St Teresa of Avilla laid out the a map for a closer union with God in her classic, “The Interior Castle”. She details the numerous levels of spiritual union with God that a soul undertakes. This is a long journey for many as they let go of the world and embrace Christ.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program 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.
The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are all essential works to love one’s neighbor perfectly both physically and spiritually. It is about helping others through life through acts of charity that follow the teachings of Christ. They are essential to living one’s faith.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it meets your goals and needs both academically and professionally. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification in Christian Counseling.
Prayer and meditation are important to Christian spirituality. A private and public prayer life is critical to strengthened the spirituality of the soul and feeding it the necessary grace it needs to suffice.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals.
Discipleship and mentoring future disciples is an important part of Christianity. We see this in the Paul-Timothy relationship and how Paul taught Timothy and educated him in the faith. Christian mentors can help others become better disciples. The relationship is very much vocational and only certain individuals are called to help form Christians.
If you are a pastor, priest, minister or someone helping youth in Christian formation, then consider becoming a spiritual advisor or mentor to them. Help them form their faith and guide them through scripture. AIHCP offers a four year Christian Counseling Program for qualified professionals. The program is online and independent study. If interested please review and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.
Jesus is the central aspect of life. He plays such a key role because without Him there is no redemption. Christ the New Adam took upon sin and undid the curse of Adam through His sacrifice on the cross. Hence in everything, Christ is present. Christ makes all new.
Jesus Christ is an amazing miracle within Himself. He is the Word made Flesh as stated in the Gospel of John and that alone warrants adoration and worship yet many do not understand the true inner workings of Christ and can become confused.
First and foremost, it is important to emphasize the importance of Jesus Christ. The Fall of Adam sent the temporal world spiraling out of control into spiritual darkness. Reparation needed made due Adam’s sin but no sacrifice was pure enough. A sacrifice that possessed both perfect priest and perfect victim were needed to be given to God.
Christ offered Himself as that sacrifice by merely being born, but permitted Himself to remain obedient even to death to fulfill the necessity of sacrifice. The Last Supper would have sufficed as the Perfect Sacrifice but the evil of humanity sought His life in a bloody sacrifice. Christ did not demand His own end but accepted the will of the Father and hence as history showed, He was crucified.
However, to be a perfect priest and sacrifice Christ had to be both God and man. He had to be perfectly both. From a Divine standpoint, His essence as the Word, was divine and eternal while from a human standpoint, He was created and not eternal.
His Body was perfectly human. The Divine Word did not create a shell to inhabit, or create the illusion of being human, but literally shared and occupied a Body with Jesus. The Divine Word did not overtake or possess but became one with the human soul and body. This hypostatic union was made possible by Mary saying yes to God’s will.
When looking at this miracle, Christ was both God and man, completely and fully, two natures but perfectly fused as one person. Hence Christ’s humanity while created, became interconnected with the Word in such a way that Christ the Person was completely God. One element was eternal, while another was finite, but together in union, represented one person and one God.
Due to this, we worship Jesus as a person. We do not reserve worship only for His divine element but His entirety.
Because of Christ’s entirety of both God and man, He could then properly represent humanity as High Priest and as Divine offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice to the Father. This is why it is so critically important that we understand that Christ is both fully human and fully God but yet one person.
This supernatural mystery of the Incarnation and Hypostatic Union show the great love Christ has for humanity and His central role in the redemption plan. This love was so perfect that many even contend, the incarnation was impossible to prevent even if Adam had remained faithful. Through Christ’s humanity, the Logos can touch us in different ways than just as a pure spirit and Deity. As a human, He can love us in every possible way.
So many heresies have confused these concepts, either dismissing His divinity (Arius) or reducing His humanity (gnostics) or misunderstanding how His natures interacted (Nestorianism and Monophysitism). These heresies miss the importance of God’s perfect love for us as well as the Christ’s role as the New Adam.
