The Danger of Magical Practice in Devotion
As translated from ‘Devosi Ekaristi dan Ragam Devosi’ (Eucharist Devotion and Other Devotions) – Archdiosese of Semarang Indonesia. Used as allocutio in Legion of Mary’s presidium meeting, 31 July 2011:
A young mother walked to the church, and found it very quiet. She went to meet the priest, and asked ‘Father, is there any evening mass for this first Friday of the month ?’. ‘No Madam, the only mass for today was in the morning. Anything that I can help ?’. ‘See Father, today is my last day of 9th day novena. This morning my son was so difficult at home so I couldn’t go for morning mass…I’m so disappointed. Just because I miss a single mass, my whole 9 days novena failed. Now my prayer will not be granted’
That’s one of the example of incorrect understanding of devotion practice. Why ? Because the young mother thought that number 9 was the main prerequisites to have her prayer granted. That’s the danger of magical practice in devotion.
Magical practice is a practice which assume that the cause of granted / heard prayer or source of blessings, comes from certain mantra, correct words, certain time, certain sacred items / charm, numbers or certain places. The truth is that the only cause to have a prayer granted or heard is God only. Whether it’s granted or not, heard or not, is purely depends on God only, and not because of the correct words, mantra, or certain time.
Devotion prayer should be motivated with love of God and surrendering ourselves to God’s will. After that let God’s kindness and wisdom works on our problems.