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Questions about Catholicism?

Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

I think you and I are closer to being on the same page than it seems. :) I entirely agree with you that we humans make our own suffering, that God wants us to be happy and hates suffering, and that He gave us free will. Him giving us free will is, I think, the key to the answer. See, God didn't create us to suffer, and He doesn't send us to He.ll. What He does do is give us free will - the choice to either love Him or reject Him. We make that choice, and, if we choose to reject Him, send ourselves to He.ll. Does that answer your question at all? My literature class had to read the Divine Comedy a couple years ago, about a guy who journeys through the afterlife, and one really comforting thought I took away from that class was "everyone in H.ell gets exactly what they want." But I digress. If you'll allow me to answer a question with a question again, why would God create us with free will if in the end we aren't able to choose anything but God and Heaven? Why did He give us free will if, in the ultimate end, we can't freely choose He.ll?

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm

I think so, too. And, you have a point. I don't know, I see where you are coming from, but there's thing I don't understand. I believe that there have been many cases of people seeing proof of Hea.ven(me, honestly, being one of them), but I have not heard of any proof on He.ll. Of course, there is Dante's Inferno, but that's fiction, if I remember correctly. That's one thing that confuses me...

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MorganRF replied...
Apr. 27, 2016 at 12:29 pm

And, yes, your explanation does answer my question :)

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Apr. 27, 2016 at 8:44 pm

Oh good. :)
Ooh, proof of H.ell. Hefty subject. I guess proof of Heaven is a lot more widely talked about since Heaven is a much more pleasant topic. :) So, by "proof" do we mean personal experiences and visions? The first thing that comes to mind for something like that regarding H.ell is the Fatima apparitions. Have you ever heard of the children of Fatima? They were these three shepherd children who claimed to see visions of a Lady from Heaven (Mary), and on October 13, 1917, a crowd of people who had gathered in Fatima, Portugal to see a miracle this Lady had promised witnessed the sun spin and dance in the sky. It's a cool story, and a true one. Anyway, these three children were granted a vision of H.ell which made a very, very deep impression on them for the rest of their lives. I've also heard stories of near-death experiences where the person having the experience was bound for H.ell, not for Heaven - I can think of three off the top of my head (actually, one of those three isn't a near-death experience, but the soul of a dead person appearing to a living person). Finally, Jesus talked about H.ell a lot in the Bible - and for a person who believes in Jesus' words, there can't be greater proof than that. :)
So, does that help at all? This is such a great conversation. :)

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MouseLuverThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 2, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I am SO glad this forum exists, I just have to say that.  I'm also a Catholic and it makes me so happy that you started this.  I was reading this forum and thinking, "Wow, there's still hope for the world!  All these people wanting answers and someone providing them!?!?!  AWESOME!!!"  It just makees me really happy.  Sorry, I had to say something.  Great job! :)  

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 3, 2016 at 12:46 am

Aw, gee, thanks, MouseLuver! I'm glad it's made you happy. :) Your post definitely brightened my day!

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MorganRF replied...
May 3, 2016 at 10:45 am

Hi, Lucy, sorry it took me so long ;)
So, back to our discussion. Yes, it does answer my question. Having said that, I am still unsure of the existence of He.ll. I am not denying its existence, but I am not saying it exists. Does that make sense?
Also, there's one more subject I think we should discuss: the existence of the De.vi.l/Sa.ta.n. I do not believe in the De.vi.l, nor do I believe in Sa.ta.n. Yes, I fully acknowledge the presence of temptation, greed, etc. in the world, but I do not believe it comes from one specific being, if that makes sense. Thoughts??

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Haha, no worries! I like taking conversations slow and easy - helps keep me clear-headed, I think. :)
 
Yup, I think that makes sense. I guess everything about spiritual things takes a leap of faith, whether small or large. I guess I can just say, "When in doubt, err on the side of caution." I'd rather live like there is a H.ell and find out there isn't than live like there isn't a He.ll and find out there is.  
 
Oh, that's an interesting topic! (This thread is so cheerful, isn't it? Just kidding, though - these things are very important, so it's good we're discussing them.) I agree that not all the evil in the world comes from one specific being. The Catholic Church teaches that there are three sources of temptation: the world (meaning outside earthly forces - i.e. greed for riches), the flesh (our own selfish desires -i.e. gluttony or l.ust), and the d.evil. So it's not just from the d.evil that evil comes. The nature of evil is a really interesting topic - we talked about it a lot my freshman year of high school, and we learned that evil isn't really a substance, but a corruption of what is good. It's not like evil was created by anything - evil is a perversion of the good. God created everything to be good - and then His creatures fell into pride and twisted good things for their own selfish purposes. Christianity teaches that it was the d.evil that fell first, and it was he who tempted the first humans to sin, so while not all evil comes directly from him (I hope I'm getting this right), he's responsible for evil on earth. We also believe he's still slinking around, trying to snatch more souls away from God because he wants to hurt God. I do believe in the d.evil, but I don't think his existence can be simply deduced from reason, the way God's existence or the existence of an afterlife can be. I don't know if we would know about him if it weren't for revelation. But if you believe the Bible and tradition, which explain other things very sensibly, then you might as well believe them when they talk about a powerful spiritual force for evil, too. The existence of the d.evil isn't necessary, but it does make sense. Those are my thoughts. Yours? :)

