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Reiki and Catholic Institutions

Unfortunately, a number of Catholic nurses, doctors, hospitals and retreat centers have innocently included Reiki as an “alternative form of medicine”. One such place, The Bon Secours Spiritual Center in Marriottsville, Maryland, advertises on the web thusly:

“Why receive Massage or Reiki while on retreat?

Because we believe that both are graced ways of experiencing God’s healing touch during a retreat.

‘In a pastoral context massage becomes a sacrament of touch, an anointing, for it combines one of the oldest and simplest of medical treatments with the ancient healing powers of ‘the laying on of hands’ and ‘the anointing with oil’. Hands are symbols of human service and communicators of the healing potential within. Oil is a biblical symbol of

the divine gift of health, strength and respect for the whole person. In massage these symbols coalesce to heal, comfort, soothe, relax and strengthen the whole being.’ Mary Ann Finch”

Catholic Hospitals

Many seriously ill patients in hospitals are exposed to occult techniques, including Reiki, without full knowledge or consent. While in a weakened and vulnerable state, “volunteers” perform Reiki magic over them as described in the following: According to William Lee Rand, in his web article, “Reiki in Hospitals”:

“The Reiki Clinic at the Tucson Medical Center (TMC) in Arizona has a team of Reiki practitioners who give Reiki to patients in their rooms…The TMC program started in May 1995...The program first began in the Cancer Care Unit, but has since expanded to many other areas in the hospital. At first, the attending physician had to give permission for Reiki to be provided. This has changed, and now the attending nurse makes the request. Reiki sessions are given by two-person teams as this creates a feeling of safety and confidence for both the patients and the practitioners.

A patient must sign a consent form and sessions are given in their rooms while they are in bed.

It is up to the Reiki team to explain Reiki to the patient before giving the treatment. They have found that this usually works best by first taking a few minutes to introduce themselves and get to know the patient, then explain the work they do. They have also found it best not to use the word “Reiki” at first when describing how they can help, but to talk about healing energy. They explain how healing energy exists in the body but is depleted when a person is sick, and they describe their work as helping to increase the patient’s healing energy supply.

Later, after trust has been gained, they explain more about the technique and that it is called Reiki. They also play special healing music during the Reiki session.

Volunteers at the Reiki clinic have found it helpful not to use metaphysical terms when talking to patients or to hospital staff about Reiki. Terms like aura, chakras, energy bodies, etc. tend to cause confusion and mistrust. It works better to explain Reiki in simple everyday terms by simply saying that touching is something that everyone needs and enjoys. They also found that describing their work as Reiki treatments tended to create some fear, whereas calling them Reiki sessions worked much better.”

In essence, Reiki and the New Age paradigm in general, seeks to change our bodies and minds, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, into dens which spirit guides may inhabit, and which are reduced to metaphysical machines that can only be corrected and perfected through mechanistic energy infusions. It is a power paradigm which emphasizes control and domination.

What can be done to remove Reiki, the most pervasive of popular occult techniques, from Catholic institutions?

1. We can “tear off the veils” of deception through dissemination of this kind of literature. ("I will tear off your veils and rescue my people from your power, so that they shall no longer be prey to your hands. Thus you shall know that I am the Lord." Ezekiel 13:21)

2. We can sponsor true “centers of healing” in hospitals, colleges & retreat houses that include programs in:

the sacraments of reconciliation;

Eucharistic adoration in honor of the Holy Face;

anointing of the sick blessed with prayers to the Holy Face;

orthodox spiritual direction for those in crisis;

restoration of those affected by New Age involvement.

3. Those Catholics who are especially gifted with the charisms of extraordinary faith, healing, deliverance and intercessory prayer can form discernment groups under the leadership of a priest experienced in orthodox Roman Catholic spiritual counseling in order to inaugurate these ministries.

Just as Jesus expressed just anger at the taking over of His Father’s House, we too should be just as zealous in reclaiming our loved ones and institutions from these false idols.

