Psychiatry and Asceticism
Roman Catholic Books
Blending the truths of the Faith with Christian Psychology
- The Psychology of Mental Prayer
- The Psychology of Self-Knowledge
- The Psychology of Asceticism
- The Psychology of Mortification
Catholic reviewers in 1950 explain why Fr. Felix D. Duffey's book belongs on the shelf of every serious Christian with a prayer life:
"Voices the alarm felt by many other serious thinkers at the dire influence of what is popularly understood to be psychiatry [and] brings to clear focus the fundamental weakness inherent in the doctrines and practice of many of the reputable psychiatrists and psychoanalysts in the country: they do not even know what a normal man is supposed to be....
"Points out with force...the psychological and therapeutic values of (1) Christian asceticism rightly understood, (2) mental prayer, (3) self-knowledge in the traditional sense, (4) true mortification."
"The author's simply written and nicely balanced treatment may be summed up in two statements: (1) Some neuroses are helped by sound psychiatric treatment, but (2) when psychoanalysis falsely assumes that every mental tension is traceable to some hidden and remotely thwarted desire or uncontrollable psychic force, the consequences of psychiatric treatment may be disastrous."
"Fr. Duffey has the courage to tackle a gargantuan problem: the relation of mental health and peace of soul to a supernaturally motivated Christian life. [He] is not averse to a qualified use of psychiatry and admits some triumphs in this field....There is wide application for psychiatric or psychological principles, as adjuncts to those of the spiritual life....The more a director of souls knows about these two sciences, the better equipped he will be to deal with some ordinary difficulties that occur in the spiritual life."--Hugh Bihler, SJ,
"A large number of thinking men today are registering protests against the egregious trickery of some forms of modern psychology. The Catholic especially finds mingled with the good which this science has to offer much that tends to damage souls and to destroy spirituality. Fr. Duffey enters this discussion [as] a director of souls [and] deserves a large hearing."