Monday, June 27, 2011

When Mother's Kill Their Children; The Casey Anthony Trial


Whenever there is a story on the news regarding another woman who has killed her child, I do everything I can not to listen or I change the channel. If I do learn any details (which seems to happen since every few months there is another incident and the media loves to give us every shocking detail over and over again). When I heard about the woman who drowned all of her children in a bathtub, running after them one by one and then holding them down while the others waited their turn, I actually threw up. When I heard about the woman who put her babies in their car seats and then drove off a bridge, with one escaping to tell us the story, I could not help but have nightmares of the children's frightening last moments.


Recently I heard that in New York a newborn baby was thrown down a laundry chute to be incinerated. Thankfully, the chute was filled with garbage causing the mechanism to fail resulting in the discovery of the infant by another tenant following it's tiny cries to the garbage room. In a town very near mine, a newborn baby was discovered last month near a dumpster in a parking lot. That baby also survived. However, many, many children do not.


So here we are again, another mother, accused of the unthinkable, killing her child. While I have not followed the specific's of this case and therefore do not have a commentary on the case itself, I am wondering what has the world come to that every day there is another story on the television in which another beautiful little baby has died at the hands of it's mother. The case of Casey Anthony has been live streamed on the web and cable. The entire trial can be watched at any given moment and every image pertaining to this horrific tragedy is shown to us.

The images evoke a deep a profound ache within my very being. However it is not the images of Caley nor of Casey, but rather of them together that are the most difficult to view.

Why is it becoming common place to turn on the evening news and see that a mother has killed her own child? I am sure that there are many contributing factors that have gotten us to this place, one of which is the shift from the family to the individual. The other factor is that we have lost our understanding of the human person. We have objectified life, seeing each other as objects for use instead of looking at a person and knowing that the reason they were created was to love and to be loved.

What is the antidote to this downward spiral where mothers no longer embrace their great ability to bring life into the world? It is to re-establish the dignity of the human person. What does that mean? It means we must understand our nature to understand our value and our purpose. We must help this wounded world see their inherent value and reveal that they are not something to be consumed, to be used, we are not a means to an end. We are somebody, not a something. We have fallen under the tyranny of moral relativism, that is a subjective reality that there is no right or wrong but rather we decide for our selves what is right or good. It is this error that is paving the way for people to make arbitrary rules for living out their lives.


When our own truth replaces intrinsic truth, the individual and their "rights" or their "wants" circumvent all others rights or wants. The result is mothers who kill their children and we call it "choice" in one circumstance and murder in another. Moral relativism has given mother's like Casey Anthony "permission" to decide what actions are good or bad. Who is teaching the concepts of moral relativism, look around the voices are everywhere.

"At the heart of liberty is the right to define ones own concept of existence of meaning, of the universe, of the mystery of human life." Planned Parenthood Vs. Casey 1992


Really? The Supreme Court has allowed us to "define our own concept" and our own "meaning" of the mystery of human life? No wonder so many mothers have "defined" it as expendable. I reject Planned Parenthood's statement which is devoid of love and instead encourage you to consider something far more beautiful that is a remedy for a hurting world.

The remedy for this tragedy is to rediscover our value, our great goodness, our dignity which comes from being made in the image and likeness of God. Until we address the real issues, which is the loss of the dignity of the human person, we will treating the symptoms of the disease rather than healing it. (See my article on Spiritual Leprosy)


The cure for the disease is the teaching of Theology of The Body. The body makes visible the invisible. Our bodies reveal a nature and that nature reveals our creator and our creator reveals our great dignity.



Mary, Mother of Jesus, Please pray for all mothers and grant us the grace to be the mothers we are all called to be. Jesus, take our hearts and give us yours.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Healing The Whole Person- Reprint

Perhaps one of the main reasons for an increase in depression, over-exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness comes from the fact that we do not accept ourselves as we are. Perhaps we are unable to embrace our greatness (being made in the image and likeness of God and with a purpose) because we are broken and need inner healing. We place so many demands on ourselves and others that we end up complicating our lives rather than simplifying it. Why do we do this? Because we do not feel good enough or worthy to be loved as we are so, we delude ourselves and others, wasting so much of the energy we have, on a facade. We do this because we are wounded.

WANT TO UNDERSTAND "ANATOMY OF A WOUND"? HERE IS A GREAT TALK TO HELP YOU:
http://ia701502.us.archive.org/14/items/AnatomyOfAWound/3-01AnatomyOfAWound.m4a


Because many of us have been wounded, we can fail to see the beauty in who we are and try to become what we think others will accept us as or what we “should” be so that others will not reject us (rejection wounds). In other words, we “should” all over ourselves. This depletes a tremendous amount of energy. Energy that could otherwise be spent fulfilling our purpose. Sometimes we just stuff down our pain, pushing it deeper and deeper in a jar and turn the lid on extra tight so it stays there. We then forget about it but, the effects are still there.
Then there are some people, who know who they are and embrace it. They embrace their weaknesses and limitations which becomes a new strength by simplifying their lives and allowing them to grow in humility. These people radiate energy and when you are in their presence you feel it like rays of sunshine on your face on a a clear summer day.

Have you ever met someone like this? When they look at you, you fee as if they are really seeing you and it is without any judgment, prejudice or fear. This is what it feels like being in the presence of Dr. Bob Schuchts who presented Sexual Healing and Redemption at the Theology of The Body.
I certainly know what it is like to be deeply wounded. I realize now that I have consistently sabotaged my own happiness and relationships because of them. Something I am determined to heal.
Many of us are afraid to face those things within ourselves, maybe because when we have done so on our own or with a counselor, it just seemed to create more pain without any healing. However, when we make our healing Christ centered, true healing begins.


