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Author Topic: James 4  (Read 4442 times)
ncjohn
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« on: January 26, 2007, 11:03:54 AM »

Please excuse me for butting in here...
Dear John et al,

This week I started a new topic "James 4" but I didn't realize there was an older thread.  Since the older thread's most recent message is before the newer thread's first post, I have "merged" the topics into 1.  See the timedate stamp on the message; the old ones are in 2007.

Alan
-Now returning to your post:


Here is Chapter 4 of James. It is much harsher in some ways, at least to my thinking, but there are a couple nuggets in there that to me are worth looking at.

1
1 Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions 2 that make war within your members?
2
You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.
3
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
4
Adulterers! 3 Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5
Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, "The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy"? 4
6
But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 5
7
So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
9
Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.
10
Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11
Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. 6 If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12
There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?
13
7 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit"--
14
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. 8 You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.
15
Instead you should say, "If the Lord wills it, 9 we shall live to do this or that."
16
But now you are boasting in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17
So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin. 10
 
Footnotes
1 [1-12] The concern here is with the origin of conflicts in the Christian community. These are occasioned by love of the world, which means enmity with God (4). Further, the conflicts are bound up with failure to pray properly (cf Matthew 7:7-11; John 14:13; 15:7; 16:23), that is, not asking God at all or using God's kindness only for one's pleasure (James 4:2-3). In contrast, the proper dispositions are submission to God, repentance, humility, and resistance to evil (James 4:7-10).

2 [1-3] Passions: the Greek word here (literally, "pleasures") does not indicate that pleasure is evil. Rather, as the text points out (James 4:2-3), it is the manner in which one deals with needs and desires that determines good or bad. The motivation for any action can be wrong, especially if one does not pray properly but seeks only selfish enjoyment (James 4:3).

3 [4] Adulterers: a common biblical image for the covenant between God and his people is the marriage bond. In this image, breaking the covenant with God is likened to the unfaithfulness of adultery.

4 [5] The meaning of this saying is difficult because the author of Jas cites, probably from memory, a passage that is not in any extant manuscript of the Bible. Other translations of the text with a completely different meaning are possible: "The Spirit that he (God) made to dwell in us yearns (for us) jealously," or, "He (God) yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us." If this last translation is correct, the author perhaps had in mind an apocryphal religious text that echoes the idea that God is zealous for his creatures; cf Exodus 20:5; Deut 4:24; Zechariah 8:2.

5 [6] The point of this whole argument is that God wants the happiness of all, but that selfishness and pride can make that impossible. We must work with him in humility (James 4:10).

6 [11] Slander of a fellow Christian does not break just one commandment but makes mockery of the authority of law in general and therefore of God.

7 [13-17] The uncertainty of life (James 4:14), its complete dependence on God, and the necessity of submitting to God's will (James 4:15) all help one know and do what is right (James 4:17). To disregard this is to live in pride and arrogance (James 4:16); failure to do what is right is a sin (James 4:17).

8 [14] Some important Greek manuscripts here have, "You who have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Why, what is your life?"

9 [15] If the Lord wills it: often in piety referred to as the "conditio Jacobaea," the condition James says we should employ to qualify all our plans.

10 [17] It is a sin: those who live arrogantly, forgetting the contingency of life and our dependence on God (James 4:13-16), are guilty of sin.



New American Bible Copyright © 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:03:51 PM by Alan » Logged

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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
ncjohn
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 11:18:20 AM »

11
Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. 6 If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12
There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?


This concept of not judging each other is repeated over and over, both in the gospels and in the the letters of the New Testament. It is one of the central concepts of Jesus's teaching, yet it seems as if the overwhelming majority of "Christians" just totally ignore the entire idea because of our need to create exclusions to prop up our egos and make ourselves seem better than other people.

St Paul stated it as "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". We are all--every single one of us--failures in our ability to keep "the Law", and as such, totally dependent on the mercy of God. There are far too many--I'm sure all of us doing so on occasion--who play the part of the Pharisee in the temple, thanking God for making us so good, as compared to those other wretched sinners all around us

Luke 18:10-14
10
"Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
11
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.
12
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
13
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
14
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."


If we spent half as much time lifting each other up as we doing tearing each other down, there is no doubt in my mind that the world would be filled with "good" people. It already is of course, but in our minds that "reality" just doesn't exist, as "others" aren't allowed to be as good as we are. It is much easier for us to zero in on the passage that talks about "casting the evildoer from your midst", because that is the way the ego really likes to operate.

