I feel disconnected from God after being involved in new age
practices. I feel a dark presence in my life and pray for it to go
away but it doesn’t. What can I do?
So many people have fallen into false and even evil practices and notions of “New Age”. It isn’t all just risible B as in B, S as in S. Some of it is pure evil. Our own Catholic pastors and teachers are to blame: had they not left an enormous vacuum in our sacred worship and preaching, many people who got tangled up in New Age stuff wouldn’t have felt the need to reach outside the Church and into that nasty tarpit of woes, there to be stuck, besmirched, defiled.
You write to me at the beginning of Lent.
Lent is the perfect time to go back to the essentials of our salvation: sacramental grace, prayer, and virtue.
First of all, right now, get down on your knees and recite with all the fervor you can muster the Act of Contrition. My old friend Fr. Finigan has a good explanation of how to make an Act of Contrition in a classic post at his blog: HERE
Then, get on the internet, do some schedule hunting for your local churches and GO TO CONFESSION.
Then make a good sacramental Communion.
You have some work to do.
Set yourself a regular and steady diet of those three good practices, above: staying in the state of grace, regular prayer (including quiet time for listening), and virtuous practices.
If possible, look into how to do lectio divina. Some people who have been into New Age stuff can benefit greatly from this form of mental prayer. Be careful not to fall into the New Age forms of so called “meditation”. Keep to the Catholic forms of mental prayer according to one of the authentic methods:
- Benedictine lectio divina
- Carmelite mental prayer
- St. Francis De Sales method of mental prayer
- St. Ignatius of Loyola’s 3 methods of meditation and contemplation
If once you get underway, with a good confession, Communion, and you’ve started to pray and to cultivate virtues and remain in the state of grace, and you still feel a dark presence, ask your holy Guardian Angel to protect you and then consult with a really solid priest whose head is screwed on in the right direction.
Finally: You CAN do this.
ACT OF CONTRITION
O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
It is VERY good to memorize that and to say it often, not just in the confessional. Also use these during the day. It is amazing the effect they can have over time:
ACT OF FAITH
O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.
ACT OF HOPE
O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I
hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
ACT OF CHARITY
O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.