“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Luke 11:24-26

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus said,

“When an evil spirit goes out of a person,

it travels over dry country looking for a place to rest.

If it can’t find one, it says to itself, ‘I will go back to my house.’

So it goes back and finds the house clean and all fixed up.

Then it goes out and brings seven other spirits even worse than itself,

and they come and live there.

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So when it is all over,

that person is in worse shape than at the beginning.”

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– Luke 11:24-26 (GNT)

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REFLECTION…

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Had Jesus said this two thousand years later,

He would have been clearly warning us against “new age” philosophies

and their deceiving alternative, and often occult spirituality.

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“New age” philosophies and complimentary empowering practices

encourage and teach what are known as self-emptying techniques.

So far, so good

…or is it?

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In new age self-emptying, there is no real and essential “step two”

– there is no being filled with God or the Spirit of Christ.

Basically you are encouraged to create a spiritual vacuum.

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But vacuums have a natural tendency to be filled.

So when we empty ourselves without calling upon the Spirit of God to come and fill the emptiness and take over,

aren’t we risking that the “wrong” spirits rush in?

“Then it goes out

and brings seven other spirits even worse than itself,

and they come and live there.”

We need to be aware that such spirits manifest themselves in various forms

such as

anger, arrogance, bitterness, brutality, confusion,

cruelty, deception, envy, fear, hatred,

insecurity, jealousy, pride, resentment, or terror.

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No wonder Jesus warns

 

that “when it is all over,

that person is in worse shape than at the beginning.”

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The spirituality that Christ teaches us

is not about self-contemplation and self-emptying,

but all about love – a continuous dialogue of love between us and God.

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The devout Christian prays to the Holy Spirit of God,

and asks to be emptied and taken over fully by Him,

and to be renewed, and healed, and filled with His love.

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For Christians, the spiritual life is a relationship with God

which, gradually and through His grace, becomes deeper.

In the process, it also sheds light on our relationship

with our fellow men and women, and with the universe.

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Jesus wants us to beware of deceitful “new age” practices

which, by their very nature, simply cannot be Christian.

Although the techniques are presented as liberating and apparently harmless,

they are, in fact, subtly and deceitfully anti-Christian,

and the “god” or the “power” or “force” or “energy” which (not “who”) is often referred to, is certainly not our Living God.

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New age practices and philosophies tend to entrap those

whose Christian faith is rather shallow;

whose knowledge of the Word is only notional;

who do not have a deep personal relationship with Christ.

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Teach us Your ways, Lord, that we may walk in Your truth!

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QUOTE…

… from the Forward of a 2003 study produced by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue… (the full study is attached)

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“The present study is concerned with the complex phenomenon of “New Age”

which is influencing many aspects of contemporary culture.

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The study is a provisional report…

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These reflections are offered primarily to those engaged in pastoral work

so that they might be able to explain how the New Age movement differs from the Christian faith.

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This study invites readers

to take account of the way that New Age religiosity addresses the spiritual hunger of contemporary men and women…

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The present publication calls attention to the need to know and understand New Age as a cultural current,

as well as the need for Catholics to have an understanding of authentic Catholic doctrine and spirituality

in order to properly assess New Age themes.”

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– JESUS CHRIST THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE – A Christian reflection on the “New Age”.

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REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…

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Holy Spirit, empty me

and fill me with charity, compassion, faith,

gentleness, hope, humility, joy, kindness,

light, love, mercy, modesty, patience, peace,

purity, security, tranquility, trust, truth, understanding, and wisdom.

Holy Spirit, help me to walk in Jesus’ Light and Truth.

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