Christian Counseling of Texas
Professional Counseling in the Service of Christ

At Christian Counseling of Texas we are psychologically trained professionals who integrate our knowledge, skills, and abilities with our Christian faith.  Be assured that your fundamental Christian beliefs are valued.  We think blending scientific counseling and christian counseling is a wonderful specialization because it's a match made in heaven.  We are experts in giving you the best of both.

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How can Counseling Help me?

Counseling can help you a lot. A number of benefits are available from participating in counseling. At Christian Counseling of Texas we can provide support, problem-solving skills, and enhanced coping strategies for issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship troubles, unresolved childhood issues, grief, stress management, body image issues and creative blocks. Many people also find that counselors can be a tremendous asset to managing personal growth, interpersonal relationships, family concerns, marriage issues, and the hassles of daily life. Therapists can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from counseling depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Attaining a better understanding of yourself, your goals and values
  • Developing skills for improving your relationships
  • Finding resolution to the issues or concerns that led you to seek therapy
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • Discovering new ways to solve problems in your family or marriage
  • Improving your self-esteem and boosting self-confidence



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Licensed Professional Counselors

In Texas, there are 3 levels of Licensing for  Licensed Professional Counselors.  They are:  Licensed Professional Counselor - Intern,  Licensed Professional Counselor, and, Licensed Professional Counselor - Supervisor.

All 3 LPC levels have years of study because they have at least a Master’s degree in counseling or a similar degree in Psychology or Social Work.  Each has passed the  National Counselor Examination and been issued a corresponding license by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. 

Betsy is a LPC - Intern.  All LPC - Interns work under the supervision of a LPC - Supervisor.  Betsy is supervised by Andrew Gill who is a LPC-Supervisor.  Andrew's web page is www.tauhealing.com  LPC-Interns meet regularly with their supervisor to review the LPC Interns cases.  LPC-Interns are not paid by insurance companies. So  your health information is not reported to insurance companies.  Betsy's Fee schedule.

LPC’s can use interpersonal, cognitive, cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, play therapy, psycho dynamic, affective, gestalt and other expressive interventions like dance, music, or animal therapy. In order to achieve client abstinence from addictive substances and behaviors by the client,  LPC’s can also use addiction counseling methods and 12-step methods. 

LPC’s may use assessments and appraisal instruments for the purpose of determining strength, weakness, mental condition, emotional stability, intellectual ability, interest, skill, aptitude, achievement, emotional fitness, and other personal characteristics for occupational, vocational, and career selection and placement in educational settings, and other characteristics for diagnosing mental health disorders.

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselors can provide chemical dependency counseling services involving the application of the methods, and procedures of the chemical dependency profession.  Their scope of practice includes services to help clients develop an understanding of their chemical dependency problems, define treatment goals, and mutually create a treatment plan by using the following counseling core functions.

Patient Screening  Patient screening takes many factors into account, but they Licensed Chemical Dependency counselor’s job is to determine whether the client’s substance usage meets the criteria for recreational use or abuse.  The LCDC doesn’t only look at the persons substance use but also at their treatment history, physical condition, psychological functioning, age, legal status, income, motivation, gender, support, etc. They look at the client from a Gestalt perspective.

Patient Intake  Once the patient’s screening is completed, patient intake begins. Depending on the treatment program forms are completed. The number and type of forms varies but all programs that charge money for services always verify insurance eligibility, substance use, legal, family, etc., history. During the patient intake there are also many legal documents required, like: consent forms, confidentiality forms, HIPPA forms. 

Patient Orientation  Once the admission process is completed the client will have the goals of the treatment program explained.  The patient is taught the rules of conduct, program goals, program expectations, and the programs disciplinary actions they may be subject to if the rules are broken.  These rules vary between treatment programs.  For example, inpatient rules would not include regulations about leaving the treatment facility or visitation.

Patient Assessment  Assessment is a very important because it determines each patient’s proper treatment. A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor will assess the clients strengths, weaknesses, and any other problems.  There are so many formal assessments a LCDC can use.  Some of the more popular assessments are:  SBIRT which is a early intervention assessment for those at risk of developing substance abuse disorders.  AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) screens for hazardous or harmful alcohol consumption.  DAST-10 (Drug Abuse Screen Test) is a 10-item, yes or no self-report instrument.  It was designed to provide clinical screening and treatment evaluation.  During the treatment process there are regular assessments to get a snap shot of the patients progress or lack there of.  Basically there is continuous patient assessment. 

Treatment Planning  This process takes the collected information derived from screening, intake, orientation, and assessment and turns them into treatment goals, treatment objectives, and treatment strategics to meet the patient’s needs. The LCDC ranks the patient’s problems to establish and prioritize treatment goals. Long-term and short-term goals are defined for every patient to take care of their most severe problems first.  Once the treatment goals are identifies, the LCDC works with the patient to identify treatment methods.

Counseling  There are many different treatment venues. For example there are individual, group, and family venues.  There are many different treatment model’s for the counselor to draw from: there is solution focused therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavior therapy, psycho dynamic therapy, narrative therapy, gestalt therapy, the12 Step Model, etc.  In our experience the criminal justice system prefers the use of cognitive behavioral therapy and the 12 Step Model. Just like us counselors in private practice draw from many of the above listed models, but we do counseling from a Christian perspective.  

Case Management  The LCDC uses case management when necessary and it is generally always. The LCDC coordinates patient services. It brings people, services, and agencies together for continuity of services.  The LCDC’s case management function provides continuity of client services in a seamless way.

Crisis Intervention  The most serious patient crisis is the act of completed suicide, closely followed by a suicide attempt. Substance users in treatment often experience recovery and relapse issues. Patient’s with co-occurring psychiatric disorders can experience a myriad of acute crises. The LCDC who is trained in crisis intervention can quickly respond to a client in a crisis. 

Patient Education  An important part of the counselors job is to teach and inform patients about the problems with addiction and the difficulties of recovery.  Psycho education at a drug and alcohol treatment program can include teaching patients about relapse, recovery, the 12 Step Model, withdrawal symptoms, the physiology of addiction, etc.  It’s also good to up date patients on their progress.

Referral  When patient treatment needs can’t be met by either a therapist or a treatment facility a referral must be made. During the referral process it’s important to adhere to applicable local, state, and federal laws as well as regulations.  There are patient considerations when making a referral.  Best practice is to rule out any reasonable accommodations to prevent discharge.

