Christian Counseling and Good Stewardship of Time

Is time the ever hunting predator or a special gift?  Some individuals fear each day as one’s life draws closer to its end.  Others see time as a precious gift to be utilized and appreciated for the moment.  Different mindsets can establish different life styles.  One can live in fear or one can better utilize the time that God has given to them.  Ultimately, what we discover after our 20s is that time starts to go faster.  This realization is not only due to a more established work schedule but also because the brain is learning less and experiencing less new things.  When younger, time seems to be forever.  Ever remember how long it would take for Christmas to arrive, but now it comes too fast?  A younger brain perceives time differently than a more mature brain and because of that as we grow older, the years seem to go faster.

Time can be seen as a predator out to get us or as a gift from God. Each day is a gift, spend it wisely.


So is time a predator?  Time is what we make of it.  As temporal beings, we are in an intimate relationship with time that we cannot escape.  Each second, each minute, day, month and year coincide with each breath, thought and action. Unlike God, who existed before time and exists outside of time, except within the Incarnation, God experiences each year simultaneously.  Each decade and each century are spits in a bucket to the eternal nature of God.  They exist side by side, witnessed and reviewed.  Since temporal creation is within time, it is subject to time and we must learn to accept our limited temporal existence and maximize its fruits.

Jesus relates in Matthew 25:14-30 the story of the servants and the talents.  Each servant according to their standing and ability were given coins by the master.  The first servant was given 5 coins, the second 3 coin and the third 1 coin.  Upon a certain amount of time, the master returned and asked what the servants had done with the coins.  The first had doubled, the second had added, and the third presented no growth.  Instead, he horded it and buried, only to return to it to the master.  The master furious, sent the servant away.

What can we learn from this story?  Jesus was teaching that we must produce in this world. We cannot horde our talents or gifts or waste precious time.  Time is limited and to sit on gifts and do nothing as time passes is not acceptable.  Instead we are called, even with very little, to show progress with the time given and spiritually grow and give back.  Those who waste time, fear time, or neglect their talents are misusing the gift of time.  Instead they fear it and progress with very little success in life.

Many experience this type of fear in life in middle age.  Those who have stagnated in life, revert back to past impulses and see their lack of fruits, while those who have worked hard, have a far easier time with aging.  Aging with success and accomplishment is key to self esteem but it is also key to spirituality as well.  As we grow, we hope by  middle age, we have also grown spiritually with God.  When we reach a ripe old age, if God wills, we should be able to look back with joy and happiness not despair and regret.  Those who work hard in life and do not waste time will bear fruit.  Many who show healthy aging have accomplished a variety of goals that Erick Erickson divides into 8 stages of human life.  When these stages are not met, then despair, sadness, and regret and regression emerge.  Wasting time in life, playing and not advancing physically, professionally, academically, mentally and emotionally is not only spiritually damaging but also psychologically damaging according to Erickson.

Have you neglected the time God has given with sloth and laziness instead of industry and faith?


A far simpler analogy is the story of the Three Little Pig. In the children’s tale, we see lazy and industrious mindsets and how one leads to safety and prosperity while the other leads to folly and danger.  The pig who plays the flute builds a straw house and wastes his time playing and not working, while the pig who plays the violin with him spends time building a stick house. While the stick house is more sturdy, it nonetheless is still destined for failure.  Upon the arrival of wolf, he classically blows the houses down.  The two run to the eldest brother, who did not play or wasted time, but employed the use of the shovel to build a strong brick house.  Ultimately, at least in the cartoon version, they find refuge with the older brother and defeat the wolf.

So time itself is something that needs to be properly utilized in life. No matter the age, doing things right and within the time given are keys to success.  Today, many youth seem to stagnate in their 20s.  There seems to be a new norm that life does not start till after college.  This leads to stagnation for many.  Instead of working harder, younger people party harder.  They seem to play the flute more than work the shovel.  Maturity seems to be coming later than past generations.  Families are made later in life with career goals prolonged into the distant.  Time though is of the essence.  It is still good to see young adults pushing forward in marriage and work.  Sometimes these commitments, even if in school, strengthen people. By placing faith in God, making commitments and growing up sooner is not a bad thing.  It may not be meant for all but the 20s should not be seen as a time to learn morality and make mistakes but to grow and mature academically and in the faith.  It is a time to foster relationships and if called to marriage, to find that special someone.  Late vocations to marriage and the priesthood or religious life are fine, but sometimes, individuals tend to waste time as an excuse to face responsibility in the world.  Sometimes, the youth need a push of encouragement instead of a safe place to waste time.

Those who appreciate time, appreciate now.  They appreciate family and friends and make time for them.  They realize the preciousness of duty in work, school, family and God.  They ensure that those obligations are met and not wasted in sloth, gluttony, drunkenness, frivolous spending,  and material things.  Instead they cherish goals, duty and love of God and family.  Through this, they appreciate each day and week and what it means to live and accomplish things.  All things are offered to God as prayer. Even in the smallest things, life itself becomes a prayer.  In this way, the return is great for the master unlike the servant who buried his coin.

