starduchess: (phoenix)
This has long been a question that people of asked through the ages of each other and of religions, along with it's corollary "why does God allow bad things to happen?", and most people never get a satisfactory answer.

I have pondered this for many a year, especially after an RL friend of mine mentioned that he asked the nuns in his Catholic high school why God had formed him with only one good eye; they never properly answered him, so he left the Church. An article in a parent's magazine recently said this mother did the same thing, questioning religions and no longer attending church upon receiving insufficient answers, after her three daughters were killed in a car crash. I believe that people in general, but priests and pastors specifically, refuse to examine this issue. But I have, and I think I have some answers.

click below for my answers )
starduchess: (catfight)
While in the midst of writing my 7 Kisses in 7 Years story, I realized that there is another set of sevens in the Harry Potter novels: 7 horcruxes, with 7 different people destroying each one. I began to speculate if there was any connection between each horcrux and the person who destroyed it. I got to thinking about paired qualities and that led me to the seven deadly sins. Below is the write-up I have for each. Feel free to debate!

Each horcux embodies a sin and is destroyed by the person who houses that quality or its opposite. )

Okay, debate away!  I want feedback on this one!
starduchess: (Default)
I finally got around to listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and it struck me how much the novel was similar to the Jesus story.  Then, I was looking at some DH information on-line and came across a snippet of an interview with J.K. Rowling in which she said that if you looked at the Christian narrative you would have been able to guess the conclusion of this book.

Harry obviously is playing the part of Jesus, going so far as to willingly give up his life to protect his friends and die at the hands of his enemy.  He then passes through death, King's Cross station, and emerges resurrected back to life.  He goes on to defeat the Dark Lord (Satan) and frees the world from his reign of terror, becoming its savior.  Harry, in uniting the Hallows, becomes the Master of Death, another title associated with Jesus.

There are also plot points in the novel that relate directly to Biblical passages.  The temptation of Jesus is written out in the form of Aberforth's questions and urges to Harry to flee, run away, save himself, he doesn't "got to do" what Dumbledore (God) wants him to do.  The scene when the Golden Trio are still looking for the diadem and everyone else has been showing up to fight but Harry doesn't want them to, in fact, that's not even the point to his coming back to Hogwarts, feels very much like the night when the soldiers come to arrest Jesus and the apostles try to take up arms and Jesus has to tell them "put down your weapons; go be fishers of men."  After the battle is won, people press on Harry to come be with them, see their dead, listen to their tales, and that reminds me of the times when Jesus was asked to come heal the multitudes even though he might be exhausted.

Of course the big theme of the book is that we should sacrifice ourselves as the greatest act of love for others.  Lily Evans did it for her son.  Severus Snape did it for Lily.  The Order members and students and teachers willing to fight did it for their family members and friends.  Harry Potter--Jesus--did it for all of the world.  What a beautiful message!

Happy Easter.
starduchess: (Default)
Faith is the belief that what is required is up to the task.  It's that age-old adage "God will never throw at you what you cannot handle."  What you have right now, your abilities and talents, your knowledge and wisdom, is exactly what you need to overcome any obstacles in your path.

Faith is also the ability to go on when facing adversity.  It is trust that the universe will turn out all right.  It embodies positive hope but also doesn't need it for it knows that the future will be okay.  There is nothing to fear if you live in faith.
starduchess: (Default)
It is written that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."  This is saying that all truths are the spirit of God and that no one can know truth unless they know Him.  But, I find myself coming back to Pilate's questions "What is truth?  Are yours the same as mine?"

Truths are not Facts.  I love where Indiana Jones tells his students, "Archeology is the study of facts, not truth.  If you are looking for truth, the philosophy class is down the hall."  Facts are simple statements that apply to the physical world and can be tested under scrutiny. Even if studies are inconclusive and results are debatable, facts remain objective.  Truths on the other hand are very subjective.  They deal with feelings and emotions and often stem from belief systems.  Although universal truths may be agreed upon, it is possible to live and work with multiple versions of truths, such as how to love one another, whereas it is impossible to work with conflicting facts.  Oddly enough, Lies are the opposites of both truth and fact.  A falsehood is easy to prove while an untruth is painfully felt, but they are all wrong answers.

