Skip to content
Miranda with Face Mask

FREE Cross & Shield Face Mask with your Monthly Gift of $10 or more

Become a Monthly Subscriber and with your donation of $10 or more per month you will receive a Free Cross & Shield Face Mask. Made with a triple layer that features anti-bacterial coating with a soft, 100% cotton interior for comfort. Ideal for church, work, school, and daily errands. Keep one in the car, at work, and at home so you are always covered!
Give $10 Monthly Now >

Everybody loves secrets

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

i>The Secret is a publishing phenomenon. Its publisher, Simon & Schuster, just announced the largest reprint in its history -- 1 million copies -- because of the demand generated by Oprah, Larry King and all the other high priests of pop culture.

The Secret combines Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking with the wealth-and-prosperity preachers and the New Age philosophers of recent years. It suggests a long-hidden secret -- known only to a chosen few such as Plato, Lincoln and Winston Churchill -- concerning the Law of Attraction.

Of course, the church didn't want you to find out about all this, and it succeeded in hiding it for thousands of years. But thanks to Rhonda Byrne, the author of The Secret, it was uncovered in 2004 when she read a century-old book called The Secret of Getting Rich.

This law tells us that "like attracts like." Think good thoughts, and good things will happen to you. Think bad thoughts, and only bad things will happen to you. So put on a happy face.

The slickly produced DVD features a panoply of people whose listed occupations range from "visionary" to "metaphysician." The Secret is cleverly composed to make itself appear compatible with a variety of traditional religious persuasions while adhering to none. In fact, it is really a mishmash of New Age philosophies and a heady whiff of Gnosticism, a stubborn early Christian heresy that posited a secret knowledge shared by Jesus with only a few of his followers. Like all heresies, it keeps returning in various guises. This idea of hidden wisdom was behind a previous publishing phenomenon, The Da Vinci Code.

Face Mask with Cross BOGO 50% OFF

But The Secret also has roots in Christian Science's teaching of mind over matter, and in the strong American belief that a person is in control of one's own life and can make of it whatever he wants if only he believes it.

The subtle negative message of The Secret is that if you are miserable or, God forbid, poor, then it must be your fault. You've let your thoughts lead you to this existence. All of us are the "deliberate creators" of our own lives, so if something isn't right, guess whose fault it must be.

The dangers of the secret are easy enough to foretell: Seriously ill people give up their treatments when they realize they only need to think positive thoughts. People obsessed by wealth or love or possessions are told to fixate on that desire and it will come true.

While it is easy to mock this kind of message, what is more worrisome is that there are many religiously illiterate people out there, including Catholics, who don't recognize this message for what it is. That is why we encourage pastors and educators to see The Secret phenomenon as a teaching moment.

In contrast to the self-centeredness of this year's "prosperity gospel," the real gospel asks us to lose our lives so that we can save them. It warns against putting one's faith in material possessions, and it asks us first and foremost to recognize that God is creator and master of our universe. In short, the real gospel asks us to be humble before God, while this ersatz gospel would make us gods.

Contact

Our Sunday Visitor
http://www.osv.com ,
- ,

Email

Keywords

LIVE Lessons @ Catholic Online School

'Live Lessons' with Zoom on Catholic Online School

Professor Connolly: Monday-Friday @ 9am/12pm Eastern
Deacon Frederick Bartels: Tuesday-Friday @ 10am/1pm Eastern

LIVE Lessons This Month's Curriculum

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

15% OFF Sterling Silver Sale

Saints Fun Facts Coloring Book FREE PDF

Free PDFs: Hail Mary, Our Father, How to Pray the Rosary & more

PDF educational & learning resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers and it’s 100% FREE. How to Pray the Rosary, Hail Mary, Our Father, Saints, Prayers, Coloring Books, Novenas, Espanol and more. All FREE to download and faithful to the Magisterium. Download Now >


Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!