Posts Tagged With: God

The Five Reasons Why God Allows The Devil To Attack Us

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Many of us wonder why God would allow the devil to bother us at all. But it is actually to our own benefit.

Our successes are actually shaped many times by our numerous failures. The spiritual scars we carry are there is a reminder that nothing is ever gained in life without a little toil and effort.

”There are said to be five reasons why God allows us to be assailed by demons. The first is so that, by attacking and counter attacking, we should learn to discriminate between virtue and vice.

The Second is so that, having acquired virtue through conflict and toil, we should keep it secure and immutable.

The third is so that, when making progress in virtue, we should not become haughty but learn humility.

The fourth is so that, having gained some experience of evil, we should ‘hate it with a perfect hatred’ (cf.Ps. 139 : 22).

The fifth and most important is so that, having achieved dispassion, we should forget neither our own weakness nor the power of him who has helped us. ”

Source: St.Maximos The Confessor – Second Century On Love – Para 67 – Page 76

 

 

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Holding God Or Others Responsible For Our Suffering

In the philokalia, St.Maximos the Confessor tells us:

”The sensible man, taking into account the remedial effect of the divine prescriptions, gladly bears the sufferings which they bring upon him, since he is aware that they have no cause other than his own sin. But when the fool, ignorant of the supreme wisdom of God’s providence, sins and is corrected, he regards either God or men as responsible for the hardships he suffers.”

It’s good advice. We could however expand on holding others and God for our suffering. Sometimes we also hold men responsible for our emotional distress too. We even hold inanimate objects responsible also.

For example you often hear people say ”My wife, its her fault I’m upset, she smashed up my car pretty good last night whilst I was sleeping.”

Nobody however has the power to upset us. We are the cause of our own emotional turmoil. ”Even in the midst of being murdered?” Yes even in the midst of being murdered by someone and we know we are going to die.

Reaching those spiritual ecstatic heights though is not an easy task. It would require of us a lot of prayer and ultimately Gods responding Grace. Not that it’s not achievable it is but it’s the holding onto it that’s the hard part.

The first step is to at least realize that your wife is not the cause of your emotional distress. At least when you accept this and begin to understand it, only then can you progress and over time, your upset will diminish and your attachment to societies conditioning that you must react when someone insults you, like a candle in a container, will gradually lose its oxygen and extinguish over time.

To put it into a little more perspective, the culture around us for thousands of years tells us what is an insult and what isn’t. What is sexually attractive and what isn’t. For men in Africa, really big fat women are attractive to them. In Europe its skinny women. Why? because that’s what our cultural up bringing taught us was attractive.

It’s only when you begin to understand you’ve been conditioned by society to get upset when someone insults you, does it make it easier to navigate your emotions. However it is so ingrained in us that simply just waking up one day and saying ”I’m not going to be upset anymore when someone insults me ” isn’t going to work.

Progress in the spiritual life is all about struggle. It would take many many many years for us to shed the skin of societies influence on our behaviour.

The first step to reiterate again is for us to stop holding others responsible for our emotional reactions. I’m not saying not to hold others responsible for their actions, but our reaction towards what they’ve done. I’m also not saying we shouldn’t spring into action when someone wrongs us and correct them but it’s HOW we spring into action and with what emotions we do that with that will determine how much progress we’ve made.

It’s deep I know but its something I thought of when reading St.Maximus the Confessor and I thought I’d add my thoughts to what he said with regards to physical suffering.

 

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Moments Of Grace

Life is riddled with suffering and turmoil. For the average man like me and you who don’t live out a vocation of spiritual perfection (religious/priest) we are often not spiritually tuned in.

We are so busy trying to please the wife and kids that we really don’t even bother with prayer all that much or spiritual reading. We’ve no time for it except for the weekends. As a result of our inability to pray this means we become more worldly.

Married life therefore by saint Paul was rightly seen as the worst of all vocations because it was the toughest. Why was it the toughest? because it deprives you of God basically which you wouldn’t get if you weren’t married and all the time to focus on God.

However there are moments of Grace where God approaches us in the midst of our blindness. Have you ever seen the Shawshank Redemption? It’s a movie with a particular scene where Andy Dufrane breaks into the prison office and play a beautiful early 20th century song sung in french over the megaphones in the prison yard.

All of a sudden in this world of suffering, everyone from rapist to murderer and from petty thief to the innocent all stop in their tracks. They look up and listen with joy. For those few moments they felt so free and they forgot about their suffering for a brief moment of time.

God does this too. Like Andy Dufrane he chooses his moment to break into our minds and turn on the record. He turns up the volume enough so we can hear it and stop our daily routine or what it is we are doing at that moment in time.

The the philosophy of the world which we’ve been brainwashed by is a prison of suffering but God gives us little tastes of freedom to remind us of what is really important.

Therefore in our daily tasks in which we are not mindful of God, he will approach us enough for us to know that it’s important to hang in there with our Sunday obligation and weekly Mass. We are given moments of Grace as encouragement.

Here is the scene of Andy turning on the record and the devil coming in at the end to spoil the show haha.

 

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The Search For God Requires An Inquiring Mind

Unless we are actively looking for God we will never find him. Even though God himself says in scripture he came to those who were not seeking, such visitations are rare. 

In most cases our sudden search for God is a response to Gods Grace often obtained by the prayers of the Church. 

However, unless we are seeking, we won’t find. 

When I first decided I’d look into the whole religion, spiritual and God thing I began with Buddhism and Hinduism. I wanted to know more and so I bought as many books as one could handle upon the subject. 

I’d read the Tibetan Book of the dead. It was interesting even to this day. Stories of people’s reincarnations flooded the pages. 

I wasn’t overall interested in Christianity because it didn’t have that “other worldly” atmosphere about it. All it had was people whose lives didn’t challenge me to change mine. 

The Buddhist monks had a sort of athmosphere about them that was both challenging and out of this world. I really hated the world and I wanted a religion that offered some sort of release from it. 

It wasn’t until one night when I sat with my usual load of beer cans did I get my first ever glimpse of a Coptic orthodox monk. It was a bbc programme on an Anglican vicar who travelled the world to experience all the religions. This week he was in Eygpt with the Coptic orthodox monk. 

It was then I felt I saw the true Christianity in action. Then my mind began to wander into Christianity and so forth. 

The point I’m making is that I was a seeker. I didn’t seek God within the confines of this world of space and time. This is because I understood that he is uncreated and outside of time and space. We cannot put him under a scope. 

If we seek him in this manner then we will never find him. In fact I’d go as far as to say people who look for God in this way are not really looking for him at all. I call that kind of seeker the pretender. He’s not really seeking, just looking for an excuse to run away and hide from the honest hard work of seeking. 

The true honest seeker doesn’t just read books and listen to Holy men but actively picks up a prayer rope and tries the prayer for himself. Therefore the seeker isn’t just a bystander watching it all happen. Part of his search is in prayer because prayer calls on God to come out from behind the curtain. 

God is like a humble and shy child. Whenever a child encounters a new person it hides behind the leg of its mother smiling and nervous. It takes some time to build a relationship with the child before they will come out of hiding and play with you. 

It is the same with God but we must seek him in honesty. What prayer does is it teases God to come out and play with you, to respond to you. It is the most important tool of the search even if you’re a non believer. Most non believers reading this won’t pray but want to find God their own scientific way first. But that is the problem, they seek God on their own terms. How many of us would pick up a tooth pick to hammer in a nail? Not many. But with the right hammer we can get the job done. 

Prayer therefore is the best tool for searching. After all the books I read, praying was what got me there in the end. 

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I Have Forgotten About God

Recently I have plunged into the deep sea of so much work that I have little time to come to the surface and see the wife and kids and most of all God himself for any length of time. 

In fact I’m encountering a problem where I see everyone and everything  as an obstacle to the couple of hours time I have in front of the TV. It’s about the only energy I have the time for. 

My manager was worried that if I took the extra work with Microsoft that I’d burn myself out. I was initially going to work a 7 day week but decided against it mainly because it’s at least important to have one day off to sort my life out but most of all because for Christian reasons I don’t like working a Sunday. 

From the Monday to Saturday my hours are so evil that I do not get to confession. There is no confession on a Sunday so that option isn’t available to me. 

I do often think about God but is that enough? Perhaps considering my circumstances it will suffice I just don’t know because I am blind to the mind of God. 

