Blog Post

Catholics Can't Use New Age Methods to Heal

RM asks: “Is it okay for a Catholic to use practices such as Reflexology and Reiki when they are doing so in order to help people?”

Great question!

The answer is no, it is not okay to do this.

Reflexology is problematic because it is based on the belief of a universal life force that travels through the body through pathways known as meridians. Science has never substantiated the existence of this energy which means that putting one’s faith in practices that are not medically sound can become a form of “superstitious medicine.”

Reiki is even more troublesome because it relies on the use of “spirit guides” who are connected to the “Reiki energy” and channeled through the practitioner during the procedure. A “spirit guide” is a spiritual entity that is not sourced in God; in other words, it’s a demon. Although Reiki practitioners bend over backward to get around this rather important fact, such as by saying these guides are angels, enlightened beings, power animals, ascended masters, and even the Holy Spirit, they are deluding themselves.

Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the occult knows that there is no such thing as a power animal, ascended master or enlightened being. These are nothing more than fanciful New Age constructs. As for the angels, there are only two kinds - the good and the evil. And because God specifically condemns the occult, He would not allow His angels to consort with anyone engaged in an occult practice. This leaves only the devil to do what he does best – disguise himself as a harmless being.

As for using these practices to help people, the Catechism teaches us that good intentions never justify the use of evil.

In No. 1753 we read: “A good intention (for example, that of helping one's neighbor) does not make behavior that is intrinsically disordered, such as lying and calumny, good or just. The end does not justify the means.”

In the case of Reiki, No. 2117 would also apply. This teaching explains that all practices that attempt to tame occult powers so as to place them at one’s serve “even if this were for the sake of restoring their health” are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.

It's also important to understand that Catholics are morally obligated to use ordinary means to treat any condition that is communicable and/or life-threatening. Because New Age "energy based" practices are not considered "ordinary means" and, therefore, have no scientific validity, they should not be used as treatments for anything serious.

We have only God to thank for science and the abundant legitimate ways it gives us to heal, which means there is simply no reason to resort to the occult or unscientific practices in order to assist those in need.

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