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markdohle

A time to face our lives

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A time to stop and face our lives

Lent can be used as a time to stop running mindlessly through the day, to seek to settle down a bit and to embrace the life with all of its foibles. When listening to a reading from Pope Francis’s exhortation during lunch, he said something that gave me great pause. In fact it so struck me that I stopped eating for a few minutes. This is a quote: “The only thing that can heal the infinite sadness in man is infinite love”.

For me, this simple sentence tells me a lot about our reigning pope; he truly understands the human condition from deep personal experience. He revealed to all his deep humanity, his inner pain and loneliness and deep urgent longings for union. So yes to be human is to have a deep inner life that most of us keep hidden from others and at times through repression, from ourselves. Though it will be manifested in other ways that can cause deep pain and havoc in ones life, through addictions, depression and in our relationships with others that may end badly……for we all have urgent longings of one kind or another, but to project them on to others can be unbearable for the one who has to carry them.

So lent can be a time to face this inner pain that seeks attention and care. I find it interesting that today people give a great deal of attention to the physical and emotional and intellectual aspects of their lives, but more often than not just give lip service to the deeper component of what it means to be human. Christian have a specific way to deepen their relationship with their souls, or spirits, it is through Christ Jesus. So lent is a way to seek deeper understanding of their faith, to step out of the shallow lives that many are forced to live in order to simply survive. It is a call to slow down a bit, and to give some time to the development of a deeper relationship to what is actually more central to their existence, their relationship to what is eternal, to God.

Christians today cannot be carried by a ‘cultural faith’. Cultural imperatives, what is impressed upon us through our news, TV programs and advertisements are meant to brain wash us into submission so that we can be controlled for commercial and political reasons. Faith, if studied and pondered can help us to stand back and assess what we are being told in how to live out our lives. If we do not have a strong inner core we will be tossed about on the waves of cultural fads that are often harmful to the humanity of those who follow them.

As human beings, no matter what we believe, we are all responsible to use the mind and intelligence that has been gifted to us. Each of us will have a unique way to live out of our essential inwardness and core. For those who actively seek a loving relationship with God this could lead away from the direction that is taken by our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run. We are called to be a leaven in society, not its judges or rulers. For power corrupts. Those of us who are Catholics understand this for we have a long history of corrupt popes, though the majorities have been good and holy men. Today we Catholics are learning of the harm that is done when the essential reason of the Church’s mission is forgotten. Once the center does not hold, which for us is Jesus Christ, then fragmentation, corruption and outright evil sets in. My faith does not rest on men, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So to use Lent to ponder ones faith, allows us the freedom to not allow others to dictate to us by their failures on what we believe and seek to live out, no we look to the center, to Christ Jesus.

Edited by markdohle

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"our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

^Yes, because nations like Sweden, Norway, and Japan are on the road to oblivion.Why cannot people see the wrath of God when he sent that tsnami, and repent before it's too late?

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"our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

^Yes, because nations like Sweden, Norway, and Japan are on the road to oblivion.Why cannot people see the wrath of God when he sent that tsnami, and repent before it's too late?

I'm sorry, but that's a ridiculous notion.

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"our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

^Yes, because nations like Sweden, Norway, and Japan are on the road to oblivion.Why cannot people see the wrath of God when he sent that tsnami, and repent before it's too late?

Well actually that is not what I meant. I am all for secular societies.

Peace

Mark

I'm sorry, but that's a ridiculous notion.

Well I am actually getting used to being made out of straw LOL.

Peace

mark

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Well actually that is not what I meant. I am all for secular societies.

Peace

Mark

Then why would you think they are: "our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

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I'm sorry, but that's a ridiculous notion.

Did you read the Old Testament with a potato sack on your head?

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Then why would you think they are: "our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

Because cultures die for a reason, being shortsighted and allowing things to run down is the norm. When the inner world of our spiritual growth is lost, then the decline starts. If all people have to live for is the attainment of power, money and pleasure it leads to choas. Our business practices are short sighted, profit at all cost, no matter the harm caused not only to our environment but to the lives of those subjected to mindless entertainment and constant brain washing through commercials etc. I believe the pro choice movement is short sighted as is shown in many countries today where women or at a shortage, becasue boys are more desired the girls. So selective abortions are the norm in countries like China for instance. Corrupt politicians are short sighted, they lose touch with what they are supposed to be, servants. And yes, as a Catholic I know that when power and wealth become central church leaders or no better, in fact worse. Choices, collective ones that are often not thought through grow and their fruit is often bitter for sure. I am not saying that it is all bad, but I believe things are getting worse, becasue many don't see anything wrong.

