my vision of the world.

Archive for September, 2010

Is a Christian really different?

THE MANNERS OF THE CHRISTIANS.

The Christians are distinguished from other men neither by country, nor language, nor the customs which they observe. For they neither inhabit cities of their own, nor employ a peculiar form of speech, nor lead a life which is marked out by any singularity. The course of conduct which they follow has not been devised by any speculation or deliberation of inquisitive men; nor do they, like some, proclaim themselves the advocates of any merely human doctrines. But, inhabiting Greek as well as barbarian cities, according as the lot of each of them has determined, and following the customs of the natives in respect to clothing, food, and the rest of their ordinary conduct, they display to us their wonderful and confessedly striking method of life. They dwell in their own countries, but simply as sojourners. As citizens, they share in all things with others, and yet endure all things as if foreigners. Every foreign land is to them as their native country, and every land of their birth as a land of strangers. They marry, as do all [others]; they beget children; but they do not destroy their offspring. They have a common table, but not a common bed. They are in the flesh, but they do not live after the flesh. They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of heaven. They obey the prescribed laws, and at the same time surpass the laws by their lives. They love all men, and are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death, and restored to life. They are poor, yet make many rich; they are in lack of all things, and yet abound in all; they are dishonoured, and yet in their very dishonour are glorified. They are evil spoken of, and yet are justified; they are reviled, and bless; they are insulted, and repay the insult with honour; they do good, yet are punished as evil-doers. When punished, they rejoice as if quickened into life; they are assailed by the Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by the Greeks; yet those who hate them are unable to assign any reason for their hatred.

THE RELATION OF CHRISTIANS TO THE WORLD.

To sum up all in one word–what the soul is in the body, that are Christians in the world. The soul is dispersed through all the members of the body, and Christians are scattered through all the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, yet is not of the body; and Christians dwell in the world, yet are not of the world. The invisible soul is guarded by the visible body, and Christians are known indeed to be in the world, but their godliness remains invisible. The flesh hates the soul, and wars against it, though itself suffering no injury, because it is prevented from enjoying pleasures; the world also hates the Christians, though in nowise injured, because they abjure pleasures. The soul loves the flesh that hates it, and [loves also] the members; Christians likewise love those that hate them. The soul is imprisoned in the body, yet preserves that very body; and Christians are confined in the world as in a prison, and yet they are the preservers of the world. The immortal soul dwells in a mortal tabernacle; and Christians dwell as sojourners in corruptible [bodies], looking for an incorruptible dwelling in the heavens. The soul, when but ill-provided with food and drink, becomes better; in like manner, the Christians, though subjected day by day to punishment, increase the more in number. God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake.

From the letter to Diognetus Chapters V and VI. This was written two thousand years ago and it still seems so current. I haven’t change a letter.

The full text here

For more information about early Christian writings click here.

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The changes

I did it to make the blog look a little more like me. But I’m not yet happy with it. I like it but I think there is still something missing, I think it’s still too dark. But I liked the fact that now it’s easier to find older posts. There is a search engine (on the side bar, you have to scroll down a little to find it but it’s there).

There is this painting from the Sistine chapel that shows a lot of what I want to say. I make a little effort to reach God and He stretches out to touch me. But He gives me freedom to touch Him or not. Did you know that there are exactly 3 centimeters of distance between their fingers on the real scale? I always think of this as the space for freedom the Lord gives us to find Him or not.

Well I hope you like it and I wait for your comments.

I’ll be trying a couple other backgrounds in the days to come so I need your feedback.

While I try to do some changes try to find in the older post something you may like, I wrote a lot before my blog started to be “famous”. So if you are a new visitor I invite you to take a look around.


Looking slowly to the others

From Denise Landim.
The more we know someone, the more we love this one. The more we love someone, the more we know this one. Love without knowledge is like a house built on the sand. And knowledge without love is useless. Love and knowledge of someone  must go together. Time too, it takes care of revealing what is most precious.

Have you noticed that the ones you love the most are those you best know? You Know so much that you know who’s coming by the way the person steps on the floor. You understand every look and every smile, even the most silent ones. You know exactly what the person is thinking and sometimes even what the person will speak.