Probably has something to do with that "plank" in our eyes that keeps us from seeing.....   Cry

 
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 12:55:12 PM »


From the 4th chapter of the letter of St. James

Adulterers! 3 Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore,
whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
 


While I understand what the word "world" means, in the Pauline writings, I cannot
help but contrast this with the Judaic cry "L'Chaim!"  To life.  For I think that there has been
a misperception, among more than a few  Undecided Christians, in that the "world," in reality, includes many gifts that are intended,
by God, to be enjoyed, and that this misperception has ended up in an unacknowledged, thorough-going Manichaeism - ie. "flesh" is "bad" "spirit" is "good."
[as I recall, the word "sarx" is used, by St. Paul, to indicate the unruly desires of the flesh, unchecked by the exercise of virtue.]
[The lexical root of "virtue" might well constitute an interesting tributary to explore - a consideration of the theological and
psychological realities, involved in the term "virtue."]

God created human beings as body and soul.  I just think that Judaic thought
has a far fuller appreciation of this reality. God means us to enjoy, fully, His world.

From an online article:
 
"Some scholars argue that  influence [of Manichaeimsm] subtly continues in Western Christian thought
via Saint Augustine of Hippo, who converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, which he passionately
denounced in his writings. Those writings continue to be enormously influential among Catholic and Protestant theologians."

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manichaeism

Which point I have always heartily agreed with. Undecided And this, I hold, is a prime example of what happens -
when a theologian [in this case, Augustine] forsakes the images, provided by God, and takes off
on what I view as a "head trip" - generating theological "concepts" far removed from the beautiful images provided
by Deity.  To conflate worldly philosophical "concepts" with the attributes of the true God.

God told Moses  "Take off your shoes."  For his shoes would have been made from the skin of a dead animal,
and the "lifeless" was not to be brought into the Presence of Deity.  And, to me, after reading for over 40 years,
"theological constructs" are "lifeless" - and often fly in the face of "I am the Source of all that lives. Come to Me,
and I will give you life - life everlasting."  And, now that I think of it, I have always been puzzled by Christ saying
"Let the dead bury their dead."  For is not that held as a corporal work of mercy? To bury the dead. [think about that, reen.]
 Or did He mean to emphasize life?
"L'Chaim" writ large  - words spoken by the Author of life, Who holds each of us in existence, by His mere glance.

Adulterers! 3 Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?

I have not read the reference [3] yet I assume that this is used analogously.
An adulter is double-hearted. The image of adultery is also found in the Hebrew Scriptures,
as God likens the conduct of Israel to that of an adulterer, in terms of the tendency to
forsake God, to worship foreign gods.


"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."


Let's not go there, and say we did.

and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
 
The concept "two minds" occurs several times, in Scirpture.
"You cannot serve two masters."  "Blessed are the single-hearted."

To enter My Kingdom, you must be a little in heart, for a little is single hearted.


I will reflect further, on this chapter of James, later in the day, or on Saturday.


reen

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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 02:53:34 PM »

You chose the much harder part to look at Reen, and I have not given great thought to that part yet because the judgment aspect jumped out at me so strongly. I will look into that part further, and see if I can find any commentary on it as some of the imagery may not be as harsh as it sounds, understood in the context of the time and culture.

Back a little to the judgment and forgiveness side, is this passage from Sirach, Chapter 28

1
The vengeful will suffer the LORD'S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail.
2
Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
3
Should a man nourish anger against his fellows and expect healing from the LORD?
4
Should a man refuse mercy to his fellows, yet seek pardon for his own sins?
5
If he who is but flesh cherishes wrath, who will forgive his sins?


It is a message reflected many times in the gospels, from the parable of the unforgiving servant to Jesus's statements that "as you measure out to others, so it will be measured out to you". Or the statement, that if you have anything against your brother, to go reconcile first with your brother, and only then to return to offer your sacrifice to God.

The vengeful will suffer the LORD'S vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail. Of those who have been given much, much is expected. If we have been forgiven everything by the Master of the Universe, can we refuse forgiveness to the guy who cut us off in traffic? Can I really ask that my "issues"--as the reason for my own failures--be excused, while refusing to acknowledge that others have their issues?

