Beginning as a child, my idea of an ideal marriage has increased steadily over throughout my life. Based on trust, humility, kindness and humour, I picture the perfect married life to have cooperation with the other person involved. In order for a relationship to work, there must be strong trust present and where either people do not have to question what it going on in the other person’s mind. In the beginning of Macbeth, the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth contain a somewhat strong amount of trust within. As Macbeth tells what his plans are for becoming king, he mentions to Lady Macbeth that if she has reasons to not murder King Duncan, then she should tell him, “And chastise with the valour of my tongue.” (1.5.28) An ideal marriage must also have humility and kindness towards the other person. It is unhealthy for one of the members to think themselves superior to the other, therefore a healthy marriage must be humble. For example, if there is superiority within a relationship, the other may have no freedom or control. Having a balanced relationship created more opportunities for that marriage. There is evidence of respect between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, “This have I thought good to deliver thee, my dearest partner of greatness…” (1.5.11-14) However, the egoistic nature that both of them posses to become royalty, begin the making of their marriage weaker. Another aspect of an ideal marriage is kindness. Marriages that do not contain kindness to either one and want any chance of success in a marriage, need to be kind towards each other. Both Macbeth and his wife contain vengeance within them to kill Duncan so that they can become king and queen. This results in a great lack of kindness towards people that trust in them, leading to a broken relationship, “Your hand, your tongue: look like the innocent flower, / But be the serpent under’t.” (1.5.66-67) For their marriage, this could happen to them as well where the lack of kindness could increase eventually breaking the trust between them. Although trust, humility, and kindness are extremely important for an ideal marriage, I believe that the most important aspect for a long-lasting relationship is humour. They say that laughter is the best medicine and in the case of married life, not being able to make the other laugh, creates a very dull life. Having the ability to make the other laugh creates happiness within both lives, resulting in a more healthy lifestyle. I believe all of these attributes are what makes up the most ideal marriage.
The video, The Central Logic of Christianity, by Bishop Barron talks about how we can participate in the holiness and loving presence of God. Understanding the importance of what it is we value in the Christian faith can influence not only our lives but the lives around us, even those whom we don’t always pray for in our lives. This explanation talks about how everything we have is God’s, the weirdness of Christianity, holiness, loveliness, and of course, the central logic of Christianity.
Whether it is our mind, will, entertainment, sexuality, public life, personal life, all of these possessions that we hold are turned towards the will of God. The temple of God is the most holy of holy and the temple of God, rather the dwelling place of God is the containment for everything we have. We are the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 3: 16-17 says this, Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. Everything we have, including us means so much to God that we basically give God life. Jesus died for us because he loves us, he was willing to sacrifice himself so that we could live. Turn this around now and say we will sacrifice everything so that Jesus, God, will live. The central logic of Christianity is that Jesus loves us and He loves us so much that we are His most prized possessions. Our possessions (mind, will, entertainment etc.) is God’s most prized possessions.
To be holy is to be weird. There is no doubt about it that Jesus was a weird man, he was born in a manger, and rose from the dead but this is what being holy is all about. When God told Moses to part the Red Sea, the Egyptians were very surprised at what God was able to do, Moses seemed very weird but he was doing it because he was holy. However, since we are commanded to love as God loves, it is okay to be weird. We are to be holy like God and if that means we have to go out of our comforts zones and go to mass on Sunday even though we are not Catholic, then it is all okay because it is what God wants us to do so that we can be more like him. Genesis 1:27, So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. This is what God asks of us, to be like him, in his image. Even thinking about the weirdness of God, he still wants us to be like him and that is when we become holy, when we put our lives in God’s hands.
But what does it actually mean to be holy? To be holy is to have divine life, protecting what it is God wants us to protect; our souls. Treat it like a sanctuary, protect our souls from temptation, from the evil around us and give it to God. Like the tabernacle in Church, it protects the holy eucharist from the evil on the outside. The holiness of God also consists in love. So when we participate in prayer, liturgy, the lives of the saints, sacraments, and art and architecture, we are participating in the holiness of God. All of this practice so that we might have a divine life within us. This practice is the reason for us protecting our divine souls, it only gets stronger as we practice more and more in the Christian faith. Speak to the entire assembly of Israel, and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. This scripture is from Leviticus 19:2 and states that it is so important for us to be holy like God because we will have a divine life. That is what being holy and divine life is all about.
