Augustine Institute for Catholic Studies

Discussion in 'Humanities Division' started by Wonderess, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    [​IMG]
    Augustine Institute for Catholic Studies
    Greetings to you seekers of knowledge! I am very excited to welcome you to this institute for the study of the Catholic faith. Overtime, I hope to more perfectly describe and define Catholic ideals and show to you just how wondrous and beautiful the Church really is.

    Jesus, Mary, and Joseph pray for us!​
     
  2. Highton

    Highton Not a Malorian vassal - -

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    I hope that I am able to work with you in this project while also asking some questions myself.
     
  3. Sanjurika

    Sanjurika Koala Fanatic - -

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    I've never had much contact or interaction with religion so maybe this will provide some insight. :)
    Religion has always seemed fairly confusing.
     
  4. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Catechism: Lesson One






    The Catechism of the Catholic Church begins by acknowledging what it is that is the center of human connection to God which is faith. Faith is unique in that it is a trusting acceptance of basic tenets. Faith is a trusting in things not seen in the hope and trust that those things are. It is how the human person responds to the call of God who makes himself known in the human person and in the living of life.

    Next, the Church acknowledges that humanity has a natural desire for God as seen through religious practices throughout history. It is understood that acting or living against this notion hinders the ability for the human person to be fulfilled. This is further made an issue by the practices and thought of the world that causes religion to be seen as unimportant or
    unnecessary. However, even when God is rejected by the person, this does not cease the call of man from God to find Him and seek Him for while man changes, God in His perfection never does. It is also made clear that the practice of religious seeking must be accompanied by the reason or else it boils down to unguided superstition. The "intellect," "will," and "upright heart" are all necessary aspects of the person for correct faith. Also, faith is lived in community as there is a requirement of others to help orient the person towards what is of God. The uniting of wills to seek what is True and holy yields further fruits than the pursuit of the individual which is one aspect that the Church in her holy beauty provides.

    This concludes lesson one so feel free to pose questions on this subject matter below.
     
  5. The Republic of INTEGRAL

    The Republic of INTEGRAL TNPer

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    I love this! Wonderess, you can be a Theology professor :D
     
  6. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Thanks, maybe one day. :)
     
  7. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Here the Church addresses the way by which God can come to be known from the experience of life. St. Thomas Aquinas' proofs for God are referenced which deal with the extrapolation of God's existence from contingency or the ordered state of nature. Next beauty is discussed as the human ability to perceive beauty and the beauty residing in natural things points to a creator who is the origin and center of the beautiful itself.

    Then comes the determination of God through the human person. God is seen as in some way reflected but not the same as human creation. This is evident in the ability to discern what is morally good, the ability to grasp the idea of the infinite, the search for ultimate happiness, and the coming to see the person as not just physical but also spiritual with the presence of the eternal soul. However, none of these things have their origin in the human person but come forth from the ultimate and the prime origin which is God. All of this is good and right in coming to know that God is, but it does not tell us who He is or anything about His person. This requires the person to accept God's revelation throughout salvation history which is found in faith. It is faith and reason together that provide a fullness of understanding God for who He is and what it is He has created and done. They form a union in the person and rely on one another for the fullness of understanding.

    As always, comments and questions are happily accepted.
     
  8. Ka Ching

    Ka Ching Proud TNPer

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    reminds me of my c.l.e class. :) Good work
     
  9. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    In this section we see an extended discussion of knowing God according to reason but also those limitations of knowing the Divine by "reason alone."

    36. The Church has continually held that the very existence of God can be validated through reason by examining the existence and order of nature and furthermore coming to understand the mystical and greater role of an origin of it all. Furthermore, reason is also necessary for the coming to know what is true in Divine Revelation itself. This is the role of theology in the Church which uses reason in order to illumine and see clearly the truth in God's word and action.

    37. A distinction is made between rational knowledge and interpersonal understanding. Just as one can look up their favorite musician and read their quotes or listen to the music that they write, one cannot truly know who the musician is until they meet them face to face and interact with them. So too is it with any great experience of person. A sunrise can be photographed, described, or explained and yet all fails to transmit the experience until the human eye experiences it on its own. So too must one come to be acquainted with God in order to fully come to know what is true by the path of faith and the holy. This requires reason as well so that truth may always be revealed rather than an endless grasping at the superstitious and emotional.

