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So I came across this without meaning to. Found it sort of interesting, I'll put the link here if anyone wants to do some reading.
It's about religion (Christian faith) and homosexuality. I'll probably look up more later when my internet is working better. But for now, this is all I have.
www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp

"The use of the notion of “sin” in this connection frequently betrays a large-scale misunderstanding. As both Jesus and Paul make almost excessively clear, they address themselves only to “sinners” and the “lost.” One should therefore view with alarm discussions of this question which, discovering that homosexuals are sinners, conclude that they are unfit for the ministry and, almost, for Christian community. Are we then necessarily to conclude that since homosexuals are sinners -- and healthy heterosexuals are less so -- that Christ died for homosexuals but not for us? Out of our own self-righteousness we therefore have condemned ourselves."

www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp

Dear God? Jesus? Anybody listening?

    So God, my Mom tells me I should pray to you since you would listen to me more than her...or so she thinks.
I do believe in you, even when I don't say "God", I've even been talking to your son lately, or to anyone who will listen really. She seems to think we're going through some kind of test, and maybe we are. I remember back in 2004 saying that life had tests and challenges, things we needed to learn so we could become who we were supposed to be, do what we were supposed to do.

    My Uncle told me a story about this woman who died and said she went to heaven. She saw all her family there, and her pets, but when she got there Jesus came up to her, hugged her and said "You have to go back." She didn't want to go back. Well Jesus said to her, and this is the part that gets to me, he said, "Let me show you what will happen if you don't go back."

     

   
 It's funny how we can spend our lives being afraid of dying, but when we actually get to that point we don't want to live in this place anymore. Why is that? Because there's supposed to be a better place after this world? This can't be the only world...can it? We say, "I don't believe it unless I see it for myself." What of the blind? They don't see anything, so how then could they believe in you? Or in fairies, or leprechauns. I know it sounds funny those last two ones but really, how can they believe if they've never seen it for themselves?

     I don't know what would happen if I weren't here, and I can't exactly say I don't plan to find out because I have no idea what tomorrow holds. Even if I never step outside of my front door. Anything could happen. To be honest I'm not sure what exactly it is I'm trying to say, but if you're there and you know me so well...then you know what's really in my heart, and I don't have to say it...but once I find the words I will. 

    

     

   Hey, sorry for my absence in this community. Anyway, I wrote out a short entry forever ago so I may as well just post what I have.

    In Henri J.M. Nouwen's The Genesee Diary I've found that in my own way, I can almost relate to some of the things he says. I know I'm not in a place surrounded by monks in an attempt to devote my time to finding God, but it seems I am spending some of my time searching for something. I may not find what I'm looking for in a book, a movie, a song, or even outside my own front door. I don't think it's something I'll find in the next five minutes, maybe not even in the next five years. 
 

   One of the things I've noticed Henri mention, is that while having the desire to be alone, he's scared to be left alone. He doesn't want everyone to forget about him. I can say I've felt that way before and still do sometimes. You want someone to notice you when you're not there. I like what he says about not running away from how we feel inside. I know I'm not the only one who has tried that one. He says, "Do not run away from your inner feelings even when they seem fearful. By following them through you will understand them better and be more free to look for new ways when the old ways run into a blank wall." Just something to think about...

 

     When it comes to Thomas Merton, I've been reading his journals again.

"You have to distinguish what is ugly in you and what is willed by you and what is ugly - or silly - and not willed. The latter is never really interesting, because it is usually quiet unreal." ~Thomas Merton

Not to seem like I'm trying to push anyone towards a certain religion, that's not at all what I'm trying to do. I just find some of these quotes interesting.

