Can a friendship interfere with your spiritual life?


#1

I am hoping to get some suggestions on how to handle a situation that has arisen in my life.

A close friend of mine has a somewhat “distant” friend who I will call Andrea.

From the very first moment that I saw Andrea, before even speaking to her, I felt uncomfortable around her. Something just felt wrong to me. It was a dark feeling that I got from her. She turned out to be a very nice person as far as her personality goes, but I just felt something was not right.

In talking to her I learned that her entire family was or had been heavily involved in witchcraft, and she herself had been involved with it as well. She claimed, however, that she was no longer involved in this and has converted to Christianity.

So I sort of pushed aside my hesitancy to be around her, telling myself that perhaps the dark feeling was just residue from her former way of life, and went over to her house with my friend. But while I was there, I felt so uncomfortable. Then I saw a book on her bookshelf on something relating to witches.

From that moment on, I doubted how much she had left behind witchcraft and felt bothered by that dark feeling I get when around her. I also learned recently that she likes to do speed, thinks it is good for her, and does cocaine, although she would never do that around me or my friend because she knows we are against that.

Andrea has taken a strong liking to me and has suggested getting together. I have excused myself from it. But my friend, who is friends with Andrea, has been inviting Andrea to go places with us lately. Andrea really wants to hang out with us.

Because I feel very uncomfortable being around Andrea, and because I am skeptical about the things she is involved in, I am intending to avoid being around her as much as I can. But I feel guilty doing this because I also remember that Christ came for everyone, and I feel as if I am being cold by avoiding her. Of course, I will always be kind to her if I see her, but I just do not want to spend time with her or develop a friendship.

That is why I wanted to ask some other Catholics what they think about the situation, if I am handling it the right way or not. Any thoughts?


#2

You shouldn’t let the beliefs of a friend affect your own beliefs. Just remember to respect her beliefs, assuming that she will return the favor.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood


#3

If I were in your situation, I would be very cautious about getting too “chummy” with someone who has this type of history. Even if she is claiming that she no longer practices witchcraft. My gut feeling is that this relationship could be harmful to you. And please, pray for her.

You may want to do some more reading on what the Catholic Church teaches, in regards to the occult. Here is a link I found, which seems very informative.

Hope it helps. God bless and I will keep you in my prayers.

catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=5299&CFID=23219090&CFTOKEN=17309361


#4

I will also keep you in my prayers.

If this were me, I would see her (since you might be instrumental in saving her), however I would pray fervently to our BVM and to St. Michael, the Archangel, for protection for you and for her and your close friend. You may need to “excuse yourself to the bathroom” or whatever, frequently, to pray the Hail Mary and the Prayer to St. Michael . I would also read all I could put my hands on about what the Church believes/teaches on the occult - might I recommend the CCC and Fr. Pacwa’s book on the New Age, for starters. Also, make sure you take advantage of Confession frequently and the Eucharist.:thumbsup:
If you could get Andrea and your close friend to read these (if she’s not Catholic, at least Fr. Pacwa’s book and Scripture pertaining to this) it would be helpful to both of you, too.


#5

Thank you all for your replies. I appreciate them very much :slight_smile:

I had an odd dream about this last night…I dreamed I was at my friends house and Andrea was there. She went to leave, so I got up to give her a hug goodbye because I wanted to still be nice to her.

She just looked at me and said, in a tone that showed she was angry, “You know, it really is too bad because we could have been great friends.” And then she left.

I was surprised in my dream, because I had not done anything to her, and had been trying to be nice. So I started talking with my friend about it, and even she was surprised. I mentioned how I always had this dark feeling about Andrea, and she said now that I mentioned it, things never really felt right with her when Andrea was around either. Like an empty feeling of sorts I think. She compared it to a TV being on all the time to one channel that did not have any meaning.

I am not sure what that means, if it means anything.

I definitely appreciate the advice though and will re-read it and try to remember it. :blessyou:


#6

I don’t know hardly anything about dream analysis, but I would really pray for Andrea.:shrug:


#7

:imsorry: Yes, I think your right.