Record Keeping  Progress notes, treatment plans, discharge summaries, reports etc. and other types of records must be kept confidential and stored in a secured area.

Consultation  LCDC’s also communicate with other professionals for patient care. They may review a difficult case with their supervisor, other LCDC’s, or medical staff.  Consultation services can be with in-house or outside resources. The goal of consultation is to provide quality patient care.

Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor

The International Board of Christian Care (IBCC) is a growing, vibrant, and recognized segment of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and is open to all qualified mental health professionals, pastors, chaplains, para-professionals, and lay counseling ministry leaders who identify themselves as Christian counselors, life coaches, and crisis responders. The IBCC’s BCPCC credential sets the standard for excellence and integrity in the Christian helping professions. BCPCC’s are fully licensed mental health professionals who incorporate biblical principles and counseling skills with clinical theory, knowledge, and practice.

Master of Arts in Professional Counseling

Betsy has a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling which meets the education requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas.  The curriculum included a minimum of 300 hours of field experience which helped her build the skills needed to work with individuals, couples, families and groups in community, social service, religious and private practice settings. Betsy learned to treat emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders. 

Master of Arts Degree in Psychology

Steve - The Psychology Master's Program at The City College of New York provides a solid broad-based graduate education in general psychology. Students acquire knowledge in research methods and basic topics in psychology. Many graduates do research, data collection, and analysis in universities, government and private companies. Others find jobs in health, industry and education.  Steven Kopor’s career path led him to being a Licensed Professional Counselor running ministries and private practice.

Master of Business Administration in Strategic Leadership

Steve - Amberton University’s MBA program in Strategic Leadership focuses on competencies for implementing organizational systems, resolving conflict, and managing change on a foundation of ethical leadership.  Graduates are equipped to fill executive leadership roles in management, consulting and financial services or assume positions in healthcare, government and education. The MBA in strategic leadership is a modern managers’ degree designed for future leaders in a changing business landscape, allowing them to be able to make long-term, visionary decisions. 

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ABOUT CHRISTIAN COUNSELING

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING OVERVIEW

A Christian Poem

Personal Qualities Of The Christian Counselor

It seems reasonable that the effective Christian Counselor would be a morally good and mature Christian, grounded in God’s Word and regular church attendance.  They perceive themselves as called to Christian service and accepted this work as a vocation and a sacred trust.  They would trust in Jesus and know that their effectiveness rests on Him through their prayer and fasting, scripture, referral to clergy, as well as on faith, hope and love. The Christian Counselor continues the healing ministry of Jesus.

Professional Christian Counseling is a wonderful specialization in which the psychologically trained licensed mental health professional integrates their knowledge, skills and abilities with their Christian faith, values and beliefs.  It's a match made in heaven, giving you the best of both.  It’s the Professional Christian Counselors sensitivity to perceive their client’s problems as including a blend of psychological, emotional, moral, and spiritual concerns, combined with their ability to expertly deal with the religious domain which sets them apart and makes them very helpful.  To address emotional and behavioral problems which have a spiritual connection, for example, when psychological problems represent the fruits of sin, clients will benefit by receiving help for their whole person - emotional, psychological and spiritual.  People who go to the Professional Christian Counselor have a set of expectations which are different from those who seek a secular scientific therapist.  Clients can have the assurance that their fundamental Christian beliefs will be valued. 

Hopefully, Professional Christian Counselors, have the good qualities of both the secular scientific counselor and the pastoral counselor.  They, like the pastoral counselor,  practice their spiritual gifts of discernment and healing, and invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance into their counseling process.  Professional Christian Counselors embrace this mystery of divine grace and human effort working together. They understand that it is the synergy of God’s healing kindness, the counselor’s gifts and talents, and the clients hard work, which brings God’s healing presence into the lives of their clients.  Effective Professional Christian Counseling rests on prayer and fasting, scripture, referral to clergy and the sacraments, as well as on faith, hope and love. 

Professional Christian Counselors can help clients increase their capacity to hear the voice of Jesus and the witness of the Holy Spirit.  They can help clients become more aware of what God is saying to them in a particular circumstance at a particular time.  More than giving them a fish (helping clients to discern in a specific instance) they can teach them how to fish (forming clients into discerning persons).  Through this, clients can achieve cognitive clarity and emotional maturity.  They can also help clients make sense out of their spiritual experiences like locutions and the struggles of Christian development.  They can help clients cooperate with grace and remove any barriers to grace.  They can help clients develop the virtues necessary to be a good spouse and reduce the vices that increase the temptation to do drugs, alcohol, and pornography.   They can help empower clients to have victory, be delivered, and experience healing.  

Professional Christian Counselors, like the pastoral counselor, invite the Holy Spirit’s guidance into their counseling process. They embrace the mystery of divine grace and human effort working together and they understand that it's the synergy of God’s healing kindness, the counselor’s gifts and talents, and the client's hard work which brings God’s healing presence into the lives of their clients. They are uniquely gifted to help clients in the spiritual and religious domains.  They can help increase their clients' awareness to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and can also help clients better understand what God is saying to them in a particular circumstance at a particular time.  More than giving them a fish (helping clients to discern in a specific instance) they can teach them how to fish (forming clients into discerning persons). They can also help clients make sense out of their moral struggles.  They can help clients cooperate with grace and work toward removing any barriers to grace.  They can help clients develop the virtues necessary to be a good spouse and reduce the temptation to do drugs, alcohol, and pornography.  It’s the Christian Counselor's ability to work with their client’s blend of psychological, emotional, moral, and spiritual concerns, combined with their ability to expertly deal with the religious domain which sets them apart and makes them very helpful.  They can help clients be delivered and set free from demonic strongholds.

Professional Christian Counselors don’t coerce non Christian clients, apply undue pressure, or  proselytize.  They respect people of all faiths as well as those with no religious or spiritual beliefs.  They honor client choice and receptivity to any counseling practices, Christian or secular.  Professional Christian Counselors don’t even presume that all Christian clients want or need spiritual interventions prescribed to them.  Client’s who prefer not to venture into their spiritual selves can still benefit from the Professional Christian Counselor’s licensure, expertise and training because there is much healing power in secular scientific psychotherapy.  God has gifted the world with the advances in scientific psychotherapy and He wants us to receive these gifts and to utilize them for our health.

