Interior Integration for Catholics

In this episode, I discuss the central importance of love as the marker of well-being from a Catholic perspective -- our capacity to live out the two great commandments. We explore how love is the distinguishing characteristics of Christians, we detail the eight different kinds of love, and we discuss Catholic theologian Bernard Brady's five attributes or characteristics of love -- how love is affective, affirming, responsive, unitive and steadfast. We discuss what is commonly missing from philosophical and theological approaches to love, and we briefly touch in the death of love and distortions of love.

Show Notes

  1. Summary, In this episode, I discuss the central importance of love as the marker of well-being from a Catholic perspective -- our capacity to live out  the two great commandments.  We explore how love is the distinguishing characteristics of Christians, we detail the eight different kinds of love, and we discuss Catholic theologian Bernard Brady's five attributes or characteristics of love -- how love is affective, affirming, responsive, unitive and steadfast.  We discuss what is commonly missing from philosophical and theological approaches to love, and we briefly touch in the death of love and distortions of love.  
  2. Lead-in
    1. I want to speak to you from my heart today.  I want to share with you heart to heart about what it most important to me.  And maybe what is most important to you.  I want to talk with you today about love.  Real love.  Fundamental Love. Radical love.  The real thing.  Not the counterfeits of love that you and I have pursued in our lives in one way or another -- the fakes loves we've mistaken for real love, or the lesser loves that we've tried to inflate into more than they could possibly be.
    1. I think love is not only the most essential experience in the whole world, it's also the most confusing for us.  Think about it.  What else has confused you more than love?  What has been more enduringly puzzling than love?  What has been more elusive for you?  What has been more enigmatic than love in your life?  What have you struggled with more than love?  

    1. Love -- the word is evocative.  The word is provocative, it stirs us up.  You parts react in so many different ways to the word love.  And so that's where we are going today.  Into the mystery of love.
  5. Intro:
    1. Maybe you are feeling like you're just struggling to survive.  
      1. I want more for you than that.

    1. Maybe much of the time you feel like things are OK, maybe pretty good.
      1. I want more for you than that.

    1. I want to share with you the very best of what I have with you on the central focus of well-being from a Catholic perspective.    

    1. Broad overview 
      1. Let's review a little.  In episode 88, we began a series on trauma with that piece Trauma: Defining and Understanding the Experience -- that one was a huge hit -- so many people interested in it, by far the most downloads of any episode.  
      2. In episode 89, called Your Trauma, Your Body: Protection vs. Connection -- we did a deep dive into the effects of trauma on the body, really understanding trauma from the perspective of Polyvagal theory by Steven Porges and Deb Dana.  
      3. From there, though, I really wanted to look at well-being -- how does secular psychology understand well-being -- 
        1. It's so important to understand what well-being is, what it looks like, how it feels.  So many people have never really experienced well being.  It's possible that you've never really experienced well-being.  
        2. So I started a subseries on well-being within the broader trauma series.  
      4. So shared with you the secular views of well being in Episodes 90 and 92 of this podcast
      5. We really dived into what the best of current psychological theorizing says about well-being
        1. Episode 90  Your Well-Being: The Secular Experts Speak
          1. DSM 5 -- which doesn't have a description of well being
          1. PDM 2
          1. Hedonic Well-being
          1. Eudemonic Well-being
          1. Freud's ideas of well-being
          1. Contributions of Positive Psychology - pioneered by Martin Seligman
          1. Polyvagal Theory -- Stephen Porges, Deb Dana
          1. Internal Family Systems

        1. Episode 92 Understanding and Healing your Mind through IPNB
          1. Interpersonal Neurobiology -- Daniel Siegel -- a lot to say about the healthy mind, a sense of well-being.  Very well developed.  