Over the past year I have been growing in courage. I attribute a course taught at The Theology of The Body Institute last summer called “Sexual Healing and Redemption”. More specifically, I believe it was the teachings of Dr. Bob Schuchts, who teaches a concept of Inner Healing. The premise is that the “whole” person must be healed. That we may see repetitive sins in our lives but unless we deal with the root of the wound, we can not find true healing. Are you angry? The root of anger is in control. Why do we want to control (this may be passive or aggressive control)? Because rooted in the control is abandonment wounds.

I learned that the 7 deadly sins are often “rooted” in a wound. When we make promises to ourselves, like “I can not count on anyone but myself” (pride), we bind ourselves up with that promise to a particular sin. It is a proclamation binding us in our own free will. Unless we bring Christ to that place and submit it to Him (God will not interfere with our free will) we may not experience freedom. When we bring Christ into that wound and submit our will to Him, He can then heal the abandonment wound. Only then can we begin to experience freedom from the anger that seems to consume us.  How do we find out what our "root" issues are? We look at our distress symptoms.

Ever react in a way that catches you off guard? That can be a distress symptom.  A distress symptom points, like a neon sign, toward the very issue God desires to heal you from.  When we are wounded, we can be tempted to make an inner vow to protect ourself.  We might say "I am alone"or "No one"cares".  This inner vow, of our own free will binds us up from allowing us to be vulnerable or to trust in God's loving care, particularly that of God the Father.  In this place of  brokeness, the inner vow we make (of our own free will) locks God out.  It is not that He does not desire to heal us, it is that God does not force Himself on us.  He will never impose upon our free will.  

We make an inner vow, then we make a judgment about the other person.   We may say to ourselves, "because I am alone, they must not care about me".   This judgment creates anger. A person with with anger as a distress symptom may manifest depression,  angry outbursts,  passive-aggressiveness and more.If the anger is repressed or if it is turned inwards it becomes depression.  If it is turned outwards a person can become easily irritated or in worse cases, become violent or emotionally unstable.  

I should make the point of stating that there is always an idolatry associated with a persons wound.  It is the way we protect ourselves rather than turn to Jesus Christ to protect us or to be our comfort.  When we make an idol of something  we turn inward to protect ourselves and in doing so we make a false God of something.  We then can sin in that place as we begin making choices to numb or our pain. 

For example, Shame wounds usually come with the idolatry of self. The sin associated with it is Pride.  Rejection wounds create an idolatry of Relationships. The sin associates with it is Lust.  Powerlessness wounds can be a worship of comfort through avoidance of pain.  The sin associated with it is sloth. 

Inner healing bypasses all of this and seeks to heal the original wound that created all of this chaos.  What is the root wound of anger issues? An abandonment wound.  This abandonment can make it nearly impossible for someone to overcome their fear of vulnerability.  However, we know that all things are possible with God.  The inner healing I experienced through the Theology of The Body Institute

Sexual abuse creates a division within our very personhood and find the effects of something that happened ten, twenty or thirty years ago, still affecting us today. The suffering we sustained from sexual abuse can create tremendous suffering as any childhood abuse.  If we sin to numb the pain from that abuse or turn inward instead of toward God, then our own destructive decisions can create even more woundedness.


We can function somewhat normally through prayer, participation in the sacraments or even by seeking out counseling however, unless inner healing takes place, then we are only functioning better for a period of time. Dr. Bob Schuchts explained very beautifully, using the concepts of Theology of The Body to explain how to do this through this contemplative prayer like therapy that focuses on Jesus entering into the counseling and illuminating what hurts need to be healed. Then Christ Himself is asked to provide the healing as an experienced therapist guides you through it. An example of how successful this kind of therapy is can be demonstrated by considering AA and it's 12 step program. It was based on the St. Ignatius contemplative prayer style. Until God is allowed into our wounds, we do not find healing.


This also reminds me of the book “Unbound”by Neal Lozano, in which the focus is prayer and asking Jesus to reveal the source of our sin. We ask to know the place where we may have opened the door to the enemy. We give the enemy a foot hold when we say things like “I can not trust anyone!” or “Things will never change” with our own words we end up cursing ourselves and we are bound.

Dr. Bob Schuchts and his Inner Healing concepts have brought me a tool box by which Jesus and I have begun to heal my soul and my spirit (something he explains have separate functions) and through this healing I am more able to live through this body and physically bring Christ to others. Inner Healing is giving me the ability to Embrace my Own Greatness. By this I mean that God has given us all gifts and charisms to accomplish His will in and through us. With inner healing, I am more capable of doing this.

God often uses the simplest of ingredients, water, oil and wheat etc. He can work with us in our own brokenness however, He desires for us to be whole. If you are suffering and need Inner Healing then I would suggest you check out the Theology of The Body Healing Center. I can not tell enough people how amazing this healing is. When we become more whole then we are more capable of bringing Christ to others.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day without Father Corapi-UPDATED 7-9-2011 GUILTY

SOLT HAS DECLARED (FATHER) JOHN CORAPI UNFIT FOR MINISTRY AND FOUND EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS, COHABITATION, SEXTING AND MORE

SOLT's fact-finding team has acquired information from Fr. Corapi's e-mails, various witnesses, and public sources that, together, state that, during his years of public ministry:

He did have sexual relations and years of cohabitation (in California and Montana) with a woman known to him, when the relationship began, as a prostitute; He repeatedly abused alcohol and drugs; He has recently engaged in sexting activity with one or more women in Montana; He holds legal title to over $1 million in real estate, numerous luxury vehicles, motorcycles, an ATV, a boat dock, and several motor boats, which is a serious violation of his promise of poverty as a perpetually professed member of the Society.

