Putting the Soul
back in Psychology!
As a Catholic, if you think you also aren't behaving like a Relativist, check again.
[Image by StockSnap from Pixabay]
Sadly many Catholics exhibit some of the most prominent relativistic behaviors (interior and exterior) when it comes to Moral Theology (Truth about morality; sin; right from wrong).
Relativism is when a person behaves (and therefore believes) that Truth (including right from wrong) is relative to (aka determined by) what they personally feel, think, believe, expect, want, don't want, like, dislike, and are attracted to, as if they are a god who decides what is and is not true and realistic.
Our emotions, feelings, and perspectives do not determine Reality / Truth / Love,...but the majority of people, including Catholics function daily as if they do.
Likewise, others' behaviors, including emotions and feelings, do not determine whether what we emotionally feel and do (both interiorly and exteriorly) is a sin or not.
There are many ways that Catholics behave in relativistic ways. Here are just 12 examples of some of the philosophical lies people believe as to how:
Lie #1: "We are born with all of our emotions."
Lie #2: "Psychological emotions and feelings are biological, neutral, and therefore not morally qualifiable."
Lie #3: What is happening to us and around us makes us have our emotions and psychological feelings. In other words, "We can’t control when we will feel angry, since that depends on events that occur outside of us." (lie directly taught by Catholic priest Fr. Thomas G. Morrow, published by Sophia Institute Press)
Lie #4: "Emotions only "come upon us"; we "receive" our emotions; emotions are happening beyond my control." [Truth: this means you lack self-control over your emotions that is in itself a lack of virtue, which is the existence of sin]
Lie #5: "Emotions do not engage the will; the initial feeling of anger, or any emotion, has no engagement of the will or intellect - it just is what it is." [which would mean that they do not engage the intellect either, because both the will and intellect are inseparable powers of the immaterial Soul]
Lie #6: "No emotions are sins."
Lie #7: "Anger is never a sin unless we act on it or it is acted out."
Lie #8: "Sin is only what what we act out; only what we do or fail to do (as the case may be) externally." [which would mean the lie that there are no interior sins]
Lie #9: "We never want to have any negative emotions that we experience."
Lie #10: "We cannot be held accountable for an initial psychological emotion or feeling."
Lie #11: "No initial emotions are ever an emotional breaking or damaging of relationship (interiorly in the person's mind) in any way."
Lie #12: "As long as I believe my emotions and feelings are justified, then they are not objectively a sin."
Bonus Lie #13: "I don't commit mortal sin unless I know and believe the sin that I commit is called a mortal sin."
Extra Credit Lie #14: "You can only become a saint if you live like a hermit; living in the secular world prevents you from being able to become a saint."
Behavior is always both interior and exterior. Interior virtuous behavior leads to exterior virtuous behavior and interior disordered/sinful behavior leads to exterior disordered/sinful behavior.
Question: How is it possible for interior freely chosen disordered/sinful thoughts, beliefs, expectations, wants/desires, likes, dislikes, and attractions...all of which cause all disordered/sinful external behaviors, NOT directly cause psychological emotions and feelings, which always occur BEFORE the exterior behaviors? Answer: It is not possible.
In other words, How can initial psychological emotions and feelings be neutral (not morally qualifiable) when all psychological emotions and feelings are caused either by freely chosen Virtuous/True thoughts, beliefs, expectations, wants/desires, likes, dislikes, and attractions or unvirtuous/sinful/false thoughts, beliefs, expectations, wants/desires, likes, dislikes, and attractions? Answer: They cannot be neutral.
Until you are willing to and learn the difference between what is biological instinct verses what is psychological emotionally and intellectually, and work directly actively with The Divine to recognize the lies you believe, learned from modern psychology and psychiatry and the media, you will not be able to recognize and accept the Truths about emotions and sin.
"The irascible power in man [of the soul, where "anger" is a movement] is naturally subject to his reason, wherefore its act is natural to man, in so far as it is in accord with reason, and in so far as it is against reason, it is contrary to man's nature." ~ Dr. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa
What is contrary to man's nature; ie contrary to objective reason is a sin.
"A passion of the sensitive appetite is good in so far as it is regulated by reason, whereas it is evil if it set the order of reason aside." ~ Dr. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa
The present human intellectual level of functioning on morality, across humanity, has become so distorted, undeveloped, and weak, (mostly due to use of media entertainment), that at least the overwhelming majority of Catholic: apologists, theologians, philosophers, psychologists, and doctors know very little, if anything, about Catholic Moral Theology of the Soul: intellect and free will, and how to recognize interior sins, much less about their own erroneous philosophical beliefs about morality and the psychological nature of the human person, of which they have been taught since birth through the mass entertainment and psychology educational media (both secular and so called Christian and family friendly media) originated by Modern Psychology and Psychiatry since at least Johann Christian Reil in the late 1700's, of which were and are controlled by Free Masons and their associates.
The next time you feel any negative psychological emotion or feeling, immediately ask Jesus and the Holy Spirit to show you what you are: thinking, believing, expecting, desiring, that is causing your psychological emotion or feeling, so you can see how it is most likely against objective reason, including when your emotion is in response to another person sinning.
I also hope that if you do not already, you will also spend daily quality silent alone time with Truth/Love/Virtues Himself, which is necessary in order to learn the Truth about emotions and sin, etc., which is, as a Catholic, to attend daily Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrament of Confession at least (where accessible and prudent) every one to two weeks, and sit with Jesus Christ every day for at least 1 hour in Adoration (Spiritual and/or Physical Presence - Tabernacle or Monstrance) and ask Jesus to show you how to recognize all sin, recognize all the lies you believe and bad wants/desires you have, and to show you His Truth, (especially on the subjects of emotions and sin) while doing Contemplative Prayer of Listening to Him speak to you.
And read slowly and carefully multiple times all of Thomas Aquinas' writings on the passions, emotions, and sin, in His Summa (https://www.newadvent.org/summa/), while asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand them.
When reading Aquinas, and Scripture for that matter, it is important to note that when Scripture was written and the Father and Doctors of the Church wrote using the term "sin" it most frequently if not always meant "mortal sin", which is what God is referring to in Scripture where in Genesis, Cain is angry, and God says, "sin is crouching at your door, but you can be master of it.". (Genesis 4:6-7) Therefore Cain's anger was still a venial sin, all of which agrees with Aquinas:
"On the contrary, A gloss on Psalm 4:5, "Be ye angry and sin not," says: "Anger is venial [sin] if it does not proceed to action"." ~ Dr. St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa
"There is no sin or wrong that gives a man a foretaste of hell in this life as anger and impatience" ~ Saint Catherine of Sienna
"[Jesus] give me strength sufficient to conquer all human respect, and all my wicked passions which have led me to despise Thy friendship." 9th Station Jesus Falls the Third Time, Stations of the Cross, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori
"May it [Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ] purify me from my vices and put an end to my evil passions...and the perfect quieting of all my evil impulses bodily and spiritual." ~ St. Thomas Aquinas