God is both holy and love, but when it comes to just one, we say God is love. What is love? According to Bishop Barron, love is not a feeling or sentiment, it is an act of the will for the good of others. Love is not giving and then getting something in return but rather just giving. Love is not a calculation, it is pure and everywhere around us.When someone hurts you, you must still will the good of the other. We can do this by testing our integrity of love, practice loving your enemies, love and pray for those you don’t normally like. The rain falls on the just and unjust by God’s love so that is we must do, that is how we love. I attend a summer camp every year called Camp Encounter which is also what the school goes to for retreats and a few years ago in 2014, the man that brought camp together in the beginning passed away due to cancer. This man’s name was Father Michael Mireau (or camp name was Father Catfish). He was the most amazing priest I had ever seen as my first year at camp was his last, but one line that he always finished his homilies with was “God is love”. Even on his grave today can you see that phrase, so this phrase is very important to me because when we wonder what love is, love is God.
The central logic of Christianity is that we are commanded to love as God loves. As said in the paragraphs above, God wants us to be like him and love as he loves. Love your enemies, pray for those whom we do not like but like the rain falling on the just and unjust, love everyone like God. This is the heart of the Christian faith, to be more holy, more loving like Jesus. Practice every morning, noon, and night by praying, not by self-interest but humility instead. Most of the time when we pray, we often ask for something and God’s answer is always love but when praying for those in our lives, be the one that loves not the one wanting love. When we love our enemies, don’t just forgive them, but love as God loves. Pure love is God’s love and this is how we need to love. It is not impossible to love as God loves, all we need is practice. Practice in the central logic of Christianity.
The Central Logic of Christianity is what we as human beings need to strive for in our everyday lives. Weather it is loving our enemies like God, or just being weird like God, bring everything we have towards God with love and holiness. These are the things we need to push for in our Christian lives, these are the central logics of Christianity.
Who Is Jesus by Peter Kreeft is the reading focused on two men named Sal and Chris. Sal is a sceptic who seeks honestly for the truth of who Jesus is really while Chris is the teacher trying to explain to Sal the truth of who Jesus is. Chris talks about the truth behind Christianity, focusing on the most important aspects of how to seek Jesus. Suffering with Jesus and his love, praying, promising, overcoming our fear of love, and most importantly just being honest. The meaning behind this reading is learning what Christianity is based off of, why we worship this man, why he is the reason we do what we do.
Even if there are human beings that do not believe in Jesus, no matter who we are, Jesus loves us and He was willing to suffer himself so that we could be free. He loves us so much that He still suffers with us wherever we are. In the reading, Sal first asks Chris where was Jesus during the holocaust but Chris replies by saying that Jesus was in the oven with them. The question, who is Jesus, is simple in its complexity. We know that Jesus was a Jew but Jesus is also love and so these two characteristics of Jesus are the basis for Chris’s answer to Sal. It was the Jews that were punished during the holocaust, and so when they suffered, Jesus suffered with them not only because he was also a Jew but because he loves us so much. There is a scripture in the Bible talking about God’s love and how Jesus died on the cross so that we may be free from sins and it is, God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Although we all sin and suffer while doing so, Jesus will always love us so matter what and he is willing to take the ultimate suffering so that we can live better lives.
As non-believers and even Christians, we are constantly seeking for God. And Chris tells Sal that we can do this by prayer. By having this conversation with Christ, we are able to be honest without the worry of God not forgiving us. When we are honest through prayer, that connection between us and Jesus only increases because Jesus knows that we trust in him. 1 John 5:14 says that, This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. So even if we are scared or think that talking to someone we don’t believe in is dishonest, God still wants us to talk to him as long as we are doing it with honesty. Even if we talk to him about disbelieving, that is still being honest. It is easy for is to lie to our parents but lying towards God is completely different. When we lie to God, it is almost that we are being honest to him that we don’t want him in our lives, so it is almost impossible to lie to God. Another reason why prayer is the best way to find God is because there is no right or wrong way to do so only as long as we are being honest. There are many lines in the reading that could be put together to make a prayer and here is an example of a prayer of the sceptic:
How can I pray if I don’t believe? That’s dishonest
Would you call me a prophet if I said I was God?