    38. Hinted at here is the complimentary nature of faith and reason. Moral truth that can be obtained through reason is further illumined ad understood in context of the whole of creation and reality through the light and foundation of faith. This union allows the person to not only rationally know what is good but come to understand and fully live what is good as a potential beholder of what is true and just.

    As always questions on any content covered so far are highly encouraged.
     
  10. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    This was the sticking point for me. I have, or rather had, too much pride for this. I am, slowly, getting over this and, in time, hope to get beyond it and acquire true faith. I still have pride, but it's not necessarily what it was. I think that that tis may be true of others here as well.

    While I believe the above to be true I know that, in some cases, including my own, that I disbelieved because I felt that the literal existence of God was too good to be true. A fairy tale.
     
  11. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    The fact that you are able to see the hindrance of your own pride is worth applauding as most cannot even see how high they place themselves even over the realities of life. God is considered an "imaginary friend" because they equate Him to an idea. What sets Him apart is His quality which is different from ideas. I find the contemplation and interaction with Him to be qualatatively different from other notions or ideas that I have. Faith of course is the tool by which this discernment is possible for it requires a level of trust in order to discern these more nuanced things of reality and of the person.
     
  12. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    39. Reason stands as the tool by which the objective discussion of God and things of Him can be discussed across faith traditions and various beliefs about eternal reality.

    40. It is very difficult to talk about the infinite when the human language is in itself limited and categorical in nature. However, this does not mean that we stop seeking truth despite limitation for more perfect knowledge of who God is can still be obtained through the sharing of ideas.

    41. We study the nature of humanity and the reflected characteristics of God in humanity as a means of coming to know the Lord more perfectly. Just as a art historian may look at Van Gogh's paintings to better understand the man himself, so too is nature and the order of reality explored in order to better understand the Creator Himself.

    42. This passage reemphasizes the fact that human language never fully presents what is true of God. To say God loves us is true, but these words are not strong enough to describe the reality of God's infinite love of us that is beyond all human comprehension and understanding of love absolute.

    43. By our language we can still build an understanding of God that we humans are capable of even though the fullness of meaning is not realized. It is easier to say what God is not than to paint a full positive picture of what He is. Despite these things, an understanding can be developed through thought, time, patience, and the passion for knowing who God truly is and what that means for us in our daily lives.
     
  13. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    We now move to the understanding of Divine Revelation. This is often an aspect of theology that is problematic to the secular minded because of the abuse and misinterpretation of scripture within certain movements of the Christian religion. It is understood that God in His love provides truth to the human race so that we have the ability to come to know Him. This is encapsulated both in the Bible and the tradition of the living Church. The dialogue never ends nor the ability to further discern the truths and impacts of salvation history on humanity. For us to call out to God there must have been first an invitation and so through the merciful love of God this first call began with the first man and was further formalized through the covenants from Abraham down to the sacrifice of the cross. This revelation is separate from the empirical and rational though these things a posteriori are used to make sense of what has been conveyed. The theological pursuit in part is the science that makes sense of revelation and its application to human living. It is a mandate to first listen to God and then after respond.
     
  14. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    We now begin the journey through salvation history which focuses on the actions of God for the sake of lifting up his human people. Through the promise to Noah, Abraham, and then Moses and the people of Israel, God guides his people to himself in union and faithfulness to what is good. There is difficulty in this pursuit because the free will of man allows the choice that is not God's. There makes itself apparent in the struggle and forgetting of each covenant throughout the eras of Israel. However, each promise and covenant moves God and Israel one step closer to final salvation and victory. The plan is gradual and it is not just an act of God on man. Rather God includes man in His plan for humanity. This is the role of the patriarchs, the kings of Israel, the prophets, and of course we the modern people of the Church.

    By seeing the history of how we came to be where we are now, we better understand our own place and purpose in the whole of the narrative. God in His infinite nature connects us to the past as well as the future. We are all connected as His creation and so we look to those before us for guidance and revelation of what is true and just.
     
  15. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Accidental double post
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  16. Antityranicals

    Antityranicals In Antityranicalese, "tyranny" is spelled "tyrany" -

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    I love this. There are few better examples of the beauty of the Universal Church than finding a Catholic Studies thread on a forum of a large, multinational organization in a nation-state simulation game. God bless you, Wonderess, and if there's anything I may do to help you with your mission, I'd love to help.
     
