belleo's blog listings. From darkness to light Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo Gift of the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit, Gift of God's Love

St. Augustine

There is no gift of God more excellent than this. It alone distinguishes the sons of the eternal kingdom and the sons of eternal perdition. Other gifts, too, are given by the Holy Spirit; but without love they profit nothing. Unless, therefore, the Holy Spirit is so far imparted to each, as to make him one who loves God and his neighbor, he is not removed from the left hand to the right. Nor is the Spirit specially called the Gift, unless on account of love. And he who has not this love, "though he speak with the tongues of men and angels, is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though he have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though he have all faith, so that he can remove mountains, he is nothing; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and though he give his body to be burned, it profiteth him nothing."

How great a good, then, is that without which goods so great bring no one to eternal life! But love or charity itself,--for they are two names for one thing,--if he have it that does not speak with tongues, nor has the gift of prophecy, nor knows all mysteries and all knowledge, nor gives all his goods to the poor, either because he has none to give or because some necessity hinders, nor delivers his body to be burned, if no trial of such a suffering overtakes him, brings that man to the kingdom, so that faith itself is only rendered profitable by love, since faith without love can indeed exist, but cannot profit. And therefore also the Apostle Paul says, "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love:" so distinguishing it from that faith by which even "the devils believe and tremble." Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is specially the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by which love the whole Trinity dwells in us. And therefore most rightly is the Holy Spirit, although He is God, called also the gift of God. And by that gift what else can properly be understood except love, which brings to God, and without which any other gift of God whatsoever does not bring to God? . . .

Wherefore, if Holy Scripture proclaims that God is love, and that love is of God, and works this in us that we abide in God and He in us, and that hereby we know this, because He has given us of His Spirit, then the Spirit Himself is God, who is love. Next, if there be among the gifts of God none greater than love, and there is no greater gift of God than the Holy Spirit, what follows more naturally than that He is Himself love, who is called both God and of God? And if the love by which the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father, ineffably demonstrates the communion of both, what is more suitable than that He should be specially called love, who is the Spirit common to both? For this is the sounder thing both to believe and to understand, that the Holy Spirit is not alone love in that Trinity, yet is not specially called love to no purpose

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:21:07 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/17/gift_of_the_holy_spirit http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/17/gift_of_the_holy_spirit The Holy Spirit, Gift of God's Love

St. Augustine

There is no gift of God more excellent than this. It alone distinguishes the sons of the eternal kingdom and the sons of eternal perdition. Other gifts, too, are given by the Holy Spirit; but without love they profit nothing. Unless, therefore, the Holy Spirit is so far imparted to each, as to make him one who loves God and his neighbor, he is not removed from the left hand to the right. Nor is the Spirit specially called the Gift, unless on account of love. And he who has not this love, "though he speak with the tongues of men and angels, is sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal; and though he have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and though he have all faith, so that he can remove mountains, he is nothing; and though he bestow all his goods to feed the poor, and though he give his body to be burned, it profiteth him nothing."

How great a good, then, is that without which goods so great bring no one to eternal life! But love or charity itself,--for they are two names for one thing,--if he have it that does not speak with tongues, nor has the gift of prophecy, nor knows all mysteries and all knowledge, nor gives all his goods to the poor, either because he has none to give or because some necessity hinders, nor delivers his body to be burned, if no trial of such a suffering overtakes him, brings that man to the kingdom, so that faith itself is only rendered profitable by love, since faith without love can indeed exist, but cannot profit. And therefore also the Apostle Paul says, "In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith that worketh by love:" so distinguishing it from that faith by which even "the devils believe and tremble." Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is specially the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by which love the whole Trinity dwells in us. And therefore most rightly is the Holy Spirit, although He is God, called also the gift of God. And by that gift what else can properly be understood except love, which brings to God, and without which any other gift of God whatsoever does not bring to God? . . .

Wherefore, if Holy Scripture proclaims that God is love, and that love is of God, and works this in us that we abide in God and He in us, and that hereby we know this, because He has given us of His Spirit, then the Spirit Himself is God, who is love. Next, if there be among the gifts of God none greater than love, and there is no greater gift of God than the Holy Spirit, what follows more naturally than that He is Himself love, who is called both God and of God? And if the love by which the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father, ineffably demonstrates the communion of both, what is more suitable than that He should be specially called love, who is the Spirit common to both? For this is the sounder thing both to believe and to understand, that the Holy Spirit is not alone love in that Trinity, yet is not specially called love to no purpose

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On Pope Francis and hope

Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

Jesus’s Resurrection “isn’t the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn’t the happy ending of a film”, but is the result of the loving intervention of God, who wanted to give humanity hope and salvation, Pope Francis said.

