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US Grace Force podcast – Family or Jesus, Inc?

May 9, 2022

I just finished listening to this podcast, and WOW! It is a must listen for everyone. For families, for priests, for singles, for church groups. I’m not going to say much, I just ask you to listen and contemplate and consider how you view church. God Bless you all.

Grace Force Podcast Episode 137 – Are We a Family or Jesus, Inc.?Grace Force Podcast Episode 137 – Are We a Family or Jesus, Inc.? – United States Grace Force (

God Works in Mysterious Ways – Even or Especially When We Think His Ways are Laughable

July 4, 2021

I sell religious medals and necklaces on Etsy. I expect I sell my wares mostly to Catholics, but I do know that pagans buy some of my medals; I can tell just by looking at their profiles. And so it would stand to reason that all kinds buy my Catholic medals, blessing cords and necklaces.

A recent sale by one woman was sent to another woman. It wasn’t a gift receipt so the recipient received the invoice with the whole descriptive title of the medal. A gift receipt truncates the title. Anyways, I sent the necklace on its way and my job was done.

A week or so later I received a positive review for this transaction and it gave my heart pause and then much joy.

The title of the item was: St. Bonaventure holy medal – Catholic saint – Seraphic/Devout Doctor of the Church, Franciscan, patron of intestinal problems, Italian. And the review said: I got it for my friend who has ibs as a joke and she loves it so much she wears it all the time and I’m so glad I made this purchase.

We’re all familiar with the saying: it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature. (At least those of us old enough to remember the commercials…) Well, Mother Nature is just a creature in God’s creation. Now imagine fooling God, or making a joke of Him. Thankfully God is a merciful God! He took this joking scenario and used it for good for at least two people. As my friend always says: Romans 8:28. (Look it up 🙂

God and His Church are not given much thought these days. We live in a broken world, most of humanity is broken and many Catholics are broken too, both laity and religious. God and His message via the church’s magisterium are not broken though. We need to get back to God and His message! I just read a great article at Catholic Exchange: Eucharistic Adoration Will Save the World. And so, we are broken. Each and every one of us. But God can change us, He can use all things for good, we just have to do what the Spirit moves us to do, even if we don’t know that it is the Spirit that is moving us at the time. God Bless you!

Ash Wednesday 2021

February 6, 2021

We are about to enter the Holy season of Lent.
Let it truly be penitential this year. Let us let go of the outer turmoil of our lives and the world and find the silence and be with God.
Let go of the busyness of the world, especially on Ash Wednesday. Talk and internet for your job if you must, but at all other times turn off the noise.
No TV, radio, and especially no internet on any device. We are constantly bombarded with noise and information and stress.
Stop and listen to God alone.
So… Go to church, sit with Jesus silently in the tabernacle, go to Mass, receive ashes, read the Bible, pray, and…
Listen with our heart, God is waiting for us there.

Please share this far and wide and let the whole world find God in the silence this Ash Wednesday, Feb 17, 2021.
God Bless us, everyone!

Are You a Catholic who Dabbles? You Know What I Mean…

October 10, 2020

The state of our world today is pretty scary. Unrest. Religious persecution. Godlessness. Hate. Lack of communication. And much more.

Immaculate Conception

How did we get this way? We have been kicking God out of our country for a long time now, and He backs away. He gives us free will. He’s a loving God who gives us what we want. Do we really want what we have today?!

There are those who work for the devil and convince the masses that God is hindering our freedom. God lovers are just slaves to this higher power and He controls our life. We can’t have any “fun” if we belong to God, they say.

And then we have us. Who’s us? Us Catholics. We are so uninformed in the beauty of our faith that many of us take our faith lightly, and some of us even dabble. We don’t appreciate the beauty and power of the Eucharist. It is Jesus’ Real Presence, you know? His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. It’s Him in that little piece of bread that we receive on Sundays when we decide it is time to go to Mass, to Church. And since we don’t value the Eucharist as we should, we don’t value the Church as a whole either. Just a bunch of old guys in Rome running the show; who are they to tell me how to live my life?! And so we fade from the fold and we dabble. We create our own religion. Part Catholic; part spiritual; part pagan; part earth lover; part whatever. We are heretics actually. What is a heretic? According to Merriam-Webster: (1) religion a person who differs in opinion from established religious dogma; (2) one who differs in opinion from an accepted belief or doctrine.

