A new store opened in town off of 309 Huron Avenue back on June 7th called The Wyld and The Wyrd. Whether you have faith or not, this is not good news for our local community from a spiritual standpoint, because of the nature of the goods and services now being sold there. Some of what is being sold at the store include Reiki healing, crystal healing, astrology, and tarot card readings. This was featured in a Times Herald (www.thetimesherald.com) article also back on June 7th. Furthermore, the article states: “In the future (Jen) Jaros (the owner) plans to hire a psychic medium and card reader.”
These evil influences that are harmful to our souls can be classified under an umbrella term known as the “New Age Movement” which is contrary to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Catholic Church. The Catechism confirms this. It states: “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to ‘unveil’ the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone” (#2116).
YOGA > BE CAREFUL! – REIKI > STAY AWAY FROM!
Yoga and Reiki can both be classified under New-Age spirituality too. But are they both bad? It depends. If you are strictly using yoga for stretching and exercise purposes, then it is acceptable. But some would argue against that, which will be addressed below. If you are practicing yoga for spirituality or prayer purposes, then I would recommend to stop immediately.
Yoga has come to be a very common form of exercise in recent years in the U.S. According to a report by Yoga Alliance back in January, the number of U.S. yoga practitioners has increased to over 36 million, up from 20.4 million in 2012, and practitioner spending on yoga classes, clothing, equipment and accessories, rose to $16 billion a year, up from $10 billion over the past four years (Source: https://www.yogaalliance.org/2016yogainamericastudy).
In a homily, Pope Francis reminded listeners that practices like yoga aren’t capable of opening our hearts up to God. “You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you freedom”, he explained (Source: http://www.catholic.org/news/health/story.php?id=59107).
Can Catholics participate in yoga? “The answer is a bit more nuanced than one might think. Catholics should not participate in any of the ‘spiritual’ aspects associated with yoga, but technically can do the actual physical exercises. However, many people who practice yoga caution that it is often difficult, if not impossible, to separate the exercises from the meditations…The Pope tells us that only the Holy Spirit can ‘move the heart’ and make it ‘docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom of love. If we are seeking a zen-like peace from yoga meditation, then we are seeking peace from the wrong source’” (Source: http://www.catholic.org/news/health/story.php?id=59107).
What is the Catholic Church’s stance on Reiki? Don’t do it! What does Reiki mean? In the June 7th Times Herald article, Jaros, the owner of The Wyld and The Wyrd states: “Reiki means universal life force energy” (Source: www.thetimesherald.com). What is Reiki? It is an alleged healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
In an article published on March 25th, 2009, the U.S. bishops made a concluding public statement on Reiki in “Guidelines for Evaluating Reiki As An Alternative Therapy” which stated the following: “Since Reiki therapy is not compatible with either Christian teaching or scientific evidence, it would be inappropriate for Catholic institutions, such as Catholic health care facilities and retreat centers, or persons representing the Church, such as Catholic chaplains, to promote or to provide support for Reiki therapy.”
My recommendation would be to not only stay away from Reiki but also any of the previous goods and services mentioned in this article that are being offered for sale at the store, The Wyld and The Wyrd as well as anything that has to do with the New Age Movement. In the knowledgeable opinion of Norman L. Geisler, professor of Systematic Theology at Dallas (Tex.) Theological Seminary he said that the New Age Movement is “the most dangerous enemy of Christianity in the world today,… more dangerous than secular humanism” (Source: Article, “The Age-Old New Age Movement” – http://www.ewtn.com/library/newage/age-old.txt).
The New Age Movement and these specific goods and services now being sold at the Wyld and The Wyrd store are very deceptive and highly attractive especially to our young people. It is up to us to educate them, protect them, and steer them away from this evil in disguise. “And no wonder, for even Satan masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). Curiosity can be harmful and dangerous to the soul and ultimately to our salvation.
One resource I would like to direct you to is a long but insightful document on the New-Age Movement known as “Jesus Christ: The Bearer of The Water of Life – A Christian reflection
on the ‘New Age’” that can be found at the Vatican website, www.vatican.va. This long article can give a fuller, more thorough explanation of what the New Age Movement is. If you want me to send you a condensed, 4.5 page version of the document, just send an e-mail to me at moc.l1501181053iamg@1501181053nalla1501181053ffejr1501181053f1501181053.
In The Truth and Love of Jesus Christ,