        1. Episode 93 consisted of three experiential exercises
          1. The first on the ways in which you reject yourself or condemn yourself as a person
          1. The second on protection vs. connection -- your internal reactions to your wounds.  That one was based off of polyvagal theory
          1. The third was on exploring your own inner chaos and rigidity within -- based off of Daniel Siegel's Interpersonal Neurobiology and one point he makes is that all psychological symptoms can be thought in terms of rigidity and/or chaos.  Rigidity and chaos are signs of having lost a sense of well-being.  

          1. I invite you to check those out if you haven't already, there's a lot of opportunities in those experiential exercises for you to do your inner work.  

      6. As you know, I am Dr. Peter Malinoski, clinical psychologist, passionate Catholic, and I am the voice of this podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics
        1. In this podcast, Interior Integration for Catholics, we take on the most important psychological questions.  We take the most important human formation issues head on, directly, without mincing words, without trepidation, without vacillation, without hesitation -- We are dealing with the most important concerns in the natural realm, the absolute central issues that we need to address with all of our energy and all of our resources.  

        1. And up until now, the most important episodes I've done are numbers 37 to 49 -- that was the 13-episode series on shame.  Why?  Because shame is the major driver of so much emotional distress, so many identity issues, and so many psychological symptoms.  

        1. But these new few episodes, these episodes on well-being from a Catholic perspective, informed first by the perennial wisdom of the Catholic Church, and then secondarily by the best of psychological science, theory, research and practice, these episodes on love, these are the most important.  Why?  Because, in two words, love heals.  Love restores.  Love makes new.  Love is our mission, love is our goal, love is the destiny we are called to.  

        1. This is episode 94 of the Interior Integration for Catholics podcast, released on June 6, 2022 and it's titled Well-Being from a Catholic Perspective:  The Primacy of Love
  6. Love as the Center
    1. We were made in love and for love and to love.
      1. Prayer to God in the Litanies of the Heart: "Lord Jesus, You created me in love, for love. Bring me to a place of vulnerability within the safety of your loving arms."  Discussed the Litanies of the Heart with Dr. Gerry at length in Episode 91 of this podcast, a special episode all about the litanies of the heart.  

      1. Inviting to the adventure of loving
        1. So many people are just surviving -- their vision is so reduced, they are not even looking to be loved or to love.  Maybe that's you, to some degree.  

        1. They are not on the adventure -- the are jaded, disillusioned, tired, wounded by betrayal or abandonment, cautious now, skeptical, calculating when it comes to love.  They hear the word love, and it activates shame, grief, loss, sorrow, fear in parts of them.  Parts of them don't want the vulnerability, the risk of being hurt again.  Maybe that's you, too. 

        1. They are not on the adventure.  I want you to come on the adventure.  The greatest adventure.  The adventure of loving.  Stay with me in the podcast.  That can be a fresh start if you need one. A new start on the adventure of loving.  
          1. St. Augustine:  To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the great human achievement.
          2. St. Therese Lisieux  "I know of no other means to reach perfection than by love. To love: how perfectly our hearts are made for this! Sometimes I look for another word to use, but, in this land of exile, no other word so well expresses the vibrations of our soul. Hence we must keep to that one word: love.

  1. Our Great Mission as Catholics is summed up in the two Great Commandments
    1. Two Great Commandments
      1. Mark 12:28-31:28  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

      1. Loving with our whole heart.  Jules Toner, 1968 book  The experience of love
        1. In the full, concrete experience of love, our whole being, spirit and flesh, in involved.  Cognitive acts, feelings and affections, freedom, bodily reactions -- all these are influencing each other and all are continually fluctuating in such a way as to change the structure and the intensity of the experience.  

    1. Love is the distinguishing characteristic of the Christian
      1. John 13:35  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    1. Baltimore Catechism
      1. First Lesson on the End of Man, question 6 
        1. Q. Why did God make you?
        2. A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. 

      1. To love God implies both that we know Him and that we serve Him

    1. CCC
      1. 2392 Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. (quoting St. John Paul II Familiaris Consortio, paragraph 11)
      1. 2134 The first commandment summons man to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him above all else.

