The New Age movement is on the rise in our culture and we have to understand how to reach those being drawn to its spirituality. Dave “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” VanVickle and I answer a listener’s question about how to reach those involved in the New Age movement. We discuss the reasons behind the popularity of this spirituality today, and offer practical tools to evangelize those involved in this increasingly widespread spirituality.
Snippet from the Show
The attempt in the New Age movement to get in touch with a power that is non-personal and non-rational does not succeed in satisfying our spiritual hunger because we were made for a personal God.
The Rise of the New Age Movement
The popularity of the New Age movement, eastern religions, and transcendental meditation is growing rapidly in today’s modern culture. No matter how hard we try to reject God and embrace atheism and materialism, the human desire for spiritual depth, purpose and meaning will never disappear. Many people are drawn to the New Age movement and all its variations because it’s a type of spirituality that doesn’t hold them accountable to any moral standards or truths, it simply suits their moods and temperaments and makes them feel good. Human beings need an interior life, we cannot live purposeless or meaningless lives. The longing for God, for something greater than ourselves is engraved in our hearts. The attraction to the New Age movement therefore points to the deep spiritual hunger that persists in the hearts of those who refuse to accept their meaning and purpose from God. When we reject God, we begin to invent and create our own meaning. However, the attempt to get in touch with a power that is non-personal and non-rational, only leaves us unsatisfied, empty, and hungering for more.
The New Age movement is hard to define because the movement takes on many different forms and people’s experience of its spirituality varies. Some may practice a mixture of transcendental meditation, buddhism, and mindfulness. Others may worship nature, pagan gods, and also practice witchcraft. Depending on the type of worship, rituals and practices individuals participate in, the new age movement can open very dangerous doors and invite the evil one to come into their lives. Therefore, as Catholics, we should pray for those involved in the New Age movement and also try to understand their journeys into this movement. Every person’s involvement in the movement starts in different ways. Some are drawn to the radical feminist ideologies tied to the worship of “mother” nature, others simply want to experience love and peace. It’s important for Catholics to listen to their stories, ask good questions, and find out why they are drawn to the movement. Once we understand their journey, we are called to introduce them to Jesus Christ and make invitations. All evangelization is getting to the core of a human person, getting to know their story and then sharing with them Christ who yearns to enter into their story.
Practical Takeaways: Evangelization Tips
- Bring reality to the forefront. Ask good questions about what is concretely happening in their lives. Many people in the New Age movement believe perception is reality, but that is incorrect concrete reality does indeed exist. Try to help them assess whether their New Age spirituality has had a concrete positive impact in their everyday life.
- Pray for them and ask God to close any doors that were opened to the evil one because of their practices and rituals. Spiritual warfare is real and there is a real battle for our souls.
“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”- Ephesians 6:12
- Present the Gospel in a dynamic, compelling, and beautiful way. Show them that what they are looking for in the New Age movement is found in Jesus Christ. Be a joyful witness of Christ!
- If they are Christians, remind them that the New Age practices go against Christianity and God’s revelation.
- Define love for them and show them real love. Many followers of the New Age movement are seeking love but they have no idea what true love is. Many think that love is just a feeling or having freedom of expression. Remind them that real is shown through concrete actions which require sacrifice. Point them to the cross, to heroic saints, and show them that their definition of love falls short.
- Introduce them to Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, and teach them that Christianity does not regard the body or creation with disgust.
- Read the Jesus Christ the Bearer of the water of life: A Christian Reflection on the “New Age”, an official document from the Church that addresses the New Age movement.
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Meet Your Hosts
Michael “Gomer” Gormley
Michael has been leading evangelization and ministry efforts for the past ten years, both as a full-time parish staff member and as a speaker and consultant for parishes, dioceses, and Catholic campus ministries.
Michael is also the founder and creative director of LayEvangelist.com, and the producer and cohost of a Catholic young adult podcast Catching Foxes, which discusses the collision of Faith and Culture.
He is married to his college sweetheart, Shannon, and they have about 1,000 children and get about 3 hours of sleep a night, which is alright by him.
Dave VanVickle fell in love with the Lord at the age of fourteen and has since dedicated his life to bringing others into a radical relationship with Christ.
Dave is a speaker and retreat leader who focuses on proclaiming the universal call to holiness, authentic Catholic spirituality, spiritual warfare and deliverance. Additionally, Dave has over ten years of experience assisting Priests with their ministries of exorcism and deliverance.
Dave resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Amber and their five children: Sam, Max, Judah, Josie and Louisa.
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