Another phrase for ourselves is cafeteria Catholics. We pick and choose our Catholicism. We like some parts and dislike others. Some parts are just so hard to live by and we don’t need that added stress in our lives.

And so we go, picking and choosing our religion. The culture has been subtly mocking Catholicism for decades, and now it is fashionable. If we are not strong in our faith, then we waver. We fall away. But we need what God is offering us because it fills the void that is in our souls. We are spiritual and physical beings. We need a spiritual component in this earthly life. Yes, there were the pagan religions of the past, they existed even before Christianity, so they must be okay, right? Wrong. Jesus came to save us from our past mistakes, our current mistakes and our future mistakes.

But people still dabble. Especially with the pagan components. Just because they pre-date Christianity doesn’t make them a-okay. They dabble in the dark side. There is a new witchcraft, wiccan. There is even devil worship. There is self-worship, culture-worship, science-worship, etc. All these forms of worship are an attempt to fill the void, but they are a bad filler. And so, our faith is sorely lacking and the whole world suffers as a result.

I sell holy medals and jewelry and home sacramentals made with holy medals on the internet. I see that some of my customers are dabblers by their user name and/or the items in their profile. My competition also has some dabblers. They sell “all faith” items. Religion is like picking out a pair of shoes apparently. What will go with today’s outfit, today’s mindset. We are free to be me.

Ah, freedom. G.K. Chesterton tells a great story, an analogy, about freedom. I can’t remember which book, sorry. But the story goes: Children are playing ball on a high cliff, running freely and joyfully because a fence clearly keeps them safe from falling off the edge of the cliff. Then some do-gooder says let the children be free, don’t constrain them with a fence. And so the fence is removed, and the joyful play stops because they have to keep an eye on the edge of the cliff now. God is our fence. Freedom in the kingdom of God is about being free to do the right thing, not to do anything we want.

The devil has convinced us that a fence is a bad thing. Boundaries are a bad thing. The devil has also told us that there are bad people in the Church so why bother. True, there are bad people in the Church and the devil put them there. We can’t abandon the Church because of the bad people who are running the show. The Church is a hospital for sinners. We need the care that she gives us. But we make ourselves even sicker by dabbling in the dark side, by picking and choosing our Catholicism.

So how to we get back to the freedom of God’s kingdom? We begin by realizing that we need to repent of our sins and ask God for forgiveness within His sacrament of Confession. Then we need to learn a bit more about our faith, and most importantly we need to form a relationship with Jesus. We need to talk to Him daily, we need to pray. Read the Gospels and the rest of the Bible and get to know Him better. Find a Bible Study or a kindred spirit to walk the journey with.

And stop dabbling! There are plenty of spiritual exercises within the Catholic Church to fulfill your spiritual needs. Stop with the psychics and diviners. If a loved one has died, pray for their soul, you can’t conjure them up to talk to them! That is witchcraft. Don’t try to empty your mind to calm your nerves, the devil will jump into that void. Calm yourself with prayer, the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, or any of the other beautiful prayers. Listen to recordings of Gregorian Chant. Or be silent with God. This is not emptying, but rather letting God come to you. We are so afraid of silence in this day and age. God is in the tiny whispering. If you find joy there it is from God. If it brings you anxiety it is not from God.

May God Bless you in your journey back to Him and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Protection from Evil – Can a Necklace do That?

November 14, 2019

We all want protection from evil. At least most of us do. How do we get protection from evil? Well, first and foremost, we get close and stay close to God.

I went to a conference called Angels & Demons last year and my take away is that a life of prayer keeps you in line with the Angels, God’s Messengers, and keeps the devil and his minions at bay. According to the experts there, exorcisms, or the requests for them, are on the rise. People dabble too much in the darkness and then get the crap scared out of them when the devil comes in to roost. But most exorcisms aren’t really needed once people put God and prayer into their lives. It is a step-wise process, of course, but a life with God, the Holy Trinity, and His Angels and Saints, leads us to a peaceful, holy existence.

Prayer – Let’s begin with the fact that I am a work in progress myself, but I can hear the good messages of others and work to apply them. And so can you. Prayer isn’t just the Our Father and Hail Mary. While they are the best prayers for most and a great starting place, prayer is so much more. Prayer is about a relationship and communication with God. What is your relationship with God and how do you communicate with Him? There are tons of historical and recent books on the prayer life. Get one or two and begin to apply them to your life. You’ll be so glad you did!

