Pope Francis: Grief still palpable at site of Sept. 11 terror attacks

The Pope spoke of the ever present grief at this historic and tragic site. Please review our program in Christian Counseling
The Pope spoke of the ever present grief at this historic and tragic site. Please review our program in Christian Counseling

The pope, who has devoted much of his papacy to calling for peace, also prayed at one of the memorial’s two outdoor reflecting pools.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.usatoday.com

Good article about Pope Francis visit to the 911 memorial site and also emphasis on the cross that was formed from the debris.  This iconic piece reminds us, even in disaster, Christ stands with us.

If you would like to learn more about Christian Counseling, then please review our program in Christian Counseling

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AIHCP Program in Christian Counseling: The Silence of God

If you are interested in our program in Christian Counseling, then please review the program
If you are interested in our program in Christian Counseling, then please review the program

The article, “The Silence of God”, by Dr. James Emery White states

“The experience of the silence of God is real. Many of us have felt it. Times when we cry out to God, and there seems to be no answer.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

Prayer is about covenant not contract. Christian counselors should emphasize that to their spiritual children.  Sometimes in silence we learn what we need most from God.  The Program in Christian Counseling emphasizes that God knows best and is always with us.

If you are interested in learning more about our program in christian counseling, then please let us know.  Our program in christian counseling consists of core courses in ministry, pastoral care and theology.  Qualified professionals become eligible for certification upon completion of these courses.  Recertification takes place three years later.  In that three year span, certified Christian counselors must complete over five hundred hours of service.

Thank you for your interest in our program in Christian Counseling, if you have any other questions, please let us know.

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See on www.crosswalk.com

Program In Christian Counseling: Can East & West Coexist With Married Priests?

 

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:

An excellent article on celibacy in the church.  The Orthodox and the Eastern Catholics already have a married priesthood.  Hence there should be no issue if this can exist within the Catholic Church when it already does.  It would just not exist within the Latin and Western Rites. If you would like to review our program in christian counseling, then please take sometime and see if it matches your educational and professional needs.
#counselingforchristians

See on orthocath.wordpress.com

Program in Christian Counseling: 17 Ways Pastors Can Hit the “Refresh” Button

The article, “17 Ways Pastors Can Hit the ‘Refresh’ Button”, by David Sanford

“Every pastor who still wants to be in the ministry five years from now needs to take a day or two off each quarter to hit the “refresh” button.”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
How can ministers and Christian counselors find renewal? Please review our program in Christian Counseling
How can ministers and Christian counselors find renewal? Please review our program in Christian Counseling

A good article with ideas for the over worked and tired pastor.  Some ideas to refresh and relax are listed in this article.  Meditation, prayer, rest and retreats are all excellent starts.

Pastors need counsel too.  This is why it is an excellent idea to have a spiritual mentor or advisor to help counselors overcome their own particular issues.

#christiancounselingtraining

If you are interested in learning more about biblical and christain counseling training, then please review our program.  Our program in Christian Counseling consists of core courses.  After completing the core courses in our program in Christian Counseling, qualified professionals can become eligible for certification.

Those who wish to recertify in our program in Christian Counseling can do so by acquiring the required academic and clinical hours within the a three year period.

Thank you for your interest.

See on www.crosswalk.com

Program in Christian Counseling: Pentecost: Common Belief of Protestant and Catholic?

Christian Counselors and Pentecost

A beatiful stain glass depiction of the Holy Spirit's descent upon Our Lady and the Apostles.  In the meantime, please review our program in Christian Counseling
A beatiful stain glass depiction of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Our Lady and the Apostles. In the meantime, please review our program in Christian Counseling

This week we celebrated Pentecost Sunday.  What does it mean to Christian Counselors?

For Christian Counselors, one of the most important gifts of the spirit is counsel.  The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, mentioned in Scripture, are individual charisms or gifts given to a baptized individual.  These gifts manifest most notably when the person is born again, or in Catholic terminology, confirmed.

The apostles were the first to receive this gift on Pentecost Sunday.  They awaited the coming of the spirit as Christ had promised them.  Upon reception, they became soldiers of Christ and truly began to carry on the work of Christ in the infant Church.

Protestant Theology

In Protestant theology, the gifts of the spirit are especially emphasized in worship.   Each person possesses a special gift to contribute to the life of the church.  While some branches take this to extremes in cases of tongues and snake handling, most main stream Protestant churches view these gifts in a less charasmatic fashion.  In Protestant theology, the reception of the spirit is not confined to a ceremony but is upon belief in Christ as Savior and continues to manifest throughout the person’s life.

Catholic Theology

Pentacost is the birthday of the Church and the institution of the sacrament of Confirmation.  The sacrament is the vehicle for receiving this grace formally.  Through the sacramental grace of the Holy Spirit, the soul becomes a soldier for Christ.  Catholicism also believes that the spirit manifests throughout the life of the Christian.  One minor note is that Catholicism believes that Mary was present during Pentacost, while Protestants differ due to no biblical reference to her presence.  Catholics tend to focus on the tradition of the apostles and early church fathers who state she was there.  This is a minute point and should not be a point of argumentation.

