She Looked for Enlightenment in the New Age

She lived in Hawaii, one of the American states, and had a brilliant career: she published a successful tourist magazine, managed investments and bought real estate. She had her own house and a good car. Her professional experience included the purchase and sale of a newspaper. Suddenly she was brutally awoken from living out the American Dream by a car accident.

Moira Noonan suffered serious injuries, was partially paralyzed and in constant pain. For two years after the accident, her body hardly functioned, making her unable to hold even a coffee cup. Doctors said that her chances of full recovery were slim. What is more, the prospects for continuing her career were gone. This hopeless situation changed after a phone call from Moira’s sister, who told her about a pain-treatment clinic. For Moira, who still lived in constant pain and without hope for recovery, this was great news. Without hesitating, she left everything behind and flew from Honolulu to Wisconsin, to a new but already renowned clinic, whose method of pain therapy was imitated in university clinics and in many health and beauty spas across the country. This is how her road to the New Age movement began. 

Erosion of faith

As a child Moira had been brought up in the Catholic faith but when as a teenager she transferred from a Catholic to secular school, she stopped attending Mass and religion classes. Instead, she became strongly involved in the Oriental religious experience. She read books on Hindu philosophy and attended Indian events and concerts of Indian music. Studying at a state university, she attended meditation classes, which were announced on every bulletin board on the campus. Moira resolved that she would go to India, find her own guru and attain enlightenment. To realize her dream, she had to wait until graduation. Having worked hard, she passed her final exams, received a diploma and landed an excellent job. Building her career, she had by now set her mind on entirely different objectives and so abandoned spiritual enlightenment until the accident cut her career short and introduced her to a new and intriguing world of spiritual experiences. 


Moira, when asked today how her adventure with the New Age started, replies: “Through my insurance company.” It was indeed true. Her insurance company covered the costs of stay in a pain-treatment clinic as part of the post-traumatic therapy. Paradoxically, in the contemporary world, which proclaims the reign of reason, the insurance company paid for therapy of a mystic nature. The explanation was their belief in the effectiveness of treatment. After five weeks in the clinic, Moira’s health greatly improved. She could stop taking painkillers and her body started to function as it should. This was a result of the mind training she had undergone as part of the New Thought system known as autogenics. It was about modifying the mind, through many hours of self-hypnosis, to adjust it to the reality a person wanted to create for himself. According to New Thought, when a person starts to think “in a new way”, he will free himself from the sense of guilt, which in turn will alleviate pain. Since the system worked and Moira even had several out-of-body experiences, she grew interested in the philosophy and convictions promoted in the clinic. 

Reprogramming of Worldview

The content that was “loaded” into Moira’s and other patients’ minds in the course of the therapy was totally anti-Christian. Nothing was said about God as the Creator, but it was argued instead that faith in some Savior and the hope that he would save a person from pain and deliver him from evil was a waste of time. As part of the mind training, it was said that each person must help himself. Moira was subjected to brainwashing, resulting in the destruction of the way she understood both the world and her faith, and led to a change in her attitude towards her body, life, God and healing. In place of the Judeo-Christian worldview, she was inculcated with a faith in human existence outside of matter, in men and women being incorporeal, in their creating their own reality and with the help of gentle spiritual forces (others allegedly did not exist at all) influencing God’s plan. Only after many years did Moira understand that through such thinking the evil spirit boosted human ego to such a degree that a man or woman began to consider himself or herself as a god, capable of doing everything with his or her own power. 

Moira was recommended to keep her mind in the state appropriate for New Thought, so that when the therapy was over she would stay pain-free. When she asked if she could attend Catholic Church services for spiritual support, she was advised against it. She was recommended, instead, to join the groups of the Unity Church, Christian Science or dianeticist groups, which provided the adherents with autogenic and meditation tapes, and other self-hypnotic tools. The road Moira set out on, driven by her desire to be healthy again, made her fall into spiritual disarray. After many years, she admitted that the rejection of the First Commandment – putting herself in the place of God – made her break the other Commandments and question the tenets of Christian religion. Moira practiced all the forms of idolatry listed in the Book of Deuteronomy (18:9-12): divination, soothsaying, auguring, magic, consulting the spirits of the dead, and so on. But God clearly warns against such practices to protect people against evil. Yet, Moira, being unaware of the danger, pursued them more and more eagerly. 