Prayer then is THE protection from evil. Why then a necklace for protection from evil? Well, we use a Rosary to help us to pray and meditate on the Mysteries of Jesus Christ. We can also use a necklace as well, as a sacramental. Holy medals are sacramentals, and three on a chain is also a sacramental. What’s so special about this particular necklace then?

It’s the combination of the medals. St. Michael the Archangel with a Guardian Angel on the reverse, a Miraculous Medal and a Benedictine Crucifix. You would not believe the searching that people do on these three or four terms. People are looking for these medals all the time, and some really like the combination of them.

St. Michael the Archangel defend us this day in battle, be our safe guard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the whole world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

St. Michael, our Guardian Angel, and all the angels are constantly watching out for us. Do we turn to them in our need? God allows them to help us.

The Miraculous Medal was created in response to a request from the Blessed Virgin Mary, who entrusted us with our mission. It was given by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself! No wonder, then, that it gives such extraordinary graces to those who wear it and pray for Mary’s intercession and help. Our Lady manifested the Medal to St. Catherine Labouré on November 27, 1830, in the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, in Paris”. Mary spoke to St. Catherine Laboure: “Have a medal struck upon this model. Those who wear it will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck.” This is the Miraculous Medal, requested by our Blessed Mother. In Genesis 3:15, God says, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Douay-Rheims) While this passage is in the context of Eve, it is really talking about Jesus and His Mother. Because of this, the devil fears Mary almost more so than God! She is a little human woman who has found favor with God!

Lastly there is a Crucifix with a St. Benedict medal. Jesus on the Cross is enough, for any protection from evil. He is our God. He gives us the Graces we need to get through this life and hopefully get to eternity with Him.

Some people are believers in the protection from evil of the Benedictine medal. It does have letters representing a prayer of exorcism on it. “Around the margin of the back of the medal, the letters V R S N S M V – S M Q L I V B are the initial letters… of a Latin prayer of exorcism against Satan: Vade retro Satana! Nunquam suade mihi vana! Sunt mala quae libas. Ipse venena bibas! (Begone Satan! Never tempt me with your vanities! What you offer me is evil. Drink the poison yourself!)”

And so, this collection of medals can be considered as protection from evil. Individually they are, and collectively they really are! But… always remember: “Certain sacramentals are considered to offer spiritual protection. They are not magical charms, nor do they have power themselves (though God’s power can act through them), but they do help to turn our hearts toward God and remind us that He is our refuge and our hope. Without His help, we are powerless against sin, the snares of the devil, and the lures of the world.” ~~TAN books

Natural Medicine and A Concern for the Soul

May 17, 2019

I am writing that book, as some of you may recall; and I am feverously going through my notes of the last ten years. In the notes I was reminded of this paper that I wrote for my Intro to Theology class almost nine years ago. I believe I have the intro for my book all ready to go!


Today’s society, more than ever, is living faster, living more, living now. There is fast, fake food. There is spirituality that is aimed at reducing stress. There is instant communication. And there is no God. Everywhere people are in pain; they’re miserable; and they’re looking for relief. Some get prescriptions; some turn to yoga; and some turn to despair. Is there a place that people can turn to that is true to the body and soul as God intended, some place that follows the laws of creation where healing for the body is pure and natural and healing for the soul follows the teachings of the Catholic Church?

I personally have had issues with pain and didn’t get satisfactory suggestions or solutions for my problem, other than take a pill. What appeared to be symptoms of a heart problem was actually a thyroid issue. Seeing no benefit in suppressing symptoms with a pill, I began my journey away from conventional medicine. Still needing a solution to my ills I started to study natural/alternative medicine. Diet and exercise are a big part of it, of course, but once I started searching I discovered there are many pain and stress reducing natural health offerings, some legitimate looking, others very questionable. Everywhere you look these days someone is offering health suggestions.

Prior to my health issues I had started on my faith journey. It’s been a long journey, but God is very patient it seems, always leading me closer to Him. There were many conversations with my Lutheran co- worker; looking back I’m sure there was some proselytizing on his part, but they really got me to think about my own faith and just how much I didn’t know. I started reading the Bible and learning about the Catholic faith, mostly from the internet which ended up being problematic since as a novice I couldn’t differentiate the conflicting Catholic viewpoints. Things changed when my mom had cancer and God showed me a Catholic radio bumper sticker when I was stuck in traffic on the way to the hospital one day. Catholic radio has been the best teacher.

