Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John 10:22-30 Keeping Us In Suspense?

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter.


The Jews gathered around Jesus and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.”

I just finished writing a reply to an anonymous writer who continues to naively believe that if someone says “I am a Christian”, then they must be a “Christian"; or if they say "I am a good Christian", then they can't be a "bad Christian", regardless of whether or not they are an atheist at heart (wolf in sheep’s clothing), have left the faith long ago or are following the teachings of Jesus Christ.  This is an obscene and cunning manner for people of not-so-good-will to accuse Christianity of being homophobic, witch hunters, ghost riders and/or crusaders and inquisitors. 

What the na├»ve “anonymous” writer fails to mention in their diatribe is the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ and what He said and did, and how Christians should be measured according to His standard, no one else.

Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.”  You see, “works,” not “words” is the most convincing way to give testimony to God the Father. 

Now don’t get me wrong, words are still important, but when God’s works correspond to His Word, it is a sight for very sore eyes and ears.

This morning I asked the children at Mass what Christ expected them to be when they grow up.  They said, almost unanimously, a “saint.”  I was proud of them.  But when I asked them what it meant to be a saint, they didn’t have an idea.  I had to remind them:  “To be a saint means to be another Christ.” 

Christ is our anchor to the word “saint.”  Hence, I know what it means to be a good Christian and a bad Christian.  But what exactly does it mean to be a good Muslim or a bad Muslim?  There appears to be some confusion in the Middle East regarding this.  What exactly does it mean to be a "good atheist" and a "bad atheist?"  Is a "good atheist" someone who does not allow any God, including Jesus Christ, to influence their heart and mind? Is a "bad atheist" someone who does, even a little?  Who will tell me?  Better yet, who has the authority to tell me and where does that authority come from?

Now the anchor is a very early Christian symbol that has been found in Roman catacombs.  It symbolizes Christian hope in Christ.  The anchor unites the cross with various nautical Christian symbols (for example, fish and boat).  In fact, the anchor is the symbol of St. Clement of Rome, who tradition says was martyred by being sent to death by boat, tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.

But more importantly, the anchor is a symbol of Christianity for another reason:  its functionality.  For what exactly does an anchor do but keep us from going adrift? 

Christ is our anchor!  In everything!  He is the anchor to our life and in our death.  He is the anchor at the bottom of every life affecting word:  good, bad, evil, holy, saint, martyr, love.  

Without Him, without Him as our anchor, our life and the meaning of these words are set free…to drift forever.

Without the Lord, words like “saint” and “martyr” can easily take on foreign and twisted meanings, as we can see from history.  And institutions like “marriage” and facts such as “the beginning of life” can take on selfish or utilitarian meanings.

For example, in order to legitimize abortion, our legal system changed the definition of when life begins.  Instead of at conception, it defined fifty years ago that life began once the fetus was free from the womb.  This definition was found useful by social engineers such as Planned Parenthood and radical politicians.  But now that Dr. Gosnell is on trial for murdering children born alive, there is a new push to “redefine” life as “that which is intended by mother and doctor.” Ah Hah! 
This isn’t done in the name of science or in the name of love.  It’s all done in the name of horrific greed and sin.  Oh, what we will do to get what we want!

The Lord wasn’t keeping anyone in suspense.  He shined light on everything and everyone.  It was the anonymous who kept Him in suspense, as they prepared His Cross.

20 comments:

  1. "Hence, I know what it means to be a good Christian and a bad Christian. But what exactly does it mean to be a good Muslim or a bad Muslim? There appears to be some confusion in the Middle East regarding this. What exactly does it mean to be a "good atheist" and a "bad atheist?" "

    And there is no confusion on what it means to be a Christian? How many different types of Christian are there? Obviously you know about (your version of) Christianity, you are a priest. If you were a Muslim Imam, you would make the same claims about Islam.

