I have had my concerns about psychotherapy for some time. I am not completely against it and have had a few therapy sessions, myself. But my concern has been with those who practice it and are anti-Christian, who look to psychotherapy as a way to be "liberated" without acknowledging that there is such a thing as sin and sin keeps us in bondage. If a therapist claims that a person is being "repressed," the obvious question would be: repressed by whom? And usually the answer to such a question is: repressed by rigid belief systems such as religion, that only seek to control an individual.
But really, who is trying to control whom? When the psychotherapists got a hold of those nuns, they knowingly sought to control them by leading them away from the Catholic Church. By claiming they were introducing the nuns to "personal liberation," they placed them in another type of bondage -- one where they were trapped within endless self-reflection and worldviews that had only their voice and the voice of their fellow therapy participants as their point of reference. Soon after the psychotherapy experiment began, the sisters were released from attending daily Mass, which before was mandatory. Consistent prayer and meditation, which occurs during Mass, was removed. It's not a surprise that the nuns began to look to one another and their therapists as their guides.
I have an apology. In my previous post, I made a judgemental comment about the Bishop at the time and questioned the leadership that would allow such experimentation to take place. Lo and behold, it was Cardinal James McIntyre, who was cast in an uncharitable light with National Catholic Reporter's article, "Vatican, U.S. Women Religious Tensions Go Back Decades": (emphasis mine)
1968 –Cardinal James McIntyre of Los Angeles demands that the Immaculate Heart of Mary sisters back down from the changes in dress, work and living arrangements approved by the community’s chapter – and submit to his control instead -- or be forced out of the order. In what became a national scandal, the great majority of sisters refused to give in, and left to form a community separate from hierarchical control.
Well, no wonder His Eminence had issues with what was going on. It was obviously clear to him that the changes at the IHM seminary were not good ones and could only lead to chaos. History has proven him right. As a matter of fact, the more I learn about Cardinal James McIntyre, the more I like him. I may be highlighting him more in my blog because I suspect this man's good character and devout Catholicism has been misrepresented in print and I'd like to honor him. Anyone who sends his priests to John Birch Society meetings to be educated about the evils of communism, is a good guy in my book.
Any type of evaluation of oneself cannot address the root source of the problem -- which is sin; apart from a thorough examination of the claims of Jesus Christ. Only by renouncing self (as opposed to elevating it), will bring the peace that is sought. In renouncing, is a beautiful and joyful embracing of who we were created to be -- in Christ. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil. 4:13 NKJV) If that's not an "empowerment" statement, I don't know what is. But the key component of that statement is the dependence and surrender we have with God through His Son, Jesus Christ and by the grace and power of His Holy Spirit.
Too often, people place their trust in humanistic philosophies when in fact, placing their trust in God through Christ is exactly what they need and what will bring them health, healing, and a right mind and heart. Approaching God in humility will result in an abundance of grace, which brings peace and wholeness. Apart for Christ, there simply is no peace.
Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called the uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. (Eph. 2:11-16 RSV)