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Robert J. Wicks

Dr. Robert Wicks, for over 35 years, has been called upon to speak calm into chaos by individuals and groups experiencing great stress, anxiety and confusion. Dr. Wicks received his doctorate in Psychology (Psy.D.) from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital, is Professor Emeritus at Loyola University Maryland, and has taught in universities and professional schools of psychology, medicine, nursing, theology, education, business, and social work.

Over the past several years he has spoken on his major areas of expertise—resilience, self-care, and the prevention of secondary stress (the pressures encountered in reaching out to others)—on Capitol Hill to Members of Congress and their Chiefs of Staff, at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Mayo Clinic, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, as well as at Harvard's Children's Hospital and Harvard Divinity School, Yale School of Nursing, Princeton Theological Seminary, and to members of the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center in England.

Dr. Wicks has published over 50 books for both professionals and the general public including He is also a recipient of the Papal Medal, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. His latest book in spirituality is Heartstorming: Creating a Place God Can Call Home. Heartstorming encourages us to be more mindful on how the spiritual impregnates all life's joys, sorrows, and even unexciting times if we have the eyes to see.

Five Questions with Paulist Press Author Robert Wicks.

Paulist Press Books by Robert J. Wicks

Cover images are links to book details.

"Dr. Robert Wicks offers advice
for dealing with stresses of pandemic."

— Catholic Baltimore Radio

Dr. Robert Wicks, clinical psychologist, was recently a guest on
the April 19th broadcast of the "Catholic Baltimore"
radio program, where he spoke on the subject of
dealing with stress during the Covid-19 pandemic,
in an interview with George Matysek.

Click Here to Join the Audience

The Big Detours:
A Lent/Easter and Coronavirus Reflection

Recently I was on the way home on a route I had always taken because it was the fastest. Up ahead I could see a detour sign indicating I would need to take a circuitous route home instead of my usual one. My immediate natural reaction was annoyance. After a moment though, I realized that this was silly. I had my GPS to ensure I wouldn’t get lost and, although it would take me longer, it wasn’t a big deal after all.

The detour took me through a neighborhood I hadn’t seen before because I would never “waste” the time to take this path home. What I saw made me smile: old houses that had carefully been restored, open fields in which children played, and large majestic trees that stood out impressively in the distance. A true graced experience made possible by my willingness to let go of annoyance so I could have the inner space for wonder.

In a way, both Lent and the Corona Virus are our detours now from normal life. One is taken voluntarily, the other is forced upon us. The question is: What can both teach us?

First, we don’t have to worry about getting lost if we remember we have our GPS: faith. Second, if we don’t focus on the deprivations, we can experience kenosis, the emptying of ourselves. When this happens we don’t feel a sense of sacrifice but instead find ourselves open to more…much, much more.

So, how can we walk through the portal of kenosis rather than standing outside this open door to new spiritual and psychological awakenings? Well, first we need to be clear that Lent and certainly the Corona Virus, in different ways, are certainly not experiences we may desire for ourselves on a daily basis. To do so would be a journey in spiritual romanticism and foolishness. Life is tough enough without seeking to make it more difficult.

However, when we voluntarily embrace Lent, and not deny the difficulties and serious dangers presented by the Corona Virus, we can let them empty us of our usual expectations of life. We can stop mindlessly running toward our grave by being a victim of habit. Instead, we can wake up to the new and creative ways in life which traveling a spiritual and psychological detour can provide if we welcome them.

The key will be: how we travel this detour. Will it be with nostalgia—simply looking back at how life was before sacrifice and change? Will it be by projecting ourselves into the future—when will all of this end? Or, will we travel with a sense of being present in the now so, like me on my physical detour coming home, we can realize there is so much we often miss because of embracing habit, speed, and expediency. Wouldn’t it be better to be open to experiencing a different interior neighborhood, that offers so much more, if we have the GPS of faith and take some quiet time to ask: what is God offering us now in both Lent and the dangers of the Corona Virus? To a great extent, the answer is up to us.

Robert Wicks presenting at LAREC in February on his latest book Heartstorming.

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