St. Joseph: Engenderer and Mentor of the Son of God as Man

Feast of St. Joseph, March 20, 2017:

The central importance of St. Joseph was not realized until the 16th c. when St. Teresa of Avila brought it to focus. The second has been St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. Both saints came to this through intimate experiences with the Christ. This is the basis of what the Church understands by the “development of doctrine.” As the Person of Christ is more personally experienced, the consciousness of the believer grows.

The ontological importance of St. Joseph (on two levels)

I

 By the supernatural faith of obedience to the divine command to take Our Lady as wife, he entered into engendering the God-man:

That is, as Mary became “cause” [Mother of God] of the humanity of the Creator by her free act of faith (“fiat”), so Joseph entered into the same causality by a similar act of faith in taking Mary as spouse. Read carefully:

There is a strict parallel between the “annunciation” in Matthew’s text and the one in Luke. The divine messenger introduces Joseph to the mystery of Mary’s motherhood. While remaining a virgin, she who by law is his “spouse” has become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when the Son in Mary’s womb comes into the world, he must receive the name Jesus. This was a name known among the Israelites and sometimes given to their sons. In this case, however, it is the Son who, in accordance with the divine promise, will bring to perfect fulfillment the meaning of the name Jesus-Yehos ua’ – which means “God saves.”

Joseph is visited by the messenger as “Mary’s spouse,” as the one who in due time must give this name to the Son to be born of the Virgin of Nazareth who is married to him. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary’s Son.

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (cf. Mt 1:24). He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary’s with regard to what God asked of him through the angel.[1]

II

THE GUARDIAN OF THE MYSTERY OF GOD

  1. When, soon after the Annunciation, Mary went to the house of Zechariah to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, even as she offered her greeting she heard the words of Elizabeth, who was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1:41). Besides offering a salutation which recalled that of the angel at the Annunciation, Elizabeth also said: “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Lk 1:45). These words were the guiding thought of the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, in which I sought to deepen the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which stated the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully preserved her union with her Son even to the cross,”(5) “preceding”(6) all those who follow Christ by faith.

Now at the beginning of this pilgrimage, the faith of Mary meets the faith of Joseph. If Elizabeth said of the Redeemer’s Mother, “blessed is she who believed,” in a certain sense this blessedness can be referred to Joseph as well, since he responded positively to the word of God when it was communicated to him at the decisive moment. While it is true that Joseph did not respond to the angel’s “announcement” in the same way as Mary, he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife.” What he did is the clearest “obedience of faith” (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5-6).

One can say that what Joseph did united him in an altogether special way to the faith of Mary. He accepted as truth coming from God the very thing that she had already accepted at the Annunciation. The Council teaches: “‘The obedience of faith’ must be given to God as he reveals himself. By this obedience of faith man freely commits himself entirely to God, making ‘the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals,’ and willingly assenting to the revelation given by him.”(7) This statement, which touches the very essence of faith, is perfectly applicable to Joseph of Nazareth.

               2) Hebrews 5, 8: “Son, though he was he learned obedience frm what he suffered.”

               Jesus Christ has a created human will. Chalcedon teaches that Jesus Christ is One Person with Two natures: divine (uncreated) and human (created). Therefore , He has a created human will that He must determine in Himself just like you. That created human will was laden down with all the sin of all men of all time: He takes on the guilt of all the self-seeking, vanity, laziness, impurity, attachment to things, impoverity, etc.2 Cor. 5 , 21: “He made Him to be sin who knew nothing of sin.”  Christ turns all the self-seeking sin that He freely takes on, and turns it into obedience – to death, on the Cross.  This means that He lives out Who He is as pure and total relation to the Father by turning the acquire rebelliousness of our sin into obedience. That is, He had to learn obedience.

               And He learned it at the side of Joseph in the carpentry at Nazareth. He had to go through the apprenticeship of carpentry to learn how to subject his created human will to the Joseph’s authority and expertise. That is, the Creator of the world had to be told: No, you don’t do it that way. You do it this way. As 100% man (He is 100 % God), He must learn to be a carpenter.  And for that , He must learn obedience through His human will that is not annulled by the presence of the divine will.  The  two wills are not in parallel, but “one” in that the same divine “I” lives out His divinity through each.

               This obedience of Christ is prefigured in the obedience of Abraham who is told to kill his dearly beloved and first born son, Isaac. This is the prefigurement of the meaning of faith. Christ is the prototype by His obedience to death on the Cross. He as formed into this in the workshop of Joseph.

May we understand that obedience to the will of God in the ordinary life is precisely the divine way of sanctity in the world – and we learn it next to Joseph who is next to Our Lady.

 II

     As Jesus is 100% God, He is also 100% man. He is fully God and fully man. The reality is that Christ is one Person with two complete natures: divine and human, They are ontologically distinct as uncreated and created but one, not in parallel, because the one Person of Christ, being divine, assumed the created human nature into His divine Person.

