Online Book Reviews
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Church and the ........"New Age"
Posted - 13 Mar 2005 :
FORMER OCCULTIST IS CONVERTED BY MARY AND WARNS ON NEW AGE IN THE U.S. CHURCH
Infiltration of the New Age into the Church is usually subtle. There is the attempt to introduce a feminine aspect of
God (paving the way for a goddess), an inclination to acknowledge ecological spirits (which makes way for worship of sun,
moon, stars), or a tendency to view the Lord not as a Person but as a neutral cosmic force. There is also the noticeable and
curious attempt to avoid mention of the devil.
about anything, is the credo of the New Age; there is no sin; there is only Heaven; there is no hell.
Sometimes, the attempts are not so subtle. A while ago we posted a prayer to nature spirits that appeared
inside a diocesan website in California. Fortunately, it was immediately removed (and probably got there in the first place
without the bishop's knowledge).
But problems persist, and they are
strikingly, fascinatingly pointed out in a highly readable book by Moira Noonan -- a California woman who spent twenty years
with the New Age in many different roles, including direct involvement with psychics, hypnotherapy, reincarnation, Reiki,
channeling, crystals, clairvoyance, and other occult practices. In fact, she herself was once an occult instructor, a psychic,
and a hypnotist before becoming a Catholic evangelist -- her mission exposing precisely what she once practiced!
The book is Ransomed from Darkness, and in it we first learn that while raised a Catholic, Moira,
like so many others, was never properly instructed in the dangers of the occult. "In Deuteronomy and elsewhere, God makes
it very clear: Stay away from mediumship, sorcery, and fortune-telling of all kinds," she writes. "The Bible makes
it clear, over and over: Don't go to these kinds of places. That was a message I never received."
It is something that has afflicted countless Catholics: a lack of instruction about the occult.
As a result, Noonan traversed deeply into this dark territory, and when she came back to the Church
-- when she reverted to the faith of her childhood -- she couldn't believe what she saw:
"In the process of rediscovering my Catholic faith after a 25-year absence, I was often shocked to see how the
Church had fallen prey to New Age influences I thought I was leaving behind," says Noonan. "That's one of the
reasons for this book: I want to help Christians, especially clergy, recognize how New Age thinking has infiltrated the Church.
It's an ultimately destructive presence that needs to be addressed whenever it appears."
Usually it starts with a church group that embraces Eastern-style meditation, or something like hypnosis
or the enneagram -- which seem harmless, even beneficial, on the surface. But in reality, such techniques can be Trojan horses
for the wrong kind of spirits. "For example, much of the miracle merchandise sold in Catholic stores now -- angel stones,
affirmation books and so forth -- are designed to change our way of thinking," the author warns.
Noonan relates the time she attended a conference at Xavier University in Ohio and found that the
student bookstore featured vampire books, astrology titles, goddess manuals, and even The Dictionary of Satan.
"In my own parish, I learned that the Friday night program for divorced, single, and separated
Catholics was using A Course in Miracles as one of their textbooks," she reports, alluding to an occult bestseller that
has ensnared countless Christians. "I've had priests from all over the country contact me to inquire about the Course.
Make no mistake. This book is the dictated pronouncements of a demon, transcribed by a Columbia University psychologist in
the 1960s and 1970s."
Noonan points out that New Age infiltration
is particularly prevalent at Christian retreat centers. One in northern California hosted a workshop with a former nun who
had made a pilgrimage to India and was now presenting the ideas of the "Nine Gates Mystery School," a teaching on
"Earth-based" spirituality. "The course focused on 'medicine cards,'" says Noonan. "These
are tarot cards, divination tools. They are a form of shamanism."
San Diego itself -- where Noonan ministers -- a Catholic center for spiritual direction offers courses in telepathy.
In Arizona a convent retreat center offers "contemplative prayer" taught by a monk who is
"I'm aware of a convent in Minnesota, and there
are others in California and Massachusetts also, where nuns offer Reiki healing workshops," says Moria -- whose own daughter
went to a New Age pre-school. "I was trained as a Master Teacher in Reiki, which means I was authorized to perform initiations
as well as teach methods. Reiki is definitely an occult practice."
this time of disorientation, we are called, yes, to respect other religions, and to love everyone, to dialogue with others
and realize that God is bigger than any single religion. At the same time, there are instances when love has to take the form
of correcting those who may be endangering themselves by wandering back to the paganism that Christ came to defeat. Especially,
our bishops need to be aware. In California, near San Francisco, a prominent witch has instructed dozens of priests at the
behest of a cleric who has now been defrocked.
