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Browsing Fr. Joel Hastings

Psychics and Angels

Dec 19, 2016

Are Catholics permitted to go to psychics? In particular, [is such acceptable] to communicate with deceased loved ones?

     While this type of endeavor might seem harmless, the firm answer to this question is “no,” based fully on the words of the First Commandment (as given in Exodus 20:2-3): “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt…. you shall have no other gods before me.” In the Catechism of the
Catholic Church
, the explanation of the First Commandment includes both what it means to positively respond to God as the one true God (through faith, hope, and charity, in praying to Him, etc.), and how such pursuits as idols, superstitions, divination, and magic contradict and undermine such living of faith in God. In particular, paragraph 2116 says it this way:

     “All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to “unveil” the future. 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.”

     Thus, it is clear that any recourse to psychics is clearly contrary to faith, hope, and love for God and it therefore sinful.

In Sunday’s Mass in the Magnificat, I read: “And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory.” My question is – we know something about angels and
Archangels, can you tell me something about Thrones, Dominions, and Powers?  I don’t know what to think or visualize about them.

     The referenced words quoted here are from the “Preface” (that comes at the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer, after the priest and people have exchanged the dialogue “The Lord be with you,” “and with your Spirit,” “Lift up your hearts,” etc.)  What are referred to here in these names are various choirs of angels. Thus, as is mentioned above that we know what angels and archangels are, so too “Thrones,” “Dominions,” and “Powers” are among the choirs (or levels) of angels that exist in God’s presence. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, the angels are arranged in three “hierarchies,” each containing three “choirs.” The highest orders of angels (those
closest to God) are “Cherubim, Seraphim, and Thrones,” the second highest being “Dominations (or Dominions), Virtues, and Powers,” and the third including “Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.” In this hierarchical structure, it follows that those furthest from God are those whom He wills to guard us and to communicate to us (as with the Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, or Michael) as their proximity to us allows them to more effectively assist us in moving toward God – and thus our knowledge of these lower choirs is logically more extensive.

 

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