Christian Spiritual Counseling Program Article on Kempis Quotes

Good article on Thomas Kempis and many of his spiritual writings.  This article lists 11 of his famous quotes.  Kempis was very devout.  He had much insight into Christian meditation and how to find solace with God.   He was also a very staunch defender against corruption of medieval church and wrote the famous text, Imitation of Christ.   Please also review our Christian Spiritual Counseling Program by clicking here and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.

The article, Thomas à Kempis: 11 quotes from a great spiritual writer,  states,

“Today is the feast day of Thomas à Kempis (1379-1471) in the Episcopal Church’s calendar.

The German-Dutch spiritual writer was a member of a strict religious community that reacted against the corruption of the medieval church. He lived quietly, spending his time in prayer, writing and copying – Thomas copied the whole Bible four times, one of them still preserved at Darmstadt in Germany.”

To read the quotes, please click here

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Christian Counseling Program Article on Preaching

Good article on the importance of preaching and how it can help spread spirituality to many. Please also review our Christian Counseling Program 

The article, Preaching important for spiritual growth, by Joseph Shepley states,

“Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words.” Attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, this oft-quipped admonition reminds us to practice what we preach.

For those called to the Christian ministry, preaching is foundational to worship. From their earliest days, following the example of Jesus, Christian faith leaders have devoted themselves to the public reading of scripture, and to preaching.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review our Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs,.

Christian Counseling Program Article on Spiritual Desolation

In our Christian faith, it is not uncommon to go through dry spiritual phases of our life.  In these phases we experience doubt, lack of spiritual fire and enthusiasm, as well as in some cases, spiritual neglect.   We refer to these times as periods of desolation.

The desert fathers, St Teresa of Avila, as well as St Ignatius Loyola, all refer to these periods of times where the heart does not feel the response of the divine and feels, as Christ did on the cross, all but forsaken.  We also see it in the story of Job, where Job appears to have lost everything until the Lord repays him sevenfold for his miseries.

How we perceive and navigate these troubled spiritual waters of desolation are key to our Christian Spiritual Life.  We must see them as crosses and challenges to our faith that will only make us stronger and help us arise from our desolation into a divine consolation far greater than we could ever imagine.

One of the first key fruits of desolation is humility.  While Christ has become our brother in flesh, we must still realize our unworthiness of such divine friendship.   Desolation helps remind us of our sinful nature and the steps we must take to become worthy of divine presence.  It is our sin nature that prevents divine consolation and it is what separate us, not the divine who is still knocking desperately for us to hear.

Second, it strengthens our reliance upon God.  It tests our faith and forces us to realize how weak and fragile we truly are when the sweet voice of the divine is hard to hear or find shelter in.  When the return of the divine presence is felt and manifested, we truly realize the gift we have and also understand how like a loving parent, God was there the whole time, but helping us learn.

Third, the sweet and blessed doubt of our faith during desolation is not a sin, but can be actually a reaffirmation of our faith.  Like Thomas, who doubted and needed to see, we sometimes need a tangible presence.  During such desolation, we do not reject God, but are tormented by his absence and hence demand his presence.   We cannot control the divine, but if we are truly children and he is truly our Father, then asking for his grace is when in doubt is far from a sin, but a blessed thing; Again forcing us to realize our dependence upon him.

Like Thomas, we want to believe, we want to see!  But, we must also realize the words of our Lord that those who have not seen yet still believe, truly are blessed.  In our pursuit of God, when lost in our desolation, we see our greatest display of faith, which is fueled by the virtue of hope to know that God will return and supply his presence in sacred consolation.

We can also learn so much from Christ during his own desolation on earth, when he took upon the nature of a slave to redeem us.  We can see his triumph over all desolation during the temptation, in the garden and on the cross.  He should be our paradigm and inspiration

If you would like to learn more about Christian spirituality or would like to be better equipped to help your spiritual children, please review the Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.



Original or Ancestral Sin: In Today’s Church, Is There A Difference Anymore?

Our fall from grace through the sin of Adam and its ramifications upon human nature is a difficult subject between East and West; One that should not be today but one that remains due to semantics and past ideologies and presumptions.

One can trace the divide to St Augustine and his teaching on Original Sin.   This Western term to explain our fall, teaches that we inherit the sin of Adam and the personal guilt associated with it.  It also teaches, as East and West both agree, the inherited consequences of sin via death, suffering and concupiscence.

The issue of inherited guilt would remain a sticking point for the East.  The East and the Eastern Fathers had never elaborated into detail how the sin of Adam affected human nature beyond its consequences but only saw these questions arise when Augustine debated Pelagius over the condition of human nature after Adam’s fall.

Pelagius contended that human nature was unaffected and that since being unaffected could make good moral choices without the aid of grace.   This was obviously something both East and West condemned as heretical for grace is essential for any good action.   However, the idea of man being born without an inherited guilt pushed the issue between Augustine and Pelagius.  Augustine would contend that man is born with an inherited sin of Adam and that man’s nature is totally corrupted.

