Reading Abbot William’s autobiography, he presents interesting ideas on psychology, sternly placing caution upon interior examinations and the healing of the subconscious. Through recovery efforts, I have experienced healthy psychological exploration as well as severely troubling efforts. Dr. Nichta proves steady within continued consistency, a stabilizing influence of maturity and simplicity. The serious endeavor of unraveling the psyche of another is predicated upon the one ministering having experienced the unraveling themselves. Projection, the unintended consequence of spreading unresolved entanglements upon others is a dangerous reality. One cannot give what one does not have. Psychological healing on a profound spiritual level cannot be fostered by one psychologically in need. Someone broken cannot fix others. Moving past alcoholism, advancing recovery to greater spiritual growth, establishing a structured life within the realm of uncertainty, patience proving greater in application than proclamations and expectations, I am leery of psychological over-exposure. St Teresa of Avila, while stressing the importance of self-knowledge, also warns that just as damaging as not knowing ourselves, is spending too much time in self-discovery and examination. Self-absorption is destructive, an effort of one’s own doing never able to advance spiritual growth beyond an immature level. In regards to knowing myself, I am content to concede to mystery, to bow to the majesty of God, humbled and accepting, exercising faith, hope, and charity. Applying daily mass, the Eucharist, Catholicism, and prayer, I trust in God. I place faith in the intercession of the Virgin Mary—Our Lady Undoer of Knots, based soundly upon a lifetime of devotion. I am learning to place similar reliance upon her beloved husband St. Joseph. St. Joseph teach me to be a man of simplicity, silence, and obedience. I was going to comment more, yet I am exhausted. A demanding work schedule, Hospice volunteering, and the refinement of the contemplative life abandons me to silence more and more. Quiet prayer dominates my interior life. Dissipation lacking impressiveness, I don’t want to be right. Lacking the need to establish reputation, I don’t want to play at life. Weary, I don’t want to live vicariously and within delusion. I want to become holy. I am going to simply put forth the words of Abbot William. Reading his thoughts invigorated confirmations.
In the present era there is a penchant for the psychological expose. Everyone who has read an author or two in psychology, or better still, taken a couple of courses at a local community college, has obtained the deepest diagnostic insight into human motivations and neurotic traits. A twist, however, in this matter is that psychologist can’t help observing the “vagaries of character” and “neurotic traits” possessed by some “biographers and Ph.D. students” and historians who never seem to “rest in peace”. We witness the projection of their own vagaries, prejudices, character moods, and neurotic traits in their investigation. For the most part I hope to avoid the psychological approach and offer a merely straightforward presentation, which will itself evince sufficiently the psychological aspect of this account.…Each has his or her own story, so unique and so wonderful, that reveals the workings of God’s grace in their souls.