For over twenty years I have been a software engineer, and for the last 15 years I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to be when I grew up; the question was what? So I went to work each day and prayed for something else to do. First God brought me to my faith. I developed a relationship with Him and a basic understanding of His Church. Father Corapi and Catholic Answers taught me a lot via the radio! Next God took me on a health journey. My own problems opened my eyes to what other people were going through. Sadly I saw that most of what conventional medicine has to offer is not very helpful to people (who are suffering chronic conditions), in fact it keeps them sick or makes them sicker. The alternative health industry appears to be thriving, but based on what I have seen so far many aspects of it can be detrimental to a person’s spiritual health since many natural health offerings are associated with new age concepts . And so I find myself at a crossroads, ready for a career change where I can combine natural health and the Catholic faith where people can strive to be healthy in both body and soul. What follows is some of what I have learned.

My cousin suggested I take an on-line homeopathy class. It was an interesting concept with an interesting history, but some of the statements struck me as very non-Christian: “Homeopathy is an energy medicine… and stimulates a person’s own healing energies toward a natural healing process” (Introduction to Homeopathy by Sheri Nakken). Nourished correctly, the body is very much self healing. Homeopathy discovers a root cause for an illness and administers a single dose remedy, usually something that the body is lacking. Ms. Nakken goes on to say, “In homeopathy we talk about the vital force – this is similar to what is called chi in Chinese medicine, ki in Japanese medicine, prana in Indian medicine. It is what is gone when you are dead! It is the energy that maintains life in the individual.” This statement stopped me in my tracks. Just what is homeopathy? Just what is this natural medicine if it has to appeal to our intellect for us to consider trying it (it’s not mainstream), and yet that same intellect, the energy, just goes away when the body dies? Where is the concern for the soul? What do alternative medicine practitioners think happens to it after the body dies?

Based on what I have read, natural healing methods can be very beneficial for physical healing. We are not just a body though; our wellness requires both a healthy body and soul. A number of these healing methods get tangled up in new age and Asian spiritualities. Prior to this theology class I had a basic understanding that the Catholic Church didn’t condone the practice of these spiritualities. I searched around some and wasn’t able to find what the Catholic Church did teach on matters of natural health. The Church has many hospitals under its domain which are all conventional medicine, so it is very active in the medical field. What about natural medicine? I wasn’t sure where to look for Catholic natural healing concepts and associations. Frank Sheed’s Theology for Beginners gave me food for thought. It perplexes me, however, that the Catholic Church doesn’t have an obvious presence in the natural health arena especially considering what Sheed says on page 63: “God, making creatures, built the laws of their being into them… By powers, and by felt needs that will cause us to exercise the powers, God builds his laws into our body; in obedience to them, the body is in health. In the same way, God builds his laws into our souls, too. The laws of justice and purity and worship are as real for the soul as the laws of diet for the body. In obedience to them, the soul is in health.” If we are obedient to God’s laws we can have complete health! Why then is it so difficult to find Catholic natural health practitioners?

Mr. Sheed states “Every living body – plant, animal, man – has a principle of life, that is, it has a constituent which accounts for being alive. This is its soul.” (Theology for Beginners, pg. 60) So here we have the chi, ki, prana and vital force, our soul. Chi, ki, and prana all mean breath, so they seem to have a similarity to the spirit, but it appears that they truly mean breath as in breathing as in the function of the lungs. So vital force is just part of the human body. They teach that when the body stops breathing, when the heart stops, the body is dead with no consideration for the spirit which lives on.

So we have a number of ancient Asian philosophies on health and life. There is much thought involved in the creation of these philosophies yet what do they think the source of their thought is. Mr. Sheed says the spirit produces ideas. “If we are continuously producing things which have no attribute of matter, it seems reasonable to conclude that there is in us some element which is not matter to produce them. This element we call spirit.” (Theology for Beginners, pg. 11) Even today’s science attributes much of our thought process to the brain, with certain areas for memory and others for creativity, etc. But as Sheed commented, if we compartmentalize ideas in various parts of our brain, how do we bring them together to form new ideas? Our ideas are more than our physical self, they are of the spirit.

This spiritual element is what keeps us close to God being that it is our “image and likeness” of Him. God, the infinite spirit, is all knowing and all loving. Our finite spirits have the capability to know and love God and to know and love each other, in our limited ways. We have the capability to know and love, but we also have freedom to not know and not love. Just as we are free to not understand our faith we are also free to not understand our bodily health. Lack of understanding in either is painful.