Time Management

Time management is key. Once one understands that they need to utilize time better, then they are able to make real life changes and give back to God.  The first step is prioritizing life.  Duty to God, family and career need to be labeled universal objectives.  Things that take away, or prevent these duties and goals from being accomplished need to minimized, replaced, or given a certain time of week.  It can be very beneficial to divide the week up into days and list particular duties whether home, work, family, or to God.  Create a list and as things are accomplished to particular days, cross them off.  This can be very rewarding and the brain is known to send a feeling of pride and accomplishment.  Hence calendars, and duty lists can keep someone accountable but also allow them to see the progress.

As for longer term goals, one needs to address what one wishes to achieve it.  One can do research during a phase of time and then start to bring the research to application and work.  One should assign a certain amount of time it would logically take to accomplish certain goals, both professionally and academically.  One can then have a rough outline of where one wishes to be in one year in comparison to another year in regards to goals.

Again, the most critical element is living each day and completing it.  Giving each day to God as a prayer and finding value in what matters most in life.  Appreciating the finite reality of time and what exists in one’s life now may not exist later.  Appreciate, love and give praise to God each day for what is good and then pray to God to help one achieve what needs to be done in the future.


Much can be said about utilizing time properly.  Yes, there needs to be balance.  Too much work and no relaxation can be damaging to the body and mind, but one needs to be conscious of time and appreciate it but also realize that no day is guaranteed.   Christian Counselors, pastors and spiritual directors can better guide young people in the proper direction of life.  They can point towards goals and duties and how important it is to offer to God everyday, one day at a time.  They can remind the youth of the value of time and how to be a proper steward of it.

We are stewards of time God has given us. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.

Additional Resources

New King James Version. Matthew 25:14-30.  Bible Gateway.  Access here

“Teaching Time Management to Teens: Less Stress, More Balance”. Baum, R., Shahidullah, J. (2023).  Access here

“Stop Wasting Time: How to Live Life to the Fullest”. Becker-Phelps, L. (2022). Psychology Today. Access here

“How to Stop Wasting Time”. Baby, D. (2023). WebMD. Access here

Schizophrenia Video

Schizophrenia is obviously a disorder treated by highly trained licensed counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists with specialty training in the disorder.   Mere certified counselors may come across it and hence should have a basic understanding of it and when to call for help.  The disorder itself distorts reality for many.  Individuals have grandiose goals and ideals that are not connected to reality.  They also are in and out of acute state of psychosis where they may feel they are in danger or being followed.  Some behaviors are outwardly unacceptable due to action, while other behaviors are unacceptable due to inaction.  Some may be deeper trapped within their own mind and unable to articulate thought completely.

The broken mind caused by Schizophrenia. Please also review AICHP’s healthcare certifications


If ever dealing with one, one never should confront a delusion, but merely ignore it, and not escalate the situation.  No type of therapy can be conducted during acute psychosis.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program, as well as many of its other mental health certifications.  AIHCP does not offer any type of education in schizophrenia itself, but again reiterates the importance of only licensed professionals with appropriate background in the disorder to deal with these types of individuals who sometimes can become quite dangerous if not medicated.


Please review the video below

Christian Mystics Understood

In a previous blog, we discussed the extraordinary reality of spiritual gifts in the Church, including discernment of them, as well as the fact healings and miracles still happen in the modern Church.  While many seek out the extraordinary, the reality is God is always with us.  In daily prayer, scripture meditation, the Eucharist, at service or mass, or when helping the poor and afflicted.  Still, the human soul seeks out these extraordinary events or individuals, to maybe strengthen faith, look for verification, find a particular healing, or find deeper wisdom.  Obviously again discernment is key.  Above all, listening to the Church or Elders or those in ministry who warn against certain events or individuals.

Apparitions and mystics are considered private revelation.  This means that any revelations, teachings, or prophesies that emerge are not part of the deposit of faith, or equal to that of Scripture or the teachings found in the Creed.  While they may very well be from God and true, the weight of the message is not binding on all believers but merely, when approved by spiritual authorities, additional spiritual ideas.

Christian Mystics are private revelation but still have important messages. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


It is important to differentiate Christian mystics and holy apparitions from fortune tellers and the occult.  Unlike the occult where powers are tied to Satan or unseen voices, Christian mystics receive their spiritual gifts from God.  They are put forward as a service to the Church.  They do not attempt to seek out but are freely given.  They do not attempt to meet the dead or find voices but are freely met in Christian love between the Church Triumphant in Heaven to the Church Militant on earth.

In these experiences, the message is for the seer or is meant for a broader base of the Christian community.  Hence some are for the spiritual advancement of the individual soul, while others are told to write and share their experiences for others.  Some act in the title of prophet with warnings, while others may offer deeper spiritual insights into the realm of God.

