In the past week i've found myself feeling that i want to understand Jesus more fully. To understand all that He has done for me/us. And what does it mean to be sons & daughters of God.
I found the term supernatural adoption to begin
my understanding. I didn't see that there was
already a thread on this.
That's the Christian paradigm, Mary Sue, though many theologians today would not restrict it to those who explicitly profess Christian faith. But in the New Testament, especially Paul, adoption was the way of speaking about how we come, through faith in Christ, to belong to God's family. A "child of God" means that one has been "born again" in Christ through faith and baptism. This teaching recognizes two kinds of connection with God: by nature, as in God's gift of existence to each of us, and by grace, as in God's gift of salvation through Christ.
In some Christian denominations, the idea of adoption of emphasized in a narrow sense as including only those who have explicit faith and belong to or are affiliated with a Christian community. The other extreme is to state that God's offer of salvation through Christ touches all people, even those who have never heard of Him, and that anyone who is faithful to the guidance of their conscience unto goodness is also saved. See Karl Rahner's teaching on "Anonymous Christians," which influenced the bishops at Vatican II, and Pope Benedict XVI as well.
Rahner was probably the most influential Catholic theologian of the 20th C.
Adoption would ideally lead to a full realisation of our position as children of God, and the inheritance that is ours as sons and daughters. This is really mind boggling because it involves the manifestation, not just of our true spiritual nature, but also of our position in Christ, which is deep in the heart of the Father. It hints at an exalted role in the universe and in spiritual realms, and the incredible power we can and will have. It's the manifestation of the true glory of the children of God that everything groans for.
Ephesians is good for this, Mary Sue.
I'm only beginning to read the Lumen Gentium .
Within it is written
...All the members ought to be molded in the likeness of Him, until Christ be formed in them.(62)" For this reason we, who have been made to conform with Him, who have died with Him and risen with Him, are taken up into the mysteries of His life, until we will reign together with Him.(63) On earth, still as pilgrims in a strange land, tracing in trial and in oppression the paths He trod, we are made one with His sufferings like the body is one with the Head, suffering with Him, that with Him we may be glorified.(64)"
I take this literally. That Christ will be
formed in us. That this was what it meant by
supernatural adopted sons and daughters of God. Phil, perhaps i use the term incorrectly for what i'm trying to say in RC terms.
I'm leaning in the direction that your going
Samson. Thanks for the suggestion about reading Ephesians.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Sue,
I've been pondering why Christianity says that
we will suffer with Christ. Does Christianity
glorify suffering?? I was raised with these type of questions. I'm sure there are things
here i don't yet understand.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Sue,
Christianity doesn't glorify suffering, but it does recognize suffering as being a common denominator amongst all human experience. Every human suffers, and through the Crucifixion God entered into human suffering and now uses it to glorify Himself, or in other words to manifest His divine presence.
Paul thank you very much for your comments.
They started me on an exploration into areas
where my understanding has been seriously lacking. Such as choosing to follow the path of
obedience & all this entails.
Good for you to be embarking on this area of study, Mary Sue. Keep us posted on how your reading and reflection is going.
I first explored the word obedience & quickly saw how closely faith & trust
are connected with obedience for me. What i came away with is that we are
all part of God's original design. How deeply loved we all are. That God creates
each of us for his purpose.. And we will know we are following God's
plan because we will be happy.
So then why the faith & trust issue. Where is this coming from? I was speaking
with a friend about the time i was terrified thinking God was going to kill me.
Right away she said, that wasn't God, that was the devil & she said he got me good.
I started to see that even as a young child i was having, for lack of other words,
encounters with evil. And how each time i get close to Christ & God there is
an attack of evil. It is not that this is coming from God but in God's wisdom'
He permits it.
I moved into the Resurrection. At a deep level i had not really unnderstood what
Jesus has done for me/us. That i had been identified with the suffering Jesus
& that i needed to let go of this. Not sure how to word this. I believe the Resurrected
Christ has always been in the deepest part of myself. It was like i had not been allowing Him
to surface & that was changing.
I started having energy shifting in my body.. I saw a nail being hammered into the middle of my forehead. It felt like something had been opened up in my brain & there was lots of energy moving around. Inbetween brow
I kept seeing the thorns around the head of Jesus. After some time energy
moved into my crown & heart, then it seemed all over.
The Holy Eucharist was understood & experienced as Holy today. For me it is a movement from trust & concept to a reality.
The path of obedience.
"Catechism Of The Catholic Church" #1776 "...For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God...His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths. "
When i read this i wanted to know more about
the proper formation of my conscience.
I spoke to my priest about the proper formation of conscience during my last confession. I told him that for such a long time I had "formed" my own conscience, making allowances for things that clearly went against Church teaching because I wanted those things to be true or right.
I no longer want to form my own conscience in that way. I find the wisdom of the church to be a far better guide to the formation of my conscience than I proved to be given my past track record. Every time I submit to the church against my own desires or intuitions I find myself more than pleasantly surprised and the wisdom of the church becomes ever more clear.
This is not an exercise of the mind, but rather a surrender of the will to Christ who forms me in ways I could never do on my own. Praise be to God.