    1. Matthew 6:21:   For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
    1. Quotes for St. Therese of Lisieux   It is love alone that counts.
  4. Catholic well-being is not hedonism, feeling good all the time - It is all about being equipped to live out our mission of being loved and loving God, our neighbors (including our enemies) and ourselves.  
    1. So many secular approaches emphasize the Pursuit of happiness -- they operate off of a hedonistic anthropology.  
      1. Carrie Snow -- stand up comedian who was raised in a Jewish family:  The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase: if you pursue happiness you'll never find it.
    2. Mick Cady 2019 blog:  At age 19, Augustine of Hippo read a dialogue by the Roman philosopher Cicero in which Cicero stated that every person sets out to be happy, but the majority are thoroughly wretched. Truly, no one dreams as a child of one day growing up to be miserable, and yet many people’s lives are characterized by conflict, frustration and unfulfilled longings.
      1. Augustine was convinced that what defines a person more than anything is what they love. He said that when we ask if someone is a “good” person, what we are asking is not what they believe or what they hope for, but rather what they love. 

    3. We need an anthropology, a revealed religion or we will never get it.  
      1. Psychology alone cannot answer the deep questions about what we should love and what love is ordered and disordered --- as many psychologies as there are anthropologies -- psychology cannot answer the questions that are properly in the realm of theology, philosophy, epistemology and metaphysics.  
      2. G.K. Chesterton:  “We do not really want a religion that is right where we are right. What we want is a religion that is right where we are wrong. We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world. We want a church that will move the world.”   Charles Dickens, A Critical Study
  5. Definitions of Love
    1. English is a very difficult language when it comes to describing inner experience -- Jose's anecdote
    1. Different Types of Love -- 
      1. Eros (romantic, passionate love) The first kind of love is Eros, named after the Greek God of fertility. Eros is passionate, sensual, romantic love with an intense romantic and sexual feelings.
      2. Philia (affectionate love) The love between friends -- friendship.  Some call this platonic love, love “without physical attraction.”
      3. Storge (familiar love)  Storge is a natural form of affection experienced between family members. This protective, kinship-based love is common between parents and their children, and children for their parents.
        1. Storge can also describe a sense of patriotism toward a country or allegiance to the same team.
      5. Mania (obsessive love) When love turns to obsession, it becomes mania.
        1. Stalking behaviors, co-dependency, extreme jealousy, and violence are all symptoms of Mania.
      7. Ludus (playful love)  The Ancient Greeks thought of ludus as a playful form of love. It describes the situation of having a crush and acting on it, or the affection between young lovers.
      8. Pragma (enduring, committed love)  Pragma is a love built on commitment, understanding and long-term best interests.
        1. It is a love that has aged, matured and about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, also showing patience and tolerance.
      10. Philautia (self love)  The Greeks understood that in order to care for others, we must first learn to care for ourselves. As Aristotle said “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.”
      11. Agape (selfless, universal love)  selfless universal love, such as the love for strangers, nature, or God.
        1. This love is unconditional, bigger than ourselves, a boundless compassion and an infinite empathy that you extended to everyone, whether they are family members or distant strangers.
        1. Bernard Brady, p. 267  2003 Book Christian Love: How Christians through the Ages have Understood Love.  Agape does not neglect, deny or destroy eros or indeed philia, it informs them.  

        1. Agape is what we are focusing on.  

    1. Jules Toner looking for what he call "radical love" -- phenomenologist.  
      1. from the latin radix or root, the love the is the foundation for all other loves.  
      2. Toner describes how radical love is a response to the beloved's total reality.  

  7. Interdisciplinary approach
    1. Not just theology and philosophy
      1. Philosophers and Theologians generally don't understand the impact of trauma on being loved and loving.  They don't get it.  
        1. Catholic Christian Meta-Model of the Person -- almost nothing on trauma and its impact. Nothing in the index.   

    1. Phenomenology -- an approach that concentrates on the study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience.
      1. This is really important because it's what people relate to.  

