What happens to me if I seek “spiritual” guidance and I am catholic?
I get this question again and again and I am finally going to deal with it once and for all so put on your seatbelt cause we are going for a ride into controversial territory.
There is often hesitation when seeking spiritual help beyond the bible. Some clients wrestle with their fears of going “against” the teachings of their church, especially the catholic religion. Fair enough, we have to believe in something, but we need to take personal responsibility for our beliefs. They can’t belong to someone else. My beliefs are what create the reality around me and therefore they are the most important aspects of who I am. I am certainly going to choose them carefully, insuring I have all the choices available to me. So, I wheel my shopping cart down the supermarket of ideas and listen to teachers, preachers, guides and counselors. I order books from inspirational authors and I pick and choose the ideas that best resonate with me, and inspire me on my journey. Collectively these ideas become my base of operations.
When it finally dawned on me that Jesus did not write the bible, I approached it discerningly and realized that just like the human beings that wrote it, it is packed with divisive opinions, views and interpretations. Don’t get me wrong, it is a document that we can all learn from and it is of great value to humanity, but it is also a fear bent exercise of walking through life on a balance beam between the concepts of heaven and hell. Honestly, I don’t do “fear” anymore, it is a futile effort that leads to the disintegration of the soul. I just don’t go there, there are enough snapping crocodiles in the “river” of life to deal with, without looking constantly over my shoulder for Satan.
I struggled with the religious significance of the clairvoyant gifts I was given, and there were many days that I wanted to put it in the box that it came in and send them back, but there is no return address when you are chosen by the spirit world to serve others. I took great comfort in that the bible acknowledges that some people are given spiritual gifts as is explained in I Corinthians Chapter 12:1-11 where St. Paul discusses this at length.
“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Okay, so don’t panic and hit the delete button on my post yet as I know there are those who will say yeah but….and mention verses that contradict this or better yet, point to the catholic catechism. So in keeping with the spirit of fair and balanced, here is what the church says about contacting “gifted” seers.
” All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear (there goes the fear word again) that we owe to God alone”
So, if you are a catholic, those are the “rules” set out by your church and it is your choice to follow the rules or ignore them just like the use of contraception has been ignored by millions of well intentioned Catholics. The reality is, bottom line, it is your choice. You can pick up that belief and put it in the cart and build your base of operations around it or pass it by for another version. We are blessed with choice.
If actions speak louder than words we can look to the lives and miracles of many mystics such as Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Jeremiah that the catholic church willingly accepts. The Catholic church has canonized countless mystics and visionaries throughout the centuries such as St Francis of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena and St. Theresa of Avila. So, there is clear evidence that the church admires mystics who they define have been chosen by God to be a spokesperson. I do not believe that the Catholic Church is adverse to authentic mystics, prophets and visionaries to the contrary they are revered for their heroic obedience in serving God.
I think it all comes down to being very, very discerning and careful not to quickly condemn anything and especially those who may have realized special gifts from God. Now, I would agree that “dabbling” in the spiritual realm without knowledge of it is not for the faint of heart. There is an extensive protocol required in creating sacred spaces and connecting with spirits of the highest vibrations to insure that messages are uplifting and for the highest good for all concerned. This requires years of study and experience and a large dose of integrity to be the eyes for others into the unknown. There is evil and darkness in the spiritual world but there is also light and joy, and working with someone who knows the difference is essential to a positive and useful session. It boils down to authenticity, dedication and giving your life up to “the gift”. So, choose the right person to work with that approaches their practice with professionalism and respect so that your guide into the spiritual world insures a safe passage and a healing environment to find the mysterious beauty that awaits you.