Saturday, September 22, 2007

Warning From Living His Life Abundantly - Women in Religious Orders and New Age Spirituality

A couple of my friends Melissa C. and Heather shared the following email received from Johnette Benkovic:
I had to write you this letter today to tell you about a serious problem happening in many Catholic parishes. This problem could spiritually devastate your loved ones.

I’m talking about women religious orders that are in SERIOUS TROUBLE because they’ve adopted false spiritualities – “New Age” and other occult practices. Yes, a lot of religious sisters have wandered off to fables (2 Tim. 4:4). I wish I were joking, but I’m not. And I’ll prove it in a moment.

How could this affect you and your loved ones? It might be something as simple as an announcement in your parish bulletin saying that Sister Jean, for example, is offering her Reiki class after Mass. What’s Reiki? It's one of the things I’ve warned against on television, radio, and in public forums.

It claims to be a harmless method of healing. But it isn’t. It can be a portal to demonic influence.

The problem is that many religious sisters have been taken in by the new age and its false spiritualities. And because many pastors aren’t aware of the dangers of New Age occultism, spiritually dangerous programs often sneak in to parishes and retreat centers under the radar.

And that’s why you and your loved ones could be placed in a position of spiritual peril.

You’re probably wondering, “Is the problem really that bad?” Well, don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself.

One of my friends wrote to me about a shocking program for young mothers being offered in her parish. The essence of this program was that God is female! My friend got an appointment with the Archbishop to discuss this outrageous program, and the very next day it was cancelled!

But like mushrooms, these weird programs keep popping up. A year later at a parish near the one that had the “God is female” program, an ex-nun offered a “healing touch” seminar. Here’s the kicker: At the seminar she elevated her Hindu “guru,” Si Baba, next to Jesus Christ.

As if that weren’t bad enough, at the next seminar, this misguided ex-nun taught how to “channel spirits.” Two concerned Catholics contacted the Archdiocese about this disaster, and the program was cancelled that very day.

Whenever you spot a “New Age” program in a parish or at a retreat center or at a Catholic school, I recommend that you contact the bishop about it. The bishops who know the faith are serious about eliminating all the demonic “New Age” programs from their dioceses – if only someone draws it to their attention.

Modernist nuns lead chant: “We are all mothers of God”

This is a problem all over America. One California diocese has a “Spiritual Renewal Center” staffed by two women religious. The modernist sisters invite people to “come into union with Earth-Wisdom.” Their brochure offers “Spirituality for the 21st Century,” including “cosmic awareness,” ecology, energy balancing, and emphasizes the importance of being “in touch with earth.”

Those who are looking for a “spring equinox celebration” can find it at the sisters’ retreat center – on the Feast of St. Joseph with no mention at all of this great saint! At this celebration, the group sits around a coffee table with everyone’s attention focused on an abalone shell and a bowl of earth.

Catholic teaching strictly forbids such pagan practices. Doesn’t it grieve you that these weird “New Age” earth-worshipping practices are promoted in place of authentic Christian worship? It pains me deeply.

And these pagan practices can lead people into Hell for all eternity. See Paragraphs 2115 -2117 in the Catechism.

To make matters even worse, at the autumn equinox celebration the participants pray this prayer: “My heart pulses in rhythm with Hindu flutes that delight Krishna [a false god] and the chimes of Buddhist temple bells.” How sad! These sisters and their participants have forgotten their first love – Jesus Christ. May they remember to Whom they are espoused.

An innocent-looking announcement in a parish bulletin advertised a “celebration of the unity and diversity of all creation.” It turned out to be a New Age “Meal for Earth and Water, Air and Fire.” The participants chanted: “We are all mothers of God.”

Lest we forget, there is only one Mother of God. Her name is Mary!

Shocking as it may sound, many women religious have gotten lured into witchcraft, New Age, and pro-abortion causes.

EWTN host Fr. Mitch Pacwa, an authority on New Age, points out that some Catholic parishes actually give workshops about astrology, channeling, and the enneagram (an occult method of personality analysis).

WARNING: Please don’t read these paragraphs if you have high blood pressure

WARNING: What I’m going to tell you next may really disturb you. So if you have high blood pressure, you should skip the next three paragraphs.

The New Age enthusiasts within the Catholic Church even hold conferences. At one such conference, sponsored by the left-of-liberal organization Call to Action, the attendees celebrated Mass in a whole new way:

The “Mass” was held in a big dining hall, and each table elected a representative to go up and get the bread and wine, which was supplied to everyone at each table. Everyone – women included – said the words of consecration. Everyone concelebrated the Mass by elevating the Host.

And for a mere five dollars, any woman who wanted to be vested as a priest could rent a stole!

What an outrageous perversion of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. What an insult to our beloved Eucharistic priesthood and to the One who instituted it.

A well-attended Catholic conference on women and spirituality promoted a variety of false beliefs:

Promoted pagan goddess worship
Fostered a sense of victim mentality
Mocked sin
Claimed the only sin is discrimination against women
Featured pagan rituals in the workshops
Encouraged women to establish covens (A coven is a group of 13 witches, representing the dark counterpart to Christ and the 12 apostles.)
Taught women how to cast a spell during a Wiccan ritual. (Wicca is a form of witchcraft.)
How I wish I were joking

I wish I were joking. I wish I were exaggerating. But I’m not. All of these shocking facts are documented. If you’re interested, you can read all about them in Donna Steichen’s book Ungodly Rage and elsewhere.