Of course that requires that I drop my idea that other people are inherently evil and more flawed than I am. And of course I know that my assumption on that must be true....   Roll Eyes

 
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 04:11:27 PM »

Of
Quote
course that requires that I drop my idea that other people are inherently evil and more flawed than I am. And of course I know that my assumption on that must be true.... 
Roll Eyes

ooooo, I wish that you hadn't brought that up.  Undecided   One thinks of this as  The Great Dodge.  Roll Eyes

"He's worse than me, God."  [useful "deflection"?]  And God, the everlasting Parent, says, I hope, gently:

"We're not talking, here, about Charlie's behavior, we're talking about your behavior.  Let Me deal with Charlie."


And the dodge is not permitted, mostly because it wouldn't be good for us, if it were. Rats.  Angry
A key tactical "move," thwarted, by Omniscience.  Though, I would like to ask God a question. [16's question and mine, too.]

God, how come bigs go on and on, about the book of Job?  I don't get it.  For whoever wrote Job,
made You look like a big who does deflection.  You never addressed Job's questions.  You said "I'm bigger than you, that's why."
And then that book ends by saying that You gave Job other children.  I don't understand this, God.  Children are not
replacable by other children.  The whole thing sounds mean.  A big - bullying Job - and then saying that Job should
not be sick in his heart, at the loss of his sons and daughters.  I don't understand this.  That book, God, is
The Emperor's New Clothes, to me.

reen and 16




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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2007, 12:24:19 PM »


Goodness, gracious, it's quiet on the forum this weekend.

Yet I think that, sometimes, human beings need to rest and regroup.
My head is tired, and I know I need to rest.

Hope that all are having a quiet and restful weekend, and James, I
hope that you are feeling better.


reen
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 07:21:55 AM »

Reen:  Yet I think that, sometimes, human beings need to rest and regroup.
My head is tired, and I know I need to rest.


This was a little bit dated, but it echoed my feelings after a busy Easter weekend.  I tried to read a few threads here with hopes of sharing, but my head wouldn't cooperate ... still sleepy, I guess.  Getting better, though, as I reflected on this one:

ncjohn: If we spent half as much time lifting each other up as we doing tearing each other down, there is no doubt in my mind that the world would be filled with "good" people.

James is one of the most challenging epistles for me to take a hard look at how well I am "living" as a follower of Jesus.  He is one of my favorites because meekness was not always easy for him, either, being known as ferocious "Son of Thunder."  So when he speaks, I am inclined to listen, because he's been there, done that.

I sense with John that much of our tearing another down stems from judging, not knowing the ins and outs of their whole person.  So often we take license to ourselves to brand another as wrong, evil, stupid, sinner ... and mentally castigate them as an outsider.  And our egos are easily bruised when somebody dares to send an affront our way.  We forget the Easter message.  St. James was keenly perceptive that our tongues are the most difficult part of us to bridle and control.

Because he was so enabled by grace to overcome and write this beautiful epistle, I take courage from him.  John's words above reminded me of scripture that always inspired me, and I have often reflected on it: 

Tobias 13:16
They shall be cursed that shall despise thee: and they shall be condemned that shall blaspheme thee:
and blessed shall they be that shall build thee up
18 Blessed are all they that love thee, and that rejoice in thy peace.
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2007, 07:49:19 AM »


Because he was so enabled by grace to overcome and write this beautiful epistle, I take courage from him. 


I totally agree, much as I take great courage from old bumbling Peter. I had for some reason not made the connection of James as one of the "sons of Thunder", though it certainly seems that he would have been one of those seeking one of the seats directly next to God.

And when I look at Peter, so faith-filled one moment and so utterly human in his failings the next, I can take great hope. For how many times have I stepped out of the boat with great confidence, only to see the questioning looks of those around me and suddenly doubt what I was doing and sink in despair.

I have gotten better in my "better moments" at building up. But in my less glorious moments I can still judge and tear down with the masters. It does make me feel like a hypocrite at times, spouting my message of peace while thinking "what is it about this you don't get, you blooming idiot?"  Embarrassed

I'm glad you stumbled across this one Carole, as James is always a good reminder to me about judging people and to look for the good to build up.

John
 
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2007, 09:28:14 AM »

I do not know the deciples as you guys speak of them with much more clairity and personalization.

