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6 years ago  ::  Oct 12, 2008 - 11:52PM #1
mattchapter25
Posts: 124
Recently I spent some time at the pilgrimage site of Lourdes in France. I found during the time I was there that I often entered into a very profound prayerful and contemplative state. This was especially true at the Grotto where Mary is reputed to have appeared to St Bernadette and in a small chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for Adoration.

Part of this was perhaps due to the "normalisation" of prayer in the Sanctuary, thousands of people were there to pray and worship individually and collectively and to suddenly drop to your knees in prayer was not seen as eccentric but as being the whole point of the thing. Part was probably due to the associations of the area with all that has gone on their over the past 150 years.

Without going into the particular theology of Marian apparitions has anyone else any experience of a particularly blessed place for deep prayer and reflection. God is present everywhere but does he perhaps manifest Himself in some particular localities in a special way? In Genesis 28 Jacob seems to think so-

16 And when Jacob awaked out of sleep, he said: Indeed the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. 17 And trembling he said: How terrible is this place! this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven.

And the Gospel story of the pool seems to point to something similar, John 5-

1 After these things was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water. 4 And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.


More broadly perhaps the concept of pilgrimages as being an important part of spiritual life and development is widespread in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions but largely absent in the Reformation communities. Is that a good thing?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 6:27AM #2
nickeroo1
Posts: 7
Scriptures clearly tell us that, "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin."(Romans 14:23) If God must reveal Himself to us or verbally speak to us apart from His word, in any instance, then we do not have faith in Him.  Faith in Christ  is believing (trusting) in Him  regardless of our circumstances because all the evidence necessary for life and godliness is revealed to us in the scriptures.

Scriptures tell us, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom He also made the worlds." (Hebrews 1:1-2)

God is Sovereign in each and every situation. "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will." (Ephesian 1:11) He is intricately involved in all the affairs of men...rather we perceive it or not.  He upholds the world by His hands. If He were to withdraw His care and control for a moment, we would go flying off into space "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou?" (Daniel 4:35)

"Nay, but O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, why hath thou made me thus?" (Romans 9:20)

The scriptures which God has given to us are sufficient (all that is necessary) for all we need to believe in Him and His Son, Jesus. (II Timothy 3:16-17) If the scriptures are not enough, then dear friends; we are of all men most miserable.

Many years ago, my brother in law, who is a minister said, "Oh, if God would ever just show Himself to me, everything would be alright." Everything is alright right now and has always been. Nothing has gone wrong in heaven. God never intended for us to come to Him, believe in Him, trust in Him in any other way than than by faith.   

God still sets on His throne and is in absolute control. His word is just as trustworthy today as it was in the past. Soon all of this will be over for us all.  Those who have put their faith and trust in Christ will ever be with the Lord. Do you know why I believe that? Because He said so in His word. It is the scriptures alone that reveal the mind of God to us and we need to look no further.

God bless you all,

Nickie
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 9:56AM #3
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
Nickie said;
"It is the scriptures alone that reveal the mind of God to us and we need to look no further."

Where does it say that Nickie?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 9:56AM #4
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
Nickie said;
"It is the scriptures alone that reveal the mind of God to us and we need to look no further."

Where does it say that Nickie?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 11:01AM #5
mattchapter25
Posts: 124
Apparitions like those at Lourdes or Fatima do not reveal any new elements of faith which believers are required to believe in. They do remind us timeously of things we should already know. And Scripture predicts that such things will happen and indeed describes them-

Joel 2

28 And it shall come to pass after this, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
29 Moreover upon my servants and handmaids in those days I will pour forth my spirit.
30 And I will show wonders in heaven; and in earth, blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke.

Matthew 27

51 And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent.
52 And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose,
53 And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.

Be that as it may my point is not that Bernadette saw our Lady but that some places seem to promote a feeling of closeness to God for whatever reason and that can aid spiritual life in many ways.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 12:56PM #6
nickeroo1
Posts: 7
II Timorthy 3:16-17  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in rightiousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

The genuine believer (there are a multifude of pseudo believers that Jesus talked about in Matthew 7:21-27)finds that the scriptures alone are sufficient to know/understand God's expectations of us all and obedience to them is doing God's revealed will. God's will has two portions...according to Deuteronomy 29:29 (1) Part of it is concealed and is known only to God Himself...that portion that He has not chosen to disclose to us...His secret counsels (1) Part of His will is revealed to the believer in the Word of God. The believer is charged with the responsibility of obeying God's Will.

Exegesis of the passage in Greek clearly shows what I am saying.

Regards, Nickie
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 2:57PM #7
nickeroo1
Posts: 7
[QUOTE=walkingeagles;894804]Nickie said;
"It is the scriptures alone that reveal the mind of God to us and we need to look no further."

Where does it say that Nickie?[/QUOTE]
Jesus told the Jews, "Ye search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, but they are they that testify of me, but ye will not come unto me that ye might have life." The only way that the believer, new or otherwise, can come to God is by faith. (Hebrew 11:6) Faith is the result of overwhelming evidence that all God has said is true and will be accomplished. Where do we find that? Only in the scriptures.

Scriptures teach that the Christian (I Corithians 2:16) has the mind of Christ. He gets that from the Holy Spirit who is the initiator of the new birth. But the Holy Spirit does not leave us there. He leads and directs us into the scriptures (I Timothy 2:15)which alone reveal the mind of God...or at least as much of it as He wants us to know.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 3:07PM #8
mattchapter25
Posts: 124
Contemplative Spirituality isn't really the best place for this sort of debate but just for the record here is the full context of 2 Timothy 3 you neglected-

15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

16 All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, 17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.


Paul is referring to the Old Testament (probably the Septuagint actually, including the so-called Apocrypha) which Timothy knew from "his infancy" and if this scripture is all that you need for "reproof, correction and instruction in justice" then why are you wasting our time quoting from Paul's Second Letter to Timothy which certainly does not form part of the scripture known to Timothy "from infancy"?
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 4:06PM #9
walkingeagles
Posts: 790
I Timothy  3:15 says,
"but in order that thou mayest  know, if I an delayed, how to conduct thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and mainstay of truth".
There is nothing in the Bible to say that it is the only guide to God.
Over 30,000 different Protestant sects say they follow the Bible.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2008 - 7:47PM #10
natureboy_the0
Posts: 1,740

mattchapter25 wrote:

Recently I spent some time at the pilgrimage site of Lourdes in France. I found during the time I was there that I often entered into a very profound prayerful and contemplative state. This was especially true at the Grotto where Mary is reputed to have appeared to St Bernadette and in a small chapel where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for Adoration.

Part of this was perhaps due to the "normalisation" of prayer in the Sanctuary, thousands of people were there to pray and worship individually and collectively and to suddenly drop to your knees in prayer was not seen as eccentric but as being the whole point of the thing. Part was probably due to the associations of the area with all that has gone on their over the past 150 years.

Without going into the particular theology of Marian apparitions has anyone else any experience of a particularly blessed place for deep prayer and reflection. God is present everywhere but does he perhaps manifest Himself in some particular localities in a special way? In Genesis 28 Jacob seems to think so-

16 And when Jacob awaked out of sleep, he said: Indeed the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. 17 And trembling he said: How terrible is this place! this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven.

And the Gospel story of the pool seems to point to something similar, John 5-

1 After these things was a festival day of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water. 4 And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that went down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.

More broadly perhaps the concept of pilgrimages as being an important part of spiritual life and development is widespread in the Catholic and Orthodox traditions but largely absent in the Reformation communities. Is that a good thing?

It has been my exprience that places such as those are nothing more than places where people tend to, because of a belief in the sacredness they are said to be, have a catalist for what we call miracles to manifest themselves.  I have found that anytime I truly need to commuunicate with I AM THAT I AM all I have to do is internalize what it is I need and get "rewarded openly".

Are you questioning your beliefs, ask I AM THAT I AM to clarify them!
Elijah Alfred "NatureBoy" Alexander, Jr. presenting SEEDS OF LIFE
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