SOLT has contemporaneously with the issuance of this press release directed Fr. John Corapi, under obedience, to return home to the Society’s regional office and take up residence there. It has also ordered him, again under obedience, to dismiss the lawsuit he has filed against his accuser.

SOLT's prior direction to Fr. John Corapi not to engage in any preaching or teaching, the celebration of the sacraments or other public ministry continues. Catholics should understand that SOLT does not consider Fr. John Corapi as fit for ministry. I share a personal story of my meeting Fr. Corapi as well as an open letter. However, before I begin, for the record it should be said that on the National Catholic Register as well as the Catholic News Agency sites, there have been further clarifications.

Perhaps the biggest is that Fr. Corapi was not asked to leave the priesthood but has chosen to do this on his own. His superiors have begged him to reconsider. Even though the religious order he took vows to SOLT or Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity has asked him to reconsider, it seems that the "Black Sheep Dog" as he now calls himself or John as he now refers to himself, will not be moved. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/fr.-corapis-order-places-him-on-leave-after-misconduct-accusation/

"The investigation was halted after Father Corapi “sent us a letter resigning from active ministry and religious life. I have written him a letter asking him to confirm that decision. If so, we will help him with this process of leaving religious life,” said Father Sheehan.



He expressed disappointment that Father Corapi chose not to remain in SOLT and to refuse the order’s invitation for him to live in community, leaving his Montana home. Father Sheehan said he had tried to arrange a meeting with Father Corapi before any final decision was announced, but had not heard back from him. Father Sheehan said that SOLT would issue a statement shortly.

“We wanted him to come back to the community, and that would have meant leaving everything he has. It would have been a drastic change for him,” Father Sheehan said. “We will continue to move pastorally and charitably, taking steps to protect his good name.”

So it seems that John Corapi has decided to leave but the intention was never to ask him to leave the priesthood. It seems, from this statement, that this is John Corapi's decision.

I also want to make note that Mark Shea's blog has some insights that should be considered as well. end update)


I met Fr. Corapi at a Conference many years ago. I was a speaker there and so was he. I was in much need of some spiritual direction and he gave it to me. I was struck by his candid way of stating fact and his desire for other's to do the same.


One thing I will say, not knowing his accuser or if there was any truth to the accusations, is that when I met a woman working there for him at that conference, I thought her to be odd. I would like to share something only a few people have knowledge of and I do so in case it would help in any way.

When I was at that conference, I could not help but notice the way in which she acted. She acted as if she owned him. I thought at the time that it may have been due to being star struck. I am sure that an assistant of a man of such a charismatic personality would be immune to his ability to inspire and connect with people. She did not realize I was a speaker at the same conference and when I approached her to ask if Fr. Corapi was around and that I would like an opportunity to speak to him and perhaps go to confession with him, she was, in my opinion, not only rude to me, but I felt she treated me as if I was something or someone that she had to "protect" Fr. Corapi from.

In her defense, I realize that her job was to allow him the time to pray, to get to his talks etc, but it was more than that. She acted as if she owned him some how. I recall then holding up my speaker's badge which I was wearing and showing it to her saying "I will just talk to him in the speakers lounge", a place even she could not go. I regret doing that now, it was my own lack of humility and my stubborn and quick to anger ego that just wanted her to be nice to me and treat me like I mattered, instead I probably ended up making her feel like she did not matter. I am truly sorry for that.

The look on her face suprised the hell out of me. She looked at me with a seering hate. Yes, hate. I remember thinking how very weird she was and how weird she acted about Fr. Corapi. I never saw them together so I can not say how she acted with him or he with her, but my feeling of how she talked about him and acted as his assistant seemed out of the ordinary.

A few weeks later, I had reason to call Fr. Corapi based on some advise he gave me. I called his office and this woman, whom I will not name, answered the phone. When she found out it was me, she proceeded to threaten me telling me that I was never to call there again or she would have legal action brought against me. I even tried writing him a letter thinking to myself, what the heck is going on?

I then called my good friend Terry Barber of St. Joseph Communications and told him about what happened and not only did he agree that it was really weird but that he was friends with Fr. Corapi and that I should try to reach him again and just tell him what was going on.

I called and left 2 or 3 messages on the answering machine (in which her voice was the recording). I also had another friend call thinking maybe she was just upset with me over what took place between us and if someone she did not know called her I could get through.

Well, this woman called and left a horrific message on my friends voicemail. I listened to it shaking my head the whole time thinking, how can this woman be working for Fr. Corapi and does he know what she is doing?????

The next thing I know I got a letter from his office, signed by him, saying I was to cease and desist from contacting their office or there would be charged brought up against me. I was in shock. It had to be a mistake right? I mean, he knew me! I talked to him! Wouldn't logic make him say, wait, this is the woman I talked with for almost an hour at the conference in Houston? The only possibility, I thought, was that he probably had no idea who I was and she was telling me him something. I regret never acting on the inspiration to send the photo of the two of us and to tell him what was going on.