    1. Spiritual Writers and Saints
    1. Best of psychology
  10. Bernard Brady's description of Love  Christian Love: How Christians through the Ages have Understood Love.-- drawing heavily from the work of phenomenologists  Jules Toner and Margaret Farley
    1. Love is affective, affirming, responsive, unitive and steadfast.  (repeat)  Five characteristics 

    1. Love is affective -- emotional components of love can often be neglected in philosophical or theological discussions of love.  
      1. Love is an emotion
      2. Love is a movement from your heart, your soul -- a movement from the innermost depths of your being.  From your core self.  
      3. Love is prior to reason and transcends reason.  
        1. You might say it's "bigger" than reason. 
        2. Love is best captured, not in the dry academic language of the philosopher, but in the verses of the poet
        3. Blaise Pascal -- The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.  
      4. Love rejoices in the beloved -- Protestant Theologian R.H. Neibuhr writes in his 1977 book the Purpose of the Church and Its Ministry:  By love, we mean at least these attitudes and actions: rejoicing in the presence of the beloved, gratitude, reverence, and loyalty toward him.  p.35
      5. Love is the directive and dominant center of emotions.  p. 267
        1. Many emotions are associated with love
          1. Delight, Bliss, Happiness
          1. A sense of fulfillment
          1. Warmth
          1. Grief
            1. John 11:32-36  32 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled; 34 and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 

          1. Sadness
          1. Anxiety 
            1. Dolly Parton:  Love is something sent from heaven to worry the hell out of you.  

          1. Distress-- as when our Lady, Mother Mary and St. Joseph were searching for the missing 12-year-old Jesus in Jerusalem
            1. Luke 2:48.  And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.

      6. If there is no emotion, there is no agape, no love.  The heart must be moved for love to be anything like complete.
        1. We cannot love like a Vulcan, without emotion. 

        1. Limitations of benevolence alone -- when I was but a wee therapist…
          1. Love is an act of the will
          1. I didn't have to like my clients
          1. But warmth and affection toward them, a warm and inviting emotional response was so much better.  

    1. Love is affirming
      1. Love affirms the other
      1. Love says yes to the other person at the same time as love says yes to oneself.  

      1. "Agape is the simple yet profound recognition of the worthiness of and goodness in persons."  p. 268
      1. Affirmation happens at two levels
        1. One level is the basic level of human dignity shared by all persons.  
          1. Affirmation on this first level has an equal regard for everyone -- all persons are ontologically good, all bear the image and likeness of God.
          2. St. Thomas "Love the sinner and hate the sin." 
          3. Not about the personal merits or individual characteristics of the person.
            1. Philosopher Gene Outka describes this as equal regard for each and every person.  

        1. Second level of affirmation is the uniqueness of the person.  
          1. In loving the other person, we acknowledge and affirm the uniqueness of the beloved.  
            1. Her gifts
            2. Her beauty
            3. Her unique qualities and traits
          2. When you love your neighbor you truly see the other as a person.  
          3. Jules Toner, SJ -- "I love you because you are you."
          4. A deep respect for the other person, a reverence for the individuality of the person.
          5. Augustine in his confesssions:  O thou Omnipotent Good, thou carest for every one of us as if thou didst care for him only, and so for all as if they were but one!   

        1. We need to affirm at both levels.  The basic dignity of the person and the uniqueness of the person.
          1. Brady:  We do not want to be loved merely because we are a person (no one wants to be generically loved) nor do we want to be loved because of particular characteristic or physical trait (what if my full head of dark hair is no longer full or dark).  We want to be loved in our totality.  p. 268.  
            1. That's why my clients didn't respond to my cool efforts at benevolence.  I was not finding and not taking in their good qualities.  Sometimes I was not looking for their uniqueness.  I was not seeing them as persons.  My attempts at benevolence actually avoided who they were, because I was threatened.  I wasn't sure I could handle the intensity of their pain, their shame, their grief, their rage.  