Noonan, the Blessed Mother intervened ,... where Moira was "delivered" Magdalene-style from a series of evil spirits.
Her conversion was also connected to an instance where she was involved in a table-tilting seance.
Suddenly Moira felt drawn back from participating. And as this occurred, she heard a voice. It was
an exquisitely gentle but powerful voice, and it pulled Noonan from the dark. The words were simple. "I am the Queen
of Peace," the voice said, and Noonan never turned back.
had asked the Lord, "Could you please show me the truth?"
prayer was to be answered," she writes, "as Mary patiently guided me back to the garden of faith."
Going to Communion every day for so many years! Anybody else would
be a saint by now, you told me, and I ... I'm always the same! Son, I replied, keep up your daily Communion, and think:
what would I be if I had not gone?
-- St. Josemaria Escriva: The Way
Come Holy Spirit ...Come by the means of the powerful intercession
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved Spouse.
Edited by - Mark Curley
on 13 Mar 2005 22:49:58
Posted - 09 Dec 2005 : 07:22:14
Along these lines:
On Prayer and the Magisterium
Father J. Castellano Gives an Overview
ANCONA, Italy, DEC. 5, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In a congress on mysticism,
a priest pointed up the concern of the Holy See's magisterium for prayer.
"In the course of history there have been few authoritative interventions of the magisterium on this topic, said
Discalced Carmelite Father Jesús Castellano Cervera. He noted, however, a shift that started in 1989.
The Spanish priest noted three key documents that illustrate the link between prayer and the magisterium.
He cited "Orationis Formas," the Oct. 15, 1989, letter of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a document he contributed to. He also cited the fourth section of the Catechism
of the Catholic Church, and Pope John Paul II's letter "Novo Millennio Ineunte."
For Father Castellano, the "Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian
Meditation," or "Orationis Formas," must be taken into account in order to understand the "criteria to
guide Catholic faithful in the face of the new methods of meditation, as is the case of the techniques of the religious East."
his address on Saturday to the congress on "Christian Mystical Experience, Non-Christian Mysticism and New Religiosity
in the West," Father Castellano, a professor at the Teresianum in Rome, revealed details about the development of this
"After several re-elaborations the text remained
essentially as the fruit of the mind and style of Hans Urs von Balthasar, with suggestions from other experts," he explained.
The text tries to clarify what is specific about Christian meditation,
given the invasion and fascination of some Eastern meditation techniques.
For Father Castellano, it is important to highlight the originality of Christian prayer linked to the structure and
content of Christian revelation, as well as "the criteria to guide an authentic exercise of Christian meditation which
involves the whole person praying, including his body and feelings."
"It was not a letter censuring or condemning the well-integrated Eastern methods in the Christian praxis of meditation,"
he said. Rather, it is a document that offers "doctrinal criteria for an authentic guide and for the discernment of current
praxis of meditation."
According to this consultor of several Vatican dicasteries, including the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith, "The Eastern techniques applied to Christian prayer have cause an awakening of Christian meditation itself."
In the congress on mysticism, organized by the East-West Center of
Studies, the expert in spirituality pointed out that the East has contributed to Christian prayer "an appreciation of
silence, greater attention to the body in prayer which leads to a sensitivity for harmonious integration and openness to a
Father Castellano added that "Christian
prayer is meditation which tends to communion, not fusion, with the Triune God."
Posted - 12 Dec 2005 : 05:46:11
To Pete and Stormy, my thanks for exposing this very sneaky but dangerous trick of the devil to 'water down'
our solid Catholicism with new age garbage.
At this moment,
Catholics - and good Christians in general - should beg the Holy Spirit for the gift of discernment.
The enemy has infiltrated our Church like never before, and being the father of lies, he's a great
God bless Ms. Noonan and her work to warn the lay and
"... and behold, I am with you always,
until the end of the age".