I do know that of the deciples, there must be a certain strength in each of them to be chosen by Jesus himself.

I have always been Drawn to Peter (Simon Peter) for the simple glances i have seen in the few movies i am versed in.

So close, yet so falable...this struggle to do good, yet stumble calls to my heart.

The faith Jesus has in him is great, and when a task is before me, all i can think of is that i can not do this.

Yet he would not place it before me if he felt i could not. His faith is stronger, and that makes me pick up my cross.


A terrible needy feeling, and i do not know what drives this in me, but the minute i feel someone believe in me, i am strengthened.

Be it a cyber friend here, a wisper in my prayers, or a bold faced message...why do i need this so much?

If i knew this, i might be able to stop this sensless messing up for this approval.


But in Peter, i hope to learn more of how he handled it.


Lana
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2009, 09:39:11 AM »

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/james/james4.htm

James Chapter 4

1
1 Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions 2 that make war within your members?
2
You covet but do not possess. You kill and envy but you cannot obtain; you fight and wage war. You do not possess because you do not ask.
3
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
4
Adulterers! 3 Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God? Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5
Or do you suppose that the scripture speaks without meaning when it says, "The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy"? 4
6
But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." 5
7
So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
9
Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection.
10
Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11
Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. 6 If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
12
There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?
13
7 Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town, spend a year there doing business, and make a profit"--
14
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow. 8 You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.
15
Instead you should say, "If the Lord wills it, 9 we shall live to do this or that."
16
But now you are boasting in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17
So for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin. 10


Footnotes
1 [1-12] The concern here is with the origin of conflicts in the Christian community. These are occasioned by love of the world, which means enmity with God (4). Further, the conflicts are bound up with failure to pray properly (cf Matthew 7:7-11; John 14:13; 15:7; 16:23), that is, not asking God at all or using God's kindness only for one's pleasure (James 4:2-3). In contrast, the proper dispositions are submission to God, repentance, humility, and resistance to evil (James 4:7-10).

2 [1-3] Passions: the Greek word here (literally, "pleasures") does not indicate that pleasure is evil. Rather, as the text points out (James 4:2-3), it is the manner in which one deals with needs and desires that determines good or bad. The motivation for any action can be wrong, especially if one does not pray properly but seeks only selfish enjoyment (James 4:3).

3 [4] Adulterers: a common biblical image for the covenant between God and his people is the marriage bond. In this image, breaking the covenant with God is likened to the unfaithfulness of adultery.

4 [5] The meaning of this saying is difficult because the author of Jas cites, probably from memory, a passage that is not in any extant manuscript of the Bible. Other translations of the text with a completely different meaning are possible: "The Spirit that he (God) made to dwell in us yearns (for us) jealously," or, "He (God) yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us." If this last translation is correct, the author perhaps had in mind an apocryphal religious text that echoes the idea that God is zealous for his creatures; cf Exodus 20:5; Deut 4:24; Zechariah 8:2.

5 [6] The point of this whole argument is that God wants the happiness of all, but that selfishness and pride can make that impossible. We must work with him in humility (James 4:10).

6 [11] Slander of a fellow Christian does not break just one commandment but makes mockery of the authority of law in general and therefore of God.

7 [13-17] The uncertainty of life (James 4:14), its complete dependence on God, and the necessity of submitting to God's will (James 4:15) all help one know and do what is right (James 4:17). To disregard this is to live in pride and arrogance (James 4:16); failure to do what is right is a sin (James 4:17).

8 [14] Some important Greek manuscripts here have, "You who have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Why, what is your life?"

9 [15] If the Lord wills it: often in piety referred to as the "conditio Jacobaea," the condition James says we should employ to qualify all our plans.

10 [17] It is a sin: those who live arrogantly, forgetting the contingency of life and our dependence on God (James 4:13-16), are guilty of sin.
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2009, 05:14:05 PM »

I thought about what James was saying here, Alan.
As well, I considered both developed Christian doctrine
and Judaic thought, when considering the words of James.

Is it  because one loses sight of - or never knew -
that one is a member of a priestly people, that one
forgets God?
In the midst of the movement in the world, is it easy to
forget that the profane is not to be exalted above the sacred?

The second Temple being destroyed in 70 AD,
made the words of the Psalms even more precious to His priestly people, Israel -

"…My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit. God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.”
" Let my prayer be incense before you - my uplifted hands an evening sacrifice."

