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Thomas Green wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am Catholic and an active member in my parish as a Youth Minister. I read on Sundays and also serve as a Eucharistic Minister and Usher. I am 32 year old and have spent about $500. on psychics in my life with nothing to show but "feel good" stories. I plan to see her, the psychic,
on Tuesday for $130. against my family wishes. I have been hiding this and keeping it a secret but am now obsessed.

I want some good news or insight because my life is going nowhere.

Thomas

  { I've drifted deep into psychic stuff, my life is going nowhere and need some advice. }

Paul replied:

Dear Thomas,

You are seriously violating the First Commandment by going to so-called psychics, as you would going to:

  • palm readers
  • tarot card readers, and
  • spiritualists or mediums using ouija boards,
  • etc.

We are forbidden to attend or participate in any occult activities such as this because it displays a lack of faith and trust in God and it can also open ourselves up to evil influences of the spirit world.

My advice: If I were you, I would take this to Confession (even if you were not aware of its evil) and resolve never to dabble into occult practices again.

Peace,

Paul

Thomas replied:

Thank you for responding.

  • Is there something wrong with hiding this from my family?
  • What's wrong in seeing a psychic?

Part of me wants to believe in the psychic, another part of me feels like it's wrong. I want some guidance.

  • How do I get this if my life is going nowhere?

I am scared of making wrong decisions. I guess I want to hear some good advice or guidance from people who can assist me.

Thomas

Paul replied:

Thomas,

The Church has traditionally had something called "spiritual directors". These can be anyone trained in giving spiritual advice and counseling from a Catholic perspective, but usually it is a priest or religious. I suggest you call either your pastor or the diocese to ask about this.
Maybe they will be able to direct you to someone.

Again, when seeing a psychic, you break the First Commandment by not trusting in the providence of God. Psychics are people that are either fakes or occult practitioners that are open to evil spirits. At best, you are wasting your money on them, and at worst, you are opening yourself up to evil spirits.

Paul

Thomas replied:

Hi, Paul —

You are right; at times, I feel like I am a fake or in hiding, wearing a mask. I am crying out for help. I want some help or guidance but it would be strange if I when to the priest at my local parish to talk to him about this.

Thank-you for your help on this issue.

Thomas

Mike replied:

Hi, Thomas —

Thanks for the question.

I just want to add a bit to the fine answer my colleague Paul has given.

Yes, definitely bring this to Confession but also make the sacramental life a habit.

Most Catholic bishops in America recommend Confession for the family on a monthly basis.
Individually, depending on one's struggles with temptation, going to Confession once every two weeks or weekly may be best. Finding a spiritual director who is faithful to the Church would be the idea priest to look for.

Don't worry about what the priest thinks. He is there, in the person of Jesus to help you be a better person.

You're putting:

  • your life
  • your family
  • your future and
  • your salvation

in the hands of a bunch of people who guess! And guess what?

If they guess wrong, they guess again, and again, and again, until they have satisfied your desire to "think" they know what's in your future.

If you stop going to them, they will give you false reasons to return.

It appears on Sundays your put your faith in the Church; while from Monday through Saturday you put your faith in your psychics.

This is playing with dynamite.

Please don't consider the tone of either my reply, Paul's reply, or your families reaction as harsh.
We just want what is best for you.

  • What is living a sacramental life?

It includes:

  • going to Confession on a regular basis
  • going to Mass and receiving Holy Communion on Sundays, and during the week, if possible, in a state of grace (no mortal sin)
  • and developing a regular prayer life; my preference is praying the Rosary but reading portions of the Scripture on a daily basis is great as well.

Hope this helps,

Mike

Connor Raevhen commented:

Hi, guys —

Greetings to all,

This is the first time I have come across this web site and for the most part I have found the information contained on it informative, however, I have questions about your reply to this individual about dabbling in practices that you have labelled "occult".

  • May I ask, why these practices are considered to be occult in nature and banned?

Paul said:

  • palm readers
  • tarot card readers, and
  • spiritualists or mediums using ouija boards
  • etc.

We are forbidden to attend or participate in any occult activities such as this because it displays a lack of faith and trust in God and it can also open ourselves up to evil influences of the spirit world.

