Yoga: Paying Homage To Hindu Deities

Yoga: Paying Homage To Hindu Deities

yogaposeToday, I enjoyed a conversation over lunch with a some Catholics from various parishes in Glasgow, including a young woman who was thoroughly informed about the New Age Movement and its impact on Catholics in this archdiocese and beyond. Unfortunately, I had an appointment so had to leave before the end of the chat, and without, therefore, taking in all of the detail, but, from what I did hear of this young woman’s own experience of parishioners who are deeply committed to the New Age phenomenon, it seems that it warrants our attention.  The spread of New Age-ism has worried the  Vatican sufficiently, for the Pontifical Council For Culture to issue a document on the matter: “Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation…”

 I’ve heard plenty of people defend Yoga, saying it helps them relax and is good exercise. But it is more than simple body exercise – it is Hindu prayer using body postures – click Here

Yogaprayerpostures

 

                                                    

Comment…

 

Have you noticed the advertisements for New Age groups – under various guises, mostly Yoga classes – in church porches and in bulletins?  The fact that bookshops are filling their shelves with “New Age” material is one of the concerns found in the Vatican Document, A Christian Reflection on the New Age     

Should we be concerned? One priest in England was concerned enough to hit the headlines in 2012 – from the BBC to the Telegraph and plenty of headlines in between – click here to read the Catholic Herald report.  Will Yoga destroy the Faith of Catholics who participate in it, or is it possible to be a “New Age Catholic”?  

Comments (148)

  • Margaret Mary

    I’ve seen loads of adverts in church notice-boards for Yoga meetings. There used to be one in Edinburgh, in St Mary’s cathedral although I’ve not been there for a while. At first I was puzzled, as I had a feeling it wasn’t right for a Catholic priest to advertise but when it’s in the Cardinal’s own cathedral, you tend to squash the thoughts!

    The Southampton priest was very brave to stick to his guns in the face of all that publicity. I wish more priests were clued in on the dangers of Yoga Most people that I’ve spoken to think it’s harmless, just a way of exercise and de-stressing. I don’t think so.

    May 18, 2016 at 9:29 pm
  • Nicky

    Reiki is another New Age de-stressing technique which is also very popular.
    http://www.reiki.org/faq/whatisreiki.html

    I see it was mentioned in the Catholic Herald article about the Southampton priest. These things are really of the occult, IMHO, and should not be encouraged by any Catholic, let alone a priest. This bit from the Catholic Herald report is very interesting indeed: Fr Jeremy Davies, the official exorcist for the Westminster archdiocese, warns against the practice of yoga: “Beware of any claims to mediate beneficial energies (e.g. Reiki)…any alternative therapy with its roots in Eastern religion… They are not harmless”, he insists.

    When an exorcist says they’re not harmless, we should pay attention!

    Well done Fr Chandler for taking a stand.

    May 18, 2016 at 9:35 pm
    • editor

      Nicky,

      I hadn’t realised what a grip these New Age techniques have on people. The young lady I mentioned in the introduction spoke at length about Reiki and told us that it is being promoted in hospitals etc. She is very knowledgeable on the subject – rivetting stuff.

      May 19, 2016 at 12:27 am
    • Prognosticum

      We would all of us do well to read Father Jeremy Davies’ CTS pamphlet ‘Exorcism’ published in the CTS ‘Explanations’ series (http://www.ctsbooks.org/exorcism/). It really is an eye-opener.

      Davies qualified as a medical doctor before becoming a priest. He is a man with a reputation for holiness. I have not had news of him in a long time, but if he is still living he will be of great age.

      May 22, 2016 at 8:22 pm
      • Prognosticum

        In this pamphlet Fr. Davis recounts how a young homosexual man was able to visit a city he had never visited before and walk straight to a place of vice without ever having to ask directions.

        The pamphlet was published a few years ago now and Davies took a lot of stick for it, but he stood his ground very firmly.

        May 22, 2016 at 8:37 pm
      • editor

        Prognosticum,

        I will take your recommendation on this pamphlet, but generally speaking I am wary of the CTS, having checked out, at random, certain of their pamphlets in the past, and found them wanting. Not recently, I have to admit, but in recent years. For example, checking out a pamphlet on Baptism, I found no mention of Original Sin. Then, again, a reader sent me a pamphlet published YEARS ago, on homosexuality which was written by a (now) well known homosexual activist – the last publisher anyone would expect to place such material before unsuspecting readers. I’ve just checked to see if it survived my latest wholesale clear-out of papers but,at first search, unfortunately, looks like it didn’t.

        Anyway, the author of the pamphlet you recommend appears to be a different league so I’ll check it out asap. It certainly would be very useful to be able to quote an Exorcist on this subject, to those who insist these techniques are harmless.

        May 22, 2016 at 9:55 pm
      • Elizabeth

        Well I can certainly recommend anything written by Fr Jeremy Davies. He is a good holy priest, at one time curate to my uncle not that long after he was ordained.

        May 22, 2016 at 10:10 pm
      • Prognosticum

        I too have only ever heard great good spoken about him, not least as regards his humility. I found out recently that he, with the Italian Gabriele Amorth, is a founder member of the International Association of Exorcists which is active in trying to restore this ministry in the Church.

        May 23, 2016 at 2:55 am
      • westminsterfly

        Fr Gabriel Amorth believes in Medjugorje. Which, given his status as an exorcist, is deeply troubling . . .

        May 23, 2016 at 9:11 am
      • editor

        WF,

        Yes, that bothers me quite a bit. If an exorcist can’t see the diabolical in a hoax as obvious as Medjugorje, well… that’s troubling.

        May 23, 2016 at 9:44 am
      • westminsterfly

        Exactly. It would be the Achilles heel by which the Devil could get to him while performing an exorcism. The devil knows all of their weak spots and will exploit them.