You know the virtues and you’re willing to defend this person with tooth and nail if anyone thinks about speaking badly about my friend. You’re this person’s  fan number 1 and you see that person uniquely.You Can’t understand how others have not yet discovered all the beauty this one have.

But the most impressive is that when you love someone and know the truth, when you know the weaknesses, sins, faults, even the most hidden… if we really love this one, there isn’t anything too scary that can make us retreat. The sins of those whom we love make the challenge of love becomes even more enriching. We do not fear the weaknesses of those we love, we fear not love him completely.

I miss people who believe in people, who “waste” time to know someone, people who is willing to walk all the path, even when one stumbles on some defect. Actually, I miss people who never stop in the wall, I miss people that cross the “safe” limit to meet the other as he really is.

As once wisely said Fr Fabio de Melo (a singer-writer-preacher catholic priest from Brazil) “we must look slowly at people…” How many people have looked at us too fast? Let’s not do the same. Who does not remember the story of the Little Prince? “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” or “It is the time you have lost for your rose that makes your rose so important.”

In the era of  the”virtual”, we need to believe in real love that is committed, the love that knows deep, love that never gives up, love that insists and that  is indeed the way to discover God.

Translated from Denise Landim’s : Margaridas do inverno – Olhar o outro devagar


Vatican astronomer downplays 2013 solar storm fears

From Catholic Culture

Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory is downplaying apocalyptic scenarios associated with the 2013 solar storm, which may disrupt cell phone and wireless communication.

Recalling that a similar storm in the 1960s shut down the power grid in Quebec for a day, the Detroit-born Jesuit brother said that while “everything is possible, whether it’s likely is another issue.” Nonetheless, Consolmagno cautioned that it is important to have “more than one way of communicating so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.”

Consolmagno’s seven-minute interview with Vatican Radio is particularly helpful because he explains solar storms and other solar phenomena in layman’s terms.

Radio Vatican

Brother Consolmagno (Wikipédia)

2013 Solar Storm Could Create Widespread Panic (RedOrbit)


Your body: love it or leave it.

I don’t think we  really have this coice, because it’s the only one we can get. As a Catholic I believe in only one life in this land of the living. Of course I beleve that this life will last forever and that my body will rise again to live in this kindgdom that ever shall be.
so once I can’t realy leave this body, unless for a short period where I wait for it’s resurection in the second coming of Jesus what can I do to live with it?
Well take a good care of it. I was in a retreat this weelend and there God reminded me of this passage I’m copying here:
For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours, O LORD and lover of souls…” (wisdom 11, 24-26)
The only conclusion I can take from this passage is: I exist therefore God loves me. It’s interesting to think that God likes my body… I know that I have to take good care of it. It’s exactly what I’m trying to do theses last days. I’m doing a Diet, I’m going to start to work out this week… well If God likes my body I have to take a good care of it.
I think this passage can’t be connected only with my body but to my entire being. I know God loves me that’s a good reason to be alive and to love Him back.
I want to write about peace as a fruit of my retreat too. Pray for me so I can have time to write.
Shalom!

Dancing

What kinds of dancing are OK for Catholics? (Obviously, not the kind at the party you went to!) Some Christians, even some Catholics, are surprised that I do Latin dances. I have to explain that I don’t participate in anything raunchy. If a venue is trashy, I don’t go there. And then most of my dance partners don’t go to church. Who knows, maybe God wants me to be there dancing; I try to “preach at all times, use words if necessary.”

Well I don’t think I need to comment much because I think you understood it all. I think the way to go is the same of the other post. I’m Latin-american, Brazilian to be more specific. In my city there is a rhythm called “forró” which I like very much but there is forró and forró if you know what I mean. So is it ok for me to dance forró? Yes, and thankfully my community understood that and we play that in our parties. But before playing it we listen to the songs, we check the words not to play something offensive or with double meaning.

For the rest I have to tell you that you got it good! And yes you’re there to be a witness of Gods love. To show your dance partners that being a Christian is not about doing or not doing something but it’s about having a strong relationship with Someone. Someone that doesn’t take anything out but gives everything. A friend who changes our lives forever in His love and care. For whom we are willing to give up some things in our lives that we know couldn’t make us happy and complete.

Let’s continue to “preach at all times and use words if necessary.”(St. Francis of Assisi)


Kinds of Christians

This text is another partnership with mt fried Denise Landim. She was inspired in a post of mine, so I’m just translating it to share with you:

Surely, we can see ourselves in one of these kind of Christian or remark around us some people who fit in very well.

I call myself a Christian.

“I am Christian, but I don’t like very much to say, after all, religion is something too personal, do not you think? That’s why I don’t go out with my Bible, or my cross or my rosary. I always go to Mass: when someone gets married or when someone dies, I think it’s very important. But Sunday I’m too ashamed of going out of the barbecue saying  that I’m going to church. I do not know much about this “new” Pope, but I think it’s kinda timid, I read in a magazine that he is not very good. I have already confessed in my first Eucharist, but never did it again, after all, these stories of sin are so relative. I went to a prayer group my friend goes, but I gave up. I must say that despite all that I have faith and always pray before going to bed, actually I’m already in be when I pray. God is everything in my life! I just don’t have much time for these things. I’m glad He protects me from evil anyway, I even bought a blessed medal that I don’t take it from my neck. My family also is close to God, there is a bible in my living room, a big one… It is just a little dusty, it’s true … But I always pray before Christmas dinner, which,by the way, it’s been about 10 years that I don’t attend, you know, long weekend … I have to enjoy my youth! It is true, in church there are certain things that get exaggerated, like abortion, because in some cases I think it should be legalized. And this story of chastity is more than overpassed, my great-aunt turned nun thought like that . But even with these details, I will die a Christian, because without God, we do not do anything in life. ”

The runaway Christian

“I am a “card-carrying” Christian. Everybody knows it and if one doesn’t  know I must say, if needed I’d cry it out loud. I go to mass every day and confess myself three times a month. I can not stand when someone blasphemes near me and I’m angry when someone calls me “blessed”. I’ve renounced the parties in the world and all those futilities. I just want God and His kingdom. I can not place to temptation, so I dress up like someone who doesn’t care about the image and I never look around when I walk down the street.  I don’t speak with who do not know Christ and I never feel good outside of the Church. I know the Bible by heart to avoid unnecessary discussion . Every conversation I have is about God as the world is near the end so we must insist until people believe. God forbid me of one day stop living in chastity, so I hardly have a relationship to, it is safer to do so. I only listen to Christian music and books only get into my house if they are God’s also. On television and the Internet there is only useless stuff, so I broke the TV and sold the computer. I’m just reading the newspaper because finally I’m unemployed now and have to look for a job. I’ve tried to work in various places, but in all of them I am persecuted for my beliefs. I don’t understand why they call me a fanatic and say they don’t want to participate in my religion. But that’s part of the persecution that Christ spoke in the Gospel. But I will not change, I’ll be a Christian to the end. ”

Christian (Only)

“I met the love of God and my life changed. I am a Christian and a friend of Jesus. I struggle to be faithful to Mass and to  confession. I try to talk about God through my life, making it a way through peoples lives it in order to evangelize. I’m “the world” extensively, even though I do not belong to it and that my life does not end here. I’ll go to parties when I can, I have MSN, blog and twitter. I choose what to watch TV seeing what it will not hurt me, I am God’s masterpiece and my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I have many friends and I love life. I don’t stop to live to escape the temptation, I pray to be able to overcome it and when I see that I’ve fallen, I have where to go back. My religion is not a burden and being radical doesn’t mean to be a fanatic, it is to be like Jesus; Isn’t it He who a Christian should follow? I’m always updating me on what happens in the world and so I think I can serve God better. I reject the sin, but know I have to love the one who sins. I try not to judge who’s in the error, not to waste time and try to help him more. I improved my knowledge of my doctrine, so I respect and love my church. I do not believe in every new and outrageous headlines about the Pope, I recognize when mistakes are made. Everything in its right proportion. I am absolutely against abortion and I ask God to help me keep my virginity until marriage. I go to a prayer group and I believe in the gifts of the Holly Spirit. I know that Jesus wants to make me today, in my youth, a saint wearing  jeans. I’m happy and I am a Christian. ”

Post inspired by the text of my friend Felipe
“Non Christians parties”