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At Home with Jim and Joy – 2020-06-24 – Kevin Stephenson, M. Div Pt. 1

[MUSIC] >> Joy: WELCOME! YOU ARE AT HOME WITH JIM AND JOY AND YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR EWTN FAMILY.

WE'RE SO DELIGHTED THAT YOU HAVE WELCOMED US INTO YOUR HOME.

WE'RE EXCITED TO BE THERE.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU SO SEND US AN EMAIL WITH A QUESTION OR A COMMENT TO jimandjoy@ewtn.

com.

TODAY, WE HAVE A WONDERFUL GUEST, KEVIN STEPHENSON, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR CATHOLIC COUNSELORS.

YOU CAN GO TO THEIR WEB SITE, AND SEE IT THERE.

>> Jim: WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM HIM BECAUSE HE REALLY UNDERSTANDS THE GRACE AND MERCY OF GOD, AND I BELIEVE HE'S ABOUT TO BE ORDAINED A DEACON.

>> Joy: AND YOU ARE GOING TO HEAR HIS WONDERFUL STORY AND HOW GOD IS USING HIM NOW.

DURING THIS CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC THAT WE'RE IN, SO MANY THINGS HAVE CHANGED IN OUR WORLD.

ONE SIMPLE THING HAS BEEN FIRST COMMUNIONS, CONFIRMATION, RCIA, HOW PEOPLE WERE COMING INTO THE CHURCH.

WE HAD A GRANDDAUGHTER, SOPHIA RAQUEL, SHE'S THE DAUGHTER OF ANNA AND RENALDO AND SHE MADE HER FIRST COMMUNION.

FOR ME AS A GRANDMOTHER, WE COULDN'T GO BECAUSE IT WAS LIMITED NUMBERS.

SO, WE HAD TO DO THE WHOLE THING ONLINE.

IT WAS A LITTLE SAD THAT WE GOT TO SEE SOPHIA, WITH HER BEAUTIFUL MOTHER ANNA.

AND SHE MADE HER FIRST COMMUNION UP AT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH IN MADISON, IN THE DIOCESE NORTH OF US.

>> Jim: AND THE MAIN THING IS, IT HAPPENED.

WONDERFUL FAMILY, SO SUPPORTIVE.

R.

J.

AND SIENNA AND SOPHIA AND GABBY.

WHAT A WAY TO SUPPORT THEM, RENALDO IS A DEDICATED CHRISTIAN GUY, NOT CATHOLIC, BUT HE TOOK THE VOWS OF MARRIAGE AND HE SAID, YES, I WILL SUPPORT MY CHILD BEING RAISED IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

SO SUPPORTIVE AND DOING THE REAL STUFF THERE.

AND SOPHIA WAS SHARING THAT — ANNA WAS TELLING ME — WHEN SHE WOKE UP FOR THE DAY OF HER FIRST COMMUNION, SHE SAID IT'S HERE! TODAY IS ME AND JESUS DAY.

TODAY IS ME AND JESUS DAY, SHE WAS SO EXCITED.

SHE WAS PREPARED TO MAKE HER FIRST HOLY COMMUNION.

AND SHE WAS SO EXCITED TO HAVE JESUS IN HER AND SHE IN HIM.

IT WAS JESUS AND SOPHIA DAY.

ANNA WAS SHARING THAT.

SHE WAS SO CONCERNED THAT SHE WAS SAYING YOU KNOW, I WANT TO DO THIS PERFECTLY AND SHE WAS CONCERNED ABOUT THE WAY SHE WOULD RECEIVE, PROCESSING IN AND ALL THAT SHE HAD TO DO.

BUT ANNA SAID LATER ON, SHE WAS STILL TALKING THAT WAY AND WHAT SHE ARTICULATED WAS, I DON'T WANT TO EVER SIN AGAIN.

I DON'T WANT TO SIN, I WANT TO LEAD A LIFE PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL FOR JESUS.

>> Joy: DOESN'T THAT JUST BLESS YOUR HEART! >> Jim: RIGHT, YEAH, WE ASSUME WE'RE GOING TO FALL INTO SIN.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF SIN, BUT SHE HAD SOME SINS AND WENT TO CONFESSION BEFORE MAKING HER FIRST HOLY COMMUNION.

HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THAT.

SHE LOOKED LIKE A BRIDE, THE BRIDE OF CHRIST AND ISN'T THAT WHAT IT'S ABOUT.

>> THEY WERE SO CONCERNED BECAUSE THEY BOUGHT THE DRESS BACK IN APRIL.

SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE HER FIRST COMMUNION IN APRIL.

THEN, THE WHOLE CORONAVIRUS THING HIT.

CHURCH STOPPED.

SO THE PARENTS HAD TO FINISH UP THE CATECHIZING AND THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY FOR ANNA AND SOPHIA.

WE SAY TO YOU, CONGRATULATIONS AND TO ALL OF THE CHILDREN OUT THERE WHO MADE THEIR FIRST COMMUNION.

AND EVERYBODY COMING INTO THE CHURCH, I KNOW PEOPLE ARE DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY, BRINGING PEOPLE INTO THE RCIA PROGRAM AND THOSE MAKING FIRST CONFIRMATION.

IT HAS BEEN A DIFFERENT DAY IN THE CHURCH.

>> Jim: AND WE HAVE KEVIN STEPHENSON WITH US TODAY, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS.

AND I BELIEVE THAT HE HAS LEARNED THROUGH HIS OWN JOURNEY, THE IMPORTANCE OF NOT ONLY CHARISM AND GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT BUT THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

AS OUR BISHOP SAYS, IF OUR PEOPLE KNEW WHAT A SACRAMENT WAS, ESPECIALLY THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST, THEY WOULD NEVER LEAVE THE CHURCH.

SOPHIA, MAY SHE ALWAYS KNOW THIS IS THE BODY, BLOOD, SOUL AND DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST.

AND MAY WE ALWAYS KNOW THAT AND IF THAT IS TRUE, WE WOULD NEVER WANT TO LEAVE THE CHURCH NOR SIN AGAIN.

SO, PLENTY MORE TO COME! PLEASE, DON'T GO AWAY.

[MUSIC] [MUSIC] >> Joy: WELCOME! YOU ARE AT HOME WITH JIM AND JOY AND TODAY, WE HAVE A WONDERFUL GUEST.

HIS NAME IS KEVIN STEPHENSON.

HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS.

YOU CAN GO TO HIS WEB SITE, ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS DOT COM.

NOW, WE WELCOME YOU TO AT HOME AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU HERE.

WE BOTH WATCHED YOUR SHARING THAT YOU HAD WITH MARCUS ON THE JOURNEY HOME SHOW.

WE WANT YOU TO TELL OUR FAMILY A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT.

GIVE US A QUICK SUMMARY OF YOUR UNBELIEVABLE JOURNEY WHERE GOD ALWAYS WRITING STRAIGHT ON ALL OF THE CROOKED HAD LINES ON OUR LIVES AS WE GO.

WE WELCOME YOU AND KEVIN AND TELL YOUR STORY.

>> THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

I THINK THE FIRST THING THAT I WANT TO SAY IS THAT I CAME INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN 2009.

IT WAS THROUGH THE TRAVAIL AND TEARS AND MY LOVELY WIFE MONICA.

I MENTION THAT MY PATRON SAINT IS ST.

AUGUSTINE.

THERE'S A LOT OF PARALLELS BETWEEN THAT.

AND I WANTED TO SAY THAT TO MY WIFE, I LOVE HER, AND IT BECAME WITH HER PRAYERS AND FOREBEARANCE THAT I CAME INTO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

NOW, BASICALLY, I WAS BORN IN ENGLAND.

I WAS ANGLICAN.

THEN I CAME OVER HERE UNITED STATES, AND THEN I HAD EVANGELICAL EXPERIENCE IN MY TEENS.

I FELT AT THAT TIME IT WAS LIBERAL WITH MY EPISCOPALIAN EXPERIENCE AND SO, THE CERTITUDE OF THE EVANGELICAL AND FUNDAMENTALIST.

