The Church, the Eucharist and the Broken

Christian Counseling Certification Program: The Church, Eucharist and the Broken

Just this week, the Synod of Bishops met in Rome to discuss pastoral care of the family, including pastoral care of broken families due to divorce.  It also examined hot issues regarding the homosexual unions and adoption.  Some of these issues were Catholic only issues that did not relate to Orthodox or Protestant Christian communities, but the theme of thought I think reflects upon all of Christianity.  It represents what view we will have as a people of God in regards to modern problems and modern ideas.

Who can and who cannot receive communion is a big issue with modern problems.  Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification Program
Who can and who cannot receive communion is a big issue with modern problems. Please also review our Christian Counseling Certification Program

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner

This has been an idea in thought but so little exercised in action.  Strict regulations, out dated legalisms, prohibitions and the painting of a stigma upon certain classes of people has divided the church from those who sit in the front row to those who hide in the back row in shame.   Many of those pushed away from the faith have felt no choice but to flee in shame and disgrace, others have left defiantly due to the hypocrisy of the hierarchy; a hierarchy who has its own moral issues but so gladly points out the problems of the masses.

Christ welcomed sinners with contrite heart, and often rebuked the supposedly holy. Please review our Christian Counseling Certification Program
Christ welcomed sinners with contrite heart, and often rebuked the supposedly holy. Please review our Christian Counseling Certification Program

Christ came to save sinners and he expects us to pastorally care for sinners.   Christ, while on earth, was not seen arguing among the sinners but arguing among the “church goers” and leaders of the Temple.  The Pharisees and their hypocrisy is what incensed Christ the most.  Why would today be any different?   Ministers and their Mega Churches, Bishops and their lavish residences, and moral corruption among those who supposedly  lead us in prayer are in the headlines.  Pope Francis has seen these errors and by example has pushed a reform of simplicity for leaders, but the percentages of corruption are still far too high.

So, love the sinner, but what does that entail?

The Liberal Agenda

The liberal agenda would wish for us to believe that loving the sinner means full acceptance of their life style.  This movement hopes to brand anyone who stands up against the sin itself as a bigot.  Harsh words as “discrimination” are labeled upon anyone with enough integrity to set moral boundaries regarding liturgical or church worship.  These individuals who set boundaries are seen as oppressors to progress.

The liberal agenda wishes to transform the faith to fit its needs.  It is not about loving the sinner, but also loving the sin.  This is not true pastoral care.  Pastoral care pities the situation and abandons outdated legalisms, but it does not sacrifice truth and spiritual admonishment at the cost of physical comfort.   While it is true Christ did embrace  sinners, one must also remember, he also told them to “sin no more”

So what is the best approach?

Some Suggestions

First, we need to truly and really present the ideal of loving the sinner and hating the sin.  We need to speak more as a loving parent than an angry guardian to those who have fallen away from the faith.  We need to be more understanding of their plight, their circumstances, their feelings and needs.   We need to dispel condemnation and outdated legalisms but project mercy and forgiveness.

We also need to change, especially in the Catholic Church.  Too many times, the Eucharist is seen as a trophy to be denied those who fail to comply.  While protection of the Eucharist as a sacrament is critical and proper reception a prerequisite within the heart of all sinners, we still must realize the Eucharist is Christ himself. (from a Catholic perspective).   If Catholics truly believe this, then we must also be open to seeing the Eucharist as a source of healing for sinners.  Christ himself said let the sinners come to me!   To openly forbid Christ to the masses is comparable to when the apostles tried to shield their tired master from his flock.  Did Christ not rebuke them for this?

The Church must remove past legalisms and restore a more pastoral element guideline for reception of the Eucharist
The Church must remove past legalisms and restore a more pastoral element guideline for reception of the Eucharist

The Church needs to reform its standards on reception of the Eucharist for divorced and remarried couples.  This does not mean that the Church is recognizing divorce, or re-marriage without annulment, but it is letting sinners receive the sacrament.   Yes, the Church can educate the individual not to receive to one’s own damnation.  The Church can teach the people that one needs the sacrament of confession in case of mortal sin and should keep their soul clean for the Eucharist, but the legalistic procedures need to be eliminated and a more pastoral approach incorporated into theology, sermons and daily life.