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God’s Healing Kindness and Grace.  It seems that God gives more healing grace to some patients than to others.  Maybe he gives more the Catholics than to atheists, or more to practicing Catholics than to nominal Catholics.  Maybe he gives more grace to those who seek, knock and beg for his healing grace than to the spiritually negligent or slothful.  Maybe he gives more to those who thank Him for whatever grace they do get.  It seems that some patients get 100 units of healing grace while others get just two.  It appears that some patients either have more barriers, obstacles and hindrances, or they simply are unable to push through them, while others can.

The second part to the synergistic healing equation is the counselor with their unique blend of gifts and talents, knowledge, skills and abilities, and hopefully, the charism.  When you bring your car to the mechanic you would hope they don’t look in the trunk for the motor.  As far as the knowledge of counseling all counselors legally able to provide counseling and receive third party payments hold a Masters degree, did a supervised internship and passed a state licensing exam in order to practice.  But what does it profit a therapist to get a Masters degree, complete an internship and pass a test, if they are severely disordered spiritually, or heretics, or counsel against the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church.  To their patients, they are actually sheep in wolves’ clothing, and the blind leading the blind.  There are also other and possibly less dangerous types of therapists.  There are the counselors who practice strict secular psychotherapy.  I believe secular therapy is a gift from God to heal hurting souls, and if the therapist is a Christian who gets inspired by the Holy Spirit – all is good to a point.  I think healing the infrastructure of the soul is beyond the secular therapist’s scope of work since, to implement the deeper healing, the discernment of spirits as taught by St. Ignatius is necessary.  

The second part to the synergistic healing equation is the counselor with their unique blend of gifts and talents, knowledge, skills and abilities, and hopefully, the charism.  When you bring your car to the mechanic you would hope they don’t look in the trunk for the motor.  As far as the knowledge of counseling all counselors legally able to provide counseling and receive third party payments hold a Masters degree, did a supervised internship and passed a state licensing exam in order to practice.  But what does it profit a therapist to get a Masters degree, complete an internship and pass a test, if they are severely disordered spiritually, or heretics, or counsel against the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church.  To their patients, they are actually sheep in wolves’ clothing, and the blind leading the blind.  There are also other and possibly less dangerous types of therapists.  There are the counselors who practice strict secular psychotherapy.  I believe secular therapy is a gift from God to heal hurting souls, and if the therapist is a Christian who gets inspired by the Holy Spirit – all is good to a point.  I think healing the infrastructure of the soul is beyond the secular therapist’s scope of work since, to implement the deeper healing, the discernment of spirits as taught by St. Ignatius is necessary.  

The Patient’s Hard Work  The third part is the patient’s hard work.  Some patients have a history of meeting with several counselors over a few years for 5-7 sessions.  When asked did it help, they say not so much.  If you go to the physician for an infection on your arm, he will prescribe some antibiotics and say to come back next week.  When the patient comes back and the infection is worse, the physician asks whether the patient took the prescription as prescribed and the patient responds, “No, I didn’t take the antibiotics.”  No wonder the patient didn’t improve, they didn’t follow the doctor’s orders.  The parallel in counseling is that the patient doesn’t follow the counselor’s recommendations, doesn’t improve, and projects their lack of success onto the counselor or counseling process, instead of taking responsibility for their own lack of effort.  It’s best practice to explain the “hard work” principle to the patient in great detail at least 5-10 times during the first few sessions, so that they understand that even if God were showering down 100 units of healing grace and they only used two, that they would only reap the benefits of two.  We reap what we sow.  The more of the 100 units of grace the patient cooperates with, the more healing they experience.  These three parts of counseling God’s healing kindness, the counselor’s part, and the patient’s hard work will be fully discussed through this work.

A Christian Poem

Who Put Out the Light?

While the church blossoms as the tree of life

Among the brethren there is much strife

A branch of the church is out on a limb

There is no room for him

Declared the deacon on a whim

Although the branch bears holy fruit

The pastor says it's dead at the root 

They look at him with a pruner's guise

They don’t realize it is God they despise?

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING ON HOLY INDIFFERENCE

Holy indifference may sound like an oxymoron but we can’t confuse it with apathy.  Apathy means , I don’t care.”  Holy Indifference means, “I care a lot about God’s will.”

Holy Indifference is a special gift from God which greatly enhances discernment.  It’s a very noble state and means the discerner has devastated themselves of free will, and genuinely has trustful surrender to divine providence.

Holy indifference is so essential to discernment because it gives us the freedom to accept God’s outcome.  The more a person can be holy indifferent, the more they are able to correctly discern because they don’t have their own agenda.  If we give any outcome intrinsic value, we are now outside of holy indifference.

For example, we might all insist that we want to do God’s will, but when it becomes God’s will that we be punished, we whine and cry because we do not want to be punished.  Holy indifference is satisfied with God’s will, whether blessing or punishment.  It’s an openness to God’s will despite the mortification or disagreement from our own fallen nature.

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING ON SPIRITUAL CONSOLATION  & DESOLATION

Language can befuddle clarity. St. Ignatius lived long before the science of psychology came into the stream of time. He did not possess the language that modern day mental health professionals use. According to St. Ignatius there are two types of desolation - spiritual and psychological. The antiquated term - psychological desolation - describes modern day depression which has already been covered in a previous section.

Spiritual desolation and depression are not mutually exclusive and have overlapping symptoms. Both create mood changes which color the past, present, and future. Both increase automatic negative thoughts, self-limiting thoughts, self denigrating, self-loathing, despairing, self condemning, etc. They both create the subjective reality of finding every worst case scenario with tunnel vision. Spiritual desolation and depression both distort perception and thinking. Both distort the Christian’s subjective experience and so they think, feel, and act based on their damaged subjective experience. Subjectivity rules, and reason correspondingly diminishes. Distorted thoughts proceed from these states and generate bad feelings. Both spiritual desolation and depression are parasites which can suck the life blood out of their victims spiritual body. Both are capable of hindering healing grace. Wise judgment is severely compromised by both. It is not wisdom to trust decisions made while in these states. It is folly. Properly handled, spiritual desolation and depression can be a source of blessing and grace. There are many depressed people who pray a lot and draw especially close to God. The task is to master desolation as much as possible to remove its control over thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Despite the similarities, there are unique differences. Desolation attacks faith, hope, and love, and doesn’t effect self-esteem. When self-esteem is attacked it’s not spiritual desolation it is depression. Spiritual desolation is a response to the moral state, while depression is a response to our psychological state. When mood disinclines someone to go to Mass on Sunday it could be either spiritual desolation or depression. Spiritual desolation diminishes the pursuit of holiness and lowers spiritual motivation. Spiritual desolation is defined by whether or not it ruins or damages the person’s relationship with God. Desolation exclusively targets the spiritual domain. What makes spiritual desolation uniquely spiritual is that it is attached to matters of Christian life. So they live in a state of bad feelings about who they are in Christ. Depression throws a much wider net and impinges on several life domains. There are types of emotional difficulties that don’t impact spirituality or the relationship with God and that is the difference.