In the middle of Holy Week, Pope Francis encouraged people to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.”

At his weekly general audience, the Pope said Jesus willingly endured the most humiliating, most painful path to death: betrayal, mocking, being nailed to a cross “like the worst criminal.”

Watching Jesus suffer and die, the Pope said: “We see the suffering of all humanity and we find the divine response to the mystery of evil, suffering and death. We often feel horror because of the evil and pain around us and we ask: ‘Why does God allow this?’ It hurts deeply when we see suffering and death, especially when it involves the innocent. When we see children suffering, it wounds our hearts.

“This week it would do all of us good to look upon a crucifix, kiss the wounds of Jesus,” he said. “He took upon himself all human suffering.”

“We want God, in his omnipotence, to defeat all injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant victory,” the Pope said. “But instead, he shows a humble victory. Humanly speaking, it seems to be a failure, but God is victorious precisely in that failure.”

Jesus’s death “is not an accident,” the pope said. “His death – that death – was already written. Really, we don’t have a full explanation. It is a bewildering mystery, the mystery of the great humility of God.”

During Holy Week, the Pope said, Christians should meditate on the suffering of Jesus and recognise, “this is for me. Even if I was the only person in the world, he would have done it. He did it for me.”

“When everything seems lost,” the pope said, that is the moment that God intervenes “with the power of the Resurrection,” restoring hope to humanity with a father’s love.

God does the same thing in the lives of everyone who suffers, he said. When suffering seems unbearable and everything is dark, “that is the moment closest to the Resurrection”.

“Jesus, who chose to live this life, calls us to follow the same path of humiliation,” Pope Francis said. “At the times in our lives when we cannot seem to find any way out of our difficulties, when we find ourselves in the deepest darkness … at the hour when we experience that we are fragile and sinful, it is precisely then, at that moment, that we should not mask our failure, but open ourselves to God with trust, just as Jesus did.”

Riding around St Peter’s Square before the audience, Pope Francis picked up two young passengers and allowed the boys to ride in the back of the Popemobile until he was ready to begin his catechesis

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Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:10:02 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/17/on_pope_francis_and_hope http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/17/on_pope_francis_and_hope

Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

Pope Francis kisses child as he arrives for the general audience (CNS)

Jesus’s Resurrection “isn’t the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn’t the happy ending of a film”, but is the result of the loving intervention of God, who wanted to give humanity hope and salvation, Pope Francis said.

In the middle of Holy Week, Pope Francis encouraged people to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: “Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord.”

At his weekly general audience, the Pope said Jesus willingly endured the most humiliating, most painful path to death: betrayal, mocking, being nailed to a cross “like the worst criminal.”

Watching Jesus suffer and die, the Pope said: “We see the suffering of all humanity and we find the divine response to the mystery of evil, suffering and death. We often feel horror because of the evil and pain around us and we ask: ‘Why does God allow this?’ It hurts deeply when we see suffering and death, especially when it involves the innocent. When we see children suffering, it wounds our hearts.

“This week it would do all of us good to look upon a crucifix, kiss the wounds of Jesus,” he said. “He took upon himself all human suffering.”

“We want God, in his omnipotence, to defeat all injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant victory,” the Pope said. “But instead, he shows a humble victory. Humanly speaking, it seems to be a failure, but God is victorious precisely in that failure.”

Jesus’s death “is not an accident,” the pope said. “His death – that death – was already written. Really, we don’t have a full explanation. It is a bewildering mystery, the mystery of the great humility of God.”

During Holy Week, the Pope said, Christians should meditate on the suffering of Jesus and recognise, “this is for me. Even if I was the only person in the world, he would have done it. He did it for me.”

“When everything seems lost,” the pope said, that is the moment that God intervenes “with the power of the Resurrection,” restoring hope to humanity with a father’s love.

God does the same thing in the lives of everyone who suffers, he said. When suffering seems unbearable and everything is dark, “that is the moment closest to the Resurrection”.

