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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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Jan 21st 2013 new

Very thought provoking thread. Many insightful comments. I especially liked the ones
about abiding in God's love and letting HIM make the choices. I notice quickly that when I have made the choices (without prayer, or without concern for God), I end up in a tailspin. Lord have mercy on me as I have made so many selfish choices! (Thankfully He always does!) When I am in a state of grace and God is working in my life as I surrender to Him, I really don't have decisions to make, or at least they are easy. I only have to say yes and seek Him. Then I find myself attending daily mass, praying the rosary, attending bible studies, spending time in adoration, joining apostolates, performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy, etc. These things presented themselves to me as an invitation from God to grow in holiness, rather than a choice that I made. I could have kept up my TV habit, or other past time. But as I seek to follow, He actually does lead, even a dull sheep like me. Jesus said today has enough worries of it's own. The choice I make every day is Jesus. I will leave the rest up to God. He can raise Lazarus, heal the sick, He can walk on water, He can give us His true presence in the Holy Eucharist at mass...and He can lead me into a vocation.

I was speaking with a very holy priest about this very topic today, regarding the choices we make. He said to make Godly choices, especially important ones like a vocation, absolutely requires being in a state of grace. We can not hope to receive God's help if we are disobediant, maybe in a way I was not aware of. It is always wise to make a very thorough, prayerful and regular examination of conscience, even daily, and get to confession regularly. To be alive in the body of Christ means we will be growing in holiness, and dying to sin. We then must be just as open to a religious vocation as a vocation to marriage or the single life. He also said emphatically there is no way a practicing Catholic can make a discernment of God's will about something as serious as a vocation without a good, holy spiritual director, which are often in short supply, but God provides.

The choices we make, determine our state in eternal life. The saints made holy choices and desired God, more and more. They desired sin less and less. If God is not in control of my life...who is?

Jan 21st 2013 new

I agree with Janis Joplin, "Get it While You Can" ....Im sick of these guys who are vague and dont know what they want..If you want something then go for it...

Jan 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Hi Kristen, This brought to mind immediately two thoughts. 1. My father a...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Hi Kristen,

This brought to mind immediately two thoughts.

1. My father always said not choosing is a choice in itself. . . as the story notes. Being indecisive and hesitant can be prudent, but it can also be a self-fulfilling prophesy so to speak, resulting in loss and disappointment.

2. And, Jessica mentions this in her post about choosing the "perfect" choice. Due to a long history of hierarchical categorizing and thinking, we operate often under an assumption that choices and progress are always geared toward a progression toward perfection (speaking of the human realm here), but we know from study and hindsight that there is no such thing as a perfect option or a perfect choice --- all adaptation/change/choice comes with a cost. We walk upright and we die in childbirth, we reroute a river and we destroy an ecosystem over there but we can grow crops in a desert. We choose this career because it will provide the perfect life -- good home, good money -- but we are miserably bored or unhappy in that profession. As Jessica notes the world is in constant flux, everything changes, in fact, the only thing that is always constant is change -- little minute changes to profound life altering changes. And, as such, we are constantly presented with new options and choices, or the opportunity to go back and choose another fuit.

Okay a third thought lol 3.) Because of our particular world view and culture we are often operating under the assumption that we have total control over our choices and opportunities --- with that comes tremendous pressure to make as Jessica notes the "perfect" choice. Failure in our world is not acceptable, and yet we see it everyday. There is a quote out there attribted to Einstein or Edison or something that goes something like this: "I did not fail I only found 10,000 ways that didn't work." A horrible paraphrase but hopefully the gist is evident lol.

In the story outline, the person hesitates until all the fruit is gone and is then left with nothing. More importantly she never did anything, she didn't make a choice and fail, and make another choice. . . she didn't live, instead she allowed her uncertainty to keep her in a limbo of sorts until there was no path left to follow and no choice left to make. So what do we do? Make a choice and experience it, good bad or indifferent, then make another choice and experience that and so on and so forth. Never regret any choice you make as long as you learn something from it and don't let the fear of making a mistake keep you from living life and choosing something. And, even better if we choose knowing it won't be perfect, but it will provide some benefit even if it is finding a way something doesn't work, then it is a choice experienced.

--hide--



Lauren, we are simpatico! I would love to get a cup of coffee with you sometime and think deep thoughts. These are excellent points. I especially resonated with your point about the unacceptability of failure in our culture. While I understand the social reasons for why certain things are considered failure and wouldn't want that necessarily to change, I agree that personally one must learn how to cope with decisions that are deemed failure and figure out how to move on, while at the same time not diminishing the gravity that our choices have on the lives of others. We MUST make choices; to not choose is also a choice. But we must also take into account the gravity of our choices and have the courage to move forward with the best moral choice possible. (And here I've introduced another element - morality!)