        1. God loves us as individuals.  God loves us in our unique particularity.  "God calls us each by name."  Isaiah 43:1 But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
        1. Jesus -- who does he connect with?  Paupers and nobles, lepers and rich men, Samaritan women and Roman centurions, fishermen and lawyers, tax collectors and Pharisees, the sick and the strong, the dying and the robust, the political zealots and the housewives, the prostitutes and the Sanhedrin.

      1. Jules Toner "You are why I love you."    
        1. "Loving someone in depth…means loving from the lover's most personal self, with sincerity, intensity, endurance….to affectively affirm this unique person in a response informed by a full, detailed knowledge which catch the delicate shadings of his profoundest attitudes, moods, likes, and dislikes, ideals, fears, hopes, capabilities, etc. "  

      1. Affirmation implies acceptance of the other and knowledge of the other.    This is not an endorsement of the other's vices or bad habits, but a recognition of them and an acceptance of who the person is as an entire being.  Not picking and choosing the attractive bits.  
        1. Self-acceptance of the same things.
        2. Leo Tolstoy:  When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you'd like them to be.
      2. Conrad Baars' affirmation therapy -- quoting from  A person’s ability to love is unlocked when that person experiences himself or herself as good, worthwhile, and lovable. According to Christian psychiatrists Conrad W. Baars and Anna A. Terruwe, this process is called “affirmation.” Affirmation is a three-step process which occurs when one person is the source of unconditional love and emotional strengthening for another person. These three steps are: the person is open and receptive to the goodness and lovableness of the other; over time, the person allows himself to be moved with affection, love, delight, etc., by the other person; and third, the person reveals these feelings to the other primarily through his countenance, tone of voice, gentle touch, etc.

    1. Love is Responsive
      1. Love is an active response for the well-being of the other.  This is where Brady includes benevolence.  It's about participating in the promotion of the highest good for the other, potential for the other's full humanity.
        1. How can I help you to flourish?  How can I help you toward your highest good?
        1. 1 John 3:18  Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth.   

        1. James 2:26:  For even as the body without the spirit is dead; so also faith without works is dead.

  1. This is where self-sacrifice comes in.  There are times, and sometimes it's often when agape, when love will call for self-sacrifice.  
    1. It does not necessarily mean allowing oneself to be exploited or used or destroyed or mistreated.  
    2. That is often different than self-giving -- and we are going to discuss this at length in future episodes in this series.  
  1. Brady:  A dominant feature of agape is a readiness and a willingness to subordinate the fulfillment of my needs so as to be able to help the other fulfill her needs. p. 279 
    1. That subordination may at time call for my life.  For martyrdom.
      1. St. Therese of Lisieux:  Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness.
    3. Loving God or my neighbor can never demand that I violate my integrity, my deepest values, the core of who I am.
    4. Margaret Farley -- I can sacrifice what I have, but I can never sacrifice who I am.  
  2. Responsiveness implies an attunement to the other -- a resonance, and understanding.  The capacity to respond well.  It's not just any responsiveness.  The ability to be aware of and to respond effectively to the needs of my neighbor.  So there is a capacity about this.  It's not just an act of the will.  
    1. Attunement can be described as a kind of resonance.  
      1. Toner:  Radical love is experience as being in accord with the loved one, vibrating as it were, in harmony with the beloved's act of being and so with the whole melody of the beloved's life.  It is a welcoming of the loved one into the lover's self and his life-world, as fitting there, making a harmony with the lover's being and life.  
      2. Augustine:  “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” 
  3. Love is Unitive
    1. Brady:  The fruit of love is unity.  Love unites.  It is in the very nature of love to bring together.  p. 279
      1. John 17:  20-23  “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word,  that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,  I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one,
      1. Colossians 3:12-14:  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience,  forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 

      1. Acts 4:32  Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul
      1. Philippians 2:2  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.\

    1. Brady:  When you love, you step out of yourself and experience the other.  
      1. There is still a separateness.  Not a blending or a fusion or a loss of identity.  But you are no longer just within yourself.  You've entered into the space of another.  
      2. And you've allow the other to enter into your space
        1. "Come live in my heart and pay no rent." — Samuel Lover

    1. Loving an enemy -- you are like me.  We are similar on a fundamental human level.  
      1. No dehumanization.

    1. Loving doesn't necessarily lead to a mutuality or reciprocity.  Not all love is accepted or taken in.  Witness John 6, the discourse of the bread of life when Jesus was offering the greatest gift ever, the entirety of himself, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity to his disciples:
      1. The response:  John 6:60 and 66:  Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” … After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.