AFTER THAT, I EXPERIENCED THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT IN 1980'S.

AND THAT WAS VERY POWERFUL.

AND THE EPISCOPALIAN CHURCH HAD CHARISMATIC AND IT WAS A NATURAL ATTRACTION.

THINK I NEEDED A LITERAL, TANGIBLE EXPERIENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

THAT WAS A VERY, VERY ATTRACTIVE TO ME.

BUT OF COURSE, AS YOU KNOW, IN THE 1980'S, A CRISIS OCCURRED AND THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT STARTED TO COLLAPSE BECAUSE OF SCANDAL.

AND I WANTED TO DO BETTER.

I WAS AFRAID THAT I MIGHT FALL INTO THOSE PITFALLS.

AND I WENT TO ORAL ROBERTS UNIVERSITY FOR A MASTERS IN DIVINITY TO COMBINE THAT WITH MY CHARISMATIC EXPERIENCE.

AND THAT WAS HELPFUL FOR MY AND I GOT THE MASTERS IN DIVINITY AND MARRIAGE AND FAMILY TOO.

AND I DID THAT BECAUSE OF MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE SCANDALS AND THE COLLAPSE OF SOME BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND I WANTED TO DIVE ON, WHAT'S GOING ON SPIRITUALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY THAT HAVE CAUSED POWERFUL, GOOD PEOPLE TO FALL.

SO, I TOOK INTEREST IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY.

WE SPECIALIZE IN ADDICTION.

AND IN MY OWN FAMILY OF ORIGIN, THERE'S HISTORY OF ORIGIN.

I FELT VERY VULNERABLE AS I WAS GOING THROUGH THAT AND I WANTED TO DO SO MUCH BETTER.

>> Joy: WELL, THANK YOU FOR YOUR PERSEVERANCE.

>> Jim: AND I WAS SHARING WITH YOU BEFORE THE SHOW, FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, THANK GOODNESS YOU LIVED LONG ENOUGH TO WORK THROUGH THE DIFFERENT ENCOUNTERS, THE JOYS, SORROWS AND GET TO THE WONDERFUL PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

MARRIED, FAMILY, AND WITHIN THE CHURCH GETTING READY, LORD WILLING, TO BE ORDAINED A DEACON.

UNPACK THAT A LITTLE BIT.

I'M JUST WONDERING HOW THAT FITS INTO WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW, WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE VARIOUS SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTERS AND HOW YOU ARE APPLYING THAT.

FIRST, THOUGH, TELL US ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS, LITTLE BIT OF THE HISTORY AND WHY YOU FELT THE NEED TO START THAT ORGANIZATION.

>> Guest: OKAY.

I CAN SHARE.

I'M IN THE DIACONATE PROGRAM AND THERE WERE ALLEGATIONS IN OUR DIOCESE OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT OF ONE OF OUR PRIEST.

THANK GOODNESS HE WAS EXONERATED.

AND YOU KNOW, IT BROUGHT A CRISIS TO OUR DIOCESE AND WE NEVER HAD ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

THEY KNEW I WAS A COUNSELOR AND THEY ASKED ME TO PUT TOGETHER A TASK FORCE OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS AVAILABLE FOR THE LAITY AS WELL AS FOR PRIESTS.

SO, IT WAS OUT OF THAT NEED THAT I PUT TOGETHER A SMALL TEAM TO BE AVAILABLE TO DEAL WITH ANYBODY THAT MAY BE DEALING WITH A TRAUMA.

YOU KNOW, THESE THINGS CAN BRING UP STRONG ISSUES.

FROM THAT SMALL TEAM, I SAW THE NEED FOR FORMATION AND WHAT I DISCOVERED WITHIN MY COUNSELING COLLEAGUES, PARTICULARLY CATHOLICS.

BUT THERE'S THIS FORMATION AMONGST US SOCIAL SCIENCES, WE TEND TO BE THE WORST WHEN IT COMES TO CATHOLICISM.

