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1  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: Let's get this board going again! on: February 18, 2016, 06:48:50 AM
Oh yeah.  The new forum is at http://trp.wordsfree.org/

I tried to register there but where it says "Type the letters shown in the picture" there is no picture. If I select "Listen to the letters" I don't hear anything.

-LS

That's really strange.  I haven't been logging in recently and didn't see this post until just now.  I don't know why it would do that but I can register you manually. 

Alan
2  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / Welcome CatBiscuits! on: January 02, 2016, 09:11:37 AM
Dear CatBiscuits,

Welcome to our forum!

It's been quite a while since anybody posted here, but there are a couple of us still around and there is lots of cool stuff to check out.  We've kicked around some ideas for what to do with this forum going forward, but meanwhile it doesn't cost anything to keep it running so it's here ready for us to use.

It was nice to meet you over on Facebook, and I'm glad you decided to join us here.  Smiley

Alan (Siegman)
3  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: Let's get this board going again! on: December 07, 2015, 06:14:50 AM
Oh yeah.  The new forum is at http://trp.wordsfree.org/
4  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: Let's get this board going again! on: December 07, 2015, 06:14:06 AM
Hi, I just want to say to whomever might read this, please consider coming back to or joining the forum.  You may or may not know me from CAF...I'm a very scrupulous gal.  There are some wonderful people at CAF, and I will always be grateful for their kind advice and prayers, especially when my mom was dying of cancer.  But I sometimes feel "scolded" there for being who I am...and who I am is someone who struggles with scruples.  I've made progress that no one really sees because I usually only post there when I'm having a "flare-up."   I don't always agree with everyone here at Wordsfree, but I feel safe here.  Safe to be me.  Safe to be scared or confused.  Safe to express my opinion.  And I think that's the goal Alan was striving for.  We need to have a safe place to discuss issues, to vent, to support one another.  So if you're thinking about joining or coming back, I hope you will.

Hi.  I don't intend to take this down any time soon, but I don't know what to do for more traffic.  I did start a new forum for another group involved in my new online Skype-therapist using the new software but so far nobody went over to it.  I've been too timid to upgrade this software for fear I'll break something -- but as long as we have it I can't have online registration because this old version is not secure enough to prevent robots from joining and posting stuff.

There are still lots of dreams and plans I have for what we can do with online forums with open and honest discussion with option for private rooms -- I know there are people, like us, who would benefit.  I don't go to Catholic Answers so much where I used to find members because I just kind of lost interest in trying to discuss things while coloring inside the lines of judgmental Catholics at the same time and I don't have some grand plan.

Also I don't have any specific grand scheme to grow or focus on so at this point I don't expect many new members.  The ones I was talking about earlier didn't apparently get back to me about joining.

But for now I keep it open unless I get brave and upgrade the software.

That said, I'm planning to open the new forum, even though I only got one guy to join so far and he hasn't even posted yet, for other purposes than this online guy and if our TRP people end up joining that's great; we can make them a separate section if we've gone and used it for others.  One advantage to that is I don't have to make decisions then about what to do with all of our legacy discussion here; I could leave it here for read-only because at this point I'm still pretty attached to a lot of the memories here, especially of my brother and our friend Reen who both died and we can still read their old posts.

In case you're interested, you're welcome to join the other one because if I find people that wanna talk about religion, I'll build it there instead of here probably.  I'll leave this open in case anybody who used to post comes back looking for it.  I think you have done a good job of capturing what we were creating here in terms of discussion environment and I don't know where the Spirit will take us all on this but for now I have no specific plans but no limit to how much I can dream of the good we may be able to do in the world.

Alan

5  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / Re: May be getting new members? on: September 12, 2015, 01:50:13 PM
Just checking in, Alan, to see if there are any new posts.  Would love to see the boards "revive".

Oh my gosh.  This is amazing.  I hadn't even logged in for a long time, and today I met someone I want to invite here.  I was just checking to make sure the site was still up so I could complete a PM to him I'm about to send.