The depressed person may self diagnose their psychiatric disorder as spiritual desolation. Sometimes even the well trained find it virtually impossible to distinguish between them. Conversely, even a morally good practicing Catholic who experiences desolation might label it depression. Sounds a lot like depression but it’s not. From a certain point of view spiritual desolation is simply an emotional disorder. Emotions are certainly involved in spiritual desolation, but this does not necessarily make it a psychological problem. It’s not spiritual desolation, it’s depression. There is even the possibility of spiritual desolation and depression co existing simultaneously having a dual diagnosis.

If someone is in chronic spiritual desolation, prudence requires spiritual direction or Christian counseling. Under the spiritually desolate state medical or psychological interventions are not necessary, but spiritually interventions are necessary. Depression can be treated by medical, psychological and spiritual interventions, whereas if it’s spiritual desolation, medical and psychological work is palliative. So there are probably Catholics in spiritual desolation who are miss diagnosed as depressed. This diagnostic difference is important is because the treatment for spiritual desolation and depression are different.

You would think the more a person is in union with God the less the likelihood of them entering spiritual desolation. If you don’t normally feel connected, you can’t ever feel unconnected. Spiritual desolation does not disrupt attack the atheist or the agnostic because there is nothing to ping against in their soul to cause a disturbance. The way to reestablish the conscious connection is to understand that God permitted the subjective experience of separation. Since it is his will, we should understand that he expects us to cheerfully accept the cross and successfully pass the trial and from it grow in holiness. Abortion often keeps people away from God and church which is the worst thing to do. It is only in the enemies best interest that these hurting souls stay away from God and the church. This creates a terrible situation for a soul because they can’t even go to God, The Divine Physician, the source of their consolation and ask for help because they feel ashamed of what they did. So they consciously and deliberately separate themselves from the source of all healing grace. They are shooting themselves in the foot. Desolation is the opposite of intimacy and friendship. They don’t feel a sense of belonging to God. They feel alienated from Him. The sense of connectedness is missing. They don’t feel cared for, protected, or loved by Him. They don’t feel God is safe. The person’s desolation can be decreased by turning to God in prayer and practicing the sacraments. Either pray to God or fall prey to temptation and continued desolation. Some dread facing Jesus on Judgment Day. Being angry at God is obviously a disconnect. It is very hard for a severely depressed person or a schizophrenic person to feel the conscious connection with God.

Whenever the soul experiences the power of a Holy Spirit-filled new life, it replaces estrangement with enthusiasm. This interior evangelism is sparked by the Holy Spirit through Jesus Divine Healing Mercy.

During the enemies team meetings on how to destroy us, the enemy responsible for causing the post Abortive’s desolation would have to say something like this, “When I put them into desolation they traditionally complained, wallowed, fell into despair and lost hope. But now that soul turns to God all the more strongly and turns their desolation into a blessing.”

Alcoholic’s Anonmyous stress maintaining a conscious connection with God for continued sobriety. Feeling no conscious connection is a sure sign of spiritual desolation. It seems that all of the mind games with defense mechanisms which comprise post abortion trauma reinforce a disconnection with God. Another consequence of desolation is that the post abortive alienates themself from God while thinking God is alientating them.

CONSOLATION

In genuine consolation the soul experiences a strong sense of closeness to God.  Consolation is the experience of this deep connectedness to God, and it fills our hearts with a sense of peace and joy, to willingly follow his will. Spiritual consolation is experienced when our hearts are drawn toward God, even when this happens in circumstances which the world would regard as negative. Consolation is a gift that comes from God, it’s not intrinsic to mankind. Consolations are a type of spiritual food which empower us to cooperate with his grace.  The person in consolation will find the whole discernment process peaceful and easier.  This is why St. Ignatious taught making discernmnts when we are tranquil, not agitated.

The important lesson about consolation is that it doesn’t actually have anything to do with feeling good.  The enemies trap is for us to have a feeling based relationship with God. Consolation can make us focus on ourselves instead of God.  This is one of the reasons He permits desolation.

WARNING there are two types of consolation the enemy uses to destroy us.  They are estatic consolations and false consolations.

DESOLATION

Ignation desolation is never from God, but God permits the enemy to inflict us with desolation. It is always from the enemy.  Desolation occures because the enemy hates us and God’s permissive will allows it to happen.

In desolation it’s literally impossible to be objective. Subjectivity rules, reason correspondingly diminishes.  Desolation significantly reduces the ability to discern correctly, because the enemy has more influence on us in that mental state. In desolation, you cannot trust your own judgment.  Even if we think we can St. Ignatius says we can’t. In desolation it’s okay to make decisions about whether we are going to have chicken or steak for dinner, but make important spiritual decisions only in consolation.

The desolate person experiences a spiritual unsettledness, dryness, emptiness, irritability, and restlessness. The thoughts generated from the state of spiritual desolation are negative, self-loathing, helplessness, self condemning,  judjmental, etc. etc. etc. Desolation attacks faith, hope, and, love.

The subjective experience is they feel very separate from God. They might say, “Sometimes I feel he is in the room with me, but now, I don’t even think he’s aware of my existence,” “It seems to me that God has turned his back on me,” “I think he’s mad at me.” Feeling disconnected and distant from God, is a sure sign of spiritual desolation.

3 Reasons for desolation   Rule #9

He’s not doing it to punish us, but to help us spiritually grow.  All 3 are for our betterment.

Reason #1- Healing us from our faults. The enemy wants us to spiritually regress, stop or reduce our spiritual practices. If we fall into this trap, when we correct it, God’s reason for permitting the desolation (our conversion) is accomplished.