   The point that must be made is the need to form and develop the human nature. The human nature needs the affirmation of another. Joseph is the key to the development of Jesus Christ as man.

    I add the pertinent psychological findings on the formation of persons:

 “The source of the feeling of self-worth is always another person – the ‘significant other’ – who can either give or withhold it. The process whereby a person receives his or her feeling of self-worth from the ‘significant other’ is for every human being a bonum fundamentale. In a very special relationship with the significant other, the person is seen and experienced by the other as good, worthwhile and lovable. The pleasure of the approving and loving other is perceived in such a manner that the person literally feels this through his or her entire being.[2][3]
Persons Related to by Affirmation: “can be said to have received the gift of themselves. They feel worthwhile, significant and lovable. They possess themselves as man or woman. They know who they are. They are certain of their identity. They love themselves unselfishly. They are open to all that is good and find joy in the same. They are able to affirm all of creation, and as affirmers of all beings are capable o f making others happy and joyful, too. They are largely other-directed. They find joy in being and doing for others. The find joy in their love relationship with their Creator. They can share and give of themselves, be a true friend to others, and feel at ease with persons of both sexes. They are capable of finding happiness in marinate of the freely chosen celibate state of life. They are free from psycho-pathological factors which hamper one’s free will and are therefore sully responsible – morally and legally – for their actions.”[4]
 Unaffirmed Persons: “can be said to have been born only once; their second or psychological birth never took place (or, since it is a protracted process, was never complete). They were not made to know and feel their own goodness, worth and identity. They have been thrown back upon themselves by denial on the part of significant others in their life. They are like prisoners – locked in, lonely, and self-centered – waiting fort someone to come and open the door of their prison, waiting to be opened to their own goodness and that of others. No measure of success in business, profession or otherwise can adequately compensate for their feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, uncertainty and insecurity. Both the married life and the celibate life accentuate the fundamental loneliness of these persons and their inability to relate to others as equals. Their spiritual life suffers as time goes on, and their basically joyless way of life changes more and more to a state of depression until death seems the only way out.
                “Most importantly, unaffirmed persons have only one concern and need: to become affirmed, to be loved for who they are and not for what they do. They are literally driven to find someone who truly, unequivocally loves them. This is in marked contrast to affirmed individuals who look for someone with whom they can share their love, who can give love as well as receive, who can wait and are not hurried, driven, or compelled to find someone who will love them. If affirmation by a significant other is not forthcoming, many unaffirmed persons wells use their talents, intelligence and energy to try to convince themselves and the world in a variety of ways that they are worthwhile, important and significant, even though they don’t feel that they are. The most common ways of doing this are by the acquisition, display and use of material goods, wealth, power, fame, honor, status symbols, or sex.”[5]
St. Joseph is the “significant other” as father in the formation of Christ as man. The divine does not compensate the human, but fulfills it. The development of Jesus Christ as man needed the masculine affirmation in social relationships and the expertise in professional work as carpenter. God had to learn to live as man socially and professionally through the human love, mentoring and instruction of Joseph.

[1] John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, Apostolic Exhortation, August 15, 1989.

[2] Note that John Paul II, writing to Teresa Heydel, remarked: “Everyone… lives, above all, for love. The ability to love authentically, not great intellectual capacity, constitutes the deepest part of a personality. It is no accident that the greatest commandment is to love. Authentic love leads us outside ourselves to affirming others.”  A month later, he wrote: “After many experiences and a lot of thinking, I am convinced that the (objective) starting point of love is the realization that I am needed by another. The person who objectively needs me most is also, for me, objectively, the person I most need. This is a fragment of life’s deep logic… The great achievement is always to see values that others don’t see and to affirm them. The even greater achievement is to bring out of people the values that would perish without us. IN the same way, we bring our values out in ourselves” (G. Weigel, “Witness to Hope” Cliffside Books [1999] 101-102].

[3] C. Baars, “I Will Give Them a New Heart” St Pauls (2008) 12.

[4] Ibid 190.

[5] Ibid 190-191.

The Spiritual Physiognomy of St. Joseph and the Spirit of Opus Dei

St. Josemaria  wrote : “How is it possible for devotion to St. Joseph to have taken such deep root in the Work when it is a relatively recent devotion, having begun to flourish in the West only about the sixteenth century? The answer is the previous post.

