It’s easy to understand that we often translate our human experiences into how we do or don’t relate to God. If we have lacked safety and security in an important human relationship, it makes it very difficult for us to trust God. Finding ways to work through that disconnect is a key to a more intimate relationship with Him.
Key Verses from Sunday Readings
“Brothers and sisters:
What will separate us from the love of Christ?
Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine,
or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?”
“No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly
through him who loved us.”
“The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.”
“When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick.”
Where Catholicism Meets Psychology
When we suffer with psychological issues like anguish and distress, God is ready to help us conquer them overwhelmingly.
We’re always stuck in this place of tension where we have one foot in the spiritual reality of God and the other foot stuck in our secular world where we’re often disappointed in the people and relationships around us.
One main psychological issue in attachment theory is feeling safe and secure. When we lack this in a part of our human lives, we face a psychological catch-22. If we’ve experienced a lack of safety or security in our childhood, we assume safety and security will not be in future relationships. Therefore, we also don’t seek it.
It’s hard to consciously ask God for safety and security when we unconsciously don’t believe it’s there.
God gives special graces to those who have suffered from abandonment, abuse or death of a father figure. Often, there’s both a spiritual and natural hunger for God the Father who draws us into an even more intimate relationship with Him.
When the crowds seek Jesus while He’s grieving in this week’s Gospel, He helps them. We are not an inconvenience to God. When we turn to Him, He is waiting for us.
This week, work on creating an affect or emotional bridge. Consider sometime in your past when you’ve lacked safety and security, perhaps when you got separated from a parent in a store or were frightened by something. Take that to prayer, and walk through that experience with God, Jesus, Mary or one of the saints by your side. Engage God in a conversation about the experience, ask questions, share how you’re feeling, and allow Him to help you heal through that memory. The exercise combines prayer with working through attachment aspects of safety and security.