It is only the last of the list (spiritualists or mediums using ouija boards) that will leave a person open to outside influences.

I do understand the First Commandment reads:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

I believe it is important to be able to differentiate between that which is deemed to be occult and that which is deemed to have been a practice which predates all modern religions. I don't think things should be as cut and dry as they are made to be. It's one of the major foibles of any religion. All denominations have, in some part, taken their rites and their beliefs from other denominations. The belief system is simply altered slightly and made to be "law" for those that have created it.

I do understand as well that the following has been stated:

9 When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire [an ancient occult practice], or one who practices witchcraft, 11 or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination [detestable] to the LORD…”

Deuteronomy 18:9-12

This is black and white; quite blunt, and to the point, but sometimes you need to understand why people seek an alternate answer as opposed to stating that they have done a bad thing and should confess their sin without trying to get to the crux of the issue.

Thanks for your time and I hope I haven't insulted you in any way.

Regards

Connor Raevhen

Eric replied:

Connor —

The verse from Scripture you quote refers to soothsayers. According to Wikipedia, a soothsayer is one who practices divination, including a fortune-teller.

Palm readers and tarot card readers are both forms of fortune telling according to Wikipedia. Obviously any attempt to divine the future is a form of fortune-telling and linked with the occult. Wikipedia specifically calls out divination as a form of occultism.

Eric

Connor replied:

Hi, Eric —

Thank you for your swift response.

  • When you label certain actions as occult in nature, which definition are you alluding to?

The natural Latin meaning of the word occultus which is translated to (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to "knowledge of the hidden".

  • Or are you referring to the occult as the dark arts of Satanism?

There must be a definitive line between the two.

Divination is an attempt to read the future, determine the will of God, or give practitioners a feeling of being able to control fate. Probably every religion ever practiced has used some form of divination.

The Hebrew Bible absolutely condemns it, but priests nonetheless threw some sort of ritualistic dice called the Urim and Thummin. Romans sometimes went to war on the basis of what priests saw when they killed an animal and looked at its entrails. Different objects were thrown, rolled, dropped, tossed, or heated to get results.

Even today people read cards, tea leaves, or messages in newspaper astrology columns, convinced they can discover the future. Psychic telephone lines do a big business.

There are those who demonstrate with great effectiveness that they are able to locate water with a divining rod. Others claim they can locate lost people after holding a piece of clothing.
Police forces occasionally employ such people, though usually very quietly.

Objections to divination range from simple scoffers to those who believe practitioners are in league with the devil. Christian religions especially have a history of punishing anyone who practiced the art. If divination fails, the practitioners are ridiculed as fakes. If it is successful, they are accused of dealing with Satanic forces.

Whatever the techniques employed, divination is an ancient religious practice, probably dating to the very first person who prayed to a God and then asked for a sign as proof that the prayer was heard.

  • I understand that some are loathe to even discuss the notion of it, but seriously, when there is a person that comes to you with the hope of hearing something, anything, do you think that debasing other forms of worship is the best approach?

Following onto my question of why they are deemed to be of an [occult|satanic] nature which was my understanding of the response, the following comment was made in this article:

Mary Ann said:
Wiccanism is paganism; it is a phony modern form, but it is real in its opening to evil spirits. This can bring harm to anyone in contact with it.

Phony modern form? Paganism actually predated Christianity and Catholicism both. Many of the beliefs that are held in the two mainstream religions can be traced back to the original roots of Paganism and Wicca, although the term wiccan is a more modern notion than that of the past.

Hope this helps,

Connor

Mary Ann replied:

Connor —

Scripture forbids both divination and spiritualism. Tarot cards and palm reading are forms of divination, which presume to tell the future of one's life through a secret knowledge.

Our lives are not matters of fate to be discerned through divination. Divination is a practice which attempts to discern the will of "the gods" or "the fates" through any of a number of practices.

Divination leaves one open to manipulation by evil spirits but any such superstition is a sin because it is a sin against the first commandment and it is a failure to trust God. There is one God, and we live under His Providence. Trying to manipulate reality through the use of occult symbols and words and practices is magic.

Mary Ann

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