31 March 2011

is it irresponsible to trust God too much…

… that is the title of Jen’s post over at Conversion Diary. And it touched me to my core. Why because I have issues trusting God. I mean I trust God, I do but I don't TRUST God. I used to work with a guy who is training to be a pastor now and he used to say “I don't get sick, because I trust the Lord to never allow me to be sick, I walk in His presence and since sickness is of the devil I will never get sick if I trust in God….” and that used to, and still does scare me.

I trust in the Lords provision but that does not mean I will not work for my food and rent etc., I trust the Lord protects us but that does mean I’ll walk in dodgy areas at night, I trust in the Lord’s love and that it is sufficient for me, but that does not mean I don't worry about earthly love and if I will ever be found by ‘the one’. image

But Jen’s post is on another level. She expands on how she thinks trust in the Lord hinges on

  1. Who God is
  2. What God wants
  3. What the meaning of life is

It’s the second one that I find major challenges with. Discerning what God wants; being under the mantle of His will. Because if I am doing His will and following my purpose then He will provide for all I need right there. Trust would be so easy if I just knew His will. I trust His will true, but not knowing it makes that trust an active challenge each and every day.

So go over there and read her thought and peoples comments on whether it  is irresponsible to trust God too much.

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11 March 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday

 

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Decided to 7 quick takes on what I am hoping to be doing for Lent

1. I hope to do the Divine Office

2. I hope to attend daily mass

3. I hope to fast on Fridays and Wednesdays

4. I hope to practice this: “Set a guard, Lord, before my mouth, a gatekeeper at my lips”

5. I hope to go for weekly confession

6. I hope to meditate more on the Lords will and seek it

7. And to be more pleasant

hopefully it ain’t too difficult….

For more 7 Quick Takes, be sure and stop by Jennifer's Conversion Diary.

9 March 2011

ash wednesday 2011

ash wednesday 2011

Have a blessed Ash Wednesday everyone. Its only just after 1.00 pm first hunger pangs have passed waiting for the next wave LOL and we had vespers last night at St johns! not sung mind you but vespers none the less…progress!!!!

TOB Tuesday: Is TOB practical in todays world?

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So we had our last pre-lent TOB session last night and it was fun. We had a debate. Yes a debate. MA noted that most sessions we always touch on how we actually want to live the ‘TOB life’ and how that can be difficult as we are in the world – not of the world but in the world. So we split up into groups, one for TOB and one against it being practical in our lives. And of course I was for TOB – blegh – against would have been so much easier. I am just going to highlight some of the points brought up by people (super edited of course) admittedly some were hilarious and said in jest but in todays world people are actually crazy like that.

Against:

  • por.nogr.aphy  hurts no one, is healthy and helps to support poor porn-stars, it’s an economy that will always be there
  • sex before marriage is like a test drive- one needs to have sampled the merchandise, and it ensures the couple is sexually compatible, thereby balancing the emotional and physical aspects of a relationship
  • and we are going to get married anyway
  • it’s ok to explore ones sexuality and in a committed relationship its ok because its a safe environment to explore ones sexuality
  • the world is over populated and as such NFP is wrong and irresponsible as it depletes resources and it’s un-natural to abstain
  • its ok to use contraceptives to stop the spread of disease, especially if you are prostitute because soliciting is your job
  • God gave people the means and ideas for contraceptives and after all it is ‘my body’
  • people are happier when they live together and a verbal commitment is just as good as a written one, it also has less hassles if they decide to separate as they do not need to go through the process of divorce, and this is good for the children who then will not go through the trauma of a divorce
  • we cannot condemn hom.ose.xu.ality because we all need someone to love and if one is mad that way who is it for Christians to condemn, because God says we must love not judge
  • there is no harm in dancing or dressing provocatively, it’s just expressing yourself, just to feel good and to be self confident. it’s not a girls fault if a guy cant keep his eyes to himself or control his base urges. We should not be ashamed of showing what God created
  • and we need to move with the times, what worked long ago does not work now
  • why do we not womyn priests, because they would be less likely to molest and abuse little kids
  • masturbation is just by yourself and frequent eja.culation is good to reduce testicular cancer, it does not harm anyone and is a good stress reliever

and For:

