Is It Sinful to Take a Minimalist View of Faith?
(12-13-2009, 11:50 PM)nsper7 Wrote: I find this quite depressing being unable to fulfill (or at least seek to) my hopes, desires and dreams.

This is the illusion that the Evil One has put into your head.  You can only fulfill your hopes, desires, and dreams with and through Christ.  Everything else is a mirage of joy that will only leave you thirsting in the desert... alone.
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(12-13-2009, 11:40 PM)nsper7 Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:40 PM)obscurus Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:38 PM)nsper7 Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:37 PM)obscurus Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:34 PM)nsper7 Wrote: What does it mean to be detached from things? Does it mean I cannot seek wealth, power, etc.? I have goals and desire and I feel that God is always out to ruin whatever I want to do.

The problem is when we set up these things as idols as many in the modern world do.

Does it mean that to follow God we must give up all our desires, hopes and dreams? Is that what it means? Because that seems like Hell right there (minus the fire and torment and God standing over us smiling I mean).

Of course you can have desires, hopes and dreams!! That is part of being human!

But God is just waiting to pull us away from them, isn't He?

Okay I am about to rend my garments. I suspect the problem is that you have a distorted notion of God's nature. You are looking at God as some sort of evil tyrant, playing with us like some sort of puppet master. What is the exact problem nsper7?

If your goals etc. are in accordance with the moral law then you should not worry.
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(12-13-2009, 11:54 PM)nsper7 Wrote:
Quote:His Will is to love.  Now go do it.

And what does that really mean?
Give yourself entirely to everyone.  Be selfless.  Do the good to everyone.  Teach them of Christ's great love for us.  Teach them of the Majesty of God..  Help them in everything.  Perform works of mercy, corporal and spiritual.  Return to God all that He has given to you.
Pray. Become like Christ in all things.
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(12-13-2009, 11:52 PM)nsper7 Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:51 PM)actiofidei Wrote:
(12-13-2009, 11:46 PM)nsper7 Wrote:
Quote:Your hopes, dreams, and aspirations for yourself are trite and insignificant to God; he has so much more in store for you than your own limited, little ideas.

But they are mine. Will I be condemned for seeking to meet them?

Maybe. If they lead you in a path contrary to God's will. So why gamble? Why not just allow him to lead you? You will be happier and brought to eternal happiness with him if you do.

Well, if He wants to tell me anything, He knows where I am. Why should I seek after His will on my own?

Well, if you don't love Him, will you listen anyway? The way you speak, it sounds like you are intent upon living your own will whatever the consequences. It seems clear, from the dozens of voices talking with you now about this very topic, that God is trying to tell you something. You need to give up your own will and take up Christ's. Period. It is not a bitter thing to have his will done in our lives rather than our own. It is horribly painful for the egoist, but the pain having been endured, we are opened up to a much more beautiful world. Like the pain of a doctor's medicine, it is necessary to overcome the illness within us in order to live a fuller, happier life.

"There is nothing that so much frightens the soul as the vision of a Cross: looking at a King who was cypress-crowned and robed in the purple of His own Blood, we fear that He may bring us only mortification, and death, and sacrifice. But this is a holy deceit. Once we accept Him, we find that we were truly deceived. It was only the skin of the heavenly fruit that seemed bitter; the meat ravishes the soul. He seems to bring bondage, but actually it is freedom. His Law would seem to be the Crucifixion, but it is only a prelude to the Resurrection." Archbishop Fulton Sheen
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Quote:If your goals etc. are in accordance with the moral law then you should not worry.

If some had said this earlier, we could avoided much of this discussion.

I am sorry for getting so crazy almost about all this, but it is a difficult issue for me to understand. I mean, I know what Catholic doctrine says about sin and God and His mercy and love, but I have never I think really experienced it. For me, my faith (whether as a Protestant or within the True Church) has, at its foundation, often hinged on fear. My Scrupulosity issues do not help that issue.
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Quote:Well, if you don't love Him, will you listen anyway? The way you speak, it sounds like you are intent upon living your own will whatever the consequences. It seems clear, from the dozens of voices talking with you now about this very topic, that God is trying to tell you something. You need to give up your own will and take up Christ's. Period. It is not a bitter thing to have his will done in our lives rather than our own. It is horribly painful for the egoist, but the pain having been endured, we are opened up to a much more beautiful world. Like the pain of a doctor's medicine, it is necessary to overcome the illness within us in order to live a fuller, happier life.

But what if I don't want to adopt Christ's will at the moment and certainly not at the barrel of a gun. Is Christ truly saying make My will into yours or burn in Hell? Is that Salvation? If so, isn't the Church lying then when it says obey the precepts, but the counsels are not required to be Saved?
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(12-14-2009, 12:04 AM)nsper7 Wrote:
Quote:Well, if you don't love Him, will you listen anyway? The way you speak, it sounds like you are intent upon living your own will whatever the consequences. It seems clear, from the dozens of voices talking with you now about this very topic, that God is trying to tell you something. You need to give up your own will and take up Christ's. Period. It is not a bitter thing to have his will done in our lives rather than our own. It is horribly painful for the egoist, but the pain having been endured, we are opened up to a much more beautiful world. Like the pain of a doctor's medicine, it is necessary to overcome the illness within us in order to live a fuller, happier life.