How many times has a person who has not gone to confession in case of mortal sin, fled the Eucharist, or laid their head low in the back of the church?  The fear and scandal of their sin has pushed them away, but they are told to stay away from our Lord who can forgive them.   At that moment, fear and regulation should not exist, but love and mercy; the love and mercy of the Eucharist.  We must understand mortal sin exists, but death to the soul occurs when one openly rejects and hates Christ and has no room for change.  An incidental action, not life style, should and does not destroy a remorse soul.  True remorse exists in many re-married, divorced, homosexual or causal sinner’s lives.   They should not be denied the Eucharist but should go forward, with remorse and intent of sacramental confession when time permits.

The Eucharist is for sinners.  No one is perfect.  Christ related the story of the Pharisee and the sinner.  How many of us see ourselves as paradigms of our Christian community and boast of our accomplishments or what parish board we are on or supervise?  How many of us in those capacities are infected with a nasty and petty attitude towards others?  Gossip, jealousy or pride overrun many communities or parishes with such individuals.  Yet, these individuals are worthy to receive and partake but the sinners in the back of the church who acknowledge their sins but due to legalistic norms, fear reception of the Eucharist are not?  Did not Christ say that God heard the prayer of the man in the back of the temple before that of the Pharisee?

So the Church, without compromising the sanctity of the sacrament, must also approach reception of the Eucharist from a pastoral view as well that does not undermine sanctity but emphasizes also that the Eucharist is Christ and that Christ is love and mercy.

I am not condoning that the Eucharist should not be respected or that anyone can receive the sacred Body and Blood of Christ, (symbolic for non Catholics), but the Church must approach the many legalistic obstacles to reception and re-evaluate.

 

So Where to Draw the Line?

We know liberals have taken the initial write up of the synod as an open invitation to change Church doctrine on divorce and homosexual relations, but the Holy Spirit has closed these things off, even within the revisions, the Holy Spirit manifested himself.   Under the guidance of Holy Spirit, Pope Francis is approaching many things more pastoral and Christ like, but there still must be a line.  Understanding, mercy and forgiveness can be applied, but truth must still be guarded.

The sanctity of the cup of Christ still must be preserved and certain restrictions on a case by case basis enforced, for many can still sip to their own damnation
The sanctity of the cup of Christ still must be preserved and certain restrictions on a case by case basis enforced, for many can still sip to their own damnation

This truth lies in the fact that many remarried couples, those who co-habitate, or those who live in unnatural and homosexual relationships are not repentant.  They have no intention of reforming their lives nor feel any guilt or sorrow for their past.  For those who wish to advertise and promote their illicit behavior, then those should not be permitted the Eucharist.  If they sadly wish to leave the confines of the Church over these illicit actions, then the Church must allow them to leave of their own free will.  We can only prayer for them.

What I ask is simply to leave it to the discretion of a case by case basis to the parish priest.  For those who are knowingly in cohabitation, remarried or in homosexual relationships, then allow the priest to determine the rule or norm for individual cases.  Only the parish priest would know the situation and who is truly repentant or struggling with vice.  He would also know those who may have no firm desire to change.

As for remarried couples, divorced and homosexual, the choice to receive should be open to them but with strong guidelines.   There are so many subjective elements to why someone is divorced or why someone remarried but denial of the Eucharist should not be one of the punishments.  Many individuals who remarried long ago, may now feel the guilt but the reality of their lives together with another person, while not condoned, should at least be understood.  Maybe the grace of the sacrament and frequent confession would be the best thing for these individuals?   Leaving them at the curb, as broken, and denying them the Eucharist is not helping their soul.  Again, let the pastor determine the situation on a case by case basis.

But how do we know the true intent of people?  We do not, that is why until we walk in someone’s else shoes, we cannot judge worthiness of the Eucharist for one or the other, for if we judge, then we realize none of us are worthy to receive the Eucharist but only through the friendship of Christ.

Conclusion

So in conclusion, we are trapped by two extremes.  One of a legalistic outdated system that over emphasizes awe and a liberal indifferent system that emphasizes no respect for the Eucharist.  The middle ground is respect but also pastoral common sense that views the Eucharist as God, Creator, and Omnipotent Being, but also as Father, Brother, Savior and Friend.

We cannot change the sin, but we can better love the sinner.  In many ways the hierarchy has failed in these cases, and in many more cases, the liberal war drum of modernism has echoed through the halls, but we must maintain a middle ground that is faithful to the teachings of the church and also open to the ministry of Christ which is understanding, mercy and love.  We as a Church must remove the Pharisaical Legalisms of the Pre-Vatican II Church and see Christ more personally in what we consider proper for reception of the Eucharist.

