Thursday, 15 April 2010

Religious Liberty

The Second Vatican's declaration On Religious Liberty "DIGNITATIS HUMANAE' states: All persons have a right to religious liberty, a right with its foundation in the essential dignity of each human being. All persons must be free to seek the truth without coercion. The highest norm of human life is the divine law and truth, but it can only be sought after in the proper and free manner, with the aid of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue, and it must be adhered to by personal assent. This freedom from coercion in religious affairs must also be recognized as a right when persons act in community. As such a community, and in fact a society in its own original right, has the right to live its own domestic religious life in freedom, in particular the freedom to choose religious education.

A similar declaration On Religious Liberty gave primacy over obedience to ecclesiastical authority and reads as follows:

Deep within their consciences men and women discover a law that they have not laid upon themselves but which they must obey. Its voice, ever calling them to love and to do what is good and to avoid what is evil, tells them inwardly at the right moment: do this, shun that. For they have in their hearts a law inscribed by God. Their dignity lies in observing this law, and by it they will be judged . . . By conscience that law is made known in a wonderful that is fulfilled in love for God and for one's neighbour. Through loyalty to conscience Christians are joined to others in the search for truth and for the right solution to so many moral problems that arise both in the lives of individuals and in social relationships. - Pastoral Constitution on the Modern World

Practise your faith as it works for you. Not as others would have you believe. Jesus often declared that "your faith has saved you". This was at a time when the Church did not exist. Thus it is our trust in God that saves not a religious institution.

Draw from your faith as if it were a banquet consisting of your favourite morsels and as often as you need. Jesus often invited the marginalized the spiritually poor, crippled, lame, and blind to eat with him. Why would we refuse this offer? Jesus tells the parable about busy people who refuse to attend the master's Great Feast, when finally the master tells his servants "go out to the country roads and lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full". (Matthew 22:1-10)

Celebrate your faith with the freedom that God gives to each human being. In God's Kingdom we are free because true love does not make demands. Freedom is what we have – Christ has set us free! Stand, then, as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again. Galatians 5.1

Trust in a God who does not punish, reward, command or play favourites. God loves us unconditionally; he does not look upon our sins, but rather experiences himself through our perfect holy self.

Live life to the full - free of shame, guilt and comparison to others. Jesus came to bring us life to be lived to the full. We sacrifice that fullness every time we compete with others and believe we are better, holier or try to be someone else. Only the ego recognizes shame and guilt.

Expect miracles each day. They are your rightful gift from God. In God's Kingdom miracles are the norm. Everywhere else they are the exception.

God's Judgment always awards healing not punishment. On the Day of Judgment God will restore us to our perfect true-self. God's judgment will restore all that was lost or denied during our life. For the Christian, the Last Judgment is the final and definitive establishment of the heavenly community, the Kingdom in its full eternal glory.

Know that you are always a worthy and Holy creation in the sight of God. Clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)

Learn that every negative event is a teaching moment. Take time to reflect on the story about the Samaritan Woman meeting Jesus at the well. (John Chapter 4) Within each negative event lies the possibility for positive change. Remember, Jesus meets us where we are, not where we are not.

In everything give thanks - everything comes to you as gift.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Look for the God within and acknowledge him in your neighbour. We are all God molecules. God is nearer to me than I am to myself. Meister Eckhart. Love your neighbour. Mat. 22:34-40;Luke 4:22-24;Romans 13:9-10;James 2:8.

There is no such thing as co-incidence – everything in the universe works in harmony. (Genesis 1 "God saw that it was good"!)26

When the Lord created his works from the beginning,
and, in making them, determined their boundaries,
27he arranged his works in an eternal order,
and their dominion
for all generations.
They neither hunger nor grow weary,
and they do not abandon their tasks.
28They do not crowd one another,
and they never disobey his word.
29Then the Lord looked upon the earth,
and filled it with his good things.
30With all kinds of living beings he covered its surface,
and into it they must return.
(Sirach 16:24-30)

Never underestimate God's generosity What would God refuse to his sons and daughters? He even allows his bounty to shine upon the good and the bad.(Matthew 5.45)

Remember God's creation is ongoing and your responsibility in it. Science recently discovered what the mystics knew all along; God's creation is without end. Care for what God gives you with love.

Be kind to yourself – before you were born you chose this place and station. Many Christian mystics came to understand that our lives have purpose beyond our worldly imagination. We choose our reality, or at least co-create it with our attitude toward it. (Meister Eckhardt)

No comments: