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Dubia Round Two -- Formal Correction on Horizon?

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KnightofChrist    2,280
KnightofChrist
5 hours ago, Ice_nine said:

I was talking about in our everyday experience, like when we're not being murdered or anything. And the human heart's need to receive love in this context hasn't been addressed.

It seems lately I have more questions than answers. Sometimes it feels like God is silent, and my faith is weak. I feel a bit defeated. I know I'm veering off topic but maybe you can all pray for me to find answers, as many things are troubling me.

Loving your enemies when our fallen nature wants to hate them, when they will still hate us even we love them. That could be a every day thing, without the dying.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
10 hours ago, Ice_nine said:

But how can you really know? Maybe I'm cynical, or too influenced by Freudian ideas, but deep down, do we know our hidden motivations? Don't we choose friends and lovers because they do offer something to us? Don't we help people because sometimes it just feels good to do so?

It almost makes it seem like, if you want to receive love, you are not capable of truly loving someone else.

But the human heart is designed to receive love. Even the heart of Christ, when he took on human form, was and is meant to receive love yes?

 

Love (agape) resides in the will.  It is a choice or decision we make and for Love of God.  Most often feelings are spontaneous reactions to a situation and we cannot control feelings, they come from our passions, and simply are....feelings have no morality - that is until we choose what to do with and about our feelings and then carry through, although even then feelings have no morality, but the choice arising because of them does have morality - either right or wrong.   I can choose to forgive but ye olde feelings will not abate nor change with a simple or even focused effort of a desire to change them.  Psychologically it could be dangerous leading to repression, although not of necessity.........best to sort say "Yep, I am angry, in fact I am jolly well absolutely furious" (owning oneself) The choice to forgive and desire not to feel as one does is an act of Love or agape, because agape is an act of the will.

I call my emotions windmills, because they will shift in any direction responding to any even slight breeze. 

But life can be complex, to state the very obvious.

 I have a situation at the moment that is most unjust yet again and I am VERY angry about it.  I have a decision to make and one prayerfully.  I am not called to be someone's doormat and it has become obvious that if I continue to allow the person to overstep the mark investing in our call to "forgive seventy times seven" (no end) she will continue to overstep marks relating to me as she has been doing and has just done again- she does not regard my acceptance of her behaviour as a Christian choice founded in love, she regards it as a weakness she can and does exploit. 

Now the above could be wrong, because I am a fallible creature prone to mistakes on many levels.  But it is this fallible creature that must make the decision about what to do.  The first thing I intend to do is let my emotional level of anger cool right down and I know after a night's sleep I am not going to feel the heat of emotion as I am now.  The emotion of anger tomorrow might still be present but not as heated as it is right now.  At the moment, anger rules.  Once it cools down tomorrow, logical will take over although that can be faulty too.  Fortunately, my brother is calling by tomorrow and on Friday my SD and confessor will be calling in too.  But these can only offer advice.......

.......... I have a prayerful decision to make.

Quote

do we know our hidden motivations

Good question.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I only think I do, sometimes I might have no idea at all.  Then there are times when my true motivation is overcome by my rationalising and trying to justify some decision.  I try to journey through life as I am able or as I can and leave the rest to God trusting overwhelmingly in His Love and certainly His Loving Mercy.  Our Aussie St Mary of The Cross MacKillop "do what you can and leave the rest to God"  It was an overwhelming relief and consolation to read that sentence.  I have no idea at all when I have actually done my best, but I know (or think I do) when I have done what I can.

Judgement only will grant me assuredness of where I went right and where I went wrong- and where and why, my true motivations in truth....   and if Our God is not Our Loving Merciful Father, then lookout Hell 'cause here I come again.

There is that beautiful prayer by Thomas Merton:

Thomas Merton “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

 

 

________________

What has just occurred to me in relation to my own situation is that by allowing her to continually overstep the mark in the interest of Christian forgiveness for love of God, what is actually happening is I am reinforcing her bad behaviour (evidence is there) and certainly not doing her any favours nor perhaps even being loving towards her in the Gospel sense.