Alan
6  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / May be getting new members? on: June 11, 2015, 08:05:06 AM
I've heard there are a couple posters at CAF who may want to join us here, so here's a post about it.

As is apparent, this place is pretty dead, but it can quickly be brought to life... I'm even up for a little rearranging maybe.

Here we allow "freedom" for your "words" I don't care what you believe as long as you're not a jerk and want to join in the discussion.  Forum rules are few and pretty much arbitrary -- but we don't have any problems here in this little village.

There are also boards for "members only" so we can discuss things without them being publicly available -- also we have made up special access rooms from time to time for particular situations.

Welcome new members or lurkers!  I've actually been thinking about starting a new web site, using the latest version of Simple Machines' forum software that has better security and we can go back to having on-site registration maybe, etc.  But here will do just fine until that happens, if at all.

Registration at this time is only through admin, due to swarms of bots that like to register and other stuff blah blah blah.  If you want to register then just send an email to me at alansiegman@yahoo.com, and give me the email you want to use to register (no ads or newsletters) and the login name you want.  Optionally, give me the password you want or I can make one up.  Then you get an email with the login.


Alan
7  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Is anybody still using wordsfree forums? on: May 24, 2015, 04:52:14 AM
Hello,

It has been a few months since anybody posted, and I was the last one.  I'm thinking of archiving these, because almost all of the posters here have died or otherwise move on.

If anybody still uses the forums, I'm happy to leave them up at least somewhere they can be searched.  But I might put something new on this domain forums.wordsfree.org -- or maybe not.  This forum has been a hugely important part of my life and there is still a lot of good reference material here.  Maybe I'll never come retrieve it though, and that's another thing.  But first I want to know if anybody is still using it.  Maybe there is a way I can send a broadcast message to all users, before doing anything to change it.

If anybody replies on this thread then for sure if I do anything I'll let you know first.

Alan
8  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Jesus: listening to, obeying, learning about, and worshiping. on: January 28, 2015, 01:05:13 AM
One thing I'm usually pretty good at noticing, is what people do not say.  Jesus said he came to serve, and He said "no one is 'good' except the Father" even at one point.  It was an odd context, but He did say it so it counts IMO.

I think the clincher is when Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet, and then when Jesus said it must be for Peter to have any part of him, of course Peter jumped overboard as he was prone to do and said, well then wash me all over.  I think Peter thought it was about the washing; I think maybe it was about humbling oneself to treat another with what was good hospitality back in those days.  They walked around in sandals in dirt all day, as far as I can tell.

John 13

Chapter 13
The Washing of the Disciples’ Feet.

1 Before the feast of Passover,[c] Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already induced[d] Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over. So, during supper, 3 fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 4 he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. 5 [e]Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” 10 Jesus said to him, “Whoever has bathed[f] has no need except to have his feet washed, for he is clean all over; so you are clean, but not all.” 11 For he knew who would betray him; for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you? 13 You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am. 14 If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. 16 Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger[g] greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it. 18 I am not speaking of all of you. I know those whom I have chosen. But so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM. 20 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”



9  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: Happy New Year 2015! on: January 08, 2015, 06:15:46 AM
Woo hoo!  I'm expecting the reliability issues to go away, now that we're on a "Microsoft Cloud" virtual server, instead of the ones at Jaguar PC we've always used before.
10  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Happy New Year 2015! on: December 27, 2014, 08:36:45 PM
Well now that Advent is over, here we are.  Happy New Year, etc.  Grin

Lately the server has been getting less and less reliable, and more often than not I haven't been able to log in recently at all.  Angry

And then there was that database problem thing.  Roll Eyes

Well Matt has fixed it now so we shouldn't have those problem, by moving us from our old servers we've been on until now, to a new virtual server that Microsoft maintains.  So that increases our security and reliability, going forward!  Smiley

