Witchcraft and other occult practices

witchofendor

The Witch of Endor (1st Samuel 28:7)

All witches believe in the power of charms and spells – indeed witchcraft is largely about exercising this power. What are we to think of this claim to spiritual power through charms, spells, and curses? From my experience and from consulting people from this and other countries, I have not the slightest doubt that spells and curses do have power, can really affect people, including people who do not know that they have been the object of spells and curses. I am even more certain however that Jesus can protect his followers from any and every spell and curse, even though they may sometimes have to pass through a difficult time.

Last year I spoke with an English Catholic doctor who had been working in the Pacific islands. Quite a number of times people who had been cursed would be brought to the hospital. There was nothing wrong with them physically, but they simply and rapidly faded away and died. He said to me how frustrating it was. He would tell them with vigour that there was no medical reason for them to die – but they did die! A missionary from Nigeria told me of a similar case, in which a healthy young man at the university after being cursed by a witch simply declined and died within two weeks. A member of our monastic community who comes from Ghana assures me that witch doctors’ curses and spells in that country can have real power to harm, including harming people who do not know that they have been cursed. (A Dutch medical anthropologist working in Ghana confirmed this.) A Catholic doctor in this country consulted me about the case of a woman here who had been cursed by another woman at work – and the health of the first woman collapsed and remained collapsed in a way which was medically inexplicable.

A Catholic man from the third world came to us one evening seeking help. He had been a university lecturer and indeed a government minister in his country. His wife, from whom he has separated, was very deeply involved in witchcraft and she had got him cursed by ‘experts’. His life was now in a state of total disarray and he could not concentrate to read a book or write letters – and there were other very difficult problems. In the name of Jesus we prayed against all curses and demonic attacks. He was immediately much better, and after a few more sessions he was able to work normally again. He then got a responsible job in an organisation helping the third world.

In nearly all third world countries the people living there seem to believe in the power of curses and spells. Indeed, their lives may become an existence of fear and misery, unless they have a truly living faith in Jesus. Increasingly also in our own country and the rest of the first world, people are coming up against the power of the occult and witchcraft. How sad it is to find Catholics, including some priests, who do not believe in the existence of demons and who therefore are not able fully to help so many needy people.

Doubtless quite a proportion of the people who come for this sort of help are just imagining things. But there are certainly many others who are not just imagining. On a number of occasions I have thought it was all imagination and psychological sickness, only to find out later that I was wrong. (A lonely widow from the third world came to us for help on account of the voices she was hearing. We prayed. the voices continued and I thought she was simply suffering from schizophrenia. However a very gifted and experienced Anglican exorcist prayed with her, delivered her from one or more evil spirits, and the voices ceased.)

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book-fall

Excerpted from:

I Saw Satan Fall – The Ways of Spiritual Warfare by Benedict Heron OSB

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.

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Holy water: “Industrial-strength spiritual Lysol.”

Part of an interview with a former Satanist:

CWR: How would you advise the faithful to keep the devil out of their lives?

Deborah: First of all, in this life he’s always going to be in your life and close by. So, you have to protect yourself by going to Mass and receiving the Eucharist. It’s powerful protection. Holy water is extremely effective. I call it “industrial-strength spiritual Lysol.” I keep it in my home and regularly bless myself.

The sacrament of confession is important. One of the fastest ways for the demon to enter our lives is through unconfessed sin. I freely tell people, Catholic or not, that the Catholic Church is the only church that has the tools to deal effectively with the demonic. That includes devotion to the Blessed Mother.

Also, be careful about your hobbies and entertainment. The drinking, partying, carousing lifestyle can create an opening for the devil to come in; I also recommend people avoid slasher movies.

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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

Tom Roeser claims the political battle in Delaware is just heating up … and has national significance

Christine O’Donnell is supposed to be a wacko, right? She made a  remark  in 1999 that she dabbled in witchcraft as a high school kid. Her opponent Chris Coons described himself as a “bearded Marxist” in a college newspaper column. Oh, says the liberal Democratic apologist Media Matters, Coons was only kidding and when he wrote that  he was just a kid.  What about O’Donnell being a kid when she talked about witches?  Uh-uh. Doesn’t work.  Burn her.

But now we get to the interesting person Chris Coons is. Wonderful pedigree.  A member of the professional class. Amhurst undergrad. Yale Law.  Yale divinity. As a young idealist he crossed the ocean to Africa to South Africa and Kenya to do “relief work.”  Relief work. That’s all the contemporary press says. Relief work for whom?   Well, relief work for the South African Council of Churches.  And digging a little farther, we find Politico reporting that his experiences in Kenya and South Africa turned Coons “to the left.”  Oh. The South African Council of Churches was at that time engaged in liberation theology under a guy named Frank Chikane who was interested in the liberating religious goal of state ownership of all businesses but Chikane was close to a guy named James Cone who was involved candidly in pro-Marxist, pro-socialist, anti-capitalist views.

This story is not over yet, friends. It has a lot more mileage to go. It turns out that Chris Coons was more than “volunteering”; he was deeply involved in abetting socialist Africans who supported liberation theology through leaders who have had tied with the McCormick Theological Seminary here and Trinity United Church of Christ in Hyde Park.  And it turns out that as a young man this same Chris Coons wrote a lot of stuff about the glories of liberation theology and socialism.

All of this means that the battle is far from over…Judith Miller and Charles Krauthammer who so cavalierly consign O’Donnell to the ash heap.  As Captain Tom Parker told the Lexington Minute Men:
“Stand you ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. If they meant to have war, let it begin here.”
They…the liberal media…the elitist professional class…mean to have war and the battlefield is Christine O’Donnell. From what I’ve seen of the record, given Coons’ extensive involvement in black liberationist theology and socialist advocacy, the battle for the midterms 2010 may well be decided and won on the Delaware turf.

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