Sharon's Favorite Links
Below are some of my favorite sites to visit.
This list will be updated periodically- any recommendations just send us an email
This site, run by my good friend, Dan Burke, is designed to serve you in your journey to and with God. Dan Burke is Executive Director of The National Catholic Register; a wonderful publication of EWTN, founder of the Avila Institute, (see below) and he's also the author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life; Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. (See my recommended reading list) His site is committed to providing insight on the spiritual life that is faithfully rooted in the Magisterial authority and teaching of the Catholic Church. You will find here: Q & A and perspectives on spiritual direction, prayer, and other matters relating to spiritual growth, book and resource reviews, great articles and more helpful links for spiritual development. Great site!
Those seeking to further their Catholic Education should check out The Avila Institute. This institute for spiritual formation, founded by Dan Burke, exists to help you deepen your relationship with God. From their mission statement we read, "Under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the mission of the Avila Institute is to provide spiritual education and formation to Catholics around the world who are seeking to deepen their understanding and appropriation of the magisterium faithful mystical and ascetical patrimony of the Catholic Church. This is spiritual education you can trust! They offer:
Mystagogically Oriented Education Focused on the Pursuit of a Transformational Relationship with God
Live/Interactive/Online – Location Independent Spiritual Education
2-4 year Masters Level Spiritual Theology Program
Continuing Education Courses
Personal Enrichment Courses
This book is positively rich in "helps" for the person seeking sound spiritual direction, and wanting to learn how to rightly order and cultivate a good interior life. Dan Burke has written the "go-to" guide for any question you have about spiritual direction and making progress in the spiritual life. All the information you need, from a most trustworthy source—I highly recommend it!
This link from the EWTN library provides lots of great articles on the dangers of many New Age, New Thought, and occult teachings and practices!
CATHOLIC ANSWERS is such blessing-anyone can call and ask any question, and get a real "Catholic Answer" from a trained Catholic Apologist. Also, you can visit the "Ask an Apologist forum" at forums.catholics.com -- Truly, they provide such a valuable service; you can call, for example, and get the Catholic viewpoint on many aspects of New Thought and New Age thinking-in other words, one may call and ask, "Is the zodiac and astrology really off limits? And why? It seems so harmless . . .", similarly, you can call with questions about reiki, or Jungian philosophy, or why women are not allowed to become priests- I'm sure they've answered many a question about yoga and different types of meditation (not all are beneficial, and some are definitely to be avoided!) But the beauty is, they will supply the reason WHY the Catholic Church has taken it's stance on any subject-at least to the best of their ability! That's what I love about our Catholic Faith-it IS God's True Word to us, and so, being Truth and Goodness, and Love, I have found, there's always a sound and healthy REASON why God has set certain boundaries in place. . . (Our Heavenly Father loves us, and knows what's truly best for us, and He only wants to keep us safe, and sound, and on the path back home to Him!) --In short, got a question? Call Catholic Answers!
Listen to hear great Catholic teaching on today's most important topics.
Johnette Benkovic is also expert at denouncing all things New Age, and her website offers you lots of helpful information on this topic. Many informative articles on New Age topics can be found there-along with pertinent Church documents to view, and many CDs and DVDs available, covering New Age practices and their contradiction of our Catholic Faith. (Reiki, yoga, crystals, spirit-guides- she did a great show, denouncing many of these practices with Claire Merkle-available on this site. I have read her book, The New Age Counterfeit and it is very helpful. It is designed so that it can be used as a "study guide" for anyone who wants to investigate these New Age topics with a group-- with "Reflections" and "Scripture Points" at the end of each section-as well as simply being a handy guide for personal use.
Fr. Mitch Pacwa is great at New Age de-bunking and exposing-- he had delved into New Age spiritual practices in his early years. His book is: "Catholics and the New Age--- How good Catholics are being Drawn into the Enneagram and Jungian Psychology" at the end of this book, he gives his suggestions for the best way to approach friends and family who've been drawn into New Age...
Fr. Benedict Groeschel has up-close and personal experience with A Course in Miracles-and he has publicly stated his opinion that The Course had undermined authentic Christianity more than any other work he could think of. He knew the medium who scribed it (Helen Schucman) personally-- was at her bedside when she was dying- and has stated that, by the end of her life, she was almost completely overcome by rage (against all things spiritual-especially the "Course in Miracles" which she used to curse!) and the blackest depression he had ever seen. In his book, "A Still Small Voice" and his other writings on the subject, I feel Fr. Groeschel does a good job of revealing some of the more unsavory, but eye-opening facts regarding Helen Schucman and the Course, in a very charitable way. The one time I met him, he took my hands in his, and asked me to pray for her soul. I still do, to this day.
The Vatican issued document warning about the New Age is called "Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life" This is so right on and covers so much. I love that they give the Catholic position and response-all of them brief and clear-- to each of the most common New Age Fallacies, (in one of the later chapters) so you can see at a glance, what the Truth is, about particular "New Age ideas" that you're hearing. Also helpful; the end section of that document lists many other Vatican issued documents regarding counter-Christian New Age spirituality
Another good book and website, from the Christian perspective, to arm us with information: Don't Drink the Kool-Aid by Carrington Steele. Lots of revealing clips on You Tube... She documents Oprah's descent into the New Age... and her book covers the deception of A Course in Miracles, and Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth... while I have not yet found anything "non-Catholic" nor any "Catholic Bashing" in any of her work, I offer this reminder again: whenever you're reading anything by a non-Catholic, remember that they may have views that differ from our Catholic Faith, so be alert to anything that seems to counter Catholic doctrine-there is so much of value out there, in all the information offered to help us fight against New Age deception, but there's also the possibility of confusion, when reading the good efforts of our separated Christian brothers and sisters who may hold some decidedly non-Catholic views. Fair enough?
People often ask me what they can do, when: a "New Age" (or any!) practice that contradicts our Catholic Faith is being taught within their parish-the issue has been properly addressed-and yet the problem persists! In these cases, the St. Joseph Foundation may be able to help. On their website they state the following: "The St. Joseph Foundation serves Catholics who seek to know and vindicate their rights within the Church-rights that the Church herself recognizes and protects. Whenever individuals or groups believe their rights are threatened or have been violated, the Foundation assists them in using the means established by the Church to obtain remedies. " As more and more New Age practices continue to seep into Catholic retreat houses, prayer groups, and Church organizations- resources like the St. Joseph Foundation are much appreciated.
A wonderful source of helpful articles on many topics pertaining to New Age fallacy-including Séances, Psychics, mediums, the Enneagram, etc.
Great authentic Catholic teaching, library, articles galore! Find there, an online Catholic Dictionary, writings of the Church Fathers, "search Catechism" and lots more!
"Online resources of Ignatius Press"
I was overjoyed to become a novice of the Holy Family Institute in November of 2008! This institute is a new and wonderful gift for the faithful-born of God's great love for the family! The Holy Family Institute is Vatican approved, consecrated life for the married and widowed. Just as Priests, Brothers and Nuns consecrate themselves to God through their Vocations; now so can married and widowed persons in their everyday living. The Holy Family Institute is part of the Pauline Family, dedicated to Evangelization through the mass media. On these websites you can view Sharon's HFI testimony on becoming a novice, taped just minutes before the ceremony! Check out their websites for more info!