Feast of St. Joseph, March 20, 2017:

The ontological importance of St. Joseph (on two levels)

  1. By the supernatural faith of obedience to the divine command to take Our Lady as wife, he entered into engendering the God-man:

That is, as Mary became “cause” of the humanity of the Creator by her free act of faith (“fiat”), so Joseph entered into the same causality by a similar act of faith in taking Mary as spouse. Read carefully:

“There is a strict parallel between the ‘annunciation’ in Matthew’s text and the one in Luke. The divine messenger introduces Joseph to the mystery of Mary’s motherhood. While remaining a virgin, she who by law is his “spouse” has become a mother through the power of the Holy Spirit. And when the Son in Mary’s womb comes into the world, he must receive the name Jesus. This was a name known among the Israelites and sometimes given to their sons. In this case, however, it is the Son who, in accordance with the divine promise, will bring to perfect fulfillment the meaning of the name Jesus-Yehos ua’ – which means “God saves.”

Joseph is visited by the messenger as “Mary’s spouse,” as the one who in due time must give this name to the Son to be born of the Virgin of Nazareth who is married to him. It is to Joseph, then, that the messenger turns, entrusting to him the responsibilities of an earthly father with regard to Mary’s Son.

“When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (cf. Mt 1:24). He took her in all the mystery of her motherhood. He took her together with the Son who had come into the world by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way he showed a readiness of will like Mary’s with regard to what God asked of him through the angel.[1]

II

THE GUARDIAN OF THE MYSTERY OF GOD

  1. When, soon after the Annunciation, Mary went to the house of Zechariah to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth, even as she offered her greeting she heard the words of Elizabeth, who was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Lk 1:41). Besides offering a salutation which recalled that of the angel at the Annunciation, Elizabeth also said: “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord” (Lk 1:45). These words were the guiding thought of the Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, in which I sought to deepen the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, which stated the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully preserved her union with her Son even to the cross,”(5) “preceding”(6) all those who follow Christ by faith.

Now at the beginning of this pilgrimage, the faith of Mary meets the faith of Joseph. If Elizabeth said of the Redeemer’s Mother, “blessed is she who believed,” in a certain sense this blessedness can be referred to Joseph as well, since he responded positively to the word of God when it was communicated to him at the decisive moment. While it is true that Joseph did not respond to the angel’s “announcement” in the same way as Mary, he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took his wife.” What he did is the clearest “obedience of faith” (cf. Rom 1:5; 16:26; 2 Cor 10:5-6).

One can say that what Joseph did united him in an altogether special way to the faith of Mary. He accepted as truth coming from God the very thing that she had already accepted at the Annunciation. The Council teaches: “‘The obedience of faith’ must be given to God as he reveals himself. By this obedience of faith man freely commits himself entirely to God, making ‘the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals,’ and willingly assenting to the revelation given by him.”(7) This statement, which touches the very essence of faith, is perfectly applicable to Joseph of Nazareth.

               2) Hebrews 5, 8: “Son, though he was he learned obedience frm what he suffered.”

               Jesus Christ has a created human will. Chalcedon teaches that Jesus Christ is One Person with Two natures: divine (uncreated) and human (created). Therefore , He has a created human will that He must determine in Himself just like you. That created human will was laden down with all the sin of all men of all time: He takes on the guilt of all the self-seeking, vanity, laziness, impurity, attachment to things, impoverity, etc.2 Cor. 5 , 21: “He made Him to be sin who knew nothing of sin.”  Christ turns all the self-seeking sin that He freely takes on, and turns it into obedience – to death, on the Cross.  This means that He lives out Who He is as pure and total relation to the Father by turning the acquire rebelliousness of our sin into obedience. That is, He had to learn obedience.

               And He learned it at the side of Joseph in the carpentry at Nazareth. He had to go through the apprenticeship of carpentry to learn how to subject his created human will to the Joseph’s authority and expertise. That is, the Creator of the world had to be told: No, you don’t do it that way. You do it this way. As 100% man (He is 100 % God), He must learn to be a carpenter.  And for that , He must learn obedience through His human will that is not annulled by the presence of the divine will.  The  two wills are not in parallel, but “one” in that the same divine “I” lives out His divinity through each.

               This obedience of Christ is prefigured in the obedience of Abraham who is told to kill his dearly beloved and first born son, Isaac. This is the prefigurement of the meaning of faith. Christ is the prototype by His obedience to death on the Cross. He as formed into this in the workshop of Joseph.

May we understand that obedience to the will of God in the ordinary life is precisely the divine way of sanctity in the world – and we learn it next to Joseph who is next to Our Lady.

[1] John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos, Apostolic Exhortation, August 15, 1989.

Teens Being Fed Fake News By the Secular Media

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

Teen Vogue is a magazine for teen and pre-teen girls that focuses on fashion, makeup, shopping and pop culture. Its Facebook page has been “liked” by almost six million people, undoubtedly most of them teenagers.

The online magazine currently contains a slide show titled “What to Get a Friend Post-Abortion.” It’s essentially a top 10 list of best gifts to give a friend after she’s had an abortion.

It details the best movie to stream to help with the cramps, the newest underwear to help soak up the blood, and an “angry uterus” heating pad to ease the pain. (I am not making this up.)

