Questioning the core basis of our religious beliefs…25 June 2017


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This year the Christian world is celebrating, or learning from, The Reformation — the great split that occurred in Christianity 500 years ago. In this commentary Brian Coyne, editor of catholica, questions whether we need to go back to the core basis of our beliefs if we are to restore unity to Christianity and the Mission and Vision of Jesus Christ?

Questioning the core basis of our religious beliefs…

by Brian Coyne

As I look back on my personal religious and spiritual journey there have been a number of fairly profound turning points. One occurred during my final years at school and early years at university which coincided roughly with the Second Vatican Council. More recently. about 12 years ago, when I was working for CathNews, I was asked to prepare a series of reflections on the Gifts and Virtues of the Holy Spirit for secondary school students for a series they ran at the time. During the course of my research for that series I came across a short quotation in the Catechism of the Catholic Church from the Eastern Saint, Gregory of Nyssa. It read simply: “The goal of the virtuous life is to become like God”. [CCC N.1803]

To this day, those words stand out to me like a beacon in a flat landscape – like the proverbial “voice from a burning bush”. They changed for me, irrevocably, what the entire religious or spiritual quest is all about. Being religious is not some quest to become pious, socially conformist, some “good or obedient little citizen — some goody-two shoes”. Looking back, I now see that as the faith of my childhood, indeed the faith of the first half of my life. But who is this “God” that Gregory of Nyssa recommends that we “become like”?[  ]


Questioning the core basis of our religious beliefs… Catholica

The Adventures of a Pilgrim – 22 June 2017


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A story taken from the book “The Adventures of a Pilgrim” about an officer who meets the pilgrim.


When I was young I was serving in the army outside in the countryside, not in the offices. I was good at my job and my senior officers loved me because I was a conscientious lieutenant. I was still young as my friends. Unfortunately, I started to drink and slowly the passion of the drink giggled inside me. When I was not under the influence of alcohol I was a regular and good officer, but when I was drinking I was unable to do anything for many days at a time. They tolerated me for a long time, but once with a lot of drink, I went badly to my commander and I was imprisoned and sentenced to the soldier’s order for three years. I was threatened with even more severe punishment if I continued to surrender to my passion this drunkenness. Despite all the penalties and threats, I could not dominate my soul and be cured of the bloated passion. I was trying but I failed every time. My uppermost disappointed of my situation decided to send me to prison prisons. When I heard this, my glass went to stop. I was absorbed in sad thoughts in the barracks, when a monk who had made money for a church came there. Every one gave him what he could. Then this man came to me and asked me why I was so sad. I told him what was happening to me, and he liked me very much for my misery and he said to me: “The same thing happened to my brother. What do you think, though, that he helped him? His spiritualist gave him a quartet with a strict rule to read a chapter without a moment’s latency whenever he felt the desire to drink. If the desire continued, he had to go into reading another chapter and another until the passion was intercepted. My brother faithfully followed the advice of his intellectual and then some time he managed to get rid of the passion of the drink. It’s been about fifteen years since then, and his lips never touched any drink. Do the same, and you will see that you too will escape from this misery. I have a quadrilateral and I will come again to bring it to you. ”


I listened to him carefully and when I finished, I said, “How can your Gospels help me since all the efforts of mine and doctors have failed to save me from the passion of the drink?” I did this because I did not know what the Gospel was and I had never read it. “Do not say that,” said the monk, “I assure you that he will help you,” and the other day brought me the Tetra’angelo.


I opened it, I took a look in it and said, “I do not take it because I will use it without knowing, like the priests, the Paleo-Slavonic language”? But the monk went on to assure me that these words in the Gospel are filled with divine grace and have divine power because they are written with what God Himself gave and revealed to the people. “It does not matter if you do not understand at first, but only proceed with careful reading. A holy monk once said: “If you do not understand the words of the Gospel of the Word of God, the evil spirits understand what you are reading and trembling.” Your passion for drinking is definitely a satanic energy. I’ll tell you something else. St. John the Chrysostom writes that even in the room where a Gospel is kept, the spirits of darkness are held out of it by his power, and there they tremble and they think much to do evil. ”


I gave a little money to the monk, I do not remember how many, and I bought the Tetrayangelos, I put it in a trunk with other things and I was there. A little bit of anxiety about the passion of the drink began to scare me. An irresistible desire to drink made me, like a crazy rush to open the trunk to get some money and run for the drink. But my eyes fell instantly on the Tetrayangelos, and at one moment, everything that my monk had told me was lurking in my mind. I opened the book and began reading from the first chapter of Evangelist Matthew. I arrived at the end of this chapter without a word, but I remembered that my monk had said: “Do not be disturbed if you do not understand what you are reading, just proceed with diligent reading.” In front, I said to my brother, I will read the second chapter. Now reading I began to somehow understand something.


So I continued the third chapter and then suddenly marked the camp’s silence. Now no one was allowed to go out and everyone had to go to sleep. When I woke up in the morning, I woke up with the unfulfilled desire to drink, but suddenly, I thought to read another chapter, in order to see, in any event, what the gospel’s effectiveness would be. I actually read it, I calmed down for a while and did not go buy a drink. He recovered the desire within me shortly, but I re-read another chapter and I felt relieved. This gave me courage, and since then every time I felt the temptation of the passion of drunkenness to take hold of me, I was reading a chapter from where I had stayed and each time I overcame the passion.