To defend ourselves it’s important to resume our normal spiritual routines and even increase our spiritual practices, just beyond comfort level. (Go from 2 to 2.5)

I think God has observed that human beings pray more when they are either hurting, need, or want something. So he uses the enemies desolation to draw us closer to him through prayer. At these times we are in spiritual warfare.

Reason #2 - God permits desolation as a trial to assess our spiritual maturity.  He allows His consolation to be replaced by desolation to see if we are mercinaries or patriots.  It’s to see if we will do the good and holy work without payment. (Explain ) The book,”True Devotion to Mary” #122 teaches patratism. God tests us through desolation.  It’s not the type of testing that’s done in school to see whether you know something or not.  As the acid test distinguished between true gold and fool’s gold, God tests us.

Reason #3 - This third reason for desolation is, it can improve our humulity. It helps us not experience vainglory.  (Explain vain glory)  Our gifts and talents and their fruits are Gods.  They are not intrinsic to ourselves.  When someone thanks us for healing them, and we accept the thanks we are actually stealing God’s glory.  That’s why it is said that every time someone thanks Mary, she instantly says “Thank you Jesus”.  She gives him the Glory.  The 3rd reason for desolation is for us to acquire the understanding that everything depends on God, not ourselves.

False Consolations

It is written that the devil can appear as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15 )  We need to discern if our consolation is the enemy appearing as an Angel of light.  The enemy appearing as an Angel of light has deceived even very holy Christians.

Consolation is usually the work of the Holy Spirit, accompanied by feelings of peace, with other fruits of the Holy Spirit.  Continue with any tentative discernment until it turns into spiritual desolation.  If that occurs, you should stop following it.  It has become a desolation through false consolation.  It’s the enemy leading you away from God. Sometimes the enemy implants thoughts that appear to be aimed at building up our spiritual life, but are designed to destroy us in the long term.

When the enemy can’t tempt a person to sin, he will tempt them to make unrealistic goals on an unrealistic timeline, having too many goals because the enemy wishes to cause desolation by pushing you beyond your limits.  Sometimes the enemy gives delusions. ( Burn the clinic)

The really insidious thing about false consolation’s are they initially appear intrinsically as God’s will and are very attractive to us.  This is because they match our own personality.  The false consolation gives the subjective experience of making a good discernment which is holy and from God, but it is not. False consolation can lead even a mature soul into a future which may be beyond their strength and ability.  The trap - wrongly concluding God’s will, when it’s actually demonic prompting matching our good intentions.  How many have accepted the voice they hear (false consolation) as the word of God and been completely wrong?

For example, initially appearing as a consolation, a person believes God has called them to a church ministry, but it could be the enemy masquerading as an Angel of light. So if this dedicated church person who is doing all kinds of wonderful church activities is hardly home with his wife and children, neglecting household chores, did he discern correctly?  It looks like he was tricked by a good and holy idea, but he isn’t honoring the sacrament of marriage.  The enemy tricked him by entering his soul at a place that was acceptable to that soul- which is church service.

Handling Consolations and Desolations

Our Catholic duty is to master consolations and desolation not only to reduce any damaging control over our feelings, thoughts, and actions, but on how to use them to God’s advantage. As Regarding spiritual growth consolation and desolation are 2 sides of the same coin.

Just as it is normal for us to have emotional ups and downs. Fluctuations naturally happen in our spirituality.  These spiritual fluxations allow the continuum from spiritual consolation to spiritual desolation.

The superficial definition of consolation as feeling good and desolation as feeling bad is half true.  Estatic Consolations without desolation promotes pride and vain glory (St Paul and the thorn ).  Desolation without consolations can be a living hell.

God is famous for turning bad into good, so desolation is important for our spiritual growth. When well handled, desolation’s crosses and trials can actually transform spiritual desolation into grace and spiritual blessing.  Without crosses and trials we would never grow and become spiritually mature, we would stay spiritual children.

One way to prepare for this is that while you are in consolation you make a plan. When in consolation, look at your thoughts, feelings and actions that usually lead to desolation. With this awareness and understanding, develop a defense strategy.  Pray there is a protective hedge, wall, or bubble around you, that God would send his warring Angels to protect you.

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING ON DISCERNMENT

There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit.  One is the charism of discernment which is especially useful in deliverance ministry work. This is a very special grace, a grace defined by the charismatic renewal. This is a supernatural ability given by God as a gift.  It isn’t listed with the traditional gifts - wisdom , counsel (good judgment), fear of the Lord, but is as old as the hills.

The Holy Bible teaches we must always test the spirits that present themselves, as opposed to automatic acceptance.  Blindly accepting is not discernment.  It’s an error to assume the enemy isn’t involved in the church. Therefore, when someone says, “The Lord told me – – – –“,  it is okay to discuss their experience with them in order to authenticate the validity of that experience.  1ST John 4 says, Beloved, do not believe every spirit; instead test the spirits to see whether they are from God  1st Thessolonians 5:20-21 - Christians test everything! We must be very cautious about people’s holy hunches.  If we neglect to test the spirits, we may go down the wrong path.

In some situations discernment is not necessary because it’s simply a non-moral choice. For example painting a room blue or green.

There is a distinction between discernment and decision-making. Decision-making is used in completing a crossword puzzle. Decision-making has its place, but so does discernment. The non christian would gather info to make a decision, while the Christian would ask God’s assistance.  Discernment greatly exceeds decision-making because it incorporates spirituality into the decision-making process.  When discernment is necessary but reduced to mere decision-making that is like shooting yourself in the foot.

Listen - When Jesus told the Apostles that he was going to Jerusalem and that the religious leaders were going to kill him, St. Peter said, “No way Jesus!” St. Peter thought he was right in rebuking Jesus. Jesus looked him right in the eye and said get behind me Satan. Now if Jesus said that to an Apostle, what about us poor souls in the 21st century being deceived.

The person considering sex outside of marriage. There is no discernment required, but instead resisting temptation.

The Jewish priests who killed Jesus probably thought they were doing God a favor.

I’m gonna get into some very serious spiritual warfare about discernment.  Some are basic and some are advanced.

Realize that mastering these things takes a lot of prayer and practice. Look at regular language. As children, we have to learn it.  So today you are beginning on a journey of discernment. Maybe today you can hear a little, but with a lot of practice you will be able to hear God’s voice.