Immersed in the Occult

Moira worked as a priestess of Religious Science and was a consultant and mediumistic therapist. She eagerly studied hypnotherapy, past-life regression, astrology, courses in miracles, Reiki, channeling, crystals, Goddess Worship, clairvoyance and other occult practices. Through them, she gave evil spirits free access to her life. Taking up mediumistic practices caused Moira to see the spiritual world. But most of these things she did not want to see at all, because the demonic world was terrifying. This is so because demons do not come gently; they never act for the good of man either. Moira, therefore, did not have any peace, day or night. Her mind constantly raced forward. Like in a never-ending film, she kept seeing visions that she could not switch off. She was desperately in need of help.

Refuge of Sinners

The process of Moira’s coming out of the confusion and darkness of the New Age was greatly assisted by Our Lady, who put up a number of signs along her way. Moira followed them although she did not know where they might lead her nor was she aware of how great an evil she was being freed from, because she was blinded by being immersed in these various occult practices. 

The first sign from Mary appeared during a coffee break in a New Age workshop in Hawaii. She was browsing through an issue of the New Age Journal, the movement’s most popular magazine in America. It ran an article by Sondra Ray, a well-known New Age personality. She described how on her journey to India – to meet her guru, Babaji – she visited Medjugorje, because she was intrigued by information on the apparitions of Our Lady. Sondra summarized her visit thus: “Mary the Mother is the goddess of Heaven who has descended to join the goddess of Earth.” When Moira read this sentence she felt that there was something wrong. Meanwhile, the article had greatly impressed her and touched her heart but in spite of the New Age indoctrination, she knew that Our Lady was not a goddess. In Moira, the truth sowed long ago when she attended a Catholic school now resounded. Moved by the situation, Moira left the workshop and while taking a walk she felt a stimulus to pray sincerely: “God, if the Mother of Jesus appears somewhere, I know she is not a goddess. I know that this magazine is wrong. Could you show me the truth?” This prayer did not go unanswered. Successive signs appeared soon…

The Mother’s Patient Leading

One sign appeared during a spiritualistic séance involving table-turning. Moira was among people who waited for the arrival of a so-called guiding spirit by placing their hands on the table.

This time, Moira suddenly and clearly felt the presence of something else that was next to her and was very beautiful, angelic and wonderful. She immediately withdrew her hands from the table and could not extend them back again because they felt riveted to her body. After a while, Moira stood and left the room. She asked herself: “What is this? Can anybody tell me what’s going on?” To this, she heard a clear voice inside her, saying: “I am the Queen of Peace.” Moira had never before heard of the Queen of Peace but she had no doubt that the words were spoken by Our Lady. Moira replied that she would never go back to this community practicing spiritualistic séances. She felt an urge to come to know Our Lady and learn more about her Immaculate Heart; she was beginning to understand that the path she had been following was not the right one. 

Several weeks later, Moira’s grandmother died. In an already emptied house, when all her belongings had been packed and removed, Moira found a religious medal her grandmother had always worn. In an inexplicable way, it had been passed over and found by the granddaughter, who at that time did not even know what was the Miraculous Medal, which came from the Rue du Bac in Paris, France. Moira put it on and has worn it on her neck ever since. It turned out that this was the most precious thing that her grandmother could have ever left her. Later, a lot was to happen on account of that medal. 

Confession? Right Now!

