Friday, February 16, 2007

Adoration tonight!!

Adoration tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!!
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Here are some recent questions from bloggers:

Anon: “Was Jesus an Essene and if so did His life differ than from most of the people in His day? My understanding is that the Essenes really didn't interact with the rest of society.”

First of all, information about the Essenes is ambiguous and not completely reliable. From what we’ve been told, they were secretive in many ways, particularly with regards to their spirituality and devotions. They did interact with society, showing great care for the sick and welcoming strangers. They stressed asceticism and poverty which Jesus lived, so it has been assumed that Jesus was an Essene. But, that is only an assumption, and mere speculation.


HSPrincess: “God told us to go out a multiply (Genesis 9:7, i think), so why is chastity considered holy? Wouldn't God want us to procreate?”

First, let’s get our terms straight. Chastity is sexual purity, to which all persons (married, religious, single) are called. It means living sexuality in the way(s) that God intends. Living chastity means living holiness in the area of sexuality.

If you are referring to celibacy which is freely renouncing marriage, it has been deemed holy by Christ himself. Check out Mt 19:12. Jesus says that some are incapable of marriage because they have renounced it “for the sake of the kingdom”. In other words, God calls some people to sacrifice marriage for Him and His Church.

Most are called to live out what God says in Genesis, and unite as husband and wife and open to procreate. But, some are called to serve them. Celibacy frees those people (religious and single) to serve the rest (married, children, etc.)


Anon: “What is faith?”

From the Catechism (glossary): Faith
“Both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God who invites his response, and freely assents to the whole truth that God has revealed. It is the revelation of God which the Church proposes for our belief, and which we profess in the Creed, celebrate in the sacraments, live by right conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity (as specified in the ten commandments), and respond to in our prayer of faith. Faith is both a theological virtue given by God as grace, and an obligation which flows from the first commandment of God (#s 26, 142, 150, 1814, 2087).”

22 Comments:

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read and been told that Hell is, in essence, permanent estrangement from God, or, living eternally in the total absence of God. Lots of people live in that state on earth, some by choice and some not. Hell for those people will be different only in that the state is permanent with no hope of ever having communion with God. Right?

 
At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Zophiel said...

Anonymous,

I think you've got it right. What I remember from the teaching is that Hell is essentially a choice, one chooses to be estranged from God, usually due to something like Pride, which is why it's considered a "deadly sin".

I don't know that I would say any person living on Earth is completely in that condition, simply because the earth is saturated with God, like a sponge in the ocean. But I think there are people approaching that state, who continually shut out God's attempts to get through to them, because they won't let go Pride, Greed, Lust, etc. And, if they don't figure things out by the final moment, they'll like finally achieve the state of Hell in the end. Which is why we should always be praying even for our enemies, because such a fate is horrible bryond our ability to imagine, and if possible, made even worse because it is chosen.

It's the more unpleasant part of Free Will. If we are to have the ability to choose God, then we must also have the ablility to choose Not-God. The latter is Hell.

 
At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being estranged from God may usually be by choice, but not always. Some people cannot choose God because they truly lack the capacity -- they do not have the mental, intellectual, developmental (trying to find the right word) wherewithal to make the internal decision. It can come from having suffered horrendous treatment from others (spirit gets crushed)or from being born with deficiencies. But whatever the cause -- self or not -- many people are quite used to the absence of God. Hell is not going to shock them.

