Jump to content

private vows question


Recommended Posts

I find it interesting that it sometimes seems so much easier to keep a vow made to an exterior God than it is to keep a vow we make to ourself, as though God is more worthy of our love than we are, even though God dwells within us AS us.  It reminds me of how much easier it is to walk the family dog for the dog's sake, and yet it is so difficult sometimes to take our own body out for a walk to maintain our own health.  

I agree. As I read what you said I thought of Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, whos teaching I've read and resonated with. It sits well with my understanding of the gospel and the trinity. Then I noticed you was a Hindu :) Do you resonate with the advaita vedanta school of thought much?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 63
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • BarbaraTherese

    17

  • MarysLittleFlower

    15

  • AccountDeleted

    8

  • OneHeart

    4

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Catholic Culture Modern Catholic Dictionary Mysticism "Christian mysticism differs essentially from the non-Christian mysticism of the Oriental world. It always recognizes that the reality to whic

If you make private viows then you simply carry on your life according to them for as long as you're bound and or discern otherwise. If you have an SD and priest to discuss and relate to then great. I

I think the reason why private vows aren't related to hermits very often here is because a vocation to be a canonical hermit involves a lot more than just "making vows outside a community" (just as a

 ...But the thing is, if we break a vow to our own self (like a New Year's Resolution), we only disappoint our own self. If we break a vow to someone else then we risk disappointing or upsetting or causing distress to that other person. When we make a vow to God, we want to keep it because it is like making a vow to any person who is a significant relationship in our life...

I personally don't believe that God is ever disappointed with us.  We are loved unconditionally AS the perfection of Love itself.  WE may disappoint ourselves, we may disappoint OTHERS in our life, but we can never disappoint God because we are part of His innate perfection as expressed through his creations.

Well even though God can live in a soul, we do not take on His substance.... We do not become Him. He has a Divine substance and we have a human substance. :) for this reason i do believe He is more worthy of love than me. That's why we can give adoration (worship) to God and not to creatures :)

MLF, I believe that when we identify with our body amd its attributes which are subject to death and decay, we will never recognize and rest in our essential Self which is untainted and unchangeable, and which was never born and will never die.  This eternal self is the selfsame self which exists in each of us and in all things and is the animating force of God's love expressed in and AS all of creation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally don't believe that God is ever disappointed with us.  We are loved unconditionally AS the perfection of Love itself.  WE may disappoint ourselves, we may disappoint OTHERS in our life, but we can never disappoint God because we are part of His innate perfection as expressed through his creations.

MLF, I believe that when we identify with our body amd its attributes which are subject to death and decay, we will never recognize and rest in our essential Self which is untainted and unchangeable, and which was never born and will never die.  This eternal self is the selfsame self which exists in each of us and in all things and is the animating force of God's love expressed in and AS all of creation.

And that is probably in perfect alignment with your religion or personal beliefs. As a Catholic, I believe that God does love us unconditionally because He is infinite love, but because He is also personal (and demonstrated just how personal by the Incarnation of Jesus), He cares very deeply about the state of our soul. Doing evil does not prevent Him from loving us, but it does separate US from Him, because how can imperfection be one with perfection? It is not that He turns away, but that we turn away, by our own actions.

As for being disappointed, no one knows the mind or the heart of God, but one can safely assume that Jesus was disappointed when his disciples let Him down, betrayed Him, denied Him, etc- and Jesus is God in human form. That is not to say that Jesus did not continue to love his disciples, He did, witness His interaction in asking Peter three times if he loved Him. A parent can love their child but be disappointed when they are doing harm to themselves.

So you see, there is a different theology at play here. What you describe sounds like an impersonal God, who is neither pleased nor disappointed when His creation fails to live in unity with its creator. But some religions have a much more personal relationship with God. The Jewish faith is all about the relationship between God and His people and how they kept disappointing Him. But rather than stop loving them, God sent His love in the very personal and very human, Jesus. Not all could accept God's love in this way, but it certainly demonstrated an unconditional love, DESPITE His disappointment with human actions. 

As for the second part of your post, once again, this is a very non-christian viewpoint. We see the soul as eternal but we do believe that we can taint it (create shadows in it, darken it, however one wants to describe it) from its original pristine condition through a conscious act of the will that is in opposition to God's will (sin). Once again it comes down to personal vs impersonal. Each and every individual soul is unique and does not somehow merge into the total consciousness of life after death - at least not in the Christian faith. We remain unique individuals who are potentially able to experience the beatific vision of God, depending on how close we have aligned ourselves with Him in this life and the state of our soul at death. Just different theology. 

Edited by nunsense
Link to post
Share on other sites

Swami Mommy, I see it differently because we are body and soul. The body is our being too. The reason we die is because of the fall. Our eternal life doesn't come from rejecting the reality of the body, but from Christ who is the source of life. :) in Him, we defeat death. This is because He, as God, faced death and then rose again, so in Him, we also rise to new life.

