Interior Integration for Catholics

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Join Dr. Peter as he describes the how Covenant, Mystery, and Vocation are to undergird our sexual lives as Catholics, and how these three are strands in one continuity of Catholic marriage. We also take on St. Paul's admonitions, "Wives, be subject to your husbands" and "Husbands, love your wives" and begin to look at what those mean for sexuality in Catholic marriage.

Show Notes

  1. Intro: Welcome to the podcast Interior Integration for Catholics 
    1. Interior Integration for Catholics brings to you in each episode the best psychological information essential for your human formation, knowledge that is fundamental in shoring up the natural foundation for your Catholic spiritual life.  
    2. This podcast helps you focus inward on your interior integration -- to help you bring together the different parts of yourself into unity and harmony with God in the natural realm.
    3. In this podcast, we confront the tough internal questions we Catholics have in our day-to-day lives, we confront head-on our struggles in the natural realm, the psychological difficulties that keep us from fully loving our Lord and our Lady in a deep, personal, intimate way and living out our vocations, including our vocation to Catholic marriage which necessarily brings in both sexuality and religion.
    4. And we're dealing with sexuality and religion in this episode for two primary reasons: first to free you to love God our Father, Jesus our Brother, the Holy Spirit and Our Mother Mary more and more over time and 
    5. Second, to love you neighbor as yourself -- And who is your neighbor?  If you are married, your first neighbor, your closest neighbor, the neighbor toward whom you have the most responsibilities is your spouse.  Because of your marriage vows.  
    6. I’m clinical psychologist Peter Malinoski and I am here with you, to be your host and guide.  
    7. This podcast is part of Souls and Hearts, our online outreach at, which is all about shoring up our natural foundation for the Catholic spiritual life, all about overcoming psychological obstacles to being loved and to loving God and neighbor
    8. This is episode 59, released on March 15, 2021
    9. This is the 11th episode in our series on sexuality the second in our subseries on Catholic marriages 
    10. Now we are zeroing in on sexuality within Catholic marriages and we're going diagnose some extremely common relational problems between Catholic spouses that get expressed through how they relate sexually.  
    11. So this episode is titled Mystery, Covenant, Vocation, and Being "Submissive" in the Marriage Bed. So get ready, prepare yourself for light bulbs to switch on and shine brightly as we explore new and much clearer ways of thinking about sexual life in Catholic marriages, grounded in the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church and informed by the best of psychology. 
    12. I'm doing this subseries on sexuality within Catholic marriage because I want you to have ways out of the sexual traps that so many Catholic married couple find themselves in, the negative cycles, the problematic repeating patterns that are so frustrating, that cause so much conflict and that harm people, even Catholic spouses who want to do the right thing.   
    13. And even if you're not trapped, your marriage is sound, love is growing -- there is going to be so much in these episodes to deepen the understanding, the awareness, the empathy, the commitment, and the love.  
  2. The lay of the land
    1. Podcast oriented toward Catholic serious about the faith
    1. But we are imperfect.   We forget who we are -- we forget that we are beloved children of God when we get blended with parts of us that are overcome with the intensity of emotions, passions 

    1. And Marriage is a huge challenge.  Catholic Scripture Scholar Peter Williamson:  Catholic Commentary on the Sacred Scriptures Ephesians Baker Academic p. 154  "Probably no element of human life arouses more longing and hope for happiness, yet yields as much pain and disappointment as marriage."  

    1. Conscious or unconscious assumptions:
      1. Sex is dirty.  God doesn't want us to have sex.  

      1. But sex is also necessary
        1. I'm married
        1. Procreation: Be fruitful and multiply

    1. Shame.  Episode 49
      1. Shame is at the center -- hard to talk about this because it is so personal and so intimate, and often so bound up with shame.  
        1. Sexuality not talked about, not discussed
        2. Sexuality part and parcel of our bodies, all about our bodies
        3. Catholics who are serious about their faith often have a propensity to start with self-judgement and self-condemnation, like at the end of a trial, without really understanding themselves well.
          1. Internal self-shaming
        5. And all of this makes sense, makes sense, because almost all of us Catholic adults have sinned sexually.  
        6. So many unmet needs and coded messages being expressed through sexuality -- can seem like a minefield
        7. Often leads to avoiding God
        8. Model of suppression and condemnation. Out of conscious awareness, then it doesn't exist any more
        9. Lots of bad advice out there. 

      1. So we try to go it alone and often that means without God

  4. Anthropological basis
    1. All practices of psychology are grounded in an anthropology
      1. Philosophy
      1. Theology
      1. Epistemology
      1. Metaphysics
      1. Logic

    1. Feminist Psychology
    1. This episode -- more spiritual foundation.  I want you to understand where I am coming from.  