..........I have a prayerful decision to make

 

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

I don't hate this person, although she arouses often much anger from within.  In a weird and wacky sort of way I really do love her and care about her.  She was backing out her drive one day as I was walking by.  Her rubbish bin was behind her car.  Sighting me in her rear vision making weird signs at her, she jumped out the car and shouted at me something similar to :"What is wrong with you!".  I started to laugh and told her rubbish bin was behind her car and she had been about to drive over it.  She simply stomped to the back of her car and removed the bin.  No thank you, no nothing.

Yep! We are a weird mob!

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
8 hours ago, Ice_nine said:

I was talking about in our everyday experience, like when we're not being murdered or anything. And the human heart's need to receive love in this context hasn't been addressed.

It seems lately I have more questions than answers. Sometimes it feels like God is silent, and my faith is weak. I feel a bit defeated. I know I'm veering off topic but maybe you can all pray for me to find answers, as many things are troubling me.

Having more questions than answers as lousy as that can be and feel, can be a sign of real growth.  Questioning our Faith and our Faith's beliefs can be healthy and more healthy than never questioning.  Questioning can lead to journeying in order to discover.  To believe and never question can be maintaining a non reflected status quo - or it might be the height of virtue.  God alone knows.

My humble advice would be to search out a priest, spiritual director - or even a nun, sister or religious brother......someone 'in the know' more or less, who is willing to journey with you.  Nowadays such religious people do undertake spiritual direction.  My own diocese has an intimidating office titled "The Spirituality Office" - I wouldn't go near it for years having in my imagination a bleak and cold office with a certificate type thing on the wall stating THE SPIRITUALITY OFFICE.  When finally in desperation I did ring them, I was sent out a list of trained spiritual directors with telephone contact numbers.  Hence, if it appeals, contact your diocesan offices and ask how you would go about finding a trained spiritual director.  Some lay people today too are trained spiritual directors.  I found my first religious sister spiritual director after 20 years unable to find a spiritual director at all willing to direct me and found her through THE SPIRITUALITY OFFICE.  My first question to her "Do you know anything about mental illness?"  Her reply was "No, I don't sorry - but I am very willing to learn".  That sold me on her and we had a profitable and fruitful relationship for probably five years.  We are now good friends and I have a priest religious SD and confessor.

The language of God IS silence, though the first time I heard that I sort of thought "Great, oh just very great!  Another useless response."  Many years down the line, I now understand it was not a useless answer at all.  The first time I was given "The INterior Castle" by Teresa of Avila to read, I thought that she just could not be Catholic checked out the front and sure enough it had the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.  I decided she must be a Catholic and a proper saint - just on some far distant planet from me.  Talk about mystics are on Venus with me on Mars!

It is all a journey and the willingness to travel it.........oh yeah some rebellion along the way............some not understanding at all......plenty of failures and the two step forward three back dance with The Lord of The Dance........a very colourful and fulfilling journey if one is willing to travel it.  Where does one arrive and it all end - you tell me and then we will both know. :) 

Keeping you in prayer, Ice_nine - and may God grant you answers and speedily ........... and someone who can listen and hear you and journey with you if it has appeal.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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Ice_nine    2,270
Ice_nine
4 hours ago, KnightofChrist said:

Loving your enemies when our fallen nature wants to hate them, when they will still hate us even we love them. That could be a every day thing, without the dying.

I appreciate you trying, but your answers are just not cutting it. I don't mean to sound argumentative or anything. I'm just really searching. And I feel pretty alone in my search. I kind of miss the transmundane lane because things didn't devolve into debates.

I don't even know what I'm trying to get at. I know how the Church defines love. I've heard the words, but it's all an abstraction. What is it in practical application, and how can we know, within these applications, that we're not just selfish.

1 hour ago, BarbaraTherese said:

Having more questions than answers as lousy as that can be and feel, can be a sign of real growth.  Questioning our Faith and our Faith's beliefs can be healthy and more healthy than never questioning.  Questioning can lead to journeying in order to discover.  To believe and never question can be maintaining a non reflected status quo - or it might be the height of virtue.  God alone knows.

