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  1. Yesterday
  2. Tony you might have the wrong person, I was the one who brought it up and said that there are "levels". However I do not think levels is the right word, more like capacities. The thing that has me confused the most is that if I carry this knowledge with me into heaven, assuming i don't become the greatest saint of all time i will be aware that my fulfillment is lacking to an extent.
  3. Last week
  4. I always grew up thinking that there weren't different levels of heaven, the thought never even crossed my mind. So I went to see if I could find something in the Bible that would help. The first verse I got was from the book of John 14:2 " In my Fathers house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" So, I was wondering, by dwelling places does that mean the different levels of heaven, or not? In another passage, the apostles are arguing about who out of the twelve would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. And Jesus brings a child in their midst and says: " whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." There are multiple other verses like this, regarding the greatest or least in the kingdom of heaven. So, does that mean that the greater are at a higher level in heaven, and the least in a lower level? But then again, as far as I know, (correct me if I'm wrong,) but when Jesus teaches about judgment, he never said anything about going to a certain level of heaven. But I guess there weren't many details about that sort of thing either if I remember correctly.
  5. An interesting addition to this question is the meaning of levels and closeness in heaven. Normally, both the words levels and closeness are a spacial concept, meaning physical distance. So, if heaven exists outside of space and the concept of distance, what would the levels indicate? The amount of love we are capable of receiving? The quality of the acts we did on earth? I would love some clarification on the topic
  6. So I have a question. I have always been under the impression that there are levels of heaven. The closest spots to God reserved for Mary and the greatest saints and then lower levels of heaven for us who aren't Mother Teresa. However, I was talking to @Cole Hardie and he said he believed that there we not different levels of heaven and that we are all equally close and fulfilled in God. While I agree that our hearts will all be equally fulfilled in Christ in heaven I was always told there we still different levels. I don't really have much to back up that claim besides Dante's Inferno (which could totally be wrong) and I think a vision given to John in Revelations about heaven. I could totally be wrong but I'd love to hear what you guys think!
  7. Earlier
  8. So I did a little research on this topic and I was getting the same answers! Thanks for clearing that up!
  9. Great question! We never need to approach scripture as a "threat" to any part of our faith. Here is an article that delves deeper into the points that Cole made in response: https://www.catholic.com/tract/brethren-of-the-lord Specifically, it highlights the use of "brother" in Biblical Greek as a broader word that can refer to other male relatives. Your question does lead to another one, though, which is worth thinking about: What does it mean that we are brothers and sisters to Jesus? How does it happen? Can we point to a time and place in our lives when that became real for us?
  10. Great question Jenny, I’ve bashed heads with a guy over this same part in the Bible. What I found out was that Mark writes this book with a Jewish accent if you will. In the Jewish language there is know word for cousin, Aunt, or Uncle so the term brother was used for all relatives. In verses 31-35 they they are talking about Jesus’ relatives then. He takes the chance to teach them that you don’t need to be related by blood to be his brother. This is why we can call each other brothers and sisters in Christ. Not that we share his blood but that we share his mission in doing the will of the father. As to Mary not having anymore Children. People question this a lot and will pull out Matthew 1: 25 “He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and named him Jesus.” But what a lot of people don't know is that in the Jewish right there is a special right for a virgin to be married yet still be a consecrated virgin as long as the husband agrees. In light of this right we can be sure that Mary chose this option as she was already a consecrated virgin and to go any other way would potentially violate her consecration. If I remember correctly what it means by having no relations until the child was born is that even though they did the virginal marriage Joseph lived with Mary more as brother and sister then as a married couple until Jesus was born. hoped this helped if anything is still unclear let me know and I will do my best to clear it up!
  11. Awesome job in finding these quotes, Hailey! I also like this quote (From the same webpage): “It is not right that He who came to heal corruption should by His advent violate integrity” (St. Augustine, Sermon 189:2).