Most of all, as time went by, my situation improved, and when I finished the reading of the four Gospels, I was ending with my passion, which was moving rapidly backwards, almost no longer belonging to the past.


I was a little drunk after a while and it’s about twenty years since I did not put a drop in my mouth.


Everyone was surprised to change that. Three years later I returned to my rank, then I went ahead and finally, I went back to the promotion line that belonged to me but I had lost it because of the drink. Then I married, and I live blessed with my husband, we have all the good and glorify the God who gave us everything abundantly. We help the poor by force and we host when we can pilgrims. I also have a son, a first-class child officer. He noted, however: Since I was healed from the passion of the drink, I made a vow to read in turn, an entire Gospel of the four, every day, every twenty-four hours, until I close my eyes and leave this world .


Nothing in the world can prevent me from keeping my order every day. When I am sometimes tired, I lie down and ask my wife to read so that I will never break the rule I have established. For gratitude and glory to God, I painted this TetraJahnelo with pure silver, and I always have it with me inside my jacket pocket.

I apologize I have lost the source – this is a translation I made through Google.


Psalm 37: A Practical Manual for Life


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Discover how this psalm can help you align your life with God’s plan and live joyfully.

Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the    noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in   their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil. –Psalm 37:1-8

Source: Psalm 37: A Practical Manual for Life

Body Corporate 14 June 2017


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I used to think that those within
the body corporate had hurt and polluted me
that I must cry and wail,
forever pointing and blaming
Shaming and hating those from the Body
Who had hurt me.

I then thought to remove me from the body corporate
To create something righteous and pure.
But, alas we are the body corporate,
the larger weaker for the loss of many like us
And we the weakest split fingernails caught
in the yolk of pride and self righteousness.

We leave because we are hurt by man-made rules
cut to the quick even cut to the death of us;
But the body corporate cannot function until all the
splinters are grafted on the vine.
If our faith be strong then there is ought to fear
and we should grasp the olive branch or extend it
far across the table corporate.

We have returned, we needed company, other christians,
Wary are we of those that drove us our before
hope Lord, please Lord, let our faith be stronger.

I have not abandoned the sheep without a fold but all the stronger
from the safety of the fold I pray they survive as 72 who went and healed
and drove satan from the ramparts of heaven.

Br Andrew

Believe it or not.


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cta2bpicwith apologies to John for the full quote but I keep on losing him
I discovered
that I  was hanging on to beliefs
given me early in my life
when I had no right to believe them
given the evidence before me.
I had to learn
that no one holding a strong belief on one side of a question,
or even wishing to hold a belief on one side,
can investigate it with fairness and completeness
as if really in doubt and unbiased;
Holding on to beliefs not founded on fair inquiry
diminished me.
The sacred tradition of humanity,
I learned,
consists, not in propositions or statements
which are to be accepted and believed
based on the authority of religious clerics,
but in questions rightly asked,
in ideas which enable me to ask further questions,
and in being willing to live the questions.
The value of any beliefs
depends on their being tested day by day.
The very sacredness of humanity
imposes upon me the duty and the responsibility of testing my beliefs,
of purifying and enlarging them
 to the utmost of my power
and in leaving them in the dust
as I grow.
 A religious hierarchy that makes use of beliefs
to stifle doubt,
or to hamper the honest inquiry of people,
is guilty of sacrilege.
Eventually I hope to grow
to a point where
what someone believes is not as important
as simply being willing
to live the questions.
My Website: www.sacredtorch.com
My Blog: https://sacredtorch.blogspot.com
My Books: http://www.sacredtorch.com/index.php/johns-books
Source:  Speaking My Truth: Believe it or Not. 2017. Speaking My Truth: Believe it or Not. [ONLINE] Available at: https://sacredtorch.blogspot.com.au/2017/06/believe-it-or-not.html. [Accessed 14 June 2017].



Morning Direction From Scripture 6-11-17 — Lillie-Put


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I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. 13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light. Psalm 56:12,13 What helps you keep from slipping […]

via Morning Direction From Scripture 6-11-17 — Lillie-Put

His Whisper 10-06-17


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His Whisper

~ Listen For His Whisper ~

“Listen for His whisper, softly said

The way poets often do

Some heads were bowed

Some eyes were closed

We all knew what to do

Between the lines, try

To catch our fleeting breath

Listen for His whisper

Was all the poet said”

Thank you to everyone who has added comments to the last couple of posts! I missed you! Where have you been? Oh wait, it’s me …haven’t been here in a few days but in prayer, I received “Listen For His Whisper. I know this was God-guided and also inspired by my poet friends. The space between the lines is to stop, take a breath and get ready to listen again. If you do that, you will likely be taken to places you have never been. Only the poets have the gift.

“I will stand by my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.”

– Habakkuk 2: 1

It has taken me a very long time to realize prayer is a conversation. Often, my prayers were said robtically or so fast, I’m not even sure what I said. Prayer is a conversation with God. I have written about my struggles to quiet myself to listen. I’m getting quieter. I’m listening.

If you appreciate Discovering and Sharing Grace, please share it with your friends and family members who also might like it. Posts will not be as frequent, but in prayer, God is reminding me there is so much more to see and hear. Thank you so much for being here. I am very humbled you would take the time as there are so many blogs, so many things on our list of things to do and only so many minutes in each day. * Thank you to my poet friends! You (  )