Also feel free to note my email address so if you ever have problems getting in, or for any other reason you want to send me a message, send it to alansiegman@yahoo.com and I suggest putting "wordsfree" in the subject to help make sure I notice it.  Smiley

I have some things to write about now that I've learned a lot of things I'd like to put into words.  I'll be doing that more and more, I hope.  After spring semester I'm hoping I'll be more motivated yet to write the things I know I want to write about, having completed classes on thinking and perceiving.   Cheesy

Alan
11  Main Forums Set / Welcome New Members / Re: Welcome Forkfoot on: September 22, 2014, 09:32:34 AM
Hi Forkfoot!   Smiley
12  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Praying with/without words on: January 24, 2014, 07:06:23 PM
Oh yeah.  I'm notorious for buying books and not reading them, so I also got the companion "audible" edition, read by the author.  I like it read by the author himself, because it helps me hear what he means when the words match the voice (and heart) of the narrator.   Smiley

Alan
13  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Praying with/without words on: January 24, 2014, 06:37:27 PM
I would call it a step, or a change, but not "forward" or "backward."  In your prayer life, things don't go according to a linear step 1, 2, ... but have flexibility.  Personally I think the Holy Spirit gives us just exactly what we need.

There is no "wrong" prayer method, if it appeals to you at the moment.  And I think "at the moment" is important, because I don't personally like to conform to specific times to pray in a certain way, but there was a time when I found that useful.  Silent prayer is generally thought to be that, just silent, but people get into arguments about exactly how one should or should not go about obtaining that silence, and whatever.  There's powerful stuff there and I've heard a lot about it; maybe I'll write on contemplative prayer.

Meanwhile, if you have access to 9 bucks for Kindle edition, or 12 bucks for paperback, I highly recommend "Armchair Mystic: Easing into Contemplative Prayer" by a Jesuit monk Mark Thibodeaux S.J.  It has imprimatur and all that.  It was supposed to be a required text for Matt's first semester class in Kenrick Seminary, but unfortunately they did other stuff and didn't get to the book.  It gives dozens of ideas on different things you can do and think while prayer in all forms -- vocal and silent and in-between.

I think if you read it, you would see why I say there is no "wrong" way to pray.  Grin

http://www.amazon.com/Armchair-Mystic-Easing-Contemplative-Prayer-ebook/dp/B005GRATEY/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1390606476

Alan
14  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Moving WordsFree to the next software version on: January 22, 2014, 10:50:17 AM
I'm going to study what's involved in moving WordsFree to the next major version of software.  The new version is so much better about security, we could reopen online registration with the new version.

Trouble is, I'm not sure if we can keep all the information -- both user records and posts -- from this version to the next.  I'm guessing there is a way, so I'll study it and get back here when I find out.

Worst case, we'll start a new forum with nothing in it, and keep this old one as a legacy also, for reference.  The biggest issue is we'd have to re-register on the new one.  But even if so, that might be worth it and maybe it would be good to do some housekeeping anyway.  

But we may not need to do that.  That's just what could be, not what is.  I need to look into it.

I really like the new version of software, for its security capabilities.  I just installed it for a discussion forum for our fellow parishioners at Church, and I'm confident we can reopen on-site registration for WordsFree if we upgraded.  

Upgrading means we can invite/advertise for/ new members, and they can sign up right away instead of having to send email -- I know when I see a website I have to send email and wait for human answer, I sometimes just pass on it.  Usually websites have one chance to keep my interest, and if they blow it on the first glance I might not be back.  Wink

Alan
15  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: HAPPY AND HOLY 2014! on: January 04, 2014, 07:46:44 AM
That's awesome!

 Cheesy
16  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Jesus: listening to, obeying, learning about, and worshiping. on: December 30, 2013, 06:23:01 PM
I'm discussing four related ideas: listening to God, doing what He says, learning about Him, and worshiping Him.

