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There is no other way to say this except to come right out and say it: BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!!... In our world, truth is being twisted at warp speed and what is wrong looks right and what looks right...could be very wrong.

There are many false ministries, apostolates and movements afoot in the Catholic Church right now. Of course, this is nothing new and it was even true at the very beginnings of our Church, as it states in Scripture from 1John 4:1...

"Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

What I have noticed is that often these apostolates are saying all of the right things, seemingly in total obedience to Church teachings... there is no glaring error in the material that is being represented BUT... the behind- the- scenes tactics, motives and personalities are suspect, even evil.

Before joining or ardently following a group, movement or particular ministry of the Catholic Church, you MUST discern the whole picture of what is behind the words and public actions of the people involved. We have become far too lenient and easily led into spiritual fads and crazes while seeking personalities over substance and not testing the SPIRIT of each every teaching and ministry that comes our way.

Here are some quick checks to get you started:

These are red flags

1) Is the apostolate centered SOLELY around one particular person? (If that Person isn't Jesus... then there could be a problem.)

2) Does the apostolate claim to have special information, better devotions or to be more enlightened than the Catholic Church and its teachings? Does the apostolate place its own written materials and teachings above the Bible and those of the Church?

3) Does the apostolate or movement encourage secrecy or seperateness from local parish life?

4) Is the apostolate a registered charity with fiscal oversight from an outside source? (Fiduciary transparency is a MUST)

5) Are the people involved humble, virtuous, genuine, faithful Catholics in good standing? Do they consistently seek holiness for themselves and each other ?

Because we are human, we are susceptible to idolatry in all of its forms. We are ripe for the taking if we are not mature, discerning and careful about who and what we follow. We are sheep with only ONE Shepherd and our Catholic Faith is fully mysterious and powerfully equipped to form us and support us in our relationship with the Holy Trinity.

Please beware and take heed because

"False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect." ~ Matthew 24:24

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