 
At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm dealing with this now with my husband. Many years ago my husband was abused by his pastor in a far away archdiocese. He has decided that he no longer has a relationship with God and is often angry with me for having one.
I have educated myself about the impact that this kind of abuse has on an individual and I've done all I know to aid in his recovery. I located a counselor who specializes in the treatment of those who have been abused, I have forgiven offensive behavior and I have tried my best not judge him. He's going through this period of transferrence and the recipient of his anger is the Catholic church and me. I have a busy, active life and one of the places/ways I find peace is in church, but the more I am there the angrier he becomes with me. He has begun belittling me, making fun of my commitment to my faith and pointing out all the flaws he feels make me a very much less than "holy" person- his words, not mine. My mother-in-law is further complicating things. She does not
like me, and doesn't want us to be married any longer. (Yes, she really said this) She believes that being a practicing Catholic
is a slap in her son's face. She has denounced her Catholic faith in some kind of show of support for him- something she thinks I would do if I really loved him. Funny, she was active in her faith when the abuse was actually happening and didn't report it. She worried people would think her son was gay, and I'm having a hard time forgiving her for that. I find myself "hiding" anything that is related to my faith. I wanted to go to the Adoration tonight to get myself centered, but can't think of how I can get out. Isn't that pathetic?! His counselor suggested he try going to Mass. So, last week he went, but he wouldn't go with me and the kids. He went alone and returned with this kind of self righteous anger. He felt the Archbishop's Appeal justified his anger with the church, "They only want my money." I understand that HE was the one abused, and I should have this VAST amount of compassion, but right now I feel beaten up.
This topic of abuse is still so taboo. I can't sit down to discuss with a friend what is going on. I'm worried that if I spoke to any of the priests about what has been going on it might affect the way my kids are treated. I wouldn't want one of them to be afraid to put an arm around one of my children for fear of our distrust. I feel very isolated. I know marriage involves sacrifice, but how much am I supposed to give and just what am I to sacrifice?
I know my husband isn't a bad guy, and anyone who knows him wouldn't
believe any of this is happening. Sorry for the long post and the bit of self-pity, but I feel stuck and right now I just want to run away! Living without God is indeed Hell! Watching someone you love shun God is also a kind of Hell.

 
At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they do not have the mental, intellectual, developmental (trying to find the right word) wherewithal to make the internal decision".

Excuse me???? Maybe we are busy using these faculties to SURVIVE!!!

 
At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I will definately pray for you and your family.

 
At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

One thing I don't understand is why would his counselor suggest he go to Mass when he is not comfortable with the idea of his family going?

 
At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a great day everybody! I am off to see the Franciscans!! I can't believe I am actually awake!

 
At 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering me back with the generous offering of your personal insight. I'm sure it is difficult to speak about it, but it is helpful to hear it.

I know he would benefit from some spiritual guidance too, but I know I can't make that happen for him. I simply don't know what to do to help him other than be patient and pray. If you can think of something you wish someone had said or done for you, I would be grateful for knowing. He doesn't want me to ask about anything, and when I respect that request, he accuses me of not caring. I have good reason to believe there was abuse in their family unit, and my working to help my husband heal has probably opened old wounds there. I believe this is the primary reason my mother-in-law's intense dislike for me. I pray for his family often, but do not know if they will be part of our lives any longer. I know my husband doesn't see the change in himself when his family is around, but I see it clearly. He reverts back to that hurt little boy who feels the need to act in a way that fullfills his family's view of who they think he is- an image NOT EVEN CLOSE to the man he has become. When he revisits parts of his childhood, rage and hurt ensue. Sometime I think his mother doesn't want him to heal- like she would have to accept that there was a significant problem from his childhood from which he would need to heal. So she minimizes his issues, and, instead, suggests that his behaviors/issues stem from charactor flaws rather than trauma. Even if it is acceptable to my husband, I will NOT watch it any longer. I will no longer allow his family in our home. I have sited his mother's disrepect of me as the reason, but it's really about their relationship. He is not the man he was meant to be but for the actions of one man and the reactions of his mother and father. I know he will need to reconcile this relationship at some point, but until he is ready and able, I'm not going to stand by and watch more abuse occur.

 
At 9:28 AM, Anonymous kay said...

Dear Anon (posted 2:43pm) – I was sexually abused by a priest from the ADW, not an archdiocese far way. It has taken me a long, long, time to come to the point I am at now, so I would like to offer you words of advice and encouragement, based on my personal experience.

First of all, I should note that my husband is not Catholic, and my mother-in-law doesn’t like me or the Catholic church, so I also understand that struggle as well. He takes every opportunity he can to make belittling, snarky, comments about the Church.