    When you say you are a Christian, it is generally accepted that you try to follow the teachings of Christ, but there may be some other belief requirements based on specific denomination. When you say you are a Muslim, it is generally accepted that you try to follow the teaching of Mohammad. When you say you are an atheist, it only means you don't believe in any god. When you attach yourself to a religion, there are usually definitions and standards to compare to. Don't believe in transubstantiation? Can't be a Catholic, but maybe you could be a Protestant. Don't believe Jesus was God? Can't be a Catholic, but maybe a Jehovah's Witness. Say you're an atheist but believe in God? Well, then you're not an atheist. Don't believe in a God, then you are. But what is the definition or standard beyond that that says how "good" or "bad" an atheist you are? (And not how "good" or "bad" a person you are, those are completely separate issues). There is none.

    Let's look at an analogy. Like football? You could be a fan of the Texas Longhorns. A good fan would cheer for the team, follow games, maybe be somewhat knowledgeable about players and history. A bad Longhorns fan would cheer for the Aggies or the Horned Frogs, not watch the games, have no idea who their star player even is, etc. But there is a third group of people, those who don't even follow football. Are they "good" or "bad" at it? No, there is no standard for not being a fan other than you are not a fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really think that being an atheist only means not believing in God? You really think that? That it doesn't have any concequences as to how you live your life and how you see life? FUNNY!

      Delete
  2. By all your examples, it appears as though you understand the differences between Christians. Yet, your definition of an atheist is flawed, since you have no standard ther than your own to measure an atheist. Therefore, the question remains: What right do you have in claiming a good atheist from a bad atheist? Or defining what an atheist is or isn't?

    Who made you the authority to do such a thing? I know a good Catholic. I know a good Jehovah Witness. I know a good Muslim too, because I can go back to their standard. What about you? What's your standard? Who is your standard? Who is your atheist god? Dawkins? Hitchens? Hawkings? Nietzhsche? Kim Jung Un? Lenin (Joseph that is)? Or is it just yourself?

    If so, then your opinion is not worth much, for another atheist can come along and dispute you, which they already have (as in the above cases).

    Everything else you wrote is nonsense and semi-comical.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey anonymous #1 What is the atheist creed? What do atheists believe in? "We believe in no god, no father, no almighty...no creator of heaven and earth."

      So you have a creed? A belief? Something that is not scientific?

      Delete
  3. Not sure what this debate is about. It doesn't help that everyone lists themselves as Anonymous either.

    From what I can tell, Anonymous #1, makes a valid point: you really can't judge the quality of Atheist's non-conviction. This is because an atheist has no objective standard by which to judge. Good and bad are relative, as are faith and faithlessness. In other words, a good atheist is one that questions the very idea of a "good atheist." When there's no standard, there's no question as to the purpose or quality of one living his belief. This is how an atheist can avoid many logical quandaries. They can solve problems by refusing to acknowledge them. Curiosity would assume that there's an answer to a question; skepticism assumes no answer, and often destroys one's curiosity--yet never one's pride.

    Even the concept of god is debatable for believers and nonbelievers alike. Many people will idolize certain ideas, like "universal equality" or "scientific progress," and live by those ideals as higher goods that transcend daily life, yet they will refuse to believe in a almighty creator that lives outside of time and space and spoke the universe, and those absolute values, into being. An absolute value presumes some kind of divine entity or presence outside the material world, but a person could argue that this does not necessarily presume a personal god. Similarly, a person may value something and place that thing as his highest good, like an Iphone. The person spends much of his time on it; he thinks about it when he isn't using it; he depends on it; he feels empty without it; he feels pride in it; and he judges what's good and what's bad, based on the joy he has in his Iphone. Of course, the person wouldn't call the Iphone his god, but his behavior and lifestyle seem to worship this object as a god. Are either of these people bad atheists or good atheists? At that point, does it even matter? They both seem equally lost to me (see: Fr. Alfonse's next post).

