Thursday, June 24, 2010


The spiritual world we can’t see fascinates us. The beings that exist in this realm intrigue us. Apparitions of “ghosts” that manifest themselves before people arouse our curiosity.

Those that take on the form of the dead, especially of people we know, trigger our inquisitiveness and this moves some to search for séances or witchdoctors or traditional doctors to connect with these spirits or ghosts.

The reasons vary.

For some they seek the comfort their loved ones are safe in the afterlife, for others they are curious what these spirits can tell us about life beyond the grave or the future. Others are so obsessed with these ghosts that they immerse themselves totally in the subject and it takes on a central focus in their lives -- researching with a zeal and fascination that borders on addiction.

It is an increasing phenomenon among people today, especially the young including Catholics, and they don’t realise the danger they subject their souls to, with the possibility of eternal damnation.

The question foremost before us therefore is: What has the Catholic Church to say about ghosts and how are we to deal with such encounters?

The first and most important thing to remember is that Satan is the Great Liar, the Deceiver of men and his only intention is to trap our souls into suffering for all eternity. He can conjure up images of our dearest relatives to make us believe we are actually seeing our deceased loved ones and the purported messages they bring to us from beyond the grave.

The second point to note is that spirits and ghosts do exist, and whether good or evil they can only manifest themselves before us with the permission of God. The good spirits are allowed by Him if they are necessary to help us in our salvation, while demons are granted permission to test our faith just like Job in the Bible.

So how are we to tell what is good and evil since Satan can deceive us into believing we are seeing a good spirit? The answer is first to pray when we are confronted by them and never address spirits directly. Seek also the help of a Catholic priest immediately to determine the nature of such encounters.

It is also important to remember that any contact with the demonic poses a great and grave danger to our souls. They are masters of deceit and powerful beings. When the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, “The Lord rebukes you”(Jude 9).

Never think to address some power of hell directly. Always call upon the help of your guardian angel and the saints. Above all, remember your sacramental graces from confirmation. Call upon the Holy Spirit to strengthen and defend you.

Three types of ghosts
The Catholic Church on the occult
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


From Catholic theologian Peter Kreeft’s Fourteen Questions About Heaven:

First of all, Scripture strictly forbids us to call spirits up as Saul called up the ghost of the prophet Samuel by means of the Witch of Endor’s necromancy. Because of this deed, he lost his kingdom and perhaps his soul.

The reason for the stricture is probably protection against the danger of deception by evil spirits. We are out of our depth, our knowledge, and our control once we open the doors to the supernatural.

The only openings that are safe for us are the ones God has approved: revelation, prayer, His own miracles, sacraments, and primarily Christ Himself. He has made a straight and safe road for us from earth to Heaven, through the dark woods of the innumerable, unknowable, and unpredictable spiritual forces that are to us as fire to an infant or a juggernaut to an ant.

The danger is not physical but spiritual, and spiritual danger always centers on deception. The Devil is “a liar and the father of lies”. He disguises himself “as an angel of light”.

Nevertheless, without our action or invitation, the dead often do appear to the living. There is enormous evidence of “ghosts” in all cultures. What are we to make of them? Surely we should not classify the appearances of the wives of C. S. Lewis and Sheldon Vanauken, just to take two Christian examples, as demonic?

We can distinguish three kinds of ghosts, I believe.

First, the most familiar kind: the sad ones, the wispy ones. They seem to be working out some unfinished earthly business, or suffering some purgatorial purification until released from their earthly, business. These ghosts would seem to be the ones who just barely made it to Purgatory, who feel little or no joy yet and who need to learn many painful lessons about their lives on earth.

Second, there are malicious and deceptive spirits – and since they are deceptive, they hardly ever appear malicious. These are probably the ones who respond to conjurings at séances. They probably come from Hell. Even the chance of that happening should be sufficient to terrify away all temptation to necromancy.

Third, there are the bright, happy spirits of dead friends and family, especially spouses, who appear unbidden, at God’s will, not ours, with messages of hope and love. They seem to come from Heaven.

