In my last column I wrote about the great responsibility we have to pray for our loved ones who have gone before us. I also wrote of the great grace we as Christians have in uniting with the other two parts of the Body of Christ who are no longer living on earth, and are either in Purgatory or Heaven.
There is but a thin veil separating us. And, though we cannot see with our physical eyes the saints in Heaven (the Church Triumphant), and the souls in purgatory (the Church Suffering), we here on earth (the Church Militant) are called to be united spiritually.
We all have been created, not only with a physical and psychological make-up, but with a spiritual make-up as well. We just arenít complete unless we are engaged spiritually in life. This is why, if people donít have a personal relationship with our Heavenly Creator, many today turn toward the "new age movement," which I refer to in a general sense as a movement where people are seeking a spirituality of their own, apart from the one true God in Heaven. This is why we see so much occult activity going on today among spiritists, channelers, psychics and the like. There is a grave danger in this type of spirituality because truth is never relative and always absolute. And the truth is that we are engaged in a spiritual battle here on earth. Scripture tells us clearly about it.
"A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sunÖAnd another sign appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon...War arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown downÖthe deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to earth, and his angels were thrown down with him" (Rev 12:1,3,7-10).
Satan and his minions are now on earth, seeking to deceive us and distract us from following Godís Divine Will, just as he did with Adam and Eve in the Garden. But also, Godís angels and saints, headed by Mary (who Catholics see as the Queen of Heaven and earth), are here on earth to help us. When we as Christians unite with the saints in heaven and the souls in purgatory, we are not conjuring them up to appear to us and give us messages. We are uniting with them spiritually around the throne of God, praying for them, and seeking their prayers for us, that we might love and serve God as we ought.
There is a huge difference between what we do, and what spiritists, psychics and channelers do. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this: "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" (CCC 2116).
We must remember as Scripture tells us, that satan comes "as an angel of light." He mixes lies with truths which are very subtly deceptive (he knows our weaknesses). And unless we have the mind of Christ, we cannot discern what is really true and of God.
One reported mystic, Maria Simma, who reportedly received visits from the Holy Souls, spoke of the difference in this way.
"If the public believes only one thing that I say, I would want it to be this. The difference is very simple and very clear, and we MUST hold to it with ALL SERIOUSNESS. What happens with spiritists is that they THINK they are calling the souls of the deceased; but if there is any reaction to their calling them, it is ALWAYS and without exception SATAN and his agents who are responding. Spiritists and channelers are doing something extremely dangerous both to themselves and to the people who go to them for advice. They are living an enormous pack of lies. We are NOT permitted to call the deceased! That is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN! In my case, I NEVER called them, NEVER do and NEVER will. Jesus has permitted this through His Mother (her visits from the Holy Souls).
"But Satan, of course, can and does copy and fake anything and everything that comes from God. He monkeys God and monkeys everything God does. He can copy the soulsí voices, and he can copy their looks, but whatever reaction there is, itís ALWAYS from the evil one. Donít forget, Satan can even heal, but those healings never last."
Yes, we are in a spiritual battle, but the victory has already been won. "They have been conquered by the Blood of the Lamb" (Rev 12:11). But this victory has only been won in the lives of those of us who put the Blood of Jesus on the door posts of our hearts. And, we do this by accepting Jesus as our Saviour, and seeking to follow Him in doing the Fatherís will.
Therefore, "be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Eph 6:10-12).