AND BEING THAT COUNSELORS ARE SO INTIMATE WITH PEOPLE, I WANTED TO HAVE CERTITUDE THAT SOMEBODY WOULD SEE A CATHOLIC COUNSELOR THAT THEY WOULD BE WELL FORMED IN THE CATHOLIC FAITH AND BRING PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE TOGETHER.

SO, IT WAS OUT OF THAT EXPERIENCE THAT WE SAW THE NEED FOR FORMATION AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

AND IT'S GROWN FROM THAT POINT ON.

>> Jim: BEAUTIFUL.

YOU WROTE A BOOK ON ADDICTION AND SPIRITUALITY.

ADDICTIONS AND SPIRITUALITY.

WHY THAT ROUTE? WHAT ABOUT SPIRITUALITY AND ADDICTIONS.

HOW'S THAT WORK TOGETHER, LEADING PEOPLE OUT, RECEIVING HEALING, WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND? >> Guest: WELL, IN MY OWN EXPERIENCE AND IN MY RESEARCH, I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE THAT ADDICTIONS ARE MORE THAN JUST BEHAVIORAL.

FROM MY SOMEWHAT CHARISMATIC BACKGROUND, I BELIEVE IT LEADS INTO THE SUPERNATURAL.

I BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS WITH ADDICTIONS, FUNDAMENTAL PEOPLE, IT OPENS UP AREAS IN THEIR LIVES AND IT MAY BE DEALING WITH PEOPLE SHAME AND I BELIEVE THAT SATAN DOES THIS, AND I BECOME BOUND.

I LOOKED UP THE WORD ADDICTION AND IT COMES FROM THE WORD BONDAGE, TO BE TIED-TO.

SO, WE THINK OF PEOPLE BEING BOUND, PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY ATTACHED TO SOMETHING THAT'S GRIEVING THEIR SPIRITS.

AGAIN, IT'S VERY COMPLEX AND IT'S A MIXTURE OF SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR AND EMOTIONAL.

BUT I WANTED TO ADDRESS THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF WHAT ADDICTIONS DOES.

IT'S A FORM OF BONDAGE AND WE KNOW THAT AS CATHOLICS, BONDAGE COMES FROM THE EVIL ONE.

IT COMES FROM THINGS THAT WE FIND OURSELVES ATTACHED TO.

SO, I WANTED TO TEASE THAT OUT, HOW WE CAN WORK WITH THE SPIRITUAL AS WELL AS BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL.

I SEE A DEEP CONNECTION BETWEEN THE BONDAGE OF ADDICTION AND SPIRITUALITY.

>> I SO APPRECIATE THAT BECAUSE JIM AND I RUN A PREGNANCY MEDICAL CENTER.

WE DEAL WITH CLIENTS WHO ARE IN UNPLANNED PREGNANCIES AND SOME ARE ADDICTED, ON DRUGS A LOT.

YOUR DEAL IS, I'M SAYING I'M GOING TO TREAT THE WHOLE PERSON, NOT SEPARATE OUT THE FAITH AND TREAT THE ILLNESS.

BECAUSE WE'RE MADE BODY, MIND, AND SPIRIT.

SOMETIMES IN THE COUNSELING REALM, WE SEPARATE THAT AND WE DON'T ACKNOWLEDGE THE POWER.

AND YOU SAY, YOU HAVE THESE TENDENCIES.

WE DO HAVE TENDENCIES BUT WE ALSO HAVE SIN AND THAT SIN SO EASILY ENTANGLES US.

YOU SEEM TO DO THAT IN SUCH A HOLISTIC WAY.

IS IT JUST RESTRICTED TO CATHOLICS OR COULD A PERSON WHO IS NON CATHOLIC ALSO RECEIVE THE SAME BENEFITS? >> Guest: ABSOLUTELY.

WHEN I BECAME A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR, I WAS FIRST AT A PROTESTANT, DID THAT FOR MANY YEARS AS A PROTESTANT.

AND I HAD MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE AS FAR AS SPIRITUALITY, PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS.

I WAS A MEMBER THERE AT ONE THAT WAS SECULAR AND THEY INVITED ME TO DO THAT WITH A GROUP, TO DEAL WITH A PATIENTS OF ADDICTIONS THAT WERE IN PATIENT.