St Teresa of Avila is very well known Catholic mystic and Doctor of the Church for her numerous insights into communion with God.  Many of her private spiritual experiences were shared in the “Interior Castle”.  She speaks of some extraordinary experiences with God that some souls are blessed with on earth.  In all her writings, she reports that such experiences are gifts and never a sign of worthiness by the soul.  The soul that finds itself so in love with God though is sometimes bestowed with additional blessings.  St Teresa refers to this as spiritual ecstasy where the soul forgets itself and finds the most perfect union with God that is available while alive.  In this state, the soul is fed the presence of God and seeks only perfect unification with Him.  St Teresa refers to this in analogy as spiritual marriage.  In these states, the mystic has been known to levitate or change appearance in the presence with God.   The “Interior Castle” is a classic for all Christians, not just Catholics, seeking a closer union with God.  St. Teresa outlines the relationship the soul seeks with God on this earth and its many challenges and stepping stones.

St Teresa of Avila is known for her famous work. “The Interior Castle”


Some mystics have also given more insight into the life of Christ, or have referred messages from Christ.   St Margaret Mary detailed experiences in which she witnessed the appearance of Christ under the title “The Sacred Heart”.  The message from Christ was His intense love for humanity but the pain of sin upon His Sacred Heart.  St. Faustina also received communication from Christ as the Sacred Heart and was given the “Chaplet of Mercy” prayer where souls pray for forgiveness to Christ for reparation against sins committed against His Sacred Heart.  In the prayer, the Christian repeats, “For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world”.

Another classic work about the hidden life of Christ came from Sister Mary Agreda in her famous work, “The Mystical City of God”.   In this, Agreda relates a series of visions between Christ and His mother regarding the life of Christ.  There are numerous details that supplement the stories of Scripture giving more insight into the feeling of Christ.  Nothing in the apparitions contradict Scripture or deny the events themselves.  Another famous apparition, utilized in Mel Gibson’s, “The Passion of the Christ” also comes from a mystic known as Blessed Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich who received intense visions of Christ’s passion.  The visions intensity discussed in far greater detail the brutality Christ endured at the cross and the role Satan played in the events of Christ’s torture and death.

Some mystics are also visionaries.  Blessed Lucia, St. Francisco and St. Jacinta, who experienced apparitions of Mary in 1917 experienced her presence 6 separate times from May to October of that year.  The events were culminated with the famous miracle of the sun, where thousands witnessed the dancing of the sun in the sky.  Eye witnesses accounted different visions, some seeing the sun dance, others seeing the face of Christ in the sun, and others seeing the sun fly towards the earth.  Ultimately a very wet and dreary day became totally dry as if drought had existed prior, according to eye witnesses.  The message was to pray for reparation for the sins committed against Christ through the rosary.  If not, Mary warned the rise of Russia and great wars to follow.  There are other numerous apparitions throughout the 2000 history of the Church, including Guadalupe in Mexico as well as Lourdes in France.

Other mystics manifest extraordinary signs and wonders.  St Padre Pio manifested the stigmata, where the wounds of Christ appeared on his hands.  St. Francis of Assisi also exhibited this type of spiritual martyrdom.   What makes Padre Pio’s wounds so more interesting is because he lived in the mid 20th Century and unlike St Francis of the 13th Century, Padre Pio’s wounds were documented, photographed and empirically analyzed.  While this type of manifestation is rare, it has occurred throughout the history of the Church.  In addition, according to sources, Padre Pio was able to be in other places, read thoughts of others, and constantly engaged in spiritual battle with the evil one that sometimes included physical beatings.

St Padre Pio and the stigmata


In SC600, the text book on Christian Mystics includes many of these saints but is far more comprehensive also including Christian mystics from other traditions.  Ultimately, it is important to remember that Christian mystics are supplemental and not necessary to one’s core relationship with Jesus Christ.  They are considered private and not official teaching of the faith.  It is extremely important to cautiously approach any mystic without official Church approval.  St Ignatius Loyola taught extensively on discernment and discernment is key in any message that does not come from Scripture itself.  While many of these visions and messages may be true, other charlatans play on the weakness of others, or worst yet, are manipulated by the evil one.

As Christians, we are not called to go looking for supernatural  and extraordinary messages. Scripture is very clear to avoid spiritualists and fortune tellers.  Instead, we are to live our life in prayer and love of Christ, accepting His will and crosses.  But when pain occurs, so many times, individuals look for something tangible they can touch.  Instead of merely opening the Bible or praying in Church, they seek out the extraordinary to find proof, or a message.  This can lead to an obsession that the devil can easily use against oneself.  While it is fine for pilgrims to visit sacred sites, read about apparitions, explore approved miracles, it is important that they also realize that God is ever present in their lives if they just look inward.  I personally feel, approved mystics and their messages are beautiful and strengthening to the faith, but they should never be our main spiritual meal.  Our main spiritual meal should consist of prayer, scripture, and the Eucharist.  Those things are the most important to our daily lives.  The other approved mysteries through private revelation that God has revealed enhance our faith and strengthen existing ties, or bring non believers to the faith.  If ones faith is “only” about seeking out supernatural events and not consisting primarily of daily prayer, then one needs to refocus on Christ and His message.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification

Additional Resources

“13 Powerful Women Mystics Who Helped Shape Christianity”. Blumberg, A. (2015). Huffington Post.  Access here

“Christian Mysticism Through History”. Learn Religions.  Access here

“12 Interesting facts about St. Teresa of Avila”. Bosch, M. (2015). Aleteia. Access here

“What happened at the Miracle of Fátima?”. Silva, L. (2021).  Access here


Religious Decline and Why?