So, what truths are out there for you?  To kill is wrong.  To love involves caring.  To procreate and nurture is our highest calling.  To enjoy life should be our outlook as every moment is precious.  To be content is the greatest happiness.  To acknowledge beauty in everyday things brings joy.  Do you see Christ in these truths?  Yes, I think I do.
starduchess: (catfight)
This should be a season of atonement, a chance to look back over the year, list places that could use improvement, and amend life anew. My biggest goal at the present moment is in meeting my husband's needs, which are openness, honesty, being on time, and rational thinking. I find that my own habits and wants conflict exactly with those, so swapping these is a major challenge. I've always been an introvert and it hurts to open up and talk about my inner feelings because I always feel like I'm being judged.  He assures me that he just wants to know so he can understand me, but that means I must critically examine my motivations which I have found difficult to do in the past.  I have resolved, however, to tell him my thoughts and that should get easier with practice.

Once I do manage to say something, then he moves forward with forming action plans and setting goals.  I agree with decisions that sound reasonable and doable so now I actually have to make changes to my routine, set alarm clocks, write better notes to myself, and the like.  The ultimate position is to change my attitude so as to put his needs in front of my wants.  I just hope my wants can be taken care of too.
starduchess: (Default)
Note:  This was supposed to be last week's comment.  Sorry.  Got too busy at work.

Preface:  I am Catholic, raised strictly such, but have been leaning outwards for some time now.  My husband has found this Oriental philosophy of being one with nature and the center of the universe that fits well with and was influenced by his Aikido training.  We have lots of religious discussions, and here is another one.

Another Note:  I use "He" because that is how I was raised, but God is neither male nor female so really it should be "IT" or "I AM", which is how I think of Him.  The "He" is just force of habit.

One of his biggest gripes about Church dogma, and one I find increasingly hard to justify, is the idea that we are broken individuals.  He thinks it's cruel that God, all-knowing and all-seeing, would create us with urges and desires that go against His rules and then punish us for choosing to follow the flesh.  He thinks it's insane to believe that an all-powerful God would create us purposefully broken to the point where we needed a savior.  He doesn't agree with the theory of Original Sin.

In Original Sin, Man disobeyed God and broke His covenant. Man became imperfect and could no longer mend the rift, so God came down as Jesus to fix the bond. My husband argues that since Man broke the link, Man should be able to fix it, not God, but that is exactly why God became Man, to accomplish this from our point-of-view. The thing is we make and break this connection all the time and it's really all about free will.

That's never quite as harsh as I saw it although there are parts now that I refuse to accept anymore.  We aren't really broken; He made us in His image: light and life and love.  He gave us free will so that we could choose to love Him in return instead of being forced into always loving Him.  The story of the Prodigal Son reflects this idea, that He is happy with those who are continually with Him yet He rejoices when those who had chosen to leave decide to come back.  He never does the punishing; we do that to ourselves.  His laws are not against nature and our bodily needs--it is good to eat, it is good to have sex, it is good to have pride in ourselves--only when we take those things to the extreme and let them run our lives do they become unlawful.  Moderation is fine; obsession is corrosive.  And, though it may seem to feel good performing activities contradictory to His will, in time it is noted that those things are quite harmful to everybody.  Excessive drunkenness leads to liver problems.  Sleeping around leads to STDs, unwanted pregnancies and lowering of women's self-images.  Embezzlement leads to imprisonment and reduced standards of living for families involved in the company.  Child-abuse leads to greater violence.  The list goes on and on and nobody is happy in the end.  But if we choose to act properly, kind and caring, then everyone benefits and the world is a better place.
starduchess: (Default)
 So, Lent began yesterday.  Some people, like my mother, think it's a season of suffering.  Others, like my husband and coworker, ignore it completely.  I still see it as a time to re-evaluate my life and beliefs.  I don't always give up something for Lent, sometimes I add.  In the past I've given up sweets or cokes or picking my nose or I've added in morning prayers or evening rosaries or alms-giving from my spare change.  Lately, I agreed with our pastor that the end result should be change to be a better person.  Last year I gave up reading fanfiction and replaced it with reading up and working on strengthening my relationship with my husband.  This year I am giving up listening to all regular rock and pop music and will only listen to the Christian rock station.  Those songs tend to be more uplifting and filled with Light and Hope.

My husband hates hope.  He feels it is linked too closely to anxiety.  He would much prefer to live in the now instead of the past or the future, for now is the only time when you can take action and affect change.  Even planning for the future, which he does do, has to happen now.  Unfortunately, a lot of people don't see it that way and if they don't have hope in a better tomorrow then they end up depressed today, grieving for yesterday.

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