Whether Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox, these issues of the modern family affect our Churches.  How should we incorporate non-traditional families without condoning their sin?  This is difficult.  I laid a few suggestions above for the Catholic Church in eve of the Synod in Rome, but I am sure other congregations have different protocols.   Whatever the protocol, I know two things.  First, we cannot alter dogma for comfort, and second, we cannot allow legalistic outdated laws determine pastoral care.

If you would like to learn more about our Christian Counseling Certification Program, then please review

Mark Moran, MA

How to Find Spiritual Renewal at Work

Daily tasks can be most pleasing to God despite how annoying and tiresome they become. If you are interested in our Christian Counseling Certification Program, then please review.
Daily tasks can be most pleasing to God despite how annoying and tiresome they become. If you are interested in our Christian Counseling Certification Program, then please review

The article, “How to Find Spiritual Renewal at Work”, by Laura Polk states

“In a normal day, it’s a wonder you find time to breathe, much less to connect with God – one you need the most during this time.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

Some good tips on spiritual renewal.  Remember always, your daily work is your vocation, make your very life a prayer, as St. Theresa the Little Flower did so long ago.

St Theresa the Little Flower would offer up her daily duties to God.  Whether as menial as sweeping the floor to taking out the garbage, she offered it up to God.  The crosses that we choose, even if greater, are still of our choosing.  God finds great pleasure when we accept the crosses and duties that are thrown upon us instead.  So one may fast, which is good, but by simply accepting daily duty which is beyond our control is greater because it is not within our will to do or not do.  This is how daily tasks at work can become most pleasing to God.

If you are interested in learning more about our Christian Counseling Certification Program, then please review.

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Christian Counseling Certification Program: The Epiphany is Little Christmas

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Christmas Season Has Just Begun!

Photo by Nina Aldin Thune . Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar came to adore the divinity of the Lord on the Feast of the Epiphany
Photo by Nina Aldin Thune . Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar came to adore the divinity of the Lord on the Feast of the Epiphany
Secular society begins and ends Christmas season to early.  The corporate greed hopes to bring in sales as soon as the last bit of Turkey is gobbled up and once the spending spree and the last return is complete, closes up shop and all sounds of Christmas.  This backwards mentality is not the true season of Christmas.  A Christian Counseling Certification Program should emphasize that the Christmas season extends well into January.
In the Western Church, the season of Christmas extends to the feast of the Epiphany or the adoration of the wise men.  This feast is usually celebrated on Sunday within the first two weeks of January.  In some traditions, this feast was also known as Little Christmas and family members would again unite and give small gifts to each other.
The reason why was simple, this is the day Christ received the three gifts from the Magi which illustrated to the world that the child Jesus was divine; The manifestation of the divine is the primary principle of this feast.  In the East, this manifestation is known as the Theophany or the Baptism of Christ.  Both are different moments in the life of Christ, but both point to his divine nature.
So while many people rush to take down the Christmas tree and other decorations, Christians understand that the idea of Christmas extends for a few more days to celebrate the Logos becoming flesh.  Let us all acknowledge this and continue to show the same Christmas spirit in the following winter months.
If you are interested in learning more about Christian Counseling Courses, please review the program.
Mark Moran, MA
 

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Creating Your Own Christian Counseling Blog

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Blogs Can Be The Voice of Your Ministry

Start a blog today
Start a blog today
Blogs have a big influence on people and the world today. If you desire to influence others, blogging is something that you should consider. Read the advice in this guide to learn various techniques that can help you become successful at blogging.  In addition to this, you can incorporate Christian related aspects into the blog to help spread your ministry or help educate others about your Christian Counseling Certification program.

 Avoid Ads

Ads are a key part of many blog campaigns and often bring in income. But if there are too many ads on your blog, they may turn readers off. All the ads may prompt them to seek a site that is more helpful.

When to Add Posts

Add posts often and at, or about, the same time. Your readers will learn your schedule and be waiting for new content. Readers like it when a site has structure, and they also enjoy reading new content. Have an array of topics to write about to prevent your content from seeming redundant.  In regards to our particular cliche, one would write about Christian Counseling related articles that include counseling needs but also interesting theological ideals that can be used by other counselors or pastoral care givers.

 Invite Other Bloggers

Invite other bloggers who have found success to write guest blog posts on your blog. These guest posts will mean better content for you and your readers. One good side effect of this strategy is that you’ll probably receive a traffic bump, as many bloggers link any guest posts they make to their own blogs. Get several bloggers to do this and you are on your way to blogging fame.  Incorporating other Christian ministries or theologians is a great way here to not only connect with others but to also spread the gospel.

