Comments Off on Video: Restoring Hope and Choosing Life
A video for those who are suffering with depression, despair, or suicidality, prepared by Sarah Colyn.
No matter how long or deeply we’ve suffered in a dark place, Christ has opened the path of life, love and true fulfillment by His cross. We pray that His life-giving Word will flow through this video into your soul today.
Need more teaching and prayer on hope vs. despair?
Listen to this audio recording of a ministry session on the virtue of hope from our Wheaton school.
Clay McLean’s 3-part teaching on recovery from depression
A heart-to-heart talk by Clay about the roots of depression and a loving invitation to come up into God’s healing light (Grieving Childhood Losses; Recognizing Self Pity; Extinguishing Burnout) available at mcleanministries.org.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
To connect with a counselor for emotional support and other services via web chat visit the Lifeline website.
New Hope Crisis Counseling Hotline – 714-NEW-HOPE (714-639-4673)
New Hope Crisis Hotline provides telephone intervention and telephone suicide prevention counseling. Trained crisis workers provide peer counseling to those who are struggling to cope with day to day life. Services are free, and are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. A faith based, ecumenical program of Catholic Charities of Orange County.
Need help finding a skilled counselor?
We’ve provided this guide on finding and working effectively with a counselor, pastor, or mentor in your healing journey.
If you’re unable to find a personal referral in your area, Focus on the Family provides this Christian counselor referral service.
Lifeline Aotearoa Call 09 5222 999 if you live within Auckland or 0800 543 354 for those outside of Auckland.
Comments Off on Video: The Virtue and Gift of Fortitude
A pair of videos with worship, teaching, and prayer to help us grow in fortitude, prepared by Sarah Colyn.
This is a 2-part teaching: the first video introducing what fortitude is and how we use it, and the second looks at how we grow in fortitude. The second video closes with a time of prayer, looking to the power of the Cross to dismantle barriers and strengthen us in fortitude.
We pray that the Lord will anoint this video for you in a personal way. Fortitude is a substantial topic, and so these teachings aren’t so brief or simple. Take your time with them and give yourself space to dialog with the Lord and ponder these things in your heart. As you watch, remember to invite God to actively minister to you, connect your head and heart, and move in your life with His great power and love.
Thanks to Fr Ryan and Emily Brotherton of Holy Trinity Edmonds church for the music clip.
Part One: What fortitude is and how it operates in our lives
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. Deut 31:6
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him… the spirit of counsel and might. Isaiah 11:2
But take heart, I have overcome the world. John 16:33
casting down the evil one like the strong young men of I John 2.14
We are afflicted but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, persecuted but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. 2 Cor 4:8-9
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” Deut 20:2-4
For love is strong as death… Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Song of Solomon 8:6, 7
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 8:38-39
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15
I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18.1
Leanne Payne, Heaven’s Calling
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Josef Pieper, Four Cardinal Virtues, and On Hope
Servais Pinckaers and Bernard Gilligan, Virtue Is Not a Habit
Craig Titus, Resilience and the Virtue of Fortitude: Aquinas in Dialogue with the Psychosocial Sciences
“We Christians are called to an apostolic courage based upon trust in the Spirit…” (Pope John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, p. 219).
“act courageously on behalf of the good, the true, the beautiful, and the just… to initiate change and impact the surrounding culture positively ” and the “capacity to live fully in the present moment, recognizing the transcendent, the ‘gift of eternity’ in it… (Payne, Heaven’s Calling, p. 295).
“Now I think that I understand a bit more about what it means to truly love, because for my men, love was something much more than emotion…” (Donovan Campbell, Joker One, p. 301, 302, 303)
“Virtue enables us to perform excellent actions easily and joyfully, in a stable manner, with profound interior freedom, the freedom of children of God” (Charles Nault, Noonday Demon, p. 77).
Fortitude doesn’t allow “oneself to be forced into evil by fear,
or to be kept by fear from the realization of the good” (Josef Pieper, Four Cardinal Virtues p. 126).
“Cowardice is almost the only vice at which men still feel shame” (C. S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, p. 51).
To “meet the challenges that we face concerning meaning and commitment, coping and constancy,
and constructing something good out of human suffering and failure” (Titus p. 134).
“the friendly and intelligent assistance of another” (p. 81).
“It is afraid of the light and air of the spiritual world” (Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 154).
A video with worship, teaching, and prayer to encourage us in fear of the Lord while ministering healing to any fearful heart, prepared by Sarah Colyn.
We pray that the Lord will anoint this video for you in a personal way. Before you press “play,” please get comfortable in a place where you feel free to stand, sing, and speak out in prayer. Invite God to minister to you, and be fully responsive as He accepts your invitation!
A friendly exhortation: this teaching and prayer is not a substitute for participation in your local church. Please don’t let this video or any of the other Christian media that’s currently on offer turn you into an isolated consumer. Active engagement with your local church body, even if from a physical distance, is essential now — you need your church, and your church needs you.
This is a brief teaching (the video with worship and prayer is just 24 minutes) — those of you who’ve been to an MPC event know that is a big victory for me! There is much more to this topic, so if you’d like to dig deeper, consider these resources:
Leanne Payne, Restoring the Christian Soul Through Healing Prayer, chapter 1 on self-acceptance.
An MPC lecture and prayer on sense of being and well-being can be downloaded here
Josef Pieper: On Hope, chapter 5, “The Gift of Fear;” the section on fortitude in The Four Cardinal Virtues.