Perhaps if someone needs this information now, if it is in fact relevant at all, they can read this and let me know if my testimony is needed in anyway. My experience with him and this woman, who may not even be the woman in questions, either proves that there was something very unhealthy going on between them, or that there was something very unhealthy about this woman. I have no idea or opinion about which is the case.

If however, there is something there, then we must pray for him, regardless we should pray for him, but especially if there is any truth to this because the enemy is clearly at work here. If any of the allegations are true, then you can imagine the horrific suffering he is going to endure. It is one thing to bare the burden of being falsely accused, but interiorly you know you are right with God and I believe that they endure knowing they are like Christ in their martyrdom. However, if he is guilty, then the suffering will be like a horrific internal torture and I am sure the enemy will inflict even more further damage. We must pray for him and for this woman so that Christ's will be done. I for one will be praying for light to shine and reveal the lies whatever they may be.

OPEN LETTER TO JOHN CORAPI;

Thank you John Corapi for taking the time to help me deal with an incredible burden I was carrying during that time in my life. That day at least, you gave me much peace on the subject matter.

However, I must implore you to consider what you are doing. We are all called to lay down our lives and to pick up our cross and follow Christ. Right now, it seems you are rejecting that suffering. Your new website "Black Sheep Dog" and the referring to yourself as the "Dog" is down right spooky and very disconcerting.

I am also worried by the responses on your blog/website. It seems many see you as some sort of rock star or cult leader and have expressed their willingness to leave the church to follow you anywhere you go. Doesn't that worry you since your job is to lead people to Christ and not to your guilt or innocence? Why did you get into evangelization? If it was to lead people to Christ then why do this thing which surely is a huge distraction from knowing, loving and serving God. Your actions are somewhat frightening, because I can now see how the enemy could take this great conversion story and ministry of your big personality and instead of these things leading people closer to Union and Communion with Christ, he may instead use this as an opportunity for his own diabolical purposes.

Would people really leave the church to follow a mere mortal man? I pray it would not be so, but judging from those leaving comments on his site, clearly they would.

NOW:



BEFORE:



The Following is a reprint of John Corapi's statement this Father's day:


This Sunday, June 19, 2011, is both Trinity Sunday on the Catholic liturgical calendar and Fathers’ Day on the secular calendar. It is a day I’ll never forget, and sadly so. It is the twentieth anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church. For twenty years I was called “father.” I am very thankful for those twenty years. I could have easily died any number of times, any number of ways in my life before that, so I consider it all a bonus, an undeserved bonus. To all of you that have communicated support, ordination anniversary congratulations, and other kind sentiments, I am greatly thankful, and I do not take that for granted.


All things change, only God stays the same, so I have to tell you about a major change in my life. I am not going to be involved in public ministry as a priest any longer. There are certain persons in authority in the Church that want me gone, and I shall be gone. I have been guilty of many things in the course of my life, and could easily and justifiably be considered unfit to engage in public ministry as a priest. The present complaint that you have heard about is, as far as I know, from the one person that I can honestly say I did more to help and support than any human being in my entire life. I forgive her and hope only good things for her. I am not going to get into a back and forth or argument with the Church or anyone else about this matter.

Suffice it to say that I love the Catholic Church and accept what has transpired. Unfortunately, the process used is inherently and fatally flawed, but the bishops have the power, apparently, to operate anyway they see fit. I cannot give a lengthy explanation of what has transpired, but I can tell you that the most likely outcome is that they leave me suspended indefinitely and just let me fade away. They can’t prove I’m guilty of the things alleged because I’m not, and they can’t prove I’m innocent because that is simply illogical and impossible. All civilized societies know that. Certain leaders in the Catholic Church apparently do not.

I accept moving on, but I am not ready to be altogether extinguished just yet. In the final analysis I have only one of only two viable choices:
1. I can quietly lie down and die, or
2. I can go on in ways that I am able to go on.

I did not start this process, the Bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas ordered my superiors, against their will and better judgment, to do it. He in fact threatened to release a reprehensible and libelous letter to all of the bishops if they did not suspend me. He has a perfect right to do so, and I defend that right. Bishops aren’t bound by civil laws and procedures in internal Church matters. I agree with that, and would defend to the death the Church’s right to proceed as they see fit. He is the bishop and he has the right to govern as he sees fit. It isn’t an easy task. Many forces besiege him, including pressure from other bishops.

My canon lawyer and my civil lawyers have concluded that I cannot receive a fair and just hearing under the Church’s present process. The Church will conclude that I am not cooperating with the process because I refuse to give up all of my civil and human rights in order to hold harmless anyone who chooses to say defamatory and actionable things against me with no downside to them. The case may be on hold indefinitely, but my life cannot be. Some of the things that might surprise you about the way some of the bishops treat accused priests are as follows:

1. The identity of the accuser is not revealed. You can guess, but you don’t actually know. Nor are the exact allegations made known to you. Hence, you have an interesting situation of having to respond to an unknown accuser making unknown accusations (unknown to the accused and his counsel).

2. The persons chosen to investigate the allegations normally have no qualifications to do so. They certainly didn’t graduate from the FBI academy, nor do they have any other background to qualify them to interrogate or otherwise interview witnesses.

3. There are no set rules of evidence or norms of procedure.

4. You are for all practical purposes assumed guilty until you can prove you are innocent. This one is truly baffling. No civilized society operates that way. If you are accused of something you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

5. The accused and his counsel have no right to obtain and review any of the evidence against him.

6. The accused and his counsel are not provided the names of witnesses, nor are they permitted to cross-examine them.

7. There is a general unwillingness or outright refusal by certain of the bishops to abide by applicable statutes of limitations, both in canon and civil law. There are good reasons for these statutes. Time has a way of clouding memories and distorting perceptions.

