I was recently at a loss with a wonderful person with whom I had the privilege to work. I could tell according to my training that they were going through one of the big transitions in the spiritual life. It was clear in my mind that they were transitioning into contemplative prayer, but I was at a loss on how to help them.

Enter the Catholic Psych Institute http://catholicpsych.com.

As I found in my own prayer life, mindfulness techniques are a great help in learning how to enter into contemplative prayer. In my current understanding in which I integrate more traditional Catholic spirituality with mindfulness and contemporary psychology, I have come to believe that as we grow in our spiritual life, we learn to connect more directly with our experience so as to discern the work of the Holy Spirit.

I am not sure if the Catholic Psych Institute deals directly with the discernment of spirits, but mindfulness as taught by Dr. Gregory Bottaro helps us move beyond the labels we attach to our experience and connect more directly with what is going on inside. Such non-judgmental awareness helps us to cultivate that stillness which allows us to receive God’s word in a spirit of openness and docility.

The thought traps, desolations, and negative ruminations which keep us from moving with the Holy Spirit are the enemy. It does not matter if we call them vexations of demons or simply destructive patterns. Either way, the key is to learn to how to release their hold on us so that we can live with greater faith, hope, and love.

That is why, in addition to the great Catholic counselors I currently work with, the Catholic Psych Institute is going to be one of my go-to sources for helping people in spiritual transition and in mental health in general. The best part is that they can also teach mindfulness within a counseling context in which they help people one on one.

Check them out.