New Age symbol with roots in superstition will be subject of two retreats at Mercy Center this month

The Mercy Center in Auburn (Sacramento diocese) is offering two retreats later this month on the enneagram, a symbol said to have its origins with the Sufis, who practice a mystical version of Islam, and later adapted for wide use by New Age psychologists promising “self-realization.”

The two retreats are being offered under the general heading “Tending the Inner Landscape: Spiritual Exploration of Enneagram,” divided into two subgroups. From Jan. 25-27, Mercy Center will host a retreat entitled “Introduction to Enneagram ?(for first time or review).” A second retreat is scheduled Jan. 27-29 entitled “Deeper Spiritual Exploration? (for those with previous Enneagram retreat experience).” 

“There is no greater spiritual exploration than that which brings us into deeper love relationships,” says an entry about the retreats on the Mercy Center website. “The Enneagram is one such exploration. These days will be invitation to examine those patterns of thinking and behaving that prevent us from knowing — and living out of — God’s unconditional love.”

The Mercy Center is operated by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas West Midwest, a community of Mercy sisters formed in the summer of 2008 by the merger of six regional communities in California, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Nebraska.

According to its website, the Mercy Center in Auburn “serves individuals, ministry groups and non-profit organizations from diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds. The Center also hosts educational, corporate, and other groups whose programs and philosophy are consistent with the mission of the Center. We provide an environment of serenity, prayer, and natural beauty, and through our programs and unparalleled hospitality, we strive to create opportunities for personal, professional and spiritual growth to all who visit our sacred grounds.”

Mercy Center in Auburn, says a mission statement posted on its website, “offers and supports opportunities to enhance the life of prayer and spiritual growth of persons and communities. We offer hospitality to persons, ministries, and service groups whose philosophy and beliefs are in harmony with gospel values. We host groups who, like the Sisters of Mercy, are committed to the betterment of the poor, the sick, the uneducated, and the seeker.’”

The enneagram retreats will be “facilitated” by Gerry Hair, described in a biographical link as “An experienced retreat director and teacher, he has taught the Enneagram for many years in this country and abroad. Past ministries have included Mercy Center in Burlingame and the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley. Currently, Mr. Hair maintains a local private practice in spiritual direction and pastoral counseling and conducts Enneagram workshops.”

What is the enneagram? It is a system that promises “self-realization” by using a symbolic circle with nine numbered, equally spaced points on its circumference and lines connecting several of the points. The nine points represent nine personality types, which are said to apply to all people.

According to a 2000 draft document from the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices entitled “A Brief Report on the Origins of the Enneagram,” teachers of the system “claim that by use of the enneagram one can explain why people tend to act in particular ways and can prescribe goals for adjustment and development of one’s own personality.”

The document detailed the curious background of the enneagram’s developers. One, Oschar Ichazo, an apostate Catholic, claimed he discovered the personality type meaning of the system under the influence of a spirit, variously named Archangel Gabriel, the “Green Qu’Tub,” or Metatron, the prince of the archangels. Followers of the enneagram’s developers since have always taught “a syncretistic mixture of elements from various sources, mostly types of esoteric knowledge, such as Sufi mysticism, the Kabbalah, and astrology,” according to the draft document from the bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices.

More particularly, the enneagram is based on numerology, “a form of superstition,” according to the document.

Enneagram practitioners, said the draft, fall into “the ever-present temptation… to conform Christian belief to the [non-Christian] doctrine, as if it were an absolute norm. Unfortunately, at least in the enneagram literature that has been published so far, distortions of Christian belief are common, even in the books that are most popular among Catholics and that are sometimes written by members of religious orders.”

Christians seeking “an aid for spiritual growth,” concluded the draft, “should be aware that the enneagram has its origins in a non-Christian worldview and remains connected to a complex of philosophical and religious ideas that do not accord with Christian belief.”



Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:11 AM By Clinton
Gee, what a surprise! The Mercy Center is yet another “Catholic” retreat center that doesn’t bother with any mention of that Jesus fellow. Who needs Him when you have New Age mumbo jumbo. We should heed St. Paul when he says: “For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” 2 Tm 4:3

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:32 AM By charlio
I tried to report a problematic article in the Diocesan magazine to the Bishop. (“Labyrinth at Mercy Center in Auburn is a Path to Prayer”, November/December 2010, p. 38. [“Learn to Discern: Is It Christian or New Age? LABYRINTH” by Susan Brinkmann, LHLA – “Far from the medieval labyrinths used by Christians as a meditation device, the modern labyrinth movement is a thoroughly New Age gimmick designed to help one discover self-knowledge and their ‘soul assignments.’ … (S.F. Grace Cathedral labyrinth designer) Lauren Artress …. openly admits being influenced in her work by neopagan journalist and Wiccan priestess, Margot Adler (author of ‘Drawing Down the Moon’) and New Ager Jean Houston, one of the founders of the Human Potential Movement.]) I worked patiently to find out how to knock on the front door rather than climb in through the window. (I asked the Parochial Administrator of a noted conservative parish, which Diocesan office handles occult matters? He didn’t know. I asked the assistant Pastor at my parish. He didn’t know.) I finally had to ask the Bishop himself at a pro-life mass – I didn’t ask to tell him the matter, just asked which is the right office? He was severe in telling me that it must be reported through one’s Pastor. (Finally, a Bishop who stands up for his Governing duty.) Eventually, after one year, I managed to make the connection through my Pastor. “The mills of God’s justice grind exceeding slow, but exceeding fine.”

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:44 AM By Gabriel Espinosa 
Charlio, things are just as bad if not worse in the archdiocese of NY. There isn’t any point reporting anything here because nothing ever gets corrected even when the archbishop and the cardinal before him are made aware firsthand! I speak from experience. If you want to read my story, go to the website for the New Oxford Review and search for the article “Paganization of Christmas” or search for my name, Gabriel Espinosa, And the article will pop up. If you have a subscription you will be able to read the entire horrific story. If not, another website copy and pasted the article in their comments section and you can google the title to find it there.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:59 AM By Phil
The Ennegram is a tool to help one understand and love them self so that they can understand and love God. I see nothing wrong with this methodology if it brings us closer to God.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:14 AM By Ted
I saw several books on the enneagram in the catechitical resource center of the diocese of San Bernardino a few years ago, down the hall from Bishop Barnes’ office.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:16 AM By JLS
Beginning to wonder if there is big money behind these demonic anti-Christ movements.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:41 AM By Brad
New Age pablum is so demonically ubiquitous even among the faithful that the Church has issued the document “Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life”. The enneagram is occult gnosticism and navel-gazing: the self-fascination of auto-idolatry instead of the true self-knowledge of the saints, which is self-knowledge gracefully given from above by the revealing light of the Holy Spirit, not mined from within, from our own dark, proud hearts. Christ came to earth to set us, foolish sheep, free from just this sort of crap. And yet, 2000 years later, we are still dabbling in this drivel in the same way as when the ancient Israelites wandered away from the Father’s laws. Oh, foolish sheep!

