Jaw Dropping note from the Pope

Discussion in 'Spirituality/Worship' started by jaminhealth, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Received this yesterday and it was rather jaw dropping to me:


    As a former long time catholic and now a good conscience non believer, thought
    this to be very interesting, to say the least....people of this faith love this new
    pope and if I were still a catholic, I'm sure I would too...as it is, I like him a lot.

    Things sure do change, if we are around long enough.

    Hope you are all in good spirits as can be.
  2. Soul*

    Soul* Active Member

    To bad though that the media can't seem to refrain from altering peoples words in titles that don't say what a person actually said. Oh well, they too have their own conscience to face ;)
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  3. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I'm an ex-Catholic too (though staunch Catholics will say there is no such thing as an "ex" Catholic, FWIW), but in any event, it's pretty amazing what he said. Wow - the church actually approaching people instead of condemning them. Good to see -

    Waynesrhythm and TigerLilea like this.
  4. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what soul was referring to, but there are MANY links related to this scenerio. So "he" said something to this effect....
  5. Soul*

    Soul* Active Member

    The title is misleading Jamin, the part of having your own conscience to adhere to is correct but the rest is just altering his words to create a frenzy.

    If you read the actual letter you will see he didn't actually say what the title is trying to make you believe that he said. Nor what the text in the article tries to emphasize on.
    This is the link to the actual letter in english http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2013/09/11/news/the_pope_s_letter-66336961/ There is no mention of going to heaven in this or if it is OK or not to believe in God. He is just sharing his own experience and understanding without putting judgment though the title and text in article puts things there that he never actually said. Which is to bad because they are making something that is good as is into something unreliable by blowing it out of proportion.

    I agree that it is great that he is so open to dialogue. It makes sense to me. If someone says they are Christians but are condemning or excluding certain groups of people they definitely aren't following in Christs footsteps thats for sure.
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  6. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Hi Soul, here is another interesting read on this:

    Telegraph.co.uk (blog)-Sep 12, 2013

    We've had some interesting discussions over the years on this topic and those who were in those discussions are gone from here, except me and I still enjoy these discussions....but I will not get into it....I have my opinions and you all have yours.

    Just thinking about my dad who passed at 95 and he confuessed to me on his dying bed, that he never believed...he went along with "it" all his life to keep peace with my mom. So he lived in a quiet desperation so to speak..

    Wonder where both mom and dad are now...mom believed, dad did not and I just think they are both dead in their caskets...no pearly gates as we've been told most of many's lives....

    I won't have a casket, my spirit (ashes) will go to the sea when it's time.

    Take care and it looks as thou the media did a job on all this, I guess....

    I know of and know a good number of pretty nasty christan spouters....
  7. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Soul - I don't think the article misrepresented the Pope's words that badly. I think they were trying to distill the essence in a few words. Here's what he actually said:

    "First of all, you ask if the God of the Christians forgives those who do not believe and do not seek faith. Given that - and this is fundamental - God's mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. In fact, listening and obeying it, means deciding about what is perceived to be good or to be evil. The goodness or the wickedness of our behavior depends on this decision."

    I think it's debatable what exactly the Pope means by these words - he does not say that nonbelievers are damned, which many "Christians" would allege. He does say it's important for nonbelievers to follow their conscience, which again I've never heard from the church before. But what else can be drawn from what the pope says is probably debatable.

    I think it is rather groundbreaking from traditional teachings, and welcome too.

    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  8. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Hi Jam and all, it sounds interesting. Will have to sort it out more tomorrow when less bleary.

    Soul - I agree with you so strongly about the harmfulness and hurt caused by exclusion of groups of people from Christian or other churches.

  9. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    We take what works and leave the rest for our lives...that's what's FINALLY came to me at this late date in my life.

    Thinking about the religion and god thing, I never chose this path, my mom chose it for me when I was born.

    If I were being born today, I would NOT choose this original path, based on what I know now after years of "learning"....

    I've learned and gained SO MUCH for so many wonderful friends who do not believe in a supreme being, and yet I have some friends who do so strongly believe, and they can be mean and cheatful people....

    So, we do what comes to us and follow our hearts and MINDS. And do service as best we can, that's the important part of life.

    BTW: My MOST lifechanging "religion" has been Science of Mind aka Religious Science, which I found or it found me in the early 80's, and lifechanging no doubt....

    Whatever works for anyone, but hypocrisy never works anywhere in my life. jam
  10. Soul*

    Soul* Active Member

    I like what he says in we are all called to be the children of the only Father and brothers with each other. That in itself excludes noone, but makes you see everyone as souls, equal and a world family. I like what someone once said, he said God has no religion, He has just been given many names by man but loves all souls equally.

    I turned away from God and religion in my teens because I didn't understand what some religions taught about how God is responsible for everything in this world. God and sorrow or suffering to me doesn't combine. It was only when I started to understand how free will and degradation has led us into making wrong choices and God is not responsible for that that I found space to give the existence of God another chance.

