Does God want us to sell all our possessions in order to be closer to Him?

PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I often wonder if I'm going to the gym to simply stay healthy or if it's because I want to look good for my wife. I don't know if either are sinful but I suppose they could be. I surely wouldn't work out in a gym if I worked a physical job again but those days are over because of injuries. I almost have to work out a little to stay mobile and relieve pain.

I also hear some people condemn others as sinful for just wanting to take care of bodies too though. Jesus never commanded us to stop taking care of ourselves. Do we stop brushing our teeth, cutting our hair, clipping our toenails, eating healthy, et al to be closer to God?. Is taking a shower, combing your hair, and putting on deodorant vanity or is it just normal hygiene? What about putting on moisturizer after being in the sun?

I think after a while it's easy to go to an extreme and say "I must sell all my possessions and own nothing like Jesus." Or "God will take care of me so I don't need to eat or shower and I can live on the street as long as I have God I don't need anything else."

There's a word for this but I can't remember.

I don't think any denomination, scripture, or tradition recommends these things.

What do you guys think?
 

Thomas More

Hummingbird
You're married. The monk or hermit path is already closed off to you. Staying healthy, working to provide for your family, enjoying life, and raising your children to do the same; these are all fully Godly activities. You still need to love your neighbor, pray, worship, and walk in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean you have to pursue extreme self denial.

In particular, these ordinary things are God's will. If everybody did this, society would be harmonious and the community and the nation would be blessed. The failure of a larger and larger percentage of the population doing these things is the reason the nation and the world are going to pieces.
 
A pastor once taught that the Rich Young Ruler in Matthew 19 / Mark 10 / Luke 18 was not a command to live a life of poverty. It was Jesus as the all knowing Son of God finding the "sin" or stumbling point in that mans life. He identifies Jesus as a good teacher and per his testimony lives a good life keeping the law.

However, his source of pride, was his wealth. He could keep all the commands but he couldn't truly give God everything when Jesus tested him.

Also, its worth mentioning that both Zacchaeus (Luke 19) and Nicodemus (multiple mentions) were men of great wealth. Zacchaeus is specifically mentioned as having realized salvation and while donating to the poor (half his possessions) and paying back those who he wronged, he would have still had great wealth. Nicodemus also provided a great deal of expensive preparations for Jesus' burial. He had been a sort of tertiary follower and his ability to provide at Jesus' burial indicates he retained wealth.

Bottom line, wealth is merely a tool in this life. Some wealthy people may be called to have their wealth used by God, some may never be asked. I think its what God puts on your heart and how you respond.

As far as the hygiene aspect, I've never heard of those things being advocated. I suppose some people could see John living in the desert or the statement "the Son of Man has no place to lay his head" as indicating a struggle for worldly comforts. Seeing as our bodies are a temple of Holy Spirit, I can see no rational reason to forgo hygiene.

That is of course different than vanity. Roosh actually just addressed this in his comments on the Motherhood podcast last night in that he used to go to the gym solely for the "gains" he saw in game success and other vain pursuits.
 
I often wonder if I'm going to the gym to simply stay healthy or if it's because I want to look good for my wife. I don't know if either are sinful but I suppose they could be. I surely wouldn't work out in a gym if I worked a physical job again but those days are over because of injuries. I almost have to work out a little to stay mobile and relieve pain.

I also hear some people condemn others as sinful for just wanting to take care of bodies too though. Jesus never commanded us to stop taking care of ourselves. Do we stop brushing our teeth, cutting our hair, clipping our toenails, eating healthy, et al to be closer to God?. Is taking a shower, combing your hair, and putting on deodorant vanity or is it just normal hygiene? What about putting on moisturizer after being in the sun?

I think after a while it's easy to go to an extreme and say "I must sell all my possessions and own nothing like Jesus." Or "God will take care of me so I don't need to eat or shower and I can live on the street as long as I have God I don't need anything else."

There's a word for this but I can't remember.

I don't think any denomination, scripture, or tradition recommends these things.

What do you guys think?
If a homeless man asked you for your nice coat on a cold day, would you give it to him? If someone did something really vicious to you that caused long-lasting mental and physical pain, could you forgive him/her? Many of the teachings of Christ, at least if taken at face value and not explained away, are very extreme in what they require. Jesus asks much of us...
 
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gework

Ostrich
Gold Member
Timothy 4:8: For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
I recently had a similar query, regarding the accrual of good things to yourself and what is appropriate.

