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Fr. Derek Sakowski

Emotional Integration

I just took some time away at St. Vincent’s Abbey in Pennsylvania. Aside from opportunities for prayer and visiting friends, I had the unexpected surprise of finding myself in Mister Roger’s neighborhood. I had not realized that Latrobe was his hometown. I strolled down the hill from the basilica and […]

Presence and Mindfulness

Presence and mindfulness garner much attention in the world of contemporary psychology and self-help. But they are rather important for Christian discipleship as well! The very virtues of faith, hope, and love are impossible without being present and mindful. They require receptivity, openness, vulnerability, and a sense of wonder and awe at the mystery of the other person, creation, and the living God.

Affective Maturity

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2332) teaches that sexuality affects all aspects of being human – most especially our affectivity and our capacity to enter into bonds of communion with others. In other words, those who are sexually healthy are emotionally mature. They are secure in relationships, receiving and giving love in a way that shows honor and delight to the other person. If I am struggling with insecurity, if I am less than free in how I show up in relationships, that is a symptom of my wounded sexuality. It reminds me that I have need of more integration – that I have need of maturing in my affectivity and thereby growing in chastity.

Deprivation and Discernment

“It is just as much a sin to deprive the body without discernment of what it really needs as it is to over-indulge.” So said Saint Francis of Assisi to his band of brothers in the 1220’s, as recorded by his biographer, Thomas of Celano. This is the same Francis […]

The Armor of Shame

I cannot watch the 1986 film The Mission without weeping at certain scenes – particularly the moment when Rodrigo (Robert De Niro) is unburdened of his shame. Since you’ve all had 37 years to watch the movie, I will go ahead and spoil some of the plot. It is the […]

I Have a Story!

Those of you who know me better know that the last 7 years have been an odyssey of personal healing. It all started with an unexpected phone call on my 41st birthday. With my susceptibility to workaholism, my birthdays never tended to be different than other days. But this birthday […]