AND I'VE SEEN FROM THIS, AS A CLINICIAN COMBINING SPIRITUALITY WITH THAT.

AND THANK GOODNESS WE HAVE THOSE THAT RECOGNIZE THE HOLISTIC AND A LOT OF MY BACKGROUND IS FROM INPATIENT OUT-PATIENT CLINICAL SETTING.

>> Jim: YOU SPEAKING ABOUT ADDICTION, MENTIONING PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SPIRITUAL ADDICTION.

AND OF COURSE, IN MANY INSTANCES WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A PHYSICAL ADDICTION AS WELL.

ALCOHOL, DRUGS, AND DO YOU DEAL WITH AREAS OF ADDICTION BEYOND AREAS OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS.

>> Guest: OH, YEAH.

I HAVE DEALT WITH PEOPLE WITH EATING DISORDERS, AND MAYBE SEXUAL DISORDERS.

IF SOMEBODY COMES IN AND SAYS, KEVIN, MY LIFE IS FOLLOWING APART, I'M BOUND BY SELF-DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR AND IT'S RUINING MY LIFE.

AND MAYBE THEY ARE A HIGH PROFILE PERSON AND YOU CAN JUST SEE THE DESPAIR.

IT IS A PERSON THAT COMES TO ME AND SAYS, YOU KNOW WHAT, I'M INVOLVED IN THESE BEHAVIORS AND THEY ARE DESTROYING EVERYTHING THAT I LOVE, MY CAREER AND MY FAMILY.

TYPICALLY, THAT'S HOW I BEGIN OR HOW I OPEN INTO THE AREA OF WHAT THEY NEED.

>> THERE'S MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE, WHO ARE LOVED ONES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE OBSERVING AND SAYING, OH, THIS PERSON LIKES LIKE THEY ARE ADDICTED TO ME OR YOUR BEHAVIOR IS A PROBLEM.

IF IT'S NOT ADDICTIVE, IT'S A PROBLEM, I DON'T KNOW.

BUT IT'S A PROBLEM FOR ME AND FOR OTHERS.

AND YOU ARE SAYING, PEOPLE COME TO ME.

I GUESS, WHEN THEY COME TO YOU, THEY ARE AT THE PLACE OF ADMISSION, THAT MY LIFE IS OUT OF CONTROL.

SPEAK A WORD.

WE JUST HAVE A COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT FOR THOSE WHO ARE OBSERVING PEOPLE WHO THEY THINK MAY BE ADDICTED.

HOW WE CAN HELP THEM AT ALL UNTIL THEY COME TO THE PLACE WHERE THEY SEE IT FOR THEMSELVES.

>> Guest: YEAH.

I'M A FAMILY THERAPIST, PEOPLE GET SICK IN THE CONTEXT OF RELATIONSHIPS AND IF I AM DEALING WITH ADDICTION, IT AFFECTS EVERYBODY I TOUCH WHETHER THEY KNOW IT OR DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY.

I'VE RECEIVED CALLS FROM THE PEOPLE IN OUR PARISH, I HAVE A DAUGHTER OR A RELATIVE DEALING WITH THIS, AND IT'S IMPACTING MY LIFE.

YES, I LOOK AT IT FROM A FAMILY PERSPECTIVE.

I DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN TAKE SOMEBODY OUT OF THE FAMILY SYSTEM AND GET THEM WELL AND BRING THEM BACK.

THINK YOU NEED TO ADDRESS THE ENTIRE FAMILY SYSTEM AND LOOK AT ALL OF THE THINGS GOING ON THAT MAY ENABLE THE ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.

SO, I TRY TO TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH WITH EVERYBODY WILLING TO BE PART OF IT.

>> Jim: THANKS SO MUCH FOR TALKING ABOUT THIS.

WE'LL BE BACK ON FRIDAY, DEALING WITH THE HOLISTIC MINISTRY, FOR HEALING, WHOLENESS AND TO BE ABLE TO SET THEM FREE.

HE'S THE PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS, ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC COUNSELORS DOT COM.

GO THERE.