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:06 AM By Bob Bugiada
I wonder if this is similar to the “engram” that’s taught in Dianetics by the Church of Scientology. Christians should steer clear of this New Age stuff.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:13 AM By Rose
Sadly, the average uninformed person is confused by such distortions because there IS some truth always mixed in with these “new age” teachings. That’s the enemy’s best ploy: mask the lies with partial truths. The truth behind the enneagram is that the four basic temperaments have been used by faithful Catholic clergy and monks for centuries as a spiritual aid to know one’s natural strengths/gifts and particular (sinful) weaknesses, and to be able to love others rightly, sacrificially and unselfishly. No angels, spirits, numbers, or other such window dressing. Keep the wheat; blow away the chaff.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:16 AM By Catherine
charlio, Excellent persevering effort! Frank Duff the founder of the Legion of Mary once asked, “What could help to bring the Catholic faith to many and what would help to rebuild and restore the lost faith to many lax Catholics?” Some answered, “More priests and Frank Duff said “No”. Then they said,”How about more beautiful churches and Frank Duff said “No” Then Frank Duff said, “If each Diocese had only 12 committed Catholics with trust in the Holy Spirit and with love and zeal for the faith like the 12 apostles each Diocese could be renewed.” charlio, Front doors are opened when a soul keeps knocking in persevering love and in trust and in faith. Frank Duff knew that Our Lady is also lovingly known for opening windows when missed opportunities or front doors seemed closed. Never underestimate how Our Blessed Mother can open those windows to assist in softening the footsteps in courageously undertaking and carrying out great things for Almighty God. Thank you for being one of the 12 committed men in addressing the *problematic article*.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:59 AM By JMJ
There are two books that the Bishops & the so-called “Mercy Center” should read: the first, of course, is the Bible and the second is a little bit newer, which is why that they might not familiar with it: The Catechism of the Catholic Church 2nd edition and on page 512 titled “You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me” starting with #2110, esp. #2111 right up through #2117 should give everyone a clue that this subject is TABOO in the World of God at the risk of losing one’s soul forever. We need to pray for all those that are involved, including the Bishop, (maybe he is out of town & missed this announcement), for their spiritual awakening. +JMJ+

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 9:39 AM By Catherine
The Servant of God Father John Hardon SJ was cruelly ostracized from teaching in certain places because he lovingly warned of the danger of Enneagrams. Father Mitch Pacwa SJ also said, “In his experience, everyone who shared their excitement with the Enneagram also practiced one or more of the following: Zen, transcendental meditation, numerology, tarot, or astrology. Mixing these practices is really no different than Santeria, where voodo is awkwardly combined with certain aspects of Catholicism.” Father Mitch Pacwa SJ, is unequivocal in his warning, “No Jesuit from my class, except myself who took Enneagram teaching is still a Jesuit today. All have left the priesthood.”… I also remember hearing Father John Hardon SJ telling many at a retreat, “One of the greatest pains that we will encounter on this earth is that we will truly love others who will not love us back.” Father Hardon SJ also lovingly warned us that only heroic Catholics will be able to survive what is to come. Father John Hardon never abandoned the holy work or the Spiritual Exercises of founder Saint Ignatius of Loyola. This holy Servant of God remained faithful as one of “God’s Marines.” Father John Hardon SJ could have chosen to die in a hospital where he was cherished. Instead, like Christ he forgave and chose to remain obedient to his Order and he died in the company of those who betrayed him and rejected him. Study the CCC, second edition, pray the family rosary. In the End My Immaculate Heart Will Triumph!

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 10:04 AM By Maryanne Leonard
Am I mistaken, or are the sisters renting out their facility for profit to these kinds of groups?

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 10:46 AM By charlio
WOW, Catherine! My boss, Dan McGivern, has literary custody of Fr. Duff’s book and is trying to get a deal to benefit Fr. Duff’s estate. Look on “Midweek” magazine, Hawaii, for Newsmaker – “Dan McGivern and the Ark”.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:09 AM By BETH
I attended a Catholic High School run by the Sisters of Mercy (now of the Americas) in the early 60’s. You would never recognize it today, nor would you recognize the sisters (no habits or uniforms). Several sisters from this group (order) are on staff at the USCCB. The sisters of Mercy of the Amerca’s also supported Obamacare against the USCCB concerns regarding conscience and abortion. Based upon their web site and other indications, it seems they are into “marxist liberation theology” rather than the Catholic religion and the CCC although they are not overt in advertsing this.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:16 AM By Doc Mugwump
Do you ever (EVER?) see any young people joinging in this muck? The youth and young adults want a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; pure and unadulterated Catholic teaching and fidelity to Magisterial insights/doctrine and the Holy Father. The young of the world are the future. Have you ever noticed how the wisdom of the older generation has become foolishness in which their ears have been tickled and their egos stroked with anti-Christian philosophies… so sad. Let them go on their way and we will pray for them. My response to this retreat is the same as it was when they were doing this 30 years ago: SNORE, SNORE…. BORE!!!

