As we Romanians have as habit, we accept almost everything that’s “new” from outside the country, without filtering things with our own mind, and so gains roots in our country the trend to go to a psychologist, or to family planning, or somewhere else.
The doubt that makes us swing between going to a psychologist or going to a priest is powered by faith and awareness of the existence of the sin. If you have them, you incline to go to a priest; if you don’t, you will go to a psychologist, because the latter will never bother your from the convenience of making sins; the psychologist won’t make any reference to them, as they even don’t exist. And after all, isn’t it easier to sit on an armchair to a conversation than in your knees in front of the priest….?
Apparently, the priest and the psychologist have many common points, serving the same cause towards us: bringing the human soul to a state of equilibrium, harmony or counsel in life situations. In reality, I consider (without diminishing the utility of psychology as a science) that there is a huge gap between the two for several reasons.
The relationship between the priest and their spiritual son is very intimate, more intimate than someone with his best friend, and this intimacy is given by the Holy Mistery of Confession and because this relationship projects towards eternity, opposite to the relationship between the psychologist and the patient that is, after all, a commercial one… I pay to get better and it only helps until the you die, in the best case.
The relation with the my spiritual father is permanent, because of his prayer towards God for me, that protects me as an umbrella from the rains of deceiving, and for my prayers towards God for him, but with the psychologist all the interaction is resumed to the time spent in a session at his office.
The priest, through God’s grace, treats the effects but also the causes of the sufferance, the causes of the commotion, and all kind of unbalances, which come sins, while in psychology doesn’t exist the term “sin” and the treating the causes of this problems becomes relative.
The priest treats the human as the image of God, while the psychologist treats the human as biological being , as an animal. In psychology works the human but in the priest works God, because the priest is a mediator of God and from Him we receive the real treatment for getting cured, while the treatment of the psychologist is of material (medicine) and human nature. And, as a human, the psychologist can’t help himself sometimes so he can less help others.
And maybe the most overwhelming difference is that the psychologist doesn’t mediate the descent of God’s grace in order to clean all my sins and to receive power to be free of the old me.
Every time I leave my priest after confession I’m “flying like a butterfly” of joy, full of hope and spiritual relief, feeling reborn. I want to hear someone that leaves like this after at least one of ten sessions at the psychologist.
All these things that we receive from God through our priest can’t be found anywhere else, we can’t buy them, we don’t receive them on social reasons or anything else, but they are the love of the Shepherd for the lost sheep, the love of Christ toward the fallen humanity.