What I do know is that I am like driftwood floating down the stream on a journey that leads away from God. Another description of my current predicament is that I’m like a dead fish going with the flow. 

The more and more I drift away from God, the more and more sins I commit and become forgetful of him. My forgetfulness is not one of mindfulness but rather a forgetfulness of the soul whereby my soul no longer wants to bother praying and being Christian. 

I definitely am mindful and think of/or about Jesus but I am distant and forgetful of him in virtue because I’m not actively praying. 

I don’t like it but what’s a man to do? I have to make money and it’s not easy being a slave to it and not a slave to Jesus when you’ve a family to provide for. 

I know someday the Lord will open a door for me. 

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EXCLUSIVE: Proof Of God Found In Bible

Yes you’ve read that right, an amazing study by an anonymous Irish man with no qualifications in either physics, math or any of the sciences can confirm. Please…stop…don’t close the browser..no…wait. That’s it now just keep reading.

Here is what I found:

Romans:1:20 ”For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”

You might be laughing real hard right now and not just you the atheist but the Christian also. However although St.Paul does not elaborate, I will try to demonstrate just how amazing his words are for the proof of Gods existence.

First of all as I’ve said in previous posts, atheists often view God as some sort of cause among many within the universe. If he is in the universe then he must be hiding behind a fridge somewhere in the remote suburb of Kansas although some natives there would argue that a six pack of beer does come close.

God however is not one cause among many but uncreated and exists outside of space and time. Phsyics knows that this is a universal law should anything exist outside of space and time it is uncreated.

Ok so we have that bit out of the way.

Here comes the next reasoning which is: Since something cannot come from nothing,  God ( an uncaaused, uncreated intelligent being ) created the universe and is the maker of space and time. Can the artist be his art? Of course not. Yet his handiwork can be recognised in what he makes.

I’ll give you an example. I am both a songwriter and a photographer. If I put one of my photographs on display in an exhibit alongside other artists people coming in will immediately recognise my art as it bears a remarkable resemblence of my handiwork.

Yet, when they look at my handiwork they see only but a reflection of me. There is a kind of invisible trace of my being on it as it was formed and touched by me. Even if they do not know me at all and look at it, immediately they wonder about it’s creator.

I cannot be the photograph yet the photograph points towards my very existence. It is the same with God. The universe he created cannot be God yet it points towards his existence and its been touched by him and like a wanderer through fresh snow his footsteps and presence are but what is left behind. This is not a messed up universe but according to acclaimed scientist one that is very finely tuned so much so that if even a fraction of such math were to be deleted life would simply cease to exist.

Ok so what separates the photographer from God? Why is it when people look at the photographers work do they wonder about its creator but when they look at the trees, bugs, birds and human life in all its complexity they choose not to wander about it’s creator.

That is because in the very same verse the inspired St.Paul continues :

Romans:1:21-22 ”Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. 23And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.”

What is saint Paul saying exactly? He is describing a person who refuses to contribute such handiwork to an intelligent being as someone who has a spiritual disability. These are people who have chosen against this simply because they prefer the life they lead free of Gods set of commands and moral code and want to be designers of their own.

These people by the way are ordinary people in a time when there was no big science as there is today. These are not philsophers but just ordinary working people who chose not to recognise a creator and so Paul says they changed the glory of the incorruptible God in the likeness of the image of a corrupitable man.

In other words they chose to worship the material world around them and worship each other. the house, the car, the TV set, the six pack of beers in back of the fridge and the celebrity culture. All of this became their focal point of worship and they themselves reduced God to one cause among many. If he can’t be seen hiding behind the curtain he’s not there basically.

They themselves as St.Paul says are ”Professing themselves to be wise”. In other words they’re self styled philsophers and know it alls. These kind of people still exist because whilst humans physical has changed through evolution in which man has adapted to his enviroment over the centuries, his very being and attitudes havn’t changed.

So today we have the same reptitive heresies and false notions that repeat themselves again and again. the theories are cloaked in a new garment but underneath that garment lies the naked lie that has been regurgitating itself for centuries.

Scripture testifys in the best terms I’ve ever seen for the existence of God. No physics, Math or Philsophy needed at all and its right there in one verse.

