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francesco

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  1. I see that you have already obtained many excellent answers to your question concerning Jesus receiving punishment for our sins. I'll not reiterate this point further. I would like, however, to invite you to pray daily for openness to the holy spirit - the spirit of truth. Of course, written scripture as always is the primary usual source for our information regarding spiritual matters. But, daily prayer and the fostering of an openness to God's truth rendered in a direct manner (the basis of mysticism) will give you an insight not readily obtainable through intellectual avenues. In my experience this does take time and requires a fundamental change in the way we perceive truth. It is worth the effort though to be able to say we "know". May the peace and joy of Christ be with you.
  2. In my experience, being touched by the Holy Spirit can be recognized by a deeply peaceful joyous perception. For me, occasionally, the proverbial clouds break and a ray of light comes shining down. At those times, which are unfortunately too few at present and hopefully to become more frequent, I sense deeply the aforementioned peace and joy I believe to be a tiny glimpse of heaven. It's different from the typical sense of happiness associated with created things. It's easy to understand the happiness that comes with maybe getting a new car, or having a good meal, or maybe even having good friends and family. But, the peace and joy to which I refer seems to be dependent on nothing of this world. It just is. I believe this is where our true God given joy lies. It is the spirit of truth and of joy and of an abiding peace which is indescribable. It's what He wants for us. Always trust in Christ. He asks us to reject sin and to trust in Him solely for our forgiveness and our salvation. You'll know when the Holy Spirit is in you. It's not something you will have to figure out. In that state of communion there will be no doubt. Only peace and joy dependent on no created thing. Pray for the faith and hope that someday that communion will be eternally present for you. Let me know what you think about this if you get the chance. Thanks
  3. We were created by God to exist in a free, perfectly loving, eternal relationship with Him. That relationship was severed when the decision for sin was made. In His infinite love for us God became manifest in the world in the person of Jesus Christ for the purpose of reestablishing that relationship for us. During His time on earth He served as a mediating priest, as well as, a priestly sacrifice. He lived a sinless life, died on the cross in accordance with the scriptures, taking upon Him the punishment for the sins of mankind. He was raised as a new non-corrupted being signifying the satisfaction of God's wrath with humanity. He invites us to reject sin and to trust in Him solely for our forgiveness. By rejecting sin and trusting in Him we are ushered into a new life, imperfectly while here on earth, and perfectly after death in heaven . What a joyous message! In a few hours we Christians will acknowledge the reality of the miraculously risen Christ; our very salvation. I wish you all joy and peace in Christ's spirit this Easter.
  4. I'm sorry to read that you are having trouble getting along with your family. Someone very close to me has had similar problems. They grew up in an alcoholic family with many siblings (4 sisters and two brothers). As time passed some of them grew further apart and harbored resentments and anger for the others. All well on in years now and facing the reality of watching their mother slowly wind down in old age, they are beginning to see in some small way that life is short and we will not always have the opportunity to make amends or extend forgiveness. I don't know what the situation is with you and your family, but try to heed Christ's teaching regarding the necessity to forgive 70 x 7, basically forgive always and subsequently leave the door to reconciliation open. We can't always have the type of family life we'd like to have. Sometimes others make that impossible. Try to see the other's point of view. If possible, try to compromise when both people have valid perspectives. Pray for the strength to work through problems rather than walk out. Sometimes, despite our best efforts no agreement can be reached. At that point we can try to be as kind and loving of the other person as they will allow while not necessarily adopting their point of view. Life gets messy. Work to establish a personal relationship with Christ. Talk to Him every day. Open your heart to Him just like you would to an earthly trusted friend. It will change your life and show you things that you could not have imagined.
  5. As we near Easter I pray that you will all grow in faith of the risen lord who selflessly gave Himself up in a most costly manner for our salvation. I wish the peace and joy of Christ for you as we approach holy week. May we take a moment to reflect upon the great gift that has been offered to us; not because we deserve it, but because we are so infinitely loved. Thanks you Jesus.
  6. Yes, I believe that our current society poses significant hardships for those individuals attempting to bridle their concupiscent sexual appetites. Technology may be partly responsible for this in your face sort of 24 hour a day barrage of stimuli. However, this phenomenon has been present since man has walked the earth. The good news is that although seemingly difficult, we can master our domain to coin a Seinfeldian phrase. The age old practices of prayer, fasting, and doing acts of charity/alms giving can serve to function as the foundation for building a string shield. Ask for the grace of Christ in keeping centered. We will stumble on occasion by our very nature, however God will never stop loving us and supplying us with the tools we require. In time we will be strengthened in our ability to resist the onslaught. He will never abandon us.
