Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Spiritual Direction

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation is God’s ever present font of Mercy.  Through it we experience His love and healing.  We are unburdened of our guilt and unshackled from our past.  Sometimes though, the wounds of our past, self-inflicted or not, go deep and need uncovering before they can be fully washed and healed.  Sometimes we need more of our priest’s time and special gifts than can be allowed with a long line waiting outside the confessional door.  Sometimes our spirits are confused, depressed, darkened or deceived and need a wise outside observer to reach in and pull us out back into the light. 

Since the time of St. Paul, the Church has offered another, less structured font of mercy and healing in addition to Confession.  Spiritual Direction has been well defined by Kevin Knight of New Advent as, “That function of the sacred ministry by which the Church guides the faithful to the attainment of eternal happiness.  She exercises this function both in her public teaching, whether in word or writing, and in the private guidance of souls according to their individual needs; but it is the private guidance that is generally understood by the term spiritual direction.”  A spiritual director is a priest, religious or trained lay person who, “Assists a directee to recognize and integrate God's presence and direction in all aspects of life. The director is a listener who helps one notice, discern and respond to God's action.”*

What can spiritual direction mean to an individual soul?  I can’t speak for anyone other than myself, but to me it has meant healing, truth, liberation and joy.  I am what is often called a “re-vert”.  I was brought up in the Sacraments of the Church, but fell away as a young adult not to return until I was 33.  God was able to use a time of trial in my life to finally get my attention and ultimately bring me home.  My first confession after returning was one of the most beautiful days of my life.  I felt one hundred pounds lighter upon leaving that blessed priest’s office.   I could have flown home.  In the months and years to come I realized I had to resolve many issues from my past sins and the wounds of youth.  I knew I was forgiven, but I still needed healing.

Through spiritual direction, I was shown the root wounds and root sins which led me further and further away from Jesus and His Church.  Under a priest, the directee can receive both the sacraments of the sick, for emotional and spiritual healing, and confession, concurrent with direction.  This is a great blessing because Father then knows you so well; he knows your weaknesses, your failings and your goodness too.  Direction with a priest has given me a far deeper understanding of why we call priests “Father”.  Even though I am older than my director, I truly feel he is my spiritual father and I, his daughter. 

Some people relate spiritual direction to psychological counseling, and there is certainly some common ground.  However the goal is not simply to “feel better”, but to be better.  I do not mean to be superior, but rather to make progress along the path towards Christlikeness.  In direction there is much talk of practicing virtues and uncovering hidden or denied vices.  It is about getting to really know and see ourselves as God does.  That may sound somewhat scary, but what we discover is that God sees us as His beloved children whom He loves just as we are, and to whom He will grant every grace to grow in truth and beauty each day of our lives.  He desires Heaven for us.  Spiritual direction is one more way the Church hopes to help us attain our loving Father’s desire. 

*Sisters of St. Joseph website:

Can't find a good spiritual director?  Pray.  In the meantime, read St. Francis de Sales, "Introduction to the Devout Life" in a spirit of prayer, reflection and openness.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Directly Related to Yesterday's Post - the APA and Child Molestation