It suggests hobbies to keep your friend’s mind occupied: a sign-up sheet to become an abortion clinic escort, a “we won’t go back” needlepoint project, and a Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg coloring book. (Really.)

It suggests attire to empower your bestie, including a “girl power” cap and an “F-U” piece of jewelry, proceeds from which go to Planned Parenthood, naturally. And it rounds the list off with a book of poetry and a box of chocolates.

The piece is so offensive and insensitive that it’s hard to put into words. It is blatant in its transparent attempt to sell abortion to young people, to market it as a mainstream “good,” and to treat it as casually as a manicure. In fact, it’s downright celebratory over abortion, ensuring readers who abort that they are smart, strong, powerful and resilient change-makers.

Teen Vogue advises girls that if your BFF chooses the abortion pill, she’ll need a heating pad because the cramps can be bad. The writer describes the cramps as feeling “like two throbbing hot balls of lead are trying to escape your body.”

Nope. It’s not lead that leaves your body in an abortion, it’s a baby. A small, defenseless unborn human baby. There is nothing strong or powerful about destroying an innocent unborn baby, especially when it’s yours.

Even the Supreme Court has admitted that abortion is unlike other medical procedures, “because no other procedure involves the purposeful termination of a potential life.” (Harris vs. McRae, 1980)

Despite the abortion industry and pop culture denials, abortion is a profound life-altering event.

Don’t young women deserve to at least know what abortion is and get all the facts before they make their “choice”? Shouldn’t they be informed that at some point post-abortion they may indeed feel sorrow, doubt and shame, and that counseling and other assistance is available to them?

Does modern feminism have so little confidence in women that it has to brainwash teenage girls into believing that abortion is the normal natural choice, and that the choice doesn’t matter all that much, it’s the post-abortion gifts that really count?

I don’t know about you, but this kind of thing just makes me want to cry. Our teenage children are being fed fake news, and it breaks my heart, because at some point in their lives, the reality of their abortion is likely to break theirs.


Gallagher is the director of pro-life activities for the New York State Catholic Conference.

Toward a True-to-Reality Realism: Trinity and the Law of Three

Trinity as Template of the Universe

Guest writer and CAC teacher Cynthia Bourgeault continues exploring Trinity and the Law of Three.

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting—it has been found difficult and left untried.” —G. K. Chesterton [1]

While Richard (Rohr) and I speak in different ways about the Trinity, and no doubt to slightly different audiences, I think we share a common underlying vision. The key to reawakening the power of this primordial Christian symbol, we both believe, lies in shifting the Trinity away from an abstract theological speculation on the inner life of God and re-imagining it as a pattern in the very fabric of reality—a template that is coded into all of creation.

Post-Einsteinian physics demonstrates that life is not static, but dynamic. As our theological paradigm shifts away from a static universe to a universe in perpetual motion, the whole Trinitarian frame shifts with it. Like a key clicking into place, the Trinity reveals itself as a metaphysical code that unlocks theology and science and illustrates a fresh understanding of a creative and contemplative engagement in the world.

For the late theologian Beatrice Bruteau (1930-2014), the Trinity is first and foremost an image of relational unity. The three “God-persons in community,” as she sees it, comprise the prototype and the prerequisite for the expression of agape love—the energy of the Godhead itself. Bruteau builds a detailed case for why threefoldness is the necessary condition for agape love. She goes on to demonstrate why threefoldness is by nature “ecstatic” or, in other words, self-giving and generative. By its very threefoldness, it “breaks symmetry” (a term borrowed from quantum mechanics) and projects the agape love outward, calling new forms of being into existence, each of which bears the imprint of the original symbiotic unity that created it. “It is the presence of the Trinity as a pattern repeated at every scale of the cosmic order,” she believes, “that makes the universe a manifestation of God and itself sacred and holy.” [2]

My own contribution to this ongoing Trinitarian conversation takes up at the point that Bruteau’s leaves off. My goal has been to see whether it might be possible to anchor this necessary threefoldness in a deeper universal principle: the Law of Three.

Understood within the context of a universe in motion, and with the Law of Three as its template, the Trinity becomes a dynamic mandala of God’s ongoing creativity in an evolving universe. It becomes, in fact, the evolutionary principle. The Trinity as a symbol of relationship invites us to trust the relationality of nature itself and to reconsider what we understand about the very nature of love. It is no longer a pre-existent “property” of God, but an emergent property of the whole of creation, joined in that divine dance.