#8

Hold on a second…sorry to be the odd one out, but aren’t you guys judging her before you’ve really gotten to know her?

Many of the saints had dark pasts also, but they turned their lives around and became the saints that they are today. She could well be the case of a woman trying to get her life together and she really wants some Catholic friends to hang out with to help her with her faith.

I wouldn’t stop hanging around this girl just because of a “dark feeling”. Give her a chance! Sure, pray for her, but don’t you think it was pretty courageous of her to admit to 2 Catholics that she and her family practiced Wicca? She didn’t have to admit that!

Perhaps your dream was a response to your prayers…perhaps God was telling you that she could be a good friend to you if you give her a chance.

Women tend to cut other women off before they give them a chance. I think it might be a win/win situation to at least give her a chance. Getting hurt is part of life and sometimes we just have to give people a chance.


#9

No offense but Christians have this insane idea that all ‘witches’ or those who dabble in 'witchcaft’or are Wiccan are in with the devil and out to get everyone. I know Catholics are stricktly against witchcraft but let me let you in on something. There was a lot of Pagan stuff going on in the Bible before it was edited. Also the first rule of Wiccan is to intend no harm on anyone or anything, if harm is intended well thats just as bad as going to hell. So before making judgements I would as her if she has broken that rule, if she has well…thats your own judgment.


#10

I’m afraid your friend’s friend is still involved in witchcraft.

A person who gives up the occult gives up all books, occult items, paraphenalia, etc. as a rule. A person who hasn’t, hasn’t given up. It still has a hold, admitted or not. People who give up for good -know- they have to get rid of it all and away from it all, as far as possible, or just like an alcoholic with alcohol, keeping it in the house – it’s not really over.

The dream is a -very bad sign- it’s the type of thing heavy witchcraft can actually cause. The real thing can do that sort of thing to manipulate people.

The demons associated with it stay. And because witchcraft is directly associated with them, they stick in its regard more than anything else. Because it’s designed for them, by them (whether the form of witchcraft praciced explicitly acknowledges them or NOT)

She is also involved in drugs, and her family being a family of witches very likely is as well and this criminal element + witchcraft is an incredibly dangerous cocktail. In other words, it is dangerous to be around this person and her family because they are dangerous people in their practices who are demonized.

You could get in trouble with the law, or be hurt by them or by the people they associate with. Witchcraft causes harm to all involved, and demonization.

I am going to be blunt. Rape, robbery, you name it, are higher potentialities here than they normally are with a family and person like that. What happens in a case like this? An emergency call even if you’re loosely associated, asking you to come over and help – then a robbery or worse taking advantage of your imprudent and overestimating desire to help.

To overcome witchcraft and drugs – to overcome either alone takes the equivalent of AAA and intense prayer, a total life change. Your friend hasn’t done that total life change. She’s still enslaved to temptations associated with it. That means she’ll do anything for it when the need is strong enough. To anyone. However nice she normally is. When the drug urge is on a person – you know addicts do anything for the fix.

Thus she isn’t a person you associate with for fun or friendship.

She’s someone you would only associate with to help, as a doctor. But you two aren’t spiritual doctors.

You’re not spiritual directors, you’re not priests, you’re not AFAIK heavy duty saints with a backup cadre of good men to help.

You aren’t that qualified to help out in a situation like this. That’s not something to feel guilty about, that’s just where you are. You have a lot longer to go on the journey.

The saints often talk about bad friendships, because they can be harmful to the souls and bodies of those involved. This is a good example.

What you can do for this person is step back, and not associate.

Probably cut off entirely. You could be called in an emergency to help out in bad situation and wind up in one if you don’t do a total cut off.

It’s alright to cut off people, some people don’t understand that it is – but Catholicism does. When you do it -for the right reason-. The right reason is not because you hate the person but because you do it for wisdom’s sake. Like you don’t walk into an Al Quada meeting and start preaching Christ unless you’re a St. Francis of Assisi and ready to be killed. Like a single woman doesn’t walk into a bar late at night alone and expect any divinely good thing to happen whatsoever.

