Friday, November 17, 2006

La Salette Attleboro: Center for Christian Living still offering "Christian Yoga."

Recently, Mr. Michael Brown of Spirit Daily wrote an outstanding article on New Age infiltration into "Catholic" retreat centers. Here is that article:


By Michael H. Brown

Towards the end of John Paul II's pontificate, the Vatican issued a document about the New Age that was reviewed, one can assume, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, even though his congregation was not redactor of the actual document.

It would do well for the U.S. bishops to revisit that document (entitled "Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life") and make certain that parishes understand and heed Rome's definition of what is meant by the "new age" -- a refined form of occultism that looks upon God as more an energy and impersonal, psychic force in classic pagan perspective and is expressly prohibited.
Despite that prohibition, which was issued in 2003, I receive many e-mails about New Age or Eastern-style practices that have been allowed and even promoted in church halls, convents, retreat centers, and occasionally from the pulpit. It's an insidious infiltration [see bottom] that thus far has not received nearly the attention it warrants -- putting, as it does, those who are exposed to it into potential touch with the dark side, which comes as an angel of light.

I invite you to send such cases here, if they are occurring in your parish. In just the past week, we have linked to articles about nuns in northeast Philadelphia who instruct in massage, energy, kinesiology, and "therapeutic touch" (which some say is akin to psychic healing). At any rate, they are described as "nuns" at the Center for Human Integration. They also use "reiki," an ancient form of therapeutic touch that taps into occult "ki" or "c'hi" energy.

"There is a remarkable variety of approaches for promoting holistic health, some derived from ancient cultural traditions, whether religious or esoteric," says the Vatican document.

"Advertising connected with the New Age covers a wide range of practices as acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, kinesiology, homeopathy, iridology, massage, and various kinds of 'bodywork' (such as orgnonomy, Feldenkrais, relexology, rolfing, polarity massage, therapeutic touch, etc), meditation, and visualization...

"The source of healing is said to be within ourselves, something we reach when we are in touch with our inner or cosmic energy."
There it is in black and white -- the Vatican definition of New Age -- and yet confusion (a mark of the enemy) reigns.

There are nuns into drumming circle prayer. There are sisters who are reiki masters. On church grounds, there are haunted mazes.

I don't pretend to know definitively all that is wrong or right but I know we are to follow the Vatican and that evil masquerades itself. What are Catholics doing involved in something that is expressly cited in the Vatican documents?

"This weekend will provide for a deepening of the experiences of meditation, prayer, journaling, yoga and reiki. There will be ample time for practicing techniques, quiet reflection and sharing. Donation: $75 (includes $25 non-refundable deposit). St. Joseph Center, Mount Saint Joseph, Wheeling," says an announcement from West Virginia.
At the left are illustrations from the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality (for further information, it says, "e-mail Sr. Carole Riley, Ph.D.").

"Prepare the Way of the Lord -- Saturday, December 9 (10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)," says another ad. "Participants will discover ways of praying with their bodies using creative movement as the sacred scriptures are explored in the season of Advent. (Wear comfortable clothing). Presenter: Sister Molly Maloney, OSF, M.A., LMT. Offering: $35 (lunch included)."
What's going on in West Virginia? What's going on in dozens of other dioceses?

Should "St. Joseph" really be uttered in the same breath as Buddha, or "tai chi"?
There are Catholic centers that offer an "ancient, sacred tradition" called the "labyrinth" (seven cycles and seven turns representing the seven stages of life). There is the enneagram, which claims to determine types of personalities. In Pennsylvania are the "Sisters of the Humility of Mary" who offer yoga and even holistic health care for animals.

I'm not competent to judge the esoteric nature of all such practices (no one is against feeding a dog well), but again it seems to contravene the Vatican. "The important thing to note," said the document, "is that God is reduced in certain New Age practices so as furthering the advancement of the individual."

"New Age appeals to people imbued with the values of modern culture. Freedom, authenticity, self-reliance, and the like are all held to be sacred."
The Vatican definition has been ignored, and it appears to be nothing less than a full-blown crisis -- with the question of how Catholics can so openly ignore authority.

"From this place we respond to the needs of families, youth, the elderly, homeless, prisoners, and immigrants in sites that include Ohio, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, New Jersey, Michigan, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia," says the website in West Virginia. "Internationally, we serve in Haiti and have served in Africa, Bangladesh, Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, and Vietnam."

Reiki, drumming circles, medicine dolls: it involves nuns across the Western Hemisphere. Canada. The U.S.
Writes one concerned reader, "It didn't take me long, but I found convent after convent, parish after parish, Catholic retreat center after retreat center, engaged in reiki and more. Is the Vatican aware? Aware that so many Roman Catholics are... Pagan Catholics?"

Strikes me as a good question.

It strikes me as a good question too Mr. Brown.



Anonymous said...

The La Salette Center is clearly out of control. Your story on how they had a pagan ceremonial altar to the Four Directions and a "Woman's Rosary" based upon the menstrual cycle was very revealing.

It is horrifying what is going on with the La Salette Missionary Community. I think that's why the order is gradually disintegrating.

Marie Cecile said...

What a shame, since this is what Our Lady of LaSalette was warning about and here they are letting lay people bring this into their Retreats. And there are many retreat houses that cater to this phenomena just to bring people in. Many who are seeking don't realize they are looking for holiness in these places and they are not finding it.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

We must define our terms precisely. Yoga is Sanskrit for "yoke" or "union." In Hinduism, yoga refers to the general category of various kinds of disciplines meant to unite a person with the divine. Yoga can refer to physical (hatha), mental (raja), sexual (tantra), or other disciplines to achieve "enlightenment."

Catholics and other Christians should have nothing to do with Yoga. The Vatican has addressed this issue. Rome has spoken.

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