Peace

Mark

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A time to stop and face our lives

Lent...

When listening to a reading from Pope Francis’s exhortation during lunch, he said something that gave me great pause. In fact it so struck me that I stopped eating for a few minutes. This is a quote: “The only thing that can heal the infinite sadness in man is infinite love”.

I have come to realize that, too. I'm very grateful that I have close friends with unwavering patience. And, Jesus Christ is the center of it all. Healing takes time, and it's not one-sided. So, I purchased a couple of rosaries hoping that this special way of praying would keep me in a better (loving, friendly, centered...) state of mind. Lent, for me at least, is 364 days a year. I'm always facing myself, how could I not!, especially now that I have Jesus' story/"goodness" to follow. Is it hard act to follow? You bet, and mind you, I'm not a hypocrite, but I know for a fact that I'm not perfect. To follow His footsteps is really a change of lifestyle, not in a negative sense because I'm ready for it, but in a more concrete, logical way. Who doesn't want to be kind, loving, sincere, loved, forgiving?? Thank God!, Jesus forgives infinitely, and I don't say this in a capricious manner. I know deep in my heart with tears in my eyes at times when I'm not being "Christian." There really is no place to hide from yourself, and my faith in the mix, well, I'm really asking for it, LOL -- to be "good." That's my (constant) lent.
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I have come to realize that, too. I'm very grateful that I have close friends with unwavering patience. And, Jesus Christ is the center of it all. Healing takes time, and it's not one-sided. So, I purchased a couple of rosaries hoping that this special way of praying would keep me in a better (loving, friendly, centered...) state of mind. Lent, for me at least, is 364 days a year. I'm always facing myself, how could I not!, especially now that I have Jesus' story/"goodness" to follow. Is it hard act to follow? You bet, and mind you, I'm not a hypocrite, but I know for a fact that I'm not perfect. To follow His footsteps is really a change of lifestyle, not in a negative sense because I'm ready for it, but in a more concrete, logical way. Who doesn't want to be kind, loving, sincere, loved, forgiving?? Thank God!, Jesus forgives infinitely, and I don't say this in a capricious manner. I know deep in my heart with tears in my eyes at times when I'm not being "Christian." There really is no place to hide from yourself, and my faith in the mix, well, I'm really asking for it, LOL -- to be "good." That's my (constant) lent.

Thank you for sharing my friend, well said.

Peace

Mark

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By the way, I just found this wonderful, healing rosary-website with an ongoing prayer (show). People from around the world connect to say/pray the rosary together. What a great way to use technology!, and it works for me on many levels. Here's the link:

http://www.rosary-center.org/comepray.htm

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Posted (edited)

"our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

^Yes, because nations like Sweden, Norway, and Japan are on the road to oblivion.Why cannot people see the wrath of God when he sent that tsnami, and repent before it's too late?

What nonsense... Edited by Astra00

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By the way, I just found this wonderful, healing rosary-website with an ongoing prayer (show). People from around the world connect to say/pray the rosary together. What a great way to use technology!, and it works for me on many levels. Here's the link:

http://www.rosary-center.org/comepray.htm

Nice, thank you.

Peace

Mark

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Posted (edited)

"our secular society, which is often short sighted and harmful in the long run."

^Yes, because nations like Sweden, Norway, and Japan are on the road to oblivion.Why cannot people see the wrath of God when he sent that tsnami, and repent before it's too late?

Yup, abortion, and the euthanasia of young children and the elderly are great advances in human morality.

Materialistic society creates materialist based ethics, which will always prove to be destructive and harmful to humans without a leavening of other more positive values, because we are, in large part, spiritual beings..

Sweden and Norway show basically average statistics for things like suicide, alcoholism and homicide and they are not non spiritual countries anyway. I don't see how you can use them as some form of evidence that being secular improves your quality of life. JApan has severe social problems. To prove your point you should try looking at the more atheistic societies like north korea and examine THEIR quality of life. Or ask why, as china's quality of life improves, religious participation increases there, at one of the highest rates in the world.

