Culturally …., Spiritually…,OY!

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The Journey That is Life.

Culturally I am Italian, and of course big part of that is being Catholic with the feast days, and all that being Catholic entails. So far so good, but…

Here is where being human is a bit more complex because though I grew up Catholic, and appreciate aspects of the faith, as I was watching The Watchman this week and a few other programs I realized, not that simple.  Yes my cultural context of faith is Catholicism and I am respectful of that, will always be there to preserve the heritage.  However, yes there is a however, though I do go to Mass, I don’t pray the prayers, the rosary of the Church.  I don’t look to theology to understand the Bible necessarily, but to the Bible itself, common sense and if I can do some research on the culture of the time, context, as well as nature, the world around me.  I pray by meditating, by chanting certain Biblical related affirmations perhaps, and by talking in a prayerful state to the Trinity.  On social issues and such, I lean more with I guess Conservative Evangelical Protestants again based not on any hierarchy theology or anything like that, but common sense sense of natural order, of sovereignty of nations, separation of powers, law and order, respect for authority, for God’s natural order as he intended.  Culturally I am Catholic because I grew up with the traditions, but when the RCC takes certain stances regarding immigration and such, then I can’t align myself with that because I believe in strong law and order, borders etc….  Then I see the difference in energies between the two and it is also an interesting thing to watch, where you have often the Catholic Mass very somber, and the people in the pews not engaging, or if they are it’s robotic, mechanical, no fire in the belly so to speak.  With this culturally Catholic, but in other ways much more aligned with Evangelical Protestant what the heck is one to do?

I can handle it by appreciation.  I can appreciate the Catholic faith, part of my culture, go to Mass, help to preserve that part of my culture, the Italian churches, things like that, appreciate the Mass for its’ structure, all its’ different qualities.  However, I can still pray how my soul is called to pray because it is still praying to The Father, Son and Holy Spirit for my gifts to expand, for me to be able to have a life of abundance, creativity and make a difference in the lives of others, in society.  I can be culturally Catholic, honor the faith and culture of my ancestors because it aligns with the Bible, though some might disagree, but that is another issue, and still be true to my Conservative Evangelical True self as well.  As long as it does not violate The Word, and it helps me stay connected to the Trinity,  core that is Christ, and helps me in my life journey, then I can reconcile both.  To add to this cake of layers, I can also appreciate the Jewish holidays and such because Jesus was Jewish, the apostles were a number of them Jewish, so I can also appreciate that.  As long as what I am appreciating, a part of aligns with the Bible, not my own whims to live life as I please, doesn’t twist anything into a pretzel, not that I have anything personally against pretzels, but when it comes to the faith, no pretzels.

Amen

 

Metaphysical Look At Acts 6:8-15 and John 6:22-29

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The Journey That is Life.

From a metaphysical standpoint it is first important to know the meaning of the names of those in the Bible, what they represent.  We will begin with that.

Acts 6:8-15

Stephen means “crowned”. and thus represents the head, crown, reason, orderly thought.  Those of balance, even when the Spirit stirs in them, don’t go off in a frenzy, all  balmy, no.   They heed the stirring, but they meditate, they seek to balance the head and the heart, so there is no discord.  Stephen was presenting well thought out logical we could say “law and order” arguments, but that did not well with those of pure emotion.  Unity says it beautifully when they say:  This cry of “blasphemy” is always made by those who are put to rout by the Truth—it is their last resort. So we find in our own minds this tendency to fear that we can go too far in spiritualizing our thought and its environment. When the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, or the Spiritual Man Demonstrated, shows us that this fleshly temple must be replaced by one of incorruptible substance, which will not be under the mortal law (Moses), we are apt to halt in our upward flight. But when the illumined Stephen is brought before the whole consciousness, “All that sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” In the face of all opposition Truth shines undimmed. If we look to the New Testament and to Christ we see a new paradigm.

I pointed out in a previous post about the beauty of the dignity of the Catholic Mass, but there is also a beauty in the in depth reasoning of the theology of it all.  Reason must accompany faith, just like it must accompany even a dream one is to pursue.  The New Testament takes us from Law of the Flesh, what in metaphysics is referred to as Mortal Law to Spiritual Law. Now the law of God, in and through Christ, Salvation is written in the heart, and the sacrifices etc.. are Christ centered not me centered.  Even though Stephen knew he had reason on his side, he got goaded into a fight, false accusations against him came up and he got goaded into full emotional outpouring and “I’ll show you” kind of thing.   It’s easy for that to happen to us, when one or the other, the head alone or the heart alone rule the moment etc..  What this is meant to show us is that we must never be goaded into going into either mode, pure academic or pure emotion.  Rather there must be a coming together of the head and the heart, which I will say is not an easy thing, far from it and is a lifelong journey of grasping.  However it is worth making the effort.

 

John 6:22-29

Substance, where does that come from? Think about the process of something coming to life.  First you have the idea, the thought, then you might write it down, or speak it to someone, then after that it begins to take shape in the physical realm of things.  God spoke it all into existence, the Word was with Him, was then made flesh.  That means God had this idea in his head already for creating a world.  It originated in God’s psyche.  Christ is the eternal life and bread sent to us, and we are to gnaw on him, which you can imagine seemed pretty barbaric to some, that notion.  The holiness of God, the wonders of the creator, the teachings of Christ, in Context please, not just hippie love kind of context.  He was clear about law and order, adhering to God’s moral laws, and sinning no more, so let’s keep that in mind always.  We must live in full consciousness that we are created by the Word of God, and the great gift given in Christ in the Word made flesh who willingly, this is key, willingly gave his life so we could gnaw and have eternal life, always have that sacred Christ to look upon dead, buried, resurrected as an example of God’s amazing grace.

Every Life Has Potential!

By Jordan Sheppard, LCA sophomore – Her Aunt Kerris always took little Monica to Santa Monica’s New Shiloh Baptist Church. Even though Aunt Kerris was not wealthy, she always gave 50 cents to her niece to buy something after service from the local store. Things were cheap back in the 70s and 80s, so you […]

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