You can be charitable for her – by praying for her, but you don’t have to. What you don’t even have to pray for her? You can – there are dangers involved the demons will be annoyed by it, and it’ll take a ton of prayer to work. You also might emotionally link with her and lead yourself into inappropriate involvement by it that way too, being soft hearted. But you don’t have to, and if you’re not ready you shouldn’t.

The saints say not to pray for hard cases unless you too are of great and holy capacity to do so. Yes that’s scripture and St. John more right there.

And it’s for your sake so you don’t get into it, over your head. Cut out and get out. Withdraw.

I hope this helps. We all have good will for everone. This doesn’t negate that. God knows. :slight_smile:

‘If anyone sees his brother sinning, if the sin is not deadly, he should pray to God and he will give him life. This is only for those whose sin is not deadly. There is such a thing as deadly sin, about which I do not say that you should pray.’

1 John 5:16

“For it becomes us as Christians to turn with aversion from all who speak or think against Christ, as the adversaries of God and the destroyers of souls, and “not even to wish them Godspeed, lest at any time we become partakers of their evil deeds,” as the blessed John enjoins.” (2 John 10)

St. Alexander of Alexandria

‘Saint John did not absolutely forbid that prayer should be made for those who “sin unto death,” since he knew that Moses, Jeremiah, and Stephen had so prayed, and he himself implies that forgiveness is not to be denied them. Such intercessors, then, must be sought for after very grievous sins, for if any ordinary persons pray they are not heard. . . Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge”? And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor.’

St. Ambrose of Milan, ‘On Repentance’

[edit]

I also believe hmm, St. Michael’s Call is the name of a website that has some info on stuff like this. You would likely get the same advice there.


#11

She claimed, however, that she was no longer involved in this and has converted to Christianity.

My gut feeling is that she is in fact lying about this. I mean, she isn’t since she’s still practicing witchcraft – but I believe she -is a witch- and -is lying purposefully- about being Christian.

That’s all it is, an intuition I have about this, for what it’s worth. But if it is true -very bad-, -very very very bad- case.

So it’s likely either a case where she’s hanging onto the book and stuff and hasn’t really let go and hasn’t admitted that to herself yet, or is lying.


#12

oopss…I didn’t read the part about the drugs and the wiccan book on the shelf. I skimmed through the thread. Shame on me :tsktsk:

I wouldn’t hang out with anyone who does drugs. That would be a show stopper for me.


#13

Giving a direct answer to your original question, “Can a friendship interfere with your spiritual life?” , the answer is YES.

We human beings are unavoidably influenced by our environment.
That is why it is critical to guard our absorbtions - what we see, what we hear, what we read, what we are exposed to.

Whether Andrea has stopped practicing witchcraft or not, the fact she has been is a red flag.
It is very possible the evil spirit is still in her even she is not practicing it any more.

Friendship is a choice. You have the right and freedom to choose your friend.


#14

There are such things as real conversion! Just ask St Paul!

People with a background in paganism/wicca or other occult practices have to overcome a tremendous amount to come home and to dismiss this is very sad and unhelpful. To condemn someone becuase they used to be x. y or z is not Christian.

However, continued drug use and a book on witches means that at the very least I would talk to her and advise her what Catholicism teaches. Real conversion involves getting rid of all books and associated objects. She may (mistakenly) identify herself as a Christian witch - believe it or not there are groups out there - especially on the internet. To be avoided or educated!

If things don’t change I would avoid her as much as possible. The dream is also a concern, as, just as the other post says, witches commonly use dreams to attack or communicate with others. At the very least it suggests that you are deeply affected by her and often our emotions tell us a great deal - provided we have a fully formed conscience.

God Bless


#15

InLight is correct. Involvement in the occult is probably the fastest way to become demonized (not necessarily possessed; there are other lower levels of demonic harrassment). As InLight said, even after someone stops practicing, there can be demonic leftovers. Often demons hang onto a bad attachment the person has. Andrea’s keeping the witchcraft books around suggests she may still have an attachment.

I think keeping the distance you’re keeping now is a good idea for now. What she really needs are your prayers - here’s a prayer for a friend from the spiritual warfare prayer catalog.