I also don't see it like my soul is the same thing as everyone else's souls... Each soul is unique and new. Though a spirit that doesn't stop existing after death, my spirit is distinct from yours for example.... And since we had a beginning when God made our individual souls, we are not eternal. God is eternal, and we had a beginning. 

And that is probably in perfect alignment with your religion or personal beliefs. As a Catholic, I believe that God does love us unconditionally because He is infinite love, but because He is also personal (and demonstrated just how personal by the Incarnation of Jesus), He cares very deeply about the state of our soul. Doing evil does not prevent Him from loving us, but it does separate US from Him, because how can imperfection be one with perfection? It is not that He turns away, but that we turn away, by our own actions.

As for being disappointed, no one knows the mind or the heart of God, but one can safely assume that Jesus was disappointed when his disciples let Him down, betrayed Him, denied Him, etc- and Jesus is God in human form. That is not to say that Jesus did not continue to love his disciples, He did, witness His interaction in asking Peter three times if he loved Him. A parent can love their child but be disappointed when they are doing harm to themselves.

So you see, there is a different theology at play here. What you describe sounds like an impersonal God, who is neither pleased nor disappointed when His creation fails to live in unity with its creator. But some religions have a much more personal relationship with God. The Jewish faith is all about the relationship between God and His people and how they kept disappointing Him. But rather than stop loving them, God sent His love in the very personal and very human, Jesus. Not all could accept God's love in this way, but it certainly demonstrated an unconditional love, DESPITE His disappointment with human actions. 

As for the second part of your post, once again, this is a very non-christian viewpoint. We see the soul as eternal but we do believe that we can taint it (create shadows in it, darken it, however one wants to describe it) from its original pristine condition through a conscious act of the will that is in opposition to God's will (sin). Once again it comes down to personal vs impersonal. Each and every individual soul is unique and does not somehow merge into the total consciousness of life after death - at least not in the Christian faith. We remain unique individuals who are potentially able to experience the beatific vision of God, depending on how close we have aligned ourselves with Him in this life and the state of our soul at death. Just different theology. 

Also if we think that God doesn't care what we do, that goes against the idea that He is good. (Because if we think He doesn't care, we would have to say that either its because evil is OK, which would be false, or that He doesn't care if we do evil, which also contradicts His goodness). Its extremely important that God is perfectly good... 

 

He cares because He is good... Because He doesn't want us to fall to evil. Like a good father cares for a son :) by this we are not making God in our image, rather we are made in His. (Sin is from us though and there are various things, like death, that are effects of sin). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that disappointment is a human emotion born of unmet expectations.  I don't think that God as God has expectations and therefore is never disappointed and loves us always fully unconditionally. Mystery.  In Jesus we see God in a fully human nature (mystery) and as such Jesus was subject to expectations and therefore potential disappointment and Jesus is God.  Jesus has expectations of his apostles (not only them either) and a couple of times in Scripture, He is disappointed in their performance.  Jesus is God.  Mystery.

Link to post
Share on other sites

SM - I just had another thought. When I was young, I used to be a Buddhist. I had wonderful experiences in meditation and the object was to lose oneself into pure consciousness, achieve Samadhi, Nirvana etc by NOT trying to achieve these states (very Zen). And after death, there was always the prospect of returning to the supreme consciousness and being one with all.

Somewhere along the line though I began to wonder what was the point of merging with supreme consciousness because it just sounded like another word for death. Death of the individual self, death to all the things that made 'me' me. Now in this world is duality, always will be.But in the next, supposedly, there will be no duality, just oneness.But what the heck? How is being one with everything any different than not existing at all? If one isn't conscious of duality, then one is not conscious. One simply 'is'. Well, one-celled amoebas simply 'are' so why would I want to be 'nothing'?

Anyway, the point is that I found I 'needed' a personal God, one who cared for me personally and loved me personally, And I also needed to know that I wasn't going to become some kind of spiritual primordial soup when I died. I'm me. I like the duality of me being different than you. I am perfectly happy not to merge with you and everyone else after death. I want to see God face to face and to bathe in the love and the beauty of His presence. And Jesus.What can I say about Him? Never was there a more human, human being, and such a perfect example of how we should live as human beings? Even though we can't live up to the ideal, He still represents it for me. And I have no doubt of His divinity at all. So why would I want to give up being me loving Him? 

But God as the supreme being of all creation - yes, there is a mystery associated with Him that we will never understand, but if we attribute feelings to Him (which are filtered through our own experiences as human beings and necessarily limit Him)  such as Him loving us, then it is only logical to assume that He could also be disappointed in us. But He is so far beyond our understanding that this is all conjecture. So my choice is - infinite, supreme, impossible to comprehend God or personal, caring, loving God. Fortunately, for Catholics, God is a Trinity of love, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.Works for me. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In order to communicate with us and have us relate to Him as a Personal God and as Father, God communicates in terms we can understand. We see this in the Old Testament especially where many feelings and human attributes are expressed as God's quite personal feelings and attributes. 

