In attempting to recover his health by opening up to spiritual powers of unknown origin, man exposes himself to great danger. For behind any miraculous occurrence which is not the work of God, a stratagem by the evil spirit lurks.
I n the spiritual world, there is the Kingdom of God to which creatures that serve him belong, and there is the kingdom of the evil spirit and his minions. In fact, there are no neutral spirits, energies or powers. Any recourse to mysterious and apparently neutral powers is actually entering the domain where the evil spirit rules and is always done to the detriment of man.
When traditional medicine fails, man may yield to a dangerous temptation to “extort” the miracle of healing at all costs. Christ, however, teaches: “For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?” (Mark 8:36-37). Only Jesus truly heals! Any healing thanks to the power other than God’s is apparent and harms a human being, both spiritually and physically. The only intermediary dispensing God’s grace is Christ, “[…] There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
I would like to warn everyone against using the services of all kinds of healers or alternative medicine practitioners, employing unconventional techniques or methods of treatment
The Church unequivocally denounces occult healings. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we can read: “All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity” (CCC 2117).
Disastrous effects of a Reiki session
As a warning against occult healing, which is a serious trespass against the First Commandment, let’s read a fragment from the testimony of Barbara who is still suffering from the effects of a single Reiki “healing session” in 1993:
“I was laid on a couch. An energy healer touched me all over my body with his warmth-emanating hands. To relax, we listened to some Eastern music. The first symptoms of the healing could already be felt the next day. I was filled with great fear, felt twinges in my stomach, and had a feeling of the skin being ripped off my face. With time, these symptoms grew stronger and varied. A buzzing noise rose in my head, and turned into a burning sensation on my face and pressure on my chest and back. The most terrifying, however, was the experience of very heavy hands kneading me and moving over my body. When lying on a sofa, I felt other hands vibrate in the air around me. The faster the vibration was, the stronger the paw fell on my body, giving me terrible pain. In addition, I felt teeth gnawing at my body and claws scratching me. My pain was at the worst when I felt pins being pushed between my skin and body along the spine. All these symptoms would appear at the same time – any sleep was ruled out. I realized that it was an attack by evil forces. Mortified and absolutely desperate by the harassment by evil spirits, I resolved to take my own life … I entrusted myself to Divine Mercy and started to cut my veins … At this very moment, a neighbor called. I asked him to come over and call an ambulance. When in hospital my hands were being stitched, the doctor asked me why I wanted to kill myself. I told him that after an occult session, I had been harassed by the evil spirit and I could not bear it any longer. The doctor sneered at me, arguing that there were no evil spirits. He believed I had mental delusions and sent me to a two-month treatment in a mental hospital.
I realized then that my only rescue was Jesus. Day and night I called to the Lord for help. Owing to fervent prayer, frequent reception of sacraments and fasting on bread and water, and prayer by people from the Renewal in the Holy Spirit Movement, the harassment by the evil spirit stopped almost completely. Some symptoms do return sometimes, but I stopped being afraid of them. I treat such attacks as an encouragement to pray more and give myself up to Jesus completely. Now I understand that the Lord in his love let the evil one attack me to make me improve my prayer life and receive sacraments more often.
Finally, I would like to warn everyone against using the services of all kinds of healers or alternative medicine practitioners, employing unconventional techniques or methods of treatment, because in this way we expose ourselves to direct action of demonic forces.”
“So be wise as serpents and innocent as doves!” (Matt 10:16)
Barbara went to a Reiki session encouraged by an announcement placed in a Polish daily and in a Catholic weekly. The evil spirit uses not only people who purposefully serve him, but he can also take advantage of the ignorance of people and the fact that various forms of occultism are treated lightly. Hence, it is so important to have relevant knowledge and be watchful against people who supposedly work “miracles” and their “healing” procedures. St. Paul warns: “Abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thess 5:22).
I understood that my only salvation is Jesus. Night and day I cried out to the Lord asking to be saved
After over 20 years, Barbara still feels the effects of the Reiki session about which she wrote us a few weeks ago. Having suffered the dangers of an occult procedure, she gives witness that she is alive owing only to the miracle of Divine Mercy. For God forgives even the gravest sins if a person is remorseful and sincerely confesses them in the sacrament of reconciliation. There are no limits to Divine Mercy. There are, however, consequences of sin that may affect a person for many years. It is God’s secret why after mending their ways some people have the consequences of their sins taken away whereas other people have such consequences retained.
“For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?” (Mark 8:36-37)
“…take up their cross and follow me.…” (Matt 16:24)
The suffering of a reformed sinner as a result of his earlier bad deeds may be – as Barbara observed – a sacrifice to encourage prayer and a rush to draw Divine graces with confidence from sacramental life.
To share in the cross of Christ, all believers are called: “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matt 16:24). The suffering borne by Jesus during his redemptive passion and death is also present in his Mystical Body which the Church is. Suffering is the only road to heaven and everyone, receiving a cross “to their measure,” is called to unite with Jesus by carrying it along the road to salvation.
Suffering is by no means the purpose of man’s life but rather a means of sanctification. The call to take up a cross does not rule out the possibility to plead with God to take the suffering away. God, in granting the grace of healing, first of all touches the human soul. The healing of the body is a consequence of the greatest miracle – the healing of a human soul by the Creator. God knows that the best and most proper, albeit the hardest, attitude towards suffering and disease is to place one’s trust in God’s will and addressing Christ with confidence in prayer: “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean” (Matt 8:2; Luke 5:12), hoping for the answer: “I do choose. Be made clean!” (Matt 8:3; Luke 5:13).