A major role in Moira’s reformation was played by the sacrament of Confession. On one occasion she went to Mass to pray for a healing. When the Mass was over, she felt she had to go to confession and started to look for the priest. She found him already standing by his car, getting ready to leave. There, in the parking lot, in front of the church, for the first time in 25 years, thanks to the patience of the priest, she reconciled with God, confessing her sins. She did not delay accepting the grace, nor did she wait for a “better” time and conditions. Having responded right away to God’s inspiration, she unburdened herself of all her sins with which she had lived for so many years and now had the privilege of entering a bright path leading to the true faith. 

The Difficult Process of Reformation

Moira’s process of reformation would not have been possible without God’s grace and strength. That is why she attended Mass, read religious publications, prayed and fasted every week. Every day she entrusted herself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, continued to wear the Miraculous Medal with piety, stimulated Marian devotion by reading the works of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. She learned the prayers to St. Michael the Archangel and St. Benedict, both of which are designed to stop interference by Satan. This was because Moira could personally feel the impact of the powers of evil which had possessed her thanks to the New Age. 

These religious practices were necessary to make the difficult and often painful reformation process continue in her with the help of God’s grace. One of the challenges Moira had to meet was a change to her way of thinking. In New Age, she had been inculcated with the conviction that people could fulfill themselves on their own, that they were gods and saviors for themselves and they did not need any salvation from something like sin. Recognizing the true God and Savior was not at all easy for Moira, but it proceeded in steps. The most difficult thing she found was to get rid of her belief in reincarnation. 

Another challenge she faced was to get rid of all the New Age books and other mediumistic items. Moira’s house was full of occult accessories, worth thousands of dollars. Not being able to throw them away herself, she was helped in this task by her friends from a Bible circle, who had to bear with her irrational and hostile reactions, lack of self-control and cries, which, by the way, she did not remember later. This situation showed that Moira had not completely freed herself yet of the demons connected with these objects. Besides the house, something else needed a thorough cleansing – Moira herself. 

Detailed confession

The recently reformed woman was not aware that every lie in which she had believed and every practice she had come in touch with was blocking her complete liberation. The Virgin Mary, however, to whom Moira had entrusted herself, did not leave her without care. (When) Moira (was visiting) decided to visit Medjugorje. Once there she joined a long line of people waiting to confess in English. It turned out that “by accident” she got to a priest who had a lot of experience in hearing confessions of people coming out of the New Age movement. Moira felt encouraged to tell the priest much more than only the venial sins she had committed. Father Filip Pavić heard her two-and-half-hour confession, but due to the long line of people waiting in front of the confessional, he invited her to come to his office the next day. He knew that Moira had to confess in a detailed manner all occult practices and renounce them. Otherwise, demons would continue to attack her. Their meeting lasted over 14 hours. In that time, Moira would confess a specific practice and then in the name of Jesus Christ she solemnly renounced it and its teachers and associated demons alike. The Holy Spirit granted Fr. Filip the gift of spiritual discernment, thanks to which he could remind and prompt Moira about matters she forgot due to the lapse of time or her blindness. Moira opened her heart wide to God for him to cleanse it and fill it with his love and grace. She also came to understand clearly then that behind every occult practice, a demon lurked.

The meeting held by Fr. Filip with Moira was a traumatic experience for her but also a liberating one. When it was over, she felt like a newly born child of God. She cast away the whole evil of the past and knew that she would be able to follow Christ only by holding onto the hand of Our Lady. 

Saving souls

After her return to the Catholic Church, Moira cut herself off from her former life. She needed a new direction in life, so she prayed God would show her what she was to do next. In return, God granted her the gift of wishing to evangelize with zeal, so that she could derive good from her past. Moira started to meet people in need of healing and trying to break away from the occult, and desiring true faith. Frequently, these were the people around her. Hence, she could carry out her apostolic mission without leaving for faraway countries. She was sent to bring the Good News to her own milieu. Using her experience of coming out from the New Age, Moira encounters people who have lost their bearings, bringing them to God and the Catholic Church, where Jesus is actually present and active, constantly granting graces to the faithful in the sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession.