Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ
Where did you get the name Catholic Bandita?
The word “Catholic” comes, of course, from the fact that I am Catholic and I blog on matters related to my Catholic Faith. (CLICK HERE to listen to my conversion story.) “Bandita” is from the word “bandito” used in the context given by Cardinal Lozano Barragan’s address God’s Image in the Mentally Ill Person.
What are your diagnoses?
I have been diagnosed with Bipolar I Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and late stage Lyme Disease which has had an impact on my brain and has caused damage to my peripheral nervous system, as well. I live with chronic pain that is both mental and physical. Please read How to be a good friend to an adult with Aspergers Syndrome. Because I have both Bipolar I Disorder and Asperger, I do not present myself the way someone with only Bipolar Disorder does nor someone with only Asperger Syndrome.
What is your connection to the Passionist Nuns?
I am a Passionist Oblate Associate. As a person who deals with chronic pain, I offer my sufferings for the intentions of the Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery. This is a gift to them. I have only been to the monastery one time, for Adoration, and I do not converse with them or receive spiritual direction from them. They are cloistered. I do have contact with a Passionist Oblate. I am very much a person who wants to make the Passion of Christ known in the world and I study the spirituality of St. Paul of the Cross and have a special devotion also to St. Gemma, a Passionist saint. I am my own person, an individual on my own, but have a Passionist spiritual life.
Why do you talk about identity so much?
It is my belief that “identity” is the most important issue facing the Church today. Many of the most serious attacks on the Catholic Church are related to identity, specifically identity in Christ and identity in teaching that is authentically Catholic. Because of my struggles with suicidal ideation due to Bipolar Disorder, and having come to know that I must find my identity in God’s will rather than my own, I believe that I have perspective to offer on this subject that is important toward helping people understand that identity, truth, love, compassion, etc., are all intimately related with each other and should be held fast to. As the Holy Father has said, to “resist this eclipse of reason” which mankind is now descending into, “to preserve its capacity for seeing the essential, for seeing God and man, for seeing what is good and what is true, is the common interest that must unite all people of good will. The very future of the world is at stake.”
It is my belief that my struggle with mental illness as a faithful Catholic gives me insight that may be helpful to those who struggle to understand how Christians should address the eclipse of reason.
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