A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration
1. Reverend Michael Gaitley’s book, 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration, begins with a promise to disclose a “secret” form of knowledge based on Gnosticism. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the root word for Gnosticism is gnosis, which means “divinely inspired knowledge.”1 This word is generally used to describe heretical Christian doctrines condemned by the early Church Fathers.
2. Reverend Gaitley offers a “secret” form of knowledge to his readers on page 23 by promising to disclose “a secret unknown to almost all Christians, even the most devout.” In the following paragraph on page 23, Reverend Gaitley asks his readers, “What is this blessed secret?” Reverend Gaitley continues this promise until page 27, where he says, “Now we’re ready to begin the retreat and learn more about this blessed secret...”
3. The Catholic Church condemns all forms of Gnosticism because the “secret” knowledge is usually obtained through direct contact with the spirit realm and conflicts with the truth found in Sacred Scripture. According to the Catechism in section 67, the “Christian faith cannot accept revelations that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment.”2
4. According to the Catechism in section 65, “Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect, and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one.”3 Because the faithful have already been given all the information we need for the salvation of our souls through Christ, Catholics are not allowed to seek after (or believe in) any other forms of “secret” knowledge that conflict with the truth found in Sacred Scripture.
5. The reason Reverend Gaitley's book promises to disclose “secret” knowledge to his readers is to make them into “great saints.” For example, on page 21, Reverend Gaitley describes a situation in which he read another book (one that also contains serious theological errors), which proposed a “short, easy, secure, and perfect way to become a saint.” After reading this book’s back cover, Reverend Gaitley said to himself, “I was sold. I thought to myself, ‘Hey, this is the kind of way I need!’” Then on page 21, Reverend Gaitley repeats the same promise to his readers by saying that it’s the “surest, easiest, shortest, and the most perfect means to becoming a saint.”
6. Because the Catechism defines the word saint as a man or woman “who leads a life in union with God through the grace of Christ,” all baptized and confirmed Catholics who are striving for holiness are already considered by the Church to be saints.4 For example, when Saint Paul wrote the Letter of Paul to the Ephesians, he addressed it “To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful in Christ Jesus.”5 According to the Catechism in section 823, “The Church, then, is the holy People of God, and her members are called saints.”6
7. According to the truth found in Sacred Scripture, the process of becoming a “great saint” will cost a person everything. There are no spiritual shortcuts or cheap and easy methods to become a great saint. According to the Catechism in section 1036, we are required to “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”7 In Luke 14:27, Jesus says, "Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple." In Matthew 10:37, Jesus said, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” In Luke 14:25–33, Jesus describes the cost of being an authentic disciple in several parables and concludes by saying, “None of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.” All these Scripture passages point to the fact that an authentic relationship with Jesus will cost a person everything, and there are no cheap and easy methods of salvation.
8. After repeating a false promise on page 16 to help Catholics “become a great saint not in 30 days but in just 8 days,” Reverend Gaitley's book presents a false gospel message based on spiritualism. According to Webster’s Dictionary, spiritualism is a “doctrine that the spirit, surviving after the death of the body, can communicate with persons still living, especially through the agency of a medium.”8
9. The Catholic Church condemns all forms of spiritualism in section 2117 of the Catechism by saying, “Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it.”9 To understand how spiritism works, it may be helpful to examine several spiritualist churches located near the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception’s religious order. The first example comes from the Healing Hands of Light Spiritualist Church. According to this church’s website (as per Exhibit A), “Spiritualism is a science, philosophy and religion based upon communication with the spirit world.”10
10. Another example of a spiritualist church comes from the First Spiritualist Church of Quincy. According to this church’s website, development circles are offered every second and fourth week of each month. During these circles, participants are taught how to communicate with a wide variety of spiritual entities, including angels, saints and the Ascended Masters. According to Exhibit B, development circles are “designed to demonstrate how spirits communicate with us so that we can open our awareness to messages, opportunities and inspiration.”11
11. In these spiritualist churches, people who have an authentic desire to enter into an authentic relationship with the one true God (the Blessed Trinity) are deceived into believing and practicing a dangerous form of spiritualism that opens the door to demonic influence. Once demonic spirits are allowed to operate in a person’s life through the sin of idolatry, those demonic spirits will drive the participants further away from God and deeper into bondage.
12. In the same way that a spiritualist church encourages people to form spiritual bonds with entities other than the Blessed Trinity, Reverend Gaitley’s book encourages Catholics to form spiritual bonds with entities that have been operating under the names of “Immaculata” and “Queen of Heaven.” For example, on page 61, Reverend Gaitley's book encourages his readers to enter into a spiritual relationship with an entity called the Immaculata by saying, “We need to belong to her in an ever more perfect way. How do we do this? Simple. We learn to love the Immaculata. How? By relying on her powerful intercession, experiencing her tender care, speaking to her from our hearts, letting ourselves be led by her, having recourse to her in all things, and trusting her completely.”
13. The reason the Catholic Church condemns all forms of spiritualism is because of how difficult it is to determine what kind of spiritual entity a person is interacting with. For example, when a man or woman disobeys God’s laws and commits the sin of idolatry in an attempt to form spiritual connections with spirit guides, spirits of the dead or any other spiritual entity other than the Blessed Trinity, those spirits (who have the ability to operate under any religious-sounding name and title they want) will begin the process of destroying that person’s life.
14. A good example of how demonic spirits can operate under any religious-sounding name and title they want, including the names of O Immaculate Mother, Immaculata, and Queen of Heaven, comes from the Jewish exiles who were living in the land of Egypt. When God sent the prophet Jeremiah to them he said, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You yourselves have seen all the disaster that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Look at them; today they are a desolation, without an inhabitant in them, because of the wickedness that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they had not known, neither they, nor you, nor your ancestors. Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!’”12
15. “Then all the men who were aware that their wives had been making offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: ‘As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we are not going to listen to you. Instead, we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out libations to her.’”13
16. Because the demonic entities that had been operating under the name “Queen of Heaven” had been giving these people special powers, they could not break free. In response to Jeremiah’s warning, they said, “We used to have plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no misfortune. But from the time we stopped making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have perished by the sword and by famine.” And the women said, “Indeed we will go on making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out libations to her; do you think that we made cakes for her, marked with her image, and poured out libations to her without our husbands’ being involved?”14
17. Because these people refused to stop worshiping the demonic entities that were operating under the name Queen of Heaven, the Lord declared to them, “I am going to watch over them for harm and not for good; all the people of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall perish by the sword and by famine, until not one is left.”15 After all these people had been destroyed, the demonic spirits didn’t die with them; they simply changed their names and began making more sinful agreements with other people in different geographical locations.
18. The same demonic entities that were operating under the name Queen of Heaven in Egypt also had the ability to operate under different religious-sounding names in other parts of the world. In the Babylonian and Assyrian culture they were using the name of Ishtar. In the Greek culture they were operating under the name of Aphrodite. In the Egyptian culture they were known as Isis. Worship of the female goddess was first introduced by King Manasseh in 2 Kings 21:1–7 after he set up an Asherah pole in the house of the Lord, and it continued under the name of Artemis for the Ephesians.16
19. In today’s culture, the same demonic entities continue their assault against humanity...