There was a time when the ringing of church bells on Sunday morning was a call for people to wake up with the church and to stay focused on the things of God. Now it seems that many Catholics are asleep to what our faith calls us to be about.
This is evidenced through the resurgence of magic practices and the consulting of mediums.
When humans no longer believe in God they believe in everything. The magic and esoteric become attractive. This is especially true during times of crisis and uncertainty. Mediums take advantage of people’s brokenness, exploiting others for power and profit.
Often times people will go to see a medium out of curiosity or because they are wanting answers that do not appear to be forthcoming through prayer and living the Christian life.
A common reason for going is to make contact with a loved one who has died. People are seeking answers and a greater peace of mind.
This may seem innocent enough but what people need to realize that they can be opening themselves up to the forces of evil. St. Paul warns us that “Satan transforms himself into an angel of light” and deceives many people (2 Corinthians 11:14, 15).
The end result for the visitor to see the medium is that a destructive force — the power of evil — has entered the person’s life.
Mediums will use deception in order to give their clients a false sense of security.
This includes the use of religious symbols, such as a crucifix or picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus hanging on the wall, and even claiming to be a Catholic.
However, mediums do not have the power or abilities they claim to have. They cannot in and of themselves violate the laws of nature. They have either been duped by the Evil One into believing the power is theirs or they are permitting the Evil One to act through them.
St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that a non-material world does exist with non-material beings. These entities are the ones who give the power to mediums.
People who turn to mediums are trying to bypass God and therefore it is a sin against the First Commandment.
We read in the Book of Deuteronomy: “You must never practice black magic, be a fortune teller, witch, or sorcerer, cast spells, ask ghosts or spirits for help, or consult the dead. Whoever does these things is disgusting to the Lord” (18:10-12).
In the Book of Leviticus we are told: “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the LORD your God” (19:31).
There are those who will laugh at what I have said believing that visits to mediums are helping a lot of people or are nothing more than “harmless fun.” My response is that the devil has every motivation to encourage practices that are contrary to the First Commandment.
Those who are experiencing difficulties in their lives and who are seeking answers need to turn to God and not to mediums. A sound Christian attitude is one that consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence.
Father Vincent Lampert is pastor of St. Malachy Church in Brownsburg, Ind., and the exorcist for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.