“Jesus, who chose to live this life, calls us to follow the same path of humiliation,” Pope Francis said. “At the times in our lives when we cannot seem to find any way out of our difficulties, when we find ourselves in the deepest darkness … at the hour when we experience that we are fragile and sinful, it is precisely then, at that moment, that we should not mask our failure, but open ourselves to God with trust, just as Jesus did.”

Riding around St Peter’s Square before the audience, Pope Francis picked up two young passengers and allowed the boys to ride in the back of the Popemobile until he was ready to begin his catechesis

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Fasting , drawing closer to God ON FASTING St. John Chrysostom The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who especially lowers the value of it. Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don't get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body. You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with your eyes upon other things which are forbidden. You don't eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to lis- ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too. Another way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak evil or untrue things about others. "Thou shalt not receive an idle report. "This is especially true of rumors, gossip, untruths which are spoken to harm another. Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods, your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies about others. For what good is it if you don't eat meat or poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?
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Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:40:14 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/15/fasting_,_drawing_closer_to_god_ http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/15/fasting_,_drawing_closer_to_god_ ON FASTING St. John Chrysostom The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who especially lowers the value of it. Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don't get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body. You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with your eyes upon other things which are forbidden. You don't eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to lis- ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too. Another way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak evil or untrue things about others. "Thou shalt not receive an idle report. "This is especially true of rumors, gossip, untruths which are spoken to harm another. Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods, your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies about others. For what good is it if you don't eat meat or poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?
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About Metanoia

Could you tell me what the definition of Metanoia is? Somebody told me it has to do with conversion but I never heard this term used before?

Metanoia is considered fundamental to the pursuit of authentic Christian perfection. Simply put, it is a term from the Greek metanoein (“to change one’s mind, repent, be converted”) that is used in the NT for conversion. It entails true repentance of sin and the subsequent turning toward the Lord. There is a complete change in one's life, turning from unbelief to belief, a change of heart from sin to the practice of the virtues, and the zealous demonstration of that faith through baptism, confession, and a worthy penance. Metanoia is commonly used in the Greek NT, especially in the preaching of the Apostles.

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Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:51:28 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/14/about_metanoia http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/14/about_metanoia

Could you tell me what the definition of Metanoia is? Somebody told me it has to do with conversion but I never heard this term used before?

Metanoia is considered fundamental to the pursuit of authentic Christian perfection. Simply put, it is a term from the Greek metanoein (“to change one’s mind, repent, be converted”) that is used in the NT for conversion. It entails true repentance of sin and the subsequent turning toward the Lord. There is a complete change in one's life, turning from unbelief to belief, a change of heart from sin to the practice of the virtues, and the zealous demonstration of that faith through baptism, confession, and a worthy penance. Metanoia is commonly used in the Greek NT, especially in the preaching of the Apostles.

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There is value ... The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who especially lowers the value of it. Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don't get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body. You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with your eyes upon other things which are forbidden. You don't eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to lis- ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too. Another way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak evil or untrue things about others. "Thou shalt not receive an idle report. "This is especially true of rumors, gossip, untruths which are spoken to harm another. Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods, your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies about others. For what good is it if you don't eat meat or poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?
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Mon, 14 Apr 2014 22:34:36 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/14/there_is_value_... http://community.beliefnet.com/belleo/blog/2014/04/14/there_is_value_... The value of fasting consists not only in avoiding certain foods, but in giving up of sinful practices. The person who limits his fast only to abstaining from meat is the one who especially lowers the value of it. Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don't get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eye, your ear, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body. You fast with your hands by keeping them pure from doing greedy things. You fast with your feet by not going to see forbidden shows or plays. You fast with your eyes by not letting them look upon impure pictures. Because if this is forbidden or unlawful, it mars your fast and threatens the safety of your soul. But if you look at things which are lawful and save you increase your fast, for what you see with your eye influences your conduct. It would be very stupid to eliminate or give up meat and other foods because of the fast but feed with your eyes upon other things which are forbidden. You don't eat meat, you say. But you allow yourself to lis- ten to lewd things. You must fast with your ears, too. Another way of fasting with your ears is not to listen to those who speak evil or untrue things about others. "Thou shalt not receive an idle report. "This is especially true of rumors, gossip, untruths which are spoken to harm another. Besides fasting with your mouth by not eating certain foods, your mouth should also fast from foul language or telling lies about others. For what good is it if you don't eat meat or poultry, and yet you bite and devour your fellow man?
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