SEO Work

Ensure that keywords have been italicized and bolded. Your readers will be able to spot them more easily, and it will also improve your search ranking. When your keywords are easy to read and they stand out, you will increase the possibility that your users will click on them. Remember that this should be your goal.  Some particular reminders, if you use the word Christian Counseling, you would want to avoid over use of it.  You would want to use similar words or use Christian Counseling in a larger sentence.  Pay close attention to this blog as you read it and you will notice bolded words and words that tie to the site.
When adding links, you can tie the key word back to the home page or a particular page in question.  It is good to be diverse if you have multiple links.  The usual idea is one link per 150 to 300 words.
It is also good to curate articles from other sources.   Blog Curation of related articles gives fresh outsourced content that is up to date and relevant.  When curating or writng your own orignal blog, be sure to include pictures.  Pictures not only make the blog more attractive but they also help with Google rankings.
Finally, announce your blog through your current social media accounts. Request that they share the link to your blog so that you are able to gain a wider variety of readers. A personal social networking account is better so that users will know that they are dealing with a real person.  The more tweets  or comments you receive, the more value that Google gives to the article.
The tips contained in this article should be helpful for you regardless of the purpose of your blog. Use the tips which fit your needs, and keep in mind that everything you publish online will be there for eternity, so watch what you say.
If you are interested in blogging with our site, please let us know.  Again, here is our primary Christian Counseling site.
If you have any questions about our Christian Counseling Certification Program, then please let us know.
 
AIHCP
 

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Counseling and Guiding Christians Through Discernment

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Guiding Christians Through Discernment

When various inclinations or choices come to one at a macro or micro level, one in some cases needs to make a moral judgment on the choice.  In some cases, the conscience can determine the value of the choice especially if the conscience is formed properly in accordance with God and his commandments.  Sometimes, however, feelings and inclinations are more difficult to ascertain and the issue of discernment becomes critical. In these cases, counselors need to guide Christians through discernment.  In these cases, St. Ignatius lays out ground work for pastors, Christian Counselors and those in ministry to help guide those in spiritual confusion.
In regards to temptations and inclinations, St. Ignatius points out that those lost in sin are

Discernment without proper guidance can be an agonizing process
Discernment without proper guidance can be an agonizing process
usually tempted via obvious pleasures that the person enjoys.  On the contrary, however, those who possess sound judgment are tempted with remorse over the slightest pleasure.  In these ways the spirit exploits one and torments the other.  Discernment is needed in regards to the morality of the individual to understand the tactic and motive of the enemy.   The spirits of good will encourage and give consolation when one seeks spiritual perfection but the spirits of evil will induce doubt and desolation for one who attempts to purify himself.  These stages of desolation and consolation are extreme opposites in the spiritual life.  One who can discern desolation as from the evil one, should endure the hardship to learn spiritual patience and offer his or her cross to God.  These desolations also bring one to an understanding of how truly fragile human nature is without God.  In these fashions when tempted via desolation, one should remain steadfast in his original plan and pray for the grace to overcome the spirit of evil.
It is the nature of evil to corrupt via desolations and false consolations.  St. Ignatius makes note that the evil one, like an opposing commander, analyzes an individual and focuses on the weakest point of one’s defense.  In this regard, one must be alert and always steadfast even in consolation because the evil one can deceive.  First and foremost, God and good spirits cause genuine happiness in the soul, while the evil one causes confusion and sadness.  While God and the good spirits give true consolations, the evil one will attempt via deceit to manifest true consolations.  In this way, he diversifies his attack through not only desolation but also through trickery of an illusionary good.  How can one discern if this good is truly good or an illusion?  St. Ignatius teaches pastors, priests and other Christian Counselors many ways to identify false consolations.    St. Ignatius points out that the beginning, middle and end should tend to wholly what is only good.  If train of thought or motion leads one down a slippery slope of eventual evil, then it is not from God, but Satan.  This is also true when the initial peace and harmony become weakened via confusion and noise.   One can also sense the signs of the demonic by the similarity of the soul it wreaks havoc upon.  If of likened desire, the evil spirit can enter into one’s mind quietly without notice because of the shared values, but when an evil spirit is different, his presence is immediately heard and seen because of the sensitivity of the man’s conscience.
In these regards, Christian Counseling should attempt to utilize discernment processes in helping and aiding others in the constant spiritual battle over the souls of men.  Christian Counselors can be of great help and aid in directing people down moral and good paths via good discernment and understanding of a spiritual child’s soul and the intents of other spirits.
If you are interested in the Christian Counseling Certification Program, please review it.

