Submitted by Michael Prabhu, Chennai, India www.ephesians-511.net
Dear Lauri and the four who posted their responses, I beg to disagree.
The US Bishops are correct. Reiki healing [and others that use Universal or any other Life Force Energy] are esoteric spiritual therapies. They DO work, the fact is undeniable. But the power behind them is occult. There is no neutral power in the spiritual realm.
There is nothing scientific about Reiki "healing".
I have researched Reiki and other New Age alternative therapies for many years and I speak and write to expose their errors and spiritual dangers in my Catholic apologetics ministry.
If the Bishops have condemned Reiki, it follows that acupressure, acupuncture, reflexology, shiatsu, the martial arts [ALL of them], homeopathy, kundalini yoga, chakra therapy, pranic healing, etc., all stand equally condemned by the Church. They all employ the manipulation of an "energy" known variously as prana, chi, ki, qi, mana, vital energy, cosmic energy, bioplasma, etheric energy, etc, which reportedly act on the alleged vital body, etheric body, astral body, etc. of the individual.
A study of the February 3, 2003 Vatican Document on the New Age, "Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life" will help.
10. 'Reiki is an invitation to hear God's answers'
http://ncronline.org/news/spirituality/reiki-invitation-hear-gods-answers April 19, 2009 By Maureen Griffin
I was first introduced to Reiki some five years ago. At the time, I was in a very unhealthy relationship; I saw no way out of financial woes; and I had forsaken my career in theatre. The longer I stayed trapped, the sicker I became mentally, emotionally, and physically. By the time I had my first Reiki session, I had been seeing a therapist twice a week for depression; I had developed all kinds of food allergies; and I was an emaciated 99 pounds.
Being skeptical of anything that even hints at being “spiritual,” I called my diocese to see if they knew anything about Reiki, and to my surprise, I was transferred to a nun who actually taught it! She told me, “We find that Reiki aids in meditation and prayer.” I later discovered for myself that by relaxing the body, the mind just naturally follows. Reiki helps you achieve a meditative state, enabling you to quiet your mind you I can “hear” God’s answers.
Soon afterwards I was lying on a massage table for my first Reiki session. I had no idea what to expect – which in retrospect was a good thing because I was open to the experience. When she first laid her hands on my head, I immediately felt heat. The warmth traveled to different parts of my body throughout the session as her hands changed positions. It was, for me, like being submerged in a hot bubble bath of comfort. I was so relaxed that my conscious thoughts simply gave way, and images started to float through my mind. When the hour was over, I felt refreshed, and as I walked down the street afterwards, it was as if my feet weren’t even touching the ground.
After several Reiki sessions, I felt strong enough to tackle life. I sort of let Reiki slide, looking at it as an indulgence I no longer needed. Within a year, however, I was back at the Reiki Clinic, deeply depressed with life seeming hopeless. The effects of Reiki are cumulative, and at that point I was definitely in need of a “booster shot.”
By the time the Reiki Master’s hands reached my shoulders, tears flowed down my cheeks. The tears led way to sobs, and the sobs seemed almost unbearable. I can still remember the emotional pain that surfaced in me at that moment. That session was a catharsis for me. I felt as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders – which, indeed, it literally had.
A short time later, I was studying to become a practitioner. I soon found the strength to extricate myself from the relationship in which I had felt so trapped. Money matters seemed to work themselves out almost miraculously, and I went back to my career in theatre. All of my food allergies disappeared, and I am now a healthy 124 pounds.
As a practitioner, I have been blessed to witness similar changes in others. A friend of mine, who was in constant pain from a year of chemotherapy, was pain-free for an entire day after an hour of Reiki. My boyfriend, who had a serious back injury and subsequent fusion surgery, had been taking an average of six Vicodin a day – which, among other things, was affecting his personality. After a half hour of Reiki, he was smiling, relaxed, and feeling physically better. He later told me the best part for him was that it gave him a new attitude towards life. He realized it was possible to feel better. He then added, “I knew that.” (Reiki does not tell you anything you don’t already know; it merely reminds you of what you forgot.) A month later, my boyfriend is now almost completely off painkillers; he’s begun to eat healthy foods to lose weight, and is going to acupuncture to quit smoking.