"Prayer should not only draw God down to us: it should lift us up to Him. It should not rest in His reflection (which the soul, still resting in the house of the body, finds within itself). It should rise out of the body and seek to leave this life in order to rest in Him." ~Thomas Merton

 "We talk of God when He has gone from us (we are far from Him and His nearness remains to accuse us!) we live as if God existed for our sakes, figuring that we exist for him. We forget that we are the matter and His grace is the form imposed upon us by His wisdom. Does the clay understand the work of the potter? Does it not allow itself to be formed into a vessel of election? The truth is formed in silence and work and suffering - with which we become true. But we interfere with God's work by talking too much about ourselves - even telling Him what we ought to do - advising Him how to make us perfect and listening for his voice to answer us with approval. We soon grow impatient and turn aside from the silence that disturbs us and invent the answer and the approval which will never come." ~Thomas Merton

  "When you have not found what you are looking for, you pretend in your eagerness to have found it. You act as if you had found it. You spend your time telling yourself what you have found and yet do not want." ~Thomas Merton

  "It is important, also, to be in conflict with the people you live with in order that the differences between you may be composed in sacrifice and without anger. It is a merciful relief to see someone against you and you come from solitude with an eagerness to be charitable, to be good, to give up your own self which is the thing you have grown most tired of. Whereas, when you are alone, it is sometimes difficult to see how you are going to get rid of yourself. When you are with others, an opportunity soon arises." ~Thomas Merton

 

   Well, I think that's enough quoets for now. I'll try to make another update on here soon.

~Shay

 

I don't know if I've shared this with anyone before.  I was just thinking about prayer, and why I pray. 

In middle school I was a really lonely kid, not because I didn't have friends but because I was too nervous and had too low of self esteem to feel comfortable talking to people.  During school I would pray silently, and not so that anyone around me could really tell.  It was probably a lot like meditating, and it made me feel better whenever I started to get too upset during the day.

I also used to have a phobia that my family members would die during the night.  I would lie awake in bed for hours some nights, because I couldn't get images and feelings of waking up and finding my family dead out of my head.  Praying helpedme to calm down and to let go of that.  It helped me to remember that there are times when I can't control what happens, and I'll be happier if I don't dwell on it too much.

I don't really stick to set prayers, like the Hail Mary or Our Father.  It just seems too formal.  I usually pray for help, asking that God will protect me and everybody.

I'm Catholic, and I've gone to Eucharistic Adoration a few times.  The Eucharist sits on the alter, and people can walk into the chapel and just pray.  I like it because the room is quiet and dim, where I feel most comfortable, and I reflect on different things.  I like the idea of mysticism, and when I was at adoration I felt most connected to that.  I felt calm for once.  I've thought about going again, outside of faith formtion class, but I never seem to get the chance. 

First entry!


          Hey there!
  Well I guess I'll try and get things started here entry wise. Right now I'm doing research on different religions and beliefs, keeping an open mind about it all. Think when I started out I was searching for something I could personally identify with and I haven't truly found that yet. I may not be the only one with that problem, part of why I started this community.

     Feel free to post anything you find interesting related to religion, beliefs, and things like that. Images are okay to post related to the topic, songs are okay, poems, etc. 

         Myself, I'm currently reading the Bible off and on when I can. It's hard for me to look at something like the Bible and say I do or don't disagree with it when I haven't actually taken the time to read it and try and understand it better. I do believe there is a God, not sure what else to call it, maybe a Higher Being, that watches over all of us. I pray but like some I wonder at times if my prayers are even heard.

          I'm also reading Volume two of Thomas Merton's Journals. If you don't know who Thomas Merton is, check out these links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Merton


http://www.monks.org/thomasmerton.html


http://www.merton.org/


           A couple of years ago, I had no idea who Thomas Merton even was. I was in my garage going through things since I was going to be moving soon. We'd been keeping some things for my Uncle who was in Vermont at the time. I came across these journals that were written by Thomas Merton. Me being curious I opened one up and skimmed through it. Something about it just really interested me so I set it aside to read later. I also came across the writings of  Henri J.M. Nouwen.

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


http://www.henrinouwen.org/

          If we hadn't of moved I never would have learned who they were. 

          
         I'm sure there are more writers out there I've yet to discover, spiritual writers, more books I'll eventually stumble across.

      That's it for now, hopefully more entries will be up sometime soon.

~Silenced

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