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The “Supernatural” in Modern Society

Joseph Sheppard

In its highest and truest meaning, the Church defines supernatural as:
Supernatural pertains to “an effect or series of effects substantially and absolutely above all nature and, as such, calls for an exceptional intervention and gratuitous bestowal of God and rises in a manner to the Divine order, the only one that transcends the whole created world” (1).

1. New Advent, The Catholic Encyclopedia, entry “Supernatural Order”
In other words, if something occurs that would seem outside of the natural order, and it is not from God, it cannot be supernatural. Even when Satan or his demons perform a seemingly “miraculous” effect, the Church says they are using only natural means to deceive us. Certainly, so-called spiritualists, “intuitives,” palm readers, dream interpreters and wiccans would never declare that their powers come from God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Yet many of such persons and others would declare their powers to be “spiritual” or even supernatural. They most definitely are not.

A tarot card
A kabalist symbol in a Tarot card
As a case in point, if one performs a “search” on the Internet for the term “supernatural,” one can find the following (an actual result from one search engine):
  • “Mother Goddess Gnostic Society”

  • “View Ghost Pictures Here”

  • “Free Horoscope”

  • “Make Your Wildest Dreams Come True: Money,” etc.
These search results refer to what the Church has traditionally defined as “superstition.” The Church applies the word superstition to four categories:
  1. improper worship of the true God (indebitus veri Dei cultus);

  2. idolatry;

  3. divination; and

  4. vain observances (including magic and the occult arts).
The above search results, if not outright scams, would mostly fall into the latter category of superstition (vain observances), with some falling into the “divination” category. These categories are further subdivided into numerous sub-categories that include, in part, the still popular ones of astrology, palmistry, cartomancy (playing of cards to predict events or otherwise aid someone), devil-worship, necromancy (evocation of the dead or “channelinng,” Ouija boards, seances, etc.), oneiromancy (interpretation of dreams), and witchcraft (2).
2. The Catholic Encyclopedia, ibid.
Today we find that “vain observances” and “divinations” have gained unprecedented respectability on talk shows, in book stores, and even in the business world. For example, an article that recently appeared in the Ledger-Enquirer (Columbus, GA) under the title “New at the spa: Tarot readings and other supernatural healers” (sic - substitute “superstitious healers”) reads:
“At Juve The Spa in this north Atlanta suburb, patrons can get a metaphysical add-on to any spa service. Such as a $100 Tarot card reading from an on-staff Tarot expert. Or a $175 hour-long astrological consultation.”
Other examples:
  • “Soul-seekers can talk to a Native American shaman (for $200 an hour) at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Cal.”

  • Or, “Try Soul Regression Therapy, a guided tour through past lives, for $90 an hour at Ruby Room spa in Chicago.”

  • The latter spa also touts sessions on “Dream Therapy” and “Energy Healing For Pets.”

  • Elsewhere, “Whispering Waters Day Spa in San Antonio, Texas, offers $70 “Polarity Therapy” sessions, where patrons work with a healer to align life energies” (3). As the cliché says, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
3. Kristen Wyatt, “New at the spa: Tarot readings and other supernatural healers,” Ledger Enquirer, online edition, 1-8-05;
see also, Juve The Spa at http://www.juvethespa.com
The devil stealing a goat under a banner of modernism

Under the pretext of religious liberty, Satanism is protected in modern legislation.
It is a contradiction.
While what is not from God is often being deemed “supernatural,” what is truly supernatural is ignored and demeaned. Our Lord is treated in the world today just as He was during the time of His Passion. Take, for example, the relativistic attitude with which our country views “religion.” Two young men who attacked a self-described “Satanist,” 20-year-old Mr. Romano, have been charged with a violating a Federal hate crime statute. There are three areas of violation in this law: race, religion, and “sexual orientation.” In this particular case, the charge is said to be a hate crime against the Satanist’s “religion”.

Romano said:
"My allegiance is to Satan and I hate Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, but I don't hurt anyone. I take out my anger in mosh pits and S and M clubs. I think it's ironic that the Christians got violent with the Satanist" (4).

4. Corey Kilgannon, “Beating of Queens Satanist Prompts Hate Crime Charges”, The New York Times,online edition, 1-12-05;
see also,Tamer El-Ghobashy, Scott Shifrel, Tony Sclafani, “Queens Satanist Catches Hell”, New York Daily News, online edition, 1-12-05.
While not suggesting to the reader that one should do violence to self-proclaimed Satanists with weird hair, long fingernails, and black clothing, this writer must question any attempt to assign a legal religious status to Satanism (although this already happened many years ago).

Our laws have become so relativistic that Satanism, among other bizarre sects, is recognized as a legitimate religion.

Posted January 19, 2005

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