I like to think of Reiki as an invitation to hear God’s answers. In order to “hear” God, we first need to have complete faith and trust in Him. How often when we pray are we fearful – perhaps even of hearing an answer we won’t like? God is our benevolent Father. How could He not give us what is good? Jesus tells us that. Jesus also tells us that when we pray with faith, we will receive. Do we honestly believe that, though? For me, Reiki helps ease my fears and quiet my mind to help me feel God’s presence in my life.
Healing, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, cannot occur unless we are unafraid and open to God’s healing power. In short, it takes faith. Fear is the antithesis of faith. Reiki helps get us past our fears so we can listen to the Father’s guidance.
Griffin is a Reiki practitioner and life-long Catholic who grew up on Long Island. 32.
Submitted by Sondra H on Apr. 20, 2009:
As Ms Griffin described how she felt when the practitioner placed their hands on her head, I recalled the same exact feeling when I was in a desperate mental and physical state. I asked my priest friend to administer the sacrament of healing. I too felt that warmth and healing. It brought me to tears to feel the discomforts of life leave me.
In "New Age", Satan is known to counterfeit ALL of the phenomena of the use of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Such phenomena are a "vindication" of the "genuineness" of the New Age psychic, occult and esoteric experiences.
Since they are spiritual in character, one has to check whether their philosophies and fruit correspond to Biblical values. If they contrast and contradict, and SURE THEY DO, flee.
REIKI IN CATHOLIC INSTITUTIONS IN INDIA *This writer’s first encounter with the previously unheard of subject of Reiki was at the Fr. Rebello’s School of Evangelization [Mangalore, 1997/1998] when the issue of whether it is a healing therapy that may be practised by Christians came up. Neither the late Fr. Francis Rebello SJ nor Fr. James Manjackal MSFS who were directing the course could say anything significant as at that time little was yet understood about New Age medicine. [Additionally, one of this writer’s counselees revealed that he was a trained Reiki therapist, and was it okay for him to practise?] Preaching extensively across Europe today from his base in Germany, Fr. Manjackal has not only encountered the extensive use of Reiki by Catholics, but speaks strongly against its esoteric and New Age nature, and calls upon all Catholics to abjure the practice. Around this time, the first-ever article on Reiki [or any alternative therapy] explaining its occult and ‘New Age’ [a term not yet commonly known in the Indian Church] nature, appeared in a Catholic charismatic periodical [see below]. It was written by a lay Catholic, a former New-Ager.
*The following year, while at a Catholic Bible College, the writer discovered three laypersons occupying senior and important capacities in intercession, counselling and in the drug-deaddiction centre [one was also a graduate of Advanced Pranic Healing] who had obtained Master’s certificates in the art of Reiki, one of which was from Germany. [Two of them have abjured these practices and have surrendered their original certificates and course material to the writer]. By this time the writer had investigated the therapy known as ‘pranic healing’ which too he had encountered being propagated by Catholic laypersons, and even a spiritual director and former regional chairman of the charismatic renewal, and his research showed that these systems were New Age, and dangerously loaded with occult philosophies and practices. [While Reiki is a ‘hands-on’ therapy, pranic healing is a ‘no-hands’ one. Except for the founders and their initiations, the two differ only in a few minor details. It is suggested to readers that they read the separate write-up on pranic healing for a broader understanding of Reiki.]
*Around this time, lay-preachers Trevor Lewis of Mumbai and Fritz Mascarenhas of Bangalore began to share their experiences of persons who had come under severe occult bondage and demonic harassment after encounters with Reiki [some had to be prayed over for deliverance], even by simple contact with books on the subject.
Identifying these practices as fraught with spiritual danger, they called for Catholics to abjure the therapies and to confess such practices as a sin against the First Commandment of God.
