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pursuing the upward call with fear and trembling

just a 44 year old man seeking to share my meanderings with the world at large or the blogosphere at small

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

saint and sinner at once

I have a few of Brennan Mannings books. I love his writing style and his willingnes to be so transparent. One thing that stands out to me from his books is how he shares that we are both saint and sinner at the sanetime. He points out the misconceptions of black/white thinking,especially concerning ourselves. His words are always filled with grace.

Grace as a theological concept and divine favor of God is very real and true to me. I can very fully wrap my mind heart and soul around it. yet, as a reality in myself, i find it like a mirage. I think i see it but then it disappears. I am studying catholicism in a sunday school class right now. Last week we covered confession. I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church. I remember alot of it. Walking in dipping hand in the holy water, making sign of the cross. Alot of sit stand kneel pray. First Communion was a Big Deal!!!!!!!! My godparents were there to see mine. i remember feeling in awe of going in front of the church and taking the communion. The priest says something in latin and places the wafer on your tongue. I liked a few hymns i recall as well Praise Ye the Lord the Almighty and Sons of God very solid theology in those hymns even though Jesus was never discussed from my memory. i do know i took catechism serious. I used to tell kids whenever they cussed not to or they might go to hell!!!!!!1 WOW Sounds odd why cussing hit me so hard but it did. i have always said chump bum shoot and other replacements, never picked up cussing habit.

Catholics are taught such a load of junk regarding confession. Go in the box confess to the priest and do penance. Make yourself right with God. DOH!!!!!! First of all, Jesus and ONLY Jesus can make anyone right with God. Second, as it declares in Hebrews, christians are a *priesthood of believers* We are ALL PRIESTS!!!!!!!!!!! No human can do anything in themselves to earn favor or standing with God GRACE!!!!!!!!!!! Grace in Romans is what set Martin Luther off on founding the Protestant Reformation. i feel like i have carried that *works* confession mentality deep inside me and it stil laffects my relationship with God. I sometimes feel like i dont know if His love is unconditional, that i can do something to make Him love me less. Catholicism hlods to mortal and venial sin a hierarchy. I have had enough exposure to various theological positions to make my head spin nad the one that does the most is one which holds God created some people who are born damned. Yes, that is right born with no hope for salvation, because they are just made that way. I totally disagree with this view and cant fathom how it fits with the nature and character of God. Still, in weaker moments of which i have many, it messes with my head alot.

I am very much like my friend barbara describes so well in her blog. i am a boy in a mans body. I do not know just how to *get over* this lack i have of being a fully emotionally/spiritually mature man. I have times where i just want to ignore God, to let Him just be there and do certain things i wantto do. i have times where i want to do nothing but rest in His arms. I struggle to understand His love and grace in a personal way alot of it i think due to my father dying at a young age. I always tried to bury emtions down deep and i successfully have . Iam the one who counsles others, who is there to let others fall apart. I think I saw this as an escape mechanisn as well as just a way of being Ai had top adapt. I need to seek God wrestle with Him constantly so i will have the relationship with Him He tells me He wants in His Word. I have a very hard time finding the courage to do that. Something in me wants to hide even as iKNOW its the greatest gift of all!!! i am so thankful to see others who share a similar struggle. I pray i will grow to seek Him more and more as He helps me mature. it might not be the way i want ti to go, but i pray he does and is leading me, using me, helping me to move into more emotional /spiritual maturity.


At 9:30 AM, Blogger bjk said...

Catholic background in common and you laid it out well.....

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous BarBarA said...

I relate. The weird thing is, my aunt is a nun in the Catholic church. She loves Jesus. She gave her life to serving him and man - does she ever serve. It's awe-inspring to watch her life. She is so humble and loving and self-less. I have never in my life heard her say ONE unkind word! So...all that to say, I guess she is able to sift through the rituals and get to the real issue - following Christ, living by his example. WHy is it so hard for some of us? I feel more like a selfish, whiney brat each day. :(

PS Please note I called you Bob. I needed a change of pace.

At 6:12 PM, Blogger Robert said...

bjk- thank you wow seems we share so much

barb- lol change of pace is good!!! I have known other catholics who have a very deep thriving faith, they seem to have gotten past the *rituals* as well. Wish i had an answer to your query, it would be better than winning the lottery for us wouldnt it???? thanks always my friend!!!


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