By the way, Canon Law does not dictate this. They choose to selectively ignore or violate both Canon Law and Civil Law, as they deem appropriate and or expeditious. Once again, they apparently have the discretionary power to do this, and if that’s the way it is I have to accept that as reality.

The bottom line is that the only way a just outcome is likely, in my view and that of my counsel, both civil and canon lawyers, is by accident, rather than as a result of the process.

I will not try to fight this irrational and unjust situation for the simple reason that I don’t want to be placed in an adversarial posture against the Church. For 20 years I did my best to guard and feed the sheep. Now, based on a totally unsubstantiated, undocumented allegation from a demonstrably troubled person I was thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. I accept that. Perhaps I deserve that.

I can’t do what I can’t do. I can only do what I can do. I shall continue, black sheep that I am, to speak; and sheep dog that I am, to guard the sheep—this time around not just in the Church, but also in the entire world. I am, indeed, not ready to be extinguished. Under the name “The Black Sheep Dog,” I shall be with you through radio broadcasts and writing. My autobiography, “The Black Sheep Dog,” is almost ready for publication. My topics will be broader than in the past, and my audience likewise is apt to be broader. I’ll do what I can under the circumstances.

Please don’t bother the bishop or complain because it will do no good and it wastes valuable time and energy, both his and yours.

I hope you stay with us and follow us into our new domain and name of “The Black Sheep Dog.” Through writing and broadcasting we hope to continue to dispense truth and hope to a world so much in need of it. For those of you who choose to part company and go away from us, we wish you well and thank you for your many kindnesses over the years. We’ll miss you in our usual meeting places, but assure you that there will be new places for us to meet, just like in “the good old days,” so for now,

God bless you, God love you, and goodbye.

John Corapi (once called “father,” now “The Black Sheep Dog”)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Healing Father Wounds for Father's Day

Have you ever heard the saying “You can't give what you don't have?” It makes sense doesn't it? I can't give you a dollar if I don't have a dollar right? But in terms of affection, love and relationships it makes even more sense.



If your father was not affectionate, you may have trouble showing affection to your own children. If your father never played ball with you, you probably did not know how to play ball very well. If your father did not have the resources to draw upon to be the father you deserved, then it may be true that you also have limited resources.

I was recently shopping at our local grocery store and encountered a scene that drove this concept home. Behind me in line was a father with his young daughter. Although I could not hear all of the words, the tone was unmistakable and brought tears to my eyes. Through clenched teeth and an almost guttural voice, he snarled at the young girl who was about 4 or 5 years old. The sound was a snake like hiss seared with venom to ensure that she would not touch anything on the shelves next to him. She cried and rubbed her eyes quietly whimpering next to him. I noticed how she continued to reach up for his fingers which were dangling at his side as she sloped her body against his leg. Each time her little fingers touched his own, he recoiled as if she were toxic to him and would jerk himself away from her. He pointed his finger at her in a stabbing motion chastising her for it.


The girl fell to her knees and although she was not openly crying, she was doing that thing when you try to stop crying, like a sucking in every couple of seconds through the nose, a whimpering that seemed to strangely connect to my own diaphragm and I felt it so deep within my own body it made me think of my own Father wounds and having had a step-father who abused me, I have many.

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before they reach the age of 18.

So many of us have wounds even those of us who were not sexually abused. There are so many places our own parents could have been wounded which formed the person they became is it no wonder then that they could not give us what we deserved because having never received it themselves, they have no idea how to give it to anyone else.

Thanks to my growing awareness of this fact as well as my continued understanding of what Divine Mercy is, I have realized that my step-father must have had the most horrible childhood. Raised by a mother who not only abandoned him, but also a mother who subjected him to things I will not mention here, this poor little boy, was given nothing to teach him about his value, his worth being made in the image and likeness of God. He never heard how his gifts and talents could change the world. He was never loved for just being himself. Instead, he grew up devoid of affection and the affection he did witness before she finally abandoned him all together was pornographic.


So you see, the anger, hurt and hate melted away a long time ago. As a mother of 3 boys, I have become acutely aware of how boys not only adore their mothers but they often times say they want to marry their mothers. My step-father was stripped from the love his little boy soul needed as nourishment and instead his soul starved.

Many people in our world are starving to death while their bodies grow fat. Is it any wonder then that this man who would be my step-father had nothing to give me but instead sought to take instead. Until the wound is addressed, it will continue to fester and poison and ultimately lead to spiritual death.

So this year, I wrote a letter to my step-father. I told him all these things and my mother heart shared how he had deserved to be loved and cherished by his mother. I apologized, yes, apologized for the women in his life who had hurt him and had failed to tell him that he was made in the image and likeness of God and that he did nothing to deserve this God given dignity, but that it was a gift from God who loved him beyond measure.



I then forgave him for all the wrongs that he had done, telling him that I understood how you cannot give what you do not receive. I then told him that my motivation in doing this was his salvation. I told him that I did not want him to go through life thinking that someone like him did not deserve to be loved by God because if he did, he would loose his soul. The devil is clever. He can keep someone from going to church and asking forgiveness by convincing us that God is too good and does not “like” sinners as bad as us.

I then told this man who was my step-father from age 4 to 14, that he must believe that God loves him and desires union and communion with him because I would be the one person who had every right to suggest otherwise. If I was saying it, I told him, then he must consider the fact that it is true.


