The many dangers of dabbling in occult practices

witchofendor

Saul and the Witch of Endor (1st Samuel 28: 1-19)

Father Paul Desmarais, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Pawtucket, R.I., who has worked with teens and the occult for the last 10 years, recognizes the attractiveness of Wicca to adolescents in search of spiritual meaning.

“Our world has become so consumer-oriented, so goal- and appearance-driven, kids feel a real sense of powerlessness in their life,” he says. “I think kids do spell casting or try to learn it [spell casting] for love because they just feel this real deep hunger for something.”

Although Wiccans’ beliefs vary widely, when teens look for Wiccan spirituality, they’ll probably discover the following common notions:

Most Wiccans worship a dual deity, the Horned God and the Lady. Many believe that all gods and goddesses are aspects of these two gods.

Wiccans usually believe that the goal of human life is to live in harmony with nature, that all of reality is divine, that the spiritual and material world are one reality, that there is no one true right or only way, that there is a plurality within the divine oneness, and that ritual practice is the witch’s path to harmony. Practitioners live by one moral law called the “rede,” which says, “As long as it harms no one, do what thou wilt.”

Wicca, a neo-pagan form of witchcraft, isn’t Satanism. Followers don’t offer animal sacrifices or believe in the devil. For the most part, Wiccans don’t actively recruit teens, and most practice it on their own.

“They [Wiccans] aren’t out to get kids in a vengeful way,” says Carolyn May. “They honestly believe they are offering something good.”

Demonically Possessed

But at least one online posting reveals a disturbing message. A writer who identifies herself as Britt says: “I was talking to my friend Dave… and he is quite a devout Christian. … I just found out … that he used to be Wiccan. He said that he got so deeply into it, that he was nearly demonically possessed.”

Although Wicca and Satanism aren’t the same, most teens don’t know the difference, and this confusion can lead them into other occult practices.

“Dabbling leads to more dabbling,” says Father Desmarais. “One of the things parents don’t realize is that the spirit world is real, and any kind of dabbling in the spirit world opens you up to it. Kids run the risk of actually having manifestations of evil spirits, being harassed or bothered by evil spirits. Sometimes you say that to parents, and they look at you like you’re crazy. But then they hear the stories about what’s going on, and they go, ‘Oh, wow.'”

John Gibson adds that the more deeply involved someone gets in the occult, the more enticing it appears to that person.

“The inherent danger of ‘magickal’ [sic] addiction is :hat the more power you raise, the more intoxicated you get,” he says. “You start gathering more and more power for yourself, and it takes over your life.”

Indeed, The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “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” (No. 2117).

Gibson, along with May and others who work with teens, know firsthand the dangers of dabbling in occult practices.

“The biggest danger I see is the loss of our eternal soul,” May says.

Read more

Mother of eleven decides to really clean house … and gets some unexpected help.

There came a time in my life when I was going through a spiritual renewal and examining how I could grow closer to God. I decided to purify my house by getting rid of anything I considered to be evil. We have a big house with thirteen rooms, six of them bedrooms for our eleven children. That covers a lot of space.

I cleaned out closets, crawl space in the attic, the basement, every place I could think of where there might be something in question. I was a collector of books and I disposed of anything that had to do with horoscopes, numerology, etc. There was a time when I thought of these things as innocent fun, but later realized they are a gateway into the occult.

It was an on going process that took me months to complete. Finally, the day came when I sat back and was satisfied, feeling my house was free of any intentional evil.

Read more 

This Week’s Ask Alice: Discerning Spirits. Dealing with apparitions.



Send A Question To Alice

She’ll answer as many questions as possible,
right here, every Thursday.

Email responses will also be provided, as time permits.

Carolyn Asks: My youngest daughter has twice seen a man during Mass that is wearing what she calls “Ellis Island” clothing. Yesterday at Holy Thursday service, she witnessed him during the consecration. She said he genuflected, put his cap on (touring cap) and walked out the back. He is older (she described a bowl cut hairstyle). She is very uncomfortable about this. As side note, recently, while spending the night at a friend’s house, she witnessed what she described as three ghosts . I called our priest about that. We went to confession asap. She slept on our floor for a month. She’s okay, now. She’s 16 years old. Should I find her a spiritual director?

Alice Answers: It is a privilege to answer your question. I believe your daughter has a special gift. She sees spirits because the eyes of her heart are open wide to Christ, and to the members of His Mystical Body.

Many years ago, during the consecration at Mass, I saw John, our deceased parish business manager. He was on the left side of the church, behind the altar. John had been kind to me when we served together on the Parish Council. Seeing him brought tears to my eyes by reminding me that, even in death, we remain connected, through the Body of Christ.

One evening at a party, I was telling a friend about seeing John’s spirit. An elderly priest approached and told me I had been given a gift.

Many people see spirits. Through the years, relatives, friends, and even complete strangers have shared their stories with me.

Spirits exist, whether or not we are aware of their presence. There are good and evil spirits all around us. Good spirits appear to bring us messages, comfort or assistance.

Sometimes, souls appear, asking us to pray for their release from Purgatory. Or, a soul might manifest, asking us to tell a loved one that they are well and happy.

