The beauty of the wealth of knowledge available to us is there is often a book for whatever need we may have. If we encounter questions about the faith, we have resources to develop our intellectual knowledge. The Catholic blogosphere has a myriad of “Catholic mom” sites where women mutually support each other in their vocations as wives and mothers. There are books too numerous to list that have come from Catholic authors on parenting and authentic masculinity and femininity.
Today "demonstration of mediumship" is part of the church service at all churches affiliated with the National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) and the Spiritualists' National Union (SNU). Demonstration links to NSAC's Declaration of Principal #9. "We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship."
A very large part is played by fraud in spiritualistic practices, both in the physical and psychical, or automatic, phenomena, but especially in the former. The frequency with which mediums have been convicted of fraud has, indeed, induced many people to abandon the study of psychical research, judging the whole bulk of the phenomena to be fraudulently produced.
The Bible says, "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun." In other words, for sure we know it couldn't be Samuel, because when we die, we "know nothing." (For more information on what happens when we die, see our topic on Death).
Saint after saint has pointed out the positives of spiritual reading. Reading features rather prominently in the 6th century Rule of St. Benedict. Sundays are to be devoted to reading and meals are to be held in silence, with one of the monks reading to the community. St. Alphonsus Ligouri noted that “we cannot always have access to a spiritual Father for counsel in our actions, and particularly in our doubts; but reading will abundantly supply his place by giving us lights and directions to escape the illusions of the devil and of our own self-love, and at the same time to submit to the divine will.” Many spiritual masters urged reading the lives of the saints for encouragement and models of holiness. Padre Pio recommended spiritual reading in general, but particularly for difficult times in our lives:
Not all psychics are mediums, but all mediums are psychic. A psychic uses psychic skills to read the energies of people (spirits incarnate as human) within the earthly realm. A spiritual medium uses psychical skills to read the energies of spirits within the spirit world. A medium however, is psychic too and this can present a problem. When a client visits, you can pick up on their emotional energies, thoughts and expectations and this can effect the reading you give. You must learn to filter these out through practicing on many people first. You must learn through experience when you're picking up psychic energies or those of spirit. It's hard to describe skills such as these and they must learned within a mediumistic circle or similar group, explained shortly. Ask your client to close their eyes and relax for a few moments before you begin a session. Remind them to be free of expectations so that you do not pick up on them psychically.
Let’s say you want to find a new romantic relationship. Instead of pulling a card to predict whether Prince Charming is just around the corner and either being blissfully excited or bitterly disappointed, you consult the cards to discover how you can attract love (and keep it!). You draw the Ten of Cups, and upon seeing the happy family dancing under the rainbow in the card, you are reminded that to attract love, you need to set a clear vision of what it is you want to attract.
We can all help psychic mediums to have an extremely clear path while on stage, or in a private reading, by sending them our love and acceptance. Say a little prayer to help the psychic medium receive perfect clarity in their communication. Don’t sit there with your arms folded and an angry look on your face. Lighten up. Relax. Have fun. One message that often comes through for people from their spirit-guides is that they need to lighten up—don’t be so serious! Many spirits have communicated to psychic mediums that when they crossed-over to the spirit world and looked back at their life, they were regretful that they were so darn serious and didn’t have more fun while they were here.
While there are a few different forms of mediumship, I work as a mental medium, which means I communicate with spirits through the use of telepathy. Spirits impress my mind and body with thoughts and feelings that come in the form of "clairs." I mentally "hear" (clairaudience), "see" (clairvoyance), "know" (claircognizance) and/or "feel" (clairsentience) messages from spirits. I like to say that I act as the bridge between the spiritual and the physical world, with the intention of healing both worlds.
In 1891 at a public séance with twenty sitters the medium Cecil Husk was caught leaning over a table pretending to be a spirit by covering his face with phosphor material. The magician Will Goldston also exposed the fraud mediumship of Husk. In a séance Goldston attended a pale face materialization appeared in the room. Goldston wrote "I saw at once that it was a gauze mask, and that the moustache attached to it was loose at one side through lack of gum. I pulled at the mask. It came away, revealing the face of Husk." The British materialization medium Annie Fairlamb Mellon was exposed as a fraud on October 12, 1894. During the séance a sitter seized the materialized spirit, and found it to be the Mellon on her knees with white muslin on her head and shoulders.
Mediumship became quite popular in the 19th-century United States and the United Kingdom after the rise of Spiritualism as a religious movement. Modern Spiritualism is said to date from practices and lectures of the Fox sisters in New York State in 1848. The trance mediums Paschal Beverly Randolph and Emma Hardinge Britten were among the most celebrated lecturers and authors on the subject in the mid-19th century. Allan Kardec coined the term Spiritism around 1860. Kardec claimed that conversations with spirits by selected mediums were the basis of his The Spirits' Book and later, his five-book collection, Spiritist Codification.