The disciples said to him, “Now you are speaking plainly and not in veiled language! Now we see that you know all things, even before we question you. Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
Jesus answered them, “You say that you believe? The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each one to his home, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.
I have told you all this, so that in me you may have peace. You will have trouble in the world; but, courage! I have overcome the world.”
The laying on of hands is a common practice among Catholics, Presbyterians and LSD’s. It invokes ritually the Holy Spirit during baptisms and confirmations, healing services, blessings, and ordination of priests, ministers, elders, deacons and other church officers. Recently, Reiki (RAY-kee), a technique in which practitioners massage a person to relish the spiritual and universal life energy to reduce stress or bring healing, came to a head-on with US
Conference of Catholic Bishops. Reiki originated in Japan in the late 1800s by Mikao Usui. This form of prayerful therapy has become a worldwide alternative to medicines.
The laying on of hands by itself has no power. Its result doesn’t depend on human will. It is given to some chosen few “charismatic” persons. Charisma can either be an attraction that can inspire devotion or a divine gift to heal. As always, there is a danger that the peripheral can overshadow the essential. An overemphasis on charismatic emotions and non-liturgical practices, such as speaking in tongues, spiritual therapy, charismatic songs and laying on of hands, runs the risk of focusing on the non-essential as a substitute to communion with Christ in the Eucharist. Philosophically, it’s stressing too much the accident over substance.
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