I found the cover of the March issue of Liguorian very troubling: A man is sitting on the floor of an Episcopal Church in a labyrinth. Inside the magazine, a short blurb states: “Walking the labyrinth is recognized as a form of meditation. The three common stages are purgation (releasing), illumination (receiving), and union (returning).” The logic of this statement escapes me: “releasing,” “receiving,” and “returning” what? That the issue contains three articles on prayer is commendable. But the cover and the blurb may be confusing to some readers and may lead them to embrace New Age beliefs. Why feature an Episcopal church on the cover of a Catholic magazine? Why show a man sitting on the floor of a church?
Catholics do not ordinarily sit on the floor in Catholic churches, either during liturgies or when engaging in private prayer in church. I read a blog post from EWTN’s “Women of Grace,” which explains how a labyrinth can be associated with New Age. I think Liguorian has a ver y important responsibility to guide and encourage readers to become closer to God and not lead them astray into beliefs that are not in keeping with Church teaching. Liguorian failed in this responsibility in printing this cover.
DIANE R., MD
Fr. Michael Brehl ’s article in the May-June 2015 issue titled “The Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help” brought back wonderful childhood memories. During most of World War II, while my father served in the South Pacific my mother, sister, and I lived with my maternal grandparents. In my grandparents’ bedroom, a copy of the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help was proudly displayed. My grandmother had a special devotion to the icon. As a small child I learned not only the story behind this devotion but often accompanied my grandmother to weekly devotions at our parish. Here I learned the importance of Mary in our lives and started to say the rosary daily, which I still do today, at the age of 74. Toward the end of the war, we moved into our own home directly across the street from my grandparents’ home. Every time I visited them, I made a point to go to their bedroom and say hello to Mary. Over the years, my devotion to Mary took other forms. I became particularly devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes. I do not know what happened to this copy of the icon, but I pray that whoever has it remembers what an important devotion this is for Catholics. Thank you for bringing back such wonder ful memories.
GLENN H., TX