Jul 062007

Speaking of new age nuns, a reader sent me the following story.

When Sister Teresina Grasso performs a laying on of hands, she draws on the Japanese healing practice called Reiki. Reiki is rooted in the idea that, through touch, a practitioner can unblock the body’s energy to help a person relax, relieve pain and promote healing.

In a dimly lit room in St. Celestine Parish, Sister Grasso made wide, sweeping motions over a fellow sister lying on a cot.

Sister Teresina Grasso feels for the chakras, or energy fields, over Sister Regina Gallo, during a Reiki massage demonstration June 26 at St. Celestine Parish.

She explained that she must "test the aura" or the energy around a person before a treatment.

"This is probably the most hokey-pokey part of the treatment," she joked to the dozen people watching the Reiki treatment demonstration.

The alternative healing technique might raise some eyebrows, but Sister Grasso assured, "It’s not magic. We’re not expecting miracle cures."

Reiki is not an alternative to Western medicine, she said, but this technique is effective in conjunction with mainstream medical practices.

…Sister Grasso also runs a regular Reiki clinic at the parish, where more Reiki practitioners are on-hand to perform treatments.

Reiki comes from "Rei" – universal and Ki – "Life force" and is a form of pantheism. Or as I have said before when it comes to nuns doing this it is a form of "pantsuitheism."

Besides being spiritually dangerous Reiki has also been discredited scientifically. Practices will often refer to a study done that shows it effectiveness, but this study was thoroughly debunked and discredited for the methods used. This type of spiritually dangerous crap needs to be thoroughly routed out of out retreat centers, Catholics hospitals, and parishes. The who underpinning of Reiki is not not consonant with Catholic spirituality and attempts to Christianize this "life force"as the Holy Spirit is totally mistaken. Another misleading factor is the use of the laying on of hands as if you were performing a quasi-sacrament.

How many received Reiki instead of the Anointing of the Sick? What we have here is spiritual malpractice where Eastern mysticism is substituted for the truths of the faith and users are deprived of grace via the sacraments.

Fr. Pacwa who has become an expert on the "New Age" was instrumental in the writing of the document put out by the Vatican called Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian reflection
on the “New Age”
and this document discusses Reiki like "psychic healing" and other prevalent practices.


  31 Responses to “Reiki don't lose that number”

  1. Um… yeah… I don’t she got the memo… We’ll just have to fax that right over…

  2. And the problem isn’t limited to the Chicago area.

    I think reading this calendar from a Philadelphia area “Spiritual Center” would make St. Francis very unhappy about what these sisters are doing in his name.

  3. “…Reiki has also been discredited scientifically.”

    Ha!! Tell that to Daniel LaRusso!!

  4. Scary stuff. I have a friend who’s fallen right into this garbage. These nuns do a great disservice to the Church they claim to be serving. If they really believed in the power of prayer, why would they ever need to tap into the “power” of Reiki? The evil one has gotten his mitts on too many people. Something is definitely fishy when our own religious are seeking spirituality from other religions.

  5. Winner: Best post title of the day!

  6. If they want an alternate source of healing, I suggest codliver oil, a good sauna, and some rum or brandy. (Not necessarily at the same time.)

  7. Reiki (??) was invented in the early 20th Century by some man who believed he was given the power to heal the sick or something after three weeks of fasting and meditating on Mount Kurama, a mountain with a lot of legends linked to it.

    That said, why do these nuns need to borrow from some other religion for practices? Is it because the practices are ‘fancy’ and ‘exotic’ to western eyes and they want to be somehow ‘cool’ in the eyes of the world? They’re compromising the Truth with a lie.
    (I live here in Japan yet the times I hear someone doing reiki, they were usually somewhere from the West or something. Odd, isn’t it?)

  8. Why are middle-aged to elderly feminist nuns so drawn to this new-agey crap? Answer me.

  9. Jim, sometimes it’s because religious men seem a trifle tightly wound, angry and judgmental. So women find themselves looking for something not so harsh.

    Then they go straight off the deep end.

    Would be best all around if everyone just took the time to make sure that he/ she was setting a good personal example of discipleship.

  10. Please keep up the good work you do, Jeff, I always enjoy reading your posts.

    I am totally embarrassed by the order described by Janet, I used the link she provided to see the website. Unfortunately, many of the orders in my area are also infected with this foolishness. Guess they haven’t noticed that the orders faithful to authentic teaching are the ones that are young and growing, and teaching our faith, not something else. Maybe they can’t get EWTN on their cable?

  11. I love that title and the song by Steely Dan (1974) – As soon as I read it, the melody began playing in my head.

    However, as I read more of your post, the song “Hokey Pokey” began coming in loud and clear.

  12. “Oh, Reiki, you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Reiki!”

  13. I think women get drawn to New Agey practices because they’re reaching a time in their lives when they question what they’re doing and want to make more of a contribution. Many of the “new” local writers and artists are in their 50s or older, and they’ve started to re-define themselves. However, they can just as easily be 25-year-olds re-evaluating their lives. The lure of New Age ideas are that they’re easy; e.g. you don’t need to take veterinary courses to become an “animal healer”. You just read some books and take a couple courses at a community college that offers such things. (Around here, Schoolcraft College has been called “Witchcraft U” for that reason.)

    As for going for a more “feminine” approach, I tend to think it’s a type of narcissism. My sex is female; my view and expressions must reflect me. Even the practice of healing is self-referential, as there is no objective criteria for diagnosis except for the interpretation of the healer. It’s not like a chiropractor, who actually can show you an X-ray as proof of your condition.

  14. “…sometimes it’s because religious men seem a trifle tightly wound, angry and judgmental.”

    Where? At one of the Jesuit universities? I’ve not seen an uptight angry male religious in most of my 43 years of life (just one old feller in the OMIs when I lived in MA who wanted to retire from being a parish pastor but wasn’t allowed)

    The only uptight, tightly wound, angry and judgemental religious I’ve ever known were in women’s orders and I’ve seen them everywhere we’ve lived. We’ve got a boatload of ’em here in West Virginia, where we live now. They were always complaining about something trivial in the diocese newspaper until letters to the editor was hapily discontinued (one rather angry letter complaining about being called ‘religious sisters’ instead of ‘women religious’ in regard to a long, many page article celebrating their order’s anniversary!) And then they wonder why they haven’t professed any new sisters – er – women religous – in decades.

    I agree with MissJean. They have given up their identity as religious – no habits, no veils, community prayer may not be in comformity with the Church, no sense of purpose as sisters as many no longer practice their apostolate as their founders began them. There is a huge void, and we women are particularly prone to these sorts of emotional based things – these women can imagine that they are doing good without actually doing anything of substance that requires real work (how hard is it to wave your hands around over a person in pain and pretend to feel and repair their leaky reiki?).

  15. Very sad to see this-but I had to laugh at the title, Jeff!

    I read your post, shana-very well put. I’m in my early 50s, but I’m single. I thought about being a nun (Carmelite) between the ages of 15 and 23. But I wasn’t accepted by the community. I did the ‘Third Order thing’ (Franciscans first, then Discalced Carmelite), but that didn’t work out either. My health is not the best right now, and so there is nothing in the way of any AUTHEHTIC religious life for a woman of my age. The newer Orders that have all the good vocations don’t even look at the ‘middleagers’ who never went along with the ‘pantsuit sisters’ that cropped up in our younger years! The nwer Orders only want the young! The young are the future-those who are over 35 are the past!

  16. Reiki was introduced during a time when we were urged to reach out in dialogue, etc to people of other faiths. It is presented as spiritual to people who are unaware that spiritual does not necessarily mean “of the Holy Spirit”.
    Catholics most vulnerable to the practice of Reiki are either victims/survivors or empathic and often liberal folks. When/if they seek guidance from their pastor before becoming involved in Reiki, they are not likely to find right answers because most pastors don’t know much about the practice. Ahhh, but the Sisters do, you see–they themselves practice. And so the attracted are hooked.
    Reiki does work, at least initially. That’s a huge problem, and a major reason why it continues and grows. Convincing a healer that their selfless (at least in the beginning) actions on behalf of others are wrong is almost impossible.
    A Catholic Reiki healer (before she realizes that she can’t be both else she will be serving two masters) listens with her hands and prays. And avoids all the hoopla that doesn’t conform to her faith. BUT the Reiki “bible” (the most referenced manual) was written by a Wiccan. And even by following it in part, the Catholic is compromised for she is already accepting the falsehood that Wicca is benign.
    It is good to pray for those whom Reiki preys upon. They DON’T know what they’re doing, and only God’s Word can save them from the darkness that WILL envelope them if they continue in their practice. Pray that someone they trust will speak that Word and that they will hear it. And especially that our appointed shepherds will speak out against Reiki, specifically, in an authoritative though compassionate voice!

  17. I didn’t post this article, but I do go to this church. What you can’t see in the photo… the sisters are doing this voodoo in the rectory in front of a picture of the Blessed Mother holding baby Jesus. So sad…so sad. Forgive them, they know not what they do.

  18. THE manual is “Essential Reiki”, by Diane Stein. If there are any Reiki III (masters) nuns, I’d sure like to know how they get around the preparatory daily exercises required by that “degree”. It is one thing to study and discard the symbols, which are used by Reiki II, on, but how does a nun, in conscience, proceed with personal exercises about which they are told to ignore any physical/sexual response, I wonder? And how can they lead others into Reiki once they’ve reached the point where they should certainly know that this practice conflicts with their faith?
    If ignorance, at THAT point, is their excuse, how can they call themselves “masters” of what they don’t know?

  19. Fortunately, these orders aren’t attracting novices. The majority of their members are on the high side of fifty(heck, they might be on the high side of seventy). In about twenty years, they will all be gone. I hope their members repent before it’s too late.