  • TOB is the truth and no matter how difficult it is it leads to happiness, deep down in everyone's heart is a desire to love and be loved authentically
  • it speaks to the dignity of out bodies
  • the por.nogr.aphy industry feeds human trafficking and child por.nogr.aphy which does affect our society
  • overpopulation is a myth with a few societies using up the bulk of the worlds resources, some western societies will soon be facing under population
  • por.nogr.aphy objectifies women and men, which translates to lack of respect of ones dignity e.g. who wants their mother, daughter, sister treated as dirt? then why treat other women that way?
  • sexual attraction is normal and a gift but it has its time and place where it can be truly transcendently beautiful,
  • contraception, masturbation and po.rn have destroyed the fabric of society, where prostitution becomes a valid job and yet half of these women have to be stoned to carry out their ‘job’, where divorce and lack of commitment are the norm, where children do have parents but adult parental units who want to be their ‘friends’
  • how does premarital sex contribute to ones happiness as a person, in light that no true commitment is there and love may not even be present? most people delude themselves that they are happy in this situation whilst their hearts cry out for true love
  • abstinence is the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases
  • the Lord tell us to do a lot of things which we ignore or we listen to the devil, just because we can do something does not mean it is from God and even good things can be used in an evil way, whilst science n itself is not evil, what it can be used for may be evil
  • the priesthood is about fatherhood and engendering life so by natural law women can not be fathers, and hence cannot stand in persona-Christi and become priests
  • relationships are made stronger with common goals, priorities, communication and understating, not with premarital sex
  • going through adversity and challenges strengthens relationships and builds character, such as abstaining together for a greater good
  • we do not live in a bubble were our actions do not affect others, so dancing and acting provocatively will affect others and is not just about you, and the message it send is that you are available and want all eyes on you
  • NFP is all natural and does not introduce poisonous chemicals into our bodies, it follows the natural cycles of a women's body and strives to understand better how our bodies work
  • artificial birth control has been known to cause depression, obesity, blood clots and even death
  • even condoms cannot prevent disease a hundred per cent
  • research ahs shown that a husbands semen ma be beneficial to a woman pre – during and post pregnancy – nature working at its best

OK so I have to admit that the ‘for’ side was not well articulated and it just seems difficult to put into practical terms everything about our dignity and the deep hunger within us and morality.

MA gave us a précis highlighting that when talking to non Christians it is possible to impart TOB principles by focusing on morality dignity and respect. As Christians though we need to focus on where we are headed not where we are. we need to learnt that pain and struggle are a part of life, and she noted that one of todays main problems is a lack of parenting, that parents do not allow their kids to wait or be denied so as adults that have not learnt any restraint. its the life of a junky, what makes me happy now, I want that, I get it… oh no a low is coming what next to get me that high again. its about instilling morality, just because I have ring on my finger will not stop an affair, my conscience has to have been formed by some morals for me to know that that would be wrong. and how do we form our consciences, they have to be formed in the Truth, the mass, catechesis, scripture and prayer. If this is not in place the next question would be what was my intent, for instance what is the moral code in self defence.

MA then sent a little not per email that I thought summed it all up:

“Just as a last word:   instead of trying to answer in a self-righteous way in defence of TOB which puts others off, we can try to work from a moral framework that encapsulates just what John Paul is saying. (he uses the framework – or hermeneutic – of GIFT)

What is  this framework: (bearing in mind what I said about Morality as choosing between good and evil and what is meant by ‘good’)

We are all made for love – we are all looking / searching for love;  very often what we think is ‘love’ is the counterfeit i.e. it doesn’t grant us the happiness and joy we thought we’d get from it – instant pleasure, maybe, but lasting happiness – not usually.