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MorganRF replied...
May 3, 2016 at 4:12 pm

I'm not trying to be offesnsive, so please don't take it that way, but I honestly believe, being one who doesn't read the Bi.ble very often and is not "re.li.gi.ous" by any means, that the de.vil was a manmade legend created to scare people into doing good. It worked. That's just me, though. I don't believe that there is a powerful being who roams the earth looking for souls to tempt and pull away from G.od. But that's just what I believe. People have their own forms of opinion/beliefs on the matter, and these are mine

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 3, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Oh, that's not offensive at all. :) I can understand that. And sorry if I've talked about the Bible as proof for beliefs too much - I guess I was under the impression that you had more faith in the Bible. :)
 
I think there are lots of misconceptions about the d.evil - lots of charicatures of him around, you know, that make him seem kind of like a cartoon and not to be taken seriously. C. S. Lewis talks about that in his book "The Screwtape Letters," and I think he touches on it in "Mere Christianity" too.
 
There is evidence that S.atan is around, though. I don't know too many stories about satanists, because they scare me and I don't like to read them, but I have heard stories about saints who would encounter the d.evil regularly. St. John Vianney used to wrestle with him every night, I think. And there are more recent people, too - oh, what was the name of that old priest in Chicago who died not too long ago? Fr. Peter Rookey! That was his name. I think he had a few experiences with diabolical forces. I guess you could easily write off those kinds of stories as made up, but can't hope to throw them out there. :)
 
So, what are your opinions on the Bible? - If you'd want to discuss that, of course. :)

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MorganRF replied...
May 3, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Sure! I think that the Bible is not something to be taken seriously. Yes, there are a few lessons to be taken, but in my opinion it is not to be taken literally. That's just me, though

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm

I see. :) So, how do you know what to believe and what to reject from the Bible?

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MorganRF replied...
May 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm

It's not really a matter of knowing what to accept and reject. It's more along the lines of reading between the lines and picking up hidden meanings and underlying lessons. It's seeing what does and does not match up with what I believe. It's knowing and seeing in many ways that G.od wants to be a part of our lives, which is what Jesus taught in the Bible. It's knowing that G.od wants us to accept and love each other, despite our differences. I don't know if that made any sense whatsoever, so let me know if you're confused on anything 8)

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 9, 2016 at 12:51 pm

I think it makes sense. :) I guess I'm curious how you know the Bible is from God. I mean, if you think there are mistakes in it, it must be from a fallible source, right? Sorry if I'm not understanding your viewpoint. :)

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MorganRF replied...
May 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm

You're not! I do not believe the Bible comes from G.od. I believe that centuries ago, man wrote the Bible to give people guidelines on how to live and what mistakes to avoid in life. I believe that the "wrath of G.od" written about in the Bible was meant to scare people into doing good, and it worked. I don't believe that G.od commanded the authors of the Bible to write what they did, but rather they wrote it as a foundation for society

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 9, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Oh, all right. But you do believe in a loving God who cares about what happens to humankind, right?

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MorganRF replied...
May 10, 2016 at 1:51 pm

I most definately do! I am not ashamed in believing that G.od loves each and every one of us, even when we as humans turn away from Him, reject Him, and claim not to love Him. However, I believe that those of religions anf faiths other than Christianity love G.od; for example, I was talking to a family friend, who is an atheist. He said that in all reality, even atheists tend to believe in a higher power, even if they do not call that higher power G.od. Some atheists worship nature, and since, in a Christian perspective, G.od is the creator of nature, they worship G.od as well.
But back to your question, yes, I do believe in an all-loving G.od that cares for all living beings. I just look for proof of G.od in places other than the Bible.

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Sorry it's taken me for awhile to get back to you. :)
Oh, that's cool what your atheist friend said. I can totally see that - everyone really has to believe in something.
I think I've got where you stand now. :) So, where do you find proof for a loving God, other than in the Bible?

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MorganRF replied...
May 11, 2016 at 1:55 pm

No, it's fine!!
Yes, that's exactly where I stand. While I do find some thing in the Bible that I can agree with, it is not the primary source of proof I use when looking for G.od.
I really like how you and I were able to talk about these things without getting mad. I have wanted to talk about these subjects with a Catholic before, but I have never gotten the chance to do so. It's been really interesting!

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

It really has been! And it is really nice how we can have a polite, in-depth conversation. :)

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