But I don't want to at the moment and certainly not at the barrel of a gun. Is Christ truly saying make My will into yours or burn in Hell? Is that Salvation? If so, isn't the Church lying then when it says obey the precepts, but the counsels are not required to be Saved?

It's only "love Me or die" because we are talking about loving Life itself. It's only "love Me or suffer" because we are talking about loving Goodness himself. Don't you see? It is not at gunpoint, it is just the nature of this single, unique relationship. It is our relationship with Life, with Goodness, with Happiness, with Love Incarnate. It is obvious what rejecting This means. It is not because he is forcing on us a cruel ultimatum. It is because he IS these things you desire.
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(12-14-2009, 12:11 AM)actiofidei Wrote:
(12-14-2009, 12:04 AM)nsper7 Wrote:
Quote:Well, if you don't love Him, will you listen anyway? The way you speak, it sounds like you are intent upon living your own will whatever the consequences. It seems clear, from the dozens of voices talking with you now about this very topic, that God is trying to tell you something. You need to give up your own will and take up Christ's. Period. It is not a bitter thing to have his will done in our lives rather than our own. It is horribly painful for the egoist, but the pain having been endured, we are opened up to a much more beautiful world. Like the pain of a doctor's medicine, it is necessary to overcome the illness within us in order to live a fuller, happier life.

But I don't want to at the moment and certainly not at the barrel of a gun. Is Christ truly saying make My will into yours or burn in Hell? Is that Salvation? If so, isn't the Church lying then when it says obey the precepts, but the counsels are not required to be Saved?

It's only "love Me or die" because we are talking about loving Life itself. It's only "love Me or suffer" because we are talking about loving Goodness himself. Don't you see? It is not at gunpoint, it is just the nature of this single, unique relationship. It is our relationship with Life, with Goodness, with Happiness, with Love Incarnate. It is obvious what rejecting This means. It is not because he is forcing on us a cruel ultimatum. It is because he IS these things you desire.

But it's almost like I just don't want to have to worry about it. I am enjoying my foray into politics and I don't believe I'm sinning in doing it. So why can't I just enjoy it, move forward and not obsess about wondering what God's Will is?
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From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Quote:Christ in the Gospels laid down certain rules of life and conduct which must be practiced by every one of His followers as the necessary condition for attaining to everlasting life. These precepts of the Gospel practically consist of the Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, of the Old Law, interpreted in the sense of the New. Besides these precepts which must be observed by all under pain of eternal damnation, He also taught certain principles which He expressly stated were not to be considered as binding upon all, or as necessary conditions without which heaven could not be attained, but rather as counsels for those who desired to do more than the minimum and to aim at Christian perfection, so far as that can be obtained here upon earth. Thus (Matthew 19:16 sq.) when the young man asked Him what he should do to obtain eternal life, Christ bade him to "keep the commandments". That was all that was necessary in the strict sense of the word, and by thus keeping the commands which God had given eternal life could be obtained. But when the young man pressed further, Christ told him: "If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor". So again, in the same chapter, He speaks of "eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven", and added, "He that can receive it, let him receive it".

This distinction between the precepts of the Gospel, which are binding on all, and the counsels, which are the subject of the vocation of the comparatively few, has ever been maintained by the Catholic Church. It has been denied by heretics in all ages, and especially by many Protestants in the sixteenth and following centuries, on the ground that, inasmuch as all Christians are at all times bound, if they would keep God's Commandments, to do their utmost, and even so will fall short of perfect obedience, no distinction between precepts and counsels can rightly be made. The opponents of the Catholic doctrine base their opposition on such texts as Luke 17:10, "When ye have done all that is commanded you, say, we are unprofitable servants". It is impossible, they say, to keep the Commandments adequately. To teach further "counsels" involves either the absurdity of advising what is far beyond all human capacity, or else the impiety of minimizing the commands of Almighty God. The Catholic doctrine, however, founded, as we have seen, upon the words of Christ in the Gospel, is also supported by St. Paul. In 1 Corinthians 7, for instance, he not only presses home the duty incumbent on all Christians of keeping free from all sins of the flesh, and of fulfilling the obligations of the married state, if they have taken those obligations upon themselves, but also gives his "counsel" in favour of the unmarried state and of perfect chastity, on the ground that it is thus more possible to serve God with an undivided allegiance. Indeed, the danger in the Early Church, and even in Apostolic times, was not that the "counsels" would be neglected or denied, but that they should be exalted into commands of universal obligation, "forbidding to marry" (1 Timothy 4:3), and imposing poverty as a duty on all.

