An intriguing article on the split between Moscow and Kiev. This inter Orthodox battle between Patriarchs and cities is more than just spirituality but also politically the freedom of Ukraine. The complexities of Ukraine and Russian history support this independence. The origin of the Church of Rus also supports Kiev being its own church as well. Unfortunately because of this, the Russian Church has cut ties with Constantinople as well as Ukraine, fracturing the Orthodox Church yet more.
The article, “Ukrainian church splits from Moscow” by Roman Olearchyk states,
“Ukrainian Christian Orthodox leaders have chosen a 39-year-old bishop from the Odessa region as head of a new church that will be independent from Russia’s patriarchy, severing another of the country’s ties with Moscow.”
This is a great victory for Ukraine as well as its Church. It now joins, the Ukrainian Catholic Church as another spiritual entity independent of the Moscow Church. Please also review our Christian Counseling Program
One of the most frightful aspects of Christianity is exorcisms. Exorcisms though have a deep rooted history in Christianity dating back to Christ. Christ himself cast demons out and taught the apostles how to. Today, the practice continues in the Church, but most especially within the Catholic Church.
The article, “Exorcisms have been part of Christianity for centuries” takes a closer look at exorcisms and their history in the church. The article states,
“The Exorcist,” a horror film released 45 years ago, is a terrifying depiction of supernatural evil. The film tells the story of a young American girl who is possessed by a demon and eventually exorcised by a Catholic priest.”
As Christians, we are always looking for ways to develop a closer relationship with Christ. Many turn to many devotions, such as the Sacred Heart, others find recourse to the Eucharist. Some delve deeply into scripture and meditate upon the life of Christ and his message. In order to grow, we must all have a closer and more personal relationship with Christ.
The article, “21 Ways to Revive Your Relationship With Christ” lists a variety of ways we can remember Christ and become closer. The article states,
“Even the most dedicated Christian may sometimes struggle with their relationship with God. They love Christ and want to be close to Him, but for whatever reason, they have begun to drift away from Jesus. It may have been the result of a tragedy or simply from allowing spiritual growth to take the backseat while they focus on more immediate seeming concerns. Once your spiritual growth stagnates, however, it can be difficult to find your way back to Christ.”
By becoming closer to Christ, we can become better Christians and bring Christ to the world. Christ is our Redeemer and as our Redeemer, we need to find faith in Him, and what better way to strengthen faith than to become closer. Please also review our Christian Counseling Training.
The teenage years and later adolescent years can be filled with turmoil for the teen. Physical changes, social dealings, and trying to find identity can create havoc in study, home life and moral values. In adhering to these moral values, teens can struggle if not properly supervised or cared for by a loving parent. It is essential to encourage values and practices to keep the teen on track.
The four moral virtues, which when applied to teenage life can be very beneficial. If they do not always manifest, as long as the seed exists, their advancement no matter how dormant they may seem may reemerge in early adulthood. The reason being is that many of the norms of teenage behavior due to hormones and development prevent their manifestation.
For instance, the virtue of prudence is associated with wisdom. Wisdom is not for the young, but we hope at least, our teens are able to form logical and good moral decisions against the most blatant of wrongs. We hope they will utilize prudence in not drinking and driving, or not taking drugs, or not being involved in various serious illegal activities. It is difficult to expect a teen to show prudence in all decision making, but as chemicals in the brain stabilize and the mind develops, clear thinking with prudence can develop later if it is already there.
In the case of justice, teens can sometimes have a distorted view of right and wrong. They may not have the ability to understand all the angles of what one should or should not do in their relations with others, but if parents can at least instill the basics of the Ten Commandments as a paradigm, then a good foundation can prevent disaster.
Fortitude is an important moral virtue as well, but many teens fall to depression, or give up so very easily. Teens need praise and self esteem boosting. They need to be told they are can succeed and when things go wrong, to properly adjust and persevere. The virtue of fortitude helps someone deal with spiritual, mental and physical problems.