Is God one cause among many within the universe? Can the pot be its maker and vice versa or is it that the pot resembles the handiwork of the creator? If so and we don’t know him certainly it would be madness not to attribute this pot to some creator?

Is it maddness that we do not attribute such a finely formed and mathematically tuned universe to a creator or is it about time we let go of our tightly gripped egos and take that leap of faith?

The proof is there alright, but question is. . . do you have faith in the proof?

 

 

 

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My First Encounter With My Wife

When I came back to the catholic faith and realised I was too uneducated for religious life and was being turned away left right and centre I decided to think about married life and that perhaps God was calling me there. Don’t ask me why as then I didn’t have a job and no money so who in their right mind would consider me? 

Yet somehow, Gods love, calling and protection is always proven to be stronger than these things. There was no catholic girls in my vicinity and so I took to the Internet in search of someone either living that life or with a renewed desire to do so like myself. 

It was a bit weird at first and a bit of a disaster, especially with the American girls who were all after this big wedding. I always stayed clear of anyone who spoke more of the big dress and how much a wedding cost. It was not because I didn’t have the money but because I felt their heart was not in the right place. 

In my profile page on Catholic match I wasn’t quite like the others in my questionnaire. For example one of my questions for new comers was “we are at your parents for dinner. We meet for the first time with all your relatives at the table. In the duration of this I let out ( unintentional )an almighty fart. What do you do? 

Audrey unlike other girls thought this was funny and so just before I’d given up on Catholic Match I happened to come upon her profile. 

We talked for a week on the phone and we both wanted to get married. She told me her life story and especially the part where her 20s was ruined by visiting mental hospitals over her abortion and now she wanted to be Catholic again and meet a Catholic husband. 

I asked her if she’d ever been to confession before and she said no. I invited her to go and talked her through the process. She called me up the night before she was to go see the priest as she had made an appointment and told me the dream she had. The dream was that she was in the confessional box and there was a demon on the other side of the grid hissing at her and scratching its walls. 

She woke up in a sweat and called me. She said she felt too scared to go to confession now. I told her that the devil is just discouraging you from visiting confession and the only reason he is bothering you now is that you will no longer be his property but that of the Lord. The devil doesn’t bother much with people who are not working to get closer to Christ. He only pursues those of us trying to get close to Jesus. 

This is how frightened of confession the devil is. It is a serious form of exorcism and not many of us realise this. 

After this and disapproval from her secular parents to come to Ireland, she came anyway. We met opposition from the local priest who made fun of us and called us Muslims when he saw she wore a mantilla and we were quite interested in the Catholic faith. He wasn’t impressed we were getting married so soon. 

But we did get married and in November this year we will be 7 years married. We have two children aged 3 and 5 whose names are Joseph Francis ( born on feast of St.Joseph and day of Pope Francis inauguration ) and Christian Alexander . 

Unfortunately after a few years in Ireland Audrey caught hodgkins lymohoma cancer. By the time it was diagnosed it was in its last stage and had spread throughout her body. What was harder to realise was she happened to be six months pregnant. 

She went through the chemo whilst pregnant and the baby boy Joseph was delivered on time. We called him the miracle child as he had no trace of chemo inside him as was to be expected. Not one trace. 

We are here now and I begin my latest job next Monday. We love each other and believe we have been called by God. Our marriage is strengthened by God and it’s the little faith we have that keeps us going. A family that prays together stays together right? But we also need you to pray for us too. 

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Scientist Discovers Definitive Proof For Existence of God

http://youtu.be/jremlZvNDuk

Video pretty much speaks for itself. famous for his string theory, Michio Kaku finding of Gods existence has stunned many in his scientific community.

The problem atheists have that I run into time and time again is that they view God as one cause among many. That God is something to be viewed within space and time amidst all the numbers but can the pots maker also be the pot?. But because Physics knows that God is outside space and time he cannot be measured by the scientific method or to be seen within it. 

Science can only lead us to the existence of God and give pointers. Then there is the problem with scientism which is the opposite of science and the belief that if we can’t see it, study and measure it within this immediate world it doesn’t exist but the laws of physics disagree with such fundamentalism. 