The ideal that man was born with this sin and infused with the guilt of the first parents stemmed from Augustine’s improper translation of Scripture.  Using texts that improperly translated in Adam instead of because of Adam, Augustine more fiercely pushed the ideal of a stain of sin on the soul that proposed personal guilt for all generations.

The Eastern idea of Ancestral sin never presupposed an idea of guilt, but only consequence;  Namely death.   Through the sin of Adam, the consequences of his sin affected all of humanity, bringing death, suffering and an inclination to sin into the world.

The West would continue in its teaching on personal guilt of Adam which would lead it down a disastrous path of theological extremes trying to balance God’s justice and love with unbaptized infants who die prematurely.   The East was spared this theological nonsense.

The Western schools of thought would balance and counterbalance between ideas of condemnation of unbaptized infants to lesser punishments of Limbo.  Baptism of Desire, a legitimate doctrine, would also be used as a tool to help counter this idea of original guilt and stain, but ultimately, as seen in the Western Church’s catechism, the idea of original guilt was disregarded in present days.

This imbalance of doctrine did not just affect the West, but also negatively affected the East.  The East with its suspicion of the legalistic West, would deny the legitimacy of the Immaculate Conception, basing its objections that Mary did not need conceived without of sin because no personal guilt exists.  The East saw the Immaculate Conception as a natural development from Augustine’s erroneous extremes.

The East mused that if Mary died, then she too felt the full effects of Ancestral sin as any person ever born.  Of course, the East held to the traditional belief that Mary never personally sinned, as the West but the error of denying her this special grace is equally erroneous on the part of the East.

Whether one calls it Ancestral or Original, whether this sin of Adam stains or merely affects our nature like a disease, the ideal of Mary, as well as Christ, spared from its effects is critical to redemption theology.

This is where Eastern theology fails to make proper distinction between pre-fall and post-fall natures of Adam.  Adam was neither mortal or immortal in the Garden, but his nature was spared the effects of concupiscence.  After the fall, his nature was not destroyed as Augustine and many in the West contended, but only damaged with all the traits of historical man after the fall.  Yet Mary, as a perfect analogous partner to Eve, as well as Christ to Adam, must possess a pre-fall nature.

Furthermore, Mary , as the source of the Incarnation, must be a perfect tabernacle, spared the corruption and consequences of the sin of Adam.  Whether consequential or stained, she must be through a special grace of the Holy Spirit, spared the consequences of Adam.

The East may contend, then why did Mary die?  The Dormition of our Lady is the gentle sleep.  Immediately following, her body and soul assumed into Heaven.  Is this the death we all face?  Definitely not!  Furthermore private revelation speaks of Mary’s choice to fall into gentle sleep because she felt if her Son was to face death, how could she not also face it herself?

I think this clearly points out the pitfalls of both the East and West in it there past definitions of Original and Ancestral Sin.

As it stands, is it now only a matter of semantics?  Both traditions believe Adam fell from grace and sin and death entered into the world.  Both traditions believe that human nature was somehow affected by this fall.  Both traditions believe in the necessity of Christ’s redemptive sacrifice on the cross on remedy the fall of Adam and finally both traditions believe in the necessity of Baptism to remove sin, become sanctified and to enter into the Church.

As it also stands, the West accepts the fact that the sin of Adam is not a personal sin and ideas of Limbo have gone out the door.

So what prevents agreement?  Is it past teachings of the West and East and the prideful argument of who is right or who was wrong?  These things are now irrelevant as we look at what each tradition believes today.  Simply put, the sin of Adam affected all of humanity, crippling human nature and inclining it to sin.

What else is there to be said?  Is it pride between East and West?

I contend there is pride but it is also semantics and  the long separation between them.

How the idea is expressed and understood over the centuries has created the myth that a difference exists still to this day, but if we read what others are saying in their own theological systems, we discover there is no difference.  Yet separation prevents the two schools of thought from interacting and sharing and dialoging the confused language.  This division and separation keep parties away and allows parties to preach outdated concepts about each other that leads to misconceptions about one another.

This is also true of Lutheran and Western Catholics who for ages felt the ideas of good works and justification by faith alone were at odds with each other because of how Martin Luther taught it for centuries.  Yet, what we discover through dialogue is that the extreme views proposed are no longer felt between each party.  The same is true in the case of Original Sin and Ancestral Sin.

Both carry an image of the other party that is not felt by the actual party themselves.

It is time to remove past pride and prejudices that lead to modern day confusion over what the East or West believe regarding Adam’s sin.  Instead, dialogue needs to develop that looks past semantics or a certain tradition’s inherited language of thought.  Instead, we must probe into what the tradition believes.