Blogger: Bp Robert Barron centers the meaning of the physical universe on the Person of the God-Man giving Colossians 1, 15 -19 as his scriptural warrant: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him…”. Barron writes that “Individiuals, societies, cultures, animals, plants, planets and the stars – all will be drawn into an eschatological harmony through him. Mind you, Jesus is not merely the symbol of an iintelligibility, coherence, and reconciliation that can exist apart from him; rather, he is the active and indispensable means by which these realities come to be.. This Jesus, in short, is the all-embracing, all-including, all-reconciling Lord of whatever is to be found in the dimensions of time and space.”[1]

Pope Francis wrote in “Laudato ‘Si” (#235): “For Christians, all the creatures of the material universe find their true meaning in the Incarnate Word, for the Son of God has incorporated in his person part of the material world, planting in it a seed of definitive transformation. ‘Christianity does not reject matter. Rather, bodiliness is considered in all its value in the liturgical act, whereby the human body is disclosed in its inner nature as a temple of the Holy Spirit, and is united with the Lord Jesus, who himself took a body for the world’s salvation.’ (236) It is in the Eucharist that all that has been created finds its greatest exaltation.

[1] R. Barron, “The Priority of Christ” Brazos (2007),  134-135.

Death of Dr. Joseph Nicolosi

PIONEER IN GAY REPARATIVE THERAPY DIES

NEWS: US NEWS

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi: “Homosexual behavior is always prompted by an inner sense of emptiness”

ENCINO, Calif. (ChurchMilitant.com) – Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a pioneer in gay reparative therapy, has passed away, succumbing to complications from the flu. He was age 70.

Nicolosi practiced as a licensed psychologist in California, and was a founding member and president of the North American Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), whose goal is to help same-sex attracted clients overcome unwanted homosexual desires.

According to its website, “It is the only secular group in the U.S. which protects the rights of therapists to counsel clients with unwanted homosexuality.”

 

“I am heartbroken and in shock over the news of Joe’s sudden death,” Arthur Goldberg told Church Militant. Goldberg was founder of Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH), which referred men and women who desired to overcome homosexuality to counselors who could help them.

“His unexpected passing is a tragedy for the family, all of his friends and associates, and for the world at large,” he continued. “He was truly an irreplaceable unique presence whose many contributions to the field of psychology were immense. He will be sorely missed by all of us whom he inspired over his lifetime. May G-d have mercy on his soul.”

NARTH’s website states: “Dr. Joseph Nicolosi has been successfully helping people all over the world understand these issues, the root causes and most importantly the solutions available. Reparative therapy helps those who wish to reduce their unwanted homosexual attractions and explore their heterosexual potential.”

Homosexuality is not a sexual problem. It is a gender identity problem.

Nicolosi was a widely published author and speaker who focused on understanding the root causes of male homosexuality. According to him, everyone is born heterosexual, but somewhere along the way some sort of trauma takes place that pushes the person towards homosexuality. If it’s not abuse, then the root cause is often a combination of distant, emotionally unavailable fathers and controlling mothers.

“Homosexuality is not a sexual problem,” Nicolosi said at a conference. “It is a gender identity problem.”

“Homosexuality is not about sex. It is about a person’s sense of himself, about his relationships, how he forms and establishes relationships, his self-identity, his self-image, personal shame, his ability to sustain intimacy.” [emphasis by blogger]

“Homosexual behavior is always prompted by an inner sense of emptiness,” he explained.

This pattern is confirmed by multiple clients who’ve successfully left the gay lifestyle and no longer experience same-sex desires.

In spite of the high success rate of gay conversion therapy, liberal activists and lawmakers have been on a crusade to ban such practices because it goes against the narrative that homosexuals are ‘born that way.’

In spite of the high success rate of gay conversion therapy, liberal activists and lawmakers have been on a crusade to ban such practices because it goes against the narrative that homosexuals are “born that way” and can’t change. They’ve argued instead that conversion therapy is harmful, and have even described it as “torture.”

Currently, five states, plus Washington, D.C., ban reparative therapy for minors.

At his passing, Nicolosi was working on a project to disprove this thesis that reparative therapy is harmful. In 2016, he and Dr. Carolyn Pela presented results of an ongoing study showing that conversion therapy actually reduced stress and contributed to the client’s overall emotional and physical well-being — contrary to gay activists’ claims.

“Findings from preliminary data collected over a 12-month period indicated statistically significant reductions in distress and improvements in well-being, significant movement toward heterosexual identity, and significant increases in heterosexual thoughts and desires with accompanying significant decreases in homosexual thoughts and desires,” he summarized.

Because of Nicolosi’s controversial and politically incorrect narrative on homosexuality, he endured misinformation campaigns from secular media, including a protracted battle with Wikipedia.

“Specifically, my therapy is wrongly described in Wikipedia,” he explained. “In fact, I never tell SSA men that they should avoid opera and art museums; attend church; learn to mimic ‘straight’ ways of walking and talking; join group therapy; begin dating and then marry, etc.”

“Whenever I correct these areas on the Wikipedia page,” he continued, “the entries are promptly changed back into their original form by an activist writer.”

