Author Topic: What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?  (Read 2391 times)

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Offline InfiniteFaith

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What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
« on: November 18, 2014, 04:44:58 PM »
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  • Should we strive to make a salary that meets the needs of a family? Should we ever accept poverty if we are living in that state? If we are poor should we just accept that as God's will or should we be trying to move up the ladder? Is being rich always such a bad thing? Perhaps we should strive to make a salary that meets all basic needs and thats it? Is it OK to strive for a salary (around $80,000/year) that meets all the basics needs and then some?

    Sometimes I wonder about these things. At times I tell myself that I shouldn't worry and to just leave it in God's hands. But if I am ever facing poverty, I don't know if I could just accept that and continue in that state. It seems I would be wanting to do whatever it takes to move up the ladder. Barring any sin involved.

    Furthermore, I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. My priest gave a sermon this last weekend, and said that for some people God does want this. Reason being, is that He wants them to separate from the things of this world. I guess I can kind of see that, but it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.

    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 01:13:51 AM »
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  • Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    Should we strive to make a salary that meets the needs of a family?
    If you are the family provider, yes, of course. That is your duty and your vocation.

    Should we ever accept poverty if we are living in that state?
    It depends. How do define poverty. What some people are satisfied with, others define as poverty. What's your definition?

    If we are poor should we just accept that as God's will or should we be trying to move up the ladder?
    We should always accept (embrace!) God's Will. We are not fatalistic. We should always try to improve ourselves and if that means what you call "trying to move up the ladder"

    Is being rich always such a bad thing?
    Why do you say "rich is a bad thing"? Theft is a bad thing. Covetousness is a bad thing but "rich"?

    Perhaps we should strive to make a salary that meets all basic needs and thats it? Is it OK to strive for a salary (around $80,000/year) that meets all the basics needs and then some?
    I guess it depends on what the "then some" is and how you use it.

    Sometimes I wonder about these things. At times I tell myself that I shouldn't worry and to just leave it in God's hands. But if I am ever facing poverty, I don't know if I could just accept that and continue in that state. It seems I would be wanting to do whatever it takes to move up the ladder. Barring any sin involved.
    Guess you might have a better idea when and if you are "facing poverty".

    Furthermore, I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. My priest gave a sermon this last weekend, and said that for some people God does want this. Reason being, is that He wants them to separate from the things of this world. I guess I can kind of see that, but it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.
    What makes you think that living happily means not suffering, or not being poor.


    Luke 12:31
    But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.


    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 03:11:11 AM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir

    Is being rich always such a bad thing?
    Why do you say "rich is a bad thing"? Theft is a bad thing. Covetousness is a bad thing but "rich"?


    Having said that -

    Luke 18:25 tells us..
    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    Offline Stubborn

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 05:20:05 AM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: Nadir

    Is being rich always such a bad thing?
    Why do you say "rich is a bad thing"? Theft is a bad thing. Covetousness is a bad thing but "rich"?


    Having said that -

    Luke 18:25 tells us..
    It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.


    I reflect on that Scripture when I hear the Power Ball is at "$200 Million" or whatever.  

    Four years ago this month I was in a desperate situation, I came across this little book below, I followed the below instructions - and I cannot stress enough or give adequate justice in describing how well it worked - and still works for me. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.

     
    Quote

    Link Snip from: Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

     Let me show you a good way to ask for happiness even in this world. It is a way that will oblige God to listen to you. Say to him earnestly:  Either give me so much money that my heart will be satisfied, or inspire me with such contempt for it that I no longer want it.

    Either free me from poverty, or make it so pleasant for me that I would not exchange it for all the wealth in the world. Either take away my suffering, or -- which would be to your greater glory -- change it into delight for me, and instead of causing me affliction, let it become a source of joy. You can take away the burden of my cross, or you can leave it with me without my feeling its weight. You can extinguish the fire that burns me, or you can let it burn in such a way that it refreshes me as it did the three youths in the fiery furnace. I ask you for either one thing or the other. What does it matter in what way I am happy? If I am happy through the possession of worldly goods, it is you I have to thank. If I am happy when deprived of them, it gives you greater glory and my thanks are all the greater.  
    For a small gain they travel far; for eternal life many will scarcely lift a foot from the ground. - Thomas A Kempis

    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #4 on: November 19, 2014, 06:16:44 AM »
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  • That is very beautiful, Stubborn. Thank you for presenting it.

