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About 3DOP

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  1. Yeah USU, I trust Coach won't care, but I recently got out of the Northwest and planted my flag in the Midwest. There got to be too many email protected Zen Buddhists for my liking back home.
  2. Hi Miserere. God bless. I hope you are having a wonderful Lenten season. Do you believe there is any solution, political, or religious, that can provide an actual just society on earth that can eliminate individuals from experiencing important advantages and disadvantages that they inherit from their interior dispositions and external environments? I do not believe that there is a just solution to the advantages and disadvantages. in fact, I think the advantages and disadvantages are part of God's plan. The beauty of a mixture of advantages and disadvantages is that it makes it IMPOSSIBLE to correctly judge our neighbors for their condition of life. I believe that the only reason for this life is to end up dying in a state of grace. Some would argue that there is not even equality in that area. I disagree in that I think God will demonstrate at the Final Judgment that He has been just regarding the diverse situations of every soul he has created. He will judge according to the graces He bestowed and which were accepted or rejected. Everyone will be judged by a just standard unique to the individual soul. He will show how He loved everyone, including those who can seem to be in the meanest condition. No one is forsaken of God. I would listen to you before almost anybody if you could explain how a just society can legislate equality of opportunity for all individuals without actually suppressing any advantages that many brought with them by God's good providence at birth. To support potential political intervention, I need policies that would take in to consideration the purpose for our short time here. Apart from this, I cannot believe in trying to establish an earthly utopia of equal opportunity with no advantages or disadvantages. It has to happen without causing further hatreds and resentments and misunderstandings. It seems like it would have to be voluntary. "Love" that is legislated, seems to remove the possibility of merit for good parties who really do wish to help the oppressed. It has to happen without further exciting the passions of souls to find their ultimate happiness on earth, pursuing vain ambitions and "treasures" that will be an obstacle to salvation. But I must discontinue my own misgivings with your apparent ideas. Maybe I even misunderstand. For now, I step aside and await your reply, my friend. Regards, Rory
  3. Five times. Wow. Oh man...that's great. I am glad for you. I misunderstood you to think otherwise!
  4. Storm Rider, hi. You are right. My wife has made a little travelogue that details with word and pictures a few of the many highlights of our short time in Italy and especially Rome, a couple of years ago. If anyone would be interested it can be accessed from the internet here: http://acoininthetrevi.blogspot.com/ One should start at the very bottom to read her story told chronologically. I want to say that for any visitor, there is a lot of joyful activity to be had. American ice cream will never be the same for me after getting "hooked" on Italian gelato while there. I know you guys aren't big on wine, but the prices are amazing. 10 euros for three bottles that might have been $45 at home. For sake of time we missed going inside the Colosseum, although we had lunch outside its massive exterior. Our experience would confirm what someone else said about the low quality and higher price of meals very near the greater tourist attractions. But sometimes it is really worth it. From the Colosseum, it was easy walking distance to the ruins of Old Rome, where the Caesars dwelt. It seems well preserved considering the centuries that have passed. You can get virtually everywhere with a pass in the Metro, underground rails, which are often very crowded, but efficient. Just this week, I read in one of the books I use to prepare for Lent, a reference to a beautiful church, built on what is called the Aventine Hill. There are beautiful gardens outside the church where one can stroll and gaze from its heights at the city all round, the skyline still dominated by church spires soaring towards heaven. Interestingly, there is for some reason one of those lion's mouths where you can put your hand and it supposedly is bitten off if you tell a lie, on one of the gates at this church. You might remember Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Roman Holiday, at a more visited spot, all touristy where people line up to put their hands in. I am glad we skipped that, but it is close to St. Sabina. What I have remembered most is huffing and puffing up this winding hill to the top where the church, which is now the property of the Order of Preachers (Dominican), stands. St. Sabina wasn't my favorite church on the inside, especially after having several days of walking and looking, and now climbing. (I am not as thoughtful and as recollected as my good wife as you will notice if you read her blog.) So the custom of receiving ashes on the forehead is ancient and was formerly received with other acts of exterior penance. It was a great pictorial aid to my understanding of ancient custom to read this week that "Formerly, it was the practice to approach bare-footed to receive this solemn memento of our nothingness [dust and ashes, from which we came and will return]; and in the twelfth century, even the Pope