Beware of More COVID-19 Scams!

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, consumers need to beware of more than just catching the virus. An ever-growing list of Coronavirus schemes and scams aimed at profiting off the pandemic at the people’s expense can cause almost as much trouble as the virus.

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Is Gestalt Therapy Okay for Christians?

BA writes: “A friend of mine is training to be a gestalt therapist. Can you clarify if this is new age and if so, why?”

Gestalt therapy is a form of humanistic therapy which is a “mental health approach that emphasizes the importance of being your true self in order to lead the most fulfilling life.” Because the New Age is totally “self” centered, some of the practices used in this therapy, such as dream work, can be associated with New Age philosophies which may be introduced by practitioners. Read the rest…

How to Deal with Scandal Caused by Some Catholic Writers

BB writes: “One thing that really puzzles me is that both the well-loved Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen were also known for their study and openness to some Eastern religion practices. How do you perceive their teachings?

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Schoenstatt Movement is 100% Catholic

Mother Thrice Admirable

SS writes: “Would you please let me know if the Catholic Church approves the apostolic endeavor of “Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen & Victress of Schoenstatt” which originally began by Fr. Joseph Kentenich in 1914?”

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Beware of the St. Matthew’s Churches Scam!

We continue to receive letters, such as the following, from heartbroken people who have fallen victim to a scam perpetuated by an alleged “church” located in Tulsa, Oklahoma known as St. Matthew’s Churches. If you’ve ever received anything in the mail from this outfit, throw it away!

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Can I Trust Spiritual Directors International?

By Dan Burke

We received the following inquiry from one of our readers:

“I just visited the regional Catholic young adults website for our diocese and was, at first, pleased to see that they were encouraging spiritual direction for young adults, even providing a list of spiritual directors, questions to ask a spiritual director, etc. I then found that they referred repeatedly to an entity called “Spiritual [Directors] International,” (http://www.sdiworld.org) which apparently seeks to somehow bring together, in one place, information and resources about spiritual direction for Buddhists, Christians, Eastern-Philosophy, Muslims, and Jews etc.

Here’s the introductory paragraph on the Spiritual Directors International home page:

“Do you want to be part of an inclusive, global contemplative movement that contributes to peace, justice, and living in right relationship with all creation? Together we are changing the world through the contemplative action of spiritual direction.”

I was taken aback that earnest young adults at this critical time of discernment in their lives were being guided to what seems to me to be an impossibly diverse and nebulous collaboration of spiritualities. What is wrong with this picture? And what, pray tell, could I do to help these naive young people, who are likely to be led astray? God have mercy! I now understand on a whole new level why you are so passionate about your work to help Catholics gain access to authentically Catholic spiritual direction.”

Obviously the person asking the question is more than capable of making a sound assessment of this situation. It seems very clear that Spiritual Directors International is consistent with their stated goals. However, to determine just how “inclusive” they are I decided to inquire as to whether or not a Catholic seeking spiritual direction through them could end up say, in the hands of a practicing Witch.

To do this I sent a simple inquiry into Spiritual Directors International. Here’s what I wrote and their response (emphasis mine):

Question Sent to SDI: “Would I be allowed to be a member [of SDI] as a Wiccan?”

Answer from SDI: “Thanks for asking. Yes, you would certainly be welcome to become a member! SDI is an inclusive, multi-faith global learning community and there are no requirements or conditions for membership or being listed on the Seek and Find Guide.”

There you have it, plain as day. The bottom line is that any Catholic seeking authentic Catholic spirituality and spiritual direction in keeping with the same would do well to steer clear of Spiritual Direction International.

 

This blog originally appeared on the Spiritual Direction website on March 2, 2020 and is reprinted here with the kind permission of Dan Burke.