  7. Thank you Mike 2 for your well thought out comments. These present a quite logical premise. Each time I observe a seeming contradiction in the bible I assume that I've misinterpreted or missed something somewhere. It is a deep book. Thanks again for the input.
  8. Justification by faith vs works. An age old question by now. It is true that by our own works we cannot attain salvation. Paul is quite clear on this concept in Romans and Galatians. However, we must reconcile James statement that faith without works is dead. Any thoughts?
  9. This seems like an issue that potentially can become quite serious. Ignoring it is not recommended. I would begin by attempting to establish the lines of communication between you both. Make your love of her and value of the relationship known, and work from there. If things don't flow from that point, an experienced marriage counselor might be contacted. Pray for guidance, perseverance, and peace of heart throughout. Don't despair. Others have come through worse.
  10. God often reaches us when we are at our lowest point. Never do harm to yourself. You are a child of God, whether anyone else acknowledges that is immaterial. If you are having serious feelings of depression, you might try getting help at Catholic Charities. If worse comes to worse, go to the closest hospital emergency department. They will help you. Never give up.
  11. I am so sorry that you've lost your daughter. I cannot imagine the depth of grief and yearning for contact with her that you must experience . As some previous posts have suggested it is not a good idea to attempt to contact her through mediumship. There are too many unknown spiritual forces which can be unleashed to our great detriment by opening ourselves to that world. It could be a veritable Pandora's box type of effect. In Catholic theology it is believed that we here on earth are able through prayer and various supplications to work for the salvation of those who have passed on. Although physical communication is not ordinarily possible our prayers are heard by Jesus and the saints who continue to work for the ongoing salvation of souls. Trust that the Father will provide all that we need and can ever desire. Your pain will end. Ask Jesus to grant you peace, joy, and the perseverance you require.
  12. "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Matt 12. As far as guilt before the lord, you need not feel guilt for not wanting to spend your time and energy with people who do not share your faith in Christ. Even if they are family members. Your true family, as Jesus implied, are your spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them (your family), respect them as children of God, love the player not the game, help them in whatever way they will allow WITHOUT compromising your faith or the peace and joy of Christ's presence.
  13. Dear Gary7, I feel for your difficult situation. I don't know if I can render any practically useful advice, but sometimes just having another listen to our problems with true interest and heartfelt concern can be comforting. My wife has told me this many times whenever I've felt defeated at not being able to "fix" the problem at hand. First, let me say that your compassion for your son and his girlfriend is obvious and truly admirable. Although you may not be able to make things completely right, you are acting in a loving Christlike way in trying to care for them. Taking them in, while not accepting their choice of lifestyle, is a way of setting an example of the manner in which Christ implores us to live. Life gets messy. Make your beliefs in the gospel news known to them in a no pressure sort of way, then simply love them, allowing that love to become manifest in whatever way you are able. Perhaps somewhere down the road of life your example will resonate deep within the souls of these two people and with the help of God's grace they will experience a conversion moment. Never despair. I've seen people so deeply entrenched in despair, even to the point of suicide, have their lives changed. It usually takes time; many years in my experience. But, what's a few years within the context of eternity? Practically speaking, I would look into obtaining some professional help, providing your son and girlfriend are open to it. Start by investigating what your local church may offer. There are a number of free services such as Catholic Charities that can provide guidance in this area. They can certainly provide options that you may not be aware of. Don't forget to take time for yourself. Set some time aside for quiet reflection, prayer, and centering. If you run out of energy you won't be able to do much good for anyone else. I will now say a prayer for the resolution of your situation. May you know the peace and joy of Christ's perfect love.
  14. You may be at a turning point in your life regarding your relationship with God. Try not to give in to discouragement. Keep talking to God in the privacy of your prayers. Tell Him your deepest fears and most lofty hopes. Then, be still. Be patient. Honestly yearn with your whole heart to know Him through Christ. He will answer you in a manner and time that is custom made just for you. Trust the Lord.
  15. Do not worry about how full the glass is or the size of the glass. If a completely full glass is seen as a metaphor for spiritual union with God, then know that regardless of the size or present state it will be filled to the brim by the grace of God. It is our birthright; our inheritance as promised. Try with diligence to turn from sin, build the virtues, engage in acts of charity and don't worry. You're in good hands.
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