And one of the hymns sung at Mass, based on a psalm, was:
"Priestly people, holy people,
God's chosen people, sing praise to the Lord."
You may have played that hymn on the organ, years ago.  Smiley

It is in this context of a priestly people that the overemphasis
on the profane [the non-sacred] is seen clearly.
One's service to the people, with whom we share the world, is in carrying out
one's priestly function.

I have always been intrigued by the thought that Judaism is not at all
a proslytizing faith.  Its members are to lead by example, being
both a priestly people and the chosen people.
Their number is tiny, but in a sense they are the Lamed vov
in our world, I think.


reen


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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2009, 07:32:55 PM »

Just for what it's worth and for reference purposes, we had actually started a discussion on chapter 4 here:  http://forums.wordsfree.org/index.php/topic,1216.0.html

There are some great comments between the two threads and I have to do some pondering on the subject again. I've found myself out in the "judgment swamp" with some at CAF in subjects that are always (unfortunately) able to wind my clock.

John
 
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2009, 09:37:41 PM »

Quote from: ncjohn
I've found myself out in the "judgment swamp" with some at CAF in subjects that are always (unfortunately) able to wind my clock.

John, I read the posts you felt may have been out in judgment swamp, and I disagree that you are 'judging.'  Rather, I see it as a call to dispel error which no doubt flows from sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, moving you to speak the truth.  This weekend, I was reading in St. Faustina's Diary and stumbled upon a passage that gave me a lot of comfort in this regard.  Although I read the entire Diary last lent, this verse escaped my attention, probably because it was not part of my focus.

1423 On a certain occasion, one of the sisters [Sister Damian Ziolek] confided to me that she wanted to choose a certain priest as her confessor. Very pleased, she shared the news with me and asked me to pray for that intention, and so I promised her to do so. During prayer, I learned that that soul would gain no spiritual profit from his direction. And then, the next time we met, she told me again of her great joy in being under his direction.
 
1424 I joined in her joy, but when she had left I was severely rebuked. Jesus told me to tell her what He had given me to know during prayer, which I did at the first opportunity, although it cost me a great deal.


When we pray specifically about something and God gives us a certain impression coming from Him, we displease Him when we dismiss it and go against what He shows us, as St. Faustina did in that instance.  As I pondered this, the scripture came to mind from Isaiah where God said that His word would not return to Him void, but accomplish the end for which He sent it. *  If we faithfully deliver that word, even if we may possibly be mistaken, the responsibility then becomes God's and He will convict the listener.  If He does not convict the other, at least we have not risked His displeasure with us by failing to bring the message we heard.  **

I think you addressed the difficulty of being a messenger on a few occasions, mentioning the hardship Jonah faced and his preference for jumping ship.  Yes, it is a heavy burden at times, but it is a mercy that one willingly bears if love is sincerely the motive for delivering the word.  I really can't identify with the notion of this being a judgment.

EDIT:  Reflecting a little further this morning after I posted this, I think it's a good point to note that St. Faustina was approached by this nun and specifically asked to pray for her intention.  In other words, St. Faustina was not busying herself in someone else's affairs on her own initiative.  I can appreciate how very difficult that must have been for Faustina to go back and correct her previous advice, possibly having to reveal that God had spoken to her previously in prayer.   

When someone posts a concern such as the one you replied to at CAF, and God lifts you in prayer as a result, then whatever outcome He inspires you to speak is not judging  the interior motive or despising the person, even though you may have discerned the matter clearly.   [And in my book, you usually have a solid finger on the pulse, John!]

(*)  Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.
(**) Isaiah 44:26 It is I who confirm the words of my servants.

Carole


« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 08:16:39 AM by Joy » Logged
Alan
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 02:12:54 AM »

Just for what it's worth and for reference purposes, we had actually started a discussion on chapter 4 here:  http://forums.wordsfree.org/index.php/topic,1216.0.html

Quote
There are some great comments between the two threads and I have to do some pondering on the subject again. I've found myself out in the "judgment swamp" with some at CAF in subjects that are always (unfortunately) able to wind my clock.

