Modern Believing

Learning Prayer Through Childhood Trauma

Modern Believing (2022), 63, (3), 246–253.

Abstract

The article traces the journey of faith from a childhood marked by abuse to a place of healing in later adult life. It examines the spiritual and psychological effects of narcissistic parenting on the development and manner of praying as part of an ongoing, if at times, ambivalent and perplexing process. The experiences described are rooted in Catholicism prior to Vatican II and how that particular mindset informed the author about the abuse itself and about God. The article then offers an alternative way through the guilt and pain to a proper understanding of what is meant by Christ’s understanding of praying ‘in spirit and in truth’, of the nature of atonement in regard to failure, and of forgiveness itself.

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References

Morrigan, Danu (2017) Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother: 100 Letters for Your Healing and Thriving. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. Google Scholar

Suggested Further Reading

Arabi, Shahida (2017) Power: Surviving and Thriving After Narcissistic Abuse. New York: Thought Catalogue Books. Google Scholar

Chevous, Jane (2004) From Silence to Sanctuary: A Guide to Understanding, Preventing and Responding to Abuse. London: SPCK. Google Scholar

Fowler, James W. (1995) Stages of Faith: The Psycholog y of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning. New York: Harper Collins. Google Scholar

Morrigan, Danu (2012) You’re Not Crazy - It’s Your Mother: Understanding and Healing for Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers. London: Darton, Longman and Todd. Google Scholar

Pattison, Stephen (2000) Shame: Theory, Therapy, Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

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Details

Author details

Cavanagh, Lorraine