Why? Why are you looking for a way out? What are you afraid of?
Aren’t you afraid someone will with weak faith will read this and lose his faith
Yes, but the argument isn’t the objective of my faith: he is
I do really want to know. I want a way in, not a way out: a way to find out what’s true
Who do you say Jesus is, then?
A good man
Is God. He’s alive. He rose from the dead
You don’t blame me for questioning it, then?
For human beings it is very difficult for us to keep a promise but for God, his promises are the most sacred, the most impossibly breakable promises known. We ask God all the time, when we will find him but the problem with humans is the impatience that comes with everything and we expect that when we ask God to help us, it will happen in the next five minutes. But nowhere in the bible does it mention when we will find God, but rather we will find him. As we are all honest seekers at some point, we want to know the truth that God and Jesus are real and so we ask and wait but it’s not the waiting that is important, it is that we must believe God will be there for us when we need him and this is exactly what God promises to us. God will and will always love us and guide us whether it is tomorrow, or in ten years but we will find him.
Why are non-believers reluctant to say Jesus is 100% God? The answer to this is quite simple, it is because we are afraid to love and Jesus is love and do we are afraid to love Jesus. When humans love most of the time it results in us suffering, angry, and miserable. It may be because someone very close to us passed away, or a broken heart that made us never want to love again but when it comes to loving Jesus, we put that fear in front of us because we are too scared to love again. The lost of trust and honesty that those loved one may have told us was broken, and so a fear that we can lo longer trust fades away. If we cannot trust those that meant to much to us, why should we trust someone that may not even exist? The answer to this question however is Lewis Trilemma. We know that God cannot be a liar or a lunatic, so he must be Lord. No matter what we can always trust in God’s love even if we are reluctant to do so. For humans love is a tragedy but for God, it is always true.
Just be honest. As humans, we are all honest seekers and we live wanting to know the moral truth. So when we want honesty, it is our duty to just be honest. Relating to the Nike slogan, Just Do It, just being honest is almost the same thing. Nike is telling us to just go and do what you should do, but be honest about it. Jesus is honesty also, so trying to find this honesty isn’t that hard in the first place because it is easy to find Jesus which, as said before, can be done by praying to him. Don’t try to argue or even compliment Jesus, just be honest towards him and in return not only do we get his honesty but also his most trusted love. In the reading, Who Is Jesus?, Chris is telling Sal about the existence to Jesus and in reply Sal says, “That’s a clever argument” but Chris tells Sal in return that he is not looking for a compliment but rather honesty. God does not want us to praise every time someone explains his existence, God just wants us to be honest with him, ask him why they are sceptics. Jesus, I trust in You.
From these ways, we can more deeply understand who Jesus really is and it is from these ways that we believe so much in Him. Just by praying, promising, seeking, confessing, and suffering, our relationship with The Big Man Upstairs is so much greater than it was before. The reading, Who Is Jesus by Peter Kreeft is a great explanation for the understanding of not only Jesus, but his other beings, a Father, and the Holy Spirit.
The Problem of Evil by Peter Kreeft is how we can take the most difficult temptation around us and turn it around towards God. We have to put our trust in God because He is the reason the good is greater than bad, He is the reason that every being on this planet is not full of anger. The Problem of Evil explains the importance of an embodied soul, how we can practice with God, why good things happen to us, reaching heaven over hell, and having free will. It is an article that asks the mind and soul how we answer this problem.
We are an embodied soul. We are a single creature that are both the body and the soul. Whenever one is affected so is the other and this is can be both a reward and a loss that God has given us. As Peter Kreeft explains that evil is not a being, but rather a wrong choice and when we make that wrong choice of choosing evil both our physical (body) and spiritual (soul) are now connected to evil. This can be enhanced by the idea of suicide. Once we are fully engaged in evil, this first goes to our spiritual self which becomes damaged due to the fact that God is unhappy with our free will. This then instantly damages the body becomes which is then physically gone. This is an example that when our embodied beings are punished, evil controls both our physical and spiritual persons. However, this gift that God gave us is also a great blessing because it is both with our soul and body that we are able to fight evil. When we physically attending mass or praying, we giving ourselves to God which is spiritual. God wants us to do this and so helps us reach the goal of choosing good over bad. This the one of the solutions of evil.