        May 23, 2016 at 11:22 am
      • Prognosticum

        Funny … Seems to have a pretty good track record until now.

        May 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm
      • editor

        Prognosticum,

        Does it not concern you at all that Fr Amorth supports the manifestly diabolical Medjugorje phenomenon?

        May 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm
  • Vianney

    On Sunday morning I get the bus to our chapel and speak to a lady who attends Mass in one of the city centre parishes. She attends a prayer group which used to meet at Gillies Centre which is owned by the Archdiocese. A couple of years ago she told me that the prayer group was moving to one of the nearby parishes as the centre was allowing yoga classes and the group disapproved of this. Apparently a few groups who used the centre relocated because of this.

    May 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm
  • Lily

    This is a really important topic. This new age-ism is everywhere. I’ve seen Yoga classes advertised in churches, as well, although I’ve never seen anything about Reiki. It’s a while since I’ve visited the city centre churches in Glasgow but I’m almost sure I’ve seen Yoga advertised in the Jesuit parish.

    I Googled to see if I could find anything out about it to contribute here, and I found this right up, a story from someone who got wise to it. http://legatus.org/new-age-deception/

    May 18, 2016 at 10:34 pm
  • jimislander

    I wonder if this petition will be displayed in Church Porches “We call on the BBC to reject proposals to reduce and downgrade Christian programming.” Totally in keeping with the “New Religion” the head of Religous programming at Bahomets Broadcasting Corporation is a muslim. http://www.citizengo.org/en/34624-we-call-bbc-reject-proposals-reduce-and-downgrade-christian-programming?m=5&tcid=22705456

    Editor: Jim, I don’t know why this went into moderation. Another blip – apologies for any delay in releasing it.

    May 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm
  • editor

    So far, I agree with everyone here!

    I must say, I am especially heartened by Vianney’s comment that a prayer group moved out of the Gillies Centre due to the presence of Yoga classes. It seems there are clergy who would laugh at the idea of a Rosary group but think nothing of permitting a Yoga class. What’s going on in their heads? Not a lot, if they’re effectively encouraging the worship of Hindu gods…

    May 19, 2016 at 12:21 am
  • westminsterfly

    I remember (then) Archbishop Nichols shocking public homage to hindu deities http://www.traditioninaction.org/RevolutionPhotos/A341rcNicholsHindu.html and who can forget the outrage that happened at the Fatima shrine http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/060304rit.asp so our Church leaders hardly set a good example in this respect . . .

    A very good book on the dangers of the New Age movement is Randy England’s ‘Unicorn in the Sanctuary: The Impact of the New Age on the Catholic Church’ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unicorn-Sanctuary-Impact-Movement-Catholic/dp/0895554518/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1463647605&sr=8-2&keywords=randy+england+unicorn+in+the+sanctuary

    Another fad – based on Buddhism this time – that is sweeping our parish halls and churches is ‘mindfulness’. I have looked into this quite extensively, and although some of the individual practices of mindfulness might seem to be beneficial to those suffering from burn-out / tension / stress / anxiety / clinical depression, many of the classes incorporate all the Buddhist clap-trap, so Catholics should be very wary.

    However, people turn to things like yoga and mindfulness precisely because they suffer from the above health problems. I myself have suffered from anxiety and depression so can understand the temptation to turn to therapies like this as an alternative to medication, which often has unpleasant side effects.

    The good news is that the rosary has been clinically proven to help with physical health as well as spiritual health! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC61046 Also, straight-forward exercise – not linked to any religion – such as brisk walking/jogging, swimming, gym-based activities, etc, have a dramatically beneficial effect on the mind and body. And for reading matter, I would recommend a little CTS booklet called ‘Why Worry’ by Fr William Lawson SJ which can be purchased here for £1.50:- http://www.ctsbooks.org/why-worry (caveat: I do not normally recommend CTS booklets – some of them are awful. This one, originally published in the 1950’s and written by an old school Jesuit, is fine) It can also be read online here: http://www.ecatholic2000.com/cts/untitled-730.shtml

    So if you hear of any Catholics who are suffering from the above health problems and are tempted to attend therapies based on false eastern religions and mysticism, please pass the above suggestions to them – rosary, straightforward physical exercise and good spiritual reading. They all help.

    May 19, 2016 at 9:54 am
  • Elizabeth

    I have to say that I doubt very much if the vast majority of people who go to yoga classes do so for any other reason than to try to improve their suppleness, exercise or for social reasons. I honestly don’t think that they intend to worship a Hindu god in the process.
    Reiki, mindfulness, etc are a different matter but are a response to the clamour for peace of mind in the modern world. As for the enneagram which is widely used in retreats and even in business, well I can see that it is ‘man centred’ rather than God centred but I have always thought, maybe wrongly, that it is no more than a tool to help us understand why we and others behave as they do. Used sensibly can it not have its uses?

    May 19, 2016 at 10:09 am
    • Therese

      I used to agree Elizabeth, that yoga was harmless when practiced by the majority of people, as I did attend a yoga class some years ago, and found the exercises very beneficial. I never did the breathing exercises or meditation. I did tend to pooh pooh suggestions that anything evil could be ascribed to mere exercises. However, after a discussion on this blog some time ago, I did a little research, and was dismayed to discover that many (or perhaps all) of the physical positions in yoga have pagan/demonic significance, so I’ve reluctantly changed my mind. It’s a pity, because yoga exercises can have a positive effect on posture and health, but the price of suppleness is too high, in my opinion.

      (I would just point out that I’m far from being fit enough to practice any of the exercises now, but that’s by the by!)

