Into the Flame: Miracles

Fire

When we look at the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, we think, wow, that was amazing! But how did he do this? Did he physically create more loaves and fish? Did he open the hearts of the 5,000 people to share what food they carried on them? In truth, it doesn’t really matter, either way, Jesus through some miracle was able to feed 5,000 people, starting with only enough loaves and fish to feed a small boy.

But what does this mean for our modern day community? When I forget my lunch, is Jesus going to spawn more than enough loaves and fish around me so I can eat? Probably, not. My best bet would be to use that experience as learning so the next time I come into my office, I can remember to bring lunch. Jesus is telling us something much deeper.

Firstly, Jesus loved those around him at the time, he conveys this by giving them food. At the end, when everyone has eaten, there was much food left over. This is symbolic of Gods love for us, there will always be enough to go around.

Another way of looking at it, is like viewing us humans as house guests. When we go over to someones house, we are offered food and drink while we stay. When food and drink is no longer being offered to us and we feel hungry, it is a sign that it is time to leave. We are all living in Gods house and God never wants us to leave, so he will continually feed us.

While there may be times where we do feel like Gods love is finite and he is not feeding us, it is important to remember that God is with us all the way. In our suffering, we can often feel like God has abandoned us, like he has kicked us out of his house. In truth, God knows suffering just like the rest of us, we can see that by looking at the cross that Jesus was on. In reality, we have not been kicked from Gods house, we left and that could be for many reasons. But in turn, it doesn’t matter why we left, God will always be calling us back into his home, for us to eat at his table.

Simple Answers for Complicated Questions (With help from YOUCAT and other religious scripture).

This post is for people who may not be familiar with Catholic teachings and ideas, if you want real in-depth answers, read YOUCAT or a similar text. These are MY interpretations and readings, this IS NOT direct from the Catholic church. So.. These are my answers to the questions I have been asked about most in my time within the Church.

Who is God?

I don’t know, but I’m sure it isn’t a he or a she or even a who. God is a being of the unknown that we as humans can’t even conceptualize.

Why do people call God a he then and he is described as father in the bible?

I think its because it just makes it easier for us to understand God. I for one, call God “he” and Father, but I think it would be perfectly reasonable to call God a mother or protector if you so pleased.

What is heaven?

Heaven at its simplest is becoming one with love and therefore becoming one with God. It is an everlasting moment of love and joy.

What is hell?

Pretty much the opposite to heaven. While it has been described to us as a place full of fire and the devil laughing his evil laugh, it can be described as apart from God and therefore without love.

Hang on! If God is so good and he loves me, why does hell exist? Why do bad things even exist if he created the world?

Good point! I find it best to look at who we are as people to answer this question. We are made with the ability to choose. We can choose the right thing and the wrong thing. This fundamental fact gives us true freedom in the eyes of God. However, since we can choose what we want, we can make decisions that hurt those around us. This idea of freewill is explained well by C.S Lewis if you want to do further reading. If we could only choose the right thing, then we wouldn’t have conscience and freedom.

Going back to the idea of hell, which is without love or without God, if someone chooses to be without these things, they can go to hell, ultimately coming back to the idea of freewill.

Alright, I get freedom, but what about children who die at childbirth or cancer? I’ve heard God tests us, but that just causes pain!

God does test us, but sometimes we go through things in our life that really do cause pain. You can go back to the idea that true happiness cannot exist without true sadness but that never helps me understand it. I am able to understand it better by the book of Job in the bible. Job is put through terrible tests and ultimate suffering and cannot understand why God is doing this to him, God explains to him however that he is only human, he will never be able to understand God because God is a being of ultimate power and is truly unknown to us. Additionally, we can see that God didnt create suffering, it is simply just part of the human condition. God himself suffered as we do, we he came down to earth in the form of Jesus. God is able to be with us while we suffer and we can pray for his assistance.

How do magnets work?

Honestly have no clue, there no explanation for it, therefore I am 100% certain it is magic.

Why does the Church hate Homosexuals?

It doesn’t, the Church calls each and every one of us to love each other.

Oi, you are doing that tricky thing were you say God calls us to love each other and you are avoiding the question! The Church was adamant on the plebiscite that Homosexual people can’t marry!

