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What to Do About Those Email Prayer Chains

MI writes: “I don’t feel comfortable with this type of prayer request [that I received today]. ‘We are doing an Intercession of 1000 prayers for those people with cancer. Say the prayer and pass it to 10 people, Let me know if you cannot, so that we do not break this Intercession.’ Am I wrong? Isn’t it basically a chain letter. Would you participate? Looking forward to your thoughts!”

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Sprinkling Rice at Shrines: Is it Christian?

Photo by Darío Méndez on Unsplash

HL writes: “A parishioner at our parish has been noticing rice being scattered at our shrine of the Holy Innocents, in front of the statue of our patron saint, and on the hand rail leading to the rectory. I’m wondering if there’s any foul play involving occultic practices. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.”

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Can I Wear My Loved One’s Ashes in Jewelry?

Anonymous writes: “Someone I know recently told me that loved ones of hers passed away. The family had their ashes split up and placed in jewelry. How can I explain the Catholic view on this for future reference? How can I explain it particularly when it comes to our Catholic faith and relics.”

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Why Church Approval of Apparitions is So Important

It’s Advent, and while the faithful are pondering the mysteries of the First and Second Coming of the Lord, there’s a noticeable uptick in the number of alleged seers who claim to have an inside track on the Apocalypse. Here’s why Church approval of any private revelation is so critical in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from believing in falsehood.

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Can Catholics Have Statues of Buddha in Their Home?

GM writes: "My mother and I got into a discussion about idolatry a few weeks ago. She seems to think that having pagan artwork in the home isn't idolatry, and I can't help but feel like it is, although the extent of it is a rendering of a buddha by my sister, and a couple buddha statues in opposite alcoves in our entryway. What is Church teaching regarding this?"

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Can Catholics Use Crystals for Healing?

AK wrote about being given a crystal by a friend who said she should use it to find "clarity, atonement, and peace." Certain that the object was given to her out of love and kindness, she now asks what she should do with it. "Do I just look at it as a pretty geode? Do I return it? I'm not interested in giving my friends the impression that I promote or believe in the power of crystals.”

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