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Posts Tagged ‘God’

Catholicism (and Christianity) in a Nutshell

April 9, 2014 4 comments

crucifix“There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.”- Bishop Fulton Sheen

 

There are all kinds of ways to go about discussing Catholicism and what it is. Sometimes it’s easier to go by questions that a person has, but it can also be beneficial to lay some groundwork.

Here are some of the basic tenants…

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Faith and History

March 16, 2014 Leave a comment

A few years ago, I posted a blog on Faith and Science which elicited a very logical and detailed response from a reader of the opposite opinion. I appreciated his comments because he made them in a dignified and logical way and expressed what seem to be many people’s reservations about Christianity and religion in general these days.

The first thing that I noted though, was that he wasn’t really countering my discussion on faith and science. Instead, he was addressing a separate issue of faith and history. You see, science and religion are fields which seek truth about very different aspects of the same reality. Where science seeks to understand how the universe works and how to control it, religion seeks to explain the meaning of the universe and Who or What created and already controls it. Science deals more with concrete realities while religion handles the realities that we can’t put our hands on.

History is an interesting topic because it becomes something of a meeting point for the two fields. Science uses its concrete methodologies to determine realities of the past, and many religions claim a God who has actively participated in history. Christianity, more than any other religion (that I know of), lays itself on the line in the historical stage. As a Christian, I believe in a God who sent his son, Jesus of Nazareth, as human being to live, die, rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven. If those things did not historically happen, then my faith is false. What I have noticed though, is that the larger issue is that both faith and science have tended to overstep their bounds in trying to express their discoveries about reality. As I discussed in the original post, Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, has a rap for the insistence by church leaders in various centuries that certain physical realities were revealed by God in the bible and therefore irrefutable, when God was simply using the terms and culture of the current society to express the reality of his love and faithfulness. Conversely, scientists who make discoveries or develop theories about physical realities have on occasion claimed that their work points to a reality that either has no place or no need for God. However, the philosophical implications of those statements are well beyond the expertise and field of a scientist.   When both of these flawed perspectives make their way into historical discussions, the process generally results in tainted religion, science, and history.

If you have some time, please read the blog response to my initial blog below as well as my follow-up and let me know what you think. I’m sure there is much more perspective to be added on both sides of the argument and I welcome the discussion…

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AMDG

June 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I wrote this a little while ago. I would like to say that I am a better man now, but I think the only honest assessment I can offer is that I am still a man struggling to give God glory. Each time I sin, I miss that mark. I pray this post will give my brothers and sisters in faith who read it some perspective and strength in their own struggle…

I’m a hypocrite.

I love God. At least, I say I do. I think many times I do. I want to.  But how far is my mind from Him sometimes! It struck my like a 2×4 across the face and I had to just put it in writing….

Every letter I write, every note I post, every email, every journal entry and everywhere else I can think to insert it into my life, I put the letters “AMDG”. They stand for Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. Latin words meaning “For God’s Greater Glory” or “For the Greater Glory of God.” It’s a saying that I borrowed from Jesuit tradition that I think is important for keeping perspective. I want everything that I do, say, or write to bring God glory. It’s a fitting footnote to everything in my life, because if it isn’t giving God glory, it has missed it’s mark. If you read something of mine and it doesn’t give God glory, you have either misread it, or I mistyped it.

I put it everywhere and I’m sure people see it and associate me with it, but it is the farthest thing from my mind in all of my sin, but especially with my lust that occupies so much of my thoughts. All my distorted fantasies, all my daydreams and ill-motivated internet searches. When I look into my soul and am honest with myself, it’s all for MY greater glory. I know what will give God glory, but I choose what I think will satisfy me instead. I put my “gratification” ahead of God’s glory. I know in my head that it will only bring me more emptiness, but my heart still falls for the lies. I am God’s creature,  made for His glory. The only satisfaction that I will ever find in this life is when I accept my place as His praise-giver, His servant, His son through Christ. He showed me the meaning of love when He sent His son to rescue me from my sin. He came down to my level and showed me the way home, gaining nothing but the cross for it. The King of Kings chose a crown of thorns. Immortal God accepted death. The very Armor of God is poured out and passed on to us through His pierced side. To love someone is to lay your life down for them. To put them ahead of yourself. To CHOOSE them even if you want – especially if you want – something different for your own benefit. A selfless allegiance of the heart, formed and solidified by the will.

That’s the real question I have to ask myself when I’m confronted with temptation. Do I care about my glory or God’s? Who’s it for?

AMDG

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1COR 10:31

God’s Protection

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

God always protects us when we trust in Him. Sometimes He protects us the way he protected the Israelites from the Egyptians. Sometimes He protects us the way he protected David from Goliath. And sometimes He protects us the way he protected Jesus from the Cross.

A.M.D.G.

Christian Romance

June 19, 2011 1 comment

I read this a while back and it was an important influence for the time that I took discerning my vocation. I think it’s a message that most Christians can benefit from hearing because we don’t usually look at romance in this light. let me know what you think: Read more…

A New Philosophy on Life

June 18, 2011 Leave a comment

I was listening to a testimony earlier and something the woman said really struck me. It’s nothing I hadn’t heard before, but somehow I just processed it at a different level this time… Read more…

Chris West at USNA

June 18, 2011 1 comment

During my senior year in college (2006), I was fortunate enough to have Christopher West come and speak to an open audience (both Catholics and Protestants who were interested) at my school about “God, Sex, and the meaning of Life.” He allowed us to record it and share as we saw fit, so there’s no copyright issue. Here is a link to the download if you want to check it out (about 90mb and 90 minutes long).

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/21653317/CW%20%40%20usna.wma

(note: the first voice you hear is the priest saying an opening prayer, Chris starts right after that)

also, while I still have space (over a GB), here is the link to the full video…

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fdl.dropbox.com%2Fu%2F21653317%2Fchris%2520west%2520at%2520USNA.mpg&h=84774

AMDG