    IF, saints who were born into money were usually divested of it,  because they used it up for the benefit of those who were in need, or they gave it away to live a life of chosen poverty.

    Do you read the lives of the saints? because going on your post, you have little understanding of what it is to live the Christian life. There is a lot of ambivalence in your writing.

    This book "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence" might be just what you need to study.


    Offline BTNYC

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #5 on: November 19, 2014, 08:30:20 AM »
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  • We should strive to do work that is at the very least honest, if not virtuous.

    We should strive to be diligent in our work, and accept whatever honest rewards are given to us for our diligence (even if that reward is nothing at all).

    We should abhor ambition and careerism, which are opposite vices of diligence, and which put the reward before the duty to do the job well (which duty exists whether or not there is a reward). Ambition is the daughter of pride and avarice.

    We must flee from usury in every way possible.

    We must provide for our families first and foremost, and be generous and charitable to the needy with our money and time (though never at the expense of our families, for charity begins at home).

    These things are like everything else in life - Form your Catholic conscience with prayer, fasting, holy reading, and the Sacraments, and apply it to the choices you face in life.

    Offline InfiniteFaith

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #6 on: November 19, 2014, 08:03:28 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    That is very beautiful, Stubborn. Thank you for presenting it.

    IF, saints who were born into money were usually divested of it,  because they used it up for the benefit of those who were in need, or they gave it away to live a life of chosen poverty.

    Do you read the lives of the saints? because going on your post, you have little understanding of what it is to live the Christian life. There is a lot of ambivalence in your writing.

    This book "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence" might be just what you need to study.


    I think you are going too far when you say I have little understanding of living a Christian life. However, in this department, yes I am trying to figure out what a Christian life demands of us. Maybe we should all be content with being poor. Maybe thats what God wants for us.

    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #7 on: November 19, 2014, 11:20:31 PM »
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  • Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    .... I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. My priest gave a sermon this last weekend, and said that for some people God does want this. Reason being, is that He wants them to separate from the things of this world. I guess I can kind of see that, but it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.


    Quote from: Nadir
    Do you read the lives of the saints? because going on your post, you have little understanding of what it is to live the Christian life. There is a lot of ambivalence in your writing.  


    Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    I think you are going too far when you say I have little understanding of living a Christian life.


    I said "going by your post". I have underlined and bolded the sentence which, to me, most points in the direction of lack of understanding. I have already asked certain questions prompted by your words which you did not to respond to - fair enough.

    Those bolded words are saying to me that you don't understand the meaning and purpose of suffering in the Christian life. Your words have a protestant ring to them in that you seem to equate  happiness with not suffering, and prosperity with God's blessing. This is not the way the saints saw it, which is why I asked "do you read the lives of the saints?"

    The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Himself, was born into a poor family in a stable, had no where to lay his head. Jesus said "Take up your cross and follow Me" so how can you say that "it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer'.

    Do you read the Gospels?


    Offline copticruiser

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 01:50:33 AM »
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  • Good to be back, life can consume u at times.

    Ok the answer is simple really. We all must live within our means and be grateful for it. So if I shop at value village Praise God!  If I live on steak n lobster Praise God!

    In all things it is the disposition of your heart.  Where your heart is there is your treasure also!(bible verse)

    As Catholics we must be very temperate with regards to our flesh. In my experience simple and basic and balanced is best.

    The more you have the more you must look after.

    Is it wrong to buy a $40 000 vehicle? Experience shows a $4000 vehicle will work just as well. I think when making decisions we must check how it serves self first? Carnal flesh has many justifications.

    I love chocolate so I eat more than the average gal but I know it's a weakness. I don't need to eat it I will live without it. Here in North America we have such an attitude of entitlement!

    Chocolate loses it's appeal when I see starvation in Africa or my fellow Christians fleeing from Sierra with only their lives.

    Plain n simple we have too much with regards to the world but not much with regards to the soul.

    My thoughts!

    Your friendly canadian  :farmer:

    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 03:03:48 AM »
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  • And good to have you back, CC! Wise words.

    Offline InfiniteFaith

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #10 on: November 21, 2014, 05:15:08 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    .... I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. My priest gave a sermon this last weekend, and said that for some people God does want this. Reason being, is that He wants them to separate from the things of this world. I guess I can kind of see that, but it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.


    Quote from: Nadir
    Do you read the lives of the saints? because going on your post, you have little understanding of what it is to live the Christian life. There is a lot of ambivalence in your writing.  


    Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    I think you are going too far when you say I have little understanding of living a Christian life.


    I said "going by your post". I have underlined and bolded the sentence which, to me, most points in the direction of lack of understanding. I have already asked certain questions prompted by your words which you did not to respond to - fair enough.

    Those bolded words are saying to me that you don't understand the meaning and purpose of suffering in the Christian life. Your words have a protestant ring to them in that you seem to equate  happiness with not suffering, and prosperity with God's blessing. This is not the way the saints saw it, which is why I asked "do you read the lives of the saints?"

    The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Himself, was born into a poor family in a stable, had no where to lay his head. Jesus said "Take up your cross and follow Me" so how can you say that "it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer'.

    Do you read the Gospels?


    Yes I have read the gospels. It does seem that choosing to live a holy life attracts persecution. I don't think this is what God really wants for us though. But because evil exists, it is what happens. I don't know if that is the case for every Christian, but I certainly see it in my life. I know that I have been hated for standing for the truth at times.

    I'm thinking that you are referring to our suffering as a reflection of the suffering that Jesus Christ went though. That is my thoughts on what you are getting at. Correct me if I am wrong.

    I have thought about this myself when reflecting on persecution I have been through. Persecution is not something that would ever lure me away from the Faith. But I do tend to hope that it gets better, and maybe I won't have to go through it as much.

    I honestly wonder if many people have been persecuted as much as I have. I know some have had it worse for sure.

    Perhaps the hardest part about it is that I have been alone the entire time. Maybe it would be easier if I had someone to share the experience with.


    Online Nadir

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 02:58:13 AM »
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  • Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    .... I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. ...it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.


    Quote from: Nadir
    Do you read the Gospels?


    Quote
    Yes I have read the gospels.


    IF, can you see that you have not answered the question I asked.

    Do you read the Gospels? (present tense) In other words "do you have a habit of reading the Gospels? If you wish to understand, and live the Christian life, that is what you need to do. Read the lives of the saints. Read the spiritual writings of the saints.

    You are all over the shop and you need to focus. First of all you were contemplating "What kind of lifestyle should we aim for? Rich, Poor, In-between somewhere" and now you are bemoaning your persecution when - if you are truly persecuted - you should be rejoicing and thanking God for the chance to suffer for Him.
       
    Quote
    It does seem that choosing to live a holy life attracts persecution. I don't think this is what God really wants for us though.


    See, you did it again. You seem to think you know what God wants for us, or what He ought to want. You need to read and study His Word, and the writings of the evangelists, St Paul and the other saints, rather than mulling over your own imaginings.

    You need to get out and live the Christian life, instead of thinking about it and all your sufferings and persecutions.

    Quote
    I'm thinking that you are referring to our suffering as a reflection of the suffering that Jesus Christ went though. That is my thoughts on what you are getting at. Correct me if I am wrong.


    That is not wrong. If we follow Jesus we will suffer.

    Quote
    I honestly wonder if many people have been persecuted as much as I have. I know some have had it worse for sure.


    Have you had your home bulldozed? denied an education? been stoned? imprisoned?  tortured? Think about your suffering as a chance to become stronger.

    Quote
    Perhaps the hardest part about it is that I have been alone the entire time. Maybe it would be easier if I had someone to share the experience with.

    I hope you will find a suitable companion to share with. Meanwhile learn from the saints.

    2 Timothy 3:12
    And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.

    Romans 8:35
    Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?

    Matthew 5:10
    Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Offline InfiniteFaith

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 01:52:27 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Quote from: InfiniteFaith
    .... I am not so sure that God wants us to live in poverty. ...it seems to me like God would want us to live happily and not suffer...especially if we are living holy lives.


    Quote from: Nadir
    Do you read the Gospels?


    Quote
    Yes I have read the gospels.


    IF, can you see that you have not answered the question I asked.

    Do you read the Gospels? (present tense) In other words "do you have a habit of reading the Gospels? If you wish to understand, and live the Christian life, that is what you need to do. Read the lives of the saints. Read the spiritual writings of the saints.

    You are all over the shop and you need to focus. First of all you were contemplating "What kind of lifestyle should we aim for? Rich, Poor, In-between somewhere" and now you are bemoaning your persecution when - if you are truly persecuted - you should be rejoicing and thanking God for the chance to suffer for Him.
       