Christian Counseling Certification Program: The Gift of Children to the Christian Family

Christian Family: The Gift of Children
The child in marriage is the ultimate sign of reciprocal love between man and woman and is the ultimate gift to the Christian familyIt is the Trinitarian completion of the triangle of love that exists within the intimate circle of the family.  This outward sacramental manifestation of their love is a blessing from God.  It is one of the primary purposes of marriage and the conjugal act itself.  As Christian Counselors, we sometimes come across situations where we must advise in matters of rearing of children and in other cases comfort in cases of loss.  Other situations involve the frustrations couples can experience when attempting to conceive.  These and many other issues become sensitive issues in Christian Counseling.
Ultimately the gift of children in marriage fulfills many innate needs of man.  First, the biological and evolutionary drive to reproduce one’s genes to the next generation.  Second, the gift of children is a spiritual extension of oneself.  One’s legacy does not only exceed one’s life time but one’s memory and traditions are carried onward from generation to generation.  Not only is one’s physical attributes given but one’s ideals, religion, traditions and values are also carried on through one’s offspring.  Third, emotionally one is given something to cherish.  There is no greater love between parent and child.  These needs of caring are reciprocated as the parent cares for the child in his youth and returned as the child cares for his parent in the later years.

Jesus understood the blessing of children
Jesus understood the blessing of children
Theologically, the blessing of children is also a partaking and sharing in the creation of life.  As the married couple shares their intense love, God blesses this action with his presence.  God at the moment of conception touches the couple with the simultaneous creation of a soul.  A full human person, matter and soul at that moment come into existence becoming the ultimate manifestation of the couple’s love.
The blessings of children are indeed a great gift from God.  This is seen throughout Scripture as the Old Testament Patriarchs are blessed with fertility; Stories that reflect the extreme joy of conception from Sara to Elizabeth and even Mary’s own unique conception of Jesus portray this.  The joy of conception is revered within Christian circles and should be a time of great joy.  Religious Counseling should emphasize this joy and contradict the society of death that finds conception and children to be a hindrance to one’s materialistic life.  Instead Christian families should boldly declare to society that children are a blessing and not an inconvenience. 
In conclusion, Christ said let the little children come to me and that to enter into heaven, one must become like a child.  How could a family not want to be surrounded by such innocence?
If you are interested in the Christian Counseling Certification Program, please review it.
 
By Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C
 

Christian Counseling Certification Program: 700 Club, Pat Robertson Answers Common Christian Counseling Session Questions

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Pat Robertson answers questions that Christian Counselors deal with in sessions

Pat Robertson answers a few questions that may come up in Christian Counseling sessions.  I especially like his comment about those looking for relationships.  Watch the video below from the 700 Club.
To see the video, click here
 
I hope you enjoyed the video and the advice offered by Pat.  Christian Counselors can learn alot from him and other Christian leaders.
 
If you are interested in Christian Counseling Certification Program, please click here.
The program consists of core courses in Christian Counseling.  After completion of these courses, qualified professionals are eligible for certification in Christian counseling.  Renewal of certification is due every three years and requires academic and professional hours.
Thank you for your interest in the program and our blog.

Christian Counseling Certification Program: Counseling for True Happiness: A Christian View

Christian Counseling Certification Program: False Idols of Christian Happiness to Avoid when Christian Counseling