Jan 21st 2013 new

(Quote) David-903579 said: Very thought provoking thread. Many insightful comments. I especially liked the ones about ab...
(Quote) David-903579 said:

Very thought provoking thread. Many insightful comments. I especially liked the ones
about abiding in God's love and letting HIM make the choices. I notice quickly that when I have made the choices (without prayer, or without concern for God), I end up in a tailspin. Lord have mercy on me as I have made so many selfish choices! (Thankfully He always does!) When I am in a state of grace and God is working in my life as I surrender to Him, I really don't have decisions to make, or at least they are easy. I only have to say yes and seek Him. Then I find myself attending daily mass, praying the rosary, attending bible studies, spending time in adoration, joining apostolates, performing spiritual and corporal works of mercy, etc. These things presented themselves to me as an invitation from God to grow in holiness, rather than a choice that I made. I could have kept up my TV habit, or other past time. But as I seek to follow, He actually does lead, even a dull sheep like me. Jesus said today has enough worries of it's own. The choice I make every day is Jesus. I will leave the rest up to God. He can raise Lazarus, heal the sick, He can walk on water, He can give us His true presence in the Holy Eucharist at mass...and He can lead me into a vocation.

I was speaking with a very holy priest about this very topic today, regarding the choices we make. He said to make Godly choices, especially important ones like a vocation, absolutely requires being in a state of grace. We can not hope to receive God's help if we are disobediant, maybe in a way I was not aware of. It is always wise to make a very thorough, prayerful and regular examination of conscience, even daily, and get to confession regularly. To be alive in the body of Christ means we will be growing in holiness, and dying to sin. We then must be just as open to a religious vocation as a vocation to marriage or the single life. He also said emphatically there is no way a practicing Catholic can make a discernment of God's will about something as serious as a vocation without a good, holy spiritual director, which are often in short supply, but God provides.

The choices we make, determine our state in eternal life. The saints made holy choices and desired God, more and more. They desired sin less and less. If God is not in control of my life...who is?

--hide--


David, we certainly share the same perspective in many ways regarding the importance of discerning with the Lord rather than choosing without reference to Him. I too do the same thing to the best of my ability. It is the only way to be at PEACE. One point in particular that struck me was your statement about the importance of obedience and being in a state of grace. It is very important to avoid sin, choose the good and receive the sacraments - and not just when making important decisions! But just as important is understanding what obedience is. I had a black and white view of what it meant to be obedient - that it was "either-or." Perhaps this is what you meant in saying you might be disobedient "maybe in a way I was not aware of." I think out of ignorance, I was not living obedience in the best possible way because I saw it as only following rules. I did not understand that the word obedience comes from the Latin and means "to listen" - that's why St. Benedict urged his monks "to listen with the ear of your heart" when living a life of obedience. While I was obedient in terms of external laws I did not know to listen to God in the silence of my heart. It seems like that's what you are encouraging as well in your response - that prayer MUST be a part of discernment - it's not optional! - if we want to really hear His voice. And sometimes what we hear may at times conflict with the black and white view of the world of laws.

Jan 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said: Lauren, we are simpatico! I would love to get a cup of coffee with you sometime and...
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:




Lauren, we are simpatico! I would love to get a cup of coffee with you sometime and think deep thoughts. These are excellent points. I especially resonated with your point about the unacceptability of failure in our culture. While I understand the social reasons for why certain things are considered failure and wouldn't want that necessarily to change, I agree that personally one must learn how to cope with decisions that are deemed failure and figure out how to move on, while at the same time not diminishing the gravity that our choices have on the lives of others. We MUST make choices; to not choose is also a choice. But we must also take into account the gravity of our choices and have the courage to move forward with the best moral choice possible. (And here I've introduced another element - morality!)

--hide--

Hi Kristen, I would love to have a cup of coffee with you and talk :-). And, this discussion is really not complete without a discussion of morality. We are always faced with choices that have some moral implication. Some are very obvious and others are far more nuanced and require much thought and prayer. An example of the latter I think is married couples struggles with family planning methods. We humans are great justifiers. And, when we want something we will often do whatever is necessary from actions to mental gymnastics to make it so.

