Spiritualism - sinful?


#1

My family and my husbands family are non-catholics, except me - I converted to the faith last year. My mother and my husband’s mother and his sister have recently started attending the local spiritualist church.

Should I be worried about this? I have tried to encourage my mother to come to mass with me - she was brought up in the methodist church, and is I think trying to find her way to God. I have tried really hard to not just be the typical over-enthusiastic convert - I have just tried gently encouraging her!

She says she is sceptical, and I think she only goes to satisfy some curiosity, and for “something to do”!

My sister in law on the other hand is really into it - she believes she is psychic, and of course they are now trying to “develop her skills” according to my Mum. My mother in law is also really keen, and I think that it gives her a lot of comfort - my father in law passed away last summer, and she is keen to receive messages.

Are these people really capable of communicating with those who have passed away, or are they just cruel and manipulative, taking people’s genuine grief and turning it into their advantage?

My sister and mother in law were never really people of faith particularly, so I wonder if some kind of pursuit of God is better than none?

How can I with such little experience of the Catholic faith persuade them to come home to the true Church? What arguments can I persuade them with?

Of course, I will pray that they do find their way!


#2

If this is anything like the ‘spiritual church’ I was looking at while still a new age dabbler but wanting to get right with God… I’d steer them toward something better. The one I was looking at by name called itself a spiritualist church and the pastor was telling me how there were members that did automatic writing… that’s walking the fence IMO. If they’re talking about anything having to do with giving people readings etc… that’s toying with new age junk. Keep in mind, this is my opinion only… I just remember looking at a place called a spiritualist church and it wasn’t Catholic and I’d think most Protestants wouldn’t see it as a real church either.


#3

These (for lack of a better word)cults,can be very dangerous.Going to Mediums,Horoscopes etc. is forbiden.


#4

Occult practices are not drawing close to God, they are seeking to control God and what is out of our control, which is very different from seeking God in humility and learning to accept what must be accepted.

We are to pray for the repose of the souls of our loved ones not try to contact them. That’s not possible–God doesn’t send souls back to earth to talk to their grieving loved ones. Thinking oneself psychic is a sure road to ruin because it makes a person think they have some special “in” with the hereafter that others don’t–that’s nothing but pride and presumption.

The true saints who had visions, locutions and other such manifestations never sought them out, never wanted them, never thought themselves special because of them. They gave God all the credit for any good they did and any virtues they gained. A very different attitude from the group your family members are getting involved with.

We may pray for the intercession of those who have gone before us–those declared servants of God, blessed, and/or canonized, but we are not to try to get the dead to tell us about their lives beyond the grave nor try to conjure them up. That was condemned by God in the OT as witchcraft and he’s never changed his mind about it.

I will pray with you for your family members.


#5

ok, speaking as simply as i can… every church that calls itself a 'spiritualist" church is different. BUT most of them have in common the belief that you can communicate with the dead (a practice that is specifically biblically banned).

i suspect that grief (and the fact that most new age groups have a good grasp of showmanship) is being used to draw them into something that is no more Christian than a OUIJA board.

the easiest example i can give is this:
When you “contact spirits” how do you know who, or what, you are talking to? your own grief and subconscious mind? a demon? a spirit of the dead? what??? ok, you are going to use prayer to God and etc to “let in only good spirits” but that CANNOT work, because God specifically says do NOT try to speak with the dead… so either He will keep out the spirits (all of them) or he will leave you to your own will, and let you contact whatever…

i will keep your family in my Rosary prayers.


#6

I agree about not knowing who you’re talking to. I jumped into the NAM assuming I could still be right with God. I prayed, I always prayed… but I was a dabbler, one not going to Church… and read the Bible? Me? Had no interest in that either for some reason. When I did start getting into the Bible again it was because of a visiting nurse I had and we got to talking about God. She told me to start with John.

I remember thinking ‘test the spirits’ so I tried… I was a fool, bottom line… a fool who didn’t know their faith and went into things I should have known to avoid.


#7

been there, done that. trust me you are hardly alone…

far too many people only hear about the new Age Movement, Ouija boards, etc in … what i can only call overblown terms. either you get NO warning from your priest/minister, or they make it sound like lightning will strike you if you even look at a ouija board…

and since no warning leaves you without a warning… duh. and the whole “Wiccans sacrifice babies! Ouija boards levitate under their own power! your head will spin backwards!” stuff is obviously false… i am afraid either leaves you very vulnerable.
in my case? well… i was dabbling in wicca and spiritualism, so when people told me all the horrid things, i knew that wasnt true… which just made it easier to blow off the warnings and information that was true!

It serves the Devil well when we think of him too much, or not at all… to paraphrase a better theologian than i.