I did not want the enemy using me as a reason to keep this man's soul from God. As far as I was concerned, I was going to allow God to use my mercy as a conduit of grace.

A few weeks ago I was at my brother's house. His father, my step-father stopped by to talk to him. When he was at the door, he saw me inside and asked if he could speak to me outside. His voice was all humility and gentleness. I had not talked with my step-father for over 25 years. I was scared, but I went out to speak to him. He thanked me for the letter and for the first time in over two decades, I was given an apology for what he had done. He was so thankful, so grateful that when he walked away, he looked taller somehow.

This father's day, I pray that all of us can contemplate upon our own Father wounds and pray for healing. Many people struggle with obstacle of Father wounds in their own relationship with God. If you are seeking healing in this area, please read my article “Healing the Whole Person” or listen to my Radio Show during the month of July where I will be focusing on wounds and healing all month with my guests from the Theology of The Body Healing Center.

Not all will are ready to do what I did, in fact the only thing I am sure of is that this was something I was called to do and by no means is it a template for others. That is between God and yourself. There is one thing that I do desire for this Father's Day and that is that we realize that we cannot give what we don't have. That means, we must be compassionate towards those who failed us and we heal our wounds so that we can trust in God so that we have something to give to our own children.

In fact, there are some fathers who no matter how much you try to love them will only use that opportunity to inflict more pain on you because of their great woundedness. There are some fathers that no matter how many times you try to have a relationship with him, he will continue to reject you. Whatever your circumstance is, just invite God in and pray about what if anything you are being called to do before acting or you may be in for more pain.

Caryll Houselander wrote in “The Reed of God” that we are all vessels, formed in a unique way by God. Some of us are a reed, hallowed out with a knife with holes cut into it, some of us are a chalice, pounded with hammer and held to the fire that forms our shape, some of us are like a birds nest, our shape, our “emptiness” she calls it, made by the tender breast of the mother bird. Whatever our shape, our emptiness becomes the vessel that God desires to fill and pour out from. The reed, when the breath of God blows through it, creates a song for all to hear. I for one, am not a nest, but whatever I am, I pray that God fills me so I can spill out onto those around me. I am also grateful to my husband, because for a man who was not given, he has learned to heal his wounds and in doing so, has found a way to give something he was never given. Happy Fathers Day!

e

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Is Congressmen Weiner a sex addict or is he failing to ask the right question?



Congressmen Weiner is stuffing his mouth with sweet cakes, or hot dogs, you pick. The attention he is seeking through sending explicit photos to women is a form of self-masturbation. It excites, it tantalizes, it feels good, it is like stuffing one's self with sweet cakes. Often times people do this when there is an ache deep inside that they are trying to numb or a void they are trying to fill.


For a moment, we will experience the pleasure and even the temporary feeling of being able to numb the pain or fill the void. But then, just a starving man eating food devoid of nutrition, we will grow hungrier and eventually starve to death. The soul starves when it uses things (or people) to fill the void God created within us so that we search Him out.

When we use sex in this way, we create a deeper void then what existed before. Just as nature abhores a vacuum, the soul too will cry out to be filled. Perhaps that is why some continue to seek person after person in a line of indiscretions wondering all the while “what is wrong with me?” “Am I a sex addict?” The real question should be, “What am I really hungry for?”
Once a person realizes “what” they are hungry for, then the next step is to realize that how we feed that hunger is not open for interpretation. Just like a food pyramid outlines intrinsic truths that define what our bodies need to be nourished, God has defined the truths that must be present inside any sexual union. Those truths, or ingredients are Free, Total, Faithful and Fruitful. (see my article on "To be or not to be a sex addict")


One of the ladies on “The View” posed the question “Well, what if a husband wants to have sex 10 times a day but he is after his wife, does that make him a sex addict?” I thought of a tape I had listened to early on in my conversion by Dr. Janet Smith. She asked the question “How can a man ever say no to sex outside of marriage if he never learns to tell himself no inside of his marriage?” I would venture to say that anyone seeking sex 10 times a day is not really seeking sex and this is the real question we need to start addressing.

The fact that someone would be seeking “quantity” points to the truth that they are using sex. Once any of us “use” sex, we are then using the person we are having sex with. They no longer become our partner, but they become an object. Once we make it okay for us to objectify someone, then it no longer matters with whom or even what we are having sex with.

What “sex addiction” really would be then, if there is such a thing, would be a failure to recognize the person and instead, objectifying others for our own purpose, not because our desire for union is flawed but rather our means for filling it is. For any rehab to be credible, the program would need to teach people to recognize not only the “person” in themselves and others, but it would have to explain the holiness of Sex.

Oh, wait! There is a rehab clinic that does all that!!! It’s called the Catholic Church! Some beautiful teachings on this very subject can be found in Pope John Paul the Great’s writings entitled “Theology of The Body”. This series of talks delivered in his Wednesday addresses over a period of years is now presented as a whole. His whole book can be read or you can pick up any number of books, DVD’s, CD’s, or more by catholic educators dedicating their lives to helping us understand what is truly a revolutionary look at the purpose of life, love, man and God’s design for it all.

I would also suggest Congressmen Weiner check out The Theology of The Body Healing Center with Dr. Bob Schuchts. My article entitled "Healing the whole person" reveals how many of our wounds can be healed when we are willing to ask the right questions. I think the real issue here is that Congressmen Weiner is no different than most of society only he has been caught with his pants down (pun intended).

