Sister Mary Martha's Guide to the Paranormal
additional notes from the Peanut Gallery
Isn't there a legend that St. Columbcille tamed the Loch Ness Monster?
Yes, there is. In fact, the story of St. Columba or St. Columbcille in the 8th century is the first known sighting of the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie had his or her jaws around someone and St. Columba told the monster to let go and step off, as they say these days. The monster zoomed back 'as if pulled by ropes'.
Perhaps the monster is indeed fake and a giant puppet and it zoomed back because it actually was being pulled by ropes.
You know, the Loch Ness Monster is never ever depicted as anything but benign with the exception of this story, so apparently St. Columba had quite an effect. Kind of like that wolf that St. Francis of Assisi befriended. I believe that it was a thousand years before anyone saw Nessie again at all.
Thank you for this list - very helpful - where would yoga fit into this list - for or against. Can the exercises be separated from the meditation on Hindu Gods? I once had a dream that the enemy was trying to possess me through my breath but it could have been something I ate for supper!
Yoga...is not paranormal.
It's making me tired just to think about answering this.
Yoga is a form of meditation and really doesn't have anything to do with thinking about Hindu deities. The idea with yoga is to use the pose to link the mind and body while meditating. So far so good.
Here comes the tricky part. To actually be doing yoga ( the discipline) correctly, you would be freeing you mind of thought in order to achieve enlightenment.
You could be a Catholic doing yoga only if you don't do it right. When we meditate, we're trying to fill our minds up, not empty them out. We're not trying to achieve enlightenment.
It's really good exercise and breathing, though. Very good for you! But a big fat problem if it leads you to explore Eastern Religions. Then it would be a near occasion of sin and maybe you should just go swim laps or something.
Be wary of the Tarot, Ouija board, etc. "good intention" gambit. That is, someone will say they don't intend to use these for occult practices, so it's ok. For example, I was talking with someone who kept Tarot cards because he liked the pretty pictures, and it was ok because he was not using them for divination and that he does not believe they have power anyway. I replied it does not matter because things have objective meaning independent of our intentions. Tarot cards have an inextricable connection to the occult/new age practice, and no amount of equivocation by changing the name or comparing it to a regular deck of playing cards can change that. Thus, Catholics should no more run around with these things than a married man should keep pretty pictures of ex-girlfriends on his bedroom dresser.
Oh...I don't know. Fine. Yes, those cards do stand for something. Objects do stand for things, if they don't, you can toss your St. Anthony key chain. (But you'll lose your keys!)
But honestly...it really upsets me that people give these objects power. They actually don't have any more power than a deck of playing cards. That is why we don't believe in them. They don't have the power to predict the future.
If a person really doesn't use them or believe in them and just likes the pretty pictures, the worst case scenario is simply the near occasion of sin that one day they will decide, out of the blue, that they want to go tell fortunes or talk to the devil or something. This guy that likes the pretty pictures isn't running around with anything...is he? Does he carry a purse?
That reminds me! I forgot an important category:
Lucky stuff. Rabbits feet, gym shoes, four leaf clovers, blowing on the dice, all off limits. We don't believe in luck so having a lucky anything is a no.
You maybe can knock wood. Maybe. That would only work if you're not knocking on wood for luck but knocking on wood as a sort of little prayer, giving where the very idea of knocking on wood originated. I'll admit to doing that. I probably shouldn't do it in front of anyone, as it might confuse someone. Then on the other hand it might give me the chance to explain about the rosary. Iffy.
And speaking of scandal:
Different subject...how about the Catholic school teacher on that Big Brother show? What kind of trouble is he in for lying his way through a game hoping to win half a million dollars? Lying is a venial sin right? So a trip to confession and tithe ten percent back to the church and he's good right? Just curious on your opinion.
That's the absolute rock bottom definition of scandal: making something look like it's okay when it's not.
First of all, we're Catholic. We don't care about money.
Secondly, a sleazy reality show, if you ask me, is a sin in itself, as it calls upon the viewer to use the pain and humiliation of others as entertainment. Just because a lion is actually eating anyone before our eyes doesn't make watching torment an okay thing to do.
Third, the very fact that you had to ask this question means the scandal has occurred. Lying is a venial sin. St. Augustine....or was it St. Thomas Aquinas...said that lying was the worst sin, venialness not withstanding. And since when is it okay to go around thinking, "I'll go ahead and commit this sin and then get rid of it in confession later and do some penance." Your soul is not some dress that you can wash over and over again. Trust me, if you have to wash it that often, the color is going to fade and the seams will start to give and the edges will fray.
So it's not just one sin going on. It's lying, scandal, greed and making other people watch reality TV. And it's all a double sin because he's making it all seem okay. Big Brother is not the only one watching.
Maybe Dan, age 24, is not a school teacher who is Catholic. Maybe he's a Catholic School teacher and he's not Catholic. Hey, it happens.
On a lighter note: The nun pictures are flying in! Oh we have some wonderful pictures! Thank you all for your "entries".