Despite slight differences, both theologies share common features regarding the inner working of the spirit with the soul.  While Protestantism does not have a sacramental formula, it does believe in the coming of the Spirit which in essence is the same ideal found in Catholicism.

 

Let us pray that through the Holy Spirit, all Christians will continue to manifest their gifts as the apostles did on Pentecost.

 

If you are interested in Christian Counseling, then please review the program.  Our program in Christian Counseling is a comprehensive program with multiple courses required for certification.  If you have any interest in learning more about our program in Christian Counseling, then please let us know.

 

Mark Moran, MA

Program in Christian Counseling: Jesus healed with a non-judgemental spirit

The article, “Jesus healed with a non-judgemental spirit”, by World Council of Churches states

“We must not forget the spirit with which Jesus healed the people,” says public health specialist Karen Sichinga”

American Institute Health Care Professionals‘s insight:
Jesus did heal with a non-judgemental spirit.  He looked at the soul of the person not their past sins.  Today Christians must seek to give health and healing ministries to all of God’s children.
To learn more about Christian Counseling certifications, then click here.
Our program in Christian Counseling emphasizes love and non judgement upon others but mercy and love.  This does not mean it does not emphasize the truth, but we are not to judge but love.
This is the primary element of counseling in itself.  To help and not hurt or judge.

See on www.christiantoday.com

Program In Christian Counseling: Spiritual Flowers From Heaven

Christian Counselors Must Understand the Interior Graces of the Soul and How to Discern Them

St. Margaret Mary's apparition from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also please review our program in Christian Counseling
St. Margaret Mary’s apparition from the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Also please review our program in Christian Counseling
In previous blogs within our program in Christian Counseling,  we have discussed Mystical Union as described by St. Teresa of Avila.  Mystical Union is the pinnacle of temporal achievement on this earth.  I say achievement only in the sense of what one should strive for in this temporal realm because ultimately Mystical Union is a gift and cannot be earned.  Prior to Mystical Union exists a variety of spiritual graces and gifts that are given to the soul as it progresses towards this union with God.  Unfortunately, many of these gifts at times are hard to discern because of our own fallen nature.  Hence, the interior life of the soul and its many engagements with God can be a confusing to someone without guidance.    and those enrolled in a program in Christian Counseling need to be aware of the interior life of the soul and the many flowers that our Lord can send to the faithful from heaven.

What are Locutions

Locutions are visions from heaven.  Christian Counselors may experience themselves or counsel others who have received them.  The early stages of discernment can be very difficult because the evil one can appear as an angel of light.  Hence great care and prayer must be undertaken when analyzing such visions.  Furthermore, some people are subject to states of dementia and may need psychological help.  St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross all give detailed accounts on these types of visions.  Another excellent source is Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s classic, “The Three Ages of the Interior Life“.

St. John of the Cross
St. John of the Cross
 
 
Assuming the locutions are from God, we will continue in the types of locutions which God can graciously give his children.  The first type is a corporal vision in which our senses indeed partake in the vision.  These are found throughout Scripture and in the life of the saints.  Sometimes, one only hears the supernatural words transferred by the angels.  St. Luke records this in his Gospel when the angel spoke to Zachary.
Different from corporal visions are imaginary visions and words.  These graces from God are felt by the spiritual faculties of our soul alone.  They can happen when one is awake or asleep or in meditation.  While physically unheard, they remain perfectly distinct and stem not from our own will or imagination but from an external source.  They are also engraved upon the soul and can be recollected through meditation and prayer.  If someone is experiencing Imaginary words, it is good for Christian Counselors to judge the fruits of the words and how the words effect the peace of the soul.  If from God, only good fruits and peace will follow, while if from Satan, only evil fruits and distress.
The Book of Daniel and depiction of vision of words
The Book of Daniel and depiction of vision of words
A third type of locution or blessing from God is Intellectual words.  These words are communicated in the interior of the soul.   Many of these ideas are infused upon the soul and become graven into it.  According to St. John of the Cross, there are three types of intellectual words.  The first is Successive intellectual words.  These words come during recollection and are from the Holy Spirit.  Unfortunately, the person can at times deviate from the divine source and begin to subconsciously insert his own ideas or become manipulated by the devil.  St. John of the Cross assures us if successive words come from God then they will only produce in the soul good fruits such as charity and humility.  However, due to the confusing nature, he recommends that people do not pray for them.  The second type of intellectual word is Formal intellectual words.  They are referred to as formal because the soul knows they stem not from its own faculties but from another external source.  These experiences are so fast and quick they are free from illusion since understanding cannot determine where they came from.  However, while the initial spark illuminates the soul, the devil can distort the true meaning within the imagination of the person.  For these reasons, St. John of the Cross recommends that we only take what is sure and the rest hold within until outside counsel guides us.
Sister Faustina, like Margaret Mary, also had visions of our Lord, in particular, the Vision of Divine Mercy
Sister Faustina, like Margaret Mary, also had visions of our Lord, in particular, the Vision of Divine Mercy
The most secure form of intellectual words are Substantial intellectual words.  These words change the soul.  St. John of the Cross uses various examples of a soul becoming good at the command of the Lord, or being filled with love in another command.  In the Old Testament, he uses Abraham as an example when the Lord told Abraham to walk before him and be perfect.

