Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Curiosity Killed the Cat

“I, the Lord, the God of Israel, warn you not to let yourselves be deceived by the prophets who live among you or by any others who claim they can predict the future. Do not pay any attention to their dreams.” Jeremiah 29: 8

Have you noticed lately that it’s cool to have a Daily Horoscope app on Facebook? Even among professed Christians and Catholics I see this pop up every day on my newsfeed. Of course, horoscopes are still a popular piece in most newspapers and women’s magazines. Drive around almost any city in the United States and you can find people that claim to be fortune-tellers or psychics putting out shingles and setting up shop. And we see more and more Christians involved in New Age mysticism, crystals, healing magnets and even yoga. This stuff isn’t new. Astrology, palm reading, reading tea leaves—they’ve been around for thousands of years. Perhaps in different forms from culture to culture, but black magic, voo-doo, soothsayers, “spirit guides” and the like have always been around.

In today’s culture Christian people that dabble in these things often say that they are just forms of entertainment, exercise, stress-relievers—or they are just curious. They don’t really believe in it, so why not get out the Ouija board or Magic 8 Ball and ask some questions, or read the horoscope in the paper, or use the Daily Horoscope app on Facebook or go to the yoga class at the local community college? What’s the harm, right?

The problem is that whether one believes in the powers of these things or not, the powers are there. And they aren’t from God. So if there are really supernatural powers behind these types of activities, and they aren’t from God, then they are from Satan. And do we really want to be messing around with the powers of Satan—even for entertainment or exercise? This is why the Church so strongly condemns all of these kinds of things. And Scripture is pretty clear about all this as well. As people of faith, we are supposed to be putting all of our trust in the providence of God, not trying to figure out what the future may hold. Ultimately, trying to learn knowledge apart from God or to gain peace apart from God, will lead us to despair. We don’t need yoga to bring our minds and bodies into a place of peace, we need the Prince of Peace. We don’t need to know what the future holds, we need to know the One who holds the future. We don’t need to speak to or hear from relatives and friends that have died, we need to pray for their souls. We don’t need to ask a Ouija board for the answers to life, we need to ask the Author of life.  We don’t need charms to protect us, we need the Blood of Jesus!

Dabbling in these forms of evil and thinking they are innocent is like swimming in the ocean unaware that a tidal wave is on the way. As followers of Jesus we need to be very sober about the ways Satan uses to trick us and ensnare us, especially the ways that seem innocent. The Bible says that he will masquerade as an angel of light and a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but that he is a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. May we always steer clear of these false and dangerous gods and instead throw ourselves more and more into the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the grace of the sacraments, Scripture reading, prayer and works of mercy.

Dear Jesus, help me to see clearly the ways of Satan and to always keep close to You. Through Your grace may I trust in You alone and allow You to hold me and my future in the safety of Your loving arms. Amen.