I found an insightful article on the dangers of the occult called Therapeutic Religion by Carrie Tomko. (Carrie’s article is posted below.) She showed, using an article that I wrote on how secular psychology lead to the sex abuse scandal, that the real battle of our epoch and every epoch is spiritual.
“Since Eden nothing has changed. The serpent still whispers; and like Eve, sometimes we listen. The conscience can be silenced so that the only voice we hear is the voice of our own sinfulness. This voice of sinfulness was let loose without brakes when psychology invaded religion.”
Secular psychology which is the new religion of America promotes a mindset that denies our need for a relationship with God. Sometimes Oprah or Dr. Phil gives a nod to God, but the message is always the same:
“ What is needed are not God and His Forgiveness, but for a self to reach the fullness of its self.”
Oprah and Dr. Phil have many good things to say, but if those things put God in second place then they are as St Paul would say “dung.”
What is the solution to the crisis of our time of which the occult and secular psychology are only symptoms? I will share words that I mediate on at least once a week. Here are the words of Sister Lucia dos Santos know better as Lucia of Fatima:
-“The only important thing for us is to do the will of God; to be where He wants us to be, and to do all that He wants of us, but always with humility.”
-“Let times be lacking for everything else, but never for prayer, and you will experience the fact that, after prayer, you can accomplish a lot in a short period of time”
-“We can receive our strength from God alone”
- “I am convinced that the principal cause of evil in the world, and the falling away of so many consecrated souls, is lack of union with God in pray.”
Prayer is the only answer for our age. If you pray humbly, you will be part of the solution.
A great priest whom I was blessed to know died this month. He accomplished many things. He made a monument that may last centuries, he created networks that helped the poor, he helped bring numerous souls to prayer and much more. How did he accomplish so much? What is the most important thing?
In page 21 of my book Hidden Axis, pro-life leader Ginny Hitchcock answered those questions:
“The most important thing is what [the retired pastor of Our Lady of Peace in Santa Clara, California] Fr. [John] Sweeny drilled into me. He said if you don't pray, don't do it at all."
Can the source of the sexual abuse scandal be traced to a shift in our spirituality? One writer, at least, believes it can.
Fred Martinez reports in "Nietzsche and the Church Scandals" at the Catholic Educator's Resource Center website that
Therapeutic approaches have a basic assumption that is not Christian. Their starting point is not the Christian worldview...The denial of original sin and personal sin is, in large part, behind the headlines of the Boston catastrophe and other dioceses. ...
One must remember that whenever someone talks about values in modern America--family values or religious values or place-the-blank-in-front-of values--they are saying there is no real or objective right or wrong--only opinions of the self and its will to power.
That "will to power" is the heart and soul of occultism. There is a reason why so many of the women religious talk about "empowerment" and seek ordination. Once you throw out God, all that is left is you. Answering to no one puts you totally in control. What does a person want when they are totally in control but that their own will be done. The person becomes a sort of mini god in their own mini universe. The occult magician's mindset was coined by Aleister Crowley: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." It's a short hop from the desire to the deed, and the deed is accomplished, or at least attempted, in magic rituals which intend to procure the will of the magician. The pinnacle magic ritual experience is evocation. The accomplished magician brings a spirit into materialization where the sensory response validates that the will has been accomplished. If a spirit is at your beck and call, you are a success.
This thinking is contrary to the way God made us. It is not unusual for the magician to be driven into insanity through this process. Spirits tend to have a mind of their own and power over the magician, as many have learned a little too late. The spirit the magician intended to own ends up owning him.
As chaos magician Peter J. Carroll puts it:
Works on the level of trance, vision, imagination and dream. It opens the magician's subconscious by negating the psychic censor with various techniques. The magician faces considerable danger on this level and may have frequent recourse to sorcery techniques or banishing ritual if it threatens to obsess or overwhelm him.
In spite of the danger, Catholics are being taught at retreats to attempt a sort of trance state by seeking to silence their mind in meditation. Guided meditation can be found in Catholic courses on spirituality. Can Catholics be sure that the benefits outweigh the risks?
