“When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” —G.K. Chesterton.
With the following quiz, we invite our readers to reflect on how a nebulous ideology (one Catholics know is incompatible with our faith) has been gradually, insidiously infiltrating our daily lives.
Words like “Transcendental Meditation,” “reiki,” “Bach Flowers,” and “cosmic energy,” are concepts that, little by little, have become part of our regular vocabulary.
Neither a religion nor a doctrine, the “New Age” is better known for its practices (more and more normalized and widespread) than for any uniform philosophy. It has even been creeping into our Christian sensibilities, posing as enlightened, healthy, and entirely compatible with the Catholic faith (or any other religion.)
Dear reader, be vigilant; this is a deception.
The New Age originated as an easy answer to the desires of the modern man’s heart. Perhaps weary of a culture of “wellness,” we desire to contemplate the fundamental questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going?
New Age thinking tries to answer these questions in such a way that ends up confusing the person, promoting the idea of an impersonal god, presenting transcendence as immanence, salvation as “auto-salvation,” grace as cosmic energy, prayer as relaxation and self-control, moral truth as “experience,” and eternal destiny as reincarnation.
“In sociological terms, the New Age has very little presence in regions marked by material scarcity. Is it attractive and appealing in spheres of greater economic prosperity, to persons of a certain sociocultural status and religious sensitivity; persons who are exhausted by the materialist model, and who are looking for deeper answers in their lives. At the same time, such a solution must be easy and should not require a strong commitment. We must keep in mind that the New Age grows, in part, because there are people searching for God, who desire a reconciled life. The New Age is not only attractive to those fond of the occult and alternative, but also to many men and women who want an answer beyond what the secularized culture has to offer. The challenge for the Church is to go out and encounter such people, presenting Our Lord Jesus to them, the only One capable of answering the most profound hunger of men from any time and place.” (Fr. Gonzalo Len, New Age: The Challenge).
Post and quiz written by Silvana Ramos for Catholic-Link Spanish; translated from the original by Lorena Tabares.
Looking for a deeper understanding of the problems of the New Age? Check out these three resources:
- Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of Life – Vatican document subtitled A Christian reflection on the “New Age.”
- Cor Jesu Sacratissimum: One man’s story of his intellectual and spiritual journey from the New Age to Catholic Tradition.
- The New Age Deception – A website of resources and testimony.