Finally, the virtue of temperance is definitely a struggle for teens who are experiencing urges and pressures to experiment and push the limits in many ways. Drinking and sex are all temptations that overwhelm a teen. Temperance is put to the ultimate challenge with these urges both internal and external. Unfortunately, through consistent bad habit, the virtue of temperance can be extinguished in a young soul if not protected. Satan understands how he can influence the youth during this difficult phase and corrupt their innocence.
So the moral virtues are extremely important at any phase in our life, but especially important in the teen years. While hampered due to the phase of life, teens with parental guidance can overcome many of the temptations associated with this age.
Parents need to though understand that mistakes can occur. It is up to parents to properly manage their teens during this period and understand the conflict. Culpability for the moral offenses can even be less before the eyes of God, but although teens are experiencing these new feelings, it is important to still hold accountability. As parents, we stand before God for what our children become and it is important to help our children weather the storm of the teen years with proper guidance, restrictions and consequences.
A good moral life can be developed despite the storm of adolescence, but parents need to be willing to take the time and effort to water the seeds of virtue that were planted at Baptism and childhood. The world and Satan will take your child if you let it, but it is ultimately up to you to say “NO”
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American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
A christian counseling prayer for the loss of American lives during the 9-11 attack twelve years ago. Today is a day we come together as a nation and pray for the survivors and their pain and mourn together as a nation as we remember those who died. Christian counseling can help people find meaning in loss and offer to Christ our grief.
Christian Counseling and Ecumenism: What Type of Dialogue
Christian Counseling and Christian Dialogue with the world involves a sharing of ideas and values, it does not mean denying core beliefs of Christ or trading them for other ideals. In essence, many mistake Christian ecumenism as indifferentism. People interpret that since Christians are open to dialogue, then they are willing to compromise or water down. When people discover that this dialogue is not about compromise but sharing the truth, then Christians are accused of evangelization under the guise of ecumenism.
The problem lies in what Christian Ecumenism really is. It is a dialogue with the world, but it is not a compromise of truth. It also is not direct evangelization but a more passive form. A form where the Christian does not come as a missionary but a brother. The dialogue seeks to find common cultural and religious ideals that can begin a relationship of understanding that seeks unity instead of division. Christian Ecumenism looks to unite all of God’s creatures and hopes to expose the truth of Christ to other brothers and sisters as equal partners in God’s world.
So many past images have existed where missionaries treated the indigenous people as savages. While both sides have their stories from history, Christian Ecumenism looks to other people as enlightened and equal in human dignity. While Christian Ecumenism can never lower Christ to Buddha or Mohammad, we can find value in some of the moral teachings in our open dialogue in understanding other people.
Christians involved in ecumenism do not seek to convert via debate but via example. The open dialogue allows Christians an opportunity to share the gospel in an non-evasive way via example. Through interaction, the ideal is not to weaken one’s faith but to understand others and to show others the value of Christ through action.
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Christian Counseling and a Certain and Right Conscience
Christian Counselors need to constantly remind people of sharpening their conscience. Our consciences can become weak overtime when we are overexposed to secular life and immoral conversation, pictures and friends.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to watch our company and to constantly train ourselves to feel the slightly prick from the slightest sin. By examination of conscience each night, we can review our daily activity and acknowledge if our actions conformed with Christ. We should not fall into the despair of scruples, but maintain a healthy reaction to each failure. In our failures is our human nature and Christ does not wish to haunt us with them but merely to acknowledge them and have a firm purpose of amendment.
It is truly amazing when one begins to realize the “pleasures” of past that are truly seen in their true light. The will pursues these illusionary goods, as Eve purused the forbidden fruit. With a sharper conscience, we are more attuned with the Holy Spirit and his grace. We are able to detect the dirt of sin and the littlest stain on our soul upsets us. This is the type of certain and rightly formed conscience we need.
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