This is one of the most beautiful things to me about our Faith. It acknowledges the deep flaws of our humanity, the incredible power of concupiscence and provides magnificent tools for us to become cognizant of these shortcomings and strive to overcome them. Also recognizing that our approach can be active or passive and in both we may choose an immoral option. I love the Confiteor that we say at mass occasionally: I confess to you almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that i have sinned through my own faults, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do. . .

For me one of our most beautiful gifts is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not only for the absolution and the grace of the Holy Spirit, but because of the actions it requires of me. . . to examine my conscience in accord with Catholic Moral and Social teaching, to examine the nuances of my actions or inactions. I can remember one of the first times it truly struck home with me, I was a teen, and our Theology teacher had provided each of us with a detailed examination of conscience based upon the Ten Commandments. I was reading through Thou Shall Not Kill and it asked the question: Am I guilty of murdering the spirit of another person by unkind words, disregard, or undue criticisms. Have I failed to treat another with the dignity they deserve as a child of God? Have I failed to stand up for another when the opportunity arose, that resulted in damage to their spirit? I immediately thought of my little sister who I was often at odds with at the time. . .I return to this vein of examination often its impact was so dramatic in the development of my mind and heart. And, it was when I became aware that 1.) while there are moral absolutes, they are wrapped in gray, that must be considered as well. And, while the absolute is the core, it sends forth tendrils that affect so many other aspects of life, which we must also consider.

We are called to do this every day and the more we are involved in the world, the more often and the more nuanced this examination becomes, because while we are in the world, we should not be of the world and it is very difficult to navigate at times. We are not always going to get it right, but we have the tools from a higher authority than our own justifying selves by which to weigh and measure all of our choices. Catholic Moral and Social teaching, Scripture, Prayer, Sacraments. . .the key is we have to avail ourselves of these tools and let them help us guide our decisions.

I think every one of us should have a Catechism and use it as a basis for all of our decisions and as a starting point that leads us to even deeper discussion of these types of issues in moral treatises, the writings of the Church Fathers, etc. And, it takes work. One of the best concepts of the latest RCIA format and of Confirmation is that it is a FORMATION process, in which we study and ponder and internalize our faith so that it becomes a living act of love that is integral to our person and reflects the dignity of life -- all life. It is a scary thing though to challenge our own justifications and measure them against a higher authority, yet faithful service demands it of us.

Jan 21st 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: Hi Kristen, I would love to have a cup of coffee with you and talk :-). And, this discu...
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

Hi Kristen, I would love to have a cup of coffee with you and talk :-). And, this discussion is really not complete without a discussion of morality. We are always faced with choices that have some moral implication. Some are very obvious and others are far more nuanced and require much thought and prayer. An example of the latter I think is married couples struggles with family planning methods. We humans are great justifiers. And, when we want something we will often do whatever is necessary from actions to mental gymnastics to make it so.

This is one of the most beautiful things to me about our Faith. It acknowledges the deep flaws of our humanity, the incredible power of concupiscence and provides magnificent tools for us to become cognizant of these shortcomings and strive to overcome them. Also recognizing that our approach can be active or passive and in both we may choose an immoral option. I love the Confiteor that we say at mass occasionally: I confess to you almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters, that i have sinned through my own faults, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and what I have failed to do. . .

For me one of our most beautiful gifts is the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not only for the absolution and the grace of the Holy Spirit, but because of the actions it requires of me. . . to examine my conscience in accord with Catholic Moral and Social teaching, to examine the nuances of my actions or inactions. I can remember one of the first times it truly struck home with me, I was a teen, and our Theology teacher had provided each of us with a detailed examination of conscience based upon the Ten Commandments. I was reading through Thou Shall Not Kill and it asked the question: Am I guilty of murdering the spirit of another person by unkind words, disregard, or undue criticisms. Have I failed to treat another with the dignity they deserve as a child of God? Have I failed to stand up for another when the opportunity arose, that resulted in damage to their spirit? I immediately thought of my little sister who I was often at odds with at the time. . .I return to this vein of examination often its impact was so dramatic in the development of my mind and heart. And, it was when I became aware that 1.) while there are moral absolutes, they are wrapped in gray, that must be considered as well. And, while the absolute is the core, it sends forth tendrils that affect so many other aspects of life, which we must also consider.

We are called to do this every day and the more we are involved in the world, the more often and the more nuanced this examination becomes, because while we are in the world, we should not be of the world and it is very difficult to navigate at times. We are not always going to get it right, but we have the tools from a higher authority than our own justifying selves by which to weigh and measure all of our choices. Catholic Moral and Social teaching, Scripture, Prayer, Sacraments. . .the key is we have to avail ourselves of these tools and let them help us guide our decisions.