Eight Ignation terms:
1)  Discernment of Spirits
2)  Holy Indifference
3) The Good versus the Better
4) Consolation and Desolation
5) False Consolations
7) Impediments to Discernment
8) How to Discern - Types of Discernment

Discernment of Spirits  -  MOTIONS OF THE SOUL

There is a real art and science to Ignation discernment.

How do we discern what is from God and from the enemy?  St. Ignatius provides several ways to make this possible.  It is a very good system and easy to learn its basics in a short time.

St. Ignatius defines the enemy as the devil himself, the other demons, the spirit of the world, the spirit of the world in us, and our fallen nature. (So when you hear me say the enemy, I’m speaking about....)  The mature discerning person knows that deception is part of the discernment process. A mature discerning person trusts their heart but is vigilant about the enemy’s trechery in confounding God’s plans for us.  They pray begging God to protect them from self deception and demonic interference.

To discern the voice of Jesus among the myriad of other voices in the natural world and in the spiritual realm is the task of discernment.

Become aware - which is the gateway to discernment.  (Light of Christ)

Understand - When St. Ignatius speaks of “Discernment of Spirits” he means the Holy Spirit and the enemy working inside our souls.  Understanding how the Holy Spirit and the evil spirits impact our mind, will, emotions, memory, temperment, vices, virtues, means that we have to learn to listen to the movements of both spirits impinging in us. This is not the end—awareness and understanding are not discernment.  Action is required.

Everything in discernment of spirits is directed toward action: toward firmly accepting what is of God and equally firmly rejecting what is not.”

Already stated,becoming aware and understanding is only phase one.  These are necessary but insufficient.  The necessary step is to act.  Three frogs on a log decide to jump into the water. How many frogs are in the water? Let me give you the answer. None! All they did was decide to jump into the water. They did not take the necessary action. Hearing God’s message is one thing, but if you don’t use it, you loose It, and discernment never materializes.  Discernment is incomplete without a response.  A good discernment will unleash energy for service.

It is not recommended by St. Ignatius that cross carrying should be part of the discernment process.  All crosses must be humbly accepted, but we must not choose a discernment by picking the path with the greater cross.  Jesus himself asked to be delivered from the cross.

The Holy Spirit does not usually lead us into new light unless we have already put into practice the light we were previously graced with.  It’s the same story as the talents. Those who use them get more.

St. Ignatius believed that through God’s love and mercy the indwelling spirit is always deep within our souls prompting us to desire the good and holy. He also believed that the enemies animosity and hostility toward us is always deep within our souls prompting us to desire evil wicked things. In a nutshell, that’s the spiritual warfare we have within ourselves every moment of every day and night.

Good vs Better

St. Ignatius taught about the good and the better.  This means the good versus the best. He is saying that the best is better than the good.  Having the intention to do the better, instead of the good, is the proper disposition for correct discernment.

Sometimes there are two good choices and we must pick the best of the two choices. The discerning soul can wrestle between choices of what is good and what is better.  A person with two choices must pick the better one, not the good one. The “good” choice instantly becomes a “bad” choice when we can choose better. If we pick the lesser of the two goods we have actually chosen poorly.

Likewise, when we are confronted with two bad choices, discernment requires that would pick the lesser of two evils.

Types of Discernment

Discernment requires insight, discretion, and judgment. These three things correspond directly with St. Ignatius’first, second, and third type of discernment.  Some say that discernment isn’t just a matter of pure revelation, others say it’s not only reasoning, and others say it’s getting an understanding about the motions of our souls.  They are all right.  It can be any one of the three or any combination of them.

First Type

When this type of discernment genuinely occurs, there is no process, it’s instantaneous clarity with certitude directly from God.  They know, that they know, that they know, and they are actually correct.  There is no having to think about it, or ponder it, or pray about it.  There is instantly clarification and certitude, so there no need for discernment.  This is usually associated with a deep sense of peace.

The mechanisms involved.  This 1st type of discernment happens through inspiration and illumination.  Inspiration fills the heart with overflowing certitude while illumination’s light dissipates darkness which interferes with clear discernment.

Even with this 1st type discernment, St. Ignatious recommends, if there is time, work through the second and third type of discernment process.  He recommends these other methods to double and tripple check whether the 1st type discernment is the Holy Spirit or the enemy.

St. Ignatius also recommends and warns that the person with a first type discernemnt never act on it in isolation.  The first type discernment requires disclosure to your spiritual authority. This 1st type is a rare charism. “ 801 in the Catechism declares that no charism is exempt from being referred and submitted to the Churches shepards”. Good conversation is a really important part of 1st type discernment. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors.

The reason to explore the other discernment methods and to place ourselves under spiritual authority is because the authentic first type of discernment is very, very rare.  Conclusions drawn from inspiration and illumination must be tested.  Because often a person genuinly believes they have had this rare 1st type experience but they are wrong.   It’s also commom for the enemy to fain 1st Type Discernment.

Second Type
This second type of discernment is the most common procedure when the first type of discernment does not occur. The second type isn’t instant certitude, but is guided by awareness, understanding consolations/desolations,  and accepting/rejecting the motions of our soul.  It’s time line can be very short or very long.

Sufficient clarity is obtained by tracking consolations and desolations. So the second type of discernment is figuring out God’s will based on our consolations and desolations.  We look at the patterns that develop betweenthe attractions in our hearts in comparison to the resistances in our hearts.

But how can the second type of discernment happen if a person does not understand consolation and desolation?  In consolation the good spirit leads us more than the evil spirit. Likewise, in desolation the evil spirit leads us more than the good spirit.

They don’t usually experience their discernment experience as, “I’ve decided”.  It’s more gentle like the answer has always been out there and now they see it clearly.  It may also be perceived as, Hey that’s what my heart wanted all the time.

Third Type

When the 2nd discernment process doesn’t work, the 3rd type should be applied.This third type is a rational form of discernment.

Unlike the first type of discernment which really isn’t discernment because it’s instantaneous certitude, and unlike the second type where we are looking at our consolations and desolation’s (which is a review of our consciousness) Not to be confused with the examination of conscience, the 3rd type is a little more mechanical. In the 3rd type of discernment we weigh the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages, look at them, pray about them. It’s like math, if one column adds up to three and the other column adds up to seven, a tentative discernment is to pick the seven.  The tentitive discernment derived from the numbers, is then to be tested against which gives the greater glory to God and which is best for our salvation.  Whatever algorithm we apply, the final discernment must be made when we are in consolation and tranquility.  St. Ignatius warns that we should never attempt the third type of discernment when our hearts are in desolation.

Within this third type of discernment St. Ignatius recommends several exercises to help the discernment process along.

1 - Pretend you are a spiritual director giving direction to someone who has the same exact problem as you have.  And then tell them what you recommend.  In doing this you are probably speaking your own hearts best advice.  That answer would be a correct discernment.

2 - Imagine that you were on your deathbed reviewing your entire life.  Review your current discernment decision from this perspective.  If you look back at each of your alternate discernment choices, the choice you feel best about, and you put it into action - discernment well done.  If you look back at a choice and regret it, then your action would be - not to proceed.

3 - We can imagine ourselves in the future and determine which discernment would give us more joy and peace.  Selecting the one with more joy and peaceThat is probably the better choice. (Remember the good and the better) Don’t forget the lesser of two evils.

4 - Another strategy would be to imagine the amount of fruit coming from each choice.  Which would produce 30, 60, or 90 fold?

5 - St Ignatius taught about the rock and the sponge.  Whoever is prayerfully considering God’s greater glory, and God’s will, discerns very gently and beautifully, rather than when it’s the enemy’s spirit, which comes with a 1,000 roaring Lions.

These visualizations are helpful to determine which is the best course of action, the best discernment possible.  These visualizations work because you have detached yourself from the stress, worry and anxiety, leaving yourself with more degrees of freedom to make a holy choice.

Entrusted Discernment

Remember the impediments we human experience which prevents discernment.  I think that is why God is so generous with his love and mercy, by offering a completely different type of discernment.  The entrusted discernment. Usually discernment’s are made on a combination of the second and third type. St. Ignatius taught we can not discern for another person, but only for ourselves. There are some exceptions to this: 2 examples.

1 - Feeling agitation or peace while looking for God’s greater glory, are the signposts on the road to correct discernment.  St. Ignatius instructs that if we don’t get this deep sense of agitation or peace they must rely on another discernment method.

2 - Ignatius also taught if for any reason we can’t make a discernment on our own, it’s just that we are unable, they must rely on another discernment method.

Again, St. Ignatius taught we can not discern for another person, but only for ourselves.  God’s a smart guy, he knows when a soul is really trying to discern but just can’t.  In His kindness God has made provissions to help these souls.  When a person is unable to discern and goes to spiritual director, this is the exception.  It’s called an entrusted discernment.

An entrusted discernment is a delegated discernment.  The person freely accepts the entrusted discernment of  the other person as if he himself made it.  The discerner says, “ I’ve tried everything, to discern for a very long time with no clarity or certitude.  I think I will go to my pastor and accept his advice as if it were my actual discernment”.

An entrusted discernment is usually for something urgent and pressing.  The drawback is that discerning for them doesn’t teach them how to discern for themselves. Correctly telling people God’s appropriate path for them, it’s just giving them the fish and doesn’t teach them how to fish.  It doesn’t help them learn to discern. Maybe once the immediate crisis is over, then they could meet to increase the discerner’s ability to accurately hear God themselves.

This is what St. Ignatius taught.  The sacrament of confession is extremely helpful in clearing out impediments to discernment.  The more a person prays the more they can trust their discernment.

Impediments to Discernment

If your thinking all the above is hard, don’t become downcast and overwhelmed by these impediments to discernment.  To us they may appear as insurmountable mountains, but to God these mountains are not even mole hills.  God is very happy to help the students of discernment through grammar school, high school, college, and graduate school.  The squeeky wheel gets the oil.  More appropriately- Seek and you shall find.

Since discernment is most often a process, and not instantaneous, the enemy can get involved in different ways to create problems.  Christians fall into all types of discernment traps.

When living from mortal sin to mortal sin, discernment is impossible.

The sheep know their shepherd’s voice.  If you’re not His sheep and He isn’t your shepard, how can you know his voice? (John 10:1-3) You can’t know the voice, therefore this person can’t discern.  Ignatiuan discernment really is centered in Christ.  Suppose you don’t have a good relationship with Christ who through the Holy Spirit helps us discern?

The human mind is full of noise and clutter making it hard to internally slow down and listen. Even our prayer sometimes go at warp nine.  To hear God we have to slow down our internal dialogue (stop talking to ourselves), but it is exceptionally necessary to really quiet down the noise in our hearts.

A tortured soul has great difficulty in discerning.  So if a person is suffering major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety, etc., it is “in human  nature” virtually impossible to discern. Nevertheless through God all things are possible, including discernment.

Sometimes people second guess themselves, thinking that they did not do a good job at discernment, when actually their discernment was spot on correct but they don’t have confidence in themselves.

We also have to be careful we are not projecting our own selves onto our discernment process.

Sometimes we avoid discernment by procrastination, never making a decision until the time runs out and the decision is made for us. Again this is not actual discernment, because discernment is pro active.  Also, the opposite ie., being rushed into a discernment is like trying to get through a revolving door that is moving at the speed of a fan.  This is called the paralysis of analysis.

There are others who repetitively re-think the question being discerned, never experiencing resolution.  This may be scrupulosity which makes discernment impossible. When a person makes a sincere attempt to discern, and makes an actual good discernment, but feels guilty this is usually scruploscity.

Another trick the enemy uses is to keep our desolation secret, not sharing with anyone, sometimes even with the confessor.  Secrets are a tool of the enemy and things should be brought under the light of Christ or rather the light of Christ should be allowed to shine deep into the caves of the soul.  As Catholic Warriors we must understand that the enemies power is weakened when his secret plans are made known. ( )

God in His love provides assistance in these cases.  I will explain now.

Tentative Discernment

When I think I’m ready to choose, I’ve made a tentative discernment.  Then, in prayer I present it to God and listen for His confirmation.  He will either confirm or put you back to work into the discernment processd.  While waiting for the Word of the Lord, it’s OK to pursue your best choice.  In other words, walk through the door and see.  It’s when you have kind of decided, but are not 100% sure.

CHRISTIAN COUNSELING ON REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING

The Healing Power of Redemptive Suffering

The trite cliché, “offer it up” has so much theology and healing power it is no wonder that it has been clichéd by the enemy. It is as if the cliche’ “offer it up” were the title of a book and its chapters illuminated the processes holy purposes. The benefits of redemptive suffering are its ability to get souls out of purgatory and to evangelize the living to prevent Hell. There is also  increased probability for healing and merit. When we suffer well we are renewing our minds because this virtuous behavior releases graces to ourselves and the rest of the world.