It is our spirit, then, that gives us the capabilities to know and understand life, which is to know and understand God, to be in union with Him. Aside from the Asian philosophical thought process to generate their healing techniques, they don’t seem to focus on the actions of the spirit at all. True, they do have a few ideas that could be considered spiritual, but from what I have seen, they aren’t developed such that they are completely spiritual, eternally spiritual. These popular Asian philosophies compare the human soul to a supreme soul in some cases, so they do recognize a higher power, but are they concerned with the afterlife, as in, this is your only shot at heaven so make it a good life now? Many believe in reincarnation. As Catholics however, we believe the body and soul are one; there is no hopping from body to body, life to life, to get a second chance at salvation. Our body and soul is a unit; we cannot exchange parts when one or the other wears out.

In Pope John Paul II’s General Audience from April 16, 1986, “Man is a Spiritual and Corporeal Being,” he tells us that man is a unity and a duality. “Man is a unit. He is one in himself. But this unity contains a duality. Sacred Scripture presents both the unity (the person) and the duality (body and soul).” (JPII) God formed us from the earth (the body) and then he breathed life into us (the spirit). We are energized beings that also have understanding. Sadly that spiritual understanding seems to be missing in a lot of people today. They have no idea of what the purpose of life is, and so they run from pleasure to pleasure and seek spiritual healing in the most damaging places when life goes wrong.

In the course of trying to discover what’s available “out there” for people when life gets complicated, I Googled “body and soul” and got over 50 million hits. Granted, not all deal with the care of the person, but a great many do and some create a strange connection between the two such as the Body & Soul Workout. The soul part must be the stress relieving aspect of their workouts. It appears that any mention of soul these days refers to our emotional state. Another Google find was Martha Stewart’s “whole living body + soul in balance” magazine. As expected, she has a lot of articles on physical health with natural remedies and makeup and feel-good “stuff” to deal with emotions. So to understand soul the way most of these body and soul entries use it, our soul must be our feelings. Are we stressed out? Are we in love? Are we having a good day?

People are looking for direction, for the meaning of life, in all the wrong places. One of the places that people can turn to these days is spiritual retreats which focus on yoga and meditation and time away from your usual hectic life. Another place offering spiritual direction is life coaching. Life coaches help people to eliminate negative energies and replace them with positive energies. This sounds a lot like the sacrament of confession, filling the void of confessed sins with God’s grace, yet God isn’t in the picture. People avoid God at all costs and yet they are still looking for Him, they still need Him. They call themselves “spiritual” people but prefer not to be confined by religious “rules” and at the same time seek out imitation sacraments!

Emotional stress and an unhealthy soul are big problems these days in our Godless society. Mankind has always had this problem, as Bishop Fulton Sheen explains in one of his “Life is Worth Living” segments called “Fears and Anxieties.” The bishop is relaying a story about Lady Macbeth’s guilty conscience. He says “She finally develops a compulsion neurosis which prompts her to wash her hands every quarter of an hour. Instead of purifying her conscience, the compulsion neurosis comes out in the purifying of her hands. Many of the compulsion neuroses in our modern world are due to the same cause: a fear of punishment due to some deep, unabsolved sense of guilt. People dread what they deserve, but having denied their sin, they punish themselves instead of seeking the mercy of God. The language of religion talks of the “Justice of God” when He is neglected; the language of psychology can only say that the God-image, when ignored or repressed, acts on the health and disturbs the mind.”

Our society is suffering from its abandonment of God. It is creating imitation sacraments; it is seeking faux spirituality, while hiding its guilt from a merciful God because they are afraid of purification. In addition to bodily breakdown from living fast and easy, this fear is causing spiritual health problems as well.

Faith is a gift from God. We have faith that God will grant us salvation provided we properly respond to Him. We also need to have faith that God created the world and its creatures to be good, in both behavior and function. If we follow God’s laws of creation we should have good health. God has revealed these things to us. Are we open to seeing them? Just as the Church provides the means for salvation and her teaching office provides the guidance to get there, so too do we need Catholic guidance on the natural laws to maintain good health. Ills created by fast food and other neglect which are then suppressed by a pill are not good ways to treat the temple of our soul. We often hear the phrase “heaven on earth.” The Mass of course is a little bit of heaven here on earth, but so is our person, the unity of our body and soul. We must treat it accordingly.

