Good morning Father Angelo,
I am surrounded by people (friends, acquaintances or people I meet, even practicing Catholics) attracted or currently practising Eastern spiritualities
For this reason I would like to make my contribution to this beautiful website.
1. I suggest you read Claudia Koll’s testimony in Malta (just enter “Claudia Koll Malta testimony” in Google). It is a beautiful and touching testimony of the actress’ conversion. She also talks about the deleterious effects of transcendental meditation. The video lasts just over half an hour and it’s really worth listening to as it will benefit your heart.
2. Yoga is not an harmless physical exercise (otherwise one would make postural training). It is a practice of the Hindu religion that has the purpose of leading to an altered state of consciousness. If you want to relax, you can simply practice a sport, or have a nice walk.
3. Reiki is extremely dangerous, as it is a proper esoteric practice to be made step-by-step. This fact is not disclosed initially but the whole thing is introduced as a self-healing process which also aims to heal others! (Let us remember that only God can heal!!). I know many people who are attracted to Reiki. In particular one of them, well ahead on this path, went to Jerusalem “for esoteric purposes” . Here she clearly felt the urge to leave these practices. It was really struggling to get out of this path for her (the devil takes itstoll!). She is now a Franciscan tertiary. Praise the Lord!
4. During a trip to Liguria, a few years ago, I met on the train a young lady from Sanremo who participated in a catholic Mass for spiritual liberation near Parma. This lady had practiced for years something similar to “channeling”.
As a consequence she was experiencing several negative effects and she needed intense and constant sacramental life, blessings and fasting. Her words struck me, because she said that there is a need for an incisive effort by the Church to evangelize and make people aware about this! Our brothers belonging to the Evangelical Church are very good at this and their commitment must be recognised as inspired by God.
5. In June 2010 I made a trip to Medjugorje. I shared the room with a lady who had practiced pranotherapy. I remember that she told me that, by practising it, she became conscious that she “loved power”.
I would like to conclude by quoting Saint Paul (2 Timothy 4:1-4) and saying that we are now living in the “time of fables” …
Our salvation is only through Jesus, and we find everything we need in the Gospel and the Sacred Scriptures!
Tomorrow the Ambrosian Lent will begin. I hope my small contribution will help someone.
Best wishes to all
The priest replies:
1. Dear Paola, thank you for the information.
I think our readers will appreciate it.
At least they will raise some questions and will help to understand that it is better to “take safer routes”.
2. Quite rightly you quoted St. Paul who writes to Timothy: “For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths “(2 Tim, 4:3-4).
3. Regarding the sound doctrine, St. Thomas Aquinas, referring to the teaching of Christ, reminds us what is written in Proverbs 8: 8 “All the words from my mouth are upright, nothing false there, nothing crooked”.
One has to wonder why should we follow teachers other than Jesus, our Divine Master?
There is more power in a blessing given in God’s name than in any other practice which can only convey force of human origin, at best.
4. About “turning unto myths” St. Thomas comments: “The myth is made of wonderful things in which there is no truth“.
Someone talks about Christian Yoga. How much grace of God can be obtained just by making a proper Sign of the Cross!
How many demons and evil spirits it wards off and casts away!
About Christian yoga, please refer to an answer of mines, posted on our website several years ago, titled “Whether Yoga is a religion or just a discipline and if a Christian …”
5. Regarding the other practices you mention, I must warn that they carry serious dangers.
I remember this personal experience. I was at the bedside of a very sick person, who would die fifteen days later. I was not informed that, just before I came, a woman had done some Reiki healing on that patient. Three hours after my visit, that woman returned to the patient and, among the astonishment of the people present, said with indignation: “A priest came by!”. I had administered the sacraments to that sick young man. During the celebration, everybody could strongly feel the presence of the Lord, along with a lot of peace and serenity.
I did nothing strange. I simply celebrated the rites recommended by the Church!
On the contrary, that woman felt that a priest had neutralized her “benefits”.
It was the first time I heard about reiki.
The fact that the woman was so indignated as she felt that a priest had come, even though she had not seen me, was very eloquent for the patient, the relatives and me.
I thank you for giving me the opportunity to write these things. Many visitors will be grateful toward you.
I entrust you to the Lord. God bless you.