Another problem for atheists is they have to argue how something comes from nothing. How all this fine tuned physics and math that even if you were to remove a hair of such we would all cease to exist. They have to argue how all that finely tuned Existence of ours even down to the fraction of a hair, could come from nothing. 

But we all know that the uncreated God is a mathematician and his physics and math are music to our ears that ring out throughout the universe. Just listen to Michio Kaku explain it all for you. 

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Do Atheists have faith? Of course they do. 

Everyone at one stage in their lives has exercised their faith. Therefore if it’s possible for an atheist to have faith in someone else’s story, including their own judgment of a situation facing them, then it’s equally possible for them to have faith in Christ. Go ahead and go up to an atheist and tell him his house is on fire with his wife and kids inside, make it sound believable and watch him gather his lawyers to make an assessment before he believes you. Will he do that? Highly doubt it. 

I say this because many atheists criticise the use of faith  and that we believe in something or someone without evidence. How many of us ever questioned the love of our wife and demanded visible evidence that she would love and serve us all the days of her life like she vowed upon the altar? We didn’t, we simply leapt into her arms, exercised our faith and said yes to marriage and yes to her love. 

Christians love of Christ therefore, does not rest upon evidence alone but an understanding, like that of a future husband who will never fully understand the mind of his wife, Christians understand that we will never come to fully know Christ but we love him regardless, have faith in his testimony as well as that of his apostles and we just throw ourselves into his arms. 

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I like To Make Money 

I like to make money, and I make little but when I do make some money I feel like a satisfied fat kid whose diet has come to an end and is now devouring that pizza. 

As much as I like to make money and desire to make more to live a comfortable life for me and my kids, I’m also afraid of it too. Many view money as a gift and even some say it’s a blessing from God ( examples: King David and Solomon ). But I view it as a heavy Cross either to sanctify us or it can even be a punishment for many who have indulged even more into their passion of greed and allowed themselves become ensnared by it. King David and Solomon were given the wisdom to see money for what is was but even this did not shelter them from abusing its power and being infected with inflated egos that saw them tower over God and throw their weight around. 

This happened King David and Solomon because we always become that which we love. If we love money then we become cold and hard as money. If our love of money and materialism outweighs that of God then it’s only natural we become like money and not like God. 

The man who has God in his heart more than his business usually is more wise with money and is generous ( but not excessive blind generosity where you just give it all away but one in which gives back to society such as good business ideas that create jobs. We only give it all away if we feel a calling to do so and enter a monastery and even then we have to be careful who we give it to ). 

There is a man I know very well who has it all and yet has nothing. He’s a multi millionaire and has worked his whole life very hard to give his kids a good life, to be that man and put all his children through college. He has done all the right things regarding his finances but he has no religion, hates giving to charity and is very indivualistic and indifferent to anyone who he doesn’t need that exists outside his immediate family. His children are the same as him for often what’s in the cat is in the kitten. They too are not religious and extremely bad mannered. They’ve never had a relationship with him becaus they were brought up by Nannys whilst their mum and dad worked to get more and more money to be the big hot shots in society and go out and party. 

Even though we cross paths sometimes because we are in an odd way related, he has a particular hatred reserved for me. Perhaps my religious side pricks his conscience who knows but we are polar opposites. I prefer to keep him at arms length and his family are that irreligious I don’t allow my kids any longer to mix with him or his family ( for what has salt water got to do with fresh?). 

I think my experience of him and many other rich people all the more reaffirms the reason why I stay close to acquiring the true riches which are the peace and love of Christ. It’s nice to have money but money without Jesus being first is like having a Carriage with no horses to lead the way. We have the carriage but with no horses we aren’t going anywhere and remain in the one spot. The horse of wisdom is Christ. 

I pray for him and Hes given me and my family such hard time but I view him as a blessing from God. Instead of thinking that person harms me and my family, I think “that person sanctifies me”. Sometimes God puts certain people into our lives to keep us on our toes. I only pray the old devil doesn’t get him and God willing would love to see him in heaven when it’s all over for us both. 

We always become that which we we love and when we love money we become cold and hard like it. God invites us to use people like the man I described as an example of how not to live our lives. I like money but people like him give me a fear of it that whilst I need it, I should also treat it like a wild lion ever ready to pounce when I’m not looking. 

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