The triumph of the Immaculate, by Paolo de Matteis. Wikimedia. Public domain. All that spirit: Divinity, angels, human souls.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

Last week I shared passages from the first chapter, Body and Soul. This week we’ll look at the second chapter, Pure Spirit, angels and human souls. I’m writing this series as I re-read the book, Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, by Dom Alois Wiesinger, OCSO. You can get a copy using the links at the end of this post. I’m mostly going to quote passages from the book instead of write about it because I’m at the beginner stage in understanding it; but I want to go ahead and share this material with you because I think more Catholics should know it. See the beginning of last week’s post for some of my thoughts on that. This time Dom Wiesinger gets into the way spirits communicate and the way spirits and humans learn. In this chapter I also discovered a new favorite word: noopneustia. Isn’t that delightful? What does it mean? Patience, patience. It’s in this chapter toward the end.

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Occult phenomena, why bother; theology, why it matters

images of stars, galaxies, and nebulae make me think of God in His heaven.

Update, Sat, Nov. 9: I left out a link earlier. It did appear at the very end of the post, and now I’ve added it towrd the end of the opening paragraph. Sorry about that! It was in the draft version, but when I pasted the text in, the links didn’t transfer. I had to re-enter them and that one slipped by me. Whatta maroon, huh?

First I’ll offer a few thoughts of my own as to why we should bother to study the soul, occult phenomena, or theology. Then I’m going to quote several passages of Dom Wiesinger to show what he has to teach us. In all honesty, I haven’t studied this long enough or deeply enough to attempt to put it in my own words yet. So since the text is in the public domain, I’ll let the author speak for himself. Some of the passages at the beginning of the quotes are repeated from last week, in case it’s been a while since you read the earlier post, or in case you missed it altogether. If you haven’t got a copy of his book yet, get a free PDF copy from archive.org. I’ll provide a link to purchase a copy at Amazon at the end of the post.

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When I was a new ager, I was seeking the truth. I had no idea where to find it but I was seeking it. I had so many questions and many of them were the same ones that man has asked for as long as he has had the use of language with which to ask: What are we? Who are we? Is reality limited to what we can see with our eyes, touch with our hands? Is there life after death? What is the soul? What does the soul do? How do sin, evil, and the Fall effect the soul? What about the spiritual world and angels?

Enter the book I wish I’d had all those years ago: Occult Phenomena in the Light of Theology, by Cistercian abbot, Alois Wiesinger, OCSO, published in the nineteen fifties. (There is a link to a free copy of the book in PDF format at the end of this post.) Wiesinger doesn’t try to be cute or entertaining, and his book is not likely to be showing up on many new ager’s book shelves. Though it does have that much-abused word “occult” in the title, so some may pick it up not suspecting in the least what they’re in for. (Until they open it up and see the word Christian a few times. That’ll put them off. Sadly.) This is Catholic theology and it doesn’t mess around. If you’ve ever read any Catholic books from that the fifties or earlier, then you know what I mean.

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Greetings! Good to see you! Well, I can’t see you see you, but—oh, you know what I mean. Tonight I’ve got a couple of quick personal updates and then I’ll share something I’ve found recently on the web while surfing the web doing important research for an important writing project. Ahem. 

The updates. 

First: If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ve probably seen my tweets about my sister. She’s been going through some rough times with some painful health issues. She’s doing better but still has a way to go to be fully healed. To those of you who have been praying, thank you. I appreciate it and so does she, very much. Twitter & blog family prayer warriors rock!

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A brief post tonight. I noticed recently a new Mother Angelica book. Well, two books. One I discovered tonight while watching an episode of EWTN’s Bookmark where Doug Keck talks with Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe about Mother Angelica’s Way of the Cross, and What is Heaven? (Links at the end of this post.)

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I told the Lord I don’t know how to pray. I know, He said. Oh, right, I guess He would.

I told Him I’ve been busy doing and decidedly un-busy praying. Uh huh, He said. (You might not think that He would speak that way, but He does, sometimes, at least, to me, anyway.)

So I told Him, Look, I really don’t know how to pray and a whole lot of other things besides. 

Finally, He said, Now we’re getting somewhere.

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A post in the What is all this stuff? series

When I was either in seventh or eighth grade (could have been freshman year in high school) I picked up the Bible I’d gotten at the Methodist church my family attended, and I read it from cover to cover. It was an RSV. I still have it, though the red dye on the edges of the pages got damp in the trunk of my car (accidentally left it there) and bled onto some of the pages. That was careless and I regret that it happened. I treasured that little book. But did I understand what I read all those years ago? Nope. Not most of it. But I was convinced that someday somehow I would find a way to understand it. 

And one day I did. (Links at the end of this post.)

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