  12. This is such a beautiful teaching! I did a little looking and I found a site that organizes Scriptural support as well as explanations by Church Fathers, Popes, and Doctors of the Church on Mary’s constant virginity and her lack of pain during the birth. St. John Damascene’s quote hit me hard, but there are sooo many great texts that are much more eloquent writers than I am, so I’ll pull St. John Damascene’s text and link the site below. St. John Damascene How can death claim as its prey this truly blessed one, who listened to God’s word in humility, and was filled with the Spirit, conceiving the Father’s gift through the archangel, bearing without concupiscence or the co-operation of man the Person of the Divine Word, who fills all things, bringing Him forth without the pains of childbirth, being wholly united to God?… It was fitting that the body of her, who preserved her virginity intact in childbirth, should be kept from corruption even after death. She who nursed her Creator as an infant at her breast, had a right to be in the divine tabernacles…. It was fitting that she who saw her Son die on the cross, and received in her heart the sword of pain which she had not felt in childbirth, should gaze upon Him seated next to the Father. (St. John Damascene, Second Homily on the Dormition of the Mother of God. So far as He was born of woman, His birth was in accordance with the laws of parturition, while so far as He had no father, His birth was above the nature of generation: and in that it was at the usual time (for He was born on the completion of the ninth month when the tenth was just beginning), His birth was in accordance with the laws of parturition, while in that it was painless it was above the laws of generation. For, as pleasure did not precede it, pain did not follow it, according to the prophet who says, Before she travailed, she brought forth, and again, before her pain came she was delivered of a man-child (Isaiah 66:7). The Son of God incarnate, therefore, was born of her, not a divinely-inspired man but God incarnate…But just as He who was conceived kept her who conceived still virgin, in like manner also He who was born preserved her virginity intact, only passing through her and keeping her closed (Ezekiel 44:2). (St. John Damascene, On the Orthodox Faith, IV, 14) https://taylormarshall.com/2010/12/marys-painless-delivery-of-christ.html Most of the texts refer to Isaiah 66:7-9, so I’ll include it below: 7: Before she is in labor, she gives birth; Before her pangs come upon her, she delivers a male child. 8: Who ever heard of such a thing, or who ever saw the like? Can a land be brought forth in one day, or a nation be born in a single moment? Yet Zion was scarcely in labor when she bore her children. 9: Shall I bring a mother to the point of birth, and yet not let her child be born? says the LORD. Or shall I who bring to birth yet close her womb? says your God.
  13. How do we know Jesus didn't have any other siblings? I was reading the Bible and I read the chapter Jesus' Mother and Brothers, Mark 3:31-35, it says "Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, 'Your mothers and brothers are outside looking for you.' 'Who are my mother and brothers?' He asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, 'Here are my mother and brothers! Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother.'" First of all the chapter is called Jesus' mother and brothers, why would they call it that when they could say Jesus' mother and disciples? Or is it called that because Jesus says everyone there is his brothers and mothers, and it's named after them. Also, Jesus tells them that everyone who does God's will is his brother or sister after they call those people his brothers. So why would Jesus say that the others were his brothers and sisters when, if they called those people his brothers, but they weren't, they must believe that others can be his brothers without having the same blood. So if that's true, Jesus is teaching them a lesson they already know. Obviously by them saying that those men are his brothers, they must know that those are his actual brothers, if Jesus teaches them that the people who aren't his blood relatives can be his brothers, that means that they must not have believed that and thought that only they were his brothers because they were his brothers by blood. Sorry this is kind of confusing, it's hard to put these thoughts into words, hopefully you can understand this. I am fine with the teaching, and I believe it if the church does, it's just I want to know where we get the information supporting our belief that Mary didn't have other children, and I want to understand it as much as possible, so then I can come to truly believe it and not have any doubts. This chapter has definitely made me think about this belief, and I'd like to know what you guys think.
  14. Many non-Catholic Christians will affirm that Mary was a Virgin before the birth. They understand as Catholic do that Mary’s pregnancy was miraculous and not the result of normal relations with a man. Another teaching of the Church is that Mary was a virgin after the birth (meaning that she never had sex or babies after the birth of Christ). This one is harder for other Christians to accept. It means that Joseph would always be celibate. By the way, the fact that Joseph was a model of purity and chastity is the reason he is always shown holding lillies. But the one that will really wrinkle your brain is that many of the Church father said that Mary was a virgin even during the birth. In some mysterious way, Mary’s birth was supernatural. Instead of me explaining this, I want to encourage you to look this up and share with the group what you find out about this.
  15. So in the Bible when Adam and Eve sin God says that the pains in childbirth will be intensified. So that was a result of sin. But since Mary had no sin, did it still apply? And I have also heard that Jesus Just like passed out of the womb miraculously and MAry did not give birth if that makes any sense. Thoughts?
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