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.
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