himself, when passing from the church of St. Anastasia to that of St. Sabina...went the whole distance bare-footed, as also did the Cardinals who accompanied him." This is not the first time since our trip that I have read about what used to happen in Rome for this or that celebration and at what churches. While I didn't enjoy St. Sabina so much when I went shod in my comfortable loafers up the hill on a warm June afternoon, I appreciated it the more this week as I pictured the Holy Father bare-footed in early spring leading the princes and people of Rome in expressing sorrow for our sins in anticipation of the holy season that was about to commence. I could never forget Rome. It is still most vivid in a way that other vacations have never been. On the other thread, Miserere Nobis had occasion to say that St. Paul was a Roman citizen. In a different sense, I am unable to consider my own Roman Catholic "citizenship" as anything inferior to Paul's, as a citizen of the Empire. Our trip has solidified my resolve that Rome belongs to whoever will have her, and I will. Whatever scandals or errors or sins might occur within her sacred premises, I belong to her, and she belongs to me, and I will try to protect her. Forgive me for being partial, but after the churches, the catacombs, the Vatican Museum, and all the rest, including the outdoor cafes and friendly street musicians, the city seems more like a beloved mother, than any ordinary place to visit made of streets and markets and houses and other churches too. I am partial. Heh. I hope you can go someday Storm Rider. Rory
  5. I think you are being a little rough on the newbie. So far? CAS has made 32 posts after joining less than two weeks ago. I have been here since 2004 and can't believe anybody here changes their mind or learns something new every two weeks. What about you? How often do you learn something new or change your mind here? Surely not so rapidly as you seem to expect from CAS. To my recollection, I have changed my mind...at least once...but it was only recently, after fifteen years of misunderstanding something. Is the only legitimate purpose of being here to find out what we are wrong about? Is there not a legitimate place here for those who are enthused about what we think is true? That said, give anyone here a few decades...there will be some learning and mind changing. Besides...I am a little homesick and want to defend my fellow (for now) Washingtonian.
  6. I am compelled to offer something that I found to be quite profound, and to one who is concerned to "love the Lord they God with all thy heart...etc.", I found it very comforting. I have been re-reading a book by my confirmation saint, Francis de Sales, whose feast is today, else I wouldn't have roused myself to make this very short, I hope, post. The book is his Treatise on the Love of God. The section I am in now seems to speak much to the question asked in the opening post. He begins by speaking about a mother's love, and how an infant, so needy and tender, so easily raises in the heart of its loving mother a kind of tenderness that she feels for no one else. Does it mean on this account that she loves the child more than her husband, or alas, loves the child more than God? I think it understandable to say yes, because she has never experienced such heightened sensible warmth for God or any creature. St. Francis explains well, what I will try to summarize in a few words and suggests that this mother may well indeed love God and her husband more. Here is how he explains it: ----from Book 8, Loving God Above All Things, ch. 7, Treatise on the Love of God, p. 429, TAN Books and Publishers, (1997) I love that our good God is not jealous over our feelings toward our fellow creatures. I know myself that if love consists in feelings, that I fail miserably to love God above all things. On other hand, if I am willing because of a love for God that isn't always felt as much as other loves, I do things that I do not want to do, and if for this love for God, I refuse to do things that I want to do, then the love of God dwells in my soul. If I deny myself for God like I would for no creature, whether in the absence or the presence of passionate feelings, I needn't worry if I often happen to feel more love for my wife, my children, the grandchildren, or even the kitty cat! For what it is worth, a Catholic perspective on the Feast of a Doctor of the Catholic Church, whose special subject was love. Rory
  7. No one is denying the priesthood of all believers to make sacrifices on behalf of family, friends, and sinners. But there are those who disagree with you that an ordained priesthood was not established by Christ. Catholics and Latter-day Saints are simply in no position to declare for the sake of brotherly love, that they can agree that the ceremonies of "separated brethren", if you will, bring the same benefits and graces that a valid priesthood may bring. It is not out of a desire to be contrarian or unloving, but rather to acknowledge the circumstances that prevent our coming together in one assembly. I wouldn't have used the word "blasphemy" in a book to be read by non-LDS. There is a need to avoid giving offense. But surely you can see why it would be to deny a chief reason for the Restoration, the reestablishment of the priesthood, for a President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to say that non-LDS ordinations do the same thing for non-LDS as ours do for us. It is also impossible for a catechised Catholic to believe that non-Catholic ministers can do for their flocks, what Catholic "ministers" do