Declines in religious affiliation have been occurring for the last 75 years.  Stronger close knit religious generations have weakened overall every preceding generation.  Even by the standards of 1972, when over 90 percent of the nation considered itself Christian, it now only lingers around 60 percent according to a Pew Survey.  The amazing decline is how in the modern day 30 percent of the population has drifted to atheistic, agnostic or unsure.  This dramatic shift did not happen overnight but occurred over time and due to various abuses and secularistic ideals.

Dwindling Church attendance are all signs of a decline in faith and religion.


The article, “Losing their religion: why US churches are on the decline” by Adam Gabbatt looked at these statistics from the Pew Survey as well as others and found a steady decline in Christian Protestant Churches, as well as decline in attendance in both Catholic and Protestant Churches.  He states,

“Churches are closing at rapid numbers in the US, researchers say, as congregations dwindle across the country and a younger generation of Americans abandon Christianity altogether – even as faith continues to dominate American politics. As the US adjusts to an increasingly non-religious population, thousands of churches are closing each year in the country – a figure that experts believe may have accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Losing their religion: why US churches are on the decline”. Gabbatt, A. (2023). The Guardian.

To read the entire article, please click here


One can easily attribute the fall of Christianity in America to Satan.  Of course, he is the mastermind and puppet master of every trick, but there are concrete reasons for the fall of religious participation in the United States that have indirectly led to this religious vacuum.  Satan has his hand on it, but society has to also take responsibility.

Religious Sloth 

Religious sloth is one of the primary problems that some do not even recognize.  While grandparents attended Mass, church service or performed daily prayers in open sight of children, their children became more lax in emphasizing the religious teachings and obligations.  This sloth has spread in many American families which has led to individuals with little knowledge of the faith, or desire to attend.  Instead, many Christians do not have family experiences of consistent Sunday obligation or daily prayer.  The young generation is not educated, nor told the importance of their faith.  Instead they fall victim to other “isms” and social norms that take the place of the faith.

In addition, many families lack the same structure as in the past. Single family homes account for a growing number of Christian families.  Through divorce, many single parent families lacked the structure or desire to ensure a child made it to service or mass.  This accounted for more religious sloth in religious education and religious participation.

Dusty bibles and lack of prayer life are signs of religious sloth.


The Covid Pandemic damaged a weak existing Church-going base.  With the closing of Churches for the pandemic, individuals without strong faith roots, acquired new habits of not attending.  First, by simply watching a service on television, then gradually dismissing it all together.  This also led to a poor spiritual life void of Scripture, prayer or God.  The void created a vacuum for modern day social views and “isms”.

The Church first starts at home.  With broken families, religious sloth, has weakened a generation from understanding the faith, defending it, and participating in the mysteries of it.

Various “Isms”

The last 75 years have created a religious vacuum, where Christianity and many organized religions have been replaced by other “isms” to replace humanity’s natural needs.  Secularism and Materialism as always constant distractions to religion, gladly moved into the hearts and minds of the next generation.  The new god was the world and the world offered more because the true God was no longer emphasized.  With technology and new advances, individuals found secular life more exciting.  With secular life came new social norms and values.  Secular Humanism presented a new morality regarding life and death, sex and choice,  and gender and personhood.  These new radical ideas were not challenged but openly accepted.  The ideas of Christianity were then considered biased, judgmental, hateful and wrong.

Religious Abuse and Extremism

The abuses within the Church added to the problem in this sharp decline.  The Catholic Church’s sexual abuses weakened the image of the Church and its credibility.  In Protestant Churches, sex scandals and financial scandals also rocked the faith of the youth.  These abuses led many away from religion and into the hands of secularism.

Many have been turned away from the faith to extremist groups that enshrine themselves with political parties.  An idea of a Christian Nationalist in America frightens many youth.  Many of the political and social ideals do not match the next generation.  While the Church should not change dogma for social approval, many non religious do not wish to align with religious ideas that do not align with contemporary social ideals.  Many of those within religious organizations present an extremist view, as well as a hypocritical but still judgmental attitude.  The alignment with religion with the “right” and any political party has helped isolate religion from many youth.  Especially when, high ranking religious officials or politicians who claim religion show ill example in in public scandals.  This still does not mean the Christian Churches must bow doctrine to social norms but it needs to exchange dialogue on issues of homosexuality, gay marriage, and abortion in a way that does not fall trap to hypocrisy, hate, or extremist views.

Spiritual but Not Religious

Many of the 30 percent who did not align themselves with any particular creed, or voiced uncertainty, have turned to spirituality.  Within spirituality, individuals carve out their own religious beliefs and how they wish to speak with God.  When spirituality is void of religion, the personal trek without an objective moral code, can lead one into many errors.  One in essence can become a cafeteria Christian that creates and choose what rules one wishes to keep. Spirituality is key but when it is isolated from religion it becomes a faith of one.   Likewise those who are religious but lack a spiritual life, are merely shells of the faith and usually utilize faith as a weapon or form of identity only.

A healthy faith is both religious and spiritual. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Humanity is spiritual and most people thirst for spirituality and divine connection.  With the religious extremism and abuse, coupled with the pandemic, and lack of family values within the church at its core level, the family, other spiritual options have appeared.  These options many times allow individuals to match their faith with the social norms of the day and as well experiment with multiple religious ideals.  New Age, Eastern religions, and other spiritual quests have driven people away from the Church due to its lack of presence and ability to combat the new “isms” and social norms of the day.

Church Reform

The Church needs to reform itself both in its Catholic and Protestant forms.  Religious extremism and abuse need to be eradicated.  The Church needs to offer real solutions but not from high pulpit but through example one person at a time.  It needs to preach the message of Jesus without compromise to social norms, but with a authenticity, zeal, and intelligence.  It needs to answer the scary questions but show that the Jesus’ way is one of love.  It needs again to attract the youth to this mission.  Exposing the lies of secularism and modern social norms can only be accomplished through a totally reformed Church that can clearly present the message of Christ.  What Jesus has to offer is superior to any message today but somehow, somewhere, along the way, families stopped teaching it and those at the pulpit corrupted it.  Reform and revitalization are key.  The message of Christ can still excite the masses when it is properly utilized and presented.  Christianity is not a nationalistic religion of the right, nor is it a judgmental and hateful creed, but one that adheres to the laws of Christ with love and compassion.  I truly believe that if everyone truly properly understood the faith, participated in it, and experienced it, then the misconceptions, abuses, and hypocrisy that surrounds it would be dismissed.

Without Faith

While not proposing one law of morality over others in a pluralistic society, we still must acknowledge that religion and religion tied to family life increases civic and good moral behavior.  While the atheist may blame religion for wars, the reality is wars would still exist, just another difference or secular doctrine would be used as an excuse.  Religion has been misused many times for war, or by extremists to promote hate or division, but that does not mean religion is bad.  Religious life is important, or at least a world code that ties one to some responsible duty to one’s neighbor.  While faith is given to God, the by products it gives to one’s neighbor creates in a social contract.

Without faith, morality drops.  The drop in the modern world of morality cannot be a coincidence with the drop of faith in the home.


If ever there was a need to restore the Christian Church in America, it is now.  This does not only include reaching out to people and better presenting an option of why Christ and His laws are the way, but also by living by example.  Christians need to set better examples and also present in a logically and non hateful way, why  what the world offers is contrary to true happiness.  Sometimes in dark hours, people return to God.  With wars, famines and political divide, people may finally in the future start turning back to God.  Till now, the numbers continue to dwindle.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification.  Christian Counselors and Pastoral Counselors can play a key role in education and guiding individuals in the faith.  They can play a role in aiding the restoration of the faith in the modern world.  AIHCP offers an online and independent study certification for qualified individuals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

Additional Resources

“Modeling the Future of Religion in America”. (2022). Pew Research Center. Access here

“Generation Z and the Future of Faith in America”. Cox, D. (2022). Survey Center on American Life.  Access here

“The Great Decline: 60 years of religion in one graph”. RNS. Access here

“People everywhere believe society’s morals are in decline”. Wilcox, J. (2023). Science.  Access here





Anointing of the Sick and a Peaceful Christian Death

Death entered into the world as a result of sin but through Christ, new life and a new beginning is granted.  While fearing death is natural, the Christian can see death as a transition not a final chapter.  It is a doorway to new life and the fullest life possible.  It is not in the temporal world, where humanity’s nature is complete and unbroken, but only in the next life.  In the next life, the soul is reunified with God and through the promised General Resurrection, the guarantee of unification of again and body and soul.  Hence death is not an end but a phase of existence that is only temporary and an opening into a world so much larger.  It thus extremely important to ensure that transition to the next life is a priority.  This is the case for all world religions, but also the same for Christianity.  With Heaven or Hell for eternity in the balance, ensuring a proper and good death with God is essential and vital.

Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament in Catholic and Orthodox faiths and a sacred ritual in other Christian denominations for the spiritual renewal of the dying person


Christianity has since its conception emphasized the importance of preparing for death.  The Anointing of the Sick has its origins in Scripture. The Apostle James comments, “is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven (James 5:14-15).