Another way that Peter Kreeft offers as a solution to the problem of evil is by practicing repenting, believing, and working with God. By practicing, we are focusing on Jesus Christ, who physically died because of evil rather than us just having a theory that evil may or may not actually exist. The cross is a part to God’s solution because by knowing that evil can destroy the Most Perfect Being, can we learn through practicing that it can be overcome as shown by Jesus going to heaven and forgiving all our sins. When we repent, we are confessing our sins to God which then creates a step in reaching to heaven and as said before, destroys some of that evil that lurks within us. By believing in God and Christ Jesus, we have truly put our lives dedicated towards His. And by working with God, we are able to understand and cooperate with Him. When we are upset with our lives, we ask God to help us or when God asks something of us, we respond by “building his church”. Like practicing for volleyball, practicing faith makes it so much easier in the end.
Kreeft explains another solution to the problem of evil and that is by asking the question that started the problem in the first place and that question is, why do bad things happen to good people? The answer to this question is by rearranging the words so that is becomes why to good things happen to bad people? We are all sinners and if we deny that we are sinners, then we have just sinned again. When we are our best selves is when we reluctant to say that we are good people. St. Francis of Assisi was rich, spoiled, and greedy when he was young. When you looked at him, never would you think that one day he would be a saint yet good things still happened to him and this a result of God not evil. As St. Francis got older did he start to realize his sins and notice all the “evil” that was inside of him. Kreeft says, Sinners think they are saints, but saints know they are Sinners. This is exactly what happened to St. Francis and by understanding that we are not God but people who make mistakes every day, is a deeper step into the solution of evil.
Do I hope hell is crowded or do I hope hell is empty? This question is the replacement for whether or not hell is crowded or is empty. Some of us hope that hell is very empty but all we can do is hope. Unlike God, we do not know what the people around us are involved in, only God knows for all we can do is ask ourselves, Will they be in hell or heaven? Many of us are optimistic and say we are all good and we all deserve to be in heaven but once we become pessimistic, that hope turns into the idea that maybe they don’t deserve to be there, maybe they want to be there. This is when we ask the question to ourselves the most simple and complex question known to mankind and that is, What would Jesus do? What would Jesus do if he’d hope that hell is empty. Jesus would help those struggling, help those that have let temptation take over their souls, and He does. In order for us to answer our hopes is do follow in Jesus’s footsteps, live our lives according to His Word. The bible does not mention once that there is a being in hell and that is proof of evil not indoctrinating the lives on Earth.
As children of God, we are given free will so when we take that free will and “flush it down the toilet”, we are contributing to evil. When choosing between good or bad, most of the time we want to choose good. But there are the cases when people freely choose hell for themselves. God is not the reason for anyone to be in hell (if there is anyone in hell) but rather hell is a result of how much God loves us all. He loves and trusts us so much that He gave us free will and choose the path in which we take at the end. It is a consequence that comes with many prices. This is also why hell is the worst aspect of the problem of evil because it is so easy for us to take something like free will and turn away from God. By practicing our faith and trusting in God, can we take this free will for the greater good and in the end reach for heaven.
By answering to the problem of evil through practice and free will, we can become so much closer to God. All of us face a time in our lives where we encounter evil, but with the help from God, evil can be overtaken with love and trust.
One of the most popular beliefs worldwide is that everything happens for a reason. Saying this is like saying that teenager died in that car crash at age sixteen for a reason. However if we switch this around and come to the conclusion that everything happens for a cause then it becomes so much more easier to explain that that is why it happened. Now we can say that a teenager died in a car crash due to the cause of a drunk driver or distracted driving, not it just happened for a reason. Another aspect to understand is that God is not the cause behind all bad things. It starts with the sin of mankind that cause these existential crises to happen. God is though, the cause that we exist and the cause that we can be causes to making the world a better place. Every living and nonliving being, good and bad didn’t happen for a reason otherwise many Jews may still be alive. Everything happens because of a cause, Adolf Hitler was the cause behind the loss of many Jews. God made this world not as a reason but because He is the First Cause.
