More on old wounds:
240. Many people leave childhood without ever having felt unconditional love.
Some have never really left childhood.
This affects their ability to be trusting and open with others. A poor relationship with one’s parents and siblings, if left unhealed, can re-emerge and hurt a marriage. Unresolved issues need to be dealt with and a process of liberation must take place. When problems emerge in a marriage, before important decisions are made it is important to ensure that each spouse has come to grips with his or her own history.
A certain persistence is suggested. along the lines of Luke 11:
This involves recognizing a need for healing, insistent prayer for the grace to forgive and be forgiven, a willingness to accept help, and the determination not to give up but to keep trying. A sincere self-examination will make it possible to see how one’s own shortcomings and immaturity affect the relationship. Even if it seems clear that the other person is at fault, a crisis will never be overcome simply by expecting him or her to change. We also have to ask what in our own life needs to grow or heal if the conflict is to be resolved.
This brings to mind a frequent discussion the Lord has with a person about to be healed. His question, “What do you want me to do for you?” is significant. Some people choose not to be healed. For too many, pain and resentment are such familiar companions that any alternative strikes us with fear or a lack of surety.
For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.
“Some people choose not to be healed. For too many, pain and resentment are such familiar companions that any alternative strikes us with fear or a lack of surety.”
While this is quite true, I would probe here to make sure this is not extrapolated in the more typical way of American self-improvement that has a psychologically violent way of indiscriminately blaming folks for failing to heal themselves (an interesting echo of Pelagiansm, which when you work it out becomes apparent to be a spiritually violent interpretation of the Gospel). One of the things we’ve learned from science in recent times is how the stresses of early live wire and condition the body; it’s not merely a mind-over-matter thing. Not all such things are as readily susceptible to conventional *material* treatment (either physical or material psychology).
I see that. But I also notice an even more common “American typical way” that seeks some kind of magic pill to cure what ails. I notice how many people are “stuck” in victimhood. The Christian way (and the 12-steps) suggest an honest personal assessment. I’ve known many people who were less “stuck” than slowly moving out of dis-ease. It’s about reliance on a higher power, and being calm enough to take things at a natural pace.
But yes, I also detect that American self-improvement. It’s one of the major obstacles to a fruitful encounter in either a 12-Step program or the Sacrament of Penance.
“But I also notice an even more common “American typical way” that seeks some kind of magic pill to cure what ails.”
Oh yes. That can take many forms, literal and analogical. And it also can be intertwined with that other tendency.
After I wrote the first comment here, I just happen to run across this (which is obviously more specifically about addiction but does have some carryover considerations outside that specific area):
I have two siblings in recovery from serious substance abuse habits picked up in the 1960s – one for 30 years, the other for 8 – each married and divorced twice – and how their experience of 12-step process has worked for them but also limited in some respects too. And I’ve been heard their conversations when they absolutely rule out medications or certain other treatments to treat certain other ailments they suffer from.
And beyond this there is the cultural reality that American culture abhors tragic realities: there are some pains and hurts that just *are* and don’t “heal” in the sense that Americans typically and immaturely understanding healing (especially regarding what people imagine is “closure” or what is “natural”). The lurking question is: what does healing look like/feel like and what assumptions/premises/expectations do we bring to that – are they the most truthful and fruitful ones?