    As for other religions, particularly Islam, their standard is much different from the Christian standard. The proliferation of denominations shows what happens when that standard is lost. At that time it became about the pope, the politics, the semantics, and the egos of various Christians. As a result, these countless denominations imperfectly worship the trinity and have little to keep them from degenerating; on the other hand, the Catholic church, which was the Christian church for the millennium-and-a-half of its existence, is still the model that best worships the trinity. That may not sound ecumenical, but I have faith as a Catholic that this is the truth. Otherwise, I'm as much of a relativist as the run-of-the-mill atheist and wouldn't be able to tell if I'm a good Christian or a bad one.

    I liked this post. It reminded me of the image described in the book of Hebrews. Christ is really our anchor. We should strive to be saints, depend on Christ, imitate Him, and hope in Him.

    ReplyDelete
  4. First anonymous poster here, got an ID to keep track of me. These posts will be a collection of responses to all of the responses to me.
    ______________________

    "You really think that being an atheist only means not believing in God?”

    As a definition, yes. Saying someone is an atheist means that the only reliably true conclusion you can make about that person is that they do not believe in a god. Do you propose some other definition? What are your requirements to become an atheist?

    “That it doesn't have any concequences as to how you live your life and how you see life?”

    As to how I see life, I have never said that it doesn’t have an effect on my life. But you can say the same about any belief or system of thought. Republican, Democrat, Independent, non-political; all will have an impact on your life. Fan of sci-fi movies, comedies, mysteries, documentaries; it will have an impact on your life. Even whether you like chocolate or vanilla will affect your life. Obviously some things will have a greater impact than others. However with atheism, you cannot say what that effect will be. There is no “Because I am an atheist, I also believe…” With religion, you can make a strong argument that if you are of a specific faith, there are certain things that you should believe.

    As far as consequences go, are you talking about the ridicule, ostracism, hostility, etc. that some atheists face? Or do you mean something else? Can you give some examples of consequences that I will face that can be directly attributed to being an atheist?

    “Yet, your definition of an atheist is flawed, since you have no standard other than your own to measure an atheist. Therefore, the question remains: What right do you have in claiming a good atheist from a bad atheist? Or defining what an atheist is or isn't?”

    Again the definition of an atheist is one who does not believe in a god. Absolutely nothing further can be determined about a person from that. Anything else is conjecture. Unless you would like to provide a better definition of atheism.

    Now please note that I am arguing that “good” and “bad” labels can be separately and independently applied to the description of the person (Christian, Muslim, atheist, etc) and to that person’s behavior, although “good” and “bad” atheist really don’t make sense.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Another analogy. Let’s say I collect stamps. I am very meticulous in my storage, record keeping, collecting, research, etc. I am very active in the stamp community and very knowledgeable about stamps. Am I a good stamp collector? By almost anyone’s definition, yes. My son also collects stamps. He licks them and sticks them to walls. He keeps them in a crumbled pile on his bed. He couldn’t tell one stamp from another. Is he a good stamp collector? By almost anyone’s definition, no. Of course he is also 2. But what about my wife? She has absolutely nothing to do with stamps, doesn’t care about them one way or another, totally indifferent towards them. Is she a good stamp collector? Is she a bad stamp collector? No, she simply does not collect stamps. Is she a good or bad non-stamp collector? Well you could say she is as good a non-stamp collector as one could be. She does just as well at not collecting stamps as everyone else who does not collect stamps. But what if she started collecting stamps? Then she would be a stamp collector and you could judge her on her stamp collecting abilities.

    So to say that somebody is a good or bad atheist is meaningless; as long as they don’t believe in god, they are simply an atheist. You can apply “good” or “bad” to the label of atheist all you want, it is irrelevant. If you want to say a person is good or bad and also an atheist, then it has meaning.

    Again note that none of these definitions say anything about the individual as a person. Can you be a good stamp collector and a bad person? Yes. Does that make you a bad stamp collector or a good person? No. Can you be a bad stamp collector and a good person? Yes. Does that make you a good stamp collector or a bad person? No. Can you not collect stamps at all and be good or bad? Yes.

    You can be an atheist and a good person; you can be an atheist and a bad person. The simple label of atheist makes no claim to how that person behaves. Can you be a good Christian and a good person? Obviously. Can you be a bad Christian and a good person? Absolutely. Can you be a bad person and a bad Christian? Certainly. Can you be a good Christian and a bad person? Ask the Schiables. There is every indication they were good Christians, they were active in their church and had great faith in prayer. Specifically the part where Jesus told them “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” And what happened when they recently asked Jesus something? Their SECOND child died due to lack of medical intervention. I repeat, this is the SECOND child they lost because of their faith in prayer. They did not learn their lesson the first time (and only got probation). What could have saved the first one? Tylenol. An autopsy is pending on the second. Obviously we don’t know anything more about them, but can anyone point out to anything on the surface that would describe them as bad Christians? What specifically about the Christian doctrine did they not follow? Or is their Christian doctrine wrong?

    “Who made you the authority to do such a thing? I know a good Catholic. I know a good Jehovah Witness. I know a good Muslim too, because I can go back to their standard.”

    Are these people good people or are they good examples of their respective faiths? Are they good strictly because of these standards? Is the good Muslim also a good person based on the standard of the good Catholic? These are all separate issues and that is what I am arguing. That is why there is no standard for being “good” or “bad” at atheism. You either are or you aren’t, you believe in a god or you don’t. Beyond that you can be the greatest person ever or you can be the worst person ever. Simply saying atheist makes no claim one way or another.

    ReplyDelete
  6. “Who is your atheist god? Dawkins? Hitchens? Hawkings? Nietzhsche? Kim Jung Un? Lenin (Joseph that is)? Or is it just yourself? “

    You forgot one, Clapton is God. OK, not really.

    Obviously you are not following along on the definition of atheist. I have no god, certainly not in the sense of a supernatural entity. Why would I consider any of the people on your list a god? They are all human and while I may agree with some of them more than others, that does not imply that I think they are worthy of godhood. And by no means do I consider myself a god to anyone, especially to myself. Also, there are things I enjoy, but do not consider them to be my gods (money, food, possessions, etc.). Just because you feel the need to have a god does not mean that everyone does.

    “Everything else you wrote is nonsense and semi-comical.”

    Care to actually explain why it is nonsense rather than simply dismiss it out of hand?

    “What is the atheist creed? What do atheists believe in? "We believe in no god, no father, no almighty...no creator of heaven and earth." So you have a creed? A belief? Something that is not scientific?"”

    Well yes, I would say we do not believe in a god, but an actual creed? None that I know of. And why should there be? It’s not as if there is some grand all-encompassing atheist organization that determines whether or not you can join, like the Catholic church (apostles creed/Nicene creed) or Boy Scouts (scout oath/motto). Do I have beliefs? Absolutely. I believe in treating others as I would like to be treated, I believe in working hard and doing a job to the best of my ability, I believe in honesty, I believe in helping people whenever I can, I believe in a good education, I believe in being as environmentally friendly as reasonably possible, I believe in good cooking with natural ingredients, I believe hockey is the greatest sport there is. I’m sure there are more, but these just came to me off the top of my head. Are any of these scientific? No. Do other atheists believe in the same things? Some probably do but I’m sure not all.

    “This is how an atheist can avoid many logical quandaries”

    Such as?

    “They can solve problems by refusing to acknowledge them. Curiosity would assume that there's an answer to a question; skepticism assumes no answer, and often destroys one's curiosity--yet never one's pride”

    I’m not sure I understand how this applies to atheism. Anyone can refuse to acknowledge a problem, that doesn’t make it go away though. And skepticism does not assume there is no answer, it just questions whether or not a particular answer is the right one. I saw a quote somewhere: “Science gives answers that lead to more questions. Philosophy gives questions that can never be answered. Religion gives answers that must never be questioned.” What if the answer to every question had been “God did it?” Where would we be as a society? Certainly not nearly as scientifically advanced. And yes, that does include all the negatives that go along with the positives, but would you rather be living back in the middle ages?