Throughout our whole lives, we are taught that one plus equals two and there is no doubt that is true but if we think beyond Earth and look toward heaven, we reach this idea called kingdom math. This idea is the concept of one plus one plus one equals one. Kingdom math is based on the idea that when we love, we give. It is more important to give then recieve and in this situation, the giving is the left side of the equal sign which is greater than the receiving on the right side of the equal sign. This is also what being humble is all about. The line from the prayer of St. Francis, “In giving that we receive”, is an exact example of what kingdom math is because we receive more happiness and get closer to God when we give rather than when we get more.
The definition of egoism is, a theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality. On the other side of the spectrum is what we call caritas. The is the Christian love for mankind by the works of charity and giving. At the start of every mass, we as Catholics, begin by saying we are sinners and part of that comes from being a little more self-centered than God would like us to be. One of the five commandments of the Catholic church is that we shall help the needs of the church and this is when we change from being an egoist to doing things out of love or being caritas. Going through this stage, we also face what is called altruism. Altruism is the practice of being disinterested and selfless concern for the people around us. The question that comes with the idea of caritas is however, How do we change? The answer to this is simply by going to church regularly. Once we understand that when we give, we receive, our hearts begin to take another turn and we begin to notice the people around us more. We are all victims of being an egoist but it is not impossible to change that state of mind and be a little more caritas, after all we do have free will and that is because of The Big Man Upstairs.
Pascal’s wager is the wager in which God is or is not. Unlike many, Pascal does not believe in the Agnosticism, which are those that accept the idea God exists but don’t really act on the idea. Atheism or Theism, this is what Pascal bases his wager off of, these two options. The wager is asking the question, Why choose bad and risk everything if you can choose good and not risk anything? When we take this wager, we are betting on eternity, picking knowledge over happiness. Believe too much, we don’t win or lose anything but if we turn to those that don’t believe, our lives are at stake. Now Pascal doesn’t tell us that if we don’t believe, our lives will be an existential crisis but if we choose to have Christ in our life, we will be guaranteed a purpose in life full of peace, hope, joy, and love. This is proven when we place a wreath made of evergreen with one rose and three violet candles during Advent. Pascal’s wager is this choice of having a full life that will never end or living our lives watching the clock tick by as a world beyond us is in our backyard.
The biggest question that every single Christian must be prepared to explain is why we should believe in God in the first place. Pascal’s wager does play a major part in the answer to the question but there is still so much more to why we should. Even though this a very complex question, the most simple of answers is why not. Like said in Pascal’s wager, why should we risk losing everything rather that having joy and not risking anything. Why should you choose the flavourless, dry cracker, if right beside it, there is a freshly baked loaf of bread that your grandmother made? This is why we should believe in God. God is the one that is full of love, gives you a hug whenever you need one, puts a smile on your face when we are in His presence. Not having God in our lives is that dry cracker that will never fully satisfy us. Even the agnosticism, somewhat believe and it’s those baby steps that God is patient with. He doesn’t force us to believe but there is nothing more special in this world when God is smiling down on us. Without God, life is not complete and in order for this life to be complete, we should believe in God.
Reasons to Believe by Peter Kreeft is a great example on ways in which we can understand what is the core of the Christian faith. From the understanding of kingdom math to what is Pascal’s wager, even the most Catholic of us feel the need to be closer to God and this is so beautiful because this is what God truly wants of us as his disciples. There are so many reasons to believe and these are only five ways out of so many.
Personification- And the trees were showering a faint, silvery rain. Personification is when you give nonhuman objects human characteristics. As the boy walks through this tunnel, he’s experiencing trees give him a shower of crystals.
Metaphor- But by the time he had on his clothes his hands were numbed and he could scarcely hold his shoes. A comparison of two objects without using the words “like” or “as”. The comparison Lessing uses in this statement is the idea of the boy not wanting to wear his shoes and a sacrifice. It’s cold and the boy refuses to wear his shoes which resembles a sacrifice because there are risks yet he’s still doing it.