So we can confidently declare that Christ is Divine for the “Word Became Flesh”. He is the Alpah Omega as declared in Revelations and He was eternal before, as He stated, than even Abraham. We can also confidently declare Christ is human for He was indeed born in a manager, and was indeed crucified.
The Incarnation and Redemption saw the birth and death of a man and the resurrection of a God. For this reason, we glorify Christ and bend our knee. Christ is our King, Priest, Redeemer, but also our Friend and most Beloved.
If you would like to learn more about Jesus Christ, one should read the Gospels, as well as study Christology. This will enrich one’s understanding but also one’s love of Christ.
Please also review AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches 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 Jesus both God and Man article–Please click here
Also please review article on nature of Christ–Please click here
Also please view article on Jesus–Please click here
Please also review AIHCP’s video on the Word Made Flesh–Please click here
Finally, also review article on Jesus–Please click here
Individuals can be spiritually depressed. They can hope and become unhappy with their faith. They can also feel desolations in their prayer life where they feel abandoned. How one bounces back in their spiritual life during this episodes is key. Spiritual Counselors and mentors can help individuals rediscover the presence of God in their life.
The article, “Understanding Spiritual Depression” from Healthline looks closer at spiritual depressions. The article states,
“If you’re experiencing spiritual depression, your religious leader might encourage a similar remedy: prayer or seeking Christ. Yet, many of the symptoms associated with spiritual depression can also suggest a depressive disorder, which may not improve without support from a mental health professional.”
Spiritual depression can be deeper rooted and may require professional mental help, but in many cases, one requires spiritual guidance through the spiritual desert of the world. Please also review AIHCP’s Spiritual Counseling Program as well as AIHCP’s Christian Counseling Program. Both programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification
The forced confinement due to Coronoavirus is a crisis for many. It locks them away from the necessary physical interaction. For those with mental health and addiction issues, it can also play havoc upon their lives. The quarantine can become a nightmare for many but it can also be an invitation among the chaos to find peace and guidance. It can be if applied become a retreat from the world that can help individuals discover the quiet of God among the materialistic world.
The time for prayer and spirituality can be found in the quiet and isolation for those who seek it. Mystics and saints have reminded humanity throughout the centuries that a turn to God involves quiet. While social prayers and ceremonies are essential to our social nature, we are also individuals and must feed ourselves spiritually through meditation and quiet prayer.
In more normal times, it is healthy to turn to God to prayer daily and if possible once a week in an hour retreat from the world. This retreat allows one to re-access, re-focus, and discover what truly matters in life. That purposeful break or short spiritual quarantine from the world can allow one to hear God. One cannot hear God’s will or God’s demands in the loud of the world. Competing false ideals and distractions emerge. Satan looks to keep one busy as to avoid God and his message.
An hour retreat totally given to God as gift is a time to hear God. St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, St Benedict and St. Ignatius all speak of this quiet. The quiet where God is heard through meditation and total giving to God.
In that time, the phone is set away, social media ignored and television turned off. It is a time for God where we separate from the world to hear God’s desires and will. It is a quiet time that heals the soul from the isms of the world and refreshes the spirit to face it.
This time of physical retreat from the virus is a bad thing but it is also a time where we can spiritually retreat and find ourselves again. It is a time where the business of the world can allow one to work on oneself. Spirituality should not be something we neglect in this scary time. We can turn this time of fear into a time to re-access our own spirituality and take the opportunity to re-emerge from the quarantine as better Christians, people and followers of God.
If you would like to learn more about Christian Counseling then please review the program and see if it meets your academic and professional goals. The program is online and independent study and leads to a four year certification.
In the meantime, be safe and allow this time of uncertainty to help cultivate better spiritual practices through the time honored instrument of silence. Through silence we can filter out the noise of satan and find God.
Grief in its deepest times can force us to question our very existence. We can question why and how one’s life has lost so much. We can question if there is a God, or a divine being. We can question our own moral code and way of living. Grief has the strongest ability to shake one to his or her very core.