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:26 AM By John F. Maguire
On May 3, 2010, CCD published an article that correctly identifies the Enneagram as a form of superstition. In the attached thread, I noted the contemporary distinction that must needs be made between the phenomenon of Enneagrammatology-light (for example, getting asked at a party, “What is your enneatype?”) and the phenomenon of Enneagrammatology-heavy (heavy: meaning the Strong Stuff, to wit, the cultus of self-salvation promoted orginally by George Gurdjieff [born between, by conjecture, 1866 and1877; died: 1949] and Peter Ouspensky [born 1878; died 1947]). What follows, paradigmatically, is an exemplary summary of the Gurdjeffian/Ouspenskian strand of modern neo-gnostic ennealogy: “All knowledge,” writes Gurdjieff’s disciple Ouspensky, “can be included in the enneagram [by enneagram is meant a six-sided space within which nine (ennea) points (gramma) are located numerologically all with the intention of “divining” occult knowledge) and [so] with the help of the enneagram [all knowledge, all gnosis] can be interpreted.” Indeed, “only what a man is able to put into the enneagram does he actually know, that is, understand.” Such is the occult ennea-gnostic claim. See generally James Moore, “New Lamps for Old: The Enneagram Debacle,” _Journal of Contemporary Religion_, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (Autumn 1992). It remains necessary however to go further and distinguish between the neo-gnosticism of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky, on the one hand, and the Catholic tradition on the Labyrinth motif, on the other hand, The latter tradition, however misappropriated in the name of a diffuse “new age” dispensation, remains, in its authentic manifestation, traditionally Catholic. See generally Penelope Reed Dobb, _The Idea of the Labyrinth from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages_ (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1990); and Edward Trollope, “Notices of Ancient and Mediaeval Labyrinths,” _The Archaeological Journal_ XV (1858), pp. 216-236.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:37 AM By John F. Maguire
The Catholic Church’s appropriation of the Labyrinth motif is essentially Marian. Here is why: Since Christ as the new Theseus has already slain the “bi-form” monster of sin and death, it is Mary’s Rosary that now serves as the efficacious rope of grace — as once, by remote but instructive analogy, Theseus had relied upon the gown-thread of Ariadne to make his way through the Minoan labyrinth.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:51 AM By Don Guillermo
About ten years ago, a Catholic priest advised me to take the Enneagram personality test. In all honesty, it pegged me better than any other personality test had before it. Later, the Vatican came out against the Enneagram, so I delved no further into it. Maybe the Enneagram could be of some use as a descriptive personality test, but never as a prescriptive philosophy.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 11:56 AM By Elizabeth
And to think that the Sisters of Mercy were SO STRICT when I was growing up in the 1960’s!!!! From one extreme to the other! And I understand that they are getting NO vocations….. No wonder………

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:38 PM By JLS
Prayers such as the Rosary are too scary for people who want water instead of wine and so they pick water supposing it to be good. Well, water is good unless it is toxic, and the occult water is indeed toxic. They drink it repeatedly and become themselves toxic.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:41 PM By JLS
Well, here is Rose again with her gnosticism. Notice how subtly she implies that the informed will have no problem with occult stuff?

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 12:47 PM By Laurette Elsberry
“Catholic Replies”, an excellent resource book by James J. Drummey, also has some valuable information and other resources on this bogus “spiritual” tool. I quote the last paragraph on the Enneagram: “‘[Pope John Paul II said on November 1, 1982]: ‘Any method of prayer is valid insofar as it is inspired by Christ and leads to Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life’ (John 14:6). The Enneagram is not the Way, nor is it the Truth, and on those bases, not truly compatible with – much less essential – to the Life in Christ.'”