*Informative write-ups on New Age in general and on Reiki in particular began to appear in more Catholic magazines, all authored by laypersons. This writer had meanwhile conducted extensive research on the Reiki [and pranic healing and other] phenomena, and after having had several fruitless meetings with the Auxiliary Bishop of Chennai [Dec. 1999/ Jan 2000] during which he submitted to the Bishop his findings on the extent and manner of their infiltration into the Church, the writer began to circulate in print, copies of the reports detailing his shocking findings:
*One Bishop who is close to some lay Catholic pranic healers confided to me that he himself possessed a book or two on pranic healing and had not realised that the therapy is incompatible with Christianity.
I showed this Bishop the book Healing- A Holistic Approach authored by the late Orthodox Bishop of Kottayam, Dr. Paulose Mar Gregorios favoring the practice of such alternative therapies as Reiki and pranic healing.
*In my estimate there are today a few hundred nuns who are ‘attuned’ Reiki and pranic healers in the Indian Church. And a few score priests. I know some of them personally. My wife and I have been threatened by two priests with dire consequences for exposing their activites to our Bishop and the CBCI, one telephonically, and the other through a letter. These nuns and priests are in positions of authority and influence, and they are able to transfer to ignorant laypeople the poisonous philosophies and practices that they have gone to great trouble to Master.
My own spiritual director, a holy Jesuit who passed away recently, had initially seriously discouraged me from this ministry, believing that I was exaggerating the danger to the Church. He changed his mind and his position after a visiting nun conducted reiki healing on him for a chronic back problem, and after the Jesuit brother whom he accompanied to the nearby Devaki hospital for a heart condition was given a dose of treatment with pranic energy.
*Most greatly affected are our innocent children in Catholic schools, colleges, seminaries and houses of formation. 33.
Stella Maris, the Catholic women’s college in Chennai [run by the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary], organized Reiki promotions on the campus and students were marked for attendance. [Yoga is offered as an elective subject, martial arts is encouraged, and at one time it was the location for the full-moon-night initiation service of the Pranic Healing Foundation of Tamil Nadu till my campaign against it yielded dividends and the venue was moved.]
*When pranic healing founder Choa Kok Sui came to Chennai in January 2000, he was welcomed at the Good Shepherd Convent by the Superior, in an ostentatious ceremony called the Mass Healing and Meditation that looked like a mini Kumbh Mela. After which they proceeded to Tirupati for ‘a darshan of Sri Balaji at Tirumala’.
*When Reiki Grand Master Paula Horan conducted a programme in Bangalore on 14 December 2000, the venue was provided to her for the promotion of her occult and New Age techniques by the Jesuits at ‘Ashirwad’ on St. Mark’s Road. She arrived after conducting a session under the Karnataka Reiki Council at a Hindu temple in a different part of the city. Horan has authored 5 books: Empowerment through Reiki, Abundance through Reiki, Core Empowerment, Reiki- 108 Questions & Answers, and The Ultimate Reiki Touch. Typically, the contact persons for further information and registration were Catholics [the Braganzas from Hubli].
*Many Catholic schools, especially those run by nuns, are known to have conducted reiki classes. Dr. Sujata Goda, the only holder of a doctorate in yoga [Madras University] is the Director of the Patanjali Yoga Vidya Kendram, Chennai and member, Tamil Nadu Pranic Healing Society. “Among the educational institutions, she is either a permanent faculty or guest lecturer in [the Catholic] Sathyabama College of Engineering, Rosary Matriculation School [FMM nuns] and St. Bede’s Sports Foundation” [the Alma Mater of this writer, run by the Salesians of Don Bosco]….
“Her hobbies include tarot reading, palmistry, numerology, vaastu shastra… Effectively combining her knowledge of yoga with Reiki and pranic healing could produce miraculous results.”[Madras Shopper’s Digest, October 2000]
*Several St. Pauls bookstores have stocked books on Reiki. At the Bangalore shop, the referred Sumeet Sharma’s All You Wanted to Know About Reiki [I had already purchased it on Nov.4, 1999 at ATC, another Catholic bookshop in Bangalore] was on display with other Reiki titles in October 2000, and the nun in charge told me that she was a practitioner, defended its principles, and asked me to leave because I was making a list of the New Age books.] I found Reiki in Everyday Living by Earlene P. Glennis at the Good Pastor International Book Centre in Chennai.