 Like an illusion in the desert, false notions of happiness pose as an oasis, but in reality are handfuls of dry coarse sand. It is important then to identify a few notions of false happiness and classify them in your  Christian Spiritual counseling sessions. To many times, people are directed towards these ends and never find genuine happiness. 
Perfect happiness consists of the Beatific vision and union with the Trinity
Perfect happiness consists of the Beatific vision and union with the Trinity
 The first notion is materialism. Materialism values happiness in finite objects that appeal to the senses. It is limited only to the body and hence fails to satisfy man’s spiritual and emotional needs. In many ways, it is an in-proportionate balance of bodily pleasure over spiritual. Dr Mara, in his classic work, “Christian Happiness”, relates that the primary error in regards to the study of happiness is that the materialist reveres a low “good” as a high “good” and treats that good as an absolute. Slightly related is the worship of knowledge as the highest good. This was seen in many of the Greek philosophers. The reality is knowledge itself is not the good, but the gateway that opens one to discovering the truth that can give happiness. This, while superior to object based materialism, still finds happiness in an intangible object that can give no reciprocity.
 Another false notion is relativism. This “ism” denies an objective absolute truth in regards to anything. In regards to happiness, the relativist nonchalantly remarks, “Whatever makes you happy is then best for you”. While low goods and preferences can be applied to this, the relativist applies all moral actions as equal in regards to happiness. There is no one true objective nature of what true happiness is to the relativist. If N likes this, and R likes this, then who is to say one good is superior to the other. Dr. Mara relates that the error of the relativist is that he elevates everyone’s personal standards to the status of an objective absolute.
 Escapism is another false notion. How can one find happiness in a world of pain and suffering? Some escapists find an outlet from the burrs of the world via drugs and alcohol. Some pursue an addiction to distractive behaviors, whether it is excessive forms of entertainment or seclusion. Some try to forget the worries of the world and divulge themselves into video games or put themselves in a constant state of movement. Others hope to escape by downplaying the evils of the world. They hope to escape the fear or reality of death by downplaying evil or death as a joke. Dr. Mara refers to this as the “Pollyanna” Syndrome; looking at the bright side so much that they become alienated from reality and fail to face their fears. Another form of escapism accepts the evils of the world and finds happiness in negation or neutral consciousness. The reality of evil is so overbearing that everything that soothes the mind from it is an illusion. One can only hope to escape evil and find happiness via nothingness. Cynics find no joy in the world, but only see this overbearing evil. There is no happiness because everything is tainted by death, misery or evil. A stoic accepts this ideal as well but is willing to take the good with the bad but only if the good is taken with a detached prerequisite. In other words, you can touch, you can taste, but do not enjoy or become dependent upon it. This is a strong characteristic of Eastern philosophy where any form of lower “goods” are seen as inconsequential and are illusions to the reality of suffering. Detachment and eventual Nirvana are the true goals of happiness. Schopenhauer, a Western philosopher, completely absorbed these teachings and expressed how happiness is relief from misery and that life is a mistake. The only joy is absence of suffering, hence a neutral consciousness is preferred over any positive stimuli.
 While escapism attempts to retreat from the pains of the world and find happiness in negative states, earthly optimism becomes intoxicated with the other extreme. This erroneous approach to happiness over emphasizes earthly life and while accepting death, devalues its true impact as merely an event in life no different than birth or marriage. An earthly optimist will almost joke about death as the big event or make pithy remarks about the grim ripper. While materialistic to some extent, an earthly optimist wants to experience life to the fullest and accepts all the bumps in the road as what they are. They lack a deeper analysis of spiritual aspect of evil and death. The over optimism distorts the true relevance of suffering and evil. True death and suffering are part of life, but they play a much deeper role that cannot be laughed off or accepted as an event equal to any other event. This philosophy, held by many positivists such as Hume, Dewey, or Russell, leads to a very secular life style of maximizing happiness on this planet and not the next life. The theory of ethics thus becomes confused with the theory of happiness. It no longer becomes what “I ought to do” but what “makes me happy”. I think it is quite obvious that this is not the Christian notion of happiness.
 With these erroneous paths laid, what is the path a Christian Counselor should lay out before a fellow soul that is downtrodden and filled with grief? The Christian path is a realistic path but an optimistic one. It acknowledges the fallen state of the world but finds harmony with it while preparing for the next state of paradise. The Christian as a realist will not seek to escape suffering, nor will he denounce all earthly pleasures, but on the contrary will enjoy the gifts of this world and carry the crosses of this world that are given to him by the Lord. The Christian as an optimist, however, will not live for the goods of this world but see a greater reality that is void of suffering and death but only filled with love and joy. In this optimism, the Christian will seek to put his energy into goods that transcend and escape the decay of this world. The Christian will cultivate goods of virtue, family, friendship, faith and love;   Goods that lead to God and bind us with him and our family forever in paradise. This is the ultimate spiritual banquet, love of neighbor and family, bound with the perfect and reciprocal love of God that is eternal and forever. This is the ultimate happiness—for it is perfect and forever.  
The highest aim of man is God who is pure love and perfect bliss. Please also review the Christian Counseling Certification Program
The highest aim of man is God who is pure love and perfect bliss. Please also review the Christian Counseling Certification Program
If you are interested in the Christian Counseling Certitication Program, please review it.

By Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C