What are you hungry for?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Weiner Gate; Is Weiner on a roll or does his apology cut the mustard?


Okay, I am sorry, I could not help it. However, the above joke is from Wiener himself.

I have only a few things to say about this whole fiasco. First and foremost as a society we have lost our understanding of how wonderful shame can be. What? Shame is a good thing? Yes, it can be. Before twitter and picture mail, a person would have to take a picture of themselves and take it to be developed then put it in an envelope and mail it.

Their conscience had a lot of time to discern and contemplate their actions. A person would have to consider that others would see their picture when developing it and they would have to go pick up the pictures once developed. This allowed for shame to enter into the picture and perhaps deter a person from these kind of bad choices. Now we are a society of shamelessness and of convenience. The fact that Congressmen Weiner apologized for his actions and called them "inappropriate" rather than wrong is just another example of how many people have lost the sense of shame. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a fancy restaurant is inappropriate, chewing gum loudly during a wedding ceremony is inappropriate. Why? Because there are occasions where chewing gum and wearing jeans and a t-shirt are appropriate. It is not intrinsically wrong or sinful to do either of these things. What Congressmen Weiner did, was intrinsically wrong and not just inappropriate. When Tiger Woods came forward and apologized he too watered down his apology. Both of these men barely accept responsibility much less acknowledge the inherent shamefulness in it.

In a blink of an eye, a person can make a bad choice or choices and the internet makes the possibilities endless. There has been a re-occurring theme lately of men sending half-naked pictures of themselves to women other than their wives. For that matter, there are a number of women doing this as well. In fact, this is an epidemic in high schools.


With modern technology, pornography is at a persons fingertips. Gone are the days when a person would have to go into an "adult store" and worry about someone seeing them or having to overcome the shame of being seen as they enter. In the privacy of our own homes, cars, or anywhere for that matter, we can access pornography.



Congressmen Wiener, Tiger Woods, President Clinton, are just some of the many men who have succumbed to sexual temptation but what is less obvious is that they have lost their awareness of the profound dignity of the human person. This is a failure to know what love is and how to live it out. All of these men are calling out to the world "See Me!" Congressmen Wiener's pictures of his flexed abs reveals a huge wound of "am I adequate?" Most men want to feel as if they have what it takes and that they are attractive.

Today, we are loosing the dignity of the human person through a spiritual leprosy that has reached such large proportions that the “leper colonies” have become the new communities of the world. But this spiritual leprosy as I call it, is one of a spiritual nature.


Many who are infected might not even realize they have it, since it is spiritual and therefore not visible upon first glance. Even those whose disease has permeated more deeply into their souls do not realize it as they too have lost their sense of dignity and so can not possible see it in anyone else. Therefore, the disease has progressed in such a way as to “numb” them to fact that they are in a process of decay and that their spiritual lives are in mortal peril.

If the process is left to itself, they will loose their souls and since they are surrounded by others who are as diseased as they are, they do not see what is right in front of their eyes. The result of this is the loss of dignity, while causing a spiritual numbness which then leads to a spiritual blindness. They do not see the loss of dignity of the human person who is engaged in pornography or see the loss of dignity of the human person in those who are living out the homosexual lifestyle, they do not realize that pre-marital sex or even sex with multiple partners is the furthering the disease.

I could go on with the many faceted levels of spiritual leprosy infecting our world today, but I think I have made my point and that is the loss of the dignity of the human person seems to be the source, the very disease of our world today.

I fear that with the fast paced internet and technological advancements, this problem is going to get worse, not better. In a world where a that age of 11 is typical for a boy to first see pornography (online doing homework according to most studies*) this man's transgressions is a drop in the bucket and merely a tiny miniscule speck of a thing compared to the elephant in the room. Read my article on Charlie Sheen, read my article on Tiger Woods, we are in big trouble and the only cure is restoring the dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, male and female He created them.


For more on this remedy and what I believe is a cure for what ails us read;
Theology of The Body by Pope John Paul II it will blow your mind and it will set you free.

http://reclaimsexualhealth.com/
*Michele L. Ybarra and KimberlyJ. Mitchell, “Exposure to Internet Pornography among Children and Adolescents: A National Study,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, Volume 8, Number 5, 2005, pp. 473-486.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fr. Donald Calloway is "wicked awesome" Priest!

Did you get the 411 on my bro Fr. Donald? I am not sure if you can house all this but this dude is friggin epic. So if your Jones'n for some more Fr. Donald Calloway, stay tuned. Henna?

Embracing Your Greatness on www.RadioMariaChicago.com is gonna be a joller show today so if you can't tune in at 5pm central time online, then check out either Ustream.tv under "Embracing Your Greatness" or my Youtube channel "ChristinaShawn" where I will be archiving the interview.

Alright enough of the surfer dude lingo. Let's get down to business. If you have not heard of Fr. Donald Calloway, then you are in for a treat. Fr. Donald Calloway grew up in a dysfunctional home, has a history of sex, drugs, delinquency and crime.


His conversion story is one of mercy (all through Mary, Mother of Mercy) is very inspiring. Some of this is so shocking, that it's hard to believe he made it through alive. Born in 1972 to what he calls "hillbilly" parents. Simple people, good people, but young, inexperienced, neither of them Christian.

From the beginning he was shown drinking and womanizing as the way to be a "man". His mother joined the military and so he was dragged from place to place growing up. His third step-father, from whom he get's his last name "Calloway" adopted him. Perhaps the better gift to Fr. Donald than his last name was the gift of baptism, which occurred at an Episcopalian Church. He was ten years old.