Paradox- And the exaltation and pride of mounted in him till he was shutting his teeth hard against a violent desire to shout his triumph. A contradicting statement that when explained may prove to be true. This statements is an example of a paradox because the boy even though he wants to shout out his power, he went to hunt and shouting would only ruin that opportunity. He wants control yet to stay in control he has to remain silent. It makes you ask yourself, is he really in control and contain all the power?
Juxtaposition- But also grimly satisfied with his stoicism. A juxtaposition is when two words close together are in contrasting effect. Grimly and satisfied, two words that contradict each other. Lessing’s use of these two words really shows the boy’s personality. The idea that you can be happy but in a mad way. The fact that there are many ants eating this buck alive and yet the boy is satisfied because he didn’t kill it. To be grimly satisfied is a way in which humans, even when mad have that little joy inside us.
Superfluity- He was clean crazy, yelling mad with the joy of living and superfluity of youth. Everyone of us experiences a superfluity of youth. It’s to be wild, joyful, enjoying this crazy thing called life. Doris Lessing shows us the importance of why we should all be as excited with life as much as the boy in the story. There’s a world out in front of us waiting to be explored, waiting for that joy inside of us all to come out. God gave us laughter, happiness, a little craziness for a reason and that reason is for the whole world to see. We all have that urge to go out and express this superfluity just like the boy, we all want control and we all want for the world to listen to us. Everyone on this planet has that superfluity of youth inside them.
Tumult- He rushed down the vlei under a tumult of crimson and gold, while all the birds of the world sang around him. A violent, cruel, dome that thinks it’s superior over everyone and everything on the earth. In the story is contradicts the sentence before it: with the joy of living and a superfluity of youth because even though the boy is running freely and thinks that nothing can stop him, there is a sky above that represents violence as if were a trap. The idea that its is crimson and gold is only just a warning that the boy clearly doesn’t notice. We all are distracted by power that we don’t see the real power that hovers right above us.
Vaguely- There were small twitches from the mass that still looked vaguely like the shape of a small animal. Vague is a term used to describe something that isn’t very clear. The boy can still see that strong buck but only a little. When things may seem clear in life, there are always “ants” that get in our way and block that clarity. God has a plan for everyone and in the beginning it starts all clear but time passes by and the devil and sin comes in. This makes these plans vague which is exactly what happens to the boy. He had a clear shot but he waited and not soon after sin or the ants get in his way making his shot more vague.
Foliage- He was walking swiftly through the dark tunnel of foliage that in day-time was a road. The foliage are the leaves a tree or plant. Lessing’s use of this word describes the path that the boy takes from his safe, light home to the dangerous and dark woods. The walking from the known to the unknown. The tunnel that is either full and bright or it’s falling, crashing down because the time is up. You never know what to expect when walking through a foliage between light and darkness.
Sometimes it goes to fast:
Say grace with your family,
Stare at the northern star,
Do things you’ve never done
If you are patient then you’ll be rewarded
Rules are as common as water in a ocean
Obstacles are found in every corner
The only heroes are the government themselves
Days pass by with zero sense of living
One man, tired of all the deja vu
Takes a journey to who knows where
It is a risk, for he could get caught
Thrown in prison for as long as his heart beats
But it is a risk he is willing to take
On the hill no one dares to cross
The man stares at the grey, dead village
A village where he knows he’s not meant to stay
One thousand and one emotions run through his body
He’s ready to see a world beyond any dream
Green valleys, blue skies, a bright yellow sun
A place he’s never seen in his whole life
A place he never knew even existed in this world
Joy fills him like rain filling a puddle
It was a behind him, waiting for him
He hears the screaming and sorrow behind him
Knows hw must run as far away as possible
He must find a place where he can be free forever
Find a home, find love, find a life worth living
Now that he’s free, he has the whole world to explore
A decision that I must make now
A decision that determines me
It’s now or never
Do I go left or right?
This way or that?
I cannot decide, it’s too hard to
If I just had a little more time
My heart is beating like never before
I can feel the intensity gaining on me
If I don’t make it now
I will never have another chance at life
I can be with my family and friends again,
Or I can be alone as usual
Alright, I’ve made my decision
I choose…to love