    Quote
    It does seem that choosing to live a holy life attracts persecution. I don't think this is what God really wants for us though.


    See, you did it again. You seem to think you know what God wants for us, or what He ought to want. You need to read and study His Word, and the writings of the evangelists, St Paul and the other saints, rather than mulling over your own imaginings.

    You need to get out and live the Christian life, instead of thinking about it and all your sufferings and persecutions.

    Quote
    I'm thinking that you are referring to our suffering as a reflection of the suffering that Jesus Christ went though. That is my thoughts on what you are getting at. Correct me if I am wrong.


    That is not wrong. If we follow Jesus we will suffer.

    Quote
    I honestly wonder if many people have been persecuted as much as I have. I know some have had it worse for sure.


    Have you had your home bulldozed? denied an education? been stoned? imprisoned?  tortured? Think about your suffering as a chance to become stronger.

    Quote
    Perhaps the hardest part about it is that I have been alone the entire time. Maybe it would be easier if I had someone to share the experience with.

    I hope you will find a suitable companion to share with. Meanwhile learn from the saints.

    2 Timothy 3:12
    And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.

    Romans 8:35
    Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation? or distress? or famine? or nakedness? or danger? or persecution? or the sword?

    Matthew 5:10
    Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


    I didn't know we should read the gospels over and over again. I thought that if you read them and understand them then that is good enough. I refer to the gospels from time to time, but I do not read them over and over again. I suppose I never thought I needed to.

    I know that persecution comes from living the Christian lifestyle. I agree with you there. I didn't know that we should rejoice over it. I guess you could look at persecution/suffering as a sign that we are on the right track.

    I don't know everything that God wants for us. I can only speculate. I still speculate that it is not God's desire for us to suffer. At the same time, God knows that we will suffer like He did when He sent His only son. Agree?

    Let me ask you. Have you been persecuted a lot? Can you honestly say that persecution is something that is apart of your life. I am not talking about how it might happen at certain points in your life. I am talking about it happening quite frequently to the point where it seems your entire life will be full of it.

    I can honestly say that it has happened enough to me that it seems like it will never end. My persecution has been mostly mental torment. It seems a lot of people hate me or have it out for me.

    What kind of persecution have you been through?

    Offline InfiniteFaith

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    What kind of lifestyle should we aim for?
    « Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 07:22:39 PM »
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  • Also, have you ever heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs? Its something that you learn about if you take a management course in college.

     It sure does seem like Satan likes to use this technique against me. Thank God Satan hasn't been able to take my food and water away from me. He sure does seem to take everything else though.

    Online Nadir

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    « Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 08:15:33 PM »
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  • Quote from: InfiniteFaith


    I didn't know we should read the gospels over and over again. I thought that if you read them and understand them then that is good enough. I refer to the gospels from time to time, but I do not read them over and over again. I suppose I never thought I needed to.


    You do need to have regular spiritual feeding. Think of it as food for the soul. The body needs food. The soul needs food. The more nourishing the better. You need Holy Mass and the sacraments, not always easy access to these nowadays. To this you need to add the Rosary daily and some spiritual reading. Not to mention putting your faith into practice by the corporal works of mercy, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick etc. etc. You need a balance of all these things.

    We are not protestants so we do not depend on the Bible alone. But the New Testament is especially good if you wish to grow in the knowlege and love of God.

    The Bible is not a book that you can read once and say "Well, I've read it and so I understand it." There are levels of understanding and there are always greater depths to plumb.

    Quote
    I know that persecution comes from living the Christian lifestyle. I agree with you there. I didn't know that we should rejoice over it. I guess you could look at persecution/suffering as a sign that we are on the right track.

    I don't know everything that God wants for us. I can only speculate. I still speculate that it is not God's desire for us to suffer. At the same time, God knows that we will suffer like He did when He sent His only son. Agree?


    There is much to be said for suffering. St Paul suffered tremendously for the sread of of Faith. He can say it better than I. Suffering has a redemptive quality. The origin of suffering is sin, but even innocent people suffer, and their suffering can aid others. Suffering need never be wasted, and of course many people who do not understand or believe, waste their suffering.

    Did you look into Stubborn recommended book: Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence?


    Quote
    I can honestly say that it has happened enough to me that it seems like it will never end. My persecution has been mostly mental torment. It seems a lot of people hate me or have it out for me.


    You need to discuss these issues with a priest who knows you.

     

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