When we pray, fast, or go to Church more than required we commonly expect to be blessed. What is difficult for many people to understand is that when God wants to reward people he often sends them trials and crosses. That can never be changed. Unfortunately this is not usually received well. They want to do God’s will in order to be more holy and  acquire more blessings but they find His crosses and trials insufferable. Human nature views trials and crosses as something to be avoided because it requires struggling. The spirit of the world inside the post abortive rejects renewing into the Mind of Christ by trials and crosses. They perceive trials and crosses as a punishment.

God does not think the way we think, so from His point of view He is actually rewarding us and doing us a great kindness. But how we respond to the suffering can either be in nature or grace.  When suffering transforms from focusing on the inconvenience into redemptive suffering this has great healing power.

If the post abortive could embrace trials and crosses in grace, they would be co-workers in Jesus’ mission while simultaneously consoling Him. It’s an ancient Catholic practice to make reparation to Jesus through our personal suffering. Therefore it is in the post Abortive’s best interest to unite their pain and suffering to the passion of Jesus Christ the Lord. The post abortive may never become able to love trials or crosses as a gift from God, but maybe they can move from disliking them, to tolerating them, to accepting them as a blessing for deep healing. It’s the teaching of the Holy Catholic Church that suffering can be very redemptive and open the floodgates of God’s healing mercy.

When a soul suffers, hates the suffering and complains to God, becoming mad at Him, this is not redemptive suffering because there is no love. Love of suffering is a very advanced Christian state of being. This reasoning was used by Mother Teresa about money. She said, “It’s not the amount of money given but the love attached to the gift.” If someone begrudgingly gave one million dollars to the Church, God would prefer the widows might.

It makes sense that there are many paths God uses to heal the post abortive soul. Redemptive suffering is a tried and true method. Redemptive suffering coexists like two sides of the same coin with the charismatic healing methods associated with praise, thanksgiving, and miracles.

While on Earth bad things happen to good people. God established the Adamic curse which placed mankind into a situation where we do things we don’t want to do and don’t do the things we want to do. When Jesus died and rose this act removed a lot of the damage caused by original sin but he did not remove pain and suffering from the Earth. This is because pain and suffering are a necessary tool for humanity to purify their hearts. God has embedded a divine healing power in our pain. Instead of boo hooing, “Poor, poor pitiful me,” and wasting the suffering on a pity party, practicing redemptive suffering is a royal road to healing the post abortive. When they try to intentionally embrace suffering, God gives them the strength to bear it. This often develops the virtues of patience, fortitude, and courage. Without trials they would never grow into spiritual maturity, and would remain spiritual children. Handling trials well creates spiritual growth. A trial may be upon a person so that they would gain these virtues. It becomes easier to embrace pain when it is ministering to hurting souls. It’s similar to the synergy which comes from combining prayer with fasting, there is also a synergy from combining suffering with redemptive intentions.

It is written that there is something lacking in Jesus’ suffering.(    ) Most of this lacking was completed through St. Mary’s Sorrowful Heart. What’s left lacking is human participation in redemptive suffering. This lack is fulfilled by human suffering. The amazing thing about Jesus’s suffering on the cross is that he folded into his suffering all human suffering so now mere human suffering becomes united with his suffering and contributes to redeeming and healing the world.  By His stripes we are healed and He allows the redemptive suffer to share a splinter of His cross.  Suffering done well unites our suffering with the passion of Christ. St. John Paul the Great believed that redemptive suffering was a sign of election and vocation. These people are living there priestly function as priest, prophet, and King.

Contract versus covenant – self-reliant vows.

We have the privilege of redemptive suffering which puts us in much closer union to Jesus. We establish joining His passion through injecting our passion into His all encompassing love for us. Not with sympathy or empathy, but in actuality. It is entering into the mind of Christ, into the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

When we choose our own reparation or penance, hopefully we would be responding to the indwelling Holy Spirit. There is some dysfunctional logic that we can avoid God’s crosses and trials by self imposing our own trials. Even in our own strength -  praying, being kind, loving, fasting etc., has value. God appreciates our efforts. But it’s better to accept trials and crosses from God’s loving hands because he knows better than us.

It’s been said that there are two things the holy angels wish they were able to do but can’t because these things are reserved exclusively for humanity. The holy angels are content with their status but they wish they could receive Holy Communion and suffer. It seems possible that this angelic desire arises from their Holy nature of either being in God’s “image” or “ likeness,” but not both as we humans are.

Spiritual trials and carrying our crosses need to be brought into our conscious awareness, processed, and appreciated. Once a trial has meaning, it gives it purpose. Now they feel better because they can process to the advantage of the kingdom of God. This brings meaning to the suffering and often empowers sufferings healing power. A person can learn to live the suffering when they know that they are accomplishing this mighty work.  Redemptive suffering develops trustful surrender to Divine Providence.

Substitute the word trials with tests. Trials (tests) are necessary to heal us. When we have a trial and don’t pass it, it gives the illusion of going away because it submerges for a time. Soon though it will resurface in a slightly different form, but it’s the exact same test. The failing, submerging, resurfacing process continuously repeats itself until the test is passed. Once the test is passed our trials are reflected in post abortion healing, Christian maturity, and purification. When a trial is passed something deeper from within the soul comes to the surface as the next trial. This is the purification process that God uses to heal all hurting souls. This includes healing the post abortive soul.

Sickness and suffering are an evil mystery. The enemies “Will” is to destroy us, but God can turn the evil ones plan for our destruction and turn lemons into the best lemonade. The worst feelings of guilt, shame, etc., can be turned around from bad into good by reframing them into redemptive suffering. Once accomplished trials and crosses are no longer burdensome but used for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. This truth is often a hard pill for post abortive parents to swallow, but it is God intention to take all bad things and turn them into good things. As bad as the abortion objectively is, God may use it to press the reset button in the post Abortive’s spiritual formation. In some cases the abortion crisis knocks the post abortive parent onto their knees triggering genuine metanoia. Using Alcoholic Anonymous terminology, the abortion would be their, “Hitting bottom.” It is written, that it is better to loose a hand than your soul.  

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