    I like where he says: To start, I would not speak about, not even for those who believe, an "absolute" truth in the sense that absolute is something detached, something lacking any relationship. Now, the truth is a relationship! This is so true that each of us sees the truth and expresses it, starting from oneself: from one's history and culture, from the situation in which one lives, etc. This does not mean that the truth is variable and subjective. It means that it is given to us only as a way and a life.
    God to me is not something to 'belief' in, it's a relationship to experience and like any other relationship it takes time getting to know someone. And the worst basis for any relationship is going by what others tell you about someone, whether it is praise or defamation, instead of going by your own experience.

    I am happy to know it all comes down to our own conscience and the life we live and there is no such thing as someone else punishing us or testing us. It's just our own conscience that bites when we know we made a choice that hurt ourselves and others. And it's only logical that in this time and age nature and matter (which includes our bodies as well) reacts to the wrong choices mankind made over the centuries and is still making.

    I love that I can make the world a better place simply by improving on what I can improve on in myself instead of pointing the finger outward. Makes life so much more valuable and harmonious and allows me to see good even in those who are not able to express their good right now.

    If I want to become a doctor I will have to study for that, there is noone who can make me into that if I don't do the work to get there.
    If I want to make the world a better place I'll have to prepare myself for that and become a better person myself, simple as abc. It won't come by itself and it won't come to me by waiting for others to change first.
    I believe that heaven and hell both can be experienced right here on earth and don't need a different place elsewhere for that. It's up to the people to make it either hell or heaven and when there are still people suffering, fighting and peaceless there is work to do for each and every one of us and our own conscience tells us whether our thoughts words and actions are contributing towards hell or heaven :p

    Thanks to all the supportive people on here who choose to put their energy into making their own and each others live more positive! We are all soul brothers in a global family ;)
    Waynesrhythm likes this.
  11. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Soul, for many years I've added an extra O and come up with GOOD....long story there from one of my dear friend and teacher in my life..

    Too, I've hung around the Unitarians a lot and also the scientists at Cal Tech here in So. Cal...and opened my mind to a lot more.

    Was there ever really a god, maybe all made up by man...

    I care about many in the world but surely can't rescue them, so many suffer at the hands of horrible dictators. jm
  12. Soul*

    Soul* Active Member

    Jamin, I hear you on the Good. I think man has made it hard to understand God since there has been spread so much confusion and sorrow by using that name and forcing our opinions on others that we stopped experiencing for ourselves. We can't live on others experience if we don't have our own. And that is not something you can force upon anyone.

    I feel that adding to the good in ourselves does serve the world in more ways then we can imagine. If you simply look at what the company of a positive person can do to our mood and what the company of an angry or negative person can do to our mood that in itself is such a simple but clear way to see how energy works.

    I believe if I work on the 'dictator' in myself and solve the war and peacelessness in myself, that WILL do good to the world too. It is ever so easy to point the finger at individuals or situations that seem to be causing all the sorrow but the way I experience it we are all responsible in feeding the negative energy in the world and if I take responsibility for all that is going on inside me that does help the bigger whole.

    The world and it's people all are 'sick' and gone crazy and we all need healing. People hurt others because of hurt and because of losing touch to the good in themselves but ultimately we all have our own conscience to face and we can't escape that and if I make good choices for my own thoughts words and actions I can live with a lighter heart even though we all face challenging times.

    I like the picture of the world tree where all religions/ism's/ideas/etc are the branches of a tree that all come together in the trunk. The tree comes from the same seed but the beauty in the tree are the branches and the leafs.

    We are all, as individuals, as big a part of this world as the next one, and so when I change, the world DOES change, I am no lesser part of this world then any other individual. I can give my energy to the darkness inside me or I can give it to the light inside myself so that a little more darkness gets lifted. Whether you experience support of God or Good or anything else positive, it will leave a spark that can light others too and each one has their own unique part to play and is valuable :)
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  13. windblade

    windblade Active Member

    Hi Soul - Goedenavond. Reading your post, one above, I think of someone like Mother Teresa who brought dying people off the streets, and tended their illness, gave them shelter. And as they were dying, she said to them, you pray the prayers you've been taught (in Hindi or other),and I'll pray my prayers and soon you will be with your Father in heaven.

    I feel very drawn to people who value, and listen to others of other religions, or just to the pain and joys of someone's life. I receive so much from other people's spiritual growth and struggles - there is a deep communality (is that a word?). I learn from Rabbi's, Sufi poets and dance, Buddhism, and much more. It all enriches my own faith as a christian. I use the small C because there has been too much force and coercion and scapegoating, and I think the media amplifies it all. Picking out the most rabid kind of people just to boost TV ratings.

    Recently I've been listening to Jean Vanier, who is so healing. I felt a huge weight of defenses lifting from my shoulders and my thoughts in hearing his gentle yet powerful thoughts. He is much on youtube, and a brilliant interview on Krista Tippett's 'On Being' show online.