An MPC lecture on seeing God rightly, and prayer for healing of fears can be downloaded here
This Godly Play Parable of the Good Shepherd sneaks past the watchful dragons of the rational mind and impresses the heart with the reality of our Lord’s faithfulness in places of danger.
Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
Let us therefore celebrate the festival,
not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I Corinthians 5:7-8 ESV
In prayer, we see Him on the cross, and we take our place in His crucified body. We actually see this with the eyes of our heart as the spiritual reality is taking place. Then we see even our failure to achieve a sense of being, our horrific fear of falling into the abyss of nonbeing, taken up into His greater Being and sacrifice.
We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place
by the blood of Jesus,
by a new and living way opened for us
through the curtain, that is, his body.
We pass through “the curtain, that is, his body,” dying to the old diseased forms of love we have clung to as well as to the unspeakable loneliness and pain of being disrelated at this most basic of all levels. Forgiving others as well as all the circumstances of our lives, we rise with Him in newness of life. Born anew, we take our place in His resurrected Being. In the cross there is healing; in His resurrected body and life there is identity and being. 
We glorify our King as we enter in to His death and life, as we appropriate the healing and identity He has won for us. Let us leave even more of our stains and disfigurements in the tomb. Let us come forth that much more humble, more radiantly transparent as He shines through us. To celebrate is to participate, and to participate in the Paschal mystery is to truly live.
PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit and rend the veil. Open to us the power of the cross, the grave, and the skies that we might truly partake of Christ’s offering. Make our Easter observance an encounter, our celebration a participation. We lift our faces to You, gracious Father, confident in Your Son, and receive life.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
– Psalm 27:4-6 ESV
Another lives in me. My spirit is one with His. That is my whole place. All else is raging around me and within me, but I can stand now, confident, and watch as God heals this part of me that is so wounded. 
Ours is an incarnational view of man and reality. Christ is, as F. B. Meyer has said, “the living Fountain rising up in the well of our personality.”He is present now. He, our Healer, has already become flesh, has already accomplished the work of the cross, has already poured out the full gift of His Spirit upon us. As long as we dwell in time, there will never be more of Him available to us then there is now. Our walk with Him, our acknowledgment of Him with us, within us, while remaining fully sovereign – all this in the now – is what faith apprehends. God is available to us; Jesus is indeed, if we are born again of His spirit, the living Fountain within. We practice His presence.
What you call “me,” where you understand yourself to be standing, shapes life tremendously. The erring and hopeless voices of world, flesh, and devil would tell you that you are your wounds, that you are most truly named by the damaged places in your soul. Answer those voices with confidence, testifying that you have received the most valuable privilege that exists: a place of wholeness already established inside your own being. When you stand in this place where you are one with Christ, there is solid ground under your feet and adequate provision for every need right within reach. This is an amazing, invisible reality, and one that your soul needs to ponder, imagine, profess, and own.
PRAYER: Come Holy Spirit, let faith arise in me. Thank You for living in me. Thank You for making my spirit one with Yours, Lord Jesus. Thank you that this Rock I am standing on will never crumble, will never change. Thank you that the fullness of Your healing power reaches me here. Amen.
 Leanne Payne, Restoring the Christian Soul Through Healing Prayer (Wheaton, Crossway Books, 1991), 71.
 F. B. Meyer, Our Daily Walk (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1951), 169.
 Leanne Payne, Restoring the Christian Soul Through Healing Prayer (Wheaton, Crossway Books, 1991), 72.
Painting: Ivan Aivazovsky & Ilya Repin, 1877, Pushkin’s Farewell to the sea [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This teaching considers the foundations of our existence, what Leanne Payne calls sense of being and well-being. These notes outline the basic flow of the teaching and contain the full text and reference for each scripture and quotation shared. At the bottom of the notes are resources for further exploration of this topic.
God’s creative power
…the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him! from Psa 33:5 – 9
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gen 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-4, 9-14
God’s created norms for how we become persons
Dynamic Cycle of Being:
1. Acceptance (dynamic input of existence)
2. Sustenance (dynamic input of essence)
3. Status (dynamic output of personal selfhood)
4. Achievement (dynamic output of work)
In God’s design, our experiences in infancy set into us a solid sense of being and well-being; these inner resources can then carry us through the challenges of adult life.
Disruptions of God’s ways
Sources of disruption of the dynamic cycle include: prolonged physical separation from mother/primary caregiver; emotionally shut out from her presence; rough or insufficient care.
Reactions to disruption include:
Desperate and clingy orientation in relationship
Remain disconnected and withdrawn
Core-level persistent depression or anxiety
Enemies to the ‘womb of the spirit’ include: physical or emotional illness of mother; hostility or breakdown between the parents; family life harmed by poverty, war, racism; medical issues for baby that causes prolonged separation from mother; misogyny (hatred of the feminine) that militates against the mother-baby pair.
Healing and rebirth in Christ
God has come down to us, taken on our flesh, and entered into our infantile experiences of suffering, abandonment, and rejection. He bore what we cannot so that we might have life.
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us that we might receive the gift of life.
God is able to heal us:
To take the unendurable edge off our mental suffering, always. What remains we shall bear with joy, finding our strength in the Lord.
To the point that we shall be fruitful. Out of our inner being will flow living water for others.
To the degree that we shall fully enter into our identities as children of God and heirs of Christ.
Resources on this topic:
Chapter 2, “The Understanding of Depressed, Melancholy, or Accidious Persons,” Clinical Theology by Frank Lake
Chapter 4, “The Search for Sexual Identity,” The Broken Image, by Leanne Payne
Chapter 9, “The Imagery Really Matters,” The Healing Presence, both by Leanne Payne