The difference between a precept and a counsel lies in this, that the precept is a matter of necessity while the counsel is left to the free choice of the person to whom it is proposed. It is fitting, therefore, that the New Law, which is a law of liberty, should contain counsels of this kind, which would have been out of place in the Old Law, which was a law of servitude. The precepts of the New Law have for their scope the ordinance of those matters which are essential for the obtaining of life eternal — the gift which it is the special object of the New Law to place within the reach of its followers. But the counsels show the means by which that same end may be reached yet morecertainly and expeditiously. Man is, in this life, placed between the good things of this world and the good things of eternity, in such a way that the more he inclines to the first the more he alienates himself from the second. A man who is wholly given up to this world, finding in it the end and object of his existence, loses altogether the goods of eternity, of which he has no appreciation. So in like manner, the man who is wholly detached from this world, and whose thoughts are wholly bent on the realities of the world above, is taking the shortest way to obtainpossession of that on which his heart is fixed. The children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light, but the case is reversed if a larger view be taken.

Now the principal good things of this world easily divide themselves into three classes. There are the riches which make life easy and pleasant, there are the pleasures of the flesh which appeal to the appetites, and, lastly, there are honours and positions of authority which delight the self-love of the individual. These three matters, in themselves often innocent and not forbidden to the devout Christian, may yet, even when no kind of sin is involved, hold back the soul from its true aim and vocation, and delay it from becoming entirely conformed to the will of God. It is, therefore, the object of the three counsels of perfection to free the soul from these hindrances. The soul may indeed be saved and heaven attained without following the counsels; but that end will be reached more easily and with greater certainty, if the counsels be accepted and the soul does not wholly confine herself to doing that which is definitely commanded. On the other hand, there are, no doubt, individual cases in which it may be actually necessary for a person, owing to particular circumstances, to follow one or more of the counsels, and one may easily conceive a case in which the adoption of the religious life might seem, humanly speaking, the only way in which a particular soul could be saved. Such cases, however, are always of an exceptional character. As there are three great hindrances to the higher life, so also the counsels are three, one to oppose each. The love of riches is opposed by the counsel of poverty; the pleasures of the flesh, even the lawful pleasures of holy matrimony, are excluded by the counsel of chastity; while the desire for worldly power and honour is met by the counsel of holy obedience. Abstinence from unlawful indulgence in any of these directions is forbidden to all Christians as a matter of precept. The further voluntary abstinence from what is in itself lawful is the subject of the counsels, and such abstinence is not in itself meritorious, but only becomes so when it is done for the sake of Christ, and in order to be more free to serve Him.

To sum up: it is possible to be rich, and married, and held in honour by all men, and yet keep the Commandments and to enter heaven. Christ's advice is, if we would make sure of everlasting life and desire to conform ourselves perfectly to the Divine will, that we should sell our possessions and give the proceeds to others who are in need, that we should live a life of chastity for the Gospel's sake, and, finally, should not seek honours or commands, but place ourselves under obedience. These are the Evangelical Counsels, and the things which are counselled are not set forward so much as good in themselves, as in the light of means to an end and as the surest and quickest way of obtaining everlasting life.
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(12-14-2009, 12:13 AM)nsper7 Wrote:
(12-14-2009, 12:11 AM)actiofidei Wrote:
(12-14-2009, 12:04 AM)nsper7 Wrote:
Quote:Well, if you don't love Him, will you listen anyway? The way you speak, it sounds like you are intent upon living your own will whatever the consequences. It seems clear, from the dozens of voices talking with you now about this very topic, that God is trying to tell you something. You need to give up your own will and take up Christ's. Period. It is not a bitter thing to have his will done in our lives rather than our own. It is horribly painful for the egoist, but the pain having been endured, we are opened up to a much more beautiful world. Like the pain of a doctor's medicine, it is necessary to overcome the illness within us in order to live a fuller, happier life.

But I don't want to at the moment and certainly not at the barrel of a gun. Is Christ truly saying make My will into yours or burn in Hell? Is that Salvation? If so, isn't the Church lying then when it says obey the precepts, but the counsels are not required to be Saved?

It's only "love Me or die" because we are talking about loving Life itself. It's only "love Me or suffer" because we are talking about loving Goodness himself. Don't you see? It is not at gunpoint, it is just the nature of this single, unique relationship. It is our relationship with Life, with Goodness, with Happiness, with Love Incarnate. It is obvious what rejecting This means. It is not because he is forcing on us a cruel ultimatum. It is because he IS these things you desire.

But it's almost like I just don't want to have to worry about it. I am enjoying my foray into politics and I don't believe I'm sinning in doing it. So why can't I just enjoy it, move forward and not obsess about wondering what God's Will is?

Giving yourself over to God is the ultimate in "not worrying about it." You can go on in your life in politics. A great beam of light doesn't come down from the sky and invest us in a particular vocation that we must drop everything for and follow. God is subtler than that. If politics isn't God's will for you, He will lead you in the right direction. Complying with God's will is about resignation, not obsession. Why not trust a Father who loves you? By all means, do whatever you want as long as it is not contrary to commandments, but in doing all things, also resolve to live in accordance with God's will as he works in your life.
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