    1. Fundamental Need to Grip on to Romans 8:28
      1. High stakes table
      1. Pain and disappointment
        1. Wanting spouse to be God -- Unmet needs, episode 57
        1. The Vision -- Considering Parts in Marriage
          1. The real reasons why Catholic Sacramental Marriages Fail
            1. Parts with unmet attachment needs.  Deep relational needs, often unconscious
            1. Attachment needs -- held by parts
              1. Seen, Heard, Known, Understood
              1. Safety, Security
              1. Comforted, Soothed Reassured
              1. Cherished, Rejoiced in, Delighted in
              1. Willing the highest good

            1. Leads to self-absorption
              1. Definition of self-absorption  -- preoccupied with oneself or one’s own affairs, sometimes to the point of excluding others or the outside world.”  

              1. Needs for God not being met  

              1. Makes sense that people look for these needs to be met in marriage
                1. Marriage as the "last great hope"
                1. Puts tremendous pressure on the marriage
                1. Leads to utterly unrealistic expectations for the marriage -- spouse can't do anything right

              1. Wanting the Spouse to be God.  

            1. Parts taking over
              1. It's parts of us that are angry, disappointed, disillusioned that want to give up on marriages and give up on God. 

              1. It's parts of us that  

  1. Last episode The Catholic marriage bed -- an image, a metaphor to represent the shared sexual life in a sacramental Catholic marriage
    1. This is for you visual learners out there -- podcasts are great for auditory learners.  If you are more of a visual learner, using your imagination to visualize this Catholic bed metaphor may be really helpful to you. 

    1. Not going to review all the parts of the bed.  

    1. The floor -- Starting from the floor up -- The rock-solid floor in the bedroom is the Foundation -- The presence of God -- and an active belief in God's Providence -- really focusing on this today.  
      1. Most spiritually focused episode in this series.  

  2. Let's really understand the Catholic Sacramental Marriage Context, the relational context between husband, wife and God in which married sexual love is expressed.  What is that foundation?
  3. Three words -- three strands woven in one rope:  Covenant, Mystery and Vocation -- 1601, 1602, 1603 drawn from Catholic Theologian Ina Siviglia in her 2019 commentary on the CCC CCC with Theological Commentary, Abp Rino Fisichella, OSV ISBN 978-1-68192-274-4
    1. Marriage as a theme from Genesis to Revelation (Marriage supper of the Lamb -- Rev. 19:7-9)
      1. Ina Siviglia:  There is nothing more expressive, mothing more joyful or gratifying in human experience, than passional love between a man and a woman.  

  4. The Matrimonial Covenant CCC 1601
    1. CCC 1601:  The Matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.  

    1. Not just a social or civic contract -- a partnership of the whole of life.  Not just some of life, not just most of life, not just almost all of life -- but the whole of life
      1. Faith journey of two people -- united by the sacrament, by the covenant.  It's more of a beginning than an achievement.  

      1. Unconditional offer of self -- the whole of my life.
        1. Vows:  No requirement of reciprocity or mutuality.
        1. I, Peter, take you, Pamela, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. 

        1.  No caveats

    1. Marriage as covenant evokes the mutual commitment between God and the people of Israel. 
      1. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch -- Ignatius Study Bible:  Marriage is an earthly image of the heavenly union between Christ and the Church.
      2. Abraham:  You will be my people and I will be your God.     