  20. Why the presumption that getting medical care — allopathic, osteopathic, or alternatively other care — precludes seeking the Anointing? I was taught, back in the Olden Days, that you obeyed the doctor/nurse/chiropractor/etc. AND you sought the Anointing of the Sick without waiting for the deathbed.

  21. “Life force healing” has been going on a long time in the Catholic Philippines, way before the crusading Spaniards came; and up to now, subsumed into folk-Catholicism. Practitioners are called “faith healers” who claim that the Holy Spirit (or holy spirits?) gives them their gift.

  22. Sir, I am from England, UK and my good friend is a Priest in Spain called Fortea. He is one of the eminent excorcists in the world and he has had people come to him possessed with devils through Reiki. It is an evil in the form of good which the Devil uses as a tool, please be aware of this it is very very dangerous, I exhort everyone to keep away from this pagan form of healing anyone who is a Christian should avoid this at all costs. The Devils can actually enter the body through these channels, some are sleeping/timid ones others fiery aggressive. If you want to know further ask the expert Excorcist and he will tell you of his cases.
    Have a Blessed Sunday to one and all.

  23. “”Life force healing” has been going on a long time in the Catholic Philippines, way before the crusading Spaniards came; and up to now, subsumed into folk-Catholicism. Practitioners are called “faith healers” who claim that the Holy Spirit (or holy spirits?) gives them their gift.”

    Kinda like Santeria. Catholic voodoo.

  24. I was at a conference this past week where I met a young sister from a new ordar: The Franciscan Daughters of Mary. There mission is trifold. Prayer for priests, prayer that pagan pracices and goddess worship will be removed from the Church and religious communities and they run a crisis pregnancy center.
    Praise God!!

  25. I sure as heck hope this isn’t the Teresa Grasso I went to parochial school with.

  26. In the Novitiate we were required to go to a Reiki practitioner and massage our auras everyday. This was supposed to make us desire to live the moral life and practice the virtues to a higher degree…NOT!

    When leading a life of prayer, service and practicing the virtues is not enough, be sure the devil is around. You rarely hear of these Reikites (I just made that up) discussing the neccesity of assisting at Mass and receiving Jesus Christ in the Sacred spiecies, do you?

    Enough of this already!

    Br. Andrew, OP

  27. Great article. I am glad I found this page. I was fed lies about Reiki and soon enough I was practicing it. Reiki is not alternative medicine, it is alternative spirituality. It worships the devil and pretends to be something else. Everything about its origins is false. The real origin of it is the Theosophical Society. They invented reiki- the grounding exercise is used to connect to the underworld.
    It only took me one afternoon with the Bible to figure it out- but I have to admit I had a warning that guided me to the Scripture. Reiki is the dragon who heals the beast and give its symbol to everyone on the forehead (third eye).
    Cut those ties while you can! New Age= the Nations.

  28. Why convert to Catholocism, when I can find this stuff readily enough in Protestant cirlces? Please tell me this isn’t widespread!

  29. I think it’s a matter of belief. There are thing in the New Testament called miracles that are not only not scientific, but also not proven to be right. When you die, you will notice if you were right or not (or notice nothing at all). I’ve met catholics that can cure with the hands, I have read Pistis Sophia (which is a genuine translation for an ancient source) where Jesus is telling the disciples they can cure and heal anyone, and that they can pass that power to others. So after all, you may feel better if all your bets are in thinking that when you say Jesus and God you are indeed talking to who you think you are talking to (an not alone, or talking to someone else) …and you may end up being right, just as Reiki followers may be right as well (at the same time), or none of you right, or some may be right and the other not right. But none have proven anything, and nothing has really changed, except for what you actually do (like being disrepectful for others, or greedy, or mean, or arrogant, or whatever).

    The NOTICEABLE great thing comes when Catholic (or other people do good), being well intended, charitable, caring for others plus showing love and compassion for most everyone. Especially when they do this expecting NOTHING in return. You may think you know what faith is, what charity is, or what hope is. But most decidedly do not. It’s not god mandated in the sense that it’s something that gets you to heaven. It get you to high height if you understand WHY you are doing that.

    Charity must come with no goal or interest in return and lets you understand a bit of why God does what he does (not for growing you self esteem or earn points or get something in return, as it’s usually the case for most Christians), hope is for acknowledging your intent (disregarding the result) and faith is for activating/using your intent. And this system may works with Reiki or any other religion, if UNDERSTOOD. All in all, I wouldn’t dismiss any Catholic, Reiki practitioner or any other believer of good, but would actually look at how the live, how they feel and what they do mostly, to know if there’s any understanding in them.

  30. I only just discovered this post, but was very pleased to learn that there is actually another Catholic out there who is concerned about reiki too. Please do look at my site – it has lots of links to sites giving the Catholic/Christian view of reiki.

    (Was disappointed to discover that the Captcha is just a joke as I thought I had an opportunity to show off my Greek skills (δέλβα)! Lol!)

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