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Old 8th February 2013, 11:10 PM
Shane Shane is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Ireland
Posts: 906
Default Catholicism & The New Age

I'm doing a lot of reading into the New Age movement at the moment. My main reason for this was the intention of being better able to understand and defend the Catholic faith when confronted with new age beliefs and ideas.

There are a couple of good books out there which describe the New Age systems in varying levels of detail, and appeal to the general reader. Fr. Mitch Pacwa's book 'Catholics and the New Age', is perhaps the most well known.

New Age beliefs have some basic underlying similarities, which are to be found in virtually all aspects of new age practices. Essential to each idea is the concept of monism, which suggests that all is God, and that each person is a god within. By reaching 'enlightenment' or 'transcendence', the new age believer attains a form of esoteric or interior knowledge; a modern-day reincarnation (excuse the pun) of the ancient heresy of gnosticism, that salvation can be attained with the acquisition of a superior type of knowledge.

One of the key founders of the New Age movement was a lady named Helena Blavatsky, a Russian occultist with a very shady background. She dabbled in the occult for years, forming what became known as the 'Theosophical Society', which basically gave vent to the gnostic idea that each of us had the potential to become gods through a process of enlightenment. Lucifer was classed under her beliefs as an 'angel of light', imparting wisdom from the seemingly foolishness of Christianity.

It's a fascinating study for the Catholic who wants to strengthen their faith, but it's important to choose reading that gives the proper Catholic perspective in conjunction with the false new age ideas. Johnnette Bencovic has an excellent study (I began with this one) called 'The New Age Counterfeit', which includes interviews with Catholics who once dabbled in new age practices.

Given that it's such a prevalent phenomenon today, I think it's good to be able to respond to new age ideas from a Catholic perspective. The basic premise of New Age is to do away with the idea of a Redeemer; Christ merely becomes one of many 'enlightened' figures throughout history. There may indeed be times, particularly with younger people, as I've experienced myself, when we may need to point them in the right direction, carefully and charitably exposing new age beliefs for what they are.

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Old 9th February 2013, 09:49 PM
js1975 js1975 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 914

Great info Shane, thanks for sharing.
2cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, most beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God.
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