The conclusion is you can have these things in moderation. The moderation is that these things should not consume you into the perverse. In terms of your appearance that is becoming a juice head or plastic surgery addict. You should not let your pleasure cause suffering to others or yourself. You should be modest in your worldly delights and not let them distract you from higher purpose.

I believe that the inversion of worldly addiction is also perverse. It is also an addiction - an addiction to self-depreciation. We typically only think people are addicted to things that bring pleasure. But their are those who are addicted to pain: bullying and abuse, self-harm, outrage, hate. It was brilliantly described in this video somewhere:


I can't find the words for it.

In terms of worldly pleasure I think the key is to make sure your relationships with the material and status are free of the sins of more: pride, gluttony, greed and lust.

So in terms of physical development that would be:

do not strut round like you are a god to women - be humble in your gifts
do not use your body to mine pleasure from the world - but give unto others by giving your enhanced body to only your wife
do not use your body to extract eye contact or more from other women - the pleasures of your body are for your wife alone

I think the dilemma of ignoring those suggested abstentions is why Hollywood people have such problems with being socially off-the-wall leftists.

The occurrence of the sins of more opens the door to the sins of woe (envy, anger and sloth). Without pride, greed, gluttony and lust there would be nothing or little to be jealous or angry or depressed about. This is true both between people, e.g. antifa are jealous of Chads; and within yourself, e.g. you cannot reconcile your worldly delights so self-depreciate (or at least virtue signal) to alleviate the dilemma.

As with anything that is sin, there is no end. Greed begets only more greed and sloth only begets more sloth. From what you have said it sounds like you are aiming to keep free of the sins of pleasure, so Satan is whispering in your ear to get you by another way. People who go down the route of self-deprecation are of no use to themselves or others. We're not meant to be down here worrying about that. I think it's amazin' that you want to look good for your wife. As long as you do it with no sin in your heart, any affliction your super-Chad frame induces in anyone else is because they are evil.

Збогом.
 

NoMoreTO

Ostrich
Short answer I would say is No. You don't have to sell all your possessions to follow Christ. But if Jesus was there and preaching, and you were seeing people healed in front of you, it would indeed make sense to leave everything behind and follow him, as following him would be immensely more important. Especially, if he told you that is what is necessary.

It is the love of money that is the problem, not the money itself, or being wealthy.

I was just thinking of this in relation to the small farm I know have. If I am paying my nephews to help me work and giving them part time jobs, if I am hiring local contractors for carpentry, electric, and custom work then that is a good thing. Working to make it a local small business that adds value to the community, and is in itself a source of community or family, how could that be bad? Well it would be bad if it went to my head, if it was all about my ego, if I operated it in a way to only serve myself in profit, and not to share those benefits and profits with other hard working people.

Money is a blessing and a responsibility. Yes, be intelligent with what you have, don't waste, but also share with those around you, give them work if they need it, even when sometimes perhaps you don't need them, think of those who have less. And if your money is too much of an attachment, as was mentioned above, then you should give it away.

The Franciscans take vows of poverty, and it would be hard to say it isn't holy.
Our Sunday Visitor: A curious band of barefoot men robed in floor-length tunics have piqued the interest of their neighbors in Fort Wayne, Ind. And that’s just what they hoped for.

The Franciscan Brothers Minor, an evangelical apostolate, follow the philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, who, after experiencing a religious conversion, renounced his patrimony and stripped himself of all worldly possessions to follow the way of Christ. Each of the brothers has chosen to shed his own form of earth-bound wealth in the present-day consumer-driven culture to bring the Word of God to their neighborhood. Read more here.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I think after a while it's easy to go to an extreme and say "I must sell all my possessions and own nothing like Jesus." Or "God will take care of me so I don't need to eat or shower and I can live on the street as long as I have God I don't need anything else."

There's a word for this but I can't remember.
Abandonment.

PART ONE

You're really talking about Attachments holding us back from intimacy with God. Understand, although Jesus singles out the Rich Young Man in that part of scripture, he also singles out many other attachments that keep souls from Him throughout the gospels, including spouses and families.