    1.  But you still reach out to the beauty and inner goodness of the other.  

    1. Agape pulls for unity, even with strangers.  Right now, devastating wars are actively going on in the Ukraine, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, among other places. Food crises are becoming more urgent as international food trade and distribution channels are breaking down.  This will move hearts that love with agape.
      1. Jesus wept over Jerusalem  Luke 19:41-44   And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes.  For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side,  and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

    1. The mystics describe the unity we are called to in God -- Union with God.  

  4. Love is steadfast
    1. God's love endures.  '
    1. Psalm 136 opens:  

 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures for ever.
O give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures for ever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures for ever;
  1. Love can change, though.  For us humans, it can deepen, it can mature.  
    1. H.R. Neibuhr -- "Love can have a history."  
  2. It may not always be mutual or reciprocal
    1. Story of the prodigal son.
    1. Story of St. Monica and St. Augustine.  

    1. Story of St. Augustine and God 
      1. Quote from Confessions:  “Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.” 

  4. Martin Luther King
    1. Essay -- Loving your Enemies 
      1. To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our community at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.’ ”

  5. Psalm 36: 5-10
5 Thy steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    thy faithfulness to the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God,
    thy judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast thou savest, O Lord.
How precious is thy steadfast love, O God!
    The children of men take refuge in the shadow of thy wings.
They feast on the abundance of thy house,
    and thou givest them drink from the river of thy delights.
For with thee is the fountain of life;
    in thy light do we see light.
O continue thy steadfast love to those who know thee,
    and thy salvation to the upright of heart!
  1. Desire for this in the modern era:  1983 songs Cyndi Lauper -- If you fall, I will catch you, I will be waiting… Time after Time
  2. Jules Toner -- Love is the not just "giving of self" but giving self.   
    1. Giving of myself -- sharing something of what I am -- I may share my wit, my knowledge, by strength, my sense of joy, my playfulness.  
      1. These are all qualities of my being.  
      2. They are things I possess.
    2. Giving myself -- that radical love, according to Toner, is the gift of my self.  It is me.  I am the gift.  Not just my qualities or my possessions.  So I am loving from the core of my being -- the loving is the most personal act.  
  3. Integration
  4. Resilience
  5. Distortions
    1. Loving the wrong things.  

    1. Augustine:  “In order to discover the character of people we have only to observe what they love.”   Confessions
    1. "We are shaped and fashioned by those we love." — Goethe
    1. "Tell me who you love and I’ll tell you who you are." — Creole Proverb
  9. The death of love
    1. Brady 273.  Love does not die because of hate but because of apathy.  The death of love is often preceded by the denial of the basic dignity of the other.  The death of love happens when we reject instead of affirm the other's special personal and unique goodness.  The death of love is encouraged when we ignore the other's needs and wants while prioritizing our own wants.  The deal of love occurs when we pursue discord, division, disassociation, and distance in the place of unity.  
      1. It is not just the pursuit of these things.   If whatever we are pursuing, even if it is a good but not the highest good results in ignoring or  rejection of others' needs -- or if it results in discord, division, disassociation, and distance.  I might want to become physically fit and start training two hours per day for a marathon.  If I did that, I would wind up neglecting my family's needs.  
      2. Malice is not necessary for love to die.  Apathy doesn't have a lot of malice in it.  Hatred has a lot more malice than apathy.  If you are hating someone, you are still at least in relationship with the hated one.  You are thinking about the hated one.  The hated one still exists for you.  But in apathy, the other does not register in your consciousness.  He or she doesn't matter. 

