Sunday, February 04, 2007

Healing the pain

I came across a Christian Psychology page I had bookmarked long ago. I think the writing there stands on its own. It speaks powerfully about how to diffuse the understandable anger and rage that comes from abuse and other mistreatment.

In psychology there is an axiom that anxiety and relaxation cannot both exist in a person at the same time; this fact has become the empirical basis for systematic desensitization, a procedure for treating phobias. The spiritual realm has a similar axiom: you cannot hate a person and pray for him at the same time. And so, if you train yourself to pray for the repentance and conversion of anyone who insults or offends you, then it becomes impossible to hate that person—and all of your primitive rage therefore dissolves.

They suggest kneeling before the crucified Lord and praying this prayer:

Lord, I am wounded. I hurt. I am helpless. I am broken. I am vulnerable. Nothing I can do by my own hand can protect me. Help me, for without your mercy and protection, I will perish. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. Help me to continue my work in your service despite the fact that I feel [betrayed, abandoned, unloved, insulted, falsely accused, etc.].

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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