Ok, you got me. Truth is, the best way I can answer your question without going down a huge rabbit hole, is by once again saying the Church calls each and every one of us to love each other.

Why does the Church need to exist, cant I just believe in and love Jesus?

True, but the Church has 2000 years of knowledge that could help you out in loving Jesus to the best of your ability.

Do you believe that God put dinosaur bones in the ground to test your faith?

No.

Are you a flat earther?

No.

Is it true that Catholics have sacrifice a cow every time they sin?

No…..Mate where are you getting your information from?

Are you ashamed of the whole Church scandal?

Yes. There is no denying it, what happened was truly and utterly disgusting.

What is the Church doing to fix the situation?

So, so, so much. The Church has been busy implementing safeguarding policies to make sure that the risk is reduced as much as humanly possible

So was the Church wrong? Does this mean it could be wrong with other things?

Yes and yes. The Church is not God, it is an institution that is man made to serve God. Because God created man with freewill, man can sin, therefore an institution of man can be wrong. The Church does its best to be right and serve God to the best of its ability, however, people in the church let it down sometimes.

Is the Church planning on doing another Crusade?

Yeah actually I’m glad you asked. I’m just about to start another Crusade to take over the holy land, I’ve built a wooden tall ship myself you just need to bring your own: Sword, Armor, Bow and holy relic. For more information call 1333 MYCRUSADE.

Why is the Church so slow?

Maybe, you are too fast. The Church has been around for a very long time and it has survived for a long time. When the Church makes a decision, it wants to make sure it is right. The max speed of a Cheetah is about 115 km/h and the max speed of a Giant Tortoise is about 8 km/h (Very rare case), however Cheetah’s live for about 8 years and the Giant Tortoise is known to exceed the age of 150. The Church wasn’t made to move quickly, it was made to last. Think of the Church as something solid you can hold onto in these fickle times.

Why does the Church not respect a women’s right to choose? 

Again a very good point. This is a very touchy subject and from a certain point of view, the Church does seem to be quite wrong. Many people who are against abortions within the Church go about it in the wrong way, so I will do my best to explain it as respectfully as I can.

Its not that the Church doesn’t respect a women’s right to choose, its more like the Church believes that human life starts at conception and the Church wants to protect all human life. While many people say that it isn’t human till it comes out, or there is a heart beat, or after a few months, the Church just believes that it is human earlier than most others do. From the Church’s and society’s point of view, killing a human is murder. The Church just wants to protect ALL human beings not just those who can speak for themselves.

The Church also understands that sometimes there are other issues, such as risks to a woman’s life if a birth were to happen. However, for most of these, they are outlying cases which are very, very rare where exceptions can (not always) be made.

If magnets work with magic, how do microwaves work?

The same magic.

Am I allowed to drink alcohol?

As long as you are over 18, then drinking in Australia is permitted.

No, I mean will God hate me if I drink alcohol?

Not at all! Jesus often shared a drink with his buddies.

I swear I’ve heard Catholics are not allowed to drink alcohol. Are you lying just to seem normal?

Look, we can discuss it over a pint if you really wish. I love a beer with my mates. You are probably thinking of the 7th Day Adventists, not the Catholics.

Can I bet and play games of chance?

Risking ones livelihood dues to games of chance is considered immoral and dangerous, but short answer is yes, as long as you are not reckless with your betting.

Will God hate me if I do ______?

In the olden times, it was often said God will hate you if you do this or that. Nowadays, we have come to understand that God’s loves for us is unfaltering and unconditional. So when you sin, you are actually moving away from God and because God loves us so much and wants to be close to us, he hates that there is something between you. God hates your sin and that there is distance between him and you. God loves you so much and wants to be as close as he can to you and the sin is getting in the way, and that is what he hates.

How do I fix sin?

You say sorry. You can go to confession or pray to God.

What is praying? How do I do it?

There is no one way to pray. Praying at its simplest is worship and praise to God. Here is a list of ways to pray:

  • Sitting down with your hands pressed together (like at the end of a clap)
  • Kneeling down and making your hands touch
  • Talking to God in your head
  • Talking to God out loud
  • Saying thanks to who ever built this fricken awesome universe
  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Listening to music
  • Meditating
  • Going to Church
  • Painting

There’s so many ways to pray. Find the right one for you.