God said this to humans about Jesus, from the cloud at His baptism:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”[/COLOR]

Or in Mark: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

At the transfiguration, God spoke from a cloud: [COLOR="Green"]“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”[/COLOR]

In the conversation at Cana, Mary speaks first to Jesus, then to the servants.  The last thing she is recorded to have said (excepting apparitions -- I'm not counting that) is:  “Do whatever he tells you.”

OK, so we have a) listening to Jesus, and b) doing whatever He tells you.

LISTENING TO HIM:

For me, "listening" can come in many forms, and through the Holy Spirit, not only just the written word but even life circumstances and how our hearts react to them.  Can I listen to the carefree bird singing along, and imagine Jesus saying, "I give you My peace, not as the world can give?"  Or watching a baby laugh and laughing deeply within your heart, at the innocent joy that the Lord offers us all?  What about silent prayer?  What about work done with love?  If we can "hear" or "see" or even "imagine" God in these contexts, we will have constant reminders of His love.

DOING WHAT HE SAYS

Next is doing what He says.  Love one another.  Love your enemy.  Forgive others.  Repay evil with good.  These things are clearly what demonstrates our faith and what purifies us and trains our heart into understandings we can't learn from another person telling us about.

LEARNING ABOUT HIM

The third thing I want to throw in is "learning about" Jesus.  That is, learning scriptural accounts of His life, and Church teachings involving His circumstances, His mother, the saints, and pretty much any academic learning about our faith.

As long as we do things with love, then:

First, listening for the Lord and His handiwork at all times, being aware of His gifts with every breath we take, brings wisdom.  Second we have doing His works of love, guided by the wisdom.  Third we have the scholarly knowledge which helps us a) communicate truths of our traditions and teaching to others in the world and in the future, and b) help put into context what it is we hear from or about the Lord through our life experiences from trials to celebrations (with passion).

I separate these out, because IMO these are three working parts of the puzzle that fit together well, in order to bring us a wonderful relationship with our faith, the Church, the Lord, and at the same time ourselves and others.  Leave any one of them out, and I think it makes the others much more difficult.

WORSHIPING HIM

Finally, a comment:  none of the three involve actually "worshiping" Jesus, because He came as a servant, and called us "friends."  When He was called "good" He rebuked the person who called Him that.  So we celebrate now with Him in heaven as He is risen, but when He was on earth I didn't see Him asking anybody to "worship Him" per se.  I say the best way to worship Him is to a) listen to Him like God said to do, b) do what He says like Mary said to do, and c) learn about Him from the Church.

Of course we love to sing praise, and as a church musician I love to play music praising Jesus.  And it's great that we recite prayers.  Talking and singing about our praise for the Lord is wonderful, but without actually listening, doing, and learning, our praise IMO is not as full and our prayers may not be as heartfelt -- or more like heart-understand. Wink

Alan
17  Main Forums Set / Holy Scripture - study and discussion / Re: Luke 17:11-19 What about focusing on the one leper who did return? on: December 29, 2013, 10:43:17 AM
I'm getting pretty frequent vibes about wanting to tell some of the missing points of view we don't hear much in a number of the Gospel stories, where it sounds like it's preachy and moralistic but only because it's viewed through the lens of a preach-conditioned observer.

Like the bit about Peter denying Christ.  I think there was a purpose to it, and I'm not sure that Jesus telling Peter of the upcoming denials wasn't as much of a "suggestion" or outright plan.  Jesus could have said, "I will be killed but you need to stay alive.  Deny you knew me and they will not kill you; trust that I will see you after this is over."  That way we normally hear it sounds more like, "Peter, you don't even realize how much you suck -- you think you're so holy, and you are about to Deny God three times!"

There's a song I dedicate to this one:  Alan Parson's Project, "Don't Let it Show" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHy9yDcXMG4


I like reframing Gospel messages.  Maybe we can play online "psychodrama" and insert some lines for the various characters.  Grin

Alan
18  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Comments on mental, spiritual liberation on: December 24, 2013, 08:53:12 AM
In the last few months I haven't been posting much here, but I've been posting much elsewhere and have been learning a whole lot and changing a lot.  The world is like a different place now than even recently -- and then that happens again.