for theirs. You realize that Catholics believe that they receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion? Nobody else even claims to have that! How can we not think that non-Catholics are missing something of the most immense importance in their religious exercises? It would be folly to equate what we think Catholic priests can do with what Protestant ministers do. It seems like this is inevitably the context of any dialogue you might have with somebody who believes in one true church. You have to expect us to be like Pres. Kimball in what we are sorry to believe about the inclusive "not true churches". There is no substitute for believing the same things, and worshipping the same God, enjoying the communion of like minded saints. We can and should be friendly with outsiders as acquaintances. But we would be deceiving you to say that we think all the churches are equal, even those that refuse to claim to be exclusively one and true. Regards, Rory
  8. I think I have changed my mind, if we stop short of prohibiting hate speech. Thanks. I am okay with hate crimes legislation for the reasons you gave above. However, I don't think there should be any discrimination. For instance, any individual who attacks a stranger because they belong to a group that is hated by them, should be prosecutable. Someone referenced that Republican Senator who was shot playing baseball. I want him protected too because It was nothing personal, and that makes it more harmful to the common good, which is for us to not be in fear because of our race, religion, or politics. I have fears that if I don't become a target, my children or grandchildren might be someday because of their race, religion, or politics. This last post of yours fixed my lingering concerns. 3DOP
  9. Hey MN...Its been 24 hours and there has been a further development in the Covington case. I have to disagree with the characterization of the boys as "being morons, as teenagers are apt to be." I am not trying to canonize them, but they had to make instant decisions, and the decision was to not show anger or contempt towards anyone. There are a lot of adults who wouldn't have been able to bear with some stranger chanting and beating on a drum right in their face. I don't know if it would have been a sin, if in the moment, the kid grabbed that drum and flung it away. I am very glad he didn't. I think he had remarkable restraint in a continuingly tense circumstance. Here is a new radio interview that makes me think these are some extraordinary boys who have learned some virtuous social habits, that should make their parents and teachers well pleased. Go to just after the two minute mark: https://omny.fm/shows/charlie-brennan-show/january-24th-2019-9-10am Rory
  10. Hello Navidad. I think he is saying that for LDS, as for Catholics, pure motives do not make the exercise of sacramental ceremonies without a priest efficacious or acceptable to God. Truly pure motives would exonerate the person who is ignorant through no fault of their own, but it couldn't replace the priesthood. I think blasphemy is an inaccurate use of the word, but I don't think those religions which believe in a valid priesthood can consistently affirm that believers who don't believe in priests, or follow invalidly ordained priests, obtain the same benefits that those with a valid priesthood get. Surely you can see how crazy it would be if Catholics thought that anybody could validly celebrate the Eucharist or give absolution for the remission of sins. I think rather than trying to accuse others of blasphemy, the author is explaining to fellow LDS how crazy it would be for them, if they just believed willy nilly that pure motives allows everybody else to do what only priests can do for the Latter-day Saints. Rory
  11. Hi changed. I don't think its quite fair to characterize Christians who believe that Christ established a church hierarchy are by implication saying that God is a respecter of persons, or deciding who is special. I am sure it HAS happened that in the hierarchical churches, persons become puffed up as though their office defined them, and that they are or were superior. But apparently God holds that allowing such an evil to occur is compatible with His will. It can be a source of merit for the laity, as the ordinary faithful are often called among us Catholics...to draw the distinction between the office and the person. We are to respect the office, and trust that God, Who is no respecter of persons will judge the person. I think there are popes and bishops and priests who have died without God's life in their souls. Being in the hierarchy is no ticket to heavenly rewards. The Scripture offers warnings that those who occupy important offices will be held accountable. ---Heb. 13:17 This passage seems explicit. Does not a text like this, and there are many others that imply the same, establish an order of hierarchy to which the faithful are supposed to attend? When one looks at the historical record one finds Christians in the post apostolic age attending to an ordered hierarchy. Read the Epistles of St. Ignatius, who was martyred at Rome around 110 AD. He was Bishop of Antioch. As he was being taken to Rome for execution, he wrote letters to other churches, about seven of them I think. In each of them he admonishes the faithful to follow their bishops in the strongest terms. If this kind of Christianity had been exterminated out of existence by Pagan Rome, I might not have sought to discover those prelates to whom I was obliged in obedience. But instead, it was an hierarchical and sacramental church that