    1. Mutual Subordination:
      1. We confront the difficult stuff.  Ephesians 5:21-33
        1. NASB:  

and subject yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.  22 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church [q]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are parts of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
  1. RSVCE: 21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I mean in reference to Christ and the church; 33 however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. 
  2. Reliance on Peter Williamson:  Catholic Commentary on the Sacred Scriptures Ephesians Baker Academic
  3. Emphasis on vs. 21  Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 
  4. The Greek word hypotasso
    1. "to place or arrange under."
    2. Submit oneself to
    3. Defer to
    4. Subordination is free and voluntary -- not under compulsion.  Charity can never be.  Not passive, but actively willed.  
    5. Each Christian is to subordinate himself or herself to others.  Everybody seeking to serve each other, give of self to each other.  
      1. Galatians 5:13   serve one another through love.
      2. Deferring to others, with humility and love, not seek one's own self-interest or pleasure. 
      3. Mutual submission in marriage was a radical new idea.  
      4. Subordinate yourselves -- not obey (as in children).  Preserves the autonomy and freedom of conscience of the spouses.   
  5. Wives be subject to your husbands 
    1. Vs. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands.  
    2. In Everything is understood as a statement of principle.  Not some universal absolute norm that allows no exception when husbands are asking for something that violates faith, morals, or the dignity of the wife.  
    3. Casti Connubii On Human Marriage:  
      1. 27. This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband's every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors, to whom it is not customary to allow free exercise of their rights on account of their lack of mature judgment, or of their ignorance of human affairs. But it forbids that exaggerated liberty which cares not for the good of the family; it forbids that in this body which is the family, the heart be separated from the head to the great detriment of the whole body and the proximate danger of ruin. For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.
28. Again, this subjection of wife to husband in its degree and manner may vary according to the different conditions of persons, place and time. In fact, if the husband neglect his duty, it falls to the wife to take his place in directing the family. But the structure of the family and its fundamental law, established and confirmed by God, must always and everywhere be maintained intact.
  1. Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.  
    1. How did he give himself up -- crucifixion.  
    2. Agape: the great love -- this is a willed love -- and it does not require that the other person be worthy of the love, it doesn't require that the love be mutual or reciprocal, I'll love you if you love me, none of that.  
      1. Doesn't require that the other person love me back
      2. Demands the entirety of the person -- not loving just with the will, disconnected from the rest of me.  
      3. Williamson's paraphrase:  Husbands, set your hearts on your wives; prize them, cherish them, care for them.  Be affectionate toward them and seek their good.  
        1. All of the husband -- mindset and soulset, heartset and bodyset.  
      4. Christ, out of love, out of agape, voluntarily surrendered himself to die on the cross.  That kind of love.  That kind of sacrifice.  
        1. Seek the good of your wives regardless of the cost to you.  
        2. Symphony of good -- not violating.  
  2. Saint John Paul II TOB from August 11, 1982:  The essence of a love of a husband is to lay down his life for his bride.  This kind of love excludes every kind of submission by which the wife would become a servant or slave of the husband, an object of one-sided submission.  Love makes the husband simultaneously subject to the wife and subject in this to the Lord himself, as the wife is to the husband.  
  3. Mt 20:25-27   25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave; 
  1. Mystery
    1. CCC 1602:  Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.    
      1. From Siviglia
        1. Something hidden and obscure
        1. A visible reality that points to an invisible reality, as in the case of sacraments
        1. Pauline sense:  The plan of God, the economy of salvation, hidden in time but revealed in history.  

    1. Deemphasis on Mystery in our culture.  If I don't understand it, it's not real.  

    1. Mystery in Marriage is what is partly veiled and partly seen by the Eyes of Faith
    1. Perspective of Eternity
    1. Importance of Humility, Awe, Wonder -- let the little children come to me
      1. Humility -- we don't see all things in a mystery
        1. Isaiah 55:8-9 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
  1. Opposite -- reaching for omniscience --  I know what he's about.  
  2. Awe and Wonder
  3. St. Thomas Aquinas:  By sharing in God's life, we start to see and evaluate everything as if through His eyes.  
    1. Faith is a sharing in God's perspective, his vision for us.  
    2. We need to conform our ways to His ways, because they are best for us and that's not obvious to us, as long as we are unenlightened by faith.  
  4. Romans 8:28 All is grace.  All is linked to Grace
  5. Vision of eternity -- this life just as preamble
  6. Vocation
    1. CCC 1603: The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution…
    1. Singly and Together
      1. Singly
        1. No loss of identity
        1. Sometimes it has to be singly -- abandonment
        1. Even in good moments it has to be singly.  Spouse not participating

    1. Efficacy of the Sacrament of Matrimony depends on the dispositions of the spouses in the marriage.  We need to be open to those graces. 
      1. Waterfall in a thimble, teacup. Pitcher, bucket, swimming pool, ocean 
      2. We need faith
      3. We need obedience
      4. We need to live in a state of grace

    1. Mgsr. Vernon Johnson:  Though we would strenuously deny it if charged with it, we do in fact behave as if God himself had been taken off his guard by the Fall, as if he had not quite got the situation in hand.  To be more than resigned, to embrace the Cross with joy, we must see it not as an emergency measure, but as part of the eternal rhythm of the invincible will of the Father, who ordains all things, even the most minute and insignificant, with fatherly love.  p. 148.  Spiritual Childhood: The Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux 1961.  Ignatius Press.  

    1. Husband symbolizes Christ, and wife symbolizes the Church  

  8. Needs:
    1. Forgiveness
    1. Reconciliation
    1. Starting over
    1. Humility
    1. Being Small and Childlike -- Episode 30
    1. Trusting in God's Providence, not necessarily the spouse
    1. Denying self -- meeting spouses needs meets our needs.  No conflict.
      1. Catholic marriage has been found difficult and not tried.  

