Recently, a woman in my store urged me to carry the book “Jesus Calling.” She said that all of her Catholic friends were reading it and that she recommended it to a Catholic school. Then, one day after Sunday Mass, another woman with a huge box of the same book was handing them out free to everyone. I looked at it, it wasn’t a publisher I was familiar with, and so I politely refused. After that, I did some research. “Jesus is Calling” was written by a Presbyterian laywoman named Sarah Young. In it she describes her spiritual journey and her lifelong interest in a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. In a rather supernatural incident, rife with New-age overtones, she describes an experience during which she physically felt the presence of Christ. Later, she wrote: “I began to wonder if I, too, could receive messages during my times of communing with God. I had been writing in prayer journals for years, but that was one-way communication: I did all the talking. I knew that God communicated with me through the Bible, but I yearned for more. Increasingly, I wanted to hear what God had to say to me personally on a given day. I decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever I believe He was saying.”

This sort of practice is known as “automatic writing” in occult circles. Automatic writing is where you allow a demonic spirit to fully control your arm and hand so it can write whatever messages it wants to give you. It is just like the Ouija board, where you allow the demon to control the planchette to spell out exactly what it wants to tell you. This is very much unlike the writings of the Saints, who often wrote of their mystical revelations and locutions, usually only later at the urging of spiritual directors and or religious superiors. Of her writings, Young stated: “I knew these writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but they were helping me grow closer to God.” Thankfully, in the Catholic Church, we have the limitless brain-power of the Magisterium which tirelessly and thoroughly investigates all such claims which are brought to its attention, usually through a notification from the local ordinary, as was the case with the apparitions at Lourdes. But since Young is not Catholic, this will most likely never occur. Therefore, avoid this book. And, after all, the Catholic Church is overflowing with 2,000 years of approved mystical masterpieces. Instead read: anything by St. John of the Cross, Francis Fernandez, Fr. John Bartunek or countless other works by learned and esteemed religious and lay people.