Can we as Catholics create a natural health program and offer both physical and spiritual healing? Catholic faith based natural healing would be a great benefit to society on many levels. Catholics searching for natural healing could receive the care they need and not be tempted by alternative spiritualities. It could potentially draw the secular population to the faith. It is cheaper than conventional medicine and it could alleviate our current health care fiasco. It is a winning combination for our faith, for our health, and for our society.

That Catholic Wellness book I keep typing about…

February 20, 2019

It has been a work in progress for too many years, sad to say. My mind circles on the endless thoughts and notes I have been generating. It also circles on the “who am I?” to write such a book. And then there is the “how to I narrow it down” to a manageable, focused book. And so I think, no, I know, that I am ready. This is the year. I have mountains of notes; I just need to organize them in to ten or so chapters.

This will have to be book One of several. I hope and pray that there will be a following for them once they get published. This first book will appeal to the wellness mindset of Catholics who are interested in natural healing.  Natural healing is a gift from God. All healing is a gift from God, but this will be about using mostly God’s nature-based tool set instead of exclusively the man made tool set.

Healing with God involves many aspects. Trusting in God is key. The healing power of Confession is also key. We can carry a lot of heavy emotional baggage with our unforgiven sins, so heavy that they can weigh us down physically as well as spiritually. Then we need to acknowledge that God gave us all the tools we need: sleep, foods, movement, community, prayer, the sacraments, etc. How we use these tools, how we consider these tools, is part of our wellness plan or lack there of. For instance, food isn’t just something that is supposed to taste good and satisfy our hunger pains. We need more than pleasure and calories from the foods we choose to consume. Food is supposed to be nourishing and provide the building blocks required to sustain and repair our body.

Of course, we mustn’t focus only on bodily wellness. Our wellness plan can’t be the center of our existence; God is. Getting to heaven is. But, if we are well nourished our body and our mind function better, and a well functioning mind can help us to focus on our prayer life better.

We also need to be aware of the sources of our food and drink, the sources of our day to day purchases. Are we complicit in the culture of death by purchasing things that were created in darkness? Even the most average things can be made by slave labor; made with, God-forbid, aborted baby parts. Purchasing these kinds of products hurts the humans on the production side, but it also hurts us, even unknowingly, on the purchaser side. We need to be aware.

I went to a conference last fall. It basically focused on angels and demons and how our prayer life indicates if we have more angels or demons around us. It also talked about possession. Long story short, we can connect with demons in the most unwitting ways, say for example getting a tattoo. While I don’t think tattoos are healthy on any level, the speaker made a point that I hadn’t considered: the tattoo artist may have put a curse on the ink he uses to decorate your body! What else in our world of purchases may be cursed? Again, we need to be aware of all these things and spray all of our purchases with Holy Water.

Many things can damage our health. We need to be aware of this and pray to make the correct choices every day.

This is a tiny subset of my mind for this book. I would appreciate your prayers as I continue on this book writing journey. Come Holy Spirit Come!

Is it okay for Catholics to attend holistic health fairs?

August 13, 2018

The title of this post matches a recent search term to this blog.

Most good Catholics would tell you, “No, don’t go there.”

But why do they say that? Mostly because if you aren’t well grounded in your faith, attending those types of fairs can lead you astray in your spiritual life, and you definitely don’t want that to happen.

Secondly, why do you want to attend a holistic health fair? What are you looking for there? Are you looking for alternatives to the Catholic faith? Really? Why are you looking for an alternative? Are you just curious about what the fair is? Don’t tempt the devil, he will get you if you let him in.

So, begin by getting closer to Jesus. Do you participate in Sunday Mass EVERY Sunday? If you do, great! If not, you are breaking the third commandment! Get yourself to confession and then start participating in Sunday Mass again. Notice that I used the word “participate” in Mass, and not “attend”. We don’t want to just attend Mass. A fly can attend Mass. We want to PARTICIPATE. Participate with our whole heart, mind and soul. We need to pay attention to the prayers that the priest is saying, we need to sing and pray along with the hymns and prayers that the faithful are directed to say, and we need to know and believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist; that we are receiving His Body and Blood in the bread and wine. Do you participate this way at Mass? If you don’t, then don’t attend a holistic health fair. (p.s. Participation isn’t about having a job to do at Mass. This isn’t about being an usher or cantor or anything else. This is for everyone who goes to Mass.)