How do we love?  By making a total gift of ourselves because if we don’t, we risk objectifying the other or being objectified and who wants that?

So with all the issues  that the no.2 team brought up last night, in light of this framework,  can you think why they are ‘not right’ or why they are not fulfilling and don’t lead to true happiness? 

Give this some thought!”

Next week we have a guest speaker Dr Heinz (every time I say his name I think of baked beans Smile) who is an NFP fundi will give us an NFP talk.

See you all then Smile

4 March 2011

7 Quick Take Friday

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This week 7 Quick takes is being hosted by Betty Beguiles… and my deluge has somewhat continued….

1. Our exploded oven is still not fixed… arrrgh

2. Still haven't been to confession… but spiritually things are on the up and up

3. My car went in for repairs – they had said I would not get it till next week… I threw a hissy… I am getting it in a couple of hours

4. Still wont manage to teach Shona this week… maybe move my classes to Sunday

5. On a happier note at young adults this week we were talking about God’s will and then we moved to training our consciences… and Mari posted about it here…

6. I just want to sleep, I’ so sleepy I am practically sleep walking but…

7. …I am going to Kontiki this weekend with the Guides and Rangers and Scouts… and I’m already tired… and i know sleep will be scarce. the theme this year is Rome… and this is my first Kontiki…

For more 7 Quick Takes, be sure and stop by Betty Beguiles.

1 March 2011

TOB Tuesday: Marital Spirituality

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So yesterday was the last of the “Into the heart series” by Christopher West. It focused on marital spirituality. he expressed this spirituality by saying that the couple who are now one body open up that body to the indwelling of the spirit of God, and thus become an expression of loving as God loves. It’s about opening up to the a gift that makes men and women who they are called to be. He then extrapolated this to Christian life in that all Christian life is called to marital spirituality as the bride of Christ. And a direct mirror of this is the Eucharist where as the body of Christ we open up to receiving the life given us by His flesh and blood.

He then touched gain on contraception how every act of intercourse should be opening to saying "’Lord let your will be done’ just as we want to say it in every other aspect of our lives, to surrender our fertility to the Lord, and to safeguard the unity of the unitive and procreative love in marriage, that authentic love is oriented towards every true good.

Given were 3 ways to live this life:- prayer, the Eucharist and penance. He explained that prayer can progress as genuine dialogue of love to the point of rendering the person wholly possessed by the divine, by the Holy Spirit to the point of where the way we would move think and have our being would be drawn straight from the heart of God – and i found that intense… to be be holy spirit possessed would be to let the spirit do what He wills and to let my self partake in his will… were trusting God comes in… and we have already established how difficult that is… but not for lack of trying.

The Eucharist is the sacrament of the bride and the bridegroom, were we as church open up to receive the life of the bridegroom, and penance leads to healing.

One part of penance which has been impressed upon me lately he explained so well, that regular confession of venial sins helps to form our conscience, free us from concupiscence and be healed by Christ and progress in the life of the spirit--- purgative, illuminative and unitive. Our standard should be perfection were we strive to it even if the Lord s happy with us and loves us were we are He wants more for us, His love compels us to continue on the journey to holiness.

C.W also stated that one other way of staying true to the path of purity is of throwing ourselves under Mary’s mantle – totus tuus- like JPII. Now this for me was a new way of expressing why we honour Mary, that as the mother of Jesus her womb gave Jesus flesh and form; as such we encounter Jesus through her womb, that we want to model ourselves in the image of Christ and what better way than to use the mould that formed Him?

So as the virtue of chastity/ continence is essential in living TOB these ways can help us and guide us for by ourselves we will likely fail, we have to embrace self mastery, which is difficult and and a long and exacting process but through it we can experience joy through suffering; agony and ecstasy… maybe like Jesus on the cross

The sacrifices of chastity do not impoverish our expressions of love, they make them more intense….

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