Why is Church so boring?

This a good one! To be perfectly honest, Church on paper is boring. If you don’t understand the spirituality and meaning behind it, Church would seem to be a waste of time. Ultimately, Church isn’t supposed to be fun, its supposed to be a time of praise and worship. While some would argue that you can praise God without Church, mass itself is something that has been celebrated for 2000 years. The breaking of bread at mass is symbolic of what Jesus did for us and what he did with his disciples.

I think the best way to answer your question is to give you another example. I’m a psychology student who really enjoys my lectures, but if I go to my best mates class, who is an engineering student, I find it really boring. Not because engineering itself is inherently boring or because I’m dumb, but because I simply don’t understand it.

Why should I get involved with the Church?

I asked myself the same question about 4 years ago. What does the church have to offer you? The Church at points can be seen to be a massive killjoy but I have learned over time that the Church is fact is the opposite of a killjoy. The Church wants to introduce God and Jesus into our lives, which are the embodiment’s of love and joy. I have found that after coming into the Church and experiencing what it has to offer, I have been happier than I have ever been.

By Church, I don’t mean just coming to Church on a Sunday, I mean going to events such as youth groups. The people at these events were simply amazing and helped me realize that I am a good person and that I can be happy with myself.

If I wanted to get involved with a youth group or something similar, how would I do that?

Please send me a message through this website!

 

There are many things I have missed, but many require a much bigger explanation such as, why doesn’t the Church sell all it has to help the poor. I would encourage you to have a discussion with someone about it, because at its heart, the Church is good and wants the best for everyone, even if we don’t all see it that way.

 

 

The Shallows

Deeper water calls us on, but first, we must wade through the shallows. The upcoming night of exploration of deeper water will be looked at the next Vivo, which is to be held this upcoming Wednesday (The 21st of March). With a new group coming together, it will all be about dipping our toes into the water and getting to know the people around us.

In Vivo this week we will be looking at the story of Jairus’ daughter and the women who touched Jesus’ cloak. We are told by Jesus that the woman was saved, not because she touched Jesus, but because of her faith.

Can faith heal people? This is one of the things we will be looking at in Vivo, to see if the power of how has real power. We will also be getting to know the people around us and how the people in our wider lives affect ourselves and our spirituality.

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Deeper Water!

aerial-top-down-view-of-a-woman-swimming-underwater-in-a-deeper-water-with-white-sand-making-the-color-of-water-darker_sxfvpdmeex_thumbnail-full06.pngDEEPER WATER is calling us on! This month at VIVO we are exploring the theme of deeper water. Deeper water is something that is frightening to us all, it is full of strange creatures that exist at unknown depths. In life we often stick to the shallows, only venturing at a comfortable waist deep level before going back to shore.

Looking out to the ocean is an eye-opening experience. We see a vastness that is often difficult to attain elsewhere. It extends to the end of our vision, yet when we go out, we refuse to go any deeper than a surface level.

While frightening, we are diving into the deep and finding the hidden treasures that lay within us. We often look at ourselves and others at a surface level, only skimming the surface of who we really are. 95% of the world’s oceans are unexplored, diving deep and discovering what is really down there is a daunting task. However, part of the human condition is that we are curious. Every day, people are going deeper and deeper into our oceans, so why are we not searching deeper and deeper into who we are as people?

Just like the ocean calls us to go deeper into her depths, God calls us to explore ourselves and our spirituality deeper. Humans are just like the ocean. There is a lot to see at surface value, what color skin we have, our preferred clothing style, how we do our hair in the morning, but these things only show how we look and may only hint at how we really are underneath. Going deeper into our spirituality and who we are, allows us to really discover who we are and what we really believe.

So…Will you take the dive this month? Even if you don’t come to VIVO, who are you really? You are more than a body of water that stretches as far as the eye can see, you are deeper than you could possibly imagine with unknown depths hiding exciting treasures that are just waiting for you to discover. All it takes is for you to make the dive into the unknown depths, who knows what awaits you?

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