Please take all suggestions for counseling with a grain of salt. Some counselors may be wonderful, but they are offering SECULAR guidance. A couple of months ago, I went to the counseling practice specifically recommended by Marcia Zvara, the Director of Child Protection for the ADW, as qualified to counsel someone who had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest, and the counselor’s questions to me were, “Why don’t you leave your husband?” and “Why don’t you leave the Church?” Please. I quit after three sessions.

You need Spiritual Direction with a good, holy, devout priest. I’m not a parishioner at St. Andrew’s (um, forgive me for crashing your site), but Fr. Greg seems just the type. It will take a long time to find healing and peace. Think years, not weeks or months. You can’t change your husband, only yourself. I HIGHLY recommend the book “Men and Women are from Eden” by Mary Healy. It has a chapter called “Living the Mystery” which gives solid, practical advice about how to help live with the crosses that come with marriage. It says that even “baby steps” are pleasing to God, and will bear much fruit. It also talks about sacrifice and mutual submission in a marriage – all based on Pope JPII’s Theology of the Body. Please get this book and read it prayerfully.

Some more thoughts: Although you may not be able to get your husband to understand this at this time, it was not “the Church” that failed him, but someone supposedly serving God through the Church. Remember that Jesus handpicked 12 disciples, and of these 12, one outright betrayed Him, and 10 fled at His time of greatest suffering. There was only ONE of his handpicked disciples with Him at the foot of the cross. (But several women!)

His anger is real; there is no doubt about it. Don’t let it pull you away from the Church. God will give you the grace to get through this, if you stay close to Him. Do anything and everything you can to get to Eucharistic Adoration. I have received unbelievable amounts of wisdom, grace, and insight during Adoration. God will give you the grace to soften your husband’s anger. If you can, just be honest with your husband, say you are going to Adoration, then go. Tell him that you are going to go pray for him. That’s what I tell my husband. Total honesty about what you are doing at Church is really important. He has been betrayed by “the church,” so you need to be completely transparent about anything you do at or for the church.

Remember also that as his wife, you are able to sanctify your husband through your faith.

A final thought: I came away from the Archbishop’s appeal talk feeling as angry as your husband. (I still don’t have complete healing and peace.) The bishop won’t respond to any of my emails or phone calls about the nervous breakdown I almost had by being forced to take the VIRTUS training, even though he acknowledged that “I had had some trauma in the past.” They ignore my requests to pay for the therapy. Thank God I had to wisdom to quit after three sessions. I handwrote a note on the appeal form stating that if they wanted any money from me, they needed to first address the issue of paying for the therapy. Not that I expect them to respond . . .

You don’t have to live without God, even if your husband chooses to do so. You just need lots of love, support, and most of all, to always be open to Gods grace. It’s not going to be easy, but think of the Virgin Mother. She was chosen by God above all women, and she had it rough too. God Bless.

 
At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that the weekend your husband chose to go to Mass was the weekend when they pushed the Archbishop's Appeal so hard. I was so offended by how they did that -- going through each line on a simple form -- just a means to use guilt against people. It's so contrary to what they so often preach. I know your husband probably won't give it another try after that, but I wish he would. Mass is generally a beautiful experience.

 
At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kay,

There are no words to describe what you have gone through. But I applaud you for staying with the church and having the wisdom to see that it was not the church that failed you nor anon's husband. Your insight on how Jesus himself suffered is so true! He suffered so much! I feel so sorry for His wonderful mother who saw Her divine son be tortured and then left to die. What a cross she had to bear. Unimaginable!
No mother should have to go through what she did! Yet she never left God but was faithful to Him to the end. What an inspiration she was and still is for all of us.

I have to agree about the counselor. I know someone who went to see a counselor for the same reasons you did and she was told, the only way she was going to heal was to leave the church! My friend immediately left the counselling sessions knowing this was not going to help her in her healing nor get closer to god. On the bright side my friend is still with the church and has met and is still meeting some fine people to help her in her journey. She honestly feels someone out there is praying for her and that God is listening!:0) It is not easy and often after taking 2 steps forward three steps may be taken backwards but there will be a time when the steps will be 5 forward!

Huet

 
At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do know Fr. Greg and think very highly of him. I agree with everyone's general assessment of him- he's giving, caring, non-judgemental.... but I am a bit older than the group of people he tends to work with. I'm not a tween, teen or young adult. I think I'd die of embarrassment speaking to Fr. Mike- the vocabulary that I would need to use alone would be enough to dissolve me. I'd have a hard time facing him each Sunday. Does someone know another priest I could speak with?

 
At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

Talk to other people in your parish maybe they could suggest someone for you.



Zowie

 
At 10:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

“What is faith?”


Its knowing that you can handle your spiritual progress on your own. For a while I thought I needed a spiritual director but all I "really" needed was the confidence of handling my faith independently and I do have that confidence now. :0)


Ginger

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kat,

I would rather do it on my own than have the religious whether be it priests, nuns etc feel that they are pushed by someone else to help certain people. No one is happy that way.


Ginger

 
At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I say on my own I mean I will still go to Mass and get the sacraments.


Ginger

 
At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Marion (Mael Muire) said...

Dear "Anonymous - 'I feel very isolated'"

I am rather late to this thread, and read it late last evening. I have thinking of you since then, my dear, and about your dilemma.

Isolation is so terribly painful and debilitating, particularly when one is trying to "be there" for a spouse who is struggling with overwhelming issues.

In addition to continuing to attending Holy Mass, Adoration and other Church events, would there be any way that you could begin to attend Al-Anon meetings? Al-Anon is a program for people who are bothered by the alcohol-use or drug-use of a friend or family member. I realize it sounds completely off-base; that your feelings of isolation are not the result of any drug or alcohol use on your husband's part, but I can think of no better program to help you with the feelings of isolation and sadness that you're describing.

The Al-Anon's message is about experience, strength, and hope. It is about learning to take care of ourselves, while doing our best for the one who is suffering. And taking care of yourself would most definitely include relieving your feelings of isolation, and continuing with your Church activities, for example.

If there has ever been anyone in your life whose drug or alcohol use has ever bothered you, you qualify for receiving the fellowship, strength, and hope that this anonymous program offers. And it's free. And you'll make wonderful friends who've "been there" with troublesome family situations.

I will continue to pray for you, my dear.

www.alanon.org

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will be praying for you and for your husband. Especially praying that he comes to believe that Jesus truly has the power to heal him and renew him. You see the beauty of his soul shines forth despite all the darkness of bitter pain. All prayers that you can keep your eyes on Jesus and in doing so see more and more clearly the beautiful person that you husband is. I pray that through your eyes, your husband will the beautiful soul that he is. That he will finally be able to accept that Jesus is really who He says He is and that He does have the power to heal his hurts and pain and restore him. Jesus died not only so that the sinners could be forgiven but so that the victims could be healed and restored.

 
At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Al-Anon suggestion is ironic, as I'm an member of AA. Addiction is something I understand well. The priciples of a twelve step program have been helpful in dealing with this. Definately the ability to practice surrender has helped. It's a good thing to realize that I do not have to "battle" the things over which I have no control and can, instead, chose to give those things up to God, pray and have faith that he'll carry me through. There has beeen some addictive behavior in which my husband has engaged, and I think I've worked through MY issues with that. I'm just having a hard time with him dealing with his issues over a difficult past. The past few days my husband has been particularly hard on me. I did a few things for some other people associated with the church/school, and he really got to me about feeling stupid and foolish for doing it. Yesterday was particularly difficult and I had a hard time keeping it together. I almost lost it in front a whole group of people. Wanted to melt down but didn't. Someone mentioned baby steps- but goodness, there are days putting one foot in front of another is hard. I sound very melodratic, but expressing this helps. Thanks!

 
At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

can you delete last post- accidentally hit twice.

 

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