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 1:36 PM By JLS
Maguire, why do you keep trying to get readers to wander through your labyrinthic posts? I always have to jump out somewhere in the middle to avoid being caught in a trap or stuck at a dead end.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 1:38 PM By Abeca Christian
JLS you are so right! LOL

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 1:47 PM By Sandra
CCC: “2138 Superstition is a departure from the worship that we give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as well as in various forms of divination and magic.” CCC: “2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.” So when is the Bishop going to strip the ‘Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ from using the name “Catholic” within his Diocese?

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 1:54 PM By Dottie
CCC – “2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another’s credulity.”

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 2:01 PM By Bob
Seems to me I ran across a warning from the Vatican a few years ago about enneagrams and how much they are like numerology – very gnostic. About the same time, the Sisters of St. Joseph in Orange gave a three hour lecture/application of the enneagram to Catholic school teachers.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:36 PM By Maryanne Leonard
Dottie, your quoting from the CCC regarding the wearing of charms also being reprehensible reminded me of a time back in the 1950’s when wearing charm bracelets was all the rage, and we all collected charms from doting parents, boyfriends, aunts, etc., that represented something about our interests, personalities, etc. I asked for and was given a small gold cross to add to my own charm bracelet, which caused a Catholic schoolmate to insist that I was engaging in superstition by wearing a charm bracelet. I sincerely doubted that, even then, but she proved her point by telling me of this passage. I still wasn’t sure but did stop wearing my charm bracelet, in an excess of prudence. I now believe that the meaning in this context refers to the wearing of small objects believed to have imaginary, voodoo-like powers that supposedly can be used for or against others for one’s own purposes of control, and not simple charms that are worn in all innocence merely as jewelry without any specific intent of imbuing it with imaginary powers. I wanted to point out that distinction as it can be interpreted erroneously.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 4:28 PM By SoCal
Aren’t there bishops in these districts?

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:07 PM By contrary
Gullible Catholics attend a weekend retreat or a seminar on the “enneagram” in its latest re-packaging. The nun, or guru, mixes a little bit of Catholic theology and a little bit of popular psychology into the weekend of “chicken soup for the soul.” The gullible Catholic is deeply impressed with the Catholic theology (possibly orthodox), and soothed by the “chicken soup,” and now believes that the “enneagram” is the answer to life’s questions. The gullible Catholic does not distinguish between the Catholic piety and the gnostic numerology.

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 7:26 PM By Catherine
charlio, Thank you for the article. Fascinating! Locating Noah’s Ark for the world to see! That would really be something now wouldn’t it! Dan Mc Givern said, “Nothing would bring together Jews, Christians and Muslims who each trace their lineage to Noah’s descendant Abraham like Noah’s Ark” charlio, Please let us know if the President responds to Dan Mc Givern’s letter. The President’s response or lack of one will be very informative too. What a good and fine gentleman your boss is! charlio, You wrote, Fr. Duff, do you mean, The Servant of God Frank Duff? Does your boss have literary custody of Frank Duff’s book or is there a Father Duff?