This demonic New Age movement is also a problem at parochial schools and Catholic colleges. That’s right. It’s not uncommon for Catholic schools to offer such New Age programs as “The Goddess and the Wild Woman” and “Her Holiness: Maiden, Mother Crone.” Croning is a witchcraft initiation ritual.

And incredible as it sounds, a “WomenSpirit Rising” workshop was presented at the provincial motherhouse of a major order of nuns. Another order has promoted labyrinth walks, Reiki, and other New Age practices.

Desperate nun says “We’re in trouble,” begs for help!

I have such a deep respect for the vocation to religious life, and I am so grateful to the wonderful religious sisters that taught me through all twelve years of parochial education. What a deep and lasting impression they made on me and my life of faith. Perhaps that is why it grieves me deeply to see so many of today’s women religious wandering off to “fables.” Our culture is desperate for the authentic witness of their vocation! We need them in the world today.

Let me tell you about an urgent call for help we received at the apostolate from a religious sister whose community is in serious trouble. In desperation, she said, “We’ve lost our way.” She said her community has established such programs as “the call for love of Mother Earth” and “the goddess within.” She also told me the sisters celebrate the phases of the moon and the seasons “in our newly built kiva.”

“Kiva”? What’s that, you’re probably wondering? Well, it’s a Pueblo Indian ceremonial structure that’s usually round and partly underground. In other words, it’s a structure used for the Indians’ pantheistic pagan rites.

Pagan shrines to false gods don’t belong in a convent, period.

When this religious sister asked for our help, I couldn’t turn her down. We supplied her with the solution to the radical feminist New Age “goddess” nonsense. I rushed her the Women of Grace ® Foundational Study Material. She calls it “the perfect antidote.”

She told me, “For many years now, the leadership of our community and all those who follow or fear the leaders never mention the Name of Jesus. Women of Grace will make a big change in this regard, bring us back to our original gift of ourselves to Jesus by our vows, and will help us appreciate the true gift of being a woman.”

Many communities of nuns are in trouble. And you and I are in a position to help them. Funds permitting, I’d like to send our Women of Grace ® Foundational Study Material to convents all over America. This would do a world of good and prevent a world of harm. That’s because many religious sisters serve parishes.

Make no mistake: So many religious sisters do such good. But so many misguided ones are causing great harm and great confusion.

What I want to send to women religious all over America – funds permitting – is a big box of valuable, life-changing information. This information will encourage them, strengthen them, and help them grow in faithfulness to their vocation. It includes:

My 234-page book Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life. Convert Ronda Chervin calls it “a beautiful woman-to-woman book on the way to holiness for Catholic women.”
The 95-page facilitator’s guide booklet: Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life.
The 232-page study guide workbook: Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life. Each chapter features the inspiring story of two saintly women: heroines of the faith that true Catholic women can relate to.
An inspiring CD of the Women of Grace theme song, written and performed by Lynn Cooper. This amazing song is touching the hearts and uniting true Catholic women – Women of Grace – from coast to coast.
A video lecture series on four VHS tapes or DVDs covering all aspects of true Catholic spirituality for women – everything that’s needed for living the Abundant Life!
A beautifully designed tote bag imprinted with the Women of Grace emblem. It features enough pockets and pouches to easily contain all the Women of Grace ® Foundational Study materials. This makes it convenient for the group leader to bring all the materials to the meetings


Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

Mrs. Benkovic is right on.
20 years ago when I was in graduate school I saw this happening. All the retreats and events were New Age in nature. Many of the grad students who attended with me were religious Sisters. I attended retreats sponsored by the University's campus ministry, that focused on the Enneagram, or had prayers such as "Our Father Mother God" (that one was off site and I had no car, or I'd have been out the door in a heartbeat!)
I have to wonder why we have to go outside the Church to find traditions when we have such a rich history of our own!

gemoftheocean said...

"The “Mass” was held in a big dining hall, and each table elected a representative to go up and get the bread and wine, which was supplied to everyone at each table. Everyone – women included – said the words of consecration. Everyone concelebrated the Mass by elevating the Host.

And for a mere five dollars, any woman who wanted to be vested as a priest could rent a stole!"

I'd be equally offended at just "any old man" who also thought he could rent a stole and concelebrate.

EC Gefroh said...

Barb, when my sister was a sister she attended something similar and she was so disgusted that her order had to go through that.

Karen, no kidding.

Leticia said...

Reiki is widely offered in my diocese of Rockville Centre, despite numerous protests, all the way to Rome. You can't attend a Retreat House here without being confronted with the New Age. God Bless you for dealing with this urgent topic head on, Esther!

EC Gefroh said...

Leticia I left a Catholic mom group because the owner promoted Reiki and didn't see any conflict between it and our Faith.

Unknown said...

Love Mrs. B, love you, too, Esther, for publishing this on your blog!!!

I'm going to step way out on a limb here and say something that usually gets me flack -- I think all this stuff got rolling when nuns stopped dressing as nuns. I live in a very Mennonite area: the women wear prayer bonnets. I've lived in a culturally diverse area where Islamic women wear hijabi's. And yet Catholic nuns are shedding there religious identification symbols - and so, here's what happens ... it's very, very sad.

EC Gefroh said...

Jeanne, welcome! You make a good point. God bless.