He moved with his parents to Southern California, lived in San Diego and San Pedro (I have spoken there! Beautiful cliffs there) and began surfing and smoking weed. He became rebellious, rejected his parents and became "bad". Wine, women and song were his life until his step-father made the announcement that they were moving to Japan.

His rebellion picked up as a retaliation against his parents for moving him away from where he was happy. He resented them for taking away his right to have a permanent place to live and any kind of normalcy. In Japan, the alcohol flowed and he consumed it in volume. He was exposed to heroin and ran away with a friend to a remote part of Japan. He turned to a life of crime to fund his addictions and to keep from starving on the streets. Yet still, it gets worse.


He got involved with the Japanese Mafia and just short of his initiation, which would have also included the severing of part of his finger, he got arrested. He had no way to know that during this time, his mother had experienced a conversion and was talking to a Catholic priest.

Her mother was told she needed to leave Japan and make a place ready for her son. She had to leave her 15 year old son in Japan, not knowing where he was or if he was living or dead. I can imagine, that it was such a consultation to at least have the hope that your efforts would be rewarded. Meanwhile her son, who was arrested and in a Japanese jail, had the opportunity to escape prosecution if he would leave Japan (they basically stamped his passport with orders to never return). So, he agreed thinking "Sweet!".

Upon first seeing his mother and being told the conditions of his release was to undergo rehab, he told his mother he hated her was resolved to get back to his fun in the sun as quickly as possible. His next leg of the journey including snorting and drinking whatever drugs he could get his hands on. He was gone man. He followed the Grateful Dead and his life was about being wasted.

His mother, who was now becoming a Catholic, starting exhibiting changes in her very person that he could not help but notice, although he thought she was joining a cult. The materials she gave him, he says had no effect on him. He tried rehab again, but felt it was an experience that felt more like telling war stories as they tried to out do each others stories.


When he got out, he continued with his life of drugs, crime and glorification of the trinity of "me, myself and I". In fact, he had lost hope and no longer cared whether he lived or died.


Then one day, out of boredom, he picked up a magazine that featured the Apparitions of the Blessed Mother Mary in Medjugorje. He decided to look through the magazine because the stories seemed to be so "out there" and "weird" that he had to just keep reading to see what the heck cult his family was into now. I find it interesting how the Holy Spirit always finds a language we can receive. God used his curiosity and fascination of some "weird" story as well as the intrinsic truths written before him and he was hooked. He consumed the entire book, of course he did, his soul was STARVING to know he mattered, that his life had meaning and purpose.

"That woman, the Virgin Mary, had taken my heart". He says in his cd No turning back from Lighthouse Catholic Media. He asked his mom to talk to a Catholic Priest. She sent him to the chapel on the military base. As he approached the chapel, he was amused to see the name was "Our Lady of Victory". He walked in, long hair and crazy looking and poured out everything to the priest. The priest invited him to stay for Mass. This new convert was shocked to be listened to and welcomed much less invited to pray the next decade of the rosary by a Filipino woman seated in the chapel. She gave him a "necklace" and began praying with these women. He watched the priest come out dressed in his vestments, which to this man looked like "hippie" garb and was blown away but the words, the reverence and the immediate gift of faith that was bestowed upon him.



He was given a Crucifix, a picture of Blessed John Paul II and a picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I am not shocked as the crucifix would have dispelled the devil, the sacred heart of Jesus is a healing salve upon our disordered hearts and the image of Blessed Pope John Paul II is simply the confirmation to my mind that Blessed JP2 is one of the greatest intercessors for priests. His pontiff was a huge planting of seeds that we are still seeing a harvest from and will continue to see for quite some time, if not until the end of time. One of the most important things I would like my readers to consider, is that Fr. Donald Calloway still surfs. You do not have to give up being the person you are just because you embrace your faith or become a priest. Grace perfects our nature, it does not re-define our entire being.



It is my contention that Mercy is the predominant characteristic of the love that God has for you and I. That regardless of what we have done or how we allow our actions to define us, we are all loved by God so intimately, that if we just open ourselves a tiny bit, God will speak to us in a language we can receive, in our own way, because each of us are unique, unrepeatable human being. Each of us must recognize that that individuality is part of the dignity of our person and God honors that by coming to each of us in a very individual way as unique and resplendent as only God can be and each one of us are worthy.

Not only does God desire an intimate relationship with you and His mother, Mary, desires nothing more than to bring her son to the world and to invite us to meet Jesus Christ. For those who have mother wounds, Mary is a tender mother who nursed Jesus at her breast and demonstrated how each of us are to live. We are all called to give our yes to God. To receive Him within us, conceive Him in our hearts and bare Him forth into the world through our own hands and feet as we live out our own fiat as she did. Jesus allows us to share His mother's milk, His mother's womb, we are invited to partake in the protection, conversion and healing He desires to give us and Our Lady of Guadlupe's image reveals this truth.


In Veritas Slendor, we learn that Truth is attractive. We do not need to convince a person of truth for it is indestructible, we just need to live it out and to demonstrate it. Do not be afraid to declare the truth, it might just be the most glorious words to ever fall upon a persons ears.


Thank you Mary for your continued intercession. Blessed Pope John Paul II continue to fortify us and make us ready for the huge catch that your nets have wielded. Our Lady of Guadalupe, heal our hearts, protect us and hide us from the enemy within you and form us to be more like your son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
http://www.fathercalloway.com/