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Jeannot

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About Jeannot

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  1. Have you red THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHRISTIAN ANARCHIST, by Ammon Hennacy of the Catholic Worker group?
  2. One step I would recommend is to read Neale Walsch's "Conversations with God." --John Green
  3. To me, it means having a moral standard that is outside this world.
  4. Jesus' description of the Last Judgment makes it clear that we will be judged on works. "You saw me hungry and you fed me, etc."
  5. Yes, in the heart. The last place God would be is "up there," which is really "out there"--in cold, empty space.
  6. One thing I found interesting in her book is the sympathetic treatment of the Sufis, the mystical Muslim sect. I had come across them before, in Paul Roberts' lively IN SEARCH OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS: The Journey of the Magi (highly recommended). I wish there were more Sufis and less of this constant warfare between Sunnis and Shias (reminiscent of the warfare between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries). In Roberts' book, the author meets a Sufi imam in the Iranian holy city of Qom. The imam asks, perhaps surprisingly, if it isn't true that all religions are fundamentally one. Roberts agrees. The imam says that the problem is that religion, which should be inner, has become outer, and entwined with politics and thus degraded.
  7. Hi, Flatliner, First off, better change your name! Anyway, sounds like you've gotten some good advice here. A belated welcome to you. I've little to add, except to note that dogmas, etc, can sometimes be shackles in our spiritual growth. And casting them off can be painful. But of course, one can abandon dogma, but still believe in God, and even feel a relationship, however distant, with Him/Her/It. (We need a special pronoun for God) My two sons are Evangelicals, one a preacher, and we remain friends. I guess we've learned to stip arguing about religion. When I go to church, I go to theirs. I find much to admire in their congregation--but cannot share their beliefs. Yet now I would not try to talk them out of them. They may be at the righ place for them, since their journey is not mine.
  8. It seems to me that the inerrancy of the Bible is nothing but a pious wish. I guess it's nice to have some always reliable authority. Catholics have the Pope; Evangelicals have the Bible. But both doctrines, it seems to be, are mere assertions. How can either be proved?
  9. SOMETIMES, people who think they have a mission from God can be very, very dangerous people, as we can see in the world around us today. But yes, each of us does have a mission. At the very least, we are meant to be all that we can be, even though this may take a liftime to work out. Each person is unique. But if your "mission" involves harming others, it cannot be from God. As St Paul said, "Love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Love moves us toward God, since God is Love. Most of the time, a person's mission is not something dramatic, or even seemingly well-defined. It may be only doing the duty which lies nearest you. If you are married, then loving, honoring, and respecting your spouse and children is your mission. "If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." (I Cor 13:2)
  10. CHRISTIAN WITNESS Jesus said the darnedest things, at least in Luke. He says to hate our parents, he curses the rich and blesses the poor. In fact, if you look at his words generally, you can see that he is given to hyperbole in order to make a point. I have a quarrel with the witness of SOME Evangelicals, because sometimes it seems to be the program of the Republican Party rather than that of the Bible. They simply disregards certain pointed sayings of Jesus and instead prefers a Republican spin. Even tho Jesus indulged in hyperbole, yet he is making a point, the point that Cardinal Bernardin called “the preferential option for the poor.” You cannot serve God and Mammon (possessions). Certainly the poor—or “destitute” in Greek—are not all saints, and they frequently commit the same sins we all do. And they too can be infected with greed. Nevertheless, they are the victims of social injustice, and to deny them such justice because they are sinners is to upset the whole Christian message. Wolfgang Stegemann says “The first followers of Jesus, like their master, were from the poor and hungry, not as the result of any renunciation of possessions but because in fact they possessed nothing.” He adds that this may be hard to take because social criticism then is “voiced not by ethically motivated heroes of renunciation but by probably very unattractive characters.” Arer Jesus’ words against wealth are in the same category as his warnings against the pursuit of power and of physical pleasure. I believe they are, and they come under the rubric of “worldliness,” a fixation on “the things of this world.” As Jesus in John says, Satan is the prince of this world. But Christians are called, in a sense, out of this world. They are to work for a world transfigured, the Kingdom of God. That is why I have great respect for the ideals of monasticism, whether of the East or West, with its vows and ideals of poverty, chastity and obedience—designed to fight our natural lust for wealth, sex, and power. Instead, their practice was ora et labora, pray and work. I don’t think God or Jesus is either a liberal or a conservative. I think he is a radical. And Christians are called to be radicals. We disagree with one another all the time, of course, and there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s done in the spirit of what St Paul calls agape, love or charity. John Dominic Crossan sees the birth of Christianity taking place in the episodes in Luke where Jesus sends out first twelve, then seventy itinerant apostles (missionaries). Crossan makes a case that these are the homeless destitute being sent to the merely poor householders practicing subsistence farming. Both are victims of the political/religious power structure centered in Jerusalem, with satellites in such Galilean cities as Sepphoris and Tiberias. The Jesus Seminar (!), BTW, said at least one good thing: “For Jesus, God’s kingdom is a modest affair, not obvious to the untutored eye. It offers little by way of earthly reward. Its demands are staggering. He apparently did not want it confused with traditional mundane hopes.” Crossan also says that there was always dissension such as we have today in the Church: He speaks of the commercialization of Palestine under the Romans, and adds “That commercialization process set against one another those poor peasants who might be dispossessed tomorrow and those destitute peasants who had been dispossessed yesterday. It is these destitute landless ones and poor landed ones that the Kingdom of God movement brings together as itinerants and householders.” “Compassion, no matter how immediately necessary or profoundly human, cannot substitute for justice, for the right of all to equal dignity and integrity of life. Those who live by compassion are often canonized. Those who live by justice are often crucified.” IOW, almsgiving is restitution. As St Vincent de Paul said, “You must have great love for the poor in order that they may forgive you the bread that you given them.”
  11. Tariki, "If we wish to be sure of the road we tread on, we should close our eyes and walk in the dark" (St john of the Cross) ________ I like that. Yes, we don't have to have everything figured out in our head in order to be able to proceed. Sometimes we just have to plod on. As Carlyle said "Do the duty which lies nearest you." Our daily tasks are part of the Way.
  12. I don't know if this makes sense, or is even relevant, but I don't think the Bible is the last word. The first one, maybe. We each have to progress from it in our own way. Our lives are "post canonical."
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