Posted Wednesday, January 04, 2012 8:10 PM By JLS
If someone does not want to make the discernment, then that is what bishops are for. If bishops do not want to make the discernment, then God will take it from there.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:46 AM By Brad
JLS, your post of 12:41 did me and perhaps others a great service. Thank you for reminding me that one of the aspects of occult gnosticism is the pride the practitioner (victim) has that the arcane wisdom he is dabbling in will not harm him. But a lesser being, it would harm. Oh foolish sheep, who are so deluded by the lies of lucifer and his luciferianism (which is really what occult gnosticism is), sheep who have forgotten or rejected the reality that faith, not wisdom, is the commodity that God has instituted as the commodity of his entire economy of salvation. I am struck now by the thought that since satan always perverts, but never creates, what you observed about gnostics is like a sickening inversion of Mark 16:18. In their hauteur, gnostics think they will not be harmed or even perhaps destroyed by what they handle. They will be utterly destroyed by that path away from the living waters of the living God, unless of course, our Lord saves them at the particular judgment by, against all odds and momentum, convincing them to stay with Him. It will take an indescribable show of love to overwhelm their desire to flee in self-condemnation from the presence of the One they now see before them, the lamb whom their sins have pierced. Oh Lord, forgive us. A sinner’s prayer for himself and his fellow man.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 10:58 AM By John F.Maguire
To the contrary, JLS, my posts on the Marian significance of the understanding of Christ as the “new Theseus” is intended to underscore the traditional Catholic use of the labyrinth motif as, and precisely as, a traditional devotion, all “new age” misappropriations notwithstanding. I’ve already noted — but JLS, you chose to overlook — my protest against “new age” misappropriations of this devotional tradition. At the same time, Catholics, in opposing “new age” innovations, should take care not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Behind such a mistake is lack of historical understanding of the history of Catholic use of the ancient labyrinth motif. That Christ is the new Theseus is the key to Catholic Christianity’s appropriation of this motif. Which is also to say: Mary’s Rosary, and only this Rosary, serves as our efficacious ROPE of grace, on remote but real analogy to Ariadne’s GOWN-THREAD, which also proved efficacious, as thematized in ancient lore and, notably, in modern childrens’ literature. The point, JLS, is that there is something deficient in any use of the labyrinth motif that is not Christic — any use of the labyrinth motif that is not Marian.

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 2:24 PM By John F.Maguire
The floor labyrinth located in the nave of Chartres Cathedral (France) bears witness to Catholic Christianity’s use — its perfectly appropriate use — of the story of the hero Theseus and his work in slaying the bi-form monster of Minos, namely, the Minotaur, all by way of analogy to the work of Christ in slaying the bi-form monster of sin and death. See John and Odette Ketley-Laporte, _Chartres — le labyrinth dechiffre_ (Chartres: Editions J. M. Garnier, 1992). In the history of scholarship on this subject, Charles Chaliline’s _Recherche sur Chartres_ (1918; original manuscript, circa 1640) figures centrally. Jeff Saward, in this connection, writes: “All that remains of the brass or copper plaque that formerly decorated the centre of the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral are the worn stubs of the rivets that held it in place. While we know, from the description of the plaque from round 1640 (Chaliline, 1918), that it bore the representation of combat between Theseus and the Minotaur, we have no plan or diagram of the layout of its design. It would surely have been similar to the depictions of this scene found in contemporary labyrinth-decorated manuscripts, or at the center of 12th century floor labyrinths in Italian cathedrals.” Jeff Saward, “The Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth,” _Labyrinthos_ (2009); also see Monsignor Roger Michon, Bishop of Chartres (from 1955 to 1978), _”Les Druides — on-ils honore la Vierge qui devait enfanter?” _Notre-Dame de Chartre_ 58 (1984); Jean Villette, “L’enigma du labyrinthe de la cathedrale,” _Notre-Dame de Chartres_58 (1984).