God Can Also Shower Us With Divine Touch

A divine touch is a favor that usually accompanies divine contemplation.  It sparks in the soul a deep spiritual arousal of love and charity for God or neighbor.  Some can be so deep that they can imprint themselves upon the soul.   St. John of the Cross cautions one not to seek these sweet favors but to be passively accept them in humility for them.  If one seeks them, then they can fall victim to the traps of the evil one.  Essentially these divine sparks from God are unique to each person and meant for a person’s personal sanctification.
These favors from God however should not be confused with true Mystical Union.  Mystical Union is a state of prolonged contemplation and union while these spiritual favors from heaven are mere instances of God’s grace and love towards us.  Ultimately and most importantly one must understand that these are favors that God grants according to his will and not our own.  They cannot be earned or mystically attained via meditation.  Meditation merely prepares the soul for the possibility of such spiritual encounters that are solely willed by the Father.
If you are interested in learning more about Christian theology or Christian counseling, please review the program in Christian Counseling.  After completion of the program in Christian Counseling, one can apply for certification.
 
Mark Moran, MA

Program in Christian Counseling: Using the Three Evangelical Vows in Your Life

Program in Christian Counseling: The Three Evangelical Vows

The religious take the three vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience
The religious take the three vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience
The perfection of the Christian Life has always been emphasized in Christ’s words to pick up one’s cross and to follow him.  Following him entails releasing one’s own will and ignoring the noises of the world.  Ultimately, one releases all of this world and gives oneself completely and totally to God.  Few reach this intimacy with God in this world due to the secular and materialistic temptations of this world.  However, the three evangelical vows aid greatly in the maturation of the spiritual life because it rids the soul of external distractions; distractions that pull the soul away from God.
These vows while purifying for the soul, still form a great challenge.  This can be seen in the case of the rich man and Christ.  When Christ told him that the final step to sanctity was to release his goods and to follow him, the man was troubled.  This is the case with many people who love God but have a hard time severing themselves from the world.  The fallen nature desires sex, wealth and freedom in a disproportionate fashion.  I say disproporationate sex, material possessions and freedom are not evil things in themselves but only when misused for lust, greed and selfish pursuit.  The evangelical vows are a higher calling that not only denies the flesh appropriate usage of sex, material things and freedom, but completely denies the flesh these things.  In this, a soul becomes chaste, impoverished and obedient to Christ.  Through this ultimate sacrifices, the soul can become closer to God and free from material distractions.
St. Dominic and the Dominicans
St. Dominic and the Dominicans
The most common people who take these vows are the religious.  The religious totally consecrate their lives to Christ-making Christ their spiritual spouse, Christ their lone possession, and Christ their lone master.  These standards are well documented throughout the history of Christianity when St. Anthony of the Desert first sought the solitude of the evangelical lifeHowever, as orders rose, communal sharing of these vows were shared with various orders such as the Benedictines, Franscians, and Dominicans to name a few.
While it is true the calling of the three vows are a high calling, one still cannot turn one’s back to society.  How can people existing in society still share in these vows or at least to some extent?  One cannot dismiss the beauty of the vocation of marriage even though one does not practice the vow of chastity.  The reality is Christ calls everyone to a special vocation and within that vocation, these three vows or ideals should be implemented as best appropriate.
So those who exist as priests, ministers, married couples, or devout singles should find value in these three vows by practicing the various virtue associated with the vow in their daily life.  For example, a married person can still practice a form of chastity via mutual self denial for a period of time, perhaps during Lent.  A single person can and should also practice chastity not only for spiritual betterment but because the commandments command so.  In regards to poverty, those who are not religious can still accumulate wealth, but that wealth should be distributed to the poor or church.  Materials and objects should be viewed as blessings but never the ultimate end.  Frequent expenditure of time and energy should be given to the poor.  Finally, obedience can be incorporated into one’s life by simply making Christ, one’s master.  By obeying the commandments, submitting one’s will to God’s will and avoiding sin, one shows obedience to Christ.
A Chinese depiction of the rich man leaving Jesus.  Also please review our program in Christian Counseling
A Chinese depiction of the rich man leaving Jesus. Also please review our program in Christian Counseling
During Christian Counseling Sessions, one should emphasize ways, the secular world can incorporate the three  evangelical vows.
If you are interested in Christian Counseling Education, please review the program.
Our Program in Christian Counseling can help qualified professionals receive the training they need to help counsel Christians.
Mark Moran, MA, GC-C, SCC-C