If this is done correctly, I believe we will realize that the East and West today believe the same thing, or so close, that it is no longer an issue of heresy but a permissible difference within the range of orthodoxy and truth.  For in the end, these are mysteries that we cannot comprehend.

Satan’s schism between the true Church of Christ has caused this division.  Both East and West share in the true faith yet are separated by pride.  It is time to end that.


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Christian Counseling Program: Petrine Relationship Further Explored

Relationships are key to our survival.  As a communal creature, we need relationships of all types.   Our most important relationship is our spiritual relationship with Christ.   Yet, like children, we find ourselves many times on the taking end of our relationship with Christ.  Our love while present, many times fails to meet the standards of a healthy relationship.  We possess a “me, me, me first” type attitude, putting Christ second.

Love is patient.  This is a key ingredient we hear many times about love.  It does not seek to force itself upon the beloved, but patiently waits.  It also continues to give while waiting.   This is the love Christ has in his relationship with us.  It is the type of love he showers upon us every passing minute of our lives.

What type of relationship do we have with Christ?  In all reality, we probably have an imperfect one because our human nature is broken.  Yet again, Christ’s love is patient.   I think many of us have a Petrine relationship with Christ.   In a past blog, the idea of a Petrine relationship was explored.

The idea of a Petrine relationship was described as in the following: “We have a fire for Christ.  We love him and say we will do anything–and probably mean it at the time of saying it!  But it is so difficult to carry through.  Our broken human nature, our fears and the temptations of the world sometimes push us away and we lose focus–much like Peter did when he stood before our Lord on the water.   However, unlike others who despaired, like Judas, Peter never gave up.  Even after denial, he wept bitterly and became a better man and Christian.   How many times do we see this same pattern in our own life?   While many of us would like to see ourselves like John, steadfast and devout, most of us are more like Peter.  We have a strong love for the Lord but sometimes fail.”

This adequately sums up many Christians lives, especially during our younger years as our broken human nature strives for Christian excellence, but always seems to fall short in fulfilling our end of the relationship with Christ.  We will talk with great confidence like Peter, declaring our steadfast fidelity, but as Peter did, seem to fail when tested.  Did not Peter declare he would never fail Christ, but in the end, ultimately deny him three times?   Did not Peter strike the temple guard with the sword, only to minutes later flee the garden?

Peter is the ultimate example of our broken human nature.   Wishing to please our Lord but falling many times.  Peter is first and only to jump into the sea to welcome Christ, but after doing so, quickly loses focus and begins to sink without the Lord.   We can see why Christ loved him so much.   He is clearly in his younger years a child that expresses so much love but like a child does not understand what a true relationship entails.


After our Lord’s resurrection, Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him.  In the old Greek, Jesus is asking for “agape”, an all giving love, but Peter each time offers “philia” or deep friendship.  Jesus finally after three times accepts what Peter can give at that moment.  This is what I meant when I said Christ’s love is patient.  He takes what we can give at a certain moment, knowing that as the sword is tested by the fire and one day our love will become stronger.

We need to strengthen our love.   Our relationship with Christ cannot continue to be an infantile Petrine relationship, but must mature into an adult Petrine relationship.  Peter grew.  So must us.  He transformed from a simple fisherman with a childlike love for Christ into a fearless apostle.  An apostle who did not only express love for Christ with his words, but expressed his love in a giving relationship with his actions.   Actions that would eventually lead to his own crucifixion.

Like Peter, we need to take the next step where we give Christ a more meaningful relationship that does not express itself only in words but also actions.   Whether by overcoming a sinful habit, or spiritually growing closer in union through sacrifice or denial, we must eventually transform our faith from a simple fisherman to that of an apostle.

In the meantime, love is patient.  Christ takes what we can give, but he wants so much more!  And he deserves it!

Please find time to review our Christian Counseling Program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.


Mark Moran, MA

Christ was not a divine ecologist: Opposing view

Roman Catholic Church risks becoming the very NGO Pope Francis has condemned, writes Steve Skojec, founding publisher of, a journal about Catholic theology, tradition and culture.

Sourced through from:

Great article.  The Pope obviously believes in the spiritual message of Christ, but many of his emphasis lies in the social.  This is not contrary to Christian doctrine, but something if divorced from spiritual doctrine becomes useless.  I do not feel the Pope is pushing a social agenda void of spiritual life of Christ and morality that Christ teaches, but he definitely needs to emphasize it more.  Regardless if he believes it, when one emphasizes only social issues then the other message can be loss and this is critical for him not to forget.

Issues surrounding morality and the stopping of abortion should be more central or at least proportionately represented by the pontiff in his speeches

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Do Adults Really Have to Honor and Obey Their Parents?

When it comes to getting married, how important is the support of my parents? Should I wait for them to “come around” before tying the knot?