AND KEVIN STEPHENSON WILL BE BACK ON FRIDAY.

THANKS FOR THE SHARING.

WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BREAK AT THIS POINT.

PLENTY MORE TO COME! PLEASE, DON'T GO AWAY! [MUSIC] [MUSIC] >> Joy: WELCOME BACK! FATHER JOHN PAUL IS JOINING US TODAY.

BEFORE WE TALK TO HIM, THOUGH, LET'S GO TO ROME AND TALK TO JOAN LEWIS.

NOW, JOAN, YOU SEE A CONNECTION BETWEEN TODAY'S SHOW AND THE PANDEMIC.

TELL US ABOUT IT.

>> HI JIM, HI JOY.

WHAT AN INTERESTING TOPIC THIS WEEK, SPIRITUALITY AND MENTAL HEALTH, GROWING IN UNDERSTANDING OF OTHERS AND MOVING CLOSER TO GOD.

WHEN I LEARNED THAT WOULD BE THE SHOW'S FOCUS, WHAT IMMEDIATELY CAME TO MY MIND, AS STRANGE AS IT MAY SOUND, WAS THE PANDEMIC.

WHY THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC? WELL, IF THERE EVER WAS A TIME WHEN PEOPLE WANTED AND NEEDED SPIRITUAL FOOD, WHEN, AFTER WEEKS AND MONTHS OF LOCKDOWN, PEOPLE WERE WORRIED ABOUT THEIR SPIRITUALITY, THEIR MENTAL WELL-BEING, IN PARTICULAR NOT BEING ALLOWED TO GO TO CHURCH AND HAVE THE SACRAMENTS, THAT TIME WAS, AND STILL IS FOR MANY, THE PANDEMIC.

HOW DID THE CHURCH TRY TO GROW IN UNDERSTANDING OF THE FAITHFUL? HOW DID SHE STRIVE TO HELP THEM GROW CLOSER TO GOD, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY WERE CONFINED TO THEIR LIVING ROOMS? I THINK WE ALL KNOW THE ANSWER.

OUR PASTORS BROUGHT THE CHURCH TO US.

THEY COULD NOT PHYSICALLY BRING THE SACRAMENTS BUT THEY COULD GIVE US DAILY MASS, EVEN POPE FRANCIS DID THIS FOR 80 DAYS.

IT WAS QUITE THE AMAZING EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYBODY.

WHAT ALL OUR PASTORS DID, INCLUDING THE POPE, THEY GAVE US SPIRITUAL FOOD, BEAUTIFUL SERMONS AND SPECIAL PRAYERS, FOOD TO REFLECT ON WHEN THE LIVE STREAMED MASS ENDED.

FROM THE POPE TO PARISH PRIESTS, THE CHURCH USED EVERY MEANS AT HER DISPOSAL TO KEEP THE SPIRITUAL IN OUR DAILY LIVES, TO BE BY OUR SIDES, TO LISTEN AND COMFORT, TO HELP US STAY CLOSE TO GOD.

AT ONE POINT, THE VATICAN PUBLISHED SOME OF THE MESSAGES THAT ARRIVED FROM FAITHFUL GRATEFUL FOR THE MORNING PAPAL MASSES, THANK YOU FOR BRINGING CHRIST INTO EVERY HOME.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING AND SUPPORTING US.

THANK YOU FOR THE MESSAGE OF HOPE.

THANK YOU FOR THE SPIRITUAL COMMUNION.

LET US PRAY FOR AN END TO THE PANDEMIC, FOR EVERYONE, FOR YOU, HOLY FATHER.

THANK YOU FOR THE DAILY MASS AT THE CASA SANTA MARTA, IT MADE US FEEL GOOD.

THANK YOU FOR NOT LEAVING US ALONE.

I HAD NO FAITH AND NOW I CRY BEFORE THE CRUCIFIX.

HOPEFULLY, WE ALL STAYED CLOSE TO GOD, OR BECAME EVEN CLOSER, IN THIS STRANGEST OF TIMES.

TIME'S UP HERE.

BACK TO YOU! >> Jim: JOAN, THANKS SO MUCH.