Clare McGrath Merkle is the editor of The Cross and Veil website and was once involved in the New Age as a "healer" and advanced Kriya yoga practitioner. The site is the fruit of ten years of personal renewal and five years of efforts at evangelization.
4. The Occult Nature of Reiki © Sean's Faith Website 2004


Reiki is based on the same occult "universal life force" as reflexology, acupuncture, etc. Reiki is regarded in fact as being one step before the dreadful practice of "angel therapy" or "integrated energy therapy" which uses "energy" from supposed angels to make people think they are "healed". 45.

Also please see the files on Reflexology and Angel therapy on this site. As a remedy for having been involved with reiki, I suggest mentioning this in Confession, and if possible getting into the practise of sitting before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament each week. He is the Healer we all need.

Reiki Lie #1: Usurpation of the work of the Holy Spirit. An article from James McCoy in San Francisco Faith" (July 1998 edition) reads: "The Marianist Center advertisement says that the "source from which Reiki energy comes is the Source of All Life. Because the Creator of All Life is the source of this healing, it is unlimited, boundless, mysterious and profound."

But the Catechism of the Catholic Church applies the term "source of all life" to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. And "creator of all life" is reserved for God alone. The advertisement's terminology raises questions.

Can you conclude from it that "Reiki energy" is just another name for "grace"? If so, why not say so?

If "Reiki energy" does not come from the Holy Spirit, from what spirit does it come?" In the Catechism, paragraphs 2116 and 2117 we read:

". . .Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, **the phenomena of clairvoyance**, and recourse to **mediums** all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone." All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others even if this were for the sake of restoring their health are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible.

Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her own part warns the faith against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either powers or the exploitation of another's credulity."

Reiki Lie #2: Denial of the One True God, with instead a teaching of pantheism, that "all is God" Monotheism is the belief that there is One True God. In reiki, the 'universal life force' (or qi, ki, chi) is drawn from the earth or atmosphere, through the reiki practitioner, and channeled into the recipient (or 'patient.') This channeling of energy [allegedly] brings about a physical change in the patient. Some reiki practitioners will call this 'universal life force,' 'God.' [Catechism] paragraph 2117 condemns this practice, even if it is being used to restore one's health. From The International Center for Reiki Training article: How Does Reiki Work? we read:

"We are alive because life force is flowing through us. Life force flows within the physical body though pathways called chakras, meridians and nadirs. It also flows around us in a field of energy called the aura. Life force nourishes the organs and cells of the body, supporting them in their vital functions. When this flow of life force is disrupted, it causes diminished function in one or more of the organs and tissues of the physical body. ... There were two clairvoyant healers I knew who had highly developed abilities. They could easily see the life force flowing through a person's body, as well as see the aura and chakras. They could also communicate with a person's guides and Higher Self. They were adept at moving negative psychic energy out of the body as well as channeling healing energies. Reiki is guided by the God-consciousness."

From The International Center for Reiki Training article: What is Reiki? we read:

"Reiki is Spiritually Guided Life Force Energy... It is the God-consciousness called Rei that guides the life force called Ki in the practice we call Reiki. Therefore, Reiki can be defined as spiritually guided life force energy. This is a meaningful interpretation of the word Reiki. It more closely describes the experience most people have of it; Reiki guiding itself with its own wisdom, and being unresponsive to the direction of the practitioner. . . The word Rei as it is used in Reiki is more accurately interpreted to mean supernatural knowledge or spiritual consciousness. This is the wisdom that comes from God or the Higher Self. This is the God-Consciousness which is all knowing. It understands each person completely. It knows the cause of all problems and difficulties and knows what to do to heal them."

Reiki Lie #3: Promotion of the lie of reincarnation (see also the Reincarnation file on this site)

Here is a quote from the magical-musings website:

"[One] level upon which reiki works is the karmic...Often, problems in this life are results of karmic issues from past lives. However, unless you are regressed through hypnosis by an extremely reliable & trustworthy hypnotherapist, there is no way for you to identify these past life issues, let alone start working to correct them. This is where reiki comes in. You don't need to tell the reiki, "I need to work on my past life as a Sioux medicine man during which I harmed many people through negative use of my energy & abilities." Since reiki has an intelligence all its own, it already knows what you have done in your past lives. Furthermore, the reiki energy also knows where your karma needs correcting; and, it also knows that some karmic lessons need to be experienced for your own spiritual growth - so those issues it will leave in place." So we see that the lie of reincarnation is another fundamental aspect of this reiki "energy".