Different Christian traditions all believe in the value of anointing in the sick and terminally ill, but others classify it differently.  In Catholicism and Orthodoxy it is a sacrament.  The Anglican Church considers it to have sacramental character and in most Lutheran and other Protestant denominations, see it as a critical ritual of the faith.   As a sacrament, The Anointing of the Sick, and in the past, Extreme Unction, is an outward sign used to manifest and give grace to the soul.  As a sacrament, it gives grace through the source of Christ’s death on the cross that flows through the Holy Spirit to the soul.   It can be received multiple times depending on the grave danger of the person’s condition.   Hence, it can be received in multiple terminal or possible death situations, whether in the hospital or home.  In the Orthodox, it can also be utilized in communal services.  In the West, under extraordinary circumstances, such as before war, soldiers and certain qualifying groups may receive it.

The matter, or visible sign, is the blessed holy oil.  This oil in the West is blessed by diocesan bishop on Holy Thursday.  In the East, this oil can be received throughout the year at the end of Liturgy on certain feast days but in itself is not the sacrament but used for overall physical and spiritual healing and continued good health.  The form of the sacrament constitutes the various prayers and words offered by the priest or minister during the administration of the sacrament.

Holy Oil is used to anoint the sick. It is the visible sign of healing and presence of the grace of God preparing the soul for the next life


Last Rites is sometimes confused with Anointing of the Sick.  It is important to note in Catholicism and Orthodoxy, Last Rites entails three sacraments.  Anointing, confession and reception of the Eucharist.

The effects of the sacrament and ritual has multiple sacramental and grace infused benefits to the soul.  It forgives sin but also prepares the soul to peacefully accept death and prepare it for reunion with God.  Physically it can heal but healing and miracles are alone determined by the will of God.  There are miraculous cases but these are extraordinary examples and not the norm.  Death is natural and the healing is more so focused on the spiritual than physical.  Although from a physical and psychological standpoint, the ritual can bring mental peace and a presence of God within the mind of the person.  It is comforting to know that Christ is present with one in one’s suffering and death.

Throughout the study of suffering and Christian grief, the Christian does not seek to escape death, deny it, or even escape suffering, but is called to carry one’s cross and unify it with Christ as one’s High Priest.  Christ is the ultimate example of the Suffering Servant and His example of accepting death and suffering should inspire other Christians to do the same.  While always praying for a cure or miracle, the Christian should also be accepting of God’s will.  One should primarily seek spiritual healing and God’s presence in one’s final moments.

During the reception of Anointing, one may be unconscious or awake, but it is critical to voice the need prior of the desire to receive it.  Family or nurses should be made aware of one’s desire to see a minister or priest.  This can be laid out in healthcare directives and becomes critically important if one becomes unconscious and unable to ask for spiritual aid in person.  Also, it is important prior to risky surgery or potential unconsciousness due to drug induced states to request Anointing of the Sick.  Most in everyday procedures that are not risky may simply say a short prayer of contrition and adoration before simple anesthesia but with far more risky procedure one should never leave one’s soul open to possible spiritual risk and danger.

Through Anointing of the sick, Christ comes to us in our dying moments. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Grief Counseling Program


In conclusion, spiritual preparation before death is critical.  If it happens like a thief in the night, one may receive the sacrament post mortem but one should always pray both morning and night proclaiming love of God and sorrow for sins.  One of the most beautiful things one can pray for is a peaceful death where one is able to receive the sacred mysteries in advance.  This is a blessing that many sometimes never think of due to the fear of thinking about death itself.  However, a peaceful Christian death with grace and the image of God is the greatest gift that may be given in this world.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification as well as its Christian Grief Counseling Program.  Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.

Additional Resources

“WHAT IS ANOINTING OF THE SICK? WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?”. Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis. (2006). Access here

“The Anointing of the Sick – Catechism of the Catholic Church”. Catechism of the Catholic Church. CNA. Access here

“Is Anointing Oil Biblical and Should We Use It Today?”. Riggleman, H. (2021). Crosswalk. Access here

“40 Bible Verses about Anointing With Oil”. Knowing Jesus.  Access here


Christian Counseling and Broken Desires Video

In the temporal world, humanity is scarred with the sin of Adam.  While baptism washes away this mark, it consequences still manifest.  Human nature while preserved still is inclined to disorder and without grace cannot find proper direction.  Within the body, one can see the disconnect between mind and body and the discord it can cause between doing what is right or wrong.  There are a variety of physiological functions that can lead to issues that affect thinking and emotions.  Passions and yearning that are disordered to an illusionary good that is sometimes not moral according to God’s design can further complicate.

The intellect and will are at odds in humanity’s fallen state. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Working with vice and immorality can be a difficult process.  Christian Counselors, mentors, and pastors can help one live a better life with virtue but ultimately we all need God’s grace.

Fortunately, God is very patient and merciful.  He sees our broken nature and understands the difficulties.  He is always sharing His grace and forgiveness.  It is critical we try and accept His grace to be morally better.  On the final day, the body will rise and again be restored to its original order.

Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals interested in Christian Counseling.