The Martinez article continues, quoting philosopher Allan Bloom's summation of Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy as it appears in Bloom's book THE CLOSING OF THE AMERICAN MIND:
Commitment values the values and makes them valuable. Not love of truth but intellectual honesty characterizes the proper state of mind. Since there is no truth in the values, and what truth there is about life is not lovable, the hallmark of the authentic will is consulting one's oracle while facing up to what one is and what one experiences. Decisions, not deliberations, are the movers of deeds. One cannot know or plan the future. One must will it.
This is the occult mindset--the thinking behind the occultism of Carl Jung and Roberto Assagioli--the thinking that is derived from a source other than the Trinitarian God. Martinez continues:
Unlike the Christian worldview, the therapeutic starting point is that the individual must overcome personal unconscious forces, in Freud, and in Carl Jung the person must unite to the collective unconscious, which is shared by all humans.
In both cases, the therapist assists his client to change himself to 'become his real self.' Forgiveness and returning to God are not needed. What is needed are not God and His Forgiveness, but a therapist assisting a self to reach the fullness of its self.
Freud, under the influence of Nietzsche, moved psychiatry away from the mechanistic and biological to the previously "unscientific" model of the "symbolic language of the unconscious."
Freud's pupil Carl Jung took the symbolic language of the unconscious a step further.
Whether you call it the "collective unconscious" or the "Akashic Record," and even if you seek knowledge by channeling a spirit, ultimately the ability to remake yourself (or renew yourself) is contained within you.
Martinez says that
Christian therapist Leanne Payne considers Jung "not a scientist, but a post-modernist subjectivist. Jung's active imagination therapy is hostile not only to the Judeo-Christian worldview, but to all systems containing objective moral and spiritual value. Within this world the unconscious urge becomes god. What the unconscious urge wants is what is finally right or moral. These psychic personae [complexes] are literally called 'gods' (archtypes); and so an overt idolatry of self follows quickly."
Within the modern French Nietzschean schools of thought, a type of Jungian unconscious urge is replacing the old existential conscious self who chooses. The post-modernist is moving from the idolatry of self to the idolatry of autonomous inner "beings" that, according to Payne, are similar to pagan "gods."
Since Eden nothing has changed. The serpent still whispers; and like Eve, sometimes we listen. The conscience can be silenced so that the only voice we hear is the voice of our own sinfulness. This voice of sinfulness was let loose without brakes when psychology invaded religion. Martinez writes:
By using Christian symbols and terminology, Jungian spirituality has infiltrated to a large extent Christian publishers, seminaries, even convents and monasteries.
There is little doubt that it has infiltrated the parish renewal programs. Martines continues:
Many Christians are using Jung's active imagination as a method of prayer. Psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover, D.D., thinks this is dangerous "because this fantasy life has no moral underpinnings, because it helps to reinforce an experience of autonomous inner 'beings' accessible via the imagination, and because it is a defense against redemptive suffering, it easily allies with and quickly becomes a Gnostic form of spirituality with powerfully occult overtones.
The concept of self-actualization or "will to power" that has become commonplace in the retreats and renewal programs offered throughout Catholicdom are precisely the opposite in concept from Christ's prayers in Gethsemene: "Lord not my will but thine be done."
We all must choose whether we will be in control or whether we will surrender to the One who made us. This is the nature of free will which our Maker gave us. If we choose to reject Him, there are other powers to seek; and those powers are eager for our business. There is a reason why we are repeatedly warned in Scripture to leave occult powers alone. God knew the temptation to self-will would be hard to resist. His experience with His first creation, the angels, demonstrated it. Today as the Christian worldview fades into memory in many places, we are seeing it demonstrated in our day to day encounters, and we have seen it demonstrated in the Catholic priesthood with devastating results.
"Do not go to mediums or consult fortune-tellers, for you will be defiled by them. I, the Lord, am your God." Lev. 19:31
"Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations the Lord, your God, is driving these nations out of your way." Deut. 18:10-12
"For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, 'Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them.' declares the Lord." Jer. 29:8-9 [Incidentally, this passage has been eliminated from the NAB. I checked three different Bibles and it was not there. I had to turn to a Protestant New American Standard Bible to find it even though it is referenced in the CCC.]
"Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences." 1 Tim. 4:1
"Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world." 1 John 4:1-3
"I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come from the mouth of the dragon, from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet. These were demonic spirits who performed signs. They went out to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle on the great day of God the almighty." Rev. 16:13-14
If those passages do not convince, read Ezekiel 13.
We have been warned.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!