Also, getting closer to Jesus involves much more than just the Sunday Mass “obligation.” So many people attend, yes attend, Mass just because of some sense of obligation. We should attend Mass because we love Jesus and we want to please Him. At Mass we are participating with the Angels and Saints in the heavenly liturgy! But again, getting closer to Jesus is more than just attending Mass. One hour a week isn’t anyway to develop a relationship with our Lord and Savior! We need to pray daily. Yes, say the Our Father and the Hail Mary daily, they are great prayers. But we also need to spend time with the Word of God, the Bible. And we need to “converse” with Him too; we need to tell Him our hopes and dreams and fears and joys. Tell Him everything. And, the more time we spend with Him the more we will be able to hear Him and discover if we are on the right or wrong path in this life.

Back to the holistic health fairs now that we have some idea as to what it means to be a “good Catholic.” Even being a “good Catholic” most other “good Catholics” will still say don’t attend the fair. And again, we are back to the question of why? Why do you want to attend said fair? I can’t go into that question here because there are too many variables.

But if you are a good Catholic, and you do decide to go to a holistic health fair, you must prepare yourself prior to going because there will be all sorts of people and spiritual entities there, and lots of health modalities that are truly unsafe.

Firstly, find a good Catholic friend or two to go with; do not go alone. We always need to be in a team when confronting unknown entities. Even prayer teams at church prayer services are in teams of two or more. One person does the praying (or conversing at a health fair), and the others are interceding for them, praying that God’s hand will guide them in this effort.

Secondly, pray up before you go. Pray up? This isn’t about positional prayer, but rather protectional prayer. You and your team need to pray before hand. You need to pray together that God will bless you and guide you and protect you on this journey. This isn’t a game; this isn’t something to take lightly. Even carry a properly blessed (by a Catholic priest) Benedictine medal and/or Miraculous Medal.

If you decide to go to the fair, let it be a mission from God, and let Him guide you. You and your team should prepare code words and similar so that when one of you gets a Divine message in your prayer to move on or just get out of the fair. Honor those messages and react promptly.

Once you leave the event, even before you drive away, pray down. Have a prepared prayer of cleansing so that God will remove any evil spirits that may have attached themselves to you before you go. Also as part of the praying down, express gratitude to God and give Him praise for watching over you during your mission.

And so you see, what might be just a fun and interesting event has the potential to damage your soul. You must guard your soul at all times and put it in God’s loving care and protection.


Holy Medals and Witches….

May 10, 2018

Hello Blogland,

I haven’t written in a long while in this forum. I’ve been busy, distracted and assorted other things. A lot of my time has been spent helping my parents in their twilight years. All sorts of time and activity are needed there. I took a course on essential oils; still studying all the info actually; oils are a fascinating gift from God. The way nature’s healing powers can be harnessed into a droplet of health assisting oil is awesome! They deserve their own post for sure. I am also selling “stuff” on etsy, which brings me to the reason for this post.

I mostly sell holy medals on etsy. I have been working hard this past year to get my listings more presentable and findable and it seems to be working, thanks be to God! It is also interesting how certain holy medals run in herd-like interest. Some weeks I find that several people buy the same holy medal, and then it stops and another medal comes into the limelight. I created a google survey that I send out in my “thank you for your purchase” note, asking for the inspiration of why a medal was selected. Hopefully I will receive a few replies to learn more about the saintly patterns I am seeing.

But the main etsy reason for this post is that I am also finding that a certain population has “begun” to like my listings. I say begun, because the latest two clearly identify themselves in the witch/wiccan population. If others have liked my listings earlier, they didn’t have such an identifier in their moniker. So, what’s up with this trend? One of the witches has a bunch of sorrowful heart listings liked in her profile. Are these individuals having second thoughts about their chosen religion/spirituality and considering conversion, or are they searching for Catholic paraphernalia for their witch games? Only God knows, and so I am praying for their souls, and I ask that you pray for them as well.

These wonderings about holy medal likes by witches lead me to a Catholic Answers article, Witchcraft 101. It seems like a good introduction to the subject, mainly from an apologetics standpoint, but good none the less.

It also caused me to recall a book I began reading recently, The Myth of Disenchantment. The author of this book is adamant that spirituality is not dead in this modern, scientific world. Sadly, though, the spirituality that he is mostly studying and seemingly promoting is in the world of magic and witches. Mankind needs a connection with the divine; it is written on our soul! But we have to make sure that we connect with THE Divine, the Lord our God, and not just any old spirit that may be floating around us.