So we all have unique attachments that keep us from God, and unique Vocations we are called to. Most religious orders, like Franciscans, Missionaries of Charity or Carmelites are called to give up everything and walk that path to Jesus. For those of us called to Single or Married life, the situation is a little more complex, and involves giving up our attachments to all created things, which we are tempted to use in a disordered way (for our own pleasure) and need to learn to use them in an ordered way. Obviously, desire for wealth is one of these. But it might be fame. Or Alcohol. Or Sex.

I've been reading 'The Fire Within' by Thomas Dubay, a very well-respected Catholic Spiritual Director from the 20th Century, and he had one of the best breakdowns of St John of the Cross, and his way of 'nada' (nothing) I've yet read. Most people are turned off St John's writing because of how brutal it initially sounds - I'm to give up every pleasure? But you have to understand what he means.

I'll drastically summarise one of Dubay's chapters:

WHAT ATTACHMENT IS NOT

- experiencing pleasure in things (even intense pleasure). Pleasure was created by God, and is good.
- possessing and using things. So having wealth in itself, isn't evil, as seen by Jesus' many financial benefactors during his ministry.
- being attracted to a beautiful object or person.

WHAT ATTACHMENT IS

- willingly entertaining the self-centred pursuit of finite things sought for themselves, that is, devoid of honest direction to God, our sole end and purpose.

So, having money in itself isn't evil, if it is providing for your wife, children and ageing parents, all of whom you are obligated to care for the physical and spiritual health of. That would using your money to achieve God's will. He expects you'll have enough to generously help your neighbours who are in trouble, rather than cling to it selfishly.

Here's a passage from St John that illustrates this more often, and relates to something I said yesterday about moving your human actions up from your animal soul into your spiritual soul, where they'll become correctly-ordered, with the passions that make you choose to sin increasingly under control:

We are not discussing the mere lack of things; this lack will not divest the soul, if it craves for all these objects. We are dealing with the denudation of the soul's appetites and gratifications; this is what leaves it free and empty of all things, even though it possesses them. Since the things of this world cannot enter the soul, they are not in themselves an encumbrance or harm to it; rather, it it the will and the appetite dwelling within it that causes the damage.

I'll explain:

The appetite (passions) are in the Animal Soul, which can be influenced by the demonic.

The will is in the Spiritual Soul, which is protected from the demonic.

However, the will can be brought down to an animal level by choosing to follow our passions. (And we've all experienced this animalistic regression).

The demons will tempt us with our passions to bring us 'low', and to keep us focused in the Animal Soul so we can't have the deepening relationship with God that happens as you move into the Spiritual Soul.

What God wants us to do is to get our Passions under control of the Will, not vice versa, so the demons can't influence our behaviour.

Make sense?

THREE SIGNS OF DISORDERED USE OF ATTACHMENTS.

1. The activity or thing is diverted from the purpose God intends for it. Say, Casual Sex versus Procreation in Lawful Marriage. Using your strength to physically abuse another. Using your power of speech and intellect to lie.

2. Excess in use. If you cling to the attachment for your own pleasure beyond what God would say is necessary. Say, you have 15 different cars for you own amusement whilst your neighbour has none. Or you open a bottle of whiskey and can't stop drinking because you're drinking to get drunk. Or you overeat, long after you've stopped feeling 'hunger'.

3. Making means into ends. Our sole purpose in this life is to achieve union with the Trinity, which is a universal call to all souls no matter their vocation. Everything should lead you to God. Anything that doesn't have God as its end is us clinging to something created for our own self-centred sake. So, playing most video games isn't going to lead you to God. But playing a video game whilst listening to a religious podcast is less disordered. Choosing to read some Airport Trash Novel is self-centred, choosing to read scripture or theology is seeking God.

(cont..)
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
PART TWO

MY EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE OF THIS PROCESS

In the Early Purgative Way, I made the common error of Legalism particular to that period, and shut down all feeling of pleasure, which is not the life that Jesus wants us to live, because there's no point say, attempting to not drink caffeine by sheer force of human will. Firstly, you can still very much desire the caffeine you're willing yourself not to drink and have simply made it into a totem of forbidden pleasure; and, secondly, the human will - even that of the Saints - is incapable of doing such a thing unless God does it for the soul correctly.

God gave us pleasure because we were meant to experience pleasure. You can't live a life without joy, delight and happiness, and the fact that God gifts us Sensible Consolations (Gentle Tears, Intense Transports of Love, Ascents of Pure Joy) and Spiritual Consolations (Beyond my human language: Kind of that, but so far beyond that, and on steroids) shows us pleasure is a component part of our experiential knowledge of God.