I think every one of us should have a Catechism and use it as a basis for all of our decisions and as a starting point that leads us to even deeper discussion of these types of issues in moral treatises, the writings of the Church Fathers, etc. And, it takes work. One of the best concepts of the latest RCIA format and of Confirmation is that it is a FORMATION process, in which we study and ponder and internalize our faith so that it becomes a living act of love that is integral to our person and reflects the dignity of life -- all life. It is a scary thing though to challenge our own justifications and measure them against a higher authority, yet faithful service demands it of us.

--hide--



Yes, we have a beautiful Faith - the treasures of the Catholic Church are such a blessing - the Sacraments, doctrine - all of these aids on our journey through this life in preparation for the next!

Jan 21st 2013 new

I agree! This comes from personal experience, if one enters into a marriage knowing that divorce is always an option, then deep commitment isn't present and one is constantly looking for something better. A deep discussion needs to take place before the marriage about each other's views on commitment and marriage. I wish I had done that. Hindsight is 20/20. The blessings from this is my three wonderful children!

Jan 21st 2013 new
(Quote) Guadalupe-873127 said: I agree! This comes from personal experience, if one enters into a marriage knowing that divorce is always...
(Quote) Guadalupe-873127 said:

I agree! This comes from personal experience, if one enters into a marriage knowing that divorce is always an option, then deep commitment isn't present and one is constantly looking for something better. A deep discussion needs to take place before the marriage about each other's views on commitment and marriage. I wish I had done that. Hindsight is 20/20. The blessings from this is my three wonderful children!

--hide--


Hopefully, however saying the word 'commitment' is not based on emotion and the intended has the stamina to carry it through 'til death.
Jan 22nd 2013 new

(Quote) Kristen-878108 said: David, we certainly share the same perspective in many ways regarding the importance of...
(Quote) Kristen-878108 said:



David, we certainly share the same perspective in many ways regarding the importance of discerning with the Lord rather than choosing without reference to Him. I too do the same thing to the best of my ability. It is the only way to be at PEACE. One point in particular that struck me was your statement about the importance of obedience and being in a state of grace. It is very important to avoid sin, choose the good and receive the sacraments - and not just when making important decisions! But just as important is understanding what obedience is. I had a black and white view of what it meant to be obedient - that it was "either-or." Perhaps this is what you meant in saying you might be disobedient "maybe in a way I was not aware of." I think out of ignorance, I was not living obedience in the best possible way because I saw it as only following rules. I did not understand that the word obedience comes from the Latin and means "to listen" - that's why St. Benedict urged his monks "to listen with the ear of your heart" when living a life of obedience. While I was obedient in terms of external laws I did not know to listen to God in the silence of my heart. It seems like that's what you are encouraging as well in your response - that prayer MUST be a part of discernment - it's not optional! - if we want to really hear His voice. And sometimes what we hear may at times conflict with the black and white view of the world of laws.

--hide--

Hello Kristen,
Yes, prayer must be a part of discernment, I agree. I think your comments are very insightful. I'm not sure about the grey areas that you speak of however. I am talking about the "rules" of Jesus Christ, not the laws of the world. I guess you said "world of laws", so maybe you mean, like in todays Gospel reading, Mark 2:23-28, quoting verse 27 "the sabbath is made for man, not man for the sabbath" like the pharisees and their hypocrisy. But if you are following the "rules" that God puts forth; the ten commandments, the church as defined in the catechism, the sacraments, the magisterium, sacred scripture, you are going to be on the right track. I guess I think of the love of Christ in His "rules", which our prayer life should coincide with, if properly ordered. Christ calls us out of our sin and weakness, into a life of grace, by His teachings and with His mercy. He asks us to be perfect, as His heavenly father is perfect, Matthew 5:48. Even if I may never be perfect in this life, I can slowly approach it, by always growing in the body of Christ, in the grace He provides for my repentant heart. One way this could be measured is by my confessions, as I should be sinning less, and praying more if I truly mean to follow Him, since as I grow in grace I learn to choose Christ, and be "obediant". It's not always easy to discern a given decision or course of action, if that is what you mean. I like what Lauren has written also.

Jan 22nd 2013 new

I have been following along and don't have anything new to add. I have been liking (thumbs up) many of the comments so far. I did want to say "great thread!" The only reason for this comment is so that this thread still ends up in "my topics" for easy future reference.

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