You do realise that only 17% of swedes say they are atheists, while about 65% are still members of the church of sweden and about 70% in total belong to one church or another This includes a reasonable number of agnostics who account for about 30% of the population.

77% of the population of Norway still belong to the church of Norway and yet

  • 22% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
  • 44% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 29% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
  • 5% answered that they "do not know".

  • Thus some members of the church are a little uncertain, but less than 30 % do not have a spiritual belief of some sort. Atheism in Norway is about the highest in any country in the world (the average is well under 20%)yet remains a relatively small minority of the population Looking at the staistics for japa is interesting religion does seem to be minimal there. Although about er 80% of people are statistically linked to the two main religions few profess to religious belief So , wha t do social indicators like suicide alcoholism and depression tell us about the health of Japanese society? Well Japan has one of the worlds highest suicide rates and suicide is actually socially acceptable there.

Edited by Mr Walker
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Yup, abortion, and the euthanasia of young children and the elderly are great advances in human morality.

Materialistic society creates materialist based ethics, which will always prove to be destructive and harmful to humans without a leavening of other more positive values, because we are, in large part, spiritual beings..

Sweden and Norway show basically average statistics for things like suicide, alcoholism and homicide and they are not non spiritual countries anyway. I don't see how you can use them as some form of evidence that being secular improves your quality of life. JApan has severe social problems. To prove your point you should try looking at the more atheistic societies like north korea and examine THEIR quality of life. Or ask why, as china's quality of life improves, religious participation increases there, at one of the highest rates in the world.

You do realise that only 17% of swedes say they are atheists, while about 65% are still members of the church of sweden and about 70% in total belong to one church or another This includes a reasonable number of agnostics who account for about 30% of the population.

77% of the population of Norway still belong to the church of Norway and yet

  • 22% of Norwegian citizens responded that "they believe there is a God".
  • 44% answered that "they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force".
  • 29% answered that "they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force".
  • 5% answered that they "do not know".

  • Thus some members of the church are a little uncertain, but less than 30 % do not have a spiritual belief of some sort. Atheism in Norway is about the highest in any country in the world (the average is well under 20%)yet remains a relatively small minority of the population Looking at the staistics for japa is interesting religion does seem to be minimal there. Although about er 80% of people are statistically linked to the two main religions few profess to religious belief So , wha t do social indicators like suicide alcoholism and depression tell us about the health of Japanese society? Well Japan has one of the worlds highest suicide rates and suicide is actually socially acceptable there.

Thank you Mr. Walker, as usual, a well thought out piece.

peace

mark

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Atheists in America are about 16% of the population. African Americans are 12% of the US population.

To look at North Korea, China, or Japan involves looking at their cultures and histories, as well. I'm not sure you could compare them to the culture of the US in terms of religion. There's too many things that have happened to take us in different directions to let us be compared on any realistic level.

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I had a lesson with a qi gong master on Thursday. As he is walking me through the standing meditations and movements he was explaining to me the spiritual but nkt religous aspects of the meditations. A cultivation of your spirit. My two year old kept interfering with the lesson, but it wasn't interfering. He was welcome. This was the first time he met my little one and they bonded instantly. He is a joyous man radiating warmth. Then later that day I met with another man who owns my building. A bitter and mean man with alcohol on his breath constantly. ( I'm moving my location soon anyway). Then I thought back to all the older people that I know. Those that were highly spiritual radiate a strength and warmth, while this that were not nearly ways were people that you did not want to be around. I'm not saying this is a statistical truth, just a personal observation. The funny thing is that I sense this same divide right here on the forums aswell. I know why people are without spiritual beliefs, I know the reasoning, but there does seem to be something missing from their humanity. A coldness and willingness to ridicule. I can't quit place my finger on it. I have seen some very religious people be this way as well, but honestly I don't think I have ever met a warm and inviting old man or woman that was non spiritual. If society does in the end by and large reject spiritual beliefs, I do not want to be around such a cold and materialistically bitter populace. It gives me chills just thinking about it. I don't think that will happen thank goodness.

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