John
 
John,

My intent was to go to the next chapter for discussion, but I wasn't diligent enough to see there already was one for James 4.  Tongue

A little while ago I made the old "James 4" sticky so it stays near the top.  I also considered merging the two topics but won't just for now until I get both the old and the new thread read.  You can also do this if you want; as I said before I'm a slow reader.  Sad OTOH, going through it again might help us in one way or other.

Also I wonder if we have seen this chapter before, then maybe it makes sense to open a James 5 thread...  Smiley

Alan
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... love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 09:56:17 AM »

Thank you for you kind words, Carole. Maybe by the time I actually post something God has reconfigured at least my outward presentation. I can assure you though that before things get posted, especially in my initial reaction, that there is a fair amount of Jonah-esque grumbling going on in the background of my mind.

Your bringing up that when God presents something to us to say, that we displease Him by not speaking it brought some immediate anxiety to me. For several days I have been feeling a call to a particular post that kind of confronts an entire mindset being presented by the latest cohort of dissenters from the "traditionalist" end of the spectrum. I have so far not done it, though it has been formulated in my mind, but your timely (and coincidental  Roll Eyes) reminder tells me that I am probably going to have to try to do this today.

I have been very blessed to have had the actual experience of falling into the mercy of God, for whatever purpose He might have had. I have to constantly fight, however, the tendency to be impatient or prideful with those who have not had that blessing for whatever reason and thus have to hold on to "the Law" as their only point of security. What I experienced was not of my doing but complete gift, but my way of dealing with those who have not yet been gifted won't help them if I put them on the defensive for my own ego's entertainment rather than so God can show them His mercy also. It becomes difficult on those occasions when I read "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" and then realize how much pride I have in my "humility" at having received those graces. It brings to mind what Barb used to remind us of rather regularly about St. Francis commenting that our pride dies ten minutes after we do.

It is an incredible thing to come to the realization that being a mere worm is ok because you are His worm. I don't know that every day but it's one of those things that once you have known it you know it. the problem is that those who just don't know it yet tend to think you're nuts when you're really just so full of joy you don't know how to explain it adequately. Unfortunately the freedom that comes with that sounds like heresy to many of the rule-bound since it is so totally outside their experience.

John
 
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This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2009, 09:58:49 AM »

Alan, merging the new one on to the old one so we have everyting in one place might make sense. I'm not sure which way it should go though to keep things chronological. I can certainly do the editing to fix the flow. Do you know which may to do the merging to have it chronologically correct? I would think we should merge the new one to the old one but I'm not positive.

John,

Thanks for the suggestion.  I'll experiment a little with it and figure out which way it goes.
(time passes)
John, thank you for asking the question.  I tested "merge" this evening; it turns out it merges the two topics based on the chronology of each post, so whichiever one is used as a start post, it comes out the same.  It allows leaving the topics the same as in the posts, or assigning all posts a new name.  In this case I assigned them to "James 1".

Alan
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"Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God."
This is the effect of true charity, to be on good terms with all men, to consider no one your enemy, and to live at peace with those who hate peace.--Robert Bellarmine
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2009, 10:47:38 AM »

Quote from: ncjohn
Your bringing up that when God presents something to us to say, that we displease Him by not speaking it brought some immediate anxiety to me. For several days I have been feeling a call to a particular post that kind of confronts an entire mindset being presented by the latest cohort of dissenters from the "traditionalist" end of the spectrum. I have so far not done it, though it has been formulated in my mind, but your timely (and coincidental  ) reminder tells me that I am probably going to have to try to do this today.

A point to consider, John, is whether the initial poster had voiced concern, perhaps as a silent plea for help, or whether they were a pharisaical sounding board trying to influence the readers to adopt their point of view.   Faustina was responding to a request, but she made a mistake in siding with the other nun, as many of us do [me too], thinking it is kosher to always smile and agree and go with the flow.  Many in the TC forum, as we have discussed many times, are posting only to look down on others who are not up to their standards of holiness, as they perceive it. 

You have a very discerning heart and a most wonderful way with words, so I know your response will be wise and appropriately gentle.  The comfort I hoped to send you is to remain somewhat detached if the outcome is testy, because in the end, it is God who will confirm your words.  It may not happen at the time you write, but maybe in a quiet corner of meditation much later in the listener's life, He will bring your words back to mind.  All God asks is that we speak.  Hard stuff, though, I agree.  That's why I no longer post at CAF. 

God bless you with peace,
Carole
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