eventually triumphed over the pagan gods. It took three centuries before the faith became legal in the Empire. It was thanks to the heroic blood of faithful and priests and bishops alike that the faith of Christ was not crushed in its infancy. I do not remember precisely, but something around fifteen of the first bishops of Rome died at the hands of executioners. Whatever they believed, that is what I want to believe. I don't think those brave Christians were against being led by souls who occupied positions believed to be established by Jesus Christ Himself. These strong words of Ignatius are intended to warn those who he well knows might find themselves scandalized by bad priests or bishops, although the persecution that church office invited in those days probably deterred souls of weaker character from accepting. But here is the quote, which seems to represent the thinking that carried Christianity from the problems of persecution to the problems of power and freedom: ---Epistle to the Ephesians, ch. 3 ----Obid., ch. 4 Why should we be confident that this teaching of St. Ignatius is contrary to the will of Christ? Does God really despise what Ignatius is saying here while he is preparing to be fed to the lions for refusing to renounce the name of Jesus? I am persuaded that this teaching is of Apostolic origin. In ch. 5, our martyr talks about one difficulty of separating from the organized church: ---obid., ch. 5 We see in the Book of Acts how the Apostles led the early Christians to assemble together for "the breaking of bread". Leaving aside the Catholic teaching on the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist, Jesus admonishes the Apostles to "do this in memory of me". Can we practice this activity without some kind of organized assembly? Is it God's will that we do this in our families, taking turns as to who plays the part of Jesus? There are many more reasons I could give for why I have joined a hierarchical church after beginning in a less formal setting as a Christian. I had decided to started my own "church" in 1985. I asked a neighboring pastor if he thought I needed to be ordained first. I think he probably sensed as I did, the problem with ordination ceremonies for one without any linkage back to the Apostles, or a Restoration. Better to not go down that path. I decided to forego any kind of ceremony. I decided that anybody could start a church. It is a long story from there to now and this post is already too long. Allow me to close by saying that I began to take Mormonism serious in the early nineties, because they offered an answer to what eventually became clear to me from my ministry. If there are problems with a hierarchy, the problems, in my opinion, are multiplied if we say that the Christian Scriptures and subsequent history shows that God prefers an unorganized "church" where all of His believers, are equally free to assemble, to teach, or to not assemble, and not teach. I am comfortable now in holding that this view, which I once unconsciously held, is incompatible with the revelation of Christ and His Apostles. I hope you don't see this as an attack changed. I appreciate the reasoning that makes one think as you appear to do. I am just trying to offer you and other interested parties some perspective that might give pause for thought. Rory
  12. The Nehor...I had not thought of it that way. I had never heard an explanation. I have to rethink this a little.
  13. Sad story to be sure. But no reason for despair. Duncan...you believe this...Jesus hung on the Cross...Sadly some think that their sins have gone beyond God's mercy. What to say? Nothing. It is okay to be silent unless we are gifted with some amazing insight...which is almost never...Unasked for advice is seldom heeded, and most often resented. Believe in prayer, with love. Wait for them to ask, and for God to work in hearts. You aren't a teen anymore. What has happened in her soul? Are you the same? Is she? 3DOP
  14. I had missed your post Glenn. I think it might be helpful to consider a possible antonym to the word "perfect". Imperfect comes to mind, as does defective. Was Adam made or Christ born defective? I don't think incomplete knowledge or mortality qualify as a birth defect or an imperfection.
  15. Hi pogi. Great. One of the reasons I originally thought that we should consider a less rigorous application of the word "perfect", as used by our Lord Himself, was remembering that He commanded us to be perfect. "Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect." (Mt. 5:14) I am reluctant to think that Christ would ask us to be perfect, if in the sense He meant the word, we could never be perfect because we don't know everything and because we die. Investigating this subject I see that there are many more passages of Scripture which refer to a perfection which seems to be possible apart from immortality and omniscience. A few examples that make me think that we must broaden our understanding of the word perfection to allow for both death and incomplete knowledge are as follows: James 1:14 seems to instruct us that through patience we can arrive at the kind of perfection that Christ was probably talking about. Genesis 6:9 tells us that Noah was in some way perfect. I am not clear what the qualification "in his generations" means, but surely it doesn't mean he was all-knowing and immortal. Hebrews 5:14 also leads one to understand that perfection, as often used in Scripture, is attainable apart from immortality and omniscience. Thanks to all for your consideration. Rory
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