Sourced through from:

When we become mature adults, honoring thy parents becomes less blind obedience but more respect and honor.  Helping them, caring for them and respecting them even when we disagree.  As adults with our own relationships, we must weigh on ourselves and the word of God

This is not to say parents do not have valid and good advice, but ultimately they must trust they have raised their children right.  U

This article looks at respecting parents but also dealing with one’s own personal life decisions

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Christian Counseling Program: The Body Will Be Rewarded Too

Christian Counseling Program: The Glory of the Body Should not be Under-emphasized

In Christian circles, theology obviously stresses the importance of the soul and its everlasting attributes that are beyond mere matter.  Sin, vice and temptation that attacks our senses should be avoided at all costs.  This world or this flesh is not worth the cost of everlasting paradise.   The story of Faustus reinforces this ideal that worldly gains are not worth the sacrifice of one’s soul.

This has created a distortion on the value of the “Body” and its importance.  Does not Scripture refer to it as a “temple of the Holy Spirit’?   Unlike Neo-Platonic and Eastern philosophies that reduce the body to a mere shell, Christianity has echoed the importance of the Body in its teachings, most notably in the General Resurrection where the body will rejoin the soul.

So why the distortion, why do some value the soul above the body, if both in reality are important  and equal elements of our human nature?  The answer is not so much about the innate value that both equally possess in our dual nature of both spirit and matter, but due to humanity’s current state.

The current temporality of existence has imposed upon humanity a decree of death via sin.  The body will fade, the soul will struggle with its passions, and man will die.  Through Christ, we have been given new life, but not from the scar of Original Sin.  We still must die, but only to be later resurrected.  In this temporal reality, the value of the soul is greater than the body due to the situation, not inherent value

The sacrifice of the body for the soul is a beautiful companionship through life.  As the body becomes older, more tired and weaker, the soul matures, learns and becomes closer to God.  The soul, as the body ironically ages and withers, should become more radiant and beautiful as it ages and strips itself of self-love and replaces it with love of God.  St Teresa of Avila looks at the evolution of the soul as it moves through the interior mansions of spiritual life.  As the soul progresses through life, it can choose to become closer to God or reject God.

It is my hope that within the temporal journey of earth, our souls learn the many lessons to be learned and become closer and worthy of paradise, but what of the faithful steed and friend of the soul, our body?  The body that carried the soul through this temporal maze of sin and that is now fragile, old and weakened by the promised curse of death?  It has carried the soul to the finish line, initially sustaining temporal existence and providing sanctuary for the soul to grow in beauty and love of God, but as all matter, will eventually succumb to the sands of time.  Is this good friend and critical part of our human nature to be left to the side of the curb as the soul elevates to a new and wonderful eschatological state with God?

As a partner in good and bad with the soul, our body’s hands shared in all actions that glorified God.  Our lips praised His name, our eyes sought Him, our ears accepted the good news and our feet carried us to worship Him!  As promised, the General Resurrection will glorify the body as an equal partner in our human nature.

So let us not disregard this holy temple and its sacrifice–let us not be caught up with false ideologies that degrade it to a mere shell, but instead let us make good use of our body!  Let us respect it and care for it physically and treat it like a temple of God! Let us think of it as a good ship sailing through the turbulent waters of temporal reality taking our soul to the safe shores of Heaven—later to share in that same glory itself.

If you are interested in learning more about our Christian Counseling Program than please review the link.  If you are a qualified professional or have adequate academic background, you could become a certified Christian Counselor.

Thank you for reviewing and let us know if you have any questions


Mark Moran, MA, SC-C

Christian Counseling Program: The Power of Forgiveness

The article, “The Power of Forgiveness”, by Cortni Marrazzo states

“Forgiveness is hard. But anytime we allow God’s strength to work in our lives, wonderful things happen!”

American Institute Health Care Professionals’ insight:

Forgiveness is a basic Christian teachingChristian Counselors emphasize forgiveness to their spiritual children.  By forgiving we let go and not allow hate or resentment to control us.  It frees us.  If you are interested in learning more about our Christian Counseling Program, then please review it.

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Alister McGrath on Why C.S. Lewis is So Important

The article, “Alister McGrath on Why C.S. Lewis is So Important”, by Alister McGrath states

“Alister McGrath discusses reasons for C.S. Lewis’ enduring influence as an author and Christian apologist.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

C.S. Lewis one of the greatest early Twentieth Century Christian Authors was famous for a variety of books, including the Screwtape Letters.

Alister McGrath takes sometime to discuss the role of C.S. Lewis as an author and Christian apologist.

In the meantime, please review Education Program in Christian Counseling offered by AIHCP.  The Education Program in Christian Counseling offers a variety of courses that lead to certification.

For those who wish to recertify in the Education Program in Christian Counseling, must accumulate over five hundred hours of academic and clinical practice within the field of Christian Counseling.


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