Unlike the purgatorial ghosts who come back primarily for their own sakes, these bright spirits come back for the sake of us the living, to tell us all is well. They are aped by evil spirits who say the same, who speak “peace, peace, when there is no peace”. But deception works only one way: the fake can deceive by appearing genuine, but the genuine never deceives by appearing fake.

Heavenly spirits always convince us that they are genuinely good. Even the bright spirits appear ghostlike to us because a ghost of any type is one whose substance does not belong in or come from this world. In Heaven these spirits are not ghosts but real, solid, and substantial because they are at home there. “One can’t be a ghost in one’s own country.”

That there are all three kinds of ghosts is enormously likely. Even taking into account our penchant to deceive and to be deceived, our credulity and our fakery, there remain so many trustworthy accounts of all three types of ghosts – trustworthy by every ordinary empirical and psychological standard – that only a dogmatic a priori prejudice against them could prevent us from believing they exist.

As Chesterton says, “We believe an old apple-woman when she says she ate an apple; but when she says she saw a ghost we say, ‘But she’s only an old apple-woman.’“ A most undemocratic and unscientific prejudice.

Ghosts and demons
The Catholic Church on the occult
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


Divination and magic

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future.48 Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.

Ghosts and demons
Three types of ghosts
Dabbling on the occult takes toll on youth


ACUSHNET, Mass. — Vampires, witches, Ouija boards, satanic rock music and dark video games — innocent fun?

“I don’t think so,” said Monsignor Gerard P. O’Connor, pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet. “Some of what seems fascinating to young people is downright dangerous, and it is sinful any time one invokes the devil or believes in astrology or in psychic readings.”

He said reading about Black magic and looking for messages on Ouija boards and on Tarot Cards “are insidious evils that some young people — even some in our Catholic schools — could become fascinated with, not realizing what could happen.”

Wicca and the many New Age practices such as Reiki, transcendental meditation and psychic divination “are being marketed as new, but they are part of old heresies and evils that have been around for a long time. But I must say they have become more prevalent today than they were 20 or 30 years ago,” Msgr. O’Connor commented.

New Age practices are characterized by an individual approach to spiritual methods and rejection of religious doctrines or dogma. Reiki involves using a life force that promotes self-healing within the body. Wicca, the largest of the neopagan religions, is a form of modern witchcraft, and centers on worshipping the triple goddess and her consort, the horned god.
Continue reading

Ghosts and demons
Three types of ghosts
The Catholic Church on the occult

Monday, June 14, 2010


STUBENVILLE, Ohio, JUNE 11, 2010 ( “Immaculate Mother, in this place of grace, called together by the love of your Son Jesus the Eternal High Priest, we, sons in the Son and his priests, consecrate ourselves to your maternal Heart, in order to carry out faithfully the Father’s Will” (Benedict XVI, Fatima, May 12, 2012).

What is the “heart” of Mary? St. John Eudes, master of the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, explains that the heart designates the entirely of the person: his will, his intellect, his soul, his passions, and even incorporates his body in so far as it includes reference to the physical organ. Scripturally, “heart” signifies person, much more than “head” signifies person.

Consider, in pondering the mystery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the perspective of three Persons.

The Father looks down upon the heart of his immaculate daughter and sees his greatest created masterpiece, second only to the sacred humanity of his incarnate son. Far beyond the seven natural wonders of the world or even the heavenly cosmos, the Immaculate Heart represents the greatest craftsmanship of the Creator. Full of grace beyond all other creatures both quantitatively and qualitatively, the heart of Mary exceeds the ark of the covenant as a dwelling place of God the Father, who has the greatest paternal predilection for his daughter’s heart -- a filial heart who returns his divine love with a perfect and perennial human “yes” of love and abandonment to her Abba.

The Son gazes at the Immaculate Heart and his heart leaps with infinite joy, reverence, and gratitude for his all-loving mother. If sons instinctively honor and defend their mother by some embedded code of natural law, how much infinitely more does a divine son love his tender, compassionate human mother? Jesus also sees in the mystery of the Immaculate Heart the means by which he received his own human heart, as blood pumped from that stainless maternal heart flowed into her spotless womb to form the human heart of the divine Redeemer.

This is why the saints never separate the Hearts of Jesus and Mary in their spirituality. Eudes will add that their hearts are so inexplicably united in perfect conformity to the Father’s will that it is most accurate to speak about the one, single “Heart of Jesus and Mary.”

