Love is the central and defining fact of human existence: The Church tells us that the purpose of human life is to seek God, to know Him, and to love Him with all our strength (CCC 1), and Christ taught that the greatest commandments are first to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and second to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40) Then why does it seem so hard to find, in this world riven by conflict and division?
All too often, the obstacles to giving and receiving love are internal. We fear being vulnerable or think we aren’t worthy. That’s why a new psychological resource can be such a valuable tool, especially now when so many factors threaten mental well-being. Souls and Hearts brings together wellness resources and providers to offer faithful Catholics guided, customized programs “designed to remove psychological obstacles to giving and receiving love from God and neighbor.”
“We are here to bring the best and most effective aspects of the psychological sciences, consistent with the faith, to the average Catholic,” said Dr. Gerry Crete, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Atlanta, Georgia, who is a co-founder of Souls and Hearts. “We bring insights from many Catholic mental health professionals from across the country to one centralized place.”
The Souls and Hearts website includes a variety of courses, blogs, and podcasts. The goal is to address different issues facing Catholics, including the following:
- Marriage help
- Vocation discernment
- Reduction of anxiety
- Improvement of prayer life
Removing obstacles to love affects not just mental and emotional health but spiritual as well, which makes sense since all are closely connected. This site, along with other resources and this directory of Catholic therapists, can connect Catholics with mental health resources to greatly improve quality of life.
Working to unblock the channels of God’s grace and charity is the process of a lifetime, but always well worth it. Each step taken toward mental wholeness and wellness helps make present on earth the “abundant life” (John 10:10) that Christ wants for each one of us.
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