There are a lot of “spiritual” people among us. Let us all pray that their spirituality becomes a holy spirituality focused on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This God of ours brings us great comfort, especially in our times of need and suffering. He doesn’t need a warning notice as noted in the 101 article above. God is Love, and His Love brings us joy.

Time Spent – with God

September 18, 2016

I found a spreadsheet that I put together a while back. Always lots of ideas, but less making use of them,…. sigh. Well, here we are and I want to share my data about time spent. The bottom line, where do we spend the most of our time, and then why do we think we have no time to do the things that we give the least to.

This data is not scientific. It is based on guesstimate data of a seemingly average 80 year lifespan. Is your life different from this guesstimate life? Of course it is. But hopefully it will give all of us pause as to where we really spend our time, and where we could use our time wiser.

I created eight general categories. Some of them we really can’t change the time usage. We must sleep; it is the body’s time to repair. We must earn a living so that we can pay for things in life, but there is such a thing as working too much, or too little. We must eat to nourish and energize our bodies. We must educate ourselves to be useful contributors to society (what is the nature of that education isn’t up for discussion here). The wild cards are leisure time, conversation/socialization, shopping, and time with God. I didn’t include volunteering, even church activities, in with “time with God” because the end focus of that time isn’t one-on-one with God, even though one may be volunteering to clean the sanctuary or teach catechism. Being with God is much more than “just” one-on-one, but we have to have that time to know how to share Him with others. There are also some activities not mentioned like child care, house work, and other chores. These probably come out of most peoples leisure time….

So what did I come up with?

Sleeping is our biggest time user. Ideally, we sleep every day of our lives. So that is eight hours a day, which adds up to 2920 hours per year. If one lives to a nice age of 80 years, then we sleep for 233,600 hours, or 26.7 years of our life is spent sleeping.

Leisure is next on the list. This mainly refers to TV time, vacations, games, even parties and other social events. Many of us over do the leisure activities, maybe even five hours a day. It may seem excessive for some, and for others it may still be on the light end. Five hours a day is 1800 hours a year plus a week of vacation which is 168 hours (yes, some of that overlaps with sleep and others). That puts us at 157,440 hours of leisure in a lifetime, or 18 years!

A standard worker bee works for eight hours a day, five days a week, basically 2000 hours per year. Most people will be in the workforce for 47 years. We get to 94000 hours or 10.7 years of work.

Eating. We may eat on the run. Or we may cook a full course meal and sit down with the family. Either way we are cooking or waiting in the drive thru. Average it out a bit, and I figured three meals a day which uses three hours a day. 1095 hours per year eating, or 87600 lifetime eating hours which is ten years.

Social time, conversation, something we all love to do… There are multi-tasking conversations, but some are just sit down with a cup of tea and chat. That can be hours! So let’s say two hours a day from age 5 (yes, a little young, but some kids can talk!) to 80. That’s 730 hours per year, 54750 hours per life or 6.25 years.

Shopping. Are you one of those who was born to shop? Then you will have more than this. Just think of all the things we shop for. All the ways that we can shop in this information age. We buy groceries, shampoo, magazines, clothing, household, gasoline, etc. We shop brick and mortar and we shop on-line. That’s a lot of shopping! I guessed twelve hours a week. That’s 624 hours per year. 40560 hours or 4.6 years of shopping per life time.

While most people go to school K-12 and maybe four years of college, we only spend 2.3 solid years in formal education! (Probably a little more for the very studious.) Continuous education is another story. That is even some people’s leisure. So in school and probably some homework time is seven hours per day for nine months. That’s 1260 hours per year for 16 years. 20160 lifetime learning hours.

Finally our time with God. Again, these are numbers for the average person, a church goer who prays regularly, albeit, briefly. Fifteen minutes a day of private prayer which is 91.25 hours per year, plus 60 hours a year for Sunday Mass and holy days. That is 12100 hours per lifetime with God or 1.4 years.

We give our eternity so little time! We barely give God a passing glance within our whole life time. How sad. No wonder we don’t know how to relate to Him. We don’t even give Him the time of day.

While we need to up our personal prayer time. We also need to infuse all of our activities with prayer and the knowledge of God. Yes, volunteer to clean the sanctuary, but also see Jesus in each and every person that we come in contact with. Be Mother Teresa in your own little plot of the world. Don’t just allot God a token of your time, but bring Him with you where ever you go.

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