Catholic Teaching : http://forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=6595851&postcount=11

In the New Testament, Jesus (truly man, Truly God) makes things even clearer for us re the nature of His - and our - Father.   Jesus speaks to us mainly however in parables.

 

Edited by BarbaraTherese
Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we all mean "disappointment" in different ways... ? I mean God could really disagree with an action we do. It is because of His love and goddess that He wants us to get better. He has compassion and patience but He would never agree with evil, because there is no evil in Him - evil is going against Him.

I used to consider the idea of reincarnation - before I was Christian. I may have believed it. I find I need a personal God too though, and an eternal Heaven of knowing and loving Him. 

God is Love in Himself because of Him being the Holy Trinity. :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 years later...
Marguerite Naseau

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul is a Society of Apostolic Life in the Catholic Church. Sisters make simple, private vows each year on the Feast of the Annunciation--poverty, chastity, obedience, and service of poor persons. Founded in 1633 by Sts. Louise de Marillac and St. Vincent de Paul, the model of making annual vows to the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission preserved the early sisters from being cloistered in order to accomplish their mission of service--the streets of the city were their "cloister."

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is true of several, well-known societies. We have a canon lawyer here, and it would take one to explain all of the distinctions - but there are solemn vows, simple vows, societies with 'semi-public' vows, private vows (whether in community or as a solitary.) 

There were outside reasons, often having to do with political situations, why some kept their vows secret. For example, there is a secular institute in Italy, which began during the Fascist regime - they had connections to the underground efforts to establish the Christian Democrats. Their members were not even known to one another (though, I imagine, there must have been some points of contact), because they opposed the political power - knowing who was 'head of a unit' could place someone in danger. It has nothing to do with that their example would be spoiled if people knew they had a vowed life. (I could refer to the post-Revolution establishment of the Daughters of the Heart of Mary in France, but I don't want to get long-winded. The Filippini Sisters are not, and never were, a religious institute - they make an oblation.)

There is no reason - not doctrine, not church law - why 'private' vows need to be a secret. I do not know why some on this forum think 'private' means secretive, or 'just between yourself and God.' I know some secular institutes (who can't use the word 'secret,' just 'reserve'... it's not a secret, it just cannot be known) have that approach, but they must have some reason. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Private" , in all forms of ecclesiastical usage, does not mean 'secret,' even if some give it that interpretations. A 'low Mass' was a 'private Mass' - it hardly meant no-one was in attendance. Devotions that are not part of the liturgy are 'private' - even if the church is packed for a novena or Stations. Before there were congregations of Sisters in active life, those who were 'third order' and in 'private vows' had to have that status, or they would have had to be cloistered. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for reinvigorating this thread. I've read most of it. I've been discerning vows for a number of years, with fits and starts. What has been said here is helpful.  Just wondering..... much in this thread is a sort of comparison between religious life and private vows - the differences mostly.  Why isn't the vocation to private vows discussed relative to the hermits instead? It seems that there is a commonality between private vows::hermits in that both are outside community.  To compare vows in community (religious, secular societies, etc) vs vows in solitude (private vows and hermits)?  My thinking would be that private vows are more akin to the hermits, but that doesn't seem to have been discussed.  Can someone discuss this? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Nunsuch said:

I think it's because most people who make private vows are not hermits.

True. But also, people who make private vows are not religious, and yet the thread seems to be trying to understand private vows in the light of religious life - there are comparisons between the two. The two states of life are very different, but people trying to understand private vows are asking questions in comparison to religious life - eg "what is the difference between a private/public vow." types of questions. So my question is to reflect on private vows (which term seems to be used to mean 'private vows to ECs')  as opposed to the vocation to the  hermit life.  Such as: if someone feels called to make vows to God without entering a community, what is the determination that separates those in "simple private vows" as opposed to those who become hermits?  In the discernment process, what signs would you look for? I think the obvious answer is, that a hermit is called specifically to solitude, and private vows don't call for that necessarily.  But drilling down on that is this question:  why are the vows of a hermit considered "public", while "private vows" are not?  Why is the one "acknowledged" by the Church and the other is not?  I'm just asking this to try to get a better understanding of the different vocations and the signs one would look for in discernment.  TIA :) 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have no idea--I'm not a canonist. But I don't understand why it matters. I'm not particularly interested in the formalities. People do what they are called to do. Who cares about "recognition"? God is what matters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



It costs about $850 a year for Phatmass.com to survive–and we barely make it. If you’d like to help keep the Phorum alive, please consider a monthly gift.



×
×
  • Create New...