Please review the video below

Social Pressures on Moral Decision Videos

Social influences have impacts on individuals and how they respond.  Multiple social experiments show how individuals respond to social, authoritative and peer pressured situations.  Hence moral beliefs within individuals can sometimes be altered due to situations.  While not everyone alters their moral belief due to circumstances and social pressures, many individuals succumb to pressures.  This explains why in many cases, dictators can overwhelm a population and paint justifications for immoral actions.

Social Influences can play roles in how someone morally responds. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals..  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.



Please review the video below

The Spiritual World and Christians

It is important to note, that Christianity believes in a metaphysical world where God, angels, spirits, demons and the living interact through the temporal plane and metaphysical plane.  How that interaction occurs is what differentiates the occult and extraordinary gifts from God.

As human beings, we are both soul and body.  We are hybrids of two worlds and can interact with both worlds.  Our material body anchors us in this fallen and temporal world, but our soul although contained within the body is open to metaphysical experiences of the other spiritual realms.  It is true only death can allow one to cross over to the metaphysical realm, but our souls are attune to the spiritual realities that can interact with us.   As Christians, it is important to tread this line carefully.  As spiritual beings, we have spiritual qualities and spiritual aspirations but we must also constrain ourselves and cautiously interact due to evil spirits.   Scripture warns in multiple books the dangers of spiritualism, divinization and interaction with spirits.

There are numerous extraordinary spiritual events that can occur within Christianity. Prayer and meditation in itself is a spiritual exercise beyond the temporal world


One might be surprised though that the moment we enter into prayer or meditation, we are already interacting with the spiritual world.  In this state, we are talking to God, or asking for intercession before God.  We commonly pray for our deceased, or pray for angelic protection as well.  These are all examples of safe and secure interactions with the spiritual realm but there are extraordinary cases beyond the everyday function of prayer that is cemented in our faith and shows that God works through individuals and intervenes in history.

Extraordinary Gifts from God

While Christians are constantly warned to avoid spiritualism and divinization and rightfully so, there are numerous cases of the spiritual world communicating with Christians.  Christians have spiritual charisms and gifts that are beyond the normal but are highlighted talents within their spiritual makeup that contribute to the spiritual health of the Church.  While some individuals may be blessed with extraordinary physical gifts such as strength, speed, or leaping, others possess spiritual gifts that lead to greater insight.  These types of gifts should not be shunned, avoided, or dismissed, but embraced.

The key difference is these gifts are directed towards God.   They are not intended to prod or intrude upon the unseen world unsafely, but are guided by God’s grace and light.  They are receptive to God’s grace and avoid the usage of occult symbols, or pagan tools.  They are intended for the greater glory of God and His Church on earth.  In Scripture, one can see the variety of charisms bestowed upon the Church.  Prophecy, dream communication, speaking in tongues, divine healings, miracles and visions are all extraordinary events but part of the Christian faith.  They are given to prophets, healers, mystics and saints to guide the Church.  They are not intended for self glorification, gnostic searches for knowledge, or divinization of self, but for God’s greater glory.

Discerning if from God

Obviously discernment is key when dealing with any metaphysical reality.  If a Christian displays prophecy, or someone claims visions, then discretion and discernment are required.  This is not only critical for the people but the person experiencing the metaphysical activity.   Lucifer can indeed appear as an angel of light and it is key that all metaphysical activity is tested.  While this may at times seem profane it is also wise.  It is critical to dismiss any cases of psychosis or malicious intent from evil spirits.  Hence, the message is tested first.  Is the message orthodox to the faith?  Does it contradict Scripture?  Also, what good is coming from the event or the message of the person?   Are there any evil consequences?  Usually, it is best to leave such messages to proper Church authorities who can deliver a more thorough message.

If miraculous events do indeed occur, a respectful but objective investigative force should look into the person or events.  These individuals should possess authority but also be educated within the faith to properly discern and report.   Usually, these teams also present scientific members of the community to rule out anything pathological or of a natural explanation.

Within the Catholic Church, the bishop of a diocese sends out investigative teams to undergo a thorough investigation of the event.  Like Fatima, Lourdes, or Guadalupe, the Church reviews these metaphysical events and then decides if an apparition, person, or event is spiritually safe for the faithful to visit.  In the case of Guadalupe, the miracle of the Juan Diego’s shroud and the image of Mary upon it, convinced the local bishop to approve the apparition.

Discerning if a message is from God or not is key in assessing any spiritual event


There are many cases, where apparitions and mystics receive no official declaration, while others are declared not spiritually safe due to unorthodox message or fear of evil spiritual presence.  There are charlatans, fakes, and others who play on the faithful, as well as demonic tricks that the Church looks to identify and prohibit.  If, however, approved, no message is forced upon for all to believe.  The message is declared safe and probable, but the faithful can choose to ignore it.  What is in Scripture and the ancient creeds of the faith are the requirements of the faith not later apparitions or spiritual events.  Private revelations, even approved ones, are not required for belief.