      May 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm
  • westminsterfly

    No, the Enneagram can’t be used sensibly. It shouldn’t be used at all. Although it claims to have its roots in ancient sufi mystic wisdom, it was actually developed by the occultist Oscar Ichazo sometime in the 1960’s. Ichazo claimed to be in touch with spirits:-

    “Along the way Ichazo came to believe, as Gurdjieff did, in a hierarchy of spirits and entities. He allegedly receives instructions from a higher entity called “Metatron, the prince of the archangels,” and the members of his group contact lower spirits through meditation and mantras. Ichazo now considers himself a “master” in contact with all the previous masters of the esoteric school, including those who have died. Students of his Arica training are helped and guided by an interior master, the Green Qu’Tub, who makes himself known when a student reaches a sufficiently high stage of development. Apparently it is the same as Qutb i Zaman, the spirit in charge of the hierarchy that speaks through other spirits, as taught by Gurdjieff” http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0146a.html

    Anyone who would want to dabble in anything developed by an occultist who speaks with spiritual entities is asking for trouble. The Myers-Briggs test is another widely-used example of such tripe.

    There is more about the dangers of the Enneagram here:- http://www.ris.org.hk/Discernment/Pacwa_article_3.htm

    May 19, 2016 at 11:19 am
  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for that WF. I had certainly not realised that there was an occult dimension to the enneagram. I have skim read the link you sent, scary stuff indeed!

    May 19, 2016 at 11:47 am
  • RCA Victor

    This may sound silly, but I think the Beatles played a large role in introducing New Age navel-dwelling, and its associated Satanic practices, to the West. As a priest recently pointed out, there is a picture of the British Satanist Aleister Crowley included on the cover of their “Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” album, and apparently that song is also a reference to him and the anniversary of his death (“It was twenty years ago today, Sargent Pepper taught the Band to play…”). I’ve also heard it claimed that John Lennon sold his soul to the Devil, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

    The father of lies always seems to find suitable servants for his dark purposes…including within the modern Church. Disorientation, which implies a lack of participation of the will to do evil, is one thing (see: “useful idiots”), but outright Satanism is another.

    May 19, 2016 at 5:30 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I’m dismayed to read that about the Beatles, after me skipping school to see them when they came to Glasgow all those years ago, a couple or three or four years ago (!)

      Dearie me. What’s the world coming to, one asks oneself. As you will guess, I didn’t miss any English lessons 😀

      May 19, 2016 at 7:36 pm
    • westminsterfly

      I’ve also read that Mick Jagger allegedly sold his soul to the devil. Jagger and the Rolling Stones also made records called ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request’. Well, it might explain how a bunch of geriatrics can still fill stadiums . . . but joking apart, although the rock/pop world has long used satanic imagery and symbolism to sell records, lamentable though this is, I think it is more likely to be based on immature rebellion and the desire to outrage and be ‘rock’n’roll’. In reality, Satan rarely likes to show his hand, and one of his biggest triumphs is to get people not to believe in his existence. His agents also prefer to remain behind the scenes. I’m currently re-reading a very good book by Fr Livio Fanzaga – The Deceiver: Our Daily Struggle with Satan https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deceiver-Our-Daily-Struggle-Satan/dp/1929291639

      May 19, 2016 at 11:46 pm
      • Helen

        I was very surprised to see acupuncture included in the linked list of eastern therapies. I know it’s used widely in hospitals in lieu of anesthesia and in physiotherapy too. It doesn’t involve any participation on the part of the patient so I can’t see how it can be in the same boat as yoga etc.

        May 20, 2016 at 5:54 pm
      • Strictly Catholic

        Having been involved in New Age (Reiki, yoga, spirit release, hypnosis, past life regression, channelling, witchcraft etc. etc.)for a long time before my reversion I can tell you from experience and study that acupuncture is New Age and is Taoism – an Eastern ‘religion’. In my practice I would feel spirit guides helping me — demons in reality. It is all about the ‘chi’ …. same as Reiki .Yes is does involve participation of the patient… their will.
        Stay clear of ALL New Age occult therapies…. the root of all ecumenism.

        May 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm
      • Athanasius

        Strictly Catholic

        Well said! All that Eastern mysticism stuff is influenced by the demonic. Catholics should never involved themselves in any way with it, unless their looking for a quick way to get themselves possessed.

        May 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm
      • Helen

        Thank you very much for your reply and explanation. My aunt, a nurse, told me that in the 70’s she actually SAW a gynecologist perform a Cesarean section under acupuncture. Are you telling me that this was under demonic influence?

        Also, a friend of mine is currently receiving treatment for a back problem using acupuncture. Is this also suspect?

        May 22, 2016 at 11:13 pm
      • westminsterfly

        Helen,
        All sorts of operations can, and have been performed, without anaesthetic under emergency circumstances. The effect of the placebo on the human mind can be quite astonishing. Acupuncture is based on the system of ‘chakras’ allegedly found in the body, but just because a system of belief may be ancient, this doesn’t automatically give it any credence. Here is a piece on acupuncture and chakras:-

        “Acupuncture is part of the world of Chinese Medicine. It originates in Asia. Chakras are a part of Ayurvedic Medicine found, mostly, in India. Yet, these two seemingly disparate medical systems share some strong bonds and correlate in ways unimagined. Knowledge of one does not discredit the other. On the contrary, they work together to advance the efficacy of both.

        First, both systems are all about the movement and blockage of vital energy in the body. When energy does not move properly your body is disordered and diseases abound. Even more interesting is that both body modalities view this energy as two snakes coiling up the spinal column. Every time the two snakes cross each other a chakra is formed. These are usually represented on the front of the body and correlate with important acupuncture meridians and vertebral levels. Acupuncture and Ayurvedic Medicine also share the concept of the five elements which correspond to both the acupuncture meridians and the chakras. Further, the colors associated with each chakra and element are the same in both medical systems.

