If you recall, yesterday I posted that sacramentals are part of the Church's arsenal. Well, arsenal against what you may ask? It is against the devil, demons and all kinds of evil ready to attack humans and have them lose their souls forever.
The following article is on Catholic Culture and was written by Bishop Donald Montrose, D.D.
By the "occult," we are speaking of some supra-human or supernatural influence that is not from God. We commonly associate the occult with that which has demonic influence.I hope you take the time to read the article in its entirety. It is extremely informative and something that I recommend everyone should read, regardless of their religion.
In the United States today the occult has become much more popular than it was twenty years ago. Today, there is popular Satanic music, Satanic street gangs, an increase in Satanic worship, a more widespread use of the horoscope and study of the signs of the zodiac, and Satanic games that can be purchased. In spite of this, many people do not take the occult seriously. They laugh off the notion of the Power of Evil as actually being a part of the "real" world in which we live.
...The Evil One can tempt us, but he cannot touch us directly unless we open the door for him. We should not fear Satan nor should we be constantly looking for him in the ordinary happenings of our life...In his article Bishop Montrose covers many aspects of the occult and its many kinds of practices. I would like to share with you the following on Santeria. Those of you who are Hispanic may be familiar with this blend of Catholicism and voodoo-like healing popular in some Caribbean islands.
CURING SICKNESS THROUGH SUPERSTITION ("CURANDEROS" AND "SANTEROS")My husband and I know from personal experience how getting involved with New Age healers can lead to an unsettling of one's spirit and sometimes even death. Someone we knew and who was in a lot of physical and chronic pain, got involved with a Reiki Master healer. He ultimately killed himself thereby devastating his family.
It doesn't matter if there are statues, holy water, crucifixes, prayers to Jesus, Mary and the saints, if there is any superstitious practice it is evil. These are some examples:
--using charms or a tomato to wash one's body, putting the remainder under the bed,
--cleaning one's body with eggs or lemons and burning the materials with charcoal,
--using rose water and alcohol for healing. (In one case this was prepared by placing a skeleton in the water for six hours, followed by singing and praying over the water.)
Sometimes a "curandero" gives a special vitamin to take or even prescribes "Catholic" prayers to be said. None of these "prayers" should be said in these circumstances because they were prepared under the influence of evil.
Other examples include:
--taking a special bath prepared with wine, flowers, bread, cinnamon, black sugar, and water from a river.
--wrapping a person in a special bandage, cutting off piece by piece, and burying it in a recent grave in the cemetery.
These are just a few of the superstitions used, but there are many more.
Sometimes people pray to God and to the saints and then go off seeking relief through the kingdom of darkness. Many times God does not heal through prayer or doctors because He wants the soul to be healed first of hatred, jealousy, or some other sin. God knows what He is doing. We have to choose either the power of God or the power of evil. If you have any objects used in these false cures, destroy them. Renounce Satan, renounce this sin, ask God's forgiveness and confess your sin to a priest.
If only people would realize how dangerous it is to get involved in even perceived harmless little things like reading the daily horoscopes, or any little superstitions. The devil just needs a little crack in the door to one's soul and he will gleefully accept that tiny invitation.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
- Pope Leo XIII