My humble advice would be to search out a priest, spiritual director - or even a nun, sister or religious brother......someone 'in the know' more or less, who is willing to journey with you.  Nowadays such religious people do undertake spiritual direction.  My own diocese has an intimidating office titled "The Spirituality Office" - I wouldn't go near it for years having in my imagination a bleak and cold office with a certificate type thing on the wall stating THE SPIRITUALITY OFFICE.  When finally in desperation I did ring them, I was sent out a list of trained spiritual directors with telephone contact numbers.  Hence, if it appeals, contact your diocesan offices and ask how you would go about finding a trained spiritual director.  Some lay people today too are trained spiritual directors.  I found my first religious sister spiritual director after 20 years unable to find a spiritual director at all willing to direct me and found her through THE SPIRITUALITY OFFICE.  My first question to her "Do you know anything about mental illness?"  Her reply was "No, I don't sorry - but I am very willing to learn".  That sold me on her and we had a profitable and fruitful relationship for probably five years.  We are now good friends and I have a priest religious SD and confessor.

The language of God IS silence, though the first time I heard that I sort of thought "Great, oh just very great!  Another useless response."  Many years down the line, I now understand it was not a useless answer at all.  The first time I was given "The INterior Castle" by Teresa of Avila to read, I thought that she just could not be Catholic checked out the front and sure enough it had the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.  I decided she must be a Catholic and a proper saint - just on some far distant planet from me.  Talk about mystics are on Venus with me on Mars!

It is all a journey and the willingness to travel it.........oh yeah some rebellion along the way............some not understanding at all......plenty of failures and the two step forward three back dance with The Lord of The Dance........a very colourful and fulfilling journey if one is willing to travel it.  Where does one arrive and it all end - you tell me and then we will both know. :) 

Keeping you in prayer, Ice_nine - and may God grant you answers and speedily ........... and someone who can listen and hear you and journey with you if it has appeal.

Yeah I really ought to find a spiritual director. So I found a few names on my archdiocesan website. Maybe I'll shoot them an email. And maybe I'll read that book.

Thanks for the prayers. I really do appreciate them. I returned from vacation after something pretty terrible happened at my place of work. Even though I didn't directly know the person involved, it's still messing with me pretty bad. And on top of that I'm going through all of this spiritual questioning and all.

Yikes, life ain't easy eh?

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Era Might    1,537
Era Might
39 minutes ago, Ice_nine said:

I've heard the words, but it's all an abstraction. What is it in practical application, and how can we know, within these applications, that we're not just selfish.

I don't think it's selfishness but ignorance. Every act of relationship takes place between two ignorant people who need to know something. Otherwise, what's the point of talking or interacting? It's why relationships break down, when the two having nothing more to know, or become fixed in a role or idea of themselves, there is no reason to have a relationship. A relationship assumes that a different person will come out on the other side.

I think charity is "disinterested" precisely because it's not a relationship. To be charitable is to see Christ in another. Nuns who serve the homeless are very charitable, but, they have to keep the distance, because they are not pursuing a "relationship" in the strict sense. Another word for disinterest is abstraction, being able to see things for what they will or should be, rather than what they are.

Part of what makes marriage tolerable is that disinterested charity. The spouses have to be focused on common goals that have nothing to do with their personal, interior lives: building a home, raising children, participating in the economy, etc. Same with friends, they have to have something that connects them outside of themselves. And you can see the difference when alcoholics or addicts hang out together: they are not really friends, they are all just together in their separate aloneness, just keeping each other company, watching over each other's solitude, as Rilke put it.

What does it mean to give and receive love? I don't think anyone really wants to know, because to give or receive love implies that there is an end there, that you are trying to come to some core inside that person. But there is no core there, there is no end, there's only more questions, more ignorance. Nobody "really" wants to know another person, we want to want to know. That's what love affairs are, desire to know something once reality has stopped being interesting. But, once the people in the affair get to know each other, the affair is done, it either has to end or has to transform into something else (a new marriage, a platonic friendship), something that can exist outside the personalities and inner lives involved.

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Nihil Obstat    9,205
Nihil Obstat

Ice, I have a sense that you are asking the wrong questions. FP and I were discussing a book the other day, Transformation in Christ by Dietrich von Hildebrand. He writes extensively on what it means to do to self. I find that it ties in really well with traditional teachings on humility, predestination, and love for neighbours. I will cut and paste what I was saying. I do not think I will answer your questions necessarily, but if it gets you thinking in different directions then I think it will have been beneficial.

 

"Early in the book he talks a lot about personality and self esteem and whatnot, and he makes a great point that everything about us that is *uniquely* us is by definition not of God, but everything about us that is good is necessarily God's grace. It ties in nicely with Garrigou-Lagrange's teaching about predestination.
Basically, to die to self entails that we retain God's predestined grace, and everything that is us and not God gets burned away.

Puts things into perspective. Where should my effort be going? Not towards what I think makes me a special snowflake, because those things get in the way. The things that God gave me, which are reflections of Him. 
Who cares what I'm good at and bad at? God doesn't. He cares if I'm good at understanding His will.

It turns into meditation on God's attributes, those things that are good in themselves.

And then beyond that, if God asked it of us, what things that make you you could you throw away?
If God willed it, would you consent to being an illiterate simpleton, but do His will quietly? Could you give up all your tastes in music, for example? Or books?"

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese
12 hours ago, Ice_nine said:

 

Yeah I really ought to find a spiritual director. So I found a few names on my archdiocesan website. Maybe I'll shoot them an email. And maybe I'll read that book.

Thanks for the prayers. I really do appreciate them. I returned from vacation after something pretty terrible happened at my place of work. Even though I didn't directly know the person involved, it's still messing with me pretty bad. And on top of that I'm going through all of this spiritual questioning and all.

Yikes, life ain't easy eh?

I was really sorry to read that something "pretty terrible" had happened at work and at truly difficult time for you - that makes the trudge a dreadful road indeed.  I will be thinking of you and keeping you and your hopes in prayer.

Good move to seek out a spiritual director.  Decisions on our journey can be productive or non productive and all involving perhaps new decisions.  The important thing is to hold in Faith (a simple choice of the will transcending what might be felt), even if you cannot feel it in any way, that Jesus is on the journey with you.  Even when we fail most miserably and seriously, Jesus remains with us.  Only we can break that reality. And that is NOT as easy to do (as to write) when one is really struggling. The other thing that has helped me in my journey at difficult times is to hold in Faith that whatever I am going through it is united to the Sufferings of Jesus and therefore redemptive or positive.  Somewhere in The Mystery of God it does have meaning and a good meaning.  Lots of times that was far from my mind, but I do believe that Jesus knows what is deep in my heart.  I don't have to tell Him all about it, not of necessity anyway.  He is God.

The only reason I never abandoned The Church many years ago was that I could not abandon The Blessed Eucharist - I could not abandon Jesus.  The Real Presence I could never doubt nor question..............everything else indeed I did.  During the years my bipolar illness was active sufficiently to put me in the revolving door of a psychiatric hospital, I was treated quite unkindly by my parish. 

Many of our saints had what is known as reformation or transformation of feelings - or it was known as something like that), meaning it was a gift and Grace from God that their feelings fell in line with their will, which was united to the Will of The Lord.  That is a very special Grace and gift indeed preceded by a journey of much suffering usually............ that is not at all the common run generally of a Faith journey.  "Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believe".

I do wish I could have been of more help and may The Lord inspire any spiritual director you might choose - and hopefully too these Phatmass pages might be helpful in some way also.

God bless and blessings if you do decide to read "The Interior Castle" available online free HERE

What is also especially valuable to read and grasp is the CCC, scroll down to

 "V. GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN: DIVINE PROVIDENCE" http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p4.htm

For me, dots started to really connect and pieces began to fit, when I read "Abandonment to Divine Providence" (John Paul de Caussade) also free online: https://www.ccel.org/ccel/decaussade/abandonment

 

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dominicansoul    4,451
dominicansoul

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-dubia-cardinal-dies

 

 

Quote

 

Dubia cardinal dies still awaiting Pope’s clarification

 Catholic , Catholic Church , Dubia , Joachim Meisner , Pope Francis , Raymond Burke

July 5, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joachim Meisner, one of the four cardinals who sent Pope Francis the dubia asking for clarity on Amoris Laetitia, died at 83 today still awaiting the clarification.

He died peacefully in his sleep while on vacation in the German municipality of Bad Füssing, domradio.de reported. He fell asleep holding his breviary and preparing to offer Mass, according to Cologne Cardinal Rainer Woelki.

Meisner, the archbishop emeritus of Cologne, defended Catholic doctrine for many years before signing onto the dubia

Notably, he remained calm when a topless abortion supporter jumped onto the Cologne altar during Christmas Eve Mass in 2014 as Meisner was offering Mass. She had written "I am God" on her torso.

"I’m 80 years old. I've lived through so much. First the Nazi period, then the entire Communist period. Something like this can't shock me after that," Meisner said of the incident.

Cardinal Raymond Burke told the National Catholic Register that Meisner "inspired me deeply by his profound love of Christ and of His Mystical Body, the Church."

"He spared no effort in showing that love clearly and courageously in practice," said Burke. "May he be granted the reward of the good and faithful servant. May he rest in peace."

Meisner held a doctorate in theology and was a member of the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See. 

Meisner spoke out about the evil of abortion and established a $9.1 million fund dedicated to supporting marriage and the family.

Cologne hosted World Youth Day in 2005.  

 

 

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Anomaly    2,480
Anomaly
On 6/28/2017 at 11:06 AM, Ice_nine said:

I appreciate you trying, but your answers are just not cutting it. I don't mean to sound argumentative or anything. I'm just really searching. And I feel pretty alone in my search. I kind of miss the transmundane lane because things didn't devolve into debates.

I don't even know what I'm trying to get at. I know how the Church defines love. I've heard the words, but it's all an abstraction. What is it in practical application, and how can we know, within these applications, that we're not just selfish.

Yeah I really ought to find a spiritual director. So I found a few names on my archdiocesan website. Maybe I'll shoot them an email. And maybe I'll read that book.

Thanks for the prayers. I really do appreciate them. I returned from vacation after something pretty terrible happened at my place of work. Even though I didn't directly know the person involved, it's still messing with me pretty bad. And on top of that I'm going through all of this spiritual questioning and all.

Yikes, life ain't easy eh?

Ice, 

Regardless of your current theological situation, life, "making old bones", is usually very hard and rarely easy.  That is not to say it's ever meaningless or pointless to live it. 

Yes, you do get selfish rewards when you love others.   That's okay.  It's how the human experience often works. Mother Teresa was well loved, honored, and respected in her lifetime.   You don't think that sometimes she liked that.   It would be psychotic if she didn't and went to great lengths to avoid it.  She still did these things, whether for pure charity or because it made her feel worthy as a person.  Apparently she questioned herself, as well as others.  

You want to feel better about yourself?   Do for others first.  Whether it's listening to their bs, donating to a charity, making sandwiches for a ministry, or being patient at the daily annoyances of a commute or the workplace.  Be aware of your intentional extra efforts and jot them down at the end of the day. Ponder them if you're feeling atheist, pray about them if you're feeling spiritual.  Feelings are temporary.  Recognizing the kind and little things you do good are what is important.  

The good in this world is like the ocean.  Yes, we all notice a tidal wave, but the ocean was filled one drop at a time , with a smile or kind word where it didn't exist before.  

There will always be hurt and heartache that we can't change or avoid.  It's up to real people to do the small acts of kindness that are the counterbalance.  We are responsible and tasked to create the good in this world.  It's done in drops  

I wish you well. 

Edited by Anomaly

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Seven77    1,037
Seven77
3 hours ago, Anomaly said:

Ice, 

Regardless of your current theological situation, life, "making old bones", is usually very hard and rarely easy.  That is not to say it's ever meaningless or pointless to live it. 

Yes, you do get selfish rewards when you love others.   That's okay.  It's how the human experience often works. Mother Teresa was well loved, honored, and respected in her lifetime.   You don't think that sometimes she liked that.   It would be psychotic if she didn't and went to great lengths to avoid it.  She still did these things, whether for pure charity or because it made her feel worthy as a person.  Apparently she questioned herself, as well as others.  

You want to feel better about yourself?   Do for others first.  Whether it's listening to their bs, donating to a charity, making sandwiches for a ministry, or being patient at the daily annoyances of a commute or the workplace.  Be aware of your intentional extra efforts and jot them down at the end of the day. Ponder them if you're feeling atheist, pray about them if you're feeling spiritual.  Feelings are temporary.  Recognizing the kind and little things you do good are what is important.  

The good in this world is like the ocean.  Yes, we all notice a tidal wave, but the ocean was filled one drop at a time , with a smile or kind word where it didn't exist before.  

There will always be hurt and heartache that we can't change or avoid.  It's up to real people to do the small acts of kindness that are the counterbalance.  We are responsible and tasked to create the good in this world.  It's done in drops  

I wish you well. 

4

Well said, Mr. Atheist. :)

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