I KNOW YOU ARE ENJOYING THE SON THERE IN THE SUN! WHAT A CONNECTION SHE MADE, PSYCHOLOGICAL, MENTAL HELP, CORONAVIRUS, HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE YEARNING FOR THAT KIND OF HELP AND ALSO, THE SPIRITUAL CONNECTIONS THAT BRING US GRACE TO HEAL YOU MIND, BODY AND SOUL.

>> Father: RIGHT.

I THINK FAR LESS STIGMA NOW, IN THE LAST 10-20 YEARS, CONCERNING MENTAL HEALTH AND THANKS BE TO GOD FOR THAT.

THERE WAS ONE PRIEST IN CHARGE OF OUR FORMATION THAT USED TO SAY THE KEY TO ALL GOOD MENTAL HEALTH IS ACCEPTANCE.

THAT'S SANITY.

ACCEPTANCE.

SANITY.

OF OUR BROKENNESS AND BECAUSE OF ORIGINAL SIN, WE ALL SUFFER FROM THE EFFECTS OF ORIGINAL SIN, THERE MAY BE SOME WOUNDEDNESS, MAYBE THINGS IN OUR LIFE THAT MAYBE WE DIDN'T CAUSE BY OUR SELF.

MAYBE THERE ARE THINGS IN OUR LIFE THAT ARE A DIRECT CAUSE OF SINFULNESS.

THERE MAY HAVE BEEN STUFF IN OUR LIFE, THAT HAPPENED IN OUR LIFE, IT'S NOT OUR FAULT, BUT AS A PRIEST TAUGHT US, IT MAY BE OUR PROBLEM.

FOR INSTANCE, GROWING UP IN A HOUSEHOLD WITH ADDICTION.

IT'S NOT OUR FAULT BUT IT'S OUR PROBLEM.

SO, YOU KNOW, WE'VE DEALT WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE ON THE PHONE, OUR VIEWER SERVICE, AND I TALK TO A LOT OF PEOPLE, DEALING WITH PEOPLE IN THE CONFESSIONAL.

I DON'T ALWAYS HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS.

I'M NOT A PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR AN OFTEN, I MAY REFER PEOPLE TO COUNSELORS.

THIS IS A GREAT RESOURCE TO HAVE, TO BE ABLE TO DIRECT PEOPLE TO HIM.

>> Jim: THOSE ARE THE KIND OF PEOPLE THAT YOU WANT, KEVIN STEPHENSON THAT HAVE A HOLISTIC APPROACH, THAT STUDY ALL OF THAT.

LIKE BENEDICT GROESCHEL, HE BELIEVED IN CHARISMA, THE WORD OF GOD, THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH.

AND WE NEED SOMETHING DISTINCTIVE FROM OUR OWN PROBLEMS.

AND WHAT'S DISTINCTIVE IN OUR HEALING IS THE WORK OF GRACE.

THAT'S DISTINCTIVE.

THE GRACE IS FROM GOD, THE POWER OF GOD.

WE CAN FACE THE REALITY, THAT'S IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE TRUTH DOES SET US FREE.

BUT WHERE'S THE POWER COMING FROM.

I NEED TO HAVE A TOUCH FROM THE OUTSIDE THAT, MY MIND IS RENEWED AND TRANSFORMED IN GOD.

>> AMEN, BROTHER.

FAMILY, MAY THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS IGNITE AND INFLAME YOUR OWN HEART, MAY THE BLESSING OF ALMIGHTY GOD BE UPON YOU THIS DAY, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.

AMEN.

>> Jim: AMEN.

HOW THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WANTS US TO LIVE INTO ALL THAT HE HAS CALLED US TO BE.

HE TAKES EVERYTHING AND WORKS IT TOGETHER FOR GOOD FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM AND ARE SEEKING TO FIT INTO HIS PLAN.

YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THIS FAMILY.

YOU ARE ALWAYS AT HOME WITH JIM AND JOY AND IN GOD ALMIGHTY, THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

KEEP IT RIGHT HERE ON EWTN.

BYE NOW! [MUSIC].

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