      1. Attitudes 

  15. When it's bad
    1. Separation, Divorce, Domestic Abuse, Addictions, sexual compulsions. Affairs, etc.  

  16. Action Plan 
    1. How present is God
      1. Prayer -- Listening for responses.  

      1. Inviting God into the Bedroom
    3. The challenge of a Sexual Problem is a gift from God.  Not necessarily the problem itself, especially if its sinful.   But the challenge.  
      1. How is this a gift.  
      2. Makes no sense from a purely human point of view DSM-5 16 Sexual Dysfunction and Paraphilic Disorders.  
    4. Attitudes toward suffering in your marriage. 
  17. Brief Exercise
  18. Action Plan -- 
    1. See if your spouse would be willing to listen to this episode and the upcoming ones with you.  These episodes can be a real conversation starter -- don't just assume your spouse won't be interested -- pray about it and let grace work as well.  If you don't have a spouse, your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancée -- all of those would work as well. W
    2. Keep drawing your bed and labeling it or use a picture of a canopied marriage bed.  You don't have to be a great artist -- but start drawing your own marriage bed, with your own insights, you own realizations.
      1. Start it in pencil and over the next several episodes gradually fill it in as we work our way through all the parts of the Catholic Marriage Bed.  

    3.  If you are not in the Resilient Catholics Community, Get on the waiting list for the RCC --  go to to sign up -- there's no obligation to join, but you will get all kinds of cool free stuff.  For example, -- I will email you the line drawing of the canopy bed on Friday, March 12 along with another free gift.  Really want people to start signing up for the waitlist, I am so excited about the reopening of our Resilient Catholic community, which we are planning in June.  
    4. Speaking of the RCC waiting list, I have a special event just for people who are on the waiting list 
      1. Our people on the waiting list have been so patient, I am so appreciative, so for those of you on the waiting list, you are all invited to a Zoom meeting 
      2. On Tuesday, April 6, 2021 from 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM Eastern time
        1. I will make a brief presentation about Catholicism, Sexuality and Parts
        1. Then We will have an "Ask me anything" section to field your questions or comments and have a great discussion
        1. Then I will discuss the Resilient Catholics Community -- the RCC focus on human formation, the monthly themes for the RCC, the membership benefits, our office hours, the weekly premium podcast exclusively for RCC members, our private app with discussion boards, subscription rates
        1. Then we'll discuss what you are looking for in an online community and answer questions about the RCC community  

        1. You can also send me questions via email at or via my cell at 317.567.9594,
      7. So if you love this Interior Integration for Catholics podcast and you're not yet part of the Resilient Catholics Community, join with so many others from around the world like you that also love this podcast.  The RCC is about transformation, about preparing the way for love in our souls. It's about being together as Catholics on a journey, on a mission to really enter into an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ our brother, the Holy Spirit who is Love Himself and with our spiritual parents, God the Father and Mary our Mother.  It's about sharing our experiences in that journey on that mission.  So get on the waiting list at or email me at and I'll help you out.  
    5. For current RCC members -- we have a premium podcast coming out on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 on Inviting God to my Bedroom -- how my parts react bringing God in to my sexual life.
    6. Catholic therapists who listen -- a community just for you.  reopening the ITC.  Landing page  Reopened.  Really excited.  Human formation of therapist. 
      1.  IIC 59T Working with client's parts around sexuality and God images 6 Fs -- March 16.  
    7. Subscribing to this podcast -- Spotify, Apple Podcasts, google play, amazon.  Share the Interior Integration for Catholics Podcast on social media -- sharing buttons are on our website at  -- get your word out there, with your personal recommendation -- how these episodes have helped you.  Share them, let others know. 
    8. Next week, in Episode 60, we are going to start with the legs -- attachment theory and IFS -- 
    9. Feedback.  Let me know how these episodes are landing with you -- -- some of you already have.  Get in touch with me on my cell at 317.567.9594 or my email at
    10. Marketing Plan -- designing and executing.  Want a listener
    11. Rachel's Practice
    12. Listing the top 10 countries  US (Indiana, California, Washington State, Texas and Florida) , Canada (Ontario and BC), Australia (New South Wales, Victoria), UK, Ireland, Lithuania, Croatia, Mexico, Spain, and the Ivory Coast
    13.  Patroness and Patron.
  1. IIC 59A  Inviting God in the Bedroom.  
  2. IIC 59T  Working with client's parts around sexuality and God images 6 Fs
    1. Sex and God issues are often very prominent in Fears.  

    1. Parts of me uncomfortable about knowing what clients' parts feel about sex and God.  

  3. Blurb for Transistor:  Join Dr. Peter as he describes the how Covenant, Mystery, and Vocation are to undergird our sexual lives as Catholics, and how these three are strands in one continuity of Catholic marriage.  We also take on St. Paul's admonitions, "Wives, be subject to your husbands" and "Husbands, love your wives" and begin to look at what those mean for sexuality in Catholic marriage.  
  4. Patronness and Patron

What is Interior Integration for Catholics?

In the Resilient Catholics podcast, together, we seek fundamental transformation in our lives through human formation. We look for God's providence in all that happens to us, in accord with Romans 8:28, grounded in an authentic 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 join our online community around this podcast at