what is MAN’s way and what is GOD’s way?
HOW on earth would i know?
or you know?
but i am going to answer purely in my honest, humble opinion.
basing it on experience, positive, negative and indifferent.
Here we go…
I AM most openly pic n mix Catholic.
i PICK and really do embrace some very strict parts of the ethos of my DNA…my ancestral Catholicism.
i don’t PICK nor do i feel any guilt for not picking the parts of the doctrine which to me are man-made guidelines.
I have a HUGE belief in GOD.
I have much less belief in MAN.
But the parts of Catholicism i love are Christian, are moral, are sacramental, and sit very comfortably with me. i have spent a long time looking at, and realise how much we all have in common within our different “establishments”- and the wonderful irony is that godlness has nothing to do with which you do or don’t belong to.
The bits of my Catholic Faith which i don’t take ( now that I am an adult), are NOT so as to throw away the tough bits – my MORAL fibre is made of strong stuff. I simply discard the doctrine which to me does NOT describe the type of GOD i believe exists…in ways is contradictory entirely.
it doesn’t make for an easier-pick your guidelines life…in fact in many ways it leads me to stand out on a limb at times, and justifying right where it exists and disagreeing with wrong where it appears…
so is a TOUGH conscience- unmerciful and does NOT let me off with anything…as morality and justice are tied up so tightly…BUT my GOD does walk with me through all.
this GOD is the GOD i teach my children about. I bring up moral, good, kind, honest people – who hopefully will stand up against injustice and wrong wherever they encounter it -the best i can. I am human – i make mistakes – i try again…but this is the best balance i can give my children.
So i will continue to follow GOD…and if any man-made rules stand in my way, i will move…to see GOD around them. NOBODY comes between me and my GOD…that fits me very comfortably.
I pray, as in I reflect in life. When I am uncomfortable with something I spent time thinking about – praying about. I find that people who have died I can often relate to and feel they are still with me when I need to call on their support. That is faith. Of some form.
Here is the disclaimer…as always “these are my thoughts only…and should be taken as such…nobody is named…directly or by implication. Today this is how i feel. No-one is named…just human weaknesses….
1. my GOD is a God of kindness…the love others type, the treat others well type, the accept apology…. he is not a God of DAMNATION. He is not a man who keeps people from the peace they have earned and worked for on earth…
2. my GOD isn’t discriminatory – black, white, gay, baptised, not Baptised…good is good….all good accepted.
3. GOD has no heirarchy of people. In God’s eyes there is no sense of entitlement, or sence of superiority. We all start equal…we account for ourselves throughout our lives, not by our office, our title…just our humanity and goodness.
4. there are not GODS…there is GOD….whatever colour, code, faith, it is unimportant…
5. my GOD has POWER – and that is one of the most beautiful things. I can really “see” GOD’s hand as the creator of the SEA…the untamable waves, the waves that over time can erode rocks, cliffs, landscapes….I can SIT on those rocks and hear that POWER…and feel such enormous comfort in the knowledge that this is MY GOD…this force.
6. thunder and lightning remind me of GOD – i know they can be destructive BUT they are proof for me of the power he has.
7. we are all made differently – and i know there is the nurture and nature aspect related to who we are, but GOD gave each of us a unique mix of qualities and talents. My MUSIC was never taken for granted and i understand that i was given a gift by GOD…my responsibility and my gift back to GOD, is how i use that!
8. ii know some very ‘special’ people – a few – who i consider holy. They stand out! They exude a special glow of happiness…and have a life that impresses me so much – i see GOOD…through them and i know they are close to GOD.
9. my mam died recently. I saw her decide and serenely close her eyes and pray in her way to God. When she died she actually woke up and went to the GOD she saw and had been preparing for. If i had never had faith and witnessed what i did with mammy, i would now. I saw her choose to go – fearlessly and smiling.
10. GOD isn’t ina ‘church”..he is in our mind. Accessible anywhere. Anytime…no decor…no religious label… no occasion…no limits…but when you look for him he is listening…
1.. man makes rules . The rules even assign criteria to gaining access to God. places ssuch as LIMBO and PURGATORY are not GOD made…man made! After a life oof trying so hard, of battling cancer, of suffering depression, THAT is your journey to GOD!
2. Man judges others. He even subconsciously judges others – as I am here! This generally says a lot more about the judge than the subject but no man has a right to judge others. Judge DEEDS or ISSUES but noT people.
3. Religious establishments tend to form a sense of “ours is the right one”. If we ALL believe this to an EXTREME….we will continue to perpetuate the sectarian and racial problems which man still creates today. Is that what religion is about- in this case I think we lose the sense of what would be and should be the real focus- what is GODly. Surely we concentrate on behaving as god would want?
4. too many men love hierarchy. An entitlement. A system of achievement of greatness. a promotional power holding system… Tis even evidenced in death – where at times a person is prayed for as perhaps ”brother of sister so-and-so”…and other-times there are no such inclusions nor should there be. Titles, qualifications, rank, doctor, position in church……we are PEOPLE….equal. When we lose sight of this we surely lose sight of GOD??
5. Men can be heartless. They can be unjust and yet feel that is appropriate. Excusable. They can lie and feel it is towards best effect. That is never right for me. Justifying perhaps what was “appropriate or common practice at that time”- when a full some apology is needed. We should never lose sight that injustice is wrong…if we do then we endorse it.
6. Men seek to control. Control other men. Control speech. Control truth. Control when misused is bullying. Control should not be used for personal gain nor at the expense of others welfare or reputation. They seek to achieve greatness thro power given by other men. That is not true greatness – creation is.
7. Humans flock to places of worship. They lose sight of the fact the they are not bound by any commandment to go to a building g to be with god or be good. Being good is a way of life. It travels with you.
8. People can NEVER fetter the power of GOD. How could they?
9. Over centuries the heinous acts that have been carried out in our world by human against human. Where lives were devalued. Babies condemned to limbo. Mothers and babies incarcerated to “protect” them. Ethnic cleansing. Where was GOD throughout this?
10. Never lose sight of god. Let him never be in the shadow of any man or power.