    Sanjurika and Wonderess like this.
  17. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    While I'm now technically a Catholic, if heretical (as Wonderess can attest), I wholeheartedly agree with the naysayers on this matter for the very reasons stated above.

    Thank you for your kind attention.

    Grin in fun but being utterly serious about this post.

    Janus
     
  18. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    I think you meant to respond elsewhere, Janus.
     
  19. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    No. I posted in exactly the correct place, but thank you for your concern.
     
  20. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Then I am unsure to what idea you were referring.
     
  21. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    Something that I just found out the other day.

    For those interested there is a patron saint(ess) of the environment: St. Kateri Tekakwitha.

    I love this. Now we only need a saint of population control, though it seems likely that that would fall under her bailiwick if only indirectly.

    Thoughts @Wonderess?

    I also heard that St. Christopher was dropped off the saint list. I won't have time to read up on this for awhile. Could someone explain the rationale for this, per the Vatican, to me please?
     
  22. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    The problem with St. Christopher is that his very existence is questioned. Because there is not sufficient evidence that the saint existed, it is therefore not possible to make him a saint. The person has to exist.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  23. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Saint Kateri is unique in that she is one of few saints from North America. Also, she was a convert from the Native American people. Her patronage being of the environment makes sense. Population control as a subject is sort of counterintuitive to a Catholic framework so there will probably never be a saint related to that subject.
     
  24. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    I think that you're wrong about that last. grin

    Not so long ago I talked to a Catholic priest/excorcist about this. He said that he'd reconsider his position. I do believe him. I simply talked about the rapaciousness of human beings regarding planetary resources for about 15 seconds.
     
  25. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Human life is seen by the Church as an innate gift and that artificial control of birth rates is prohibited because it takes the responsibility of life into human hands rather than by nature and furthermore God's. In action contrary is considered life denying and therefore not open to the will of God.
     
  26. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    You might as well start leaving the babies on a rock in the wilderness as they did in the olden days. The result would be in God's hands as well, no?

    I'll give you this though: "go forth and multiply" once, long ago, made sense. It was necessary for the Christian religion to grow. Now it makes no sense, unless you wish to return to the days of the Crusades, (to include the Children's Crusades) and we have little sense to begin with as it is.

    Mindlessly following orders, even those of God, is, in these days of global warming/warning and overpopulation, not the path of wisdom imo. There are better ways to follow God, if one should choose such.
     
  27. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Caring for God's creation is also paramount to the Catholic mission. There is a general theme of being responsible for one's action whether that is conceiving a child or caring for the environment.
     
  28. Janus

    Janus Registered

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    Then answer me this: how do you feel regarding contraception?

    And families with many children?
     
  29. Wonderess

    Wonderess A lowly member of the faithful -

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    Since the encyclical Humanae Vitae was promulgated by Pope Paul VI, artificial contraception is considered an intrinsic evil. Only natural family planning is permissible as the method still allows one to be open to the chance of conceiving a new life. The Church continues to favor large families and has for a while.
     
  30. Antityranicals

    Antityranicals In Antityranicalese, "tyranny" is spelled "tyrany" -

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    I know it's been a while since this subject's been brought up, but my citizenship has nearly lapsed, so I have to post somewhere, so I'm doing it here. There is no contradiction between caring for the environment and the existence of large families. Overpopulation is a rather disconcerting myth, a tool used by those advocating for governments to play God to persuade people that it should do just that. Even in the United States, most land is not developed even into farmland, and even less is developed worldwide. In addition, crop yields per acre have risen at a higher rate than has human population ever since the eighteenth century. By the time our population reaches even half of Earth's current carrying capacity, Earth will have a carrying capacity larger than we can imagine today. One more point that might seem somewhat controversial, and might be a little off topic: The best way to protect our environment is unrestrained capitalism. Since there exists demand for beautiful outdoor locations, the best way to protect them is capitalism, which lives by the law of supply and demand. In other words, if supply of nature were to decrease, value would increase, and there would exist financial incentives to protect it, incentives offered by those who wish to protect our environment. This is as opposed to China, who, without capitalism, has no reason not to destroy the environment in pursuit of the glory of the state, and thus has destroyed its environment to a large extent. Just a thought...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019