    “a person may value something and place that thing as his highest good like an Iphone… Of course, the person wouldn't call the Iphone his god, but his behavior and lifestyle seem to worship this object as a god”

    Just because you want to label something as a god doesn’t mean it actually is.

    “on the other hand, the Catholic church … is still the model that best worships the trinity”

    So says the Catholic. Someone else would have a different opinion. How are we to know who is right?

    ReplyDelete
  7. What Christian can deny that Christ came to us as a sacrifice from the Father and died on a cross for our sins? Is it not impossible to earn salvation (by good works) because it is freely given to all who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives? This is what I, as a Christian, have been taught. One cannot buy their way into heaven, but certainly a true Christian will seek to emulate Christ in all ways. Is the only good Christian one who does this? Or is the only good Christian a person who worships in a Catholic Church? A very thought-provoking post, Father.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Banana-slug. I suggest you keep your comments succint. Too much makes the eye weary.

    YOU SAID: As to how I see life, I have never said that it doesn’t have an effect on my life. But you can say the same about any belief or system of thought. Republican, Democrat, Independent, non-political; all will have an impact on your life. Fan of sci-fi movies, comedies, mysteries, documentaries; it will have an impact on your life. Even whether you like chocolate or vanilla will affect your life. Obviously some things will have a greater impact than others. However with atheism, you cannot say what that effect will be. There is no “Because I am an atheist, I also believe…” With religion, you can make a strong argument that if you are of a specific faith, there are certain things that you should believe.

    I SAY: You never said that? You just said it now! You said, to be an atheist simply means to not believe in god. SPEAK FOR YOURSELF! That's exactly what you are doing. Atheistic philosphers go further than that. They bring consequences.

    If I do not believe in God, then there is no such thing as a moral code. No such thing. There isn't any moral code in the animal kingdom except: Survival of the fittest.

    You are only speaking for yourself. And just like any Christian, they too can speak for themselves. But let's not fool anyone.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 2. YOU SAID: Can you be a good Catholic and a bad person?

    I SAY: No. You can't. Unless you think that loving your enemy is a bad thing or something similiar to that.

    Give me an example as to how a good Catholic (that is, someone who is living their faith) can be a bad person? Explain to me how a good Christian can be a bad person? Try to keep it short, please.

    But I can tell you how a great atheist can be a horrible person! You wanna know how? Why don't you ask me. I dare you...I will even give you their names.

    ReplyDelete
  10. 3. I loved your stamp analogy. It made no sense.

    YOU SAID: "Let’s say I collect stamps. I am very meticulous in my storage, record keeping, collecting, research, etc. I am very active in the stamp community and very knowledgeable about stamps. Am I a good stamp collector? By almost anyone’s definition, yes. My son also collects stamps. He licks them and sticks them to walls. He keeps them in a crumbled pile on his bed. He couldn’t tell one stamp from another. Is he a good stamp collector? By almost anyone’s definition, no. Of course he is also 2. But what about my wife? She has absolutely nothing to do with stamps, doesn’t care about them one way or another, totally indifferent towards them. Is she a good stamp collector? Is she a bad stamp collector? No, she simply does not collect stamps. Is she a good or bad non-stamp collector? Well you could say she is as good a non-stamp collector as one could be. She does just as well at not collecting stamps as everyone else who does not collect stamps. But what if she started collecting stamps? Then she would be a stamp collector and you could judge her on her stamp collecting abilities."

    I SAY: I'm sorry, but I am having a hard time understanding your analogy. Are you trying to disconnect who you are from what you claim to be? Let me explain further...

    YOU SAID: By everyone's definition, I am a good stamp collector.

    I SAY: No. It's not by everyone's definition. It is by the standard that is in place. A consensus was reached long before you ever started collecting stamps. Based on that standard, you pass, your son fails.