Spirit’s shadow
The Holy Spirit marvels at the pure heart of his human spouse. The Old Testament “shekinah,” or holy cloud that would overshadow the ark to animate it with the presence of God, was a mere foretaste of the Spirit’s overshadowing of Mary at the Annunciation, in order that the divine and human spouses could come together to bring the world its Savior.
... Continue reading

Sunday, June 13, 2010


The Feast was yesterday, June 12, the day after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Therefore I am your servant (servus) because your Son is my Lord. Therefore you are my Lady (Domina) because you are the handmaid of my Lord. Therefore I am the servant of the handmaid of my Lord because you have become the mother of my Maker … O Lady, before you today we take our stand. Lady, I call you Virgin Mother of God and to your hope, as to the surest and strongest anchor, we bind ourselves. To you we consecrate our mind, our soul, our body, all that we are. We honor you as much as we can.

During the Second World War, in light of the tragedies unfolding of the Nazis’ murderous campaign, Pope Pius XII issued a new form of consecration to Our Lady. He directed the faithful to address the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, declaring that, “In thee and in thy Immaculate Heart, at this grave hour of human history, do we put our trust; to thee we consecrate ourselves, not only with all of the Holy Church … but also with the whole world, torn by discords, agitated with hatred, the victim of its own iniquities.”

Pope Pius XII made this act of consecration twice in the same year. The first time, he spoke by radio in Portuguese. His audience was the thousands of pilgrims who had come to Fatima on October 13, 1942, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the closing apparition of Our Lady.

Pope Pius XII repeated the consecration in St. Peter’s Basilica on December 8, 1942. In both acts of consecration, the Pontiff was openly responding to the most formal revelation of God’s will at Fatima, to establish devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Heart throughout the world. Moreover, in the act of consecration in Rome, the Pope made an allusion to Russia.
... Continue reading

Heart of a compassionate Mother

Glade Park, CO (Catholic Online) - In the opening paragraph of his Letter on the Blessed Virgin Mary (Signum Magnum), Pope Paul VI reminded the faithful of the reality of the Blessed Mother’s position as the mother of all men: “The great sign which the Apostle John saw in heaven, ‘a woman clothed with the sun,’ is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer.”

Some twenty-centuries ago, it was this most blessed Mother of ours who, concerned for those who attended the marriage feast at Cana, turned to her Son and simply mentioned “They have no wine.” Although Jesus responded, “My hour is not yet come,” the Mother of our Lord, of course, knew her Son would listen to her, and, in a display of complete confidence, advised the servants to “Do whatever he tells you” (see Jn 2:1-5). Those were the final words of Our Lady recorded in the New Testament, and, with those words, the Immaculate Heart of Mary continues to reach with warm love into the future, speak to her children, and imprint upon them an everlasting profession of what it means to be Christian.
... Continue reading

Sunday, June 6, 2010


The priesthood of the New Testament is closely bound to the Eucharist. Because of this, today, on the solemnity of Corpus Domini and almost at the end of the Year for Priests, we are invited to meditate on the relationship between the Eucharist and the priesthood of Christ. Oriented in this direction also are the first reading and the responsorial psalm, which present the figure of Melchizedek.

The brief passage from the Book of Genesis (cf. 14:18-20) states that Melchizedek, king of Salem, was "priest of God Most High," and because of this "offered bread and wine" and "blessed Abram," returning from a victory in battle; Abram himself gave him a tenth of everything. The Psalm, in turn, contains in the last verse a solemn expression, an oath of God himself, who declares to the King Messiah: "You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek" (Psalm 110:4); thus the Messiah is not only proclaimed king, but also priest.

From this passage the author of the Letter to the Hebrews takes the cue for his ample and articulated exposition. And we re-echoed it in the refrain: "You are a priest for ever, Lord Christ": virtually a profession of faith, which acquires a particular meaning in today's feast. It is the joy of the community, the joy of the whole Church that, contemplating and adoring the Most Blessed Sacrament, recognizes in it the real and permanent presence of Jesus as High and Eternal Priest.
... Continue reading