Although I espouse no religion, I respect any religion that is genuinely principled. That said, I have no patience for New Age Religions. Out here in New Mexico we've got every New Age hodge-podge you can imagine. As far as I can see, these New Agers take the most convenient aspects from several world religions and arrange a personal "religion" that involves no deep beliefs and no sacrifices. Particularly outrageous, in my view, are Marxists who claim to practice Hinduism, and have no idea that the two conflict. Of course, if they'd REALLY researched Hinduism, they'd learn about it's rigid caste system, but then they wouldn't be able to use Hinduism as an excuse to screw around. If I were a Hindu, I'd resent an outsider who used a certain part of my religion out of context to justify meaningless mattress-hopping. What do you think?
You made me smile. Altho I don't imagine everyone would react that way... I'll leave it up to the folks you mention to send any response, correction, etc.
Fr. Phil Bloom
I find no real denial of the Catholic belief system in so called 'new age' theories. We both believe in an immortal soul and a mortal body. Catholicism believes in atonment for sins via purgatory, Spiritualism believes we leave the earthly body and may return to become better in the sight of God right here on earth. If you have never experienced hell on Earth dear father, you have been truly blessed. Most of us do at one tiime or another. We both agree that through adversity comes strength. I would say that the earth is the perfect school room with many, many oportunities for becoming better in the sight of God. If we so choose. Some of us come close to perfection. But this cannot possibly be acheived in one lifetime. Even Christ said He would be back.
With all due respect, I believe that the Catholic Church isn't telling all She knows. How would you explain my feeling of disorientation, and a crippling pain my arm which lasted for several hours or until the 'phone rang and a friend was saying that our son had been in an accident and had broken his arm. I was in Singapore, He was in the US. Where do you think my soul was? I know it was with him. I've never thought I was psychic. I have an enormous belief in God and in the power of prayer. Why wouldn't our desceased loved ones intercede for us? I also believe that there is a lot more out there than Sister Mary Angela ever taught us.
Thanks for your email. As you note, whether "new age theories" conflict with Catholic teachings depends on what beliefs one is talking about. At least on a superficial level there seems to be much in common. Once I was listening to this lady talk about various messages she received from spiritual beings - angels, even the Virgin Mary. She said that Mary told her we should pray the "Hail Mary" but not include the last part asking her to "pray for us sinners" because that is a negative view of human beings. We should emphasize our goodness...
I see a bit of that in your saying this life is a school for us to become better in the sight of God, that since none of us "comes close to perfection" in a single life, we may come back for further tries.
Maybe Sister Mary Angela never told you the true Catholic teaching - that we are all sinners totally dependent on the mercy of God which we receive thru Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. I urge you not to place your hopes on a reincarnation where you can do better, but to throw yourself at the foot of the cross. The "good thief" was not promised another life on earth - but paradise with Jesus "today."
The Catholic Church is not hiding anything. All her teachings are right there in the Catechism which sums up what the Church has taught from the very beginning. You can check any new age theory against that authoritative reference.
My prayers, Ginny. God bless.
Fr. Phil Bloom
P.S. I would not deny the validity of your "psychic" experience. I hear reports like that often from my parishioners. And, yes, those who have died can intercede for us.
Letter about New Age
Resources to combat the New Age
We Are Church Slogan
Need for Dogma
Dissent and the Catechism
C.S. Lewis: To Dissenting Priests
Catholic Teaching on Birth Control
The Crisis of the Catholic University
The Abortion Issue.
Homily on Abortion and Homosexuality
The Challenge of Secular Humanism
The Religion of our Culture: Naturalism
The Catholic Church: Founded by Jesus
Hitler's Pope: Comic Book Approach to Church History
Pictures from Ordination of Deacon Armando Perez (Holy Family Parish, July 15, 2001)