  10. Where we are going
    1. Tolerating being loved -- many people assume that we just want to be loved
      1. Brady:  page vii, second sentence.  Loving seems entirely natural and being loved seems wonderfully good.
      1. I take issue. Being loved can be very, very painful.  It can feel very unnatural to very many people, especially those with complex trauma.  

      1. This kind of sentence would never be written by a depth psychologist, or anyone really experienced with the terror, the shame, the grief, and the walls that those who have experienced abandonment and betrayal traumas suffer with. 

    1. Assumption -- we naturally love ourselves.  I take issue with that.  
      1. Ordered Self Love

    1. Love and Identity
      1. 1 John 3:1  See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 

    1. Learning to love by loving
      1. St. Bernard of Clairvaux:  We much remember that love reveals itself, not by words or phrases, but by actions and experience.  It is Love with speaks here, and if anyone wished to understand it, let him first love.  

    1. What gets in the way of loving
      1. Sin -- the great unlove
        1. Missing the mark

      1. Trauma
        1. Protection vs. Connection -- Polyvagal theory, Episode 89: 

        1. Rigidity and Chaos IPNB, Episode 92

      1. Original Sin => original trauma
      1. Shame
      1. Differences between unlove and desolation

  11. The RCC -- Come with me on an adventure.  Come with me on an adventure of being loved and of loving.  That is what the Resilient Catholic Community is all about.  Check out the Resilient Catholics Community at  The RCC is all about working through your human formation issues -- the ones that inhibit you from receiving the love you need and from loving God completely, with every fiber of your being, with your body,  with all your parts, with all your emotions, thoughts, all your inner experience with all of you, with no part of you left behind, no part of you left out.  
    1. It's all about learning to be gentle but firm with yourself -- it's all about integration.  It's all about resilience.  
    2. All about restoration -- recovering from being dominated by shame, fear, anger, sadness, pessimism, whatever your struggle is in the depths of your human formation
    3. And we do this work experientially -- so many experiential exercises -- this is not just intellectual knowledge, we're working with all of you.
      1. Informed by Internal Family Systems and the best of the rest of psychological and human formation resources
      1. All grounded in a Catholic understanding of the human person
      1. All focused on helping you to better accept love and to love more fully, to carry out the two great commandments of our Lord.  

    6. Are you up for the challenge?  Would you like to join me and the rest of the pioneers in this adventure?  Do you want to be a part of the community?  
      1. Are you ready to prevail over whatever hinders your human formation -- would you like to no longer be dominated by fear, anger, shame, sadness, pessimism?  And would you like to be with other like-minded Catholics on the journey --
      2. If so join me.  Join all of us in the Resilient Catholics Community.  The RCC
    7. We are taking applications throughout June of 2022 for our third cohort, those in that cohort will start their adventure in June and July by taking our Initial Measures Kits and be getting feedback on their parts in a personal Zoom session with me.  It's a great chance for us to get to know each other, really know each other at the level of parts.  You'll get a 5 or 6 page report on your internal system and then be eligible for our weekly company meetings and programming to begin in late August or early September.  
    8. Sign up  for the June waiting list -- Souls and -- or just do an internet search for the Resilient Catholics Community. 
    9. Human Formation Retreat -- August 12-14, 2022 details will be put on the website.  Meet me in person.  Only for RCC members
  12. Patroness and Patron

What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Interior Integration for Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation, via Internal Family Systems approaches grounded in a Catholic worldview. Join us as we sail through uncharted waters, seizing the opportunities for psychological and spiritual growth and increasing resilience in the natural and spiritual realms. With a clear takeaway message and one action in each weekly episode, you can move from dreading what is happening to you to rising above it. Join us on Mondays for new episodes. You can also check out the Resilient Catholics Community which grew up around this podcast at