Existentialism has for years questioned the how and why of existence. It has mourned over the fear of what is beyond the grave and what truly matters in this life. When torn by grief, many Christians may look feel this philosophy and its emptiness matches their current emotional state. The thought of nothingness and the fact that acts of loss or violence are merely random can in some ways maybe soothe the conflict within. The conflict that sees a contradiction between evil acts and a good God.
The temptation of existentialism to create one’s own code of existence and live by it alone may be strong in grief. It may be a way to get back at God and to create one’s own subjective reality based on one’s own existence. Or as existentialists proclaim, to bravely put aside pre-ordained moral paradigms and to venture into the unknown and to bravely create one’s own existence. It may seem attractive to dismiss all cares when in the pit of despair.
However, God is a loving father. He knows our grief. His Son, Jesus Christ, and his holy Mother Mary, all experienced this deep grief. Christ on the cross even in his deepest agony, questioned the Father, and mournfully cried out, ” My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me”.
We all come across grief and its darkness. We face the existential question and all the unknowns behind it. We question how evil can exist while a good God rules, and we can question why God would “punish” a loyal servant. We can mourn like Job but ultimately like Job not allow our own emptiness to lead us astray. We can follow in Jesus, who while mourning and isolated, still remained loyal to the father.
Grief disrupts life. It disrupts the very existence of our day to day plans. One needs to be able to understand how to incorporate grief and loss into one’s existential narrative without dismissing God or his plan. It is the most difficult cross but one Christ himself did not deny himself. He should serve as our example when we fall into the depth of agony and loss.
Tests can be difficult times. Grief is a test. Grief is a time when our loyalty to God can be tested at the highest level. We can question our existence or give it to God. It is ultimately our choice.
The title of this blog, the “Joy of Receiving” may surprise a few at first but the role a Christian plays in accepting something is as important in the role they play in giving. We have heard the phrase, “it is truly better to give than to receive” but like all reciprocal relationships, there needs to a proper balance.
If one only takes, then obviously one can detect a clear selfish individual who preys upon the generosity of others. If one only takes, then they are unable to share, or help others in life. These individuals tend to be more materialistic and greed filled. They feel no need to share their talents, or share their gifts to others. They care very little for the poor or others in need. The thought of making someone’s else day a better day through a simple generous gesture is beyond their comprehension. Ultimately, they are unable to experience the reciprocity of love because they only take. I feel many of the Biblical warnings of greed and selfishness address their spiritual deficiencies.
And yet upon the opposite spectrum, while the Christian who only gives truly sees the more spiritual path, they must also learn to occasionally take with joy as well. If they do not learn to accept or take, then first, how can they ever accept the greatest gift of all, redemption? Jesus Christ gave us the ultimate gift through his death and we must accept this gift without hesitation if we are to have salvation.
In this reality, love is a reciprocal act. It is not poached through greed or selfishness but mutual self-giving. Love is a reciprocal action of mutual giving and receiving. In this reality, a Christian must not only give, but also be able to receive. This is critical to understand if one is to understand love and its relational status.
Those who tend to the extreme of only giving, fail to experience the love of being accepted, being loved and given something special, but they also fail to allow others to experience the same joy of giving they experience. Sometimes even the saintly fail in this category. They are very dismissive to receive from another out of an over religious zeal of unworthiness. At the other extreme, some may feel the obligation to give and give out of a sense of duty and when that duty is challenged, their pride is hurt.
Jesus taught us the opposite. He gave completely but when the times came, he permitted others the joy of giving. We see this clearly when the women at the house cleaned his feet with the most previous oils. We also see it at his birth, when the Magi brought the three precious gifts.
As Christians, we must have a balanced spiritual life. We must give as Christ gave, but we must also allow others to experience the joy of giving as well. This means letting go of possible pride, or false unworthiness and accept gifts with Christian joy. In doing so, we balance the reciprocity of love and allow others to experience the gift of giving itself. We must learn to accept gifts, the way we accept Christ’s ultimate gift on the cross with love. In doing so, we will better be able to share in the reciprocity of love that is both giving and accepting.
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.