Nicolosi is survived by his wife and son, Joseph, Jr.

* * * * * * *

Blogger:  The revelation of the One God as Father, Son and Spirit demands that the notion of divine Person be relational. Joseph Ratzinger wrote: “(T)he First Person does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. Only as this act is it person, and therefore it is not the giver but the act of giving, ‘wave’ not corpuscle…”[1] This is counter-intuitive to our way of knowing as sensible perception and abstract thinking, but it is not counter to what we mean by “experience,” in that we can experience the self as being totally for and in the other. One “falls in love” and cannot stop the sweet-painful consciousness of the reality of the other.

This dynamic as a thrusting on the level of the “I” and grounded in the ontological imaging of the divine Persons as Relations, is what appears to be “gender” and source of the empirically observable and measurable anatomy and physiology of sex. That is, as enfleshed, persons are either male or female with the “I,” as ultimate meaning and explanatory source.

Consider the psychic and sociasl consequences as observed by psychologists: Psychological Confirmation: Conrad Baars, M.D.: Emotional Deprivation Disorder: Characteristics: “feelings of inferiority and inadequacy, inability to establish normal rapport with one’s peers and form lasting friendships, feelings of loneliness and insecurity, doubts about one’s self-worth and identity, fear of the adult world, and often deep depressions. Although the energetic among them are able to succeed in business or profession, they fail in their personal lives. If married, they find it impossible to relate in a spontaneous and emotionally satisfying way with spouse and children. In matters of faith, dullness prevails as their feelings cannot participate in their spiritual life. Their religious experience is neither ‘a burden that is light,’ nor ‘a yoke that is sweet.’ Their psychosexual immaturity may express itself in various ways, for instance, in masturbation, pornography, homosexuality, sexual impotence or frigidity…

Cause of EDD [Emotional Deficit Disorder]: an inadequate feeling of self-worth. And this is the key to it all: “The source of the feeling of self-worth is always another person – the ‘significant other’ – who can either give or withhold it. The process whereby a person receives his or her feeling of self-worth from the ‘significant other’ is for every human being a bonum fundamentale. In a very special relationship with the significant other, the person is seen and experienced by the other as good, worthwhile and lovable. The pleasure of the approving and loving other is perceived in such a manner that the person literally feels this through his or her entire being.[2][3]

 

Persons Related to by Affirmation: “can be said to have received the gift of themselves. They feel worthwhile, significant and lovable. They possess themselves as man or woman. They know who they are. They are certain of their identity. They love themselves unselfishly. They are open to all that is good and find joy in the same. They are able to affirm all of creation, and as affirmers of all beings are capable o f making others happy and joyful, too. They are largely other-directed. They find joy in being and doing for others. The find joy in their love relationship with their Creator. They can share and give of themselves, be a true friend to others, and feel at ease with persons of both sexes. They are capable of finding happiness in marinate of the freely chosen celibate state of life. They are free from psycho-pathological factors which hamper one’s free will and are therefore sully responsible – morally and legally – for their actions.”[4]

Unaffirmed Persons: “can be said to have been born only once; their second or psychological birth never took place (or, since it is a protracted process, was never complete). They were not made to know and feel their own goodness, worth and identity. They have been thrown back upon themselves by denial on the part of significant others in their life. They are like prisoners – locked in, lonely, and self-centered – waiting fort someone to come and open the door of their prison, waiting to be opened to their own goodness and that of others. No measure of success in business, profession or otherwise can adequately compensate for their feelings of inferiority, inadequacy, uncertainty and insecurity. Both the married life and the celibate life accentuate the fundamental loneliness of these persons and their inability to relate to others as equals. Their spiritual life suffers as time goes on, and their basically joyless way of life changes more and more to a state of depression until death seems the only way out.

               “Most importantly, unaffirmed persons have only one concern and need: to become affirmed, to be loved for who they are and not for what they do. They are literally driven to find someone who truly, unequivocally loves them. This is in marked contrast to affirmed individuals who look for someone with whom they can share their love, who can give love as well as receive, who can wait and are not hurried, driven, or compelled to find someone who will love them. If affirmation by a significant other is not forthcoming, many unaffirmed persons wells use their talents, intelligence and energy to try to convince themselves and the world in a variety of ways that they are worthwhile, important and significant, even though they don’t feel that they are. The most common ways of doing this are by the acquisition, display and use of material goods, wealth, power, fame, honor, status symbols, or sex.”[5]

Dr. Nicolosi is one of three founding members–and former President–of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a 1,000-member professional association founded in 1992 (www.narth.com). NARTH’s goal is –

  • To support mental-health professionals who work with same-sex-attracted clients seeking change.
  • To promote respect within the mental-health profession for worldview diversity—whether a person seeks to identify as gay, or to work toward developing his heterosexual potential.

* * * * * * * * *

JOSEPH NICOLOSI, PH.D.

