As Roger has mentioned in his weblog, we have been staying with family in southern Spain.
Although there is a strong Catholic community here amongst the native Spanish people, the ex-patriate Brits, of whom there are many, tend to be drawn to the New Age. Our family is involved in this New Age way.
So Roger and I are again presented with the contrasts between these very different spiritual views. Between the New Age, which is greatly influenced by Eastern philosophies and Western Traditional Catholicism.
To illustrate, I will share about something that happened to me during Holy Week, regarding these contrasting perspectives. Something extremely striking that continues to live in me, day after day …
On Holy Wednesday, due to family circumstances, I happened upon a New Age gathering. At the entrance was a sign saying, ‘Welcome Home’.
Shortly after having read this sign, someone flung their arms around me, saying the very same thing, ‘Welcome home!’
I felt overwhelmed, experiencing the exact opposite. In fact, I felt so not at home that I could scarcely speak.
Feelings came over me that I know only too well. A sense of drifting or floating. A sense of reality being taken away and replaced by an homogenised soup of everything goes, because “we’re all one”, that nothing at all separates us, except our belief in separation.
I felt so phenomenally uncomfortable in this supposed oneness. As though life had gone completely out of focus.
Later that same day, I set off for a small Hermita. Surrounded by beautiful hillsides of Spanish coastal nature, the silence was incredible. I prayed the Rosary as I walked.
As I turned a corner, the cross on the top of the Hermita came into sight. As I saw it, my heart leapt with joy. A joy at how much the Church means to me. Of how much She is my Home!
For, walking towards the Hermita, I was truly coming home. The cross on the top, was my welcome. The building, the tabernacle and the statues were my embrace.
Everything came into focus. Into focus, with a clarity and sharpness that brought me solid to my feet.
A focus that has opened my heart to the world.
A focus that has left the New Age far behind.
The contrast between these two very different forms of welcome remains with me …
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