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Which presents quite a dichotomy. Remember the old, old, Baltimore Catechism? It was a great question-and-answer format treatment of correct Catholic teaching. And one of the questions in it was, of course, the why are we here? What is our purpose? question. And the given answer was, and still is, to know, love and serve God in this life, and to be happy with Him in the next. That seemingly simple question and answer carries within itself, and begins to plumb, the most profound depths of Judeo-Christian thought and Western Culture philosophy.
It presents, as a premise, that God wants man to love Him.
A huge percentage of Judao-Christian inquiry inevitably leads us back to that foundational premise. From the little child asking his or her first probing questions, to the battle-weary veteran asking how could a good God allow such evil to exist? to the grief-stricken mourner regarding the untimely death of someone truly good, to why do bad things happen to good people? to where did evil come from? and on, and on, and on. It all comes back to that first premise, and it has to do with the nature of true love.
God wants us to love Him, not act like we love Him, and not just bow and scrape before Him, and not just submit to Him or to His will; He wants us to really love Him. He could just as easily have made us robots, without free will, to act as though we loved Him. But He gave us free will. Which means we are free to not love Him.
And what is love, in the absence of free will? If it is not freely given by someone in full possession of free will, then, I submit, it is not love; it is something else. True love, by its very nature, demands, as an absolute prerequisite, the existence of free will. Love is, at its deepest root, a decision or a choice that must be freely made, in the presence of other options.
And that is how evil came into the world.
If we are free to love God, then we are equally free to reject His love for us, and to not love Him, and to do whatever we damn well please. Here we have the very beginning point of the notion of sin, which is, rejecting, or saying no, to God. All sin of all variety is a form of that rejection.
It may be argued that man, by his poor choices, was not the first to bring evil into the world. Tradition of the ancients teaches that Angels also had free will, and that Lucifer, creature (creation) of God that he was, chose to try and set himself up as equal to God, and had his great fall. St. Michael, whose name itself was the challenge "Who is like unto God?" prevailed in a great heavenly battle against Lucifer / Satan. In Luke 10:18, Jesus says "I saw Satan fall like lightening from the sky"; from that and from Matthew 4:8-9 we know that he fell to Earth and not to Hell, and that he had, and has, power to rule here. This is where he operates. His power is personified as the great tempter; so long as we truly have free will, we can exercise self control, and we can resist temptation.
But many if not most forms of sin are addictive, which is to say, enslaving, which means the loss of free will. The more we sin, the more we sin, until we loose complete sight of the love of God, and we forget the foundational premise.
God respects us too much to interfere with our free will. It is ours to use, or to abuse.
Does God damn us to eternal Hell, or do we damn ourselves, by our free will choices? Do we properly lead others toward the free-will love of God, or away from it? Do we induce others to sin, either actively or by our own example?
The question before Adam involved saying yes to God in all circumstances, or to saying yes to the tempter, which is another way of saying no to God.
I submit that if we are blessed with intellect and cognitive ability, then we are supposed to use it appropriately. If you have made poor life choices and wound up in an unhappy place, do not blame God. Even if some external evil brought you to an unhappy place, through no fault of your own, again, do not blame God. He brought free will into the world, hoping for love; He did not bring evil into the world.
All God wanted was the for man to freely and truly love Him. That's it.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life. Please God, and live forever.
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Thursday, December 20,
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Note the relationship to this dichotomy of the events surrounding the recent Connecticut massacre.
God has been successfully driven out of American formal education, and God = Truth.
Truth has been successfully driven out of American news reporting, and Truth = God.
American education has become political indoctrination; American journalism has become political propagandizing.
Even the raving lunatic is now seen to have an extra-Constitutional right to not be institutionalized against his will.
Even the inanimate planet is now seen to have an extra-Constitutional right to not be interfered with in any way by man.
Having abandoned God = Truth we are socially going mad. We are looking for answers in all the wrong places. When we abandon God = Truth we make ourselves into randomly oriented, easily manipulated, directionless, pointless and purposeless beings.
This is the opposite of true freedom.
Pray for the little ones, and for a return to God = Truth = sanity.
Date: Sun Nov 16 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
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