        So what are the chakras?

        1.Root Chakra: This Chakra is located at the base of the spine or tailbone. It is coupled with the color red. The emotional issues associated are ones related to survival, money, and food. It is also the place of being rooted or grounded.
        2.Sacral Chakra: It is located in the lower abdomen about 2 inches below your belly button. It is associated with the color orange and is often caused the pleasure seeker. It is identified with our feelings of abundance and our sexuality. It is the creativity center and is involved in our emotional connection to others.
        3.Solar Plexus Chakra: This is tied to the color yellow is found in the upper abdomen or stomach region. It is the power driver and is all about are self confidence and self esteem.
        4.Heart Chakra: As one might expect, this is paired with LOVE LOVE LOVE! By opening this chakra we open ourselves to love and being loved. This space is linked with the color green and is foundational for inner peace and joy.
        5.Throat Chakra: In the throat, this space is one of communication. Its color is blue and it deal with the truth spoken and secrets kept.
        6.Third Eye Chakra: You will find this place between your eyes and you can focus on it if you close your eyes and gently let your eyes role upwards and to the center. It is one I try to be aware of on a regular basis to make better decisions and grow in wisdom. When strengthened you increase your intuition and imagination. Indigo is this special color.
        7.Crown Chakra: It is found on the top of the head and in connected with the color violet. It is the center of beauty and bliss and connection with the spiritual.”

        As you can see, this is all based on eastern spirituality and mumbo-jumbo, and Catholics should avoid it, and all these ‘alternative therapies’.

        May 23, 2016 at 9:24 am
    • Athanasius

      RCA Victor

      I agree entirely about the Beatles and the Crowly link. I have never liked the Beatles or their product. For me, they are an overrated crowd of misfits who ruined good music. What amazes me, though, is that the world’s top people; intellectuals, financiars, politicians, newsreaders, scientists, etc., etc., are united in a common worship of this group. Now that is definitely not normal or natural.

      It’s actually quite amazing to study the history of rock groups from the 60s on, as well as of individual performers who reached great heights of success. One theme that recurs throughout with many of them is drug use and the influence of the demonic.

      May 22, 2016 at 10:31 pm
      • Andrew

        Re the world’s top people. I think perhaps you are confusing “quite like listening to their music” with “united in common worship”.

        May 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm
      • editor

        Athanasius,

        Just remind me again… when IS your 125th birthday? 😀

        I absolutely HATE “Rock” music and I am definitely NOT one of the “world’s top people” but I liked the Beatles’ music. It was the opposite of “Rock”; take “Yesterday” for example – not one of my favourites, not remotely, but tunes like “Yesterday” would be about the closest you’d get to a ballad in the 60’s, if you discount Kenneth McKellar!

        You are right to say that the Beatles took to drugs, but as a teenager I didn’t know that and nor did (probably) most ordinary young people – certainly none of my friends ever mentioned the fact. I’ve not studied their history, so it may be that the drugs came much later, I don’t know. We took their music at face (or ear!) value and enjoyed the easy listening tunes. No more than that.

        Yesterday (! the real thing!) I stumbled across (and read) an essay on The Sound of Music, written by Bishop Williamson… the original claptrap, if ever there were such a thing as “claptrap”. His “review” left me speechless. That any man, let alone a bishop, could so lack basic common sense and discernment as to write a “warning” letter about that film, beggars belief.

        Call me a mad liberal if you wish, but I think it is a mistake to read too much into the passing fashions which – to a greater or lesser degree – influence secular culture for a time. Obviously, parents protecting their children need to be reasonably vigilant but most people can enjoy a catchy tune without following the singer(s) down town to the nearest drug dealer… 😀

        May 23, 2016 at 12:30 am
      • westminsterfly

        I’m FAR too young to remember the Beatles . . .

        May 23, 2016 at 9:15 am
      • Athanasius

        Westminsterfly

        Are you speaking of the band or of the so-called evolution of the insect species? There is a slight difference in the time line, you know?

        May 23, 2016 at 9:37 am
      • Elizabeth

        And just for you editor:

        https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CiI5ZzIVEAA3moY.jpg

        May 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm
      • editor

        Elizabeth,

        Where DID you get that photo of one? One is even MORE glamorous than one realised hitherto… One really is astonished…

        Thank you for making me smile at the (almost) end of a very busy day which included a conversation with a young man at the supermarket check-out who tried his best to convince me of the truth of climate change by pointing out of the window to the glorious sunshine and saying “See? It’s not supposed to BE like that!” When I looked incredulous and said “What… not supposed to be sunny in May? You kidding?” it was HIS turn to look incredulous. I had to restrain myself from breaking into the chorus of “The Sun is Shining Brightly…. for ’tis the month of Mary, the lovely month of May” which we were singing before the nonsense of Climate Change had been dreamt up by people with too much time on their hands, as the lady said to her husband when he threw the alarm clock at her… 😯

        So, thank you very much for making me smile – and for posting that lovely photo (she said in all modesty) of me in my youth… 😀

        May 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm
      • RCA Victor

        Athanasius,

        I have to confess, along with Editor, that I used to be quite enamored of the Beatles in my foolish youth. In fact, the murder of John Lennon back in 1980 (on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, no less!) was a terrible shock – even worse than the Beatles’ breakup in 1970 – esp. as I knew very well the woman who was their (John & Yoko’s) “psychic du jour.” Naturally, the fact that this woman failed to predict his murder didn’t exactly register as an asset to her reputation….have I got stories for you!

        My main point, however, was not about their music, their Satanic associations or their ingestion of assorted psychedelic drugs, but that they were significantly and maybe even largely responsible for the mushrooming (pun intended) of New Age/eastern religion practices and beliefs during the 1960s and 70s – esp. through George Harrison and his connection with the “Maharishi.”

