“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37
The "Law of Attraction", LOA, seems to be nothing more than this: think positive thoughts and positive things will happen to you. i.e: "Think it, and make it so." We "attract" good things by our good thoughts/feelings.
We are all familiar with its corollary: if you think negative thoughts, then it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy and, indeed, negative things will happen to you.
The LOA is a New Age concept that can be found in Wayne Dyer's writings, the 2006 book/movie "The Secret", author Marianne Williamson's books, and, of course Oprah has been a big proponent of the LOA.
It may seen like an innocuous at worst and helpful at best philosophy to live by: what's wrong with thinking positively? Who does that hurt?...In fact, our common sense seems to tell us that there are indeed some truths to the LOA. As Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin maintains, "Our thoughts do affect our outlook, and if you have a positive outlook, positive things are more likely to happen to you." However, he adds, "But that happens in a natural manner. You can't magically attract things into your life just by thinking about them." This, he says, is superstition.
In fact, the LOA is indeed not compatible with Catholicism. In the 2003 Vatican document, "Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life", the Church states, "The widespread New Age conviction that one creates one's own reality is appealing, but illusory...Our limitations are a fact of life and and of being a creature."
There is no scientific evidence that the LOA is true. There are no scientifically reproducible, demonstrable results that this phenomenon, or "law", is occurring. The only "proof" we have is anecdotal. "I woke up thinking I was going to get a raise today, and it happened!"
Not very scientific.
The LOA is incompatible with Catholicism because its main axiom is that we are able to "manipulate the universe" and, in essence, control God. Its philosophy seems to be borne from a Pantheistic worldview, in which everything is "energy" and all "energy" is God. According to former New Age devotee Sharon Lee Giganti, the LOA seems to be a modern day form of ancient magic and sorcery.
Incidentally, how does the LOA work if, say, a teenager is using the LOA to attract a shiny new red convertible, and his parents are using the LOA to visualize him not getting a shiny new car, who's going to win this tug-o-war in the LOA world?
Another problem with the LOA is that it may serve as a catalyst for dismissing the poor and downtrodden. Did they not attract these hardships on themselves, according to the LOA? And, of course, this, too is contrary to Catholic social justice which mandates that we treat the poor and downtrodden as we would serve Jesus himself. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me.--Matt 25:35
So if we ought to be cautious about entertaining this LOA, how is this different from prayers of petition? Aren't we in essence doing the same thing as invoking the LOA when we ask God to, say, give us a raise? I think the difference is that in our prayers of petition we surrender control to God, rather than to ourselves. "Please, God, help me to get the raise that I deserve", acknowledges that God is in control but where we understand that God gives us the "dignity of causality". That is, God allows us to "cause" this event by our asking for this event, while the LOA seems to be operating under the mantra, "My will be done" not "Thy will be done."
For more in-depth study visit these websites:
Fr. Mitch Pacwa comments on The Secret
Catholics Come Home
Catholic Bible online
Catechism of the Catholic Church online
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15