So, how do you work on these attachments? You initially attempt to do it by force of will, in what is known as the Active Stages of the Spiritual Life. This is First Justification and the Purgative Way. Then you'll realise how weak and helpless you are to change yourself - and God smiles, knowing you finally understand your littleness - then reaches down and starts doing it for you in the Passive Stages, (The Illuminative and Unite Ways) where you just cooperate with what happens.

If you've spent a long time living a Secular, Pleasure-Based Life, your attachments are going to be deeply-unhealthy. St Paul tells us in scripture (2 Corinthians?) how to approach this. Paraphrasing: "Whatever you eat or drink, do all for the glory of God."

This is part of the reason why it's important to bless your Food before you eat it, not only for the spiritual protections involved, but you're ordering your use of food towards God. Where I am with food now is that I'll eat whatever I'm given by God in the present moment, and am just as happy with a humble meal as with a fancy one. I no longer have any strong desire for one type of dish over another.

Similarly, this process works for any attachment. You simply refer all pleasure received during an act back to God, then allow yourself to enjoy the sense pleasure as much as naturally possible.

Since the pleasure is now His, he... ends up regulating its use for you.

A basic example:

I was having a discussion with Leonard and some friends a week or two back, and mentioned that I particularly loved this song, and laughed that the Prots have the better music. I enjoy it because it does make me think of God, particularly my first Mystic Experience - Good Friday 2019 - where I stood before The All as Nothing and realised that, despite the vast distance between us and the vast difference in importance between Everything and Nothing that this Enormous Everything was reaching out to, well, a microbe, with love and concern and deeply desired to be loved by the nothing in return. The metaphor of the song gets it.


So, it's turning my thoughts to God, right? So all is good? What I found worrying was - as a musician - the song is very similar to my own work: girl / guy vocals, sweeping strings, grandiose, and that, whilst listening to it, I did experience sensibility, including tears, which seemed from my Passions rather than God, and this was a pull to the Animal Soul, as I'm otherwise becoming very stable and regulated in my sensible passions.

I put it on a thumb drive to play in the car, and, on my way to Church one evening, I talked with God that I was worried that I was chasing the high emotion produced rather than Him, and so offered Him up all my future pleasure when listening to the song.

Now, understand, I *loved* the song. But, two days later, hearing it again after Mass, I reached over, mid-song, and turned it off, wanting to be with God in the silence. God successfully detached me from it. I could now put Him first and instantly stop my use of something created when He called me to stillness.

Back when I was struggling to give up sex due to my compulsive pull towards it arising from my consciously-repressed childhood sexual abuse, I'd managed to give up physical sex, but there were moments where I had no conscious choice of the will, and would give into masturbation. What I learnt to do was, during these breakdowns, to give all pleasure received back to God. And, with that, gradually, the desire for the pleasure lessened, to the degree that I eventually would stop, and wonder what I was even attempting to do, when I was feeling no pleasure looking at pornography or through physical manipulation of my genitals, so I was just acting due to an acquired habit, and also understood that engaging in our viewing the sex act was never about sexual pleasure in itself for me, it was really just a reinforcement of my perceived lack of masculinity due to being abused as a child. Banging women - and I was proud of being known for being skilled in that area by both women and men - was simply me wanting to feel like a real man, and, I grew up in the 70's, where 'real men' were supposed to be promiscuous studs.

This is seeing reality via the Spiritual Soul. Everything is far less black and white and far more complex than the Animal Soul can perceive, and this is why giving up your attachments is so important. If you'd asked me back when I was more Animal Soul orientated, I would have told you I 'loved banging', though more crudely.

(cont)
 
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AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
PART THREE

As I've explained, God wants us to experience pleasure. Those who believe He's the Old Testament depiction of God that Jesus comes to correct have a hard time explaining this. Whilst it might seem like he's taking our toys away, He's our patient Father, and I spoke about an experience trying to give up an Antique Cross I was too attached to to one of the Nuns on here a while back, only for her to accept it with love, and tell me that, now that I had shown I was willing to part with it, it gave her great pleasure to gift it back to me.

Here's a recent example:

Early in the Purgative Way I purchased a book of Carmelite Meditations called 'Divine Intimacy', which is designed to be read over the course of a year, and trains the soul to converse with God in the language of love via the Teresian Method of Meditation, known for its rapid path to Contemplative Prayer. I bought it in a sweet spot where it had just been republished, so was affordable.

