Skip to content

Retrouvaille - Wounded Healers

WOUNDED HEALERS

"I'm telling you this to encourage you that people listen to suffering people, and people don't go to folks who 'have it all together' when they have trouble. They go to someone who is not shocked, who has been hurt, and who will listen without passing judgment, someone who has found some answers but doesn't have all the answers."

Those words from a Retrouvaille participant remind us of the power of peer ministry, something we have learned well from the Alcoholics Anonymous movement.

As I write this, I just finished presenting a Retrouvaille weekend. I heard the three team couples admit infidelity, alcoholism, workaholism, married singles behavior, and many of the causes of divorce in our society.

The church has traditionally urged folks to cover up their weaknesses. Folks are then reluctant to share their struggles and brokenness.

We live in a winner's society. Whole people belong. Losers don't belong.

In contrast, Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve step groups have taught us that misery is often the basis for ministry.

I heard couples on the Retrouvaille weekend exclaim how good it was to hear other's stories to which they could relate. Hearing another's story helps us to look at our own story in a different way, often becoming a conversion experience.

FROM MISERY TO MINISTRY

Psychologists remind us that marriages cycle through four stages, namely romance, disillusionment, misery and awakening.

Many couples get trapped in misery, thinking that their marriage is falling apart. They become painfully aware of the brokenness which envelopes their lives. Each spouse is usually in pain, blaming the other for their pain. They turn in on themselves. Spouses then use self-protective behaviors to isolate their partner. Actually the pain most often comes from within themselves and not from the spouse.

Couples easily stay trapped in their misery, turning inward. But there is also the potential to creatively transform misery into ministry.

In the stages of marriage, we move from misery to awakening by making the decision to love, to reach out to each other again. That awakening can be the turning point toward ministry, as couples stop denying their pain, make the decision to love, forgive, and work creatively to rebuild their relationship. They realize that healing will not be a quick-fix.

Part of healing for each spouse often means dealing with aspects of their own negative behavior that they have been overlooking or trying to hide. They recognize that they are not alone, that they are part of the problem, and that they have gifts to rebuild their relationship.

As couples work to improve their marriage, they often feel an urge or a need to share what they have learned with others. This sense of being sent or missioned, of turning out, is a spiritual turning point in their journey.

The twelfth step of codependency groups reminds us of the need to help others if we are to continue our recovery. The twelfth step of Troubled Couples Anonymous says: "Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to those in troubled marriage relationships, and to practice these principles in all our affairs. "

We are often more empathetic and compassionate toward others and can often engage in ministry more effectively once we have suffered ourselves.

Our greatest resource is the experience we have had in our own marriages. This is the core message of ministers in Retrouvaille. We are not a marriage counselor but a friend. What works for another couple is up to them. We share what has worked for us.

Retrouvaille calls itself "a lifeline for marriages." Bob wrote: "In Retrouvaille, we heard other couples talk about their marital problems. Hearing the team couples discuss their own relationships - the kind of pain they have experienced and the resolutions that took place through the commitment they made to each other at Retrouvaille - really moved a lot of people on that weekend."

Ministers don't have it all together and sometimes cycle back to misery again. Thus the cycle of ministry is misery, awakening, missioning, and ministry.

We are what Henri Nouwen called "wounded healers."

Information on the Retrouvaille program is available by calling 1-800-470-2230 or on the website at www.retrouvaille.org

Contact

Retrouvaille
http://www.retrouvaille.org MN, US
Father Jerry Foley - Presenting Team Priet, 651 232-3301

Email

gkfoley@cs.com

Keywords

marital problems, marriage, family

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2018 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.