#8

20+ years ago I remember a weeklong something… we had a visiting priest who talked about the NAM and we should avoid it. He had mentioned that book about rainbows… I never read it. I know at the same time there was a friend in the family who was wiccan. She was actually considered a very close friend and one that was talked to a lot by a parent. So in my teens seeing this, then leaving home… 1st, I was already getting a bit annoyed with Catholicism for my own dumb reasons then hearing people in the new age talk about being a witch and it ‘seemed’ acceptable to family… then all the dumb shows I grew up with that I had to watch… In Search Of, Project UFO, whatever other ghost type stories were out there back then… and being one that had experienced the supernatural (not God’s kind) that was real… the rest was too confusing. I remember my grandma in the hospital & seeing a wiccan do things to her and the family let it happen… so it didn’t seem like it was anything that should be avoided… this was the teenager me.

If I knew then what I know now… I probably would have escorted that woman out, relative or not or at least demanded that she stop her occult garbage by my grandma’s bed.

I did have the one instance while still a dabbler where I was pushed out of the way of a speeding car that in all reality would have hit me. It probably was my guardian angel because I don’t think the deceiver or one of his fallen angels would’ve saved my life. Back then as the dabbler I was assuming it was one of my ‘spirit guides’. Foolish! I’m one that doesn’t want to dwell on those topics either. It’s still close enough… but at the same time I still have 2 friends in the NAM and whereas we are nowhere near as close as we once were and hang out very little… I keep praying for them, want them to know what Jesus had done for me, what He did for them.

Yeah, I am more used to the ‘are you saved’ line of thinking yet so still trying to understand, or learn the Catholic version of evangelizing. I’m still used to the ‘sinners prayer’ line of thinking. The best would seem to invite them to Mass. Though that ended up a problem even back in my Protestant days… long story. I have a lot to learn yet, told you… I don’t make that a secret I’m sure. :smiley:


#9

The one I was looking at by name called itself a spiritualist church and the pastor was telling me how there were members that did automatic writing… that’s walking the fence IMO.

And IMO they have already fallen over on the wrong side of the fence.


#10

True, like I said, some things still fresh enough even though I’ve been out of it since 2003. Wanting to keep growing and learning the faith.


#11

It is a sin. It is dangerous. Have nothing to do with it. The Bible and the Church is very clear on this.

Discourage your mother from going. There are far better ways to spend time than indulging in this rubbish.


#12

That’s not ‘walking the fence’, that is clearly ‘over the fence’.

Hi Roza!

To the OP, I have found that my invitations to my friends still involved in occult, wicca, etc usually fall on deaf ears.

Hands down, the best way to help them is to pray for them. Enlist the help of St Monica, St Michael, and St Benedict to pray for them also. Ask any departed family members )that you aware of) that were Christian to pray for them and make it a point to let them see for themselves how God has blessed you.

I like to share every single little blessing that God sends my way with these friends. To date, my brother is converting and my step-son wants to (but has to wait until he of the age of majority because his mother’s family is Church of God and Baptist).

My friends who are more involved in the occult and paganism are still resistant, but I know God will keep working on them. One day, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Christ. I know this.

Keep faith, keep praying and sharing. Let the Holy Spirit work.

Roza, since we share SUCH a similar background, I want you to know that I am praying for you on a regular basis now. I will be pm’ing my email to you and if you need someone to ‘talk to’ or just want to become better aquainted, I’m here for you. I believe you can never have too many friends.


#13

They know my story about how I couldn’t see out of one eye for almost a decade, I thought it was a great testimony for what God did for me but seemed I need to learn how to communicate better. I seem to fail. :frowning: I kept running into problems trying to get help from the state while job searching and I truly believe God made a big move on that for me. I’ve been praying the rosary. Right now one of my friends and I are hurting badly financially because of lay offs and job fun. I’m hitting all the ones I can find. It’s a great faith tester isn’t it? When it seems there is nowhere else to turn and nothing is going to happen God is moving. Have prayed several Novenas including Our Lady of Hope, I needed a dose of hope again.

Most of all want God’s will in my life and not my will. My will has gotten me into some pretty dumb things way too often.


#14

Suzle

How can I with such little experience of the Catholic faith persuade them to come home to the true Church? What arguments can I persuade them with?

Don’t try to persuade them, or argue with them, you’ll only push them deeper into whatever it is their into. They’ll dig their heels in and will set up mental blocks to the point that anything you say, will not be heard.

Instead, you yourself, live a good Christian life. Show them love and compassion and be an example of the good news of Jesus Christ.

You’ll draw more flies with honey than with bitterness, so the saying goes.