Reiki Lie #4: Denial of the problem of sin. This problem is especially troubling in regard to Christians who practice Reiki. See here for questions to ask in this regard. 1. Is Reiki ordered towards the "building up of the Church"?

2. Is Reiki a gift given by the Holy Spirit, or a practiced skill attainable by all by their own volition?

3. Are your "shepherds" (Bishops) in full knowledge and consent of your practice of Reiki?

4. Can you derive the sense of value of the Reiki you practice exclusively by its results?

5. Is Reiki a power that you control?

6. Does Reiki purport to "control or forecast natural events, effects, or forces by invoking the supernatural"? 46.

Does Reiki have "distinctive qualities that produce unaccountable or baffling effects"?

Can Reiki be described as "seemingly requiring more than human power; imposing or startling in performance; producing effects which seem supernatural or very extraordinary; having extraordinary properties"?

(These are the definitions of "magic") 7. Does a Reiki treatment involve invitation of the patient to belief in Christ?

8. Does it require a plea based on faith in Christ?

9. Does it bear witness to the Gospel? 10. Is Reiki ordered towards freeing the recipient from the bondage of sin?

11. Does Reiki teach that there is any value in suffering, any participation in selfless love or unconditional giving? 12. Can Reiki help to bring about a "victory over sin and death"?

Reiki Lie #5: The lying claim that Jesus healed using Reiki. The biggest difference, of course, is that Christ's healing came from God. Reiki healing does not invoke God at all, but rather channels "energy" or power from some other source. The "energy" has an intelligence all its own, and goes where it will. The reiki practitioner has no control over it, except to pass it on. So why does Jesus really heal?

Matthew 9:4-7 reads: "Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'? 6 But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." Then he said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men." Jesus healed to show those on earth that He had authority. His healings were also intended to lead others towards a knowledge of the True God. He never charged others for His healings, and he certainly didn't need several "sessions" with those He healed. To claim Jesus used Reiki to heal is to blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the Very Author of Life Himself.

Reiki Lie #6: The association of electromagnetic fields with the "universal life force". The problem with this idea of course is that Reiki practitioners claim Reiki is a non-physical energy. If it is non-physical, then it is not electric, and it is not magnetic. Therefore Reiki has nothing to do with the electromagnetic fields which are generated by people's bodies (and upon which such valid medical techniques as NMR are based) and to claim a connection is in fact being intellectually dishonest. Furthermore, the electromagnetic energy associated with a person's body is energy particular to that person's body and has nothing to do with any "universal life force". If you are in any way involved with Reiki, come out of it now. It is poison to your soul and will lead you further and further from the One True God.


Read the Bible ... especially the New Testament. Read the Catholic Catechism, starting at the beginning so that you have a fuller understanding of our Catholic faith. Join a parish community. We all need the support of one another.


From time to time, we receive emails asking about this and that "method" of healing, with the most recent concerning Reiki. Until now, we have answered them one by one, without thinking to put anything on the Internet.

However, I was recently at a function where I met someone who said that he practices some aspects of Reiki along with regular massage and I began to realise just how many people - even Catholics - accept this as perfectly normal. Not one Catholic I spoke to that day could understand why I perceive such practices as potentially dangerous or why I was concerned about what they saw as a natural form of healing that has nothing to do with spiritual practices. And little wonder, when many practitioners either say they haven't a clue where the energy they profess to "channel" comes from, or completely deny that there is any spiritual element involved. Yet the entire concept is based on New Age thinking, which, according to the Vatican, is not compatible with Christianity, and the very name "Reiki" belies any claim that it can be regarded as a purely natural method of healing.

Recently, the Catholic Church published a preliminary study on New Age spirituality, called "Jesus Christ, The Bearer Of The Water Of Life" which is available on the Vatican's website. To understand why Reiki is not a valid option for Christians, it is necessary to understand something of the underlying principles which guide New Age spirituality and to see how these apply to Reiki, as well as to contrast these beliefs with Christian teaching. If you have time to read that study, we highly recommend it. Otherwise, please continue....

Part Two - The Meaning of Reiki.... Rei = Sprit, K = Life Force Energy
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