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Holy Feast of St. Therese 2019

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Holy Feast of St. Therese 2019

Only God can see what is in the bottom of our hearts;
we are half-blind.—St. Therese of Lisieux

Two great sins that are very common, so common in fact that they are taken lightly. Something is sinful when we fail to love as commanded by our Lord. It is something that we do to ourselves, and along with it comes a self-wounding that leads to alienation from ourselves, others, and sadly in the end, if allowed to grow in our souls, from God. Self-hatred leads to harsh judgments, and gossip about others, two great woundings’s that we do to ourselves.

I am blind in how God works in other souls. In the Christian path Jesus, first of all, tells us about Himself. He is the ‘Good-Shepherd’, who will leave the 99 righteous to seek out the one that wanders off. He does not become angry, or seek to punish the wandering lamb, but only wants to rescue and bring it back home. The wandering is done by the lamb, he needs to be found, or will die.

We are not lambs of course. When I wander, I more or less (probably less), know what I am doing, even if I do not discern where I am going. There are opposing forces at work in me. When I sin, I allow myself to be my own healer, savior, and seek to find a way out of the human condition, which is more often than not, painful, frustrating, with moments of joy, and peace. It is a hard journey for everyone.

When I begin to judge myself, it is often harsh, because it breaks another commandment, which is, I am to love myself, to love myself in truth. Self-hatred is based on a lie and leads to despondency and despair. So when I wander, I get myself in trouble.

I am blind to myself, so best to leave judgment up to God. St. Therese taught that we are never to despair of God’s love or mercy. I need to fear myself. God is not the problem, I am.

In judging another, I am more than half-blind, I am actually blind to myself. I see myself in others, it cannot be helped. I can only judge another by what is in myself. I am not talking about judging an action as wrong, but about judging another human being's place before God, the state of his or her soul, etc. I see only the surface.

When I do evil, there can be many factors involved that have their roots in my past. We are all sinned against, this causes our wounds, wraps us in chains of sin, and compulsion, which look alike but are not. When I do wrong, even if not a free act, I always wound myself deeper, and become a prisoner of what was done to me from my past. This can lead me to be harsh with others, until I learn where my anger is coming from, and begin to deal with myself, instead of looking at my reflection in others. As Jesus said: Mark, “Remove the log from your own eye before you take the splinter from the eye of another”. As we judge, so will we be judged. This is not a threat but based on the reality of how things actually work.

The Lord has come to save us from ourselves, our own hells, so to speak.

Judging, and gossip, or both sins I fall into, literally fall into. I can judge someone harshly without even knowing I am doing it. This can poison my soul.

The Lord once I take my walk with Him seriously, slowly, at the rate that I can bear, wakes me up to my own inner anger, fear, and anxiety, and how unchecked, can lead me to a life of deep suffering, because to judge another, to gossip about another, leads to alienation from others and from oneself. This is the bitter fruit of sin.

The suffering that flows from this is so pervasive that it is often looked upon as normal, even if at the same time lives are being torn apart by it. On some level, what we do to others is felt by ourselves.

So to love myself in Christ Jesus is my first concern, the rest flows from that. When mercy is received, and the grace of that understood, the need, or desire to judge others lessens, because there is more than enough to deal with within me, and at the same time to pray for the grace to love myself as the Lord commands—Br.MD

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You say humanity is sinful when they fail to love "commanded by God"!

Well, excuse me, but real love has to come natural - it has to grow as natural as a tree grows.

The tree isn't sinful just because the weather/environment doesn't allow it to grow.



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Reality isn't just black or white - in fact, reality is mostly in the grey area. ;)

Most people don't make mistakes because they are sinful - they make mistakes because they don't know what they are doing.

Love is a language of its own.

It's more about feelings and actions - and less about words.









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To say I sin means I am free, so it allows further growth.  When I do something self-destructive it wounds me, when I do something unloving to others, it wounds both of us.   To say I am a sinner means that I have the ability to open up to grace and grow.  God is love, we still struggle.  Even if we do not know why we do 'sinful' actions, it still hurts all involved. 

Like in the life review, we each will have to experience all that we have done, both good, loving, and bad and cruel, and experience it as those we brought forth joy or pain   Love demands that we grow, expand, and learn, we cannot do that unless we also understand. 

Just as we show mercy to each other, which is often not deserved, so god free gives mercy to those who understand that they need it. 

Life-Review:  One of the common experiences during a near-death experience is a brief or extended cinematic view of one’s life.  Seeing our connection to others and seeing life through the vision of another person is a powerful lesson.  During my life review, I saw into the hearts and minds of people I had not known very well.  In life, I had judged them as not particularly interesting for a variety of superficial reasons.  During my life review, I clearly witnessed that a good heart and spiritual connection made these people very beautiful and precious to God.

I learned from that one scene in my life review to connect more frequently with people around me and to see people’s hearts, not their outward appearances, their accomplishments, their money, their charisma, etc.  For instance, wealth can be a tool to bring more goodness and prosperity to many people, or it can be used to use and manipulate others. There is nothing negative about accomplishments, money, or power, but the heart matters more.   Just like the line in the song “Desperado,” it is important to remember that “The Queen of Hearts is always your best bet.”   The same applies for the King of Hearts.

My life review was quick and zeroed in only on what I should learn and what I could do better in life.   I judged myself and my actions mainly because I could see into the hearts and minds of others and observed my limited thinking.  God seemed to be guiding this life review and let me feel what I needed to feel from these scenes.  I understood that people I had written off had love and concern for my well-being, and I wished that I had been more open and kinder to them both in my thoughts and in my actions.  I saw that God sees our hearts much more than anything else.https://triciabarkernde.com/2017/10/31/the-life-review-in-a-nde/

According to the website www.nderf.com, there are four categories of life review descriptions.  “NDErs categorized them based on  1) how the life review physically happened; 2) content; 3) aftereffects; and 4) other.  Many described the life review like a re-run of a play, a film, or watching it on-screen.  Others commented on the content of the life review.  NDErs generally noted that they were the ones who judged themselves.  During the process, they saw the good, the bad, and cause and effect of their choices.  Many reported that they had a review of feelings, rather than a review of events.  Some say that their review consisted of feeling others reactions to their earthly actions.  The other large category were the aftereffects.  Not only did participants state that it was important to love and help others, but they also indicated that their relationship with God/Jesus was more important to them.  NDErs appreciated life more, and stated that it was important to have a sense of purpose.  The smallest category was ‘other’ in which NDErs reported not learning anything or they had a life review but couldn’t remember it.”  (Quote taken from www.nderf.com)

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5 hours ago, markdohle said:

To say I sin means I am free, so it allows further growth.  


Yes, I understand my friend.

We just look at this a little different. :)

I don't need to call myself a sinner in order to grow because I know I always do my best - so when I make a mistake then it isn't on purpose.

What is important to me is that I learn from my mistakes!

I think the word sinner is negative and full of repression - so I don't want to use that word about myself.


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It is about truth, we are using the 'word' differently.  Self-knowledge, leads to self-love, hence to mercy and empathy for others.   Thanks for sharing with me your wisdom.



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