Journey into Healing and Self-Transformation: A Psycho-Spiritual Perspective

By Fr (Dr) Gregory Pinto, SVD

Better Yourself Books and Media Pvt. Ltd.; 2022; Pages: 126; MRP: ₹ 150/-

ISBN: 978-81-947495-3-0; Available at St Paul's Media Centre and on their online website

‘I do not just have a mission; I AM a mission.’ This statement was made by Pope Francis regarding Catholics being aware of the mission that should define their lives, giving them the encouragement to first and foremost work better and optimally on themselves. We must realise that we have a responsibility not only for our own personal inner healing and self-transformation, but by being truly ‘ourselves’ we are living out the missionary work of Christ and His Church by giving our best to others.

This is the theme of this short but inspiring book titled ‘Journeying into Healing and Self-Transformation’ by Fr (Dr) Gregory Pinto, SVD, who has spent years in counselling and to guide believers towards their own inner healing process, self-transformation and connecting with their ‘God-zone’. The book is short but to the point, and can be one of the most life-changing books one could read this year.

A healthy self or personality creates a positive atmosphere for others to grow. On the contrary, a self or personality that cannot work on its past and is continuously living as a prisoner of history will be a burden for others. The question is the one our Lord Jesus asked in the Gospel of Matthew 9:28: “Do you believe that I can heal you?”

Fr Gregory, through this book, wants to bring the reader closer to this reality that Jesus offers, with the help of the Word of God, motivational quotes, inspirational sayings, and the psycho-spiritual perspective of inner healing. The book is divided into five concise chapters set in a textbook manner for better reading and comprehension of the key concepts in self-analysis and connecting to our God-zone. There are powerful Bible readings and wisdom quotes from the masters of inspirational literature such as Saint Paul, Lao Tzu, Leo Tolstoy, George Bernard Shaw, Ralph Ellison, Virgil, Socrates, Carl Rogers, Thomas A. Kempis, Kahlil Gibran, Swami Vivekananda, etc. The book is ideal for group sharing at churches, counselling centres, seminaries and schools. It can be a book for a Retreat, reflection session, Recollection manual, or a simple prayer and worship session. The book will teach us that the Word of God not only leads us towards salvation, but also to self-discovery.

When we have respect for our own dignity, we shall also have respect for the dignity of others, be they of different races, religions, states, et al. Reflecting on this book with sincerity of heart and a strong determination, and not merely a wayward wish to be healed, will give us the best results. Let us not be Catholics who, when we want to justify the negativity of our own behaviour, become our own best lawyers, but when we want to attack such behaviour in others, we become their most competent judges. We see this happening on a pandemic scale, especially since the coming of social networking sites and the online phenomenon of the ‘cancel culture’. Fr Gregory asks us not to judge and to keep asking our innermost selves difficult questions:

• What makes us overly defensive about our actions?

• What kind of topics are we not comfortable talking about?

• What kind of people do we dislike the most?

If anyone has psychological issues, by merely treating the symptoms, we only give temporary healing to a person in need; we need to go to the root! If the root is healed, so will the stem, and then the fruit will be good to eat and share with others. Remember, really successful adults are those whose personality is shaped by wholesome attitudes. This book shall teach us all this and more, making us realise that emotional barrenness is not what God, our loving Father, desired for us. We need to give ourselves some good self-talk to give rise to good actions, and not evil. By reading this book, you’ll cry, laugh, reflect and muse, but more importantly, you’ll realise that the real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you would one day lose everything you ever had. Start encountering God’s love in our shadows.

Jesus desired to share with us the Divine companionship and intimacy on our road to inner healing, self-transformation, and self-discovery. That is why He instituted the Eucharist. On August 4, we will celebrate the feast of the Patron of Priests, Saint John Marie Vianney. It was he, according to Fr Gregory, who realized the power of the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist in transformation and inner healing. Therefore, more than anyone else, Catholic priests, monks and seminarians need to understand the transformative power of the Eucharist in a Catholic’s spiritual and psychological life. The Eucharist can cure us, make us accept our limits, and aid us in going beyond our daily life problems. This delightful book will enlighten you on how that can be done.

Fiza Pathan