I'm ready to support Good Thinking and help in the rescuing of people from Bad Religion and helping them find their kingdom(s).  The kingdom Jesus showed us we have!  Grin

Alan
19  Main Forums Set / None of the Above / Re: MERRY CHRISTMAS! on: December 23, 2013, 05:52:28 PM
Thank you so much, and I wish the same for you! <3

Alan
20  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Comments on mental, spiritual liberation on: December 21, 2013, 10:24:26 AM
I've mentioned the Facebook groups I'm in; here are some posts in a thread I started, that I wrote on the issue of liberation.

OP:
Complete (mental, spiritual, emotional, and social) liberation implies that we are immune to getting our feelings jerked around by others, or by circumstances. I still have the freedom of choice to decide I'm not interested in what someone else says, or disagree with it. But if I get "offended" by it, then I've given up control of my emotions to my judgment of others' actions. It requires a judgment, and then the faulty notion that negative emotions are the "correct" response to a judgment gone bad.

That said, one can be enlightened/awake/liberated, and still get caught off guard by something that surprises you because it's beyond what you've experienced before, or maybe it's really sudden. But the free person knows that it will quickly fade and they will get back to their quiescent state which includes -- freedom from anxiety.

Alan

*************************

Other posts later in the thread, most in response to others' comments:

Ozay, the last paragraph reminds me of the "purity" thing you mentioned. In Christian mysticism I call that a bit of residual "purgation." Something strikes me and I react, BUT then I notice it and can even become amused at my silly reaction, and it goes away quickly. Used to be it could take years of holding grudge; now I let go in two seconds on a Bad Day. The role of purgation is to get the shit out of all the little nooks and crannies.



 I also see it as a reversal of gravity. Time and circumstances lift me up now, rather than drag me down. It's harder to stay unhappy than to be happy.


Yes, by "happy" I don't mean that I've judged the moment as "happy" as much as what you said, peaceful with no anxiety. When I was in the last throes of healing, I was observing the "fruit of the spirit" as signs of progress:
Gal 5:22 -- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


 I look at the quoted word as entertainment and/or training. It's not a field guide or handbook. Whipping out a Bible and quoting it in order to speak on your behalf (but with authoritay) is a bit like responding to a challenge to arm wrestle by showing your opponent a photo of the machine you used to train.


 But people don't trust themselves because they've been programmed to believe they are -- and in fact become -- fools who can't think for themselves. So instead of learning a skill (life and love for example) they try to use the props of others who ostensibly taught the skill.
21  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Losing my Religion on: December 21, 2013, 07:18:08 AM

8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.[/color]


Notice that the master says, "I TELL YOU ..." so this isn't just a story about an event, but about the master's recognition of a teaching moment during the event.

I mean, how clear can this get:  THE MASTER COMMENDED THE MAN FOR HIS "DISHONEST AND ILLEGAL" DEEDS.  And the man did it knowing damn well it was wrong but that it would bring him favor using the master's wealth.

Also notice the master said, "use worldly wealth ... " but did not make the distinction of whether you have legal right to that worldly wealth.  Shocked

Surely this isn't what we hear -- after all Thou Shalt Not Steal?  And the master commended the servant for stealing against him?  Is this not an indictment of the so-called "absoluteness" of the Ten Commandments?  Whenever I say something about the applicability of a Commandment, I can already hear the protests in my mind, "they are NOT the Ten Suggestions."  How can they be so absolute, and Jesus tells a story where the master commends a servant for breaking one?  What is right with this picture?  Jesus came to "fulfill" the law.  That doesn't mean add heavy-handed enforcement of the law, but to liberate us from the law that is intended to be the World's Training Wheels.  Morality rules are like training wheels; as long as we depend on our rules to tell us what is right and wrong, we will never be led by the spirit.  And those of us with spiritual experiences during psychosis, just might know something about being led by spirit(s).