One thing I've discovered via the same process is that things that didn't initially make sense to me, or seemed arbitrary or hard or strange, eventually revealed deeper levels of meaning. When I first began praying the rosary, for instance, I wasn't Catholic and didn't "believe" in any of the things I was saying, really. But I said them with my heart anyway, just because it felt like a nice thing to try. And it ended up being very transformative and was part of what led to my conversion. Similarly with confession, which many Catholics I knew rarely attended. After my baptism I started going regularly, even though no one encouraged it much (except the old books by saints I was reading!). I found it tremendously helpful, both psychologically and supernaturally. The practice of obedience is an act of surrender, and it will form you in ways you can't on your own, which is the point of all those sacraments and rules and such.
Conscience formation is quite a responsibility, and the Church provides us a gift in its moral teachings on a wide range of issues. The usual process of formation is to learn the teaching, and why it was given; pray about the issues at stake; if conflicted, discuss the issue with a priest or other believers; strive to put the teaching into practice; see what you learn from the experience and what's right for you.
One extreme would be to say there's no need to form conscience: just do what the Church teaches. But that's not even what the Church holds out as the ideal. Issues like abortion that are considered gravely wrong are off-limits in all circumstances, but there are many other kinds of issues that are not so black-white. One must make moral decisions of all kinds each day, and conscience is our guide to making good ones. If a believer stays close to God, they can generally trust that the Spirit is guiding them.
For last 10 days i've struggled with the intervowen natures of Mariology and Christology.
Mother Mary has only had a very minor role in my relationship with Jesus. Neither the belief nor desire to worship her are there. Respect for her is certainly there. Neither my relationship with Jesus nor my conscious have been formed along the lines of including Mariology.
Where does obedience come into play here. RC
believe one thing, Methodists believe something
else. I'm questioning my decision to have joined the RC Church. While I had read about the Church's beliefs about Mary I didn't deeply understand their significance till now.
In my area the priests are swamped since the combining of 2-3 churches to one priest & are
unable to take phone calls.
I'm not sure I understand your questions or struggle about Mariology and Christology, Mary Sue. Could you maybe elaborate a bit more?
Mary Sue as RC we do not worship Mary, and should not worship Mary and should not be encouraged by anybody to worship Mary...that would be idolatry. So if your concern is that Mary is being elevated to the place of Christ or God then I would suggest that you have perhaps misunderstood the Church's teaching on this topic or perhaps been led to believe the Church teaches something she does not regarding Mary (perhaps by non-Catholics who often think we worship Mary or elevate her to the place of Christ).
Mary lives to lead people to Christ. She prays for us and desires that we come to know and love her Son, God our Father and the Holy Spirit. Mary is the model of all saints who lead us to Christ and not to themselves.
Hope that helps. I'm also a recent convert and so I've struggled through how to understand Mary in the Catholic Faith myself, would be happy to chat some more about this with you if you like, here or via private message.
Much Love in the Lord Jesus,
That's a great answer, Jacques. Thanks.
Yes, Jacques your response was very helpful.
I'd be very happy to continue chatting with you
about Mother Mary.
Phil, part of the issue is that i am being told this is part of the contemplative/mystical journey. And that i should start developing a deep relationship with Mary. I'm not having any inner calling to do this. I feel like i'm up against a rock and a hard place on this issue. I don't see the
necessity of it as this has not been a major part of my journey up until this point.
I don't mean to be offensive to the Catholic
journey, it's just that i have been on this for many years as a non Catholic. So what I'm hearing is (and I can't say i'm hearing things correctly )is that the way Jesus has come to me isn't the right way. That as a Catholic it is done differently. And I say what!!
I don't know where you're hearing that, Mary Sue, but you don't have to be a practicing devotee of Mary to be a Catholic. As Jacques noted, we recognize her role in salvation history and we know that we can pray to her as our mother in Christ. That's not required, however.
Phil, any Lay Order of the Catholic Church I looked into so far all have a great devotion to
Mary & seem Marion to me. Like the Carmelite Family. The priest mentioned that he was from a
monastic order and all of them are Marion.
In the wee morning after i last wrote there was
a real deep shift within me. Why my resistance
to Mary surfaced & painful issues were brought forward. Then every cell was radiating flowers within my body. Major biological cleansing going on. There is now a special place in my heart for Mother Mary.
Jacques I found this today about Mother Mary &
the Catholic Church.
THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
Sounds like quite a transformation in the past couple of days, Mary Sue. Cells "radiating flowers" must be an exquisite kind of experience. Glad to hear you're warming up to Mother Mary.
So glad you've had a breakthrough with this Mary Sue. I was just telling somebody the other day that when I first contemplated becoming Catholic and what that might require regarding Mary I wasn't quite sure how it was going to work. My life was so full of Christ already that I didn't know where Mary could possibly fit. But the amazing thing is that Mary didn't take up some place in my spirit that used to belong to Christ, as though including her would mean having to take away from Him...what happened was that God opened up a whole new place within me that I didn't ever know existed, and this is the place that Mary now fills.
Mary, the Saints and Angels have become my new family, part of the unity of the Catholic family here on earth, in purgatory and in heaven...I am so grateful for all my new relatives
I pray for continued growth and depth Mary Sue
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