April 14, 2006

On Mary&Co. [teci talks to a Catholic friend, 1]

(this series is a set of real emails but the dates and names and other telltale details (aside from mine) have been removed. and of course i rewrote some phrases that weren't in English :) i'm posting this because these words apply to more people than just my friend and i :) )

Subject: Re: [Fwd: Benedict XVI first encylical letter - Deus Caritas Est]

______ wrote:

Hello Tess:

I hope you can keep an open mind. A catholic material with universal appeal and content.


 Teci wrote:

ok! open mind it is :) pero as usual i might not be able to read it in the near future...(hope it won't take another two years to reply, hehe) :)

for what it's worth, thanks very much for replying :)


Subject: comments on Pope Benedict's encyclical

Teci wrote:

hi! i got to go over the encyclical a while ago...and i agree with what Pope Benedict is saying about love, divine and human. he used a lot of Scriptural verses which are also used by Bible-based Christians and so coming to the same conclusion. God made man and woman to be together, and it was good. there's just a lot of misconceptions so it's important to get back to the basics and the foundations, which is God's Word itself.

but i was truly, deeply saddened in coming to the end of his encyclical, because he ended with a prayer to Mary. sir, i also believe and would like to see the unity of all believers under one God. however, there are practices that i do not agree with and these are issues that are more important than unity. one of these is devotion or worship to those other than God Himself. sir, diba the first commandment is "you shall have no other gods before Me"?

yes, Mary is rightfully honored as the virtuous woman who humbly gave herself to be used by God the Father in carrying Jesus, God the Son. But honor should also be given to the other saints and martyrs, past and present, who dedicated their lives in loving service to God and humanity. And this honor and respect should not transcend, however subconsciously or unintentionally, to worship of something other than God Himself. this is idolatry, plain and simple.

and the second commandment is "you not shall make for yourself a carved image -- any likeness of anything...you shall not bow to them or serve them." in our attachment to physical things and places that may have been in contact, or used, or related one way or another to God, we have to be careful to not worship the things and places themselves. it becomes dangerous and unhealthy, and sadly, going directly against God's commandments, when we glorify the creation instead of the Creator.

i do not want to make sweeping generalizations about my religion versus anyone else's. i think you'll agree that it's not the name of the religion, or the church, or the division or sect et cetera, but the content of the faith. what am i believing? who am i following?

i agree that apostolating (is this the correct term po?) by example is best. :) real lives being transformed cannot be denied. :) still, Jesus warned against those who call Him "Lord" and do not follow what He said, unintentionally or subconsciously though it may be. the intentions may be good, but we still have to be careful. (remember when Jesus called Peter "Satan"? what a shock it must have been! i'm shocked even reading it, what more would he have felt? but it stemmed from Peter having the good intentions of not wanting to let Jesus be crucified and die. no one wants that! but it was Jesus' mission, and Peter, by "rebuking" his Master, had paradoxically the same view as Satan! Satan didn't want Jesus to take our sins' punishments so we could be free! i think it's stated more comprehensively in the book "brave enough to follow" =) )

besides, we are *ahem* intelligent, well-conversant people. we use our minds and healthy dialogue. the God of the heart is also the God of the mind, so if He speaks through logic and literal words as we're doing, so that we'll "get it more", then well and good. :)

that’s all, good evening. =)

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