Spiritual Warfare Forum: guided imagery

guided imagery QUESTION from Susanne October 12, 2001 I am a mother of 6 with two teenagers and a preteen among them. I homeschool with a Catholic program to give them a solid background in their faith. Then I send them to the Youth Ministry of our local Catholic church and they study such things as Who am I? and other such humanistic, secular feel good subjects.
The history of the church, lives of saints, doctrines, dogma and truths of our faith are not being passed on to the next generation. In fact, my generation was starved on the subject also. I am learning along with them with the religion studies of our homeschooling curriculum.
My question is should I allow them to take part in guided imagery exercises at their youth meetings? The teacher asks them to relax and close their eyes. Then she speaks with a soothing voice. She asked them to clear their minds and command each part of their bodies to relax as she mentioned it. She then told them to imagine that they were surrounded by water. She said to imagine that the water was God. They then were to drift onto the shore. They then have an encounter group kind of situation. They tell how they felt when they were in the water.
This was in the church only a few feet from the Blessed Sacrament. They ignore the real presence of Our Lord to dabble in New Age foolishness. The leaders would at least read information if I could present them with evidence that guided imagery is dangerous or occult. Thank you for your time. God Bless
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 28, 2001 Dear Mrs. Susanne:
You have a right to be concerned about this and I would advise that you prohibit your children from participating in this yourth ministry if it is to use such new age techniques and philosophies. The idea of clearing the mind is particularly dangerous.
Some resources that might be helpful include this official statement from the church on non-Christian meditation: Links on the New Age
In our library we have a number of resources that you might find interesting: On Non-Christian Meditation
Also of interest on this topic are the following books:
Catholics and the New Age : How Good People Are Being Drawn into Jungian Psychology, the Enneagram, and the Age of Aquarius by Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
Unmasking the New Age: Is there a New Religious Movement Trying to Transform Society? by Douglas R. Groothuis
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