Biographical Information

Dr. Nicolosi graduated from the New School for Social Research (M.A.) and received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. He is licensed as a psychologist in California.

In 1980, he founded the Thomas Aquinas Psychological Clinic in Encino, California, and has served since then as Clinical Director. Although he works with a wide variety of clients, his specialty is the treatment of men who wish to diminish their same-sex attractions and develop their heterosexual potential.

The NARTH website is viewed by over 100,000 visitors each month. It is the only secular group in the U.S. which protects the rights of therapists to counsel clients with unwanted homosexuality.

Dr. Nicolosi’s Published Books

Reparative Therapy of Male Homosexuality, 1992 (published by Jason Aronson, Inc.)

Healing Homosexuality, 1994 (Jason Aronson, Inc.)

A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality, 2002 (Intervarsity Press)

Shame and Attachment Loss: The Practical Work of Reparative Therapy, 2009 (InterVarsity Press)

TRANSLATIONS

A PARENT’S GUIDE TO PREVENTING HOMOSEXUALITY

Book Chapters

Nicolosi, Joseph (1993). “Psychotherapy Can Change Sexual Orientation,” in Homosexuality: Opposing Viewpoints. D. Bender and B. Leone, Eds., San Diego, CA.: Greenhaven Press, pp.126-132.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (1994). “What Does Science Teach About Homosexuality?” in Caught in the Crossfire: Helping Christians Debate Homosexuality, S. Geis and D. Messer, Eds., Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, pp. 67-77.

Nicolosi, Joseph (1999) “The Gay Deception,” in Homosexuality and American Public Life, edited by Christopher Wolfe. Dallas, TX: Spence.

Nicolosi, Joseph (2009) “The Meaning of Same-Sex Attraction,” in Handbook of Therapy for Unwanted Homosexual Attractions: A Guide to Treatment,” Julie Harren-Hamilton and Philip Henry, Eds., Xulon Press.

SEE RESOURCES

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2016), “The Traumatic Foundation of Male Homosexuality,” Crisis Magazine, December 19, 2016.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2012), “A Call for a Psychologically Informed Ministry for Homosexual Catholics,” in Amare Nella Differenza: Le Forme Della Sessualita e Il Pensiero Cattolico: Studio Interdisciplinare, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Cita del Vaticano, pp. 523-535.

A.D. Byrd, Joseph Nicolosi, and R.W. Potts (February 2008), “Clients’ Perceptions of How Reorientation Therapy and Self-Help Can Promote Changes in Sexual Orientation,” Psychological Reports 102, pp. 3-28.

Nicolosi, Joseph, October, 2003 “Finally, Recognition of a Long-Neglected Population,” Archives of Sexual Behavior, , vol. 32, no, 5, pp. 445-447.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (June, 2002). “A Critique of Bem’s “Exotic Becomes Erotic” Theory of Sexual Orientation Development,” Psychological Reports 90: 931-946.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (June, 2002). “A Meta-Analytic Review of Treatment of Homosexuality,” Psychological Reports 90: 1139-1152.

Nicolosi, Joseph (2001) “A Developmental Model for Effective Treatment of Male Homosexuality: Implications for Pastoral Counseling,” American J. of Pastoral Counseling, vol. 3, no.3/4, pp. 87-99.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (2001) “The Removal of Homosexuality from the Psychiatric Manual,” The Catholic Social Science Review, Volume VI, p. 71-77.

Nicolosi, J., Byrd, A. Dean, Potts, R.W. (June 2000). “Retrospective Self-Reports of Changes in Homosexual Orientation, A Consumer Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients,” Psychological Reports, 86: 1071-1088.

Nicolosi, Joseph, Byrd, D., Potts, R.W. (April 2000) “Beliefs and Practices of Therapists Who Practice Sexual Reorientation Psychotherapy,” Psychological Reports 86, 689-702.

Nicolosi, Joseph, (1993). “Treatment of the Non-Gay Homosexual Man,” The Journal of Pastoral Counseling, Vol. XXVIII, p. 76-82.

 

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Introduction to Christianity,” Ignatius (1990) 132.

[2] Note that John Paul II, writing to Teresa Heydel, remarked: “Everyone… lives, above all, for love. The ability to love authentically, not great intellectual capacity, constitutes the deepest part of a personality. It is no accident that the greatest commandment is to love. Authentic love leads us outside ourselves to affirming others.”  A month later, he wrote: “After many experiences and a lot of thinking, I am convinced that the (objective) starting point of love is the realization that I am needed by another. The person who objectively needs me most is also, for me, objectively, the person I most need. This is a fragment of life’s deep logic… The great achievement is always to see values that others don’t see and to affirm them. The even greater achievement is to bring out of people the values that would perish without us. IN the same way, we bring our values out in ourselves” (G. Weigel, “Witness to Hope” Cliffside Books [1999] 101-102].

