Posts tagged with the category Psychology and Spirituality
Suffering and Joy
Autism and small babies were never considered before creating the weekly practice of sitting quietly to pray in church. You can tell today, Palm Sunday, is one of the year’s longest by the volume and activity level of children under the age of five as the time exceeds the one hour mark. I sat in church, straining to hear the music and the...
Reflections of a Psychospiritual Therapist…or a Psychotherapeutic Spiritualist
“It’s all in your head. You just don’t know how big your head really is.” --Lon Milo DuQuette
I write this essay two days before the start of the Eighth Annual Conference of the Society for Humanistic Psychology (APA Division 32), held this year at the school where I teach. I have spent most of the day stuffing manila...
Luck of the Irish…Or Not?
My husband insists we have a traditional IRISH meal for St. Patrick’s Day. Contrary to popular belief, this does not involve green beer, corned beef, or boiled potatoes. He plans to cook bacon (Americans call this ham) and mashed potatoes with cabbage. He will proudly wear his Irish shirt, don the leprechaun hat, and share the luck of the...
Jesus the Existentialist: What I Learned From Atheists While Going to Church
I have a confession to make. (Not surprising, since Catholics seem to be pretty good at spilling our guts all over the confessional room floor.) This Sunday was a lesson in empathy for me, and it came in a very odd way. I learned to have empathy for others and listen to my conscience from an unlikely source: Atheists and lapsed Catholics.
Grumpy Girls, Ghosts, Granddad, and Grief
Listening to the Gospel Sunday was a difficult experience. I had an adolescent girl on hormones. Concentration was made more challenging when my pubescent daughter began crying because her socks did not match her dress. Unlike Jesus, my daughter does not wear white, as it becomes an invitation for her clothes to be used as a canvas with chocolate...
I Will Always Find You: The Homing of Human Connection
In Chicago, as is usual for this time of year, winter’s clutch is still a tight fist. Yet, the blue of the sky is creeping into the jewel tones. This very morning I caught with deep satisfaction my first glimpse of a flock of wild geese arrowing unerringly and urgently northward toward their home, the location of which was known clearly only...
A Self-Indulgent Lent
When did giving up something for Lent turn into something self-serving? As a child, it was drilled into me through my Catholic upbringing that Lent was about giving up something valuable to us, so that we may appreciate the sacrifices of Christ during his 40 days and nights in the desert. So we would abstain from chocolate or candy, or give our...
Optimistic Mortality, My Own Life and Oliver Sacks
Today’s The New York Times bore out some sad news, at least to me. Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, announced he has terminal liver cancer (Sacks, 2015). In his announcement, he followed the lead of his favorite philosopher, David Hume, in the examination of his life. Even in...
The Existentialist Explanation of Lent or, Why Catholics Don’t Wash Their Faces on Ash Wednesday
Blow the trumpet in Zion!
proclaim a fast,
call an assembly;
Gather the people,
notify the congregation;
Assemble the elders,
gather the children
and the infants at the breast;
Let the bridegroom quit his room
and the bride her chamber.
Between the porch and the altar
let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep,
And say, “Spare, O LORD...
Jesus the Existentialist, or How to Entertain Yourself through Father Ray’s Homilies
This Sunday was a typical one. I entered church with our five children, knelt down and attempted to pray while the two youngest squabbled over who sat in what place on the pew. When the Mass began, I listened to the first reading and was struck by the ending line. The reading was from Job 7:1-7. It was all about the drudgery of life and the final...
The Platinum Rule, Religion, and Psychotherapy
My wife, Angie, served on the Executive Board of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions from 2002 to 2010, the first Pagan to be appointed to a leadership position in that prestigious interfaith organization. I served as an Ambassador for the Parliament for their event held in Melbourne, Australia in 2009.
Though we certainly...
Let Us Give Thanks for Living Through Another December
The changing of the calendar year does not inspire me to celebrate.
My “new year” comes at the end of autumn, as the trees—at the height of their high def beauty—drop their leaves and turn inward, surrendering to the growing darkness with a faith and grace I rarely muster. I reflected on my year back in October; I liked...