Predators with Ph.D.s

By Chris Banescu
See also: Tiberius Redux
The latest offensive against morality, decency, and sanity in America has been launched by a pro-pedophilia group and several academics who openly advocate for the normalization and legalization of pedophilia.  Referring to Judeo-Christian moral principles and values as "cultural baggage of wrongfulness" and an adult's desire to sexually molest a child as "normative," these predators with Ph.D.s are hell-bent on destroying key moral boundaries and critical societal norms that protect innocent children from pathological and dangerous adults.
On August 17 of this year, the pro-pedophilia group B4U-ACT sponsored an event in Baltimore attended by researchers, professors, mental health professionals, and "minor-attracted persons" (MAP, a euphemism for "adults who crave sex with children").  These individuals endorse the adult molestation of children, consider this sexual perversion as normal, and advocate for the declassification of pedophilia as a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
The academic panelists who presented at this "pedophilia-friendly" scientific symposium came from such distinguished institutions as Johns Hopkins University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
According to a press release issued by Matt Barber, vice president of Liberty Counsel Action, and Dr. Judith Reisman, visiting law professor at Liberty University School of Law, who attended the event, several admitted pedophiles were in attendance, in addition to many academics and university professors.  The keynote address was given by Dr. Fred Berlin of Johns Hopkins University, who proclaimed that he wants to "completely support the goal of B4U-ACT."
Key highlights from the conference include these disturbing assertions (more disturbing excerpts available at the end of this article):
  • Pedophiles are "unfairly stigmatized and demonized" by society.
  • "The majority of pedophiles are gentle and rational."
  • There was concern about "vice-laden diagnostic criteria" and "cultural baggage of wrongfulness."
  • "We are not required to interfere with or inhibit our child's sexuality."
  • "Children are not inherently unable to consent" to sex with an adult.
  • An adult's desire to have sex with children is "normative."
  • Our society should "maximize individual liberty. ... We have a highly moralistic society that is not consistent with liberty."
  • "In Western culture sex is taken too seriously."
  • "Anglo-American standard on age of consent is new [and 'Puritanical'].  In Europe it was always set at 10 or 12. Ages of consent beyond that are relatively new and very strange, especially for boys. They've always been able to have sex at any age."
  •  "Assuming children are unable to consent lends itself to criminalization and stigmatization."
  • A consensus belief by both speakers and pedophiles in attendance was that, because it vilifies MAPs, pedophilia should be removed as a mental disorder from the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), in the same manner homosexuality was removed in 1973.
There is no greater moral imperative than the protection of the innocent, and especially defenseless children.  These timeless and universal truths are embedded in the Judeo-Christian principles and moral precepts upon which American society and legal system are based.  Any adult -- especially a university professor or medical doctor -- who cannot grasp such elementary morality has no business teaching, counseling, or treating anyone, especially dangerous predators with an appetite for children.
What these academics are doing -- i.e., providing comfort and support for child-rapists and molesters  -- is unconscionable and unethical.  Instead of helping to suppress these abusers' sick desires, correct their delusional attractions, and moderate (or hopefully cure) their mental illness, these professionals sympathize with these monsters and minimize the evil they perpetrate.  Rather than work to suppress the abomination in these pedophiles' minds and souls, these academics stoke these warped passions with the fuel of justification, rationalization, and normalization.
And their treachery doesn't stop there.  Academics like Fred Berlin, M.D., Ph.D.; Nancy Nyquist Potter, Ph.D.; and others are also attempting to destroy societal protections of children by pushing to declassify this dangerous perversion as a mental illness and decriminalize the behavior.  In essence, they advocate the elimination of statutory rape and sexual offender registration laws designed to protect minors from being sexually exploited by adults, thus removing the ability of the state to punish and incarcerate these monsters.  How many other potential predators -- who previously suppressed their lusts for fear of incarceration, societal rebuke, and sexual predator registration laws -- will now be encouraged to succumb to their perverse impulses, cheered on and defended by credentialed academics and fully protected by a neutered legal system? 
What do the leadership of John Hopkins University, Harvard Medical School, and the University of Louisville have to say about their professors attending a pro-pedophile conference and advocating for the "normalization" of adults having sex with children?  What about the donors, supporters, and alumni who support these institutions?  Are they aware that their donations pay for these professors' salaries and help promote these kinds of "academic" activities?  Is this an indication of the level of "scholarship" and "intellectual discourse" we expect to see in the future from these acclaimed institutions?  What's next?  A conference on how to de-stigmatize and normalize producers, distributors, and users of child porn?
Chris Banescu is an attorney, entrepreneur, and university professor.  He regularly blogs at and

Page Printed from: at September 03, 2011 - 09:18:11 AM CDT

Friday, September 2, 2011

What do they have against innocence and childhood?

Today's most disturbing and distressing story for any person of good will is this one:

Anyone who can actually believe this is for the children's sake and not for the sake of the exploding "adult" market in children's flesh and souls, is beyond naive.  If doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity, then it appears the Swiss education elite have gone insane.  Let's take away more and more of our children's time to be pre-sexual, expose them to more and more of what we used to shield them from and expect to produce appropriately developed sexual adults.  If these many decades of sexual license have only produced more and more dysfunction, abuse, trafficking and murder, WHY would increasing this license have the opposite effect?  Insanity.

Don't buy into it!  Protect your children.  Give them as many years, months, weeks, days and hours of purity and pre-sexuality as is humanly possible for you to give!  Their true maturity and adulthood will be far more blessed and healthy because of it.  Be a parent!  Don't let the schools tell you what is appropriate and when.  Trust your instinct.  You know your children best.  Teach them as they present questions.  Neither give them too much nor too little information.  Love them.  Show them the context of your loving marriage.  Save the world, one child's soul at a time.