Have I sinned in receiving a reading from a psychic? Do psychics have anything to do with evil spirits?

Thanks for your question to Busted Halo. Whether you sinned or not depends on whether you intended to do evil or turn away from God by visiting a psychic. You don’t indicate that this was your reason, but only you know the answer to that question. The Church discourages participation in magical or superstitious practices that involve an attempt to control nature (become like God) or that see the meaning of life as found in something other than the God of Jesus. Here are some general principles that can help you understand what practices are of God and what may be leading you into evil:

1. St. Paul says that the fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self control (Galatians 5:2-23). As a general rule, if something has or fosters the above characteristics, it can be trusted. If it leads to the opposite of the above “fruits”, it’s smart to stay away from it.

2. What are the effects of the practice on you? Does it lead you to being a more faithful, hopeful, and loving person? Does it lead you to become closer to your fellow Christians or does it isolate you from them?

3. What are the effects of the practice on the Church? Does it foster unity or lead to dissension and factions within the community?

4. Does the practice support beliefs and behavior that are consistent with Christian values or does it lead to their opposite?

5. Is the practice freely chosen and respectful of human dignity or is it imposed arbitrarily by another?

If you make use of these five guidelines, and stay close to God through daily prayer, you can feel confident that you are on the right track.

God bless you,
Fr. Joe