[3] C. Baars, “I Will Give Themn a New Heart” St Pauls (2008) 12.

[4] Ibid 190.

[5] Ibid190-191.

Caryll Houselander (“The Reed of God,” 34-38): Vocation to give all and therefore secular:  Ordinary life = totality of giving self-gift

 

“The one thing that He did ask of her was the gift of her humanity. She was to give Him her body and soul unconditionally, and – what in this new light would have seemed absurdly trivial to anyone but the Child Bride of Wisdom – she was to give Him here daily life.

She outwardly it would not differ from the life she would have led if she had not been chosen to be the Bride of the Spirit and the Mother of God at all!

She was not even asked to live it alone with this God who was her own Being and whose Being was to be hers.

No, He asked for her ordinary life shared with Joseph. She was not to neglect her simple human tenderness, her love for and earthly man, because God was her unborn child.

On the contrary, the hands and feet, the heart, the waking, sleeping, and eating that were forming Christ were to form Him in service to Joseph.

Yes, it certainly seemed that God wanted to give the world the impression that it is ordinary for Him to be born of a human creature.

Well, that is a fact. God did mean it to be the ordinary thing, for it is His will that Christ shall be born in every human being’s life and not, as a rule, through extraordinary things, but through the ordinary daily life and the human live that people give to one another.

Our Lady said yes.

She said yes for us all.

The wind of the Spirit had beaten on the door, rattled the windows, tapped on the dark glass with the tiny hands of flowers, flung golden seed against it, even, in hours of storm, lashed it with the boughs of a great tree – the prophecy of the Cross – and yet the Spirit was outside. But one day a girl opened the door, and the little house was swept pure and sweet by the wind. Seas of light swept through it, and the light remained in it; and in that little house a Child was born and the Child was God.

Our Lady said yes for the human race. Each one of us must echo that yes for our own lives.

We are all asked if we will surrender what we are, out humanity, our flesh and blood, to the Holy Spirit and allow Christ to fill the emptiness formed by the particular shape of our life.

The surrender that is asked of us includes complete and absolute trust; it must be lie Our Lady’s surrender, without condition and without reservation.

We shall not be asked to do more that the Mother of God; we shall not be asked to become extraordinary or set apart or to make a hard and fast rule of life or to compile a manual of mortifications of heroic resolutions; we shall not be asked to cultivate our souls like rare hothouse flowers

What we shall be asked to give is our flesh and blood, our daily life  – our thoughts, our service to none another, our affections and loves, our words, our intellect, our waking, working, and sleeping, our ordinary human joys and sorrows – to God.

To surrender all that we are as we are, to the Spirit of Love in order that our lives may bear Christ into the world – that is what we shall be asked.

Our Lady has made this possible. Her fiat was for herself and for us, but if we want God’s will to be completed in us as it is in her, we must echo her fiat.

This is not quite such an easy thing to do as it seems.

Most people, unless the invitation comes to them in early childhood, have already thrust down fierce roots into the heavy clay of the world. Their hands are already gripping hard onto self-interest [Exam]. They are already partly paralyzed by fear.

To put aside suddenly every motive except this single one, the forming of Christ in our life, is not so easy for ordinary people who are to remain ordinary.

The first of these hard things is that through being wed to the Spirit, we shall receive the gift of understanding.

In the world in which we live today, the great understanding given by the Spirit of Wisdom must involve us in a lot o suffering. We shall be obliged to see the wound that sin has inflicted on the people of the world. We shall have X-ray minds; we shall see through the bandages people have laid over trhe wounds that sin has dealt them; we shall see the Christ in others, and that vision will impose an obligation on us for as long as we live, the obligation of love; when we fail in it, we shall not be able to escape in excuses and distractions as we have done in the past; the failure will afflict us bitterly and always.

We shall have, by virtue of this same gift of understanding, far truer values; and we shall be haunted by a nostalgia for divine things, by a homesickness for God which is not eased in this world even by the presence of God.

And in proportion to our understanding we are likely to be misunderstood; the world does not accept Christ’s values. The Beatitudes are madness to the world. ‘Blessed are the poor, the mourners, the reviled, the persecuted, the calumniated; blessed are those who hunger and thirst after justsive.

People who will not compromise with Christ’s values are uncomfortable neighbors for mediocrity; they are like;y to be misunderstood; they are often hated. They run something like this: ‘Blessed are the comfortably well off, the cheerful, the highly respected. Blessed are the flattered. Blessed are those who are bored for a good salary on six days in the week and can overeat on the seventh. Blessed are those who are satisfied by the Beverage plan and are always willing to compromise; blessed are they when all men respect their rights as citizens and forget that they are men for their reward will not be very great but they will never be unduly disturbed and they will never disturb he complacency of others.’