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Having heard your responses about me doing some Biblical commentaries for our mutual benefit I think it's worthwhile to discuss which parts might be worthwhile.

Now there are certainly your old standbys (1 & 2 Samuel, David, Solomon, Christ, Apostles, etc) and in them we can learn something new. Yet there is also the possibility of doing more obscure passages/stories that challenge us, forcing us to confront aspects of Scripture/God that we are unsure or uncomfortable in confronting.

So what's your take? Are there any passages, sections, pericopes, or books that you'd like to discuss together, examine more closely?


Let me know,

M

P.S.

You may have noticed some quick responses. These are because I felt for the question in question that a brief answer was preferable for the time being.
  • Listening to: Eric Clapton
  • Reading: Greek NT

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TESM
Matthew
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Current Residence: Chicago

Favorite style of art: Realism, pointillism

Personal Quote: 'To mislead one's friends to the truth is the greatest injustice.' (Plato)
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:icontesm:
TESM Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks
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:iconskygal333:
skygal333 Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Hey you had a forum about Catholicism and I was hoping to ask you some questions (not sure where the post is now though).  

Venial sin means injuring a relationship with god, right?  You won't go to hell cause it wasn't a moral sin?
I've heard purgatory when people mention the above but I'm not entirely sure what that is or what it means.
And is there a particular way to pray?  Or is it sort of free-verse?
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:icontesm:
TESM Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for your questions. I wrote a longer response but it got lost. Perhaps that's God's way of saying that that's not what I needed to write or you needed to read.

I'll be a bit briefer. Questions like these are always best served with knowing a little about the person asking: are you Catholic? Do you pray at all? Any information would be helpful. You may answer them or not, here or in a note.


All sin injures our relationship, but mortal sins (as the name implies) gravely hurts our relationship. I think, however, it's important to keep in mind a few points:

-God's mercy is greater than sin. Sin, if we let it, can be a master over us because the Devil wants to make us afraid of God and become distressed. The devil wants us to believe that God will not forgive us or love us--this is what makes us a slave to sin (in my opinion). One professor said yesterday, "You've heard speak of the devil and he will come. ... Well, speak of God and He come to you even faster." A great line I hadn't thought about in that way.

-God calls us to conversion. He tells the adulturous woman, "Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more." Christ forgives us but also gives us a charge: conversion of heart. If you can recognize your sin that's a grace. God allows us to see our faults not to be depressed about them but to recognize our need for God. We all fail and sin, me especially.

But if we, little by little, can grow in love and keep God close then we grow to be more like Him too. It's not easy, and there are many disappointments. But little changes produce big changes over time. If you feel like your trapped in sin, try your best to do a little better--try to recognize your sin before you sin. And most importantly ask God and others for help if you need it. You're not alone.

-I mentioned the devil and sometimes people fear actual possession or influence. We then think, perhaps, that we need an exorcist or something dramatic. If you're Catholic we have sacraments of healing: the Eucharist, Confession. Prayer also focuses our mind on God and inspires us in ways we can't imagine.



Purgatory is a place or "purgation" or purification. If one dies in belief in God, but not radically separated from Him, he goes to Purgatory where his soul is prepared for heaven. This may be a form of pennance or acceptance of God's love. Many things keep us from fully accepting God, even if we know we love and desire Him in some way.



Prayer has many forms. There is something that speaks personally to your heart. The Church has two divisions of prayer: formal and person.

Formal prayer would be sacraments, the liturgy (Mass with liturgy of the Word [Scripture] and Eucharist). Formal prayers also like the rosary, novenas, litanies, and other organized forms of prayer. Scripture too is a sort of formal prayer. Formal prayer helps connect us to the entirety of the faithful and to recognize Christ in the lives of all men.

Personal prayer is for you, your personal conversations with God. They can be formal prayers (Our Father, Hail Mary) said for personal reasons or devotions. Devotions are saints that inspire you or methods of prayer that speak to your heart personally. Personal prayer can be a bit more free-form, but we often with time and practice settle into a method.

Sometimes I'm walking and it's a beautiful day and I say, "Thank you God." Other times I'm suffering and I pray, "Please help me, God." Other times I pray other things like that.

Likewise, for me personally, I enjoy reading Scripture especially the Old Testament. In the OT I prefer Wisdom literature (Sirach, Wisdom, Proverbs) and the Psalms. For you, perhaps another book is more meaningful. I would recommend not seeing that you have to read from page 1 to page 2000 (so to speak). Find a book that is meaningful to you and start there.



I hope that helps. Please let me know if there's anything else you'd like to know.

God bless,

M
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:iconskygal333:
skygal333 Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for clarification!
Yes I'm Catholic but I've had issues for several years including depression & anxiety.  Also, I haven't gone to church in years because praying with other people or even being in a church building gives me panic attacks.  Mostly due to some emotional scarring my dad did to me when I was younger.  My mother's Catholic but doesn't pray or go to church so I haven't had much experience past childhood. 
I just had a few questions and I'm thinking about looking into my religion a little more carefully.  Maybe I need a little religion in my life again.
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:icontesm:
TESM Jan 14, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Please feel free to ask me/send me a note when you would like.

I'll be traveling to the Holy Land (Israel) to study Scripture and prayer there and would be happy to also pray for you in these places.
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(1 Reply)
:iconartisteamane:
ArtistEamane Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey I just wanted to thank you for your courage in posting a thread for people to post questions about Catholicism.  I'm not sure I would be comfortable doing that because Catholicism is such a controversy to a lot of people. You're doing a great job representing our faith and answering all the questions (the legitimate ones lol) with respect and clarity.  God bless you! :heart:
Briana
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:icontesm:
TESM Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you.

It's not always easy, but I think how we carry ourselves in conversation is just as important as--if not more so than-- the clarity of our answers and explanations.

Thank you for expressing your faith, if not explicitly, implicitly, through your art.

God bless and Happy New Year (and Christmas--still the Octave!)!

M
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:iconartisteamane:
ArtistEamane Dec 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very true, and thank you!
Happy New Year to you as well! (And Merry Christmas!) :hug:
Briana
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:iconzucca-xerfantes:
Zucca-Xerfantes Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, I want to say thank you for putting up your dukes on behalf of Christianity. You're not alone.
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