    Of course, he is highly motivated, like so many other people of stamp collecting, yet, when it comes to studying the details, some fall short while others learn and grow. Do you see where I am going with this???

    You said: Is she [my wife] a bad stamp collector? No, she simply does not collect stamps. Is she a good or bad non-stamp collector?

    I SAY: This is the most ridiculous portion of your analogy.
    I cannot be a bad stamp collector if I don't claim to be one. But once I do, then I open the door to scrutiny. Now, if I claim to be a stamp collector and collect no stamps, then I am a bad stamp collector. If I claim to be a good stamp collector, and don't collect any stamps, then I am a bad stamp collector. It's that simple. I cannot believe, Banana-Slug, you don't understand that.

    Finally, you would like to believe that Christians don't have a standard. They do: Jesus Christ. You would love to believe that Christians all have a different understanding of who Jesus is. They do, but there is a reason. The same reason as to what would make a stamp collector a bad stamp collector or a good stamp collector. What is it? So many things: that they don't know any better; that they don't know how to, why to, or what that entails.

    Of course, try telling that to your two year old. It's hard. Now you know exactly how I feel trying to tell you.

    SCOTT SAID: “on the other hand, the Catholic church … is still the model that best worships the trinity”

    YOU SAY: So says the Catholic. Someone else would have a different opinion. How are we to know who is right?

    I SAY: Of course the Catholic says so, because he has come to accept it. Of course someone else would have a different opinion, because they haven't accepted it. How are we to know who is right? Do some RESEARCH!

    Of course your son may think he is the perfect stamp collector. Of course, some people may have a different opinion. How are we to know who is right? Tell him to do some research!

    Richard Dawkins helped me to be a better Christian. You're helping me help others to be one too. THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bad Christian=one who is baptized and does not follow the Truth of the Gospel, however if s/he repents and chooses to follow Christ as best as possible would then become a good Christian. This is quite elementary Banana_slung. Bad atheists=people claim athiesm but don't really do their research or study Dawkins, etc. It's a claim or thinking/feeling only that God does not exist but they don't study the reasoning behind the claims.

    When talking about other "gods" you don't quite get what Father Alfonse was saying. Even as Christians, we sadly often put our Lord on the back-burner due to our sins. This can be simply failing to pray because we are more interested in watching our favorite morning news host. Obviously these people are not gods, but we give them the attention and praise like they are a god instead of the one true God who is deserving of our time. Obsession with someone or something would be treating it like a god.

    I pray always for athiests to have the desire for conversion - you just don't know what you are missing. To feel the love of God is like nothing I can describe.

    ReplyDelete
  12. OMG banana slug!! I would love to have a beer with you, even though I don't drink beer! I do not think logically so tell me in a behavioral way, what motivates you to love others more than yourself? I honestly do not know how to do this without relying on Someone "superior" to me. Even AA must rely on this in order to survive within themselves. Carl Jung made this perfectly clear. Help me to understand you more, please.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I appreciate the offer, I can't stand beer myelf.

      "tell me in a behavioral way, what motivates you to love others more than yourself"

      I'm not sure what you mean by "behavioral way," but all I can say is that I treat people the way I would like to be treated. I don't know if that qualifies as "loving others more than myself" or not. I also don't see why you would need someone superior to you to tell you to do it or how to do it.

      "Even AA must rely on this in order to survive within themselves"

      There is also "Smart Recovery" which does not rely on higher powers, it instead relies on self empowerment and self reliance. So even if AA must, that doesn't mean everyone must.

      "Carl Jung made this perfectly clear."

      I know the name, but nothing more. I'm guessing he could have been wrong.

      "Help me to understand you more, please"

      Ask questions, I will answer to the best of my ability.

      Delete
  13. BANANA_SLUG says: All I can say is that I treat people the way I would like to be treated.

    I SAY: Obviously. Atheists do not treat people any better than themselves. That's why they do not have the ability to change the world...for better.

    I'm sorry for interrupting the dialogue, but I simply want to remind everyone of what banana_slug mentioned with regards to someone saying that they would pray for her. She said: "It doesn't do anything for me."

    Christianity (Christ) invites people to treat others better than they would treat themselves: "If your brother sins against you, forgive him." "If someone takes your cloak, offer him the other", etc..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Obviously. Atheists do not treat people any better than themselves. That's why they do not have the ability to change the world...for better.”

      Hands on Humanity, Foundation Beyond Belief, American Humanist Association, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Fellowship of Freethought, Earthward INC, Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, Doctors without Borders, Engineers without Borders, American Red Cross, KIVA lending team, etc.

      Yes, totally impossible for an atheist to do any good. Obviously.

      “but I simply want to remind everyone of what banana_slug mentioned with regards to someone saying that they would pray for her. She said: "It doesn't do anything for me."

      He, actually, but I don’t know how to tell gender of a mollusk either.

      I did three actions today, one of them specifically for you. I spent an hour standing on my head chanting “Ramalamadingdong,” I made funny faces at my goldfish for an hour, I took a one hour nap. Which one of these things are you grateful to me for? Which one of these things did anything for you? Which one of things would you have had any idea that I did if I had not told you I did them?

      “Christianity (Christ) invites people to treat others better than they would treat themselves”

      Didn’t Jesus “give” us the golden rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If he really wanted us to do more, now would have been a really good time to say it explicitly. Still, if this was his direct command, it certainly seems that he would accept this as Christ-like behavior. Of course, various forms of the golden rule have existed in ancient cultures, from China to Egypt to Greece, so this isn’t really anything new or revolutionary.

      So Jesus invites us to be like him?

      Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

      Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

      But not literally a sword and not literally hate, of course not, things like that aren’t meant to be taken literally. Except when they are.

      John 2:15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

      Jesus wants us to commit occasional acts of violence?

      Delete
    2. Nice list...kind of short. Seems like the groups mentioned are recent as well (they don't seem to go back that far, why is that? I don't believe any of them go back further than the 19th century. So who was helping people before then? And who continues to help people now? Christians.

      Remember, banana_slug, I responded to your message: "All I can say is that I treat people the way I would like to be treated." I didn't write that. YOU DID!

      Anyways...I'm glad to hear that there are some secular organizations that try to imitate what the Catholic Church has been doing for centuries. Except you mentioned Richard Dawkin's group. Really? Nice try. I noticed it.

      YOU SAY: So Jesus wants us to commit occasional acts of violence???

      I SAY: Only one who does not believe in God could come up with that.

      Let me get this straight banana_slug, are you accusing the most innocent man and the most forgiving man of advocating violence upon man?? Remember when you mentioned your son didn't know how to collect stamps?

      Are you trying to be a theologian now???

      YOU SAY: "Didn’t Jesus “give” us the golden rule? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? If he really wanted us to do more, now would have been a really good time to say it explicitly."

      I SAY: No, Banana_slug, He didn't give us the golden rule. The golden rule was given before Him. The Golden Rule is a summary of the Law and the prophets, Banana_slug, from the Old Testament...you know...the first part of the Bible?

      Jesus said - "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Mt. 7:12)."

      Oh banana_slug...must I teach you?

      What Jesus said that was actually original was the following: "Love others, as I have loved you." And he said that at the best time possible: right before he was betrayed and crucified. It may have been a reminder to His Apostles not to fight their enemies but to love them. You didn't read Father's meditation (A NEW COMMANDMENT, April 28th, 2013) did you? I guess not.

      Without a standard, we wouldn't have to worry about taking anyone literally, right? After all, that would allow us to be our very own god.

      Delete
  14. I forgot to give you the quote from the Old Testament. Leviticus 19:18 (The Golden Rule).

    ReplyDelete
  15. Banana_Slug:: They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Well, as a member of the Catholic, thanks for the shout out!

    ReplyDelete

Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.