Priests have argued with me that they surely could not be on the wrong track if St. Pauls sold them the very books on Reiki that they were using for their spiritual growth.
*Catholic periodicals carry articles on these alternative medicines. For example: In The New Leader of Feb 1-15, 2002, we have Sr. Rosamma John ICM’s The Phenomenon of Healing in which she likens hypnosis, pranic healing and Reiki to ‘the Potta phenomenon’ and lauds the concepts of energy fields, prana, the chakras, the bioplasmic [vital or etheric or energy] body and the use of suggestions given in altered states of consciousness [ASCs]. The result of that? A layperson’s Letter to the Editor in the issue of March 1-15: “The phenomenon of phenomena like yoga and Reiki-
a qualified and knowledgeable person like Sr. Rosamma has given us a refresher with her enlightening belief that there is power in many of the tools like pranic healing to heal many illnesses.” In The New Leader of Feb 16-28, 2002, in handling a question enquiring Can Catholics Practise Reiki?, Fr. Edmond Grace SJ enlightens us that Christian practice of yoga, Zen and t’ai ch’i are examples of how “in recent times many people have grown in their awareness of, and faith in Christ, through practices developed by eastern religions.” In 2002 the NL carried several ads. of the Catholic Health Association of India [CHAI]’s Health Action magazine for books on pranic healing etc.
*CHAI, the Catholic Health Association of India regularly advertises occult books as “Good News to all our friends who practise Pranic Healing and Reiki” through Health Action, copies of which are found in parishes, seminaries and other Christian institutions. CHAI was set up with the assistance of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India [CBCI] and its editorial board is always headed by priests and nuns. CHAI promotes the New Age through Alternative Medicine in over 3000 medical institutions and have threatened this writer with legal action for ‘defamation’ and ‘libel’, their interpretation of my warning the Church about their activities. CHAI conducts its initiation of Catholics into the occult at pastoral centres, religious houses of congregations etc. through a number of programmes with innocuous sounding titles like ‘Counselling’ or ‘Ministry of Leadership’.
*Our ‘Low-Cost’ Holistic Health Centres. There are several in India. I have visited the two in Chennai and in Pune. These are spawning ‘attuned’ Reiki and pranic healers in the thousands. Priest, seminarians, nuns and laypersons.
Run by ICM nuns who are highly qualified in alternative medicine, they conduct courses on a regular basis round the year. Their graduates are serving in mission stations abroad, and much closer to home than we would like to imagine. These centres have been set up with the approval of Archbishops and funding of Catholic agencies [which are again CBCI supported] like CHAI and CARITAS. 34.
The logo of the Chennai centre is the occult yin-yang, while the Pune centre has a slightly modified one. Health Action regularly publishes stories on what goes on at these Holistic Health Centres, all run by nuns.
*Catholic public events have become opportunities for several of these organizations to seduce people with their New Age wares. At the 12th National Charismatic Convention in Vijayawada in October 2003, the St. Pauls book stall exhibited a dozen such titles ranging from Reincarnation to Vaastu Shastra to Yoga.
They were removed by members of the National Service Team when I brought them to their notice. However I was not so successful at the 10th World Day of the Sick International Celebrations in Vailankanni at the Basilica of Our Lady of Health, 9th to 11th February 2002. Despite the fact that midway through the convention I was obliged to literally hijack the microphone to draw the attention of the 3000 delegates [Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops, priests, nuns and laity] to the following, with no apparent results: i) St. Pauls were selling the New Age as usual, at their book shop ii) So was CHAI, with a wide range of occult books, distributing free copies of Health Action to entrap the unwary, especially the previous month’s issue [Jan 2002], specially prepared for the occasion, which is the best example of New Age medicine that I have come across among Catholic publications. It carries an article by Sr. (Dr.) Eliza Kuppozhackel MMS, the head of the Pranic Healing Foundation of Kerala, in which she also mentions Reiki. iii) There was a new addition. Sr.(Dr.) M. Amalavathy ICM and her unique brand of universal energy [Spiritual Human Yoga, the latest competitor to Reiki and pranic healing, far more insidious and satanic, if such a thing were possible]
iv) A stall promoting the martial art of Tai Chi, hosted by Sr. (Dr.) M. Amalavathy ICM. v) The Sister-Doctors Forum of India [SDFI] promoting alternative systems of medicine using, again, universal energy vi) The Souvenir. Along with letters from the Vatican, archbishops, bishops, a CBCI Commission, it carries articles by several priests, an essay on alternative New Age therapies by a Lutheran minister(!), and a 15-page article by Sr. Amalavathy on a wide range of esoteric practices and alternative medicines [over 40], that includes Reiki and pranic healing. Between the Health Action issue and the Souvenir, every alternative medical practice that the Vatican warns about in its 3rd Feb. 2003 article on the ‘New Age’ was propagated at Vailankanni as worthy of practice by Catholics.