#16

Thank you Becky for your elaboration. I was just going to explain what I have said and saw your to-the-point explanation.

You are right that the best way to help Andrea at this point is to pray for her.


#17

Wow, I have not been on here in the last day or so, and am really appreciative of all the suggestions and advice! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to reply - it was so kind of you! :blessyou:

I have always been skeptical too about if she is telling the truth, but then apart of me feels guilty for being so skeptical because like one of the posters said, I do not want to judge someone without getting to know them. But then again, I also remember that getting to know someone is a mixed bag too - I know how easy it is to get involved with someone so closely that you can no longer clearly see all the negative reasons why you should not be involved. I suppose it takes a good deal of right discernment! :hmmm:

The time I first met her - from the moment I saw her at a distance I felt this dark energy just hit me. So when I was hanging out with her and my friend, I really held back. I did not say much, and was really hanging back. I was not being rude I don’t think, just inside my mind I was feeling all these dark feelings that were saying, “she is involved in paganism and witchcraft.”

So after we were together for awhile that first time, that is when she said came out about having been involved in it, but having converted. I always wondered, “could she sense that I sensed that she was a pagan and into witchcraft because I was hanging back and feeling so strongly that she was pagan and into that?” I know that sounds like complete head games, but who knows. If she was sensitive to feelings, she may have felt my complete withdrawl within myself from her. So I always wondered why she came out and admitted all that so quickly.

I think that I will respect her as a human being, of course, and if I see her I will talk to her and such. But as far as a friendship, I am going to keep a distance. I agree that you would have to be a real strong saint to handle this, or really good at discernment, and I am too sensitive to things to handle discernment well.

Thanks to everyone!!! :slight_smile:


#18

Angeluzza
You have received much good advice here, but I wanted to had that your initial ‘feelings’ about her sound like what is called a “check in the spirit.” That is sort of a spiritual warning from the Holy Spirit of danger.

I would have nothing more to do with this person for any reason and do not let her into your home or go to hers.

It is always good to pray for others, but as one poster mentioned, sometimes the danger is so great, that it is best not to pray for her lest you are very holy yourself and feel directed by God to do so. I have heard of many cases of ordinary people praying for those with serious demonic issues and it has brought them nothing but harm.

Best to step back in this case…and leave her to the mercy of God.

Best wishes to you.


#19

Do what you can to provide a Christian, Church-based influence on this girl, but I’d recommend avoiding her house and family. Try to help her understand why her bad habits are not good for her, and center the activities you do together around Christ. Finds ways to slip Him and His Church into conversations and orient everything around our savior.

And, as was mentioned by another poster, always remember we’ve all capable of salvation and that not everyone has a sparkly past - in fact, no one does, hence confession! We all need God’s grace (think like the publican, not the pharisee!: God have mercy on me, a sinner!).

In Christ’s abundant love,
Stephen


#20

I don’t know much about witchcraft but I do know about drugs…there are too many valid reasons for you to be uneasy. If someone is doing speed and coke…you need to stay far away and for you to somehow believe that she will not be high in front of you because you don’t approve is real niave…(did I spell that right?). All active drug addicts and yes she is a drug addict…are incapable of being honest and you are setting yourself up for some serious problems. She will not have a problem stealing your money or your possessions and if you happen to find something missing where she is involved you will be amazed how believable she will be. If you continue to be in her company you will find many inconsistancies and think that perhaps you are judging her wrongly…lots of things won’t make sense to you and you will be manipulated…nothing good will come out of this relationship. If she is back against the corner with the law…she will have no problem trying to make you look guilty…I have had people hide coke in my car and they forgot about it…had I been stopped I would of had a drug charge…she cannot be helped until she wants to & then she has to take the first steps.

I’m warning you…listen to your instincts…you have several alarms going off…just like the robot on Lost in Space…Danger! Will Smith! Danger! You have everything to lose and nothing to gain-yes even your soul. A combination of witchcraft & drug addiction…makes sense to me…but it is also very lethal to her and to all she comes in contact with.


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