[quote="MtnDwellar, post:14, topic:200949"]
On this website, catechism.org/comm/interprayer.shtml, I found the following:
Official Catholic Approaches to Interreligious Services of Prayer:
–Lighting incense, sweet grass, sage, smudging participants and the assembly
Apparently it is OK for Catholics to light sage and smudge??
For thousands and thousands of years people have used their endogenous resources to help them in everyday life and many times incorporated these things into their religious ceremonies. Jesus' mission was never to separate humanity, but rather always find the commonalities that bring us together under His love. Native Americans did what other people, including Christians have also done- burn herbs, incense, wood ect. in rituals or just for basic medicinal purposes. Over time science has proven that there are chemical reactions that occur when you burn something, and the outcome can be a relaxing fragrance ect.
There is no harm in lighting a candle, herb or anything else unless you are worshipping the herb or other false god in doing so. Smudging with sage is supposed to be relaxing and refreshing...and as long as you treat it as such there's nothing wrong with it. It doesn't replace faith, it just incorporates a tradition that all cultures have in common.
Clearly the Catholic Church is able to do what many can't- differentiate between a basic harmless human tradition and the same tradition which is abused by other false religions. Don't forget that "he who is not against us is for us". There are many enemies of the Church, but Catholic Native Americans are not one of them. Just use your better judgement- is someone merely lighting some herbs to "freshen up" or share their tradition with the Lord or are they dancing around with crystals praying to the earth goddess while doing it?
See as the Church sees- and maybe try sharing what you enjoy with Jesus more often, be it singing, reading, or a scent that makes you feel better. It was God, after all, who provided us with all of these wonderful things.