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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:35 pm 
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I think trusting God is the best answer. Often I see free will discussed as if there is a way to do whatever we want without consideration of God's laws. Of course we are free to do what we want but we will have to answer for it later. No one is perfect. We all fail. But continuing to get up and continue should be our goal.

Death is not easy. But God's judgment is reserved to God. And we should pray for everyone that we hear has passed away. Catholic or not or unknown as far as their faith background.


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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 9:32 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
My closest friend died 10 days ago. I have cried every day since then. She was an atheist, with a slight interest in Buddhism but although baptised and brought up in a Catholic family, she had absolutely no interest in Catholicism or Christianity. She clearly saw the contradictions in orthodox religion and had no time for it.

I sat with her brother looking at her corpse in the hospital room in which she died, just a few hours after she died. We both felt overwhelming love for her, we loved her for all the years we knew her during her life, even though she was often very difficult, she had problems and sometimes took out her frustrations on those closest to her, which we often didn't deserve. But we understood, and we forgave her, and we knew that underneath her sometimes harsh exterior was a very soft, fragile, loving heart, which often melted my heart, and other people's hearts.

As I sat gazing at the face of her corpse, with feelings of immense love for her, I said to her brother "We have overwhelming love for her, if you believe that God is love, can you imagine how much God loves her?"

At such times cold dry theories and doctrines and speculative theologies about who will or will not be "saved" from "eternal punishment" are entirely irrelevant. The feeling of overwhelming love for my friend outshone all else, answered all doubts.

I know that not all Catholics believe that "few will be saved" but can you imagine anyone who believes that "few will be saved" actually stating that belief to me and my friend's brother as we sat in the room with her (corpse) feeling immense love for her? Can you imagine a hospital chaplain coming into the room and stating his belief that only a few will be saved, we would have kicked him out and told him to wise up.

My deceased closest friend, who had no time for Christianity but whose death left a lot of people crying with love for her, is no exception. There are very many people like that, ordinary imperfect people who do not agree with teachings of Catholicism or Christianity, but who are not wicked. Any teaching which suggests that almost all of these people (with just possibly a tiny few exceptions) will be condemned by an infinitely merciful loving God to suffer eternal punishment is ludicrous beyond belief, and incredibly cruel to close friends and family members who may be susceptible to possibly believing such nonsense.

The fact that no responsible person who believes in the doctrine of "Only a few will be saved" would state this belief at the wake or funeral of a nonbeliever, shows that it is not the truth, because the truth is not something that needs to be hidden.

In all my experience of Catholicism and funerals, there are barely any Catholics who believe that God is not as loving and kind and merciful as we humans are. Ordinary Catholics are often wiser than some of those higher up in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Ordinary Catholics are often closer to their own hearts and their own humanity and do not live in ivory towers.


I've cried every day about my friend, I'm not suffering depression, I'm fine in every way except that at times I'm very sad and sorrowful because I miss her so much. Someone said grief is love with nowhere to go. That's how it feels. But I believe love is never wasted.

Because of the persistence of my grief, I decided I would pay to have counselling. I found a reputable Internet website with a long list of all the properly qualified counsellors in my area. The website allows you to filter your search and one of the things you could choose was whether or not you want your counsellor to be a Christian. At first I thought I want my counsellor to be a Christian but then I thought what if the counsellor is the kind of Christian who believes that only Christians are saved from eternal suffering, or only a few are saved. I have no idea what the chances of a Christian counsellor being a Christian with such a narrow belief, but I decided not to take any chances, as my beautiful lovable friend was definitely not a Christian nor holy in any way. She was an atheist or agnostic, had no interest in religion or God. So I didn't want to go to a counsellor who believes that people like my friend are suffering eternally without any hope.

I think it's beyond dispute that it would not be good for me to go to a counsellor who believes something that would be so destructive to my mental health if I was susceptible to believing such a despairing belief about my friend, which thankfully I'm not. But some people are susceptible to having such despairing beliefs put into their heads and then having to cope with all the anxiety and despair such destructive thoughts cause.

The father of my deceased friend is a devout Catholic. I was speaking to him after the mass for the one month anniversary of her death, and I said to him the same thing that I said to her brother hours after her death: I said "if you think about how much we love her, how deeply we love her, how unconditionally we love her, think how much an infinitely merciful loving God loves her." He very much appreciated what I said, and totally agreed. He was visibly joyful about what I said.

That's something a narrow "only a few are saved" Christian could not have said to him, not with sincerity. The truth is not something we need to hide. If we think we need to hide it, it's not the truth.


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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:29 am 
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Location: Fort Smith, AR
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Professional Christian counselors have been through the same mental health training, including the completion of between 1500-3000 supervised clinical hours, as their secular certified counterparts. Those who hold a more traditional theological view on hell are not going to impose that theology on the counselee.

I'm not saying you should see a Christian counselor. I'm simply saying that concern ought not to factor into your considerations. More important is their experience and preferred counseling method, which is what you should consider when evaluating any potential counselor. The benefit to a Christian counselor is that they typically have additional theological training and are more familiar with theological issues related to the concerns raised in the session (in your case, grief).

Any competent counselor of ant tradition should be able to help you work through those issues. For some, some issues are more of a "native tongue."

You remain in my prayers, DD.

_________________
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:30 pm 
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I understand that a properly qualified Christian counsellor who believes that all (or almost all) nonbelievers are condemned (or condemn themselves) to suffer eternally in hell without hope of release from their eternal suffering, isn't going to state that belief directly to a client. They wouldn't dare. But I wouldn't want to go to a Christian counsellor who might even be thinking that hideous thought. The counsellor I'm attending is very open and honest and definitely doesn't think that.


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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:08 pm 
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So long as you found someone who can help you work through your grief, that's what's important here.

_________________
Indeed, the Lord Jesus, when He prayed to the Father, "that all may be one. . . as we are one" (John 17:21-22) opened up vistas closed to human reason, for He implied a certain likeness between the union of the divine Persons, and the unity of God's sons in truth and charity. This likeness reveals that man, who is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself, cannot fully find himself except through a sincere gift of himself. ~ Pope Paul VI, Gaudium et Spes 24.3


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 Post subject: Re: Free will question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:39 pm 
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Pope Francis today on Twitter:

Pope Francis
@Pontifex
Dear friends, in this month of November, we are invited to pray for the dead. Let us entrust our family members, friends and acquaintances to God, especially in the Eucharist, feeling them close to us in the spiritual company of the Church. #GeneralAudience


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