Franciscanism and Mental Health the Role of Love in the Growth of Personality as Seen in Franciscan Philosophy

Sister Mary Ann Michaela Gargan, Fordham University


Background of the Study. The influence a person exerts in life has often been pointed out by philosophers. The Catholic Church has always adhered to this belief. She inaugurated and maintains an elaborate educational program despite financial hardships, to safeguard the precious heritage of Faith and religious Truths which belong to her children. She upholds the personal dignity of man and the sacredness of family life she defines the limits of the state’s authority over the individual and defends man’s freedom to worship God. Through the centuries the attitude of the Church has been scoffed at by the "progressives” of each age. Challenged by heresies from Arianism down to Modernism; threatened by rules from Nero to Stalin, the Church refused to yield to the pressures that encompassed her. Ever alert to the dangers besieging her children, the Popes issued vital encyclicals warning all of insidious teachings and doctrines that were propagated. With supernatural wisdom the Church has taught the need of love, of the importance of family life, and the brotherhood of man in the Mystical Body of Christ. Science today, particularly psychiatry and psychology, is studying love, family life, and man’s nature on a natural level, and verifying many of the Church’s teachings. These two professions as well as those engaged in social work are constantly encountering innumerable problems within these radii. Although psychiatry is a comparatively new field in medicine, it was given impetus by Freud’s discovery of the dynamic character of the unconscious and developed rapidly. Misunderstood at first because of erroneous dogmatic presentations, confusing science with philosophy, psychiatry has gained insight through the years into its particular function and is now more widely accepted.

Subject Area

Philosophy|Personality psychology|Mental health|Social work

Recommended Citation

Gargan, Sister Mary Ann Michaela, "Franciscanism and Mental Health the Role of Love in the Growth of Personality as Seen in Franciscan Philosophy" (1957). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30670876.