Be an Amazing Catechist
Killing Us Softly: Seduced by the Occult
It is time for us to pray and fast. This is spiritual war. Necromancy (contacting the dead), Tarot cards, witchcraft, Reiki (or "healing touch"), psychics, astrology, and other occult practices are all forbidden by God because He loves us and wants us to come to Him, to live in Him, and to be truly happy and at peace.
These practices are dangers, not little pleasures or wonderful secrets. They will first steal away your faith in soft, pleasant stages, then destroy your peace, and if you don't get help from the Church, will mortally wound your soul.
Here's what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say:
CCC 2117 "All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or a when they have recourse to the intervention of demons."
2118 "Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic."
One of my favorite saints, Saint Pio of Pietrelcino, was attacked night after night by demons who hated him for his devotion to God and to Our Lady. Read here about his battles, and the way he sought help from fellow priests and the saints in heaven. His perseverance drew many souls to Christ.
Saint John Vianney, the holy Cure of Ars, was also attacked on a regular basis, but his holiness just increased. In spite of his fears, he drew closer to God in his suffering and drew many souls to repentance through his love of God and his obedience to the Church.
If you are concerned about someone you love, a faithful priest can be of great comfort and good counsel, and should be sought in these cases. Gird yourself. Get to confession regularly, to Mass as much as possible, pray the Rosary, make small sacrifices, and in the darkest times of grave doubt, confusion, or even anger at what is transpiring, remember to pray, "Jesus, I trust in You!"
If you are devout, you can be sure you will suffer, but you will be a beacon of light to them in the darkness, and by God's grace, their souls may be saved by your loving example and persevering gentleness and forgiveness.
And just so you know that this problem has been going on a very long time, here's part of the Old Testament reading from the liturgy of Friday, March 23:
The wicked said among themselves, thinking not aright: "Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us; he sets himself against our doings, reproaches us for transgressions of the law and charges us with violations of our training. He professes to have knowledge of God and styles himself a child of the LORD. To us he is the censure of our thoughts; merely to see him is a hardship for us, because his life is not like that of others, and different are his ways. (Wis 2:1a, 12-22)
Remember, this battle is the Lord's (2 Sam 17). We are like Davids facing an onslaught of Goliaths.
But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." (Matt 17:27)
God bless you!
Lisa Mladinich is a Catholic wife and mother, catechist and workshop leader, and the author of the popular booklets, "Be An Amazing Catechist: Inspire the Faith of Children," and "Be an Amazing Catechist: Sacramental Preparation" available from Our Sunday Visitor. She is the founder of www.AmazingCatechists.com.