Monday, May 28, 2012

On What I Owe the Triune God.

A few years ago, I was tagged for a meme. The Why I Love Jesus Meme.

The Meme went like this

I had to share 5 things I "love" about Jesus. 
My answers

WHY I LOVE JESUS.

1) HE loved me first.
2) HE suffered, was crucified, died, was buried, went to hell and back, and rose from the dead for me.
3) HE listens to me when I speak to HIM.
4) HE always answers my requests, though admittedly, He sometimes says "no"
5) HE has never forsaken me. 

The first 4 reasons are straightforward catechism rote answers.  Really they are what we are supposed to answer.  In fact I was once complemented on the perfectness of the answers.  
The last one though is not rote learned catechism. I honestly believe He has never forsaken me, not even when I walked away from Him and stayed away, wanting nothing to do with Him for those 10 years. 

Most people don't see that statement as anything other than in the ethereal idea that  God doesn't forsake His creations.  I mean how many people actually have felt and pondered what would happen if God were to just give up on us? What would happen if |He were to declare His experiment a disaster, and like the master craftsman who is disappointed with his work, tossed everything into the trash, turned out the lights and decided to start all over in the morning?

30 years ago I left the church.  I walked out the doors after mass on a Sunday morning and never went back for ten years. I spent the next ten years searching for I don't know what.  Knowledge? Truth? The future?  I still don't know.

It was 20 years ago, I started my return to the church, basically because attending Church meant the world to Bear, and he wanted to marry in the church, so for Bear, and to humour him I went back. But I told myself, that it was nothing.  But I started to believe again. My soul started to yearn for my God again.  My faith grew, without any effort on my part, actually I fought against it.  But IN the end I was back, much to my surprise. 

Then 10 years ago, just as my faith was the strongest it had ever been.  It hadn't even been that strong on my confirmation day,  I suffered  dark night of the soul; I  took up residence in a most disturbing mansion of the interior castle, a harsh spiritual dryness parched my soul- whatever is your preferred phrase. 

I came to the harsh realization that I could never be worthy of heaven.  On my own, I could never survive the struggle for my soul.  In short I came to the horrible understanding that the enemy really was waiting to snatch souls at the most simple provocation.  And for months this is where the the realization stayed. The realization of this truth gripped me a paralyzed my soul. For months I could not get past the total desolation of my soul.  I prayed more and more, and yet it felt like I was talking to the wind, the wall, the air, myself.  I stopped feeling God.  My words, my supplications were falling on non-existent ears. He had walked away from me, like I had walked away from Him.  But it wasn't the same.  Even when I had refused him, He still extended to me His protection and love and mercy. He hadn't left me alone.  Now I understood what it would have meant if he had abandoned me when I abandoned Him.

I came to the harsh and horrible realisation that I would never, on my own, be the saint God wanted me to be. I alone could not defend myself against evil.  I would never be able to atone for leaving him and for all that hell through which I dragged myself. The enemy had been there waiting.  I could have fallen so easily.  It is easy to see the enemy in his true form and say I reject you, but what about when he appears in his beautiful form.  When in disguise, can we recognize the truth before falling. 

Then I saw clearly that God was willing it all.  I had no idea if  God had ordained my spiritual suffering or just permitted it.  It didn't matter.  It brought me to the realization that God controls all. Nothing happens without God's permission.  Even when we turn away from Him.  Even when we unwittingly put ourselves in evil's path,  God protects us even as we ignore asking for His protection. And if He permits temporary suffering, it is always for the purpose for which He does everything. He does all this because He actually gives a damn about us, me, this insignificant creature put together from random atoms that found cohesiveness in this physical body.

It's been ten years since my dark night. And all I can say is:  it is very much better to have God in my life then to have Him leave.

4 comments:

salvage said...

2) HE suffered, was crucified,

So were millions of people and hardly the worst way to die. The Romans were masters of inflicting slow death on anyone who annoyed them.

>died, was buried,

Everyone dies, big deal.

>went to hell and back,

Now this is something that confuses me, where does it say he went to Hell and if he did so, why? What possible purpose did this serve?

>and rose from the dead for me.

Meaning that he didn't die and nothing was sacrificed.

And what did it do for you? You call him a savior but from what I can tell he saved you from himself / your other god.

So at best he had an unpleasant death after living a rather good life of 30 some years.

He then had a three day coma (yes, I know you say he died but since he came back to life he didn't die as death means no coming back) an alleged trip to Hell... for some reason and then got to say goodbye to all his friends and then went off to rule the universe with his father.

I don't see any sacrifice here nor do I see how all that changed anything. It would be another 30 years before anyone thought to write down the details of your god's visit (some of which are suspiciously recycled from past demigod interactions and other predated Bible stories) and another 300 years before the religion began to spread via warfare.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Now this is something that confuses me, where does it say he went to Hell and if he did so, why? What possible purpose did this serve?

I offer you this:

Matthew 12:40 draws a comparison between Jonah being swallowed by a huge fish, and Christ being three days in the earth.

Acts 2:27 and Acts 2:31 declare in effect that Hades could not hold the crucified Christ.

Two passages of 1 Peter principally have been used as a basis for the ancient doctrine.

