. Unfortunately, through consistent bad habit, the virtue of temperance can be extinguished in a young soul if not protected. Satan understands how he can influence the youth during this difficult phase and corrupt their innocence.
So the moral virtues are extremely important at any phase in our life, but especially important in the teen years. While hampered due to the phase of life, teens with parental guidance can overcome many of the temptations associated with this age.
Parents need to though understand that mistakes can occur. It is up to parents to properly manage their teens during this period and understand the conflict. Culpability for the moral offenses can even be less before the eyes of God, but although teens are experiencing these new feelings, it is important to still hold accountability. As parents, we stand before God for what our children become and it is important to help our children weather the storm of the teen years with proper guidance, restrictions and consequences.
A good moral life can be developed despite the storm of adolescence, but parents need to be willing to take the time and effort to water the seeds of virtue that were planted at Baptism and childhood. The world and Satan will take your child if you let it, but it is ultimately up to you to say “NO”
If you would like to learn more about Christian Counseling, then please review the program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
To know oneself is critical in any form of life, but especially spiritually life. Knowing our weaknesses and being able to examine ourselves critically and honestly is important to becoming closer to God. Examining our conscience is how we acknowledge our faults before God, express sorrow, confess them and work to avoid those sins and faults in the future. God’s grace is there for all to change a sinful life into a virtuous life. Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification
The article, Examination of conscience, states
“Every evening, make an “examination of conscience”, like a prayer, to determine if it was “the Spirit of God or the spirit of the world” that prompted us throughout the day. This is a decisive action in our “spiritual battle” which leads us to “understand His heart” and the meaning of Christ.”
Good article on sin. Obviously we are all generally broken by sin, but just because we sin does not mean we are terrible people. We sin, we fail, but that does not mean we are utterly disgusting to God. We are simply existing as we were born, with the stain of Original Sin. Through Christ, we are again made beautiful and we are able to find merit before God through Christ. Hence, yes we will fall from time to time, but through Christ, we overcome all brokenness. Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification
The article, I’m not ‘broken’, thanks – I’m just an ordinary sinner, by Mark Woods states,
“Every so often something catches your eye on social media and makes you think, ‘I wonder.’
Today it was the word ‘brokenness’. I’m not sure it was occurring more frequently than usual, but I Googled it. It’s almost always used in Christian circles, and always approvingly.”
Good article on Thomas Kempis and many of his spiritual writings. This article lists 11 of his famous quotes. Kempis was very devout. He had much insight into Christian meditation and how to find solace with God. He was also a very staunch defender against corruption of medieval church and wrote the famous text, Imitation of Christ. Please also review our Christian Spiritual Counseling Program by clicking here and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
The article, Thomas à Kempis: 11 quotes from a great spiritual writer, states,
“Today is the feast day of Thomas à Kempis (1379-1471) in the Episcopal Church’s calendar.
The German-Dutch spiritual writer was a member of a strict religious community that reacted against the corruption of the medieval church. He lived quietly, spending his time in prayer, writing and copying – Thomas copied the whole Bible four times, one of them still preserved at Darmstadt in Germany.”
Good article on spiritual discernment. Pope Francis as a Jesuit has a unique Ignatian training on discernment that can help many understand their role and how to interpret things in their spiritual life. Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification
The article, Pope Francis teaches discernment for coping with spiritual battles, by Thomas Reese states,
“For Francis, the devil is not a mythical figure but real. “It is precisely the conviction that this malign power is present in our midst that enables us to understand how evil can at times have so much destructive force,” he writes. “We should not think of the devil as a myth, a representation, a symbol, a figure of speech or an idea. This mistake would lead us to let down our guard, to grow careless and end up more vulnerable.”
The article, Preaching important for spiritual growth, by Joseph Shepley states,
“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, this oft-quipped admonition reminds us to practice what we preach.
For those called to the Christian ministry, preaching is foundational to worship. From their earliest days, following the example of Jesus, Christian faith leaders have devoted themselves to the public reading of scripture, and to preaching.”