And of course pray for them. Through prayer, the doors to faith will be opened to them. However, keep in mind that no one can make another person believe. God can reveal Himself to them, but it is their choice to accept the invitation or reject it.

Jim


#15

:smiley: Wow! Thanks guys for all your advice. My Mum wants to find a path to God - she came to Mass with me today!

I think she enjoyed it, and says she would like to come again, so here’s hoping! I told her that she will do herself more good to try to come to Mass and pray regularly than going along with all that nonsense. She says she is not going to go with them tonight to their “service”.

I asked my Mum if she could be sure that they were not really evil spirits pretending to be loved ones, and therefore taking great pleasure in playing with people and doing the work of the devil.

She agreed that this could be the case, and I think that I might have disuaded her from it.

I will pray for them all and do all the things you suggest - I am so grateful for your prayers. Unfortunately my in-laws are really difficult people to show by example - they are sort of “rough diamonds” if you know what I mean - and they are very set on their opinions, so it is quite difficult to gently disuade them - unless you are quite point blank with them, they don’t really get it. They don’t do subtlety!

There is the danger of (as JimR said) of them diggin in their heels. I will try the softly softly approach first, and see how I get
on - and rely on the amazing power of prayer to help me.

Thanks!


#16

Thank God your mom does see it as a possibility that she’s messing with something that isn’t what it claims to be. I fought with it in my necromancy days. I had a friend back then tell me I was messing with demons and it offended me yet it was the same question that kept coming into my head… “Is this really from God???”. I was so foolish! I’m so thankful to be out of it now! That old spiritual… Free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last!
:thumbsup:


#17

That is great news, Suz. Jim had some good advice, basically the same thing St. Francis says:

*“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” *

You might find this resource helpful:

Spiritual Warfare Prayer Catalog


#18

Fr. Gabriele Amorth,senior exorcist of the Diocese of Rome has written two books: An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories; about his experiences. They tell of the dangers of practices such as spiritualism and wicca and how they can lead to dreadful consequences for whole families, not just the individual involved.

I suggest them because they are very readable and may interest those drawn to such beliefs and dabblings. At the same time, they present an uncompromising message of the need to avoid all of these practices.

Both are available from online bookstores or can be ordered.

God Bless

Karen


#19

Hi Roza,

You seem like such a person of faith, its hard to believe you were ever involved in these things - so you must know yourself how easy it must be for those with no religious background at all to wind up in it. I am so happy for you that you are “free at last”!

My Mum has a bit of an aversion to “religion” only because she has had in the past experienced cliques within the church (not the Catholic Church might I add!)

The Church of England can be a bit like that in my experience as well,(at least where I live, and I was brought up) thats one of the things that initially drew me to the Catholic Church.

I think that she might be religion shopping at the moment, to see where she feels most comfortable. I would love her to become a catholic, but as she is divorced I suppose that means that she wouldn’t be able to receive the blessed eucharist - but thats a long way off I guess!

There is such a lot of the NAM around, and much of it has become fully accepted within our secular society - it amazes me that people can accept the veracity of a medium in a magazine, yet fail to accept God into their lives! They believe in the power of alternative therapies, and yet do not pray to Our Lord themselves!

Now that’s weird IMO!

I have a friend who is a “hedgewitch” and she is THE most unhappy person I have ever met - she has attempted suicide so many times, and her life is a complete mess in many ways, and I pray for her, and feel so sorry for her. She has had so many bad things happen to her, and my Mum knows her as well, so it makes me wonder why she ever got involved in this rubbish in the first place!

Having said that, I have in the past once or twice sort of nearly been taken in - but I would not do that now. No chance!

Its amazing how easy it is to get sucked in with stuff that seems harmless, like reading your horoscopes in the news paper, but we aren’t meant to do that either are we?

I just think that people on the whole don’t see the dangers, they don’t go into it with full knowledge of what it is they are getting involved in. They don’t even realise there are any dangers! My sister in law has this unbeliveably pig headed infallible belief in herself that she is now this powerful medium, with this amazing power to control the supernatural, and that she knows what she is doing, and then asks the so-called experts how to do this, or that or the other!

I am quite scared that she could end up doing something dangerous by messing on her own with stuff she doesn’t understand.

:eek:


#20

Those books sound like they could be useful - thanks Karen. But what sort of consequences for the rest of the family could there be? I am scared now! :frowning:

I have already prayed for help from St Michael, and St Monica and also St Benedict today. I don’t know any other way to protect my family other than through prayer!

I’ll definitely check out the SPiritual Warfare site - the more prayers I have access to the better! I only know some of the more common prayers, so the more the better. And I really like the St Francis quote! Thanks beckycmarie

God bless,

Suze


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