Alan
22  Main Forums Set / Spirituality, Mysticism, and Mystical Theology (the science of love) / Re: Losing my Religion on: December 21, 2013, 06:58:48 AM
I had many spiritual experiences while I was manic.  At the time they were profound, and even had a role in guiding my actions toward situations that were amazingly customized, for me, at that particular moment.  It was self-evident.

But then later when I regained my sanity it seemed like, "gosh that seemed strange I was in a really weird state of mind," for a lot of it.

But ... but ... now that I've not only quit being psycho in my symptoms (I'm thinking it's in the behavior more than the thoughts -- psycho may be a leak that springs when your mind can no longer comprehend the bullshit it is given to work with) but gotten a New Outlook on things and gotten used to it a little bit, it's coming back.  I knew it was real at the time and now I'm again "seeing" how those things could be real.

I think "losing religion" as in "not believing everything I'm supposed to" is an entirely healthy thing.  The other day I asked my pastor if he's ready to hear my latest heresy.  He said, "of course."  (I hope I haven't posted on this already but oh well) So I told him, "it is not necessary to believe ANYTHING in the Creed we recite every week, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven."  He stood there a few seconds ... and picked up his book and looked at it a minute or so and said, "well maybe the part about believing He will come again to judge?"  I don't remember the rest of the discussion, but IMO if he thinks about it he will realize that we don't have to believe that part, even.

I really do believe Jesus came to free us FROM religion -- specifically oppressive and manipulative and anxiety-producing and excuse-to-be-mean religious beliefs.

All that said, do not consider me as being "against" the Church or a great deal of what it does.  At least not at this point, like I was a year and a half ago.  I can see how everything came to pass the way it did, and how it's OK that it happened that way.

Gosh while I'm thinking of heresies, it occurred to me the other day that Christians like to go around saying, "the ends justify the means."  I understand why this saying exists, but I think it's retarded that people tout it as The Only Truth.  Gosh, does that mean my sins are not justified by the saving power of Christ?  Wouldn't that mean that St. Paul or Augustine or many others, could never be justified?  What about the "dishonest servant" in the Gospel who fudges the books to gain friends?  He was praised for his acts, by the person his acts supposedly hurt.  I think in this story the master is actually the one who learns something, but is astute enough to notice it and remark on it.

Luke 16:

16 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’

3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’

5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

6 “‘Nine hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied.

“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’

7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied.

“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’

8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.


So how does this story reconcile with "the ends don't justify the means?"  Not well at all, does it?

I say religion, the way it's presented the vast majority of the time and very much so in Catholicism, does not accomplish its original stated purpose (the main thing I think it's useful for anyway) to remove people from the mental "Matrix" that cultures create in people's minds.... IOW an antidote for the culture.  And that's why religions are different; different culture have different ways of thinking so they have different needs.  But the problem is our religion is presented as a bunch of rules and intellectual facts, and they had all that shit before Jesus ever came.  He might as well not have bothered.

If we had jerks on here, surely one would take me to task for this, saying that I'm claiming it's OK to do just anything no matter how evil, just because we think it could help in the long run.  There's a problem there; whether the "ends justify the means" and whether I should disregard the morality of my actions completely and consider only what I see as long-term effects, are two different things.

But neither would I say, "the ends DO justify the means."

I might want to say, "it came out OK but I'm still pissed at you," but not get on a soapbox and say, "the ends don't justify the means" as if it were TRVTH from heaven.  And that I'm pissed because of that.  I think the statement is used more than anything else, to punish somebody for something that ended up well -- because for one reason or other the go can't let go.  OF COURSE it can be a teaching moment, etc.