        And now, we have a Vatican populated by men who may as well have been screaming Beatles fans in their foolish youths, and who no doubt nod their heads in approval at “All You Need is Love.”

        Anyone want to take bets that Pope Francis’ next video of his monthly intentions will feature that tune in the background?

        May 23, 2016 at 2:10 am
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        Thank you for that opening sentence. I was just thinking of investigating the possibility of being exorcised… Phew!

        May 23, 2016 at 9:46 am
  • Athanasius

    Andrew

    No, I meant exactly what I said. There is no such thing as “I quite like listening to their music” where the Beatles are concerned. One would think these little nothings from Liverpool were divine beings to hear people speak of them. I’ve been amazed at some high profile people I previously respected gushing over the Beatles. It just shows that human intelligence is a vastly different thing from common sense, otherwise known as divine wisdom.

    May 23, 2016 at 12:17 am
    • editor

      Oh dear. I can see I’m now (possibly) among the “previously respected” – I say “possibly” assuming, cheekily, that you ever did “respect” me. Oh dear. On second thoughts…

      Well, my final word on this is that I can assure you that I have never, nor do I, consider the Beatles to be “divine beings.”

      But neither have I ever considered them – or any human being for that matter – to be “little nothings” (whether from Liverpool or anywhere else) since even the Beatles had souls which are precious to God.

      I suspect you’re having a bad hair day or whatever, because I doubt very much if you would seriously think of anyone as “a little nothing” so I suggest a wee dram of something nice (tea/coffee/milk, cocoa!) and a quiet few moments listening to…er… Mozart, before hitting the hay!

      May 23, 2016 at 12:38 am
      • RCA Victor

        Editor,

        I think that Athanasius ought to try some Transcendental Meditation along with the Mozart and the dram….or, more befitting his 125 years, I recommend JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which was written to cure a fellow musician named Johann Gottlieb Goldberg of his insomnia…

        May 23, 2016 at 2:25 am
      • Athanasius

        RCA Victor

        I welcome any potential cure for insomnia, Transcontinental Meditation included! I’m off to get me some Gottlieb Goldberg!

        May 23, 2016 at 9:49 am
      • RCA Victor

        Athanasius,

        I believe you can purchase some Gottlieb Goldberg either with or without haggis!

        May 23, 2016 at 4:24 pm
      • editor

        Or, RCA Victor, take a look at a photo of those four clean cut Liverpool lads, with their short hair and suits, contrasting sharply with the dirty, long haired rock singers of the day and say, well, they were not all bad.

        I grew away from them when they changed their appearance (shallow teenager, and proud of it!) and I especially distanced myself from John Lennon and George Harrison with their long hair and funny religions. See, even I wasn’t ALL bad, even then… I think…

        May 23, 2016 at 9:56 am
      • Therese

        Editor

        I’m just peeping out from behind my rock (pun not intended) to say that I still like the Beatles early music; it went badly astray when they went to India, grew moustaches and got into the Transcendental M stuff.

        I suppose we’ll have to undergo a strict regime of Gregorian Chant reprogramming to be purified of our bad taste. Ah well, we’ll always have “She Loves You”…..

        May 23, 2016 at 10:15 am
      • RCA Victor

        Editor,

        Yes, I do remember their early appearance was quite different (so were the early Beach Boys, whose music is much more interesting harmonically). However, strictly in musical terms, omitting the hirsute accessories, I liked their late music (from Sgt. Pepper forward) much better. What can I tell you, I definitely became a hippie after I got to college. I’ll send you a college picture of myself with long hair and a headband if you promise not to post it here!!!

        Before college, though, I remember my stepfather refused to allow me to watch them on TV, even for their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show – and he was a Protestant! What a deprived childhood!

        May 23, 2016 at 4:32 pm
      • Athanasius

        As a matter of interest, I always wondered who the Beatles song “Fool on the hill” referred to. I found this on Wikipedia:

        “Alistair Taylor, in the book Yesterday, reports a mysterious incident involving a man who inexplicably appeared near him and McCartney during a walk on Primrose Hill and then disappeared again, soon after McCartney and Taylor had conversed about the existence of God; this allegedly prompted the writing of the song.”

        It’s also interesting to read the lyrics of John Lennon’s “Imagine”, especially the line “Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky…”

        Suits and short hair cuts or hippy rags and flowing locks, these guys were obvious from the outset. I seem to remember another incident where they claimed to be More famous than Jesus.”

        Just shows that we can’t judge by looks.

        May 23, 2016 at 7:54 pm
      • editor

        Athanasius,

        I don’t remember “Fool on the Hill” at all but I didn’t like each and every song. I definitely didn’t like “Imagine” and that was before I knew the lyrics.

        No, I can safely say I didn’t like all of the Beatles’ music but then neither do I like all classical music. One picks and one chooses…

        Oh and yes, I’ve quoted that dreadful comment about “more famous than Jesus” many times, although, having said that, it had slipped my mind until you reminded us!

        I simply don’t believe that those of us daft schoolgirls were possessed by the Devil because we liked/swooned over those clean-cut lads, who were topping the charts with their catchy tunes in the swinging 60’s. I think we all “get it” now, though, that they went off the rails and were very naughty lads in due course.

        May 23, 2016 at 8:18 pm
      • Athanasius

        Editor & RCA Victor,

        I wasn’t referring to you or any other youthful swinger of the 60s with a bad ear for music (she loves me yea, yea, yea!). No, I’m perfectly certain that you have both matured into true music lovers in the decades leading to your present eligibilty for carbon dating.

        I can just picture RCA Victor now, lying back on his recliner chair holding that big record label trumpet at his ear and waving his spare hand around in the air in mock conduction to strains of the Mantovani orchestra.

