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Linda Kracht explains why consulting mediums, even as entertainment, is a spiritually perilous practice.

About a decade ago, my older sister told me she visited a medium. I could barely stifle my dismay after hearing her revelation, yet, I listened to her reasons (and excuses) for going to see this person. She seemed to view it as mere entertainment plus. It’s difficult to recall the specific details of the conversation all these years later, however, I remember telling my sister that Catholics aren’t supposed to go see mediums. The words seemed inadequate at the time. I completely forgot about this conversation until several days ago when her daughter (my niece) called and said she had something to tell me that I wouldn’t like! Red warning lights started flashing, and that’s not usually a great way for me to start a conversation. She went on to tell me that she recently had a conversation with her mother (who had died in October) via a medium. Déjà vu?

She told me what she learned. I think I could have told her the same things without it costing her a cent, but for some reason, she needed reassurance from the dead about death. Some of what she said really bothered me, and the details are not worth bothering you about. The day before, I had learned that a Catholic grade-school teacher had encouraged her students to read their horoscopes. For what purpose was I hearing all of this? To write this next article!

Bishop John O. Barres of Rockville Centre, New York, counsels us that while it may seem natural to seek assurance from a wide variety of sources, it has become increasingly popular to seek assurance (about anything and everything) from mediums. He goes on to warn about the dangers of these practices (occult, divination, mediums, and so on).

The dangers of these practices are not obvious, making them all the more perilous. While the desire to connect with the dead and find hope in loss may seem perfectly Christian, the practices condemned by our faith actually corrupt those good desires and lead us further away from God. ("Mediums" and the Catholic Faith)


The Catechism of the Catholic Church lays it out like this: resorting to mediums, and other forms of spirits or the occult contradicts the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone (cf. CCC 2116), because only He is the ultimate source of consolation, hope, help, and strength.




So, why do so many Catholics seek assurances from mediums, and the occult? Some experts suggest that it has something to do with the fact that many of these individuals define themselves as spiritual persons rather than religious persons. (The latter are closely affiliated with the Catholic Church and all of her "rules" and commandments and dogma.) This matters because spiritual persons tend to go it alone, in other words, they don’t participate in the practices and rules of the Church. Accordingly, they also mostly avoid religious obligations, the reception of the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, having daily prayer time, and giving praise to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual persons often are spiritually self-reliant, meaning that they figure spiritual matters out for themselves by themselves and while avoiding what they consider to be the trappings of religious practices and beliefs. Note the emphasis on self. By way of contrast, religiously affiliated persons often express their need for God’s grace and believe it comes by way of receiving the sacraments, participating in daily prayer, and by becoming an active member of the Body of Christ via the Church.


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We all need reassurance, and it really does matter where we go to receive it. #catholicmom


We all need reassurance, and it really does matter where we go to receive it. St. Augustine eventually recognized that he was very restless (and in need of assurance) and would stay that way until he rested (his heart) in Christ. The same applies to each of us, and until we rest in Christ, some may even reach out to mediums, palm readers, astrology, horoscopes, and clairvoyants. When humans presume they can find Nirvana all by themselves, why would they seek God? Or praise Him? And therein lies the danger.

Let there not be found among you anyone who causes their son or daughter to pass through the fire, or practices divination, or is a soothsayer, augur, or sorcerer, or who casts spells, consults ghosts and spirits, or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord, and because of such abominations the Lord, your God, is dispossessing them before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)            


May we resolve to seek wisdom, the right words, the right attitude, and the right example when confronted by magical mediums.

Copyright 2022 Linda Kracht
Images: Canva