That book.

Every day, I'd meditate with it, and, almost every day, I was showered with incredible sensible consolations that were like crack to a wretched soul like myself who felt very unworthy of even stepping foot inside a church, and only happened because God bent the laws of nature twice to convince me to do so.

I was a junkie, and the book was my reliable fix to feeling loved by something far, far beyond me.

After 7 months of this, I was pulled into what is known as the Dark Night of the Senses, and these Consolations stopped, and I could no longer imagine anything, and still can't, 20 months later. But man, did I ever keep picking up that book and keep trying to will feeling good again.

You see, God wants us to love him for his own sake, not the Consolations, so cuts us off.

Every few months, I'd return to the book and, well, try again, even after learning that I would never be able to meditate again, and that all souls should grow out of it.

Back in April, I had an urge to pull the book off the shelf and take it to Church with me, then, ended up talking with a young married couple I sometimes used to see at the Carmelite Monastery, then... I guess I was used by God to teach them about the Teresian Method of Prayer, because I have no idea where everything I said came from, but I was shocked at how much I apparently knew, and found myself giving the book to them, with love.

The woman was shocked, and said she could buy it. But I said it was OK, I needed to let go of it, and explained the need for giving up attachments to them. (And didn't want to tell her it's now usually going for about $180 online).

I felt proud of myself when I left for being able to do so, and then of course God humiliated me for my pride. Three days later, I was kicking myself for giving up what really is a fantastic book to give others in the early purgative way, so I did this ridiculous rationalisation / justification process for the next couple of days where I started scouring the online rare books sites. "Well, let's say I could find one for $80. That would prove God wants me to get another copy."

I eventually found one incredibly cheap, and ordered it, telling myself "Well, $100 is cheap enough that I must be meant to have it back."

Meanwhile, I'm sure God was laughing and shaking his head at his eternally-derpy little child.

By July, I had accepted it must have gotten lost in the Covid Mail, like the book I ordered in January did. And I'd been harassed by the Bookseller on a daily basis to offer up a review of their service, that I got annoyed enough to start typing up a nasty review of their entire service (out of three purchases, two never turned up and one wasn't theology but a black romance novel). Of course, I quickly caught myself and remembered St Therese's Little Way: every tiny annoyance responded too by crucifying self is the fast track to God, and deleted what I was writing.

Three days ago, I was typing a letter to the Nun I'd attempted to give the Cross too, and casually-mentioned how I'd given up The Book, as we used to call it, because I was never without it at Mass. And I stopped, realising that, yeah God didn't want me to have it or it would have arrived 12 weeks back, and I could accept that because the attachment was unhealthy and He knows what is best for me, so thanked Him for the spiritual growth, then went back to typing.

The doorbell rang. It was the postman. You guessed it...

By the time I'd opened the parcel, and saw what was sold as a second hand copy, but was in better condition than the one I had, I could only laugh at how incredibly stupid and petty our attachments are, and how good Our Father is that, once he realises we can be trusted to use them properly, He will often hand them right back to us.

Once again, I'm Apu Apustaja, crying over dropping my Ice Cream, and though Pepe rolls his eyes, he eventually smiles, and hands me another one, because he wants me to be happy.

The punchline is I doubt I'll ever look at the book again, but I know it's there if someone else needs it.
 

Glaucon

Ostrich
Gold Member
PART THREE

Every few months, I'd return to the book and, well, try again, even after learning that I would never be able to meditate again, and that all souls should grow out of it.
I was doing a lot of meditation back in 2012-13, when I had a rough patch in my life. It gave me a lot of calmness, and help. Things happened in my life, I was able to move past the issues I had and my life changed for the better. Since then, I feel zero need to meditate.

You sentence hit me with recognition. You explained what I have felt in a way I could never could.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
PART FOUR

So, back to your original question...

I often wonder if I'm going to the gym to simply stay healthy or if it's because I want to look good for my wife. I don't know if either are sinful but I suppose they could be. I surely wouldn't work out in a gym if I worked a physical job again but those days are over because of injuries. I almost have to work out a little to stay mobile and relieve pain.
Your body and your wife are both gifts of God. If you're in a state of grace, he abides in your body as his temple, so simply order your care of your body towards God. Just talk to Him, in your own words. ("I want to be healthy to maintain your temple and to thank you for the gift of this body. I want to present a reflection of Your desire to create natural beauty in your creations to further glorify You in the eyes of my Wife and of Others. Thank you for blessing me with the desire to stay fit despite my injuries, and if there is any lingering personal vanity in my actions, I trust in You to correct this desire and order it fully to Yourself, and have faith that You will do so I believe your Precious Blood can make up for what is lacking in my own actions, and perfect them. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and by the merits of his Passion.")