Evil spirits also sometimes make their presence known, to people both good and bad. They tempt, taunt, disturb, and attempt to lure people away from God.

Scripture tells us to test the spirits:

“Beloved, do not trust every spirit, but put the spirits to a test to see if they belong to God.” (1John 4:1)

If your daughter has not engaged in occult practices, utilizing a Ouija board or Tarot cards, exploring Wicca, or visiting a psychic, then she most likely has not opened the door to evil spirits.

Since your daughter was cautious and uncomfortable toward the spirits she encountered, she seems to be wise in faith. If she has a good relationship with the Lord, then you can be reasonably sure that her mysticism comes from God.

As you have already demonstrated, frequent reception of the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Penance are most important to your daughter’s spiritual growth and strength. Prayer and visits to the Blessed Sacrament will draw your daughter closer to the Lord.

Hopefully, she has some Catholic friends to help support and encourage her, in her faith.

Should you seek a spiritual director for your daughter? That’s a tough question!

Some priests, not having experienced mystical experiences themselves, may be squeamish and/or skeptical about such things, and may not be of much help. Pray that if God desires a spiritual director for your daughter, He will lead you to that person. A spiritual director doesn’t have to be a priest or religious, but might be a lay man or woman, who has been given the gift of wisdom.

“To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…Prophecy is given to one; to another power to distinguish one spirit from another.” (1 Corinthians 12:7, 10)

Clearly, God has given your daughter spiritual gifts and a loving, devoted mother to watch over and guide her. She is indeed blessed! As the late, soon to be beatified, Pope John Paul II liked to say, “Be not afraid!”

In Christ’s Love,

Alice

EWTN Q&A Forum on the subject with related links

Book excerpt from Google Books by noted author, theologian and philosopher Peter Kreeft, on the subject (see pages 32-35).

Seven kinds of ghosts

Seven steps to self deliverance

Useful Prayer Resources

A collection of related Q&A’s

Click here to see all of Alice’s other columns

Exorcist explains how Catholics ought to live their faith

“Obviously, one should frequent the sacraments — especially Confession and Communion — pray every day, and cultivate a loving and fruitful relationship with Our Lord, Our Lady and the saints. In addition, one should do a regular (daily) examination of conscience, with prayers that the Holy Spirit might enlighten us to any secret sins.

“It goes without saying that Catholics should avoid any contact with the occult, Ouija boards, magic crystals, New Age practitioners, anything having to do with Wicca, witchcraft, or even the Goth movement. Also, we need to be conscious of Christ’s command to forgive others. We need to forgive those who harm us and practice charity to those who have hurt us. We have to be very, very careful not to nurse grudges or slights, or hold on to anger or refuse to forgive others for their crimes against us. All this is what we should be praying for daily.”

Read more at Matt C. Abotts’s column

Exorcist warns parents of rise in ‘demonic’ websites

“What I can tell you is that there are more and more Catholics involved in idolatrous and pagan practices,” he said. “That’s really why there’s more demonic activity. There’s the absence of God in the lives of a lot of people.”

He added: “A lot of parents today have no critical eye of faith with which to even recognise the dangers their children are in. A lot of this is going on with the internet. There are lots and lots of demonic websites.”

Read more

Exorcist priest speaks frankly and openly about the satanic and demonic

Sometimes people ask, “Why now?” And I say, because now there are more Catholics who are involved in paganism and idolatry, so there are a lot of people who are opening a lot of doors to the diabolical.

The occult is all about power. Now the occult is not synonymous with the Satanic, but it is a doorway.

There are also more and more Catholics, and people in general, now in this country who are involved in New Age things. With the opening of doorways to the New Age and the occult, you do not know what is behind that door; you do not know what you are tapping into most of the time.

So, are there more cases of possession? In five years, I’ve exorcised five people, whom I do believe had a demonic attachment. And I’ve prayed over others who also I think have a demonic attachment, but I’ve not done exorcisms with them.

But what is becoming very rampant is that more and more people are involved in pagan idolatry. Some of it is structured and formal, and some of it is not.

This is coupled with issues that have to do with sexual abuse; 80% of the people who come to me have been sexually abused. That is a soul wound, and a doorway for a demon.

If the soul wounds are coupled with either heavy drug use, heavy sexual perversions, sexual abuse or physical abuse, usually by a parent, a sibling or an extended family member, it becomes a recipe for an invitation for a demon.

It is not like demons just show up. You have to invite them in, or someone else invites them in for you.

Link

Ouija Board and other kinds of New Age practices “very dangerous.”

Q – Is using a Ouija Board ok, if just for fun? Also, what do you think of the comments at the bottom of this websiteI can’t believe that Hasbro makes this and Toys ‘R Us sells them!

A – Thanks for the questions. I think my answers might just surprise some of our readers.

The origin of these boards is not from a game. Rather, they come from a practice of “channeling” or “divination”. Channeling is asking the dead to give us answers to questions or power and is an ancient – and dangerous – practice. Thus, the word “occult” = “hidden”. The Bible speaks directly to this practice:

Read more