Sorry I'm arguing with nobody as if I were on CAF again.   Grin  I guess since more of my Internet these days is not necessarily Catholic, when I get back here I automatically get defensive I guess.    Roll Eyes

See?  That place can drive me nuts.  I think I'll ask them nicely if I can get back in.  Wink

Alan
23  Main Forums Set / Holy Scripture - study and discussion / Re: Red Letter comments by Alan - Matt 5 on: December 13, 2013, 04:28:14 PM
I told my pastor my ideas about the Beatitudes this morning after Mass, and he liked them a lot. Smiley

THE BEATITUDES

5  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.


I don't really know if this means that if we learn "meekness" that can get us stuff, or maybe not to underestimate the meek because ultimately they can be threats to powers.  To me, this one says that I don't have to become aggressive; I've been passive-aggressive in the past, and now I just want to be free of behavioral quirks and labels that want to change the way people act toward me.

Edit: Strange I hardly remember writing this.  So I guess this means I'd say this is call to action.  Also, heavenly blessing, because I'm feeling this "land" we're talking about it the kingdom, right here and now on earth. Smiley



6  Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.


Heavenly blessing, those who seek righteousness will find it in their hearts?  I have to go pick up my son from school so I'll get back later.  I don't have anything else on this one.

Edit:  My own way of becoming satisfied was to quit judging.  Actually trained myself not to automatically react with repulsion to disgusting and terrible things.  This took some effort, and some creative thinking to do.  Now, stuff doesn't jerk me around anymore.  I can open up my heart and mind a bit more, without fear of that getting me hurt.

Alan
24  Main Forums Set / Holy Scripture - study and discussion / Re: Red Letter comments - Matt 5 on: December 12, 2013, 07:26:41 PM
I can divide the Beatitudes into roughly two types.  One is about the heavenly blessings you receive directly from God, and the other is a call to action, as well as a promised blessing that can come through other people.

They can all be calls to action and blessings from God, so it's not like you can cut them clean into A and B.  I'm just describing a way I see that it can be separated out to talk about and think about.  Plus, it's not only OK but good that we think different things, so that's why I don't advise taking what I say to be "how things are" but "here's one way to look at it."

It's like more than one of us looking at a beautiful picture.  We get totally different thoughts and feelings, although we can usually agree on at least some aspects that we know how to talk about, like "beautiful sunset" or "looks like he got a haircut," or, "the picture is blurry."

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I'd call this one a direct gift from heaven.  When a person is poor in spirit, they enter the kingdom.  In other passages, Jesus teaches frequently about ways to be poor in spirit.  You must deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow Him.  You must lose your life in order to gain it.  The first shall be last, and the greatest shall be the one who serves.  True humility.

On the other hand, it's a clue for someone who isn't in the kingdom, where they're going to find it.  They won't find it in the world, and they won't even find it directly in their works.  They will find it in their spirit when their ego and will get out of the way and let the spirit speak and we listen.

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Call to action.  Sure, there are heavenly blessings one can access through prayer, but other people can give comfort.  And the call to action is to Make Jesus Right.  Become the arms and legs of His Body, and through His word, offer comforting to those who need it.  This is an act of mercy.  It's like me saying, "if you join this group they will care for you," with the idea that if you join that group you will care for each other.  So if you are part of the kingdom, you will do the Word of Jesus, and become the beatitude.  So we can all be the beatitude, the ones whom Jesus was thinking about when He said, "someone will give you comfort."

Comments on these first two are invited.

Alan




25  Main Forums Set / Holy Scripture - study and discussion / Re: Luke 17:11-19 What about focusing on the one leper who did return? on: December 11, 2013, 11:08:32 PM
Wow, that was strange.  I started this thread yesterday morning, and then in the evening we went to Andrew's confirmation and the SAME PRIEST that I saw on the videotape presided over it, because we don't have a bishop right now.

After the ceremony I had a chance to tell him my idea about the leper who returned, and he liked it.

How often do you get to wish you could tell the person on TV something, and then the next day you get the chance?  Smiley

Alan
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