From the February 2024 edition of “The Light”
As young adults start to date, I ask them to consider the advice I give to my spiritual children. I do know that it sounds foolish and undoable to a young adult mind to heed this advice. However, when one thinks about it objectively and realistically, one would find it sensible, reasonable, and very doable. Please note that I used the word “think” not “feel” due to the fact that people in general, prefer to use and mean the word “feel,” as our secular society has been proclaiming, teaching, and even imposing it on us. To prove this concept to yourself, just observe someone speaking for a few minutes! I have! This is just an observation and NOT a condemnation to people who use the word “feel” more than “think.” It is NOT a condemnation of feelings either. As human beings we need feelings and the thought process. Both are necessary! Nevertheless, when we escalate a feeling to a thought, we discover why we feel that way. If the feeling is justified, then we keep it and cherish it. Otherwise, it needs to be discarded. This escalation can be in itself an involved process and does not take place overnight. We must train ourselves with the help of our spiritual fathers for, possibly, an extended time to improve the way we do it. I often advise my spiritual children to PTA: Pause, Think, and then Act. It requires discipline and training. All of us are capable of doing so if we are willing to do so. Our feelings are much faster than our cognitive abilities. Our feelings are reactive instantly but may not be justified. For this reason, I recommend pausing to allow our mind to catch up with our feelings in order to act properly. This is not easy! Again, it takes practice, discipline, and guidance from spiritual fathers. The process of thinking differentiates us and distinguishes us from other beings that are unable to think but react solely instinctively. I advise my spiritual children to enter into a relationship with an open mindand a closed heart for at least six months. The complaint immediately is stated: that takes away spontaneity, or I don’t have control over my feelings, or this is not fun, or feelings are what make the relationship worthwhile, or…While there might be truth to such complaints to some people, it is far more rewarding in the long run to heed the advice than not to. This advice greatly reduces the chances of future surprises, conflicts, and even divorces!
Benefits of the advice is that the adults who participate in this relationship have time to discover the red flags of the other. As both walk through this relationship seeking their spiritual father’s guidance every step of the way, it becomes abundantly clear how to proceed. If those red flags are acceptable to the other person in the relationship and can live with them for the rest of his/her life, then the heart can start to open up and feelings are allowed to be. Red flags will not be obliterated, and they are the person’s trait for the rest of his/her life in most cases. Capable spiritual fathers can help their spiritual children improve and mitigate the red flag by prescribing spiritual remedies and practices. On the other hand, a person might not be aware of his/her own red flags and can reduce them greatly when they are brought up to his/her attention in a constructive, kind, and loving way. It is worthy to note that everyone has red flags. It is true without exceptions! Nevertheless, some of them are relative and are unacceptable to some. Discovering them before the relationship proceeds to marriage is crucial so that there will be no surprises after the wedding that lead to major problems or divorces.
Please point your browser to www.DOMSE.org and scroll down to the listed events in order to be aware of the 2024 DOMSE events schedule and register for them. Looking forward to seeing you all at the various DOMSE events and at your parishes.
May God bless you and may the Holy Trinity protect you all!