Posted Thursday, January 05, 2012 10:46 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
I have been to Chartres on several occasions, I have never seen anyone paying any attention to the Labrynth there. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Friday, January 06, 2012 11:33 AM By John F. Maguire
In reply to Kenneth Fisher: Your post suggests the need to point out that the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral is on reserve, that is, it is not subject to constant daily use nor is it always presumptively accessible by lay or non-Catholic visitors. Jeff Saward explains: “Chartres Cathedral is a working building and a place of worship. Normally the nave of the cathedral is lined with chairs and most of the labyrinth is subsequently obscured. It has long been the tradition at the cathedral to remove the chairs and uncover the labyrinth, to allow it to be walked, on midsummer day, June 21st. In recent years the cathedral authorities have also instigated a program of regularly uncovering the labyrinth every Friday during the summer months — typically from Easter until September. However, this schedule is always subject to change, and special services, funerals, and events in the cathedral can result in the labyrinth remaining covered. Essentially, the best advice is to go on a Friday during summer, or on a midsummer day, and if you can, plan to get there early, before the crowds on the tour buses arrive, or otherwise in the late afternoon when they leave and the cathedral becomes a little less crowded. But bear in mind that finding the labyrinth uncovered is never guaranteed — you make your pilgrimage and take your chance!” Jeff Savard, “The Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth,” _Labyrinthos_ (2009). That this chance is sometimes missed by devout visitors, does not minimize the Christic and Marian import of floor labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 2:28 PM By k
Bob, the Vatican document is called, Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of LIfe. The enneagram is mentioned in section 1.4.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 4:33 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
We walked on it allright. After 3 days of walking in a Devout Pilgirmage, we walked right over it. As I have stated, I have been there on at least 4 occasions, and never did anyone pay any attention to it. To us it was a nice design on the floor. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 5:19 PM By JLS
Maguire, because you constantly twist my posts, I have pretty much stopped reading yours.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 5:24 PM By JLS
Brad, I learned a lot from studying St Augustine’s writings, where he teaches how to discern many of the main errors in theological reasoning.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 5:27 PM By JLS
So, k, does it say what the point is to the enneagram in Catholic practice? My concept of a real labyrinth (if it still exists) is the tunneling under the Franciscan Monastery and Garden of the Stations in Washington D.C. One is guided through this replica catacombs by one of the monks … at least it was when I was there in the mid 1980s.

Posted Monday, January 09, 2012 10:37 PM By k
JLS, it says: “Even if it can be admitted that New Age religiosity in some way responds to the legitimate spiritual longing of human nature, it must be acknowledged that its attempts to do so run counter to Christian revelation. In Western culture in particular the appeal of “alternative” approaches to spirituality is very strong. On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation of the individual have become very popular among Catholics, even in retreat-houses, seminaries and institutes of formation for religious. At the same time there is increasing nostalgia and curiosity for the wisdom and ritual of long ago, which is one of the reasons for the remarkable growth in the popularity of esotericism and gnosticism… An adequate Christian discernment of New Age thought and practice cannot fail to recognize that, like second and third century gnosticism, it represents something of a compendium of positions that the Church has identified as heterodox. John Paul II warns with regard to the ‘return of ancient gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practicing gnosticism-that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words. Gnosticism never completely abandoned the realm of Christianity. Instead, it has always existed side by side with Christianity, sometimes taking the shape of a philisophical movement, but more often assuming the characteristcs of a religion or a para-religion in distinct, if not declared, conflict with all that is essentially Christian”. An example of this can be seen in the enneagram, the nine-type tool for character analysis, which when used as a means of spiritual growth introduces an ambiguity in the doctrine and the life of the Christian faith.”

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 9:47 AM By John F. Maguire
The point, Mr. Fisher, is that the labyrinth motif is a part of the liturgical-architectural tradition of the Catholic Church, “new age” misappropriations of this motif notwithstanding.

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 1:58 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher
JLS, 5:19 PM, Welcome to the Club! God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 2:10 PM By Kenneth M. Fisher 
Maguire, You apparently think you know more on this subject than does the Holy See in “Jesus Christ, The Bearer of the Water of LIfe. The enneagram is mentioned in section 1.4.”. God bless, yours in Their Hearts, Kenneth M. Fisher

Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 3:13 PM By John F. Maguire
Ken Fisher: My posts in this and other threads on this website OPPOSE resort to the enneagram but my posts also distinguish the case of the labyrinth motif as an authentic part of the liturgical-architectural tradition of the Catholic Church. Mr. Fisher, you’ve seen the floor labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral and perhaps comparable labyrinths in other churches, so I do not understand why you still go ahead and confound my negative critique of enneagrammatology, on the one hand, and my positive defense (not of any tradition of the labyrinth motif but) of the classically European tradition of the Christian use of this motif. This tradition, we need only recall, is based on an analogical understanding of Christ as the New Theseus and Mary’s Rosary as our new gown-thread. ~ This tradition is a beautiful one. It is — properly — a tradition of Holy Church.