Still many look to the messages of Fatima or the healing properties of Lourdes as a supplement to the faith because it is does not contradict it but enhances it.  Miracles from God still exist today.  Visionaries, within their own private revelation, share their stories.   Prophets warn of society’s sin.  Spiritually attune mystics guide and direct us to God.  Ultimately, we are spiritual beings with a spiritual end and whether one likes it or not, we have spiritual connections.  The important part is that we safely and with discernment partake in this spiritual journey.  Through discernment and following the guidelines of the Church, individuals can become part of the metaphysical world around us without fear of demonic or unsafe pagan practices.

Cultivating Extraordinary Gifts

Christians should never attempt to create within themselves extraordinary gifts.  One should not practice spiritualism or attempt to contact the dead.  One should never try to awaken within oneself something.  One should very much be aware of God’s presence, the presence of evil within our natural spiritual abilities, but beyond this, these extraordinary gifts will manifest within themselves through God.

God chooses who will prophesize, who will interpret dreams, who will speak in tongues, who will heal, or who will experience mystical experiences via apparition or visions.  Those who invoke these skills are driven by pride and can fall victim to satanic manipulation.  Furthermore, those lacking humility will attempt to create a spectacle to the community.  This is why such actions of serpent handling or speaking in tongues for purpose of show boating is not from God.  In fact, speaking in tongues, was never babbling but was the miraculous event of the apostles speaking in their own language but being understood by everyone else in their own language for the purpose of proclamation of the Gospel.  Hence when cultivating one’s own gifts, or witnessing another’s gift, discern whether this is about the faith or an individual.

There are many spiritual gifts given by God to the Church, including the gift of healing


Those who experience extraordinary gifts are usually humble.  Padre Pio and his stigmata or the three children of Fatima, never sought out these gifts but were chosen by God.  God chooses the low and humble to manifest His greatness.  Some extraordinary gifts are meant for oneself or a small circle, while other gifts are meant for the faith.  Hence it is important when discerning a gift or helping someone discern a gift, if it is sought or given.  If its end is prideful or humble.

In addition, all medical and psychological explanations must be explained.  If one thinks feels one is seeing the Virgin Mary, one may first question the experience. If counseling one, it may be important to evaluate any signs of psychosis.  In many cases, extraordinary events can be tested by asking questions that are beyond the knowledge of the person.  This was done in the case of St Bernadette of Lourdes.

After dismissing grandstanding and psychosis, discernment of the source becomes a critical step.  Prayer, fasting, collective minds and an orthodox message not contrary to Scripture must be presented.  Finally, what good comes from the extraordinary event?

As it stands, many mystics keep silent.  Their messages are private or not meant yet for the universal Church. Many are terrified of publicity and scrutiny.  This is why many miracles remain in small circles and are meant for those within that circle.  Many of us have experienced these small miracles and we know they are meant for the growth of our own faith.  We do indeed live in an age of miracles still, if we only look.

We still live in an age of miracles

While the Biblical miracles at this current moment seem distant, we still live in an age of miracles.  Personal healings, prophecy, apparitions, and messages from God continue to come to the world.  It is merely a matter of looking in the right direction.  We must avoid charlatans, fakes, and false prophets.  We must understand and discern if the message is from God or Satan.  We must dismiss the occult and spiritualism.  However, if we use our spiritual sight, we can find where God is appearing and spreading His message through His servants.  Miracles are alive today and one day, universal miracles that cannot be doubted will manifest.  In the meantime, we must be prepared and discern properly.

Miracles and spiritual events still happen today. Discernment is key. Review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.

Additional Resources

“The 9 Gifts of the Holy Spirit”. Bradley, M. (2023).  Access here

World Apostolate of Fatima.  Access here

“Discerning of Spirits: A Crucial Gift for Spiritual Warfare”. Ibbitson, D. Above and Beyond Christian Counseling.  Access here

“Christian Mysticism”. The Spiritual Life.  Access here


Brain and the Soul Video

A question by many involves the existence of the soul.  Is their a soul?  If so, where does it reside in the body?  How it is connected to the body?  Neuroscience attempts to explain away the soul with the entire functions of the brain.  Since the brain stores memory, controls emotion, and shapes personality, many contend that the actions of the soul are in reality the functions of the brain.  According to many atheistic scientists, this strips the necessity of the soul and replaces it with the natural functions of the brain.   However, many theists contend that the soul and the brain overlap and work together.  The brain is a metaphysical organ with the capabilities to translate for the soul and help the soul manifest itself in the world.  The brain and its functions hence are the vehicle for the soul to communicate with the world not a replacement.

Where does the soul and body meet? Is in the brain? Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.


Please review the video below

Problems in Christian Marriage Video

Marriage can be difficult enough with its many conflicts regarding each other’s family, friends, habits, finances, or personality differences.  These things usually are secondary and only become a greater issue when more core problems exist at the most intimate level.  In love, there is more than just mere feelings but hard work, patience, acceptance and mutual understanding and give and take.   When love is only passionate, or only friendship, or only companioning, then the other lacking elements can cause problems in the union.  A healthy love involves intimacy, passion and long term companionship and they all must be balanced.

Problems in marriage can sometimes relate healthiness of the love two have. Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification


Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification


Please review the video below