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I read Little Cindy’s Letters [1] per your recommendation on the website, and I was a little disturbed by Rob’s handling of the Marian consecration part. I’m on a Catholic Yahoogroup list for ladies who struggle with food issues and there were others who voiced their concern with that part as well. It almost seemed to imply that Marian consecration was a distraction to following Christ fully and his logic for asserting possible demonic consecration instead was a little bizarre. I wonder if this guy has ever read Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary? The copy we have has an endorsement by John Paul II!

Outline of the Answer
• Introduction
• Superstition
• Distortion of Genuine Devotion

You raise an issue that is actually far more subtle than it might seem at first glance. Throughout the book, Robert Abel, the counselor, does what he can to break Cindy of the superstitions that maintain her addictive behavior.

What? Superstitions?


Well, yes. Superstitions. An eating disorder—and any addiction, for that matter—is, at its core, a superstition.

Let’s pause a bit here and consider the meaning of the word superstition. It is composed of super- (from the Latin super, above) and -stition (from the Latin stare, to stand). Thus the word implies a “standing above” something, and so it conveys a sort of haughty disregard for rational authority. Thus superstition is the direct opposite of understanding, a “standing under” something, which implies humble obedience.

Because our salvation depends on our understanding of God’s ultimate plan for all of His creation, anything that obstructs our understanding will thwart our salvation. And nothing can obstruct understanding better than superstition.

For example, superstition can take a valid sacramental and make it into a mere charm. It can turn the focus from a thing that helps us be receptive to divine grace to the thing itself. Instead of submitting totally to God in pure love, we can be led astray by superstition into thinking that the things we do make us holy. We end up reducing devotion to dry, external, ritualistic forms of, well, magic.


Note that superstitions can have two causes. One cause is fear: the fear that something bad will occur if you don’t do something. Another cause is magic: the belief that a thing or action, in itself, will make something occur.

In regard to an eating disorder, fear can manifest in the belief that if a particular food, or a particular amount of food is not eaten, then some bad event will occur; e.g., “If I don’t eat a muffin my morning will be ruined.” Moreover, magical thinking can manifest in the belief that just by eating a particular food, or a particular amount of food, then a desired event will occur; e.g., “If I eat this whole bag of chips I will do well in the interview.”

Accordingly, healthy eating bypasses both fear and magic when food is eaten simply as prudent nutrition—no snacking, no junk food, no food unhealthily processed with sugars and oils—and only of an amount necessary to maintain a desired weight.


Distortion of Genuine Devotion

In regard to the matter of the consecration in Little Cindy’s Letters, therefore, the issue does not concern whether John Paul II admired and endorsed St. Louis de Montfort’s Marian teachings. The issue concerns the distortion of genuine devotion to Christ found in the consecration followed by Cindy.

St. Louis Marie de MontfortSt. Louis de Montfort placed heavy emphasis on being led “to Jesus through Mary,” and his Act of Consecration (found on pages 141-143 of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin) has its goal in being fully mature in the fullness of Jesus.

But, if you compare the Act of Consecration in True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin with the so-called “consecration” that Cindy followed, you will be very surprised. Cindy’s version (see pages 146-147 of Little Cindy’s Letters)—which was provided to Cindy by a priest himself given over to superstition, especially numerology—is a blatant New Age distortion of St. Louis’s text. And that’s what Rob reacts to.

Rob sounds harsh, yet keep in mind that he is not criticizing true devotion; he criticizes superstition and its demonic connections. And he has to. In order for Cindy to be healed of her eating disorder, she must renounce all the superstitions that defend her from her emotional pain, and she must then encounter Christ’s mercy in full understanding of His love.

It’s a hard task. And sadly it’s not a task that applies only to a woman with an eating disorder—it applies to the majority of Catholics today. If you look carefully and deeply, you will find that most Catholics today—let alone most so-called Christians—don’t have much of a clue at all about real Christian love and its demand for sacrifice, obedience, and prayer. And you will see that they hide their ignorance behind a multitude of superstitions.


Who wrote this web page?


1. Little Cindy’s Letters documents the spiritual journey of a Catholic woman who, through her communication with an addictions counselor, found freedom from her eating disorder by learning to love the hurt little girl from her childhood through trust in Jesus’ healing forgiveness. Until June 2006 this book had been offered for free to visitors of my website through the publisher’s website, but because of low inventory the publisher has asked that this offer be discontinued.




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