        My comment was aimed at those who have maintained a love for the Beatles and their music throughout the decades, those old groupies who, instead of being red faced over the counter-cultural music fashions their youth, still beam with admiration at the Beatles, as though the revolution of the 60s was something to be proud of. There are many such groupies in high profile positions today.

        Editor, there are three points I would like to make to you personally. The first is that Matt Munro sang ‘Yesterday’ much better than McCartney. The second is that I wasn’t referring to their souls when I called the Beatles “little nothings”. I meant talent wise, though I accept that I was not very clear on that. Finally, As long as the wages keep coming you may be assured of my most profound respect!

        As for bad hair days: I count myself fortunate to have hair at all at my age, even if its propensity for static charge does occasionally make my head look like a busby. I’m now off to boil up some magic mushrooms!

        May 23, 2016 at 4:11 am
      • editor

        Athanasius,

        I’d forgotten about Matt Munro’s version of Yesterday. Well, he was no rock singer!

        I am now aware of the fact that, clearly, I was no giant thinker in my early teens – that must have come later 😀 I just bobbed my head and clicked my fingers along with the pop tunes of the Beatles (which were never “rock” – they left that to the “Rolling Stones”) and went on my merry way rejoicing. I never had the money to buy any of their records, so I wasn’t that exposed to them which perhaps explains why I am relatively undamaged (!) and can still enjoy some Gregorian chant without feeling deprived.

        Anyway, I’ll leave it at that…. except to say… wages in bank. No deductions for attacking my once favourite pop group – “we can work it out!” 😀

        May 23, 2016 at 9:40 am
      • RCA Victor

        Editor,

        Perhaps a Blog Motto would be in order: “We try with a little help from our friends”?

        May 23, 2016 at 4:46 pm
      • RCA Victor

        Athanasius,

        Speaking of the old Beatles/60s groupies, there is a conservative radio talk show host over here, Michael Savage – who was banned from the UK for his politically incorrect opinions – who calls these people “Red Diaper Doper Babies.” I’ve always thought that was quite apropos.

        And now, back to the haunting strains of Mantovani….now where did I put my baton?

        May 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm
    • Prognosticum

      Athanasius, if you mean that the song can never quite be separated from the singer, I agree with you wholeheartedly. That is what makes rock music so potent as a genre and so dangerous as a phenomenon.

      May 23, 2016 at 3:26 am
    • Andrew

      “These little nothings from Liverpool” is quite a revealing way of describing anyone.

      May 23, 2016 at 10:06 pm
      • Athanasius

        Andrew

        I certainly hope so. The point being that they achieved nothing for the glory of God and the salvation of souls with the talents given them. Quite the opposite, in fact. Whatever we do that is not in and for Christ Our Lord is but dust.

        May 24, 2016 at 12:56 am
  • Prognosticum

    I find myself agreeing with Athanasius to the extent that I have always considered rock music and its derivative genres to be one of the worst aspects, if not the worst aspect, of the hideous popular culture which has done so much to harden hearts and banish goodness, truth and beauty from our midst. (I seem to remember ‘The Remnant’ newspaper publishing a series of articles on this theme–or was it a book?–but that is going back at least a decade and probably more.)

    Of course one can point to this or that lovely ballad by this or that particular artist, but the fact remains that this type of music has, as a whole, both accompanied and driven a cultural revolution whose destructive force most of us are still to fully realise. And its not just the music; it is the music’s connection with the mass media, with the fashion industry, with the sexual revolution which has done so much to destroy the natural family, with the cultural legitimacy and even desirability of drug taking, with the cult of celebrity, and so on. A watershed moment in this cultural revolution was, in my opinion, when in the early 1980s music became bound to video through the new digital technology, and so the extremely powerful medium of the music video was born. If anyone here doubts the utterly poisonous nature of this union, especially on the masses whose critical faculties are probably less honed than those of most of us writing here, then I suggest he spends an afternoon in the company of MTV. I was obliged so recently in the course of a visit to one of those American-style burger parlours where it was prescribed viewing on huge television screens throughout the meal. My verdict: satanic beyond any shadow of a doubt.

    But this thread brings me back to one of my all time favourite books, C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’. Now Lewis, unlike Tolkien, never became a Catholic and the book is shot through with elements of Anglican thinking which would not find favour with most of us here. But its substance is absolutely bang on; I would even go as far as to say that Lewis, who was writing, let it not be forgotten, in 1942–well before the rise of rock and The Beatles–is prophetical in his immagining of how popular culture would develop, including some very pointed remarks about the British education system which he would later develop in ‘Screwtape Proposes a Toast’ (1959). Concerning popular culture, he makes the point that it renders direct intervention by the Devil unnecessary. ‘Catch the bellwether,’ he says ‘and the whole flock will come running after you’ (or words to that effect), recalling the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) leading his flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be noted by hearing the bell before the flock was in view.

    And so it has been. For at least two generations now the sheep have emulated the bellwethers in what they sing and dance to, in how they dress, in what they think, in their perceived need to get high, in the fission of their personal relationships, etc., and all of this in a stream of conciousness which places the self at the centre of the universe and comes to dissolve history, especially salvation history, into the unbounding now which is essentially an extended legal high of personal a-responsibility. Legal, in the sense of approved by the common consent of society, but morally illicit to the nth degree and supremely destructive.

    It is intersting that Lewis calls the kingdom of Satan the Kingdom of Noise. What we must never forget is that we, as human beings, are made up of body and soul. What the body does, including hearing, has an effect on the soul, and vice-versa. I would contend that continuous wilfull exposure to any phenomenon that is inspired by Satan will in the long run cause serious spiritual harm and open the gates to more satanic influence. If we think about it, it could not really be otherwise.

    In conclusion, I would invite everyone here to reflect on this matter further by contrasting rock with Gregorian chant. ‘Ridiculous,’ I hear you say. ‘One is about young people enjoying themselves; the other is about the public worship of the Church!’ Well, think for a minute about the effect of the music. Anyone who has been exposed to Gregorian chant over time knows that it is an incredibly powerful balm for the soul. And this effect is felt even if one does not know Latin. (The same is true of the liturgical chants of the Russian Orthodox, and I for one have to brush up on my Old Church Slavonic.) Why? It must surely have to do with the felationship between the beauty of the melody and the truth it has been constructed to convey, and vice-versa.

    In any evaluation of the culture in which we are immersed, one must be careful to distinguish the wood from the trees. There has always been, and always will be, a place for legitimate entertainment and for art forms which tell of man in his ‘natural’ state. But this legitimacy cannot blind us to the bigger picture which is essentially one of a culture of death into which the rock-mass media nexus has injected poison in abundance.

    May 23, 2016 at 2:46 am
    • editor

      Prognosticum,

      I do agree with you about the videos now in vogue. I think they are very dangerous as they (the few I’ve seen) do sport the most hideous and immodest fashions and the music is of the rock variety, which I’ve never liked. I do think there is a difference between “rock” and “pop” music of the lighter variety.

      As for the rest – I’m clearly not a deep thinker. I just clicked my fingers along with the catchy tunes and thought no more about it!

      May 23, 2016 at 9:32 am
      • Athanasius

        Editor

        And here I’ve been responding so long to that finger clicking thinking it was a command to obedience! You should have enlightened me sooner.

        May 23, 2016 at 9:41 am
      • editor

        And as the saying goes, Athanasius, you just keep on doing what you’re doing!

        May 23, 2016 at 9:47 am
      • Athanasius

        I’m on it boss!

        May 23, 2016 at 9:51 am
      • Elizabeth

        The banter between you two does much to brighten a Monday morning! I really am looking forward to meeting you both at the conference then I can see if my mental images live up to reality…

        May 23, 2016 at 11:40 am
    • RCA Victor

      Prognosticum,

      Very well said! Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea, a well-known traditional Mission priest on this side of the pond, calls rock music “straight from Hell.” Interesting that he himself came from the wrong side of the tracks, but cooperated in Our Lord’s rescue mission….

      May 23, 2016 at 4:41 pm
  • Athanasius

    Prognosticum

    Very accurately put. It seems the devil knew long before the rest of us just how potent music could be on the soul. He has exploited his findings to the full since the 60s.

    May 23, 2016 at 4:23 am
  • RCA Victor

    BTW Editor, where is Petrus in all this musical discussion?

    May 23, 2016 at 4:49 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      I have no idea …

      May 23, 2016 at 5:20 pm
    • Theresa Rose

      RCA Victor,

      My guess is that Petrus is off somewhere singing I love to go a wandering.

      May 23, 2016 at 5:21 pm
      • editor

        Could be, Theresa Rose – can’t say I’ve given the matter any thought!

        May 23, 2016 at 8:23 pm
      • crofterlady

        Yes, Petrus, where is he? And Leo, my almost hero, Where is he? I so miss his erudite comments.

        May 23, 2016 at 9:11 pm
  • RCA Victor

    Two other important influences on the spread of the “New Age” rubbish come to mind: one, the “Star Wars” film series, which presents (aside from some the worst acting ever to appear on the silver screen) “the Force,” that is, according to Obi-Wan Kenobi, an energy field created by all living things, and demonstrates a spirituality which is “within,” not revealed. Star Wars, in fact, took off as the Beatles faded into oblivion. How convenient…

    Two, the Harry Potter books and movies, which are overtly occult.

    May 23, 2016 at 9:13 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Again though, youngsters who like the Harry Potter books are seeing only the superficial story. Anything of the sci-fi or fantasy genre doesn’t attract me at all, but youngsters seem to enjoy that sort of thing and whatever dark intents were in the author’s mind (which, having seen whatshername Rowling interviewed, and been decidedly underwhelmed by her alleged “mind”,I seriously doubt) I think, again, it’s a mistake to read (!) too much into these things.

      May 23, 2016 at 10:12 pm
      • RCA Victor

        Editor,

        I agree that youngsters will not see dark intents and merely enjoy the entertainment, but this from the Alta Vendita comes to mind (actually, from John Vennari’s little book on it) (my adaptive insertions in brackets):

        “The Instruction called for the dissemination of liberal [substitute: occult/New Age/eastern religion] ideas and axioms throughout society…so that…[the populace] would gradually be imbued with progressive [substitute: occult/New Age/eastern religion] principles. In time, this mind-set would be so pervasive that [everyone’s thinking] would be in step with modern thought….”

        It seems to me the same strategy is at work in society as has been for the past – what, almost 200 years? – for the destruction of the Church. Youngsters who have grown up play-acting with magic, light-sabers, casting spells, and whatnot (not to mention playing Harry Potter and Star Wars-related video games) will probably have few qualms about following up on their childhood games as adults…

        May 24, 2016 at 7:45 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        I think your point about the New Age etc ideas being imbued in youngsters who are hooked on certain books, films, is a good one. It’s the same with everything else – the permissive mentality, for example, becomes imbued and eventually makes it difficult for people to see that there is anything wrong with intimacy outside marriage. That’s how the Devil works. He’s a clever…er… devil!

        So, while I hate to admit it, game, set and match to thee!

        May 25, 2016 at 11:33 am
      • RCA Victor

        Editor,

        I would gladly leap over the net to shake hands, but I’d probably trip and fall on my face!

        May 25, 2016 at 4:05 pm
  • Christina

    Just whizzed through this thread (can’t always get on-line in this spot) and, apart from having a good laugh at the dafter crack, have been brought to the realisation of just why I was so bothered by that NO Mass I suffered last Sunday. As an NO Mass it had fewer abuses than many I’ve endured, but the ageing group of ‘musicians’ were playing and singing in the style of some of the rock/pop (sorry I don’t know the difference) groups of their 70s youth. It was more than a very nasty assault on my hearing – it was deeply spiritually disturbing to me, as was the fact that most of the congregation were swaying to these ‘hymns’, which suggested that the hypnotic groove they were getting into had nothing to do with the Mass. Pope St. Pius X can have had no notion, when he wrote his Motu Proprio on Sacred Music,’Tra le Sollecitudini’, of the satanic abuses that our age would see. But it is nevertheless instructive to read his introduction in the context of these ‘musical’ performances that priests are allowing into the very sanctuary during Mass.

    ‘Among the cares of the pastoral office, not only of this Supreme Chair, which We, though unworthy, occupy through the inscrutable dispositions of Providence, but of every local church, a leading one is without question that of maintaining and promoting the decorum of the House of God in which the august mysteries of religion are celebrated, and where the Christian people assemble to receive the grace of the Sacraments, to assist at the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, to adore the most august Sacrament of the Lord’s Body and to unite in the common prayer of the Church in the public and solemn liturgical offices. Nothing should have place, therefore, in the temple calculated to disturb or even merely to diminish the piety and devotion of the faithful, nothing that may give reasonable cause for disgust or scandal, nothing, above all, which directly offends the decorum and sanctity of the sacred functions and is thus unworthy of the House of Prayer and of the Majesty of God…’

    May 23, 2016 at 11:26 pm
  • Andrew Paterson

    When I was little I borrowed a book on yoga from the public library. The exercises were described and illustrated by black and white photos of a wizened old Indian clad only in a dhoti. The exercises were mostly physical. Only the preparation for meditation mentioned the use of the mind. The exercise in preparation was to lie flat and relax limb by limb. Thoughts were to be quietened, until mind and body were in repose. That was as close as the book got to any religious expression. As for the physical exercise being pagan, that is something of a stretch. The Japanese traditionally sit cross-legged with no Hindu influence at all. If one pursues this theme, are not athletic contests pagan, being Greek in origin?
    Our Western medicine has its beginnings in trial and error based on incomplete understanding (humours etc equating to chakras?) and reached its current sophistication by following a technological route. Of course, it remains very limited, especially as regards prediction and prevention, and has very few treatments that are not chemical or mechanical, i.e. unnatural. Acupuncture is also a technical route to health and should not be conflated with witchcraft or spritualism.
    Quote: “The different stages of advancement through which the soul passes were shown to be processes of self-renouncement carried to an ever higher degree of perfection, and penetrating ever more profoundly to the depths of our nature.”

    But is this quote from Yogi Vithaldas or Rev. Edward Lean C.S.Sp.? Answers to be written on a flying carpet and sent to the Editor, please.

    May 24, 2016 at 4:34 pm
  • Athanasius

    Andrew Paterson

    Yoga in any and all of its manifestations is forbidden to Catholics because it is based in, and proceeds from, the pagan Taoist philosophy, which is humanist and syncretist. My understanding of acupuncture is that it may only be used by Catholics in cases where it is clearly divorced from its parent pagan philosophy, that is, with the Western neuroscientific understanding and application of it rather than the Eastern Taoist method of “channeling energy” by manipulation of the opposing forces of “ying” and “yang”.

    May 25, 2016 at 12:38 am
    • Andrew Paterson

      Thanks for your response. I thought that I had made it clear that the yoga to which I referred was a series of physical exercises. To forbid physical exercises because they may have been originated by pagans is nonsensical, even if there were proof. The exercises demonstrated in the Olympic Games had pagan origins. Catholics may therefore not participate in athletics? The system of Hindu-arab numerals that we use was pagan in origin. Should we cease to use pagan mathematics?
      I also suggest that the approach to the use of the mind, its management as an instrument, has commonalities across different religions.
      I may use a knife (a pagan invention) to cut cheese or cut a throat. It is the use that we make of things that results in good or harm.
      I may buy a prayer mat in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and use it to save my knees when pulling weeds from the border of my garden. As the mat has its origins in islam, is this wrong? If I use the mat to kneel on when worshipping my tree, that would certainly be wrong. Therein lies the difference.

      May 25, 2016 at 11:50 am
      • Athanasius

        Andrew Paterson

        It is not wrong to use any means of physical exercise for the body provided it is just physical exercise, though I would caution that if our exercises mimic those of Yoga then there is the danger of bad example to others who will doubtless think we practice Yoga.

        Meditation methods originating form Eastern pagan philosophies are an altogether different matter, however. We cannot employ these methods with a simple name change and call them training of the mind. There is a purpose built into these pagan mental practices, preparing the mind for the the entrance of goodness knows what kind of supernatural influences. So the Church rightly forbids our adaptations of Eastern Meditation pracices.

        May 25, 2016 at 2:05 pm
  • editor

    I’ve re-opened this thread due to news in a couple of taboids today, about a family in Rutherglen, Glasgow who have been experiencing diabolical interference – witnessed by Police Scotland! Click here and here to read reports.

    It’s a Catholic family so interesting that all that the priest did was to “bless” the house. Perhaps they need to call an exorcist but notice the concluding comment from the Catholic Church – or rather, the fact that there is no comment forthcoming. Heavens above, could they be wrong? Could there actually be a devil after all?

    Actually, this is ongoing and even as I write, the above may be out of date; there’s definitely more to follow on this. I’ve got my own ghostly source (so to speak!) so stay tuned…

    August 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

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