    Doeg :) (I'm learning a little Dutch)

  14. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator

    First, Soul, thank you for posting the link to the actual letter in English. I agree that the media is misrepresenting what the Pope said in the link that jaminhealth posted.

    I see in the quote above, in Mary's post, that the Pope said that "Given that-and this is fundamental-God's mercy has no limits if he who asks for mercy does so in contrition and with a sincere heart, the issue for those who do not believe in God is in obeying their own conscience. "

    This is my own interpretation: I think the Pope is saying that non-believers should live the best life they can based on their good conscience and good choices. But, he talks about asking for mercy with a sincere heart...so I think he is saying that should the non-believer become a believer, God is all-merciful, and will forgive the non-believer for not believing, if he is sincere and sorry.

    My belief in our Lord Jesus is not at all based on how other people act. All people are imperfect sinners, even Christians.

    Churches are places for sinners to go and learn, not for perfect people, or they would be empty.

    My belief in Jesus Christ gives me all the hope that I need that when this earthly life ends, there will be an eternal life in Heaven with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    In the meanwhile, we are called to live this life with love towards everyone.
  15. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Yes, Nannie46, I even try to work thru loving my neighbor who not long ago told me I'd burn in hell if I didn't accept jesus....well, I don't buy the hell or heaven concept....it's all here in my life and what I feel about life....

    If there is something worse or greater after, then it is...but I have my doubts....

    We all do our lives as we do...and no one is better than any one else as I believe.

    I do a lot of retrospective thinking these days as I have TIME on my hands and my mom
    and at least one of her sisters was very into jesus, we even had to bow our heads when we
    said the name....they only knew from what their parents taught them, then me too. But,
    I've broken out and think so much more over my life...

    I like the 10 commandments, do not kill, do not lie, do not steal, treat thy neighbor
    as we want to be treated....etc....but look at the world and all the killings, stealings,
    lieing, cheating, meaness, it goes on and on and so many lean on a god when they want a
    way out of what they do wrong. Or go to the bible quotes, I've never done that....I
    just do the right thing on my own. Oh well....that's life. We make our own way.
  16. Nanie46

    Nanie46 Moderator

    It is your option to believe or not, jamin.

    I choose to believe because I know what I have read in the Bible, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is the only risen Lord. He promises me eternal life in Heaven and forgiveness of my sins. I have seen the great things He has done in my life. I have also had some amazing experiences involving Jesus myself....and many other reasons.

    I have read many books of people's real life experiences when they died and went to Heaven or hell, and then were revived and came back to tell their story. One very amazing one is called "Embraced By the Light" by Betty J Eadie. I have also read a book called "23 Minutes in Hell" by Bill Weise. The torture and horror he describes is unimaginable.

    People can choose to live a good life whether they believe in Jesus or not. No doubt about that. There are many non-Christians who act better than many Christians.

    For me the bottom line is that I have faith in my God, He gives me everything I need to get through this life, and it is what happens to our spirit/soul after death that matters to me because eternity is a long time. I am very excited about the promise of eternal life in Heaven.

    You don't have to believe what I believe at all. Not debating that here. This is my belief.

    I would never choose to believe or not believe based on other people's bad behavior, crime, hypocritical attitudes, etc. None of those people offer me forgiveness of my sins and eternal salvation, therefore they do not affect my decision to believe. They are just lost, broken people.

    For non-believers, it is your choice not to believe. We all have free will.

    I think most people do try to live a good, honest life though. There are a lot of good people in the world.
  17. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    I just choose to look at both sides of it all. No debate, etc...but I was as you are the first half or more of my life and then went searching for better answers for me and it all. Again no debating just exchanging....and for me the big push was finding Julia Sweeney and her life and where she is now, that is where I've come also. So, to find one's contentment no matter what is where it's at....

    We are all good helpful people here whether we believe or don't. jam
  18. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    I don't choose to debate, I know what I believe in my own heart. All those bible prophecies over l,500 years earlier than when Jesus came to this earth, all fulfilled. My two sons are nonbelievers. It's not my place to convict them or MAKE them believe. Only the Holy Spirit can call someone. It breaks my heart that they don't believe, but I keep praying for them. My husband is Polish Catholic. It's been a hard road. I know that God put us together for a reason and kept us together, even through really hard times. Every once in awhile I'm able to talk to him about what is supposed to happen in the latter days. I watch the new Pope with much interest......and wonder.
  19. jaminhealth

    jaminhealth Well-Known Member

    Sun, I think many catholics like the new pope, especially the young people...knowing how my mom and her sister were, they would have a hard time with this more liberal pope, although to me it's all conservative...I really fall into a very liberal thinking category, although I'm financially conservative, generous but not wasteful....so much waste in our country especially...and conspicious consumption, good grief, we are the worst for "stuff"....I always loved George Carlin and his comments on our "stuff"...we are a overstuffed country.

    The catholics are a huge population BUT many many have fallen off and out....

    More later...jam
  20. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Though my DH would NEVER EVER talk against his church, I don't think he's terribly fond of this new pope.