I have sent detailed reports on all the above [and more] to the Bishops and the relevant commissions of the CBCI.
*The left-wing liberal National Catholic Reporter* September 3, 2003 Vol. 1, No. 23 reports on Reiki in the Catholic Church in India through this article, Meditating and Medicating on the Margins by Fr. Francis Gonsalves, a Jesuit of the Gujarat province who “lectures in systematic theology at Vidyajyoti College of Theology, Delhi, and has published many articles on theology, spirituality and social justice”: *see pages 28, 79
“While most believers raise their hands in worship, Catholic priest Swami Devaprasad, who harmonizes hatha yoga with Christianity, frequently raises his feet, too. In Pune, Buddhists are thrilled that Fr. Peter D'Souza conducts vipassana courses, and that Medical Mission Sr. Ruth Manianchira heals hundreds through reiki. Fr. Joe Pereira of Mumbai cures alcoholics and drug addicts through yoga, while in South India, Jesuit priests Ama Samy and Sebastian Painadath run Zen courses and Bhagavad Gita retreats, respectively, with rousing response.
Spirituality, not doctrine -- the human body, not merely the mind -- is the meeting ground of India's modern missionaries who meditate and medicate on the margins between Catholicism and Indic religions. Moreover, their margin-ministries are moving the Indian church toward rediscovering the Indian Christ, and refurbishing Indian Christian-ness.
…Reiki -- meaning, "spiritually guided life force energy" -- helps Manianchira unleash channels of spiritual power that lie latent within the depths of being. Indeed, the wellsprings of all religions surge from these spiritual depths.
…Manianchira is enthusiastic about the healing powers of reiki: "a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through you, surrounds you, and treats the whole person -- body, emotion, mind, spirit -- creating extraordinary effects like relaxation, peace, security, well-being, and other miraculous results."
…In conformity with the charism of the Medical Missionaries in India, Manianchira has jettisoned the "hospital model" or "medicine-dispensing model" in favor of "not merely removing symptoms but addressing the root causes of illness which lie at the very depths of our being." She strives for 'integral healing' and 'sustainable health' for all.
…Manianchira admits to calling upon the power of "Jesus the Healer" to empower her in her mission. "I often see Jesus as a reiki practitioner," she confesses, "who preaches forgiveness and love as means of wholeness." 35.
…Manianchira receives letters spiced with scriptural sayings alleging that reiki and pranic healing are satanic systems*. Fortunately, her religious community supports her fully…
Among the ecclesiastical hierarchy, there is mixed response toward incorporating Indic spiritual systems into Christianity. Some bishops and priests support such moves. Others stump them.
… Hopefully, Jesus the reiki Healer will draw us toward holism…”
*It is always gratifying when one’s efforts are recognized, but the circumstances in question are not edifying. They are, to use a word that I always exclude from my vocabulary, but for want of a better substitute introduce here, most unfortunate. I am referring to the “letters” that Sr. Ruth Manianchira MMS admits to receiving. The letters are in fact my reports, primarily one titled:
“New Age Alternative Medicines such as Reiki and Pranic Healing which are being practised and taught in Holistic Health Centres run by Catholic nuns in Chennai and in Pune with the blessing of the Church.”