1Peter 3:19–20 says that Jesus "went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah…."[5]

1Peter 4:6 says that the gospel was "proclaimed even to the dead…"(NRSV).

Ephesians 4:8–10 has also been understood by others[who? unknown]to suggest a Harrowing of Hell doctrine: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."


Google "Harrowing of Hell"
--Taken from WIkipedia

For these reasons it is professed not only in the general Christian "Apostle's Creed" but the more specific "Nicene Creed."


There is no other question for me to answer. I believe his died and rose. YOu say he didn't die. Since I do not accept the premise that he did not die, you make it impossible for me to answer.

HE rose from the dead, He triumphed over death which is the wage of sin.

Now having answered the only questions in your comment.

Allow me to say
Salvage: You are most definitely entitled to your opinion.

But please remember that I am a believer. And to offend ME gets you barred from my blog.

As much as your questions challenge me, I permit them, heck I even welcome them at time, even if I have no answer because you can ask something to which I should find the answer, and thereby become a better Christian.

case in point you question about going to hell and back, which is in my creed, but made me wonder how it got there made me go searching-- In having to answer you I discovered more about my creed. For that I thank you.

But>>>

Except for the question above which I answered according to my creed, your comment is nothing more than a blanket condemnation of the articles of my faith,and professions of my creed. Insult my creed again and my invitation to you will be withdrawn.

If you wish to ask respectful questions please continue, but be rude again, even while asking questions and barred you will be.

Henceforth comments will be moderated and no anonymous comments will be accepted

salvage said...

>Matthew 12:40 draws a comparison between Jonah being swallowed by a huge fish, and Christ being three days in the earth.

Why didn't he say Hell if he meant Hell? Hell is literally in the Earth?

>Acts 2:27 and Acts 2:31 declare in effect that Hades could not hold the crucified Christ.

So Jesus didn't voluntarily go there?


>1Peter 3:19–20 says that Jesus "went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah…."[5]

So Jesus went to Hell to preach to all the people being punished there for not obeying him/his god self? Why didn't he do it before they were condemned? They'd probably be more likely to believe in him if they had met him. At the time Hell must have been busting at the seams! After all the only saved would be Jews right? And they were pretty small (but active!) minority 2,000 years ago (hey, just like today!).


>There is no other question for me to answer. I believe his died and rose. YOu say he didn't die.

I say he didn't die because dead is dead, you don't get to come back from being dead. If I "die" on the operating table and the doctors bring me back I'm not going to not live the rest of my life!

>HE rose from the dead, He triumphed over death which is the wage of sin.

So... if death is the wages of sin and Jesus died does that mean he was sinful?

Babies die, are they collecting their "wages"?
And everything in the universe dies, bugs, trees, bacteria, planets, stars, everything, so everything has sinned?

And this is your "perfect" god's creation?

Weird.


<But please remember that I am a believer. And to offend ME gets you barred from my blog.

I will not take any responsibility for your offense, that is strictly your problem and if you don't want me to post here just say so and I won't.

But let the record show you invited me here.

Oh and I find it offensive you love and worship a god that is going to have everyone who doesn't think like you tortured for an eternity and that you support an organization that actively protected child abusers.

Have you actually looked into the cases? The Canadian ones at least? The Residential schools? Mount Cashel? Read the details? How they covered it up, denied it, denied that there was a cover up and then your Pope shed tears and said how terribly sorry he was? This is the same Pope that helped cover up the abuse in Europe so I can't help but feel him a tad cynical if not insincere.

Of all the silly things you believe this is the one that I really can't understand, they HURT CHILDREN. You're a mother, can you even begin to imagine what kind of monster would do such a thing? And how big a monster one would be to let it happen?

So really there is plenty of offense to go around.

You know what? Screw it, it's clear that you enjoy living in your delusions and that I'm upsetting it and I'm really not into making people unhappy even when I know they are wrong, I'll ban myself and just hope one day you make an effort to understand exactly what it is you believe, why is immaterial.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Salvage is absolutely correct I did invite him over to this blog. Folowing him on another blog was confusing, but I admit T'was my mistake. I should never have engaged him. I am too easily offended. I have none of the temperament for debate. ONe needs cold detachment for debate and I am waaay to passionate about stuff that means a great deal.

Further I've done a complete hatchet job of explaining our faith.

And I let my pride get in the way. I think from now on I'll leave the apologetics to the apologists.

I think now I understand the Canon: 1168: para 3


The Catholics shall not enter into any dispute or conferences with non-Catholics, especially public ones, without permission of the Holy See, or, in urgent case, of the Ordinary. (Canon 1325.)

In the post below
I question the meaning and significance of that particular law. Now I completely understand.

Bear and anyone else ( o all 9 of you who read this blog) the next time I engage a detractor remind me to just shut up.

O God, keep a hand over my mouth and my hands away from the keyboard the next time someone attacks my beliefs.

Scripture to keep in mind

Six things there are, which the Lord hateth, and the seventh his soul detesteth: [17] Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, [18] A heart that deviseth wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, [19]A deceitful witness that uttereth lies, and him that soweth discord among brethren. [20] My son, keep the commandments of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ***Cf:Douay-Rheims Proverbs 6: 16-20

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