Every action you perform becomes a moment to recollect yourself in God, and, then you will discover that, yes, it is possible to 'pray constantly', because everything is prayer.
 
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AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I was doing a lot of meditation back in 2012-13, when I had a rough patch in my life. It gave me a lot of calmness, and help. Things happened in my life, I was able to move past the issues I had and my life changed for the better. Since then, I feel zero need to meditate.

You sentence hit me with recognition. You explained what I have felt in a way I could never could.
Catholic or Eastern?

Catholic Meditation isn't anything like Eastern Meditation, and Catholic Meditation is only closed off by God because he wants to replace it with Catholic Contemplation. You shouldn't ever stop praying. You just do it in a very different, almost-entirely-passive way, and this is where Supernatural Prayer begins.

If anything, Eastern Meditation is like a Demonic Parody of Catholic Contemplation, which is why Catholic Works as far back as the 1200's warn of falling prey to 'Devil's Contemplation' if you approach it in the wrong manner: trying to force what God can only do by 'emptying yourself' before He invites you to do so by pulling you into the Contemplative State himself. You'll only know it when it first happens, because It's a Supernatural process, not something any human is capable of by his own action, and can't be understood without direct Experiential Knowledge of this state.

I'm gradually writing a series on this in the Catholic Thread, if you're curious, I'll go into more detail there over the next week.
 
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PainPositive

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Great answers guys. You've given me a lot to think about. I sometimes wonder about what EXACTLY God wants for me and my family and it's sometimes it's hard to know.
 

AnonymousBosch

Crow
Gold Member
I was reading a discussion of suffering by Robert Llewelyn, the then head of the Blessed Julian of Norwich shrine in England, before the Eucharist this morning, and noted this, when the discussion turned to the subject of Bodily Health:

None of [these extraordinary samples of physically-and-mentally suffering souls] , however, should blind us to the fact that God's will for people is normally health in body and mind. It should simply warn us against the superficial view of healing which looks only for it in physical and mental fitness.

We must grasp that the most robust health is as nothing if its possessor is inwardly alienated from God, that such a person is in no sense healed in the Christian understanding of the word.

Nor should it be supposed that, ordinarily, growth in holiness and love of God and our fellow beings are not best assisted by soundness in mind and body.

We shall thus always be looking towards health, both for ourselves and others, at the same time learning to accept and turn to God's glory physical incapacity if complete health be denied.


----

Related to Heath and Suffering:

I'll add that back in May, I started a nine day novena to St Charbel, whom 'coincidental' providence put on my radar, for some kind of healing, though I wasn't sure what needed to be healed. I thought long and hard about what to ask for, because I was utterly-indifferent as to if my health problems were removed or not, if they were God's will for my purification. So, my prayer became:

"... for the healing of what needs to be healed within me so as to best serve Your will for the salvation of souls."

The day after I started, my forgotten child abuse was revealed to me by Jesus during therapy. This is why I was confused during the early part of the sessions because I instinctively knew today was the day even though that wasn't consciously what I'd asked in my prayer. My Priest already knew, God always tells him the morning when someone will be healed.

I did finish the nine days, to say thanks.
 
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Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Gold Member
There's nothing wrong with staying healthy or looking good for your wife, if you're motivated by love of God (by taking care of your body) or your wife (by staying in good shape.) Those are good motivations, but they can be used to mask bad motivations of vanity, so examining your underlying motives could be helpful. If you're going for an hour 3-4 times a week, you're probably okay. If you're spending hours every day, that's probably more than you really need to stay healthy and look decent. Likewise if you're spending a fortune on a massive, flashy wardrobe, self-care products, and other things with the intent of projecting an appearance. I think that a little self-reflection will reveal what the extent should be.

Some people are called to sell everything to follow Him, but those tend to be unique and extreme callings. The Rich Young Ruler in Scripture is a guy who's challenging Jesus, and Jesus hits him where it hurts. Obviously, as Christians we should be generous with our resources, but there's no universal call to material asceticism.

Post #4 covered the details pretty well.
 

jakester318

Sparrow
You're married. The monk or hermit path is already closed off to you. Staying healthy, working to provide for your family, enjoying life, and raising your children to do the same; these are all fully Godly activities. You still need to love your neighbor, pray, worship, and walk in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but that doesn't mean you have to pursue extreme self denial.

In particular, these ordinary things are God's will. If everybody did this, society would be harmonious and the community and the nation would be blessed. The failure of a larger and larger percentage of the population doing these things is the reason the nation and the world are going to pieces.
I like this response. It's no uncommon for new Christians to come to a crossroad of thinking where it seems right to practice asceticism, or abstain from various pleasures in life. The thing is that as we mature, we can live in the present world and enjoy the things we have, within the confines of God's moral will. As Paul puts it:

"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment."

If you enjoy working out because it makes you feel good, or confident, or because it makes your wife more attracted to you, that's good. You should enjoy those things because life is terribly difficult at times and sometimes having small little joys to keep our morale up is what's required.
 
The Catholic Church glorifies poverty in such a way that the Spanish and Portuguese settlers plundered the Latin countries and sent our wealth to Europe. WHILE THE PROTESTANT REFORM SAYS THAT MONEY IS DESERVED BECAUSE AND THE FRUIT OF MAN'S WORK.

You should read THE PROTESTANT ETHICS AND THE CAPITALIST SPIRIT.

If you understand how Catholic logic and Protestant logic work, you will understand why countries that received great waves of English and Germans (USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALANDIA) are rich and Latin America is poor. (immigrants from spain, portugal and italy)
 

Dr. Ron

Pigeon
Gold Member
From the mouth of Jesus to his disciples Matthew 22:

"36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

If you do something it should be out of Love. So no, throwing away all your valuables won't get you closer to God. Unless these things come from a place of Love there is no point to doing so. I would listen to Jesus on this one, and live every day out of love for everyone around you. That seems to be the most important thing to do in your life, and so don't feel like you aren't doing enough, because as long as you try to love you can know that you are fulfilling Jesus Christ most important commandment.
 

Er Miqué

Sparrow
The Catholic Church glorifies poverty in such a way that the Spanish and Portuguese settlers plundered the Latin countries and sent our wealth to Europe. WHILE THE PROTESTANT REFORM SAYS THAT MONEY IS DESERVED BECAUSE AND THE FRUIT OF MAN'S WORK.

You should read THE PROTESTANT ETHICS AND THE CAPITALIST SPIRIT.

If you understand how Catholic logic and Protestant logic work, you will understand why countries that received great waves of English and Germans (USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALANDIA) are rich and Latin America is poor. (immigrants from spain, portugal and italy)
The reason why countries that received great waves of English and Germans are rich is due to the racial unity (all people is white) and the work ethic of such people besides the high IQ; Latin America doesn't have that, first being every person an unique race mix combination (between european, native and black) what makes everybody be distrustful of everybody and with certain proneness to do harm without caring about it (ever knew about viveza criolla?), and the general laziness and low productivity makes Latin America a land that would do better as an Old Agrarian society than a Industrial one.

When Latin American countries began to rebel against the Spanish Crown and acquire their status as independent countries all of it was already planned by masons so these lands would later fall in the hands of the USA and the cabal, being the new Latin American states their political puppets to be robbed of their precious natural resources (oil, wood and food). Latin America was better in hands of the Spanish Crown; the people in Latin America are everything but able to govern themselves through peaceful means always being required a dictator or something like that to make such a society grow well. The media has tricked everyone in Latin America from common people to even the few natives to believe "Spain bad, Independence good", being that colombian natives were killed by Simon Bolívar due to their allegiance to the Spanish Crown and Catholicism (the Navidad Negra de Pasto) what shows not everybody was so disgusted with the Spanish Crown and in love with rebellion as the history books make it look.

Don't blame Catholics, nobody is perfect: it's God's role to judge everybody, not yours. If instead of judging people you do better than the other does then your actions will speak for yourself and you'll convince people without even needing to say anything; it's easy to criticize but harder to do better than the one you criticize.

Poverty is not bad and in this materialist world it's sometimes good to let go stuff. The Catholic Church praises poverty as gym people praises Arnold Schwarzenegger: everybody sees it as an ultimate goal but not everybody is prepared or made for doing so.
 
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