A Conversation With Myself

Me: I’m giving up sweets for lent.

Myself: You’re not Catholic.

“So what? I can do whatever I damn please.”

“You’ve been swearing a lot lately.”

“I know. I think it’s the meds”

“I think it’s you refusing to take responsibility for your actions. You could get your words under control if you wanted to.”

“Don’t you have homework to do?”

“You’re me, goffball”

“Really? It didn’t seem that way when you were chastising me just now.”

“Keep arguing. I’ll chastise you even more when you make a B in all your classes.”

“You know that’s not going to happen. You’re just trying to scare me.”

“Whatever”

“… I’m still giving up sweets for lent.”

Yes, yes, I know I’m behind on my reading notes. I promise, I have work in progress. I have something on the fossil record and I’ll start on the war against the Amalekites pretty soon. Right after I get some more sleep.
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Tracy

I’m Tracy

13 thoughts on “A Conversation With Myself”

  1. Catholics are not the only ones that do lent but this leads me to my own challenge. Where are all the biblical references to fasting and what are conflicting theological concepts that lead people away from teaching this more commonly. I could bust out my opinion if you so will it but I would like to her yours eventually.

    I shall end it with a quote that I have come to like but don’t recall the exact words

    Fasting without prayer is just a diet.

    1. Are you asking what keeps people away from lent? I doubt there are any conflicting theological concepts or Bible sayings. There just aren’t any Bible passages commanding us to do it (at least in any obvious fashion). Human beings are simple people. You don’t have to give them a reason not to do something. As long as they don’t have strong reason to do it, they’ll stay away from anything that requires effort.

      I think that Catholics do it because it’s institutionalized in the church – like praying – so that it’s not something most of them decide to do. It’s something they just do. Ask the average catholic why they celebrate lent and they’ll either stare at you blankly or parrot out something they were told at church or in catechism class.

      1. I am not asking what keeps people away from lent but I mostly asking what keeps people away from fasting for long periods in general.

        In the bible there are many references to fasting and yet I see it very seldomly done by practicing christians.

        I know where to find it and was basiclly I was challenging you to find it and make a statement on the aspect of fasting.

        I would say that some denominations will find the aspect of fasting as eventually a troubling thing. I say that having heard testimonies and seeing the theological concept of fasting that if focused on would go counter to some other theological concepts that many christians hold in high regard.

        I still can offer my resources but I just wonder why it is not done more often for other christians if it is biblical.

      2. I’ve never heard of any denominations who have anything against fasting. In my opinion, people don’t fast for long periods because it takes motivation and effort and consequently, is inconvenient unless it gives you something. “The Bible recommends it” just isn’t reason enough.

  2. I wish more people would fast because the expierence can be mounumental. It is not that denominations teach against fasting but when you start to look at scriptural reasons for fasting it leads to problems of the aspect of work. {Catholic teach by faith and work(love and loving action) not by works alone}The truth is you help yourself be more centered through the effort of fasting and it brings you closer to God in that sense. This goes against what most denominations think of faith alone will bring us closer to God. You are right they don’t see a reason to fast and it is a struggle but you will get good stories from fasting. It is funny in the bible jesus says that a demon can only be exorcised by fasting.
    Matt. 17-21; Mark 9:29

    1. I don’t know of any denomination that thinks of fasting in such terms. What I hear is that we are saved by God’s grace, so even though we sin, we will not be condemned. However, a child of God will strive to do God’s will (good works). The good works don’t save us, they are a product of our salvation. Even the churches I was raised in taught that reading your Bible and praying everyday would bring you closer to God. It won’t save you, but it helps you grow.

      What denominations do you know of that teach that faith alone – without going to church, reading the Bible and prayer – makes a healthy Christian?

      1. I don’t remember the man’s former denomination any more but he was a religious minister of sorts that as he learned and taught fasting the ways he was going on were significantly being questioned from the angle of works.

        I see to concepts of works here, that of one containing effort and the other containing no effort(a product of salvation or natural outcome or produce naturally). I would not get into too much of a talk on it but this difference comes with the very things you are speaking off which are very true of practically all evangelical denominations. I would say in many cases even for me the good work produce is effortless and of course is due to my heart being oriented to the things of God. Certain things take effort on our parts and thus the concepts will clash. Yes it comes out of our love but its effort makes it seem hard and to some this will seem more of a work. Us trying to gain a more godly life but why fast it is a strive to work, or working to God when we are already his and we already have him as it were. It is not giving to the poor for we see a need and try to strive for God’s will in the saving of the poor. This work will bring us closer to God but why if a work is freely flowing. In many works there is a love of neighbor at play; feeding, clothing, tending the sick, etc. but with fasting you are doing a work to get closer to God but why so very few practice this if it is very biblical and it use to be common and Jesus did it himself and taught how we should fast. If he gave us instructions then why is the work not being done and what would it accomplish to fast.

        “What denominations do you know of that teach that faith alone – without going to church, reading the Bible and prayer – makes a healthy Christian?”
        I would prefer it to be taught the way you have said but it is sad to say that the bigger things fall by the waist side (I think that is the phrase) unless it is said directly many people will think that attendance and type of prayer will go astray. I am sure we can see that from both ends.

  3. Sad face, I wasn’t using auto-correct. I will indicate second try explainations with brackets{}. Sorry I type like and engineer and this is not a word document to help correct me.

    I don’t remember the man’s former denomination any more but he was a religious minister of sorts that as he learned and taught fasting the ways he was going on were significantly being questioned from the angle of works.
    {I see no problem with this one if you have a question state it so that it maybe addressed}

    I see two* concepts of “works” here; one containing effort and the other containing no effort(a product of salvation or natural outcome or produce naturally). I would not get into too much of a talk on it but this difference comes with the very things you are speaking off which are very true of practically all evangelical denominations. {ergo the former reply you made from the 2nd sentence to the 6th sentence} I would say in many cases{,} even for me{,} the good work produce is effortless and of course is due to my heart being oriented to the things of God {just as I assume with other denominations based on expierence due to my multidenominational family}. Certain things take effort on our parts and thus the concepts will clash {the clash is between the traditional understanding of what these works are like and what they do and how that feel and what they achieve}{all of these concepts are engrained and thus would take much time which is why I said earlier that I only wanted to talk a little about}. Yes it comes out of our love{out of our love and devotion to God that we strive to do good works NOT as to say that only by doing them that we earn our way to heaven and to God’s love} but its effort makes it seem hard and to some this will seem more of a work{more of a work as in the since that we are working to God, which is exactly what many evangelicals are against, }. Us trying to gain a more godly life but why fast? It is a strive to work, or working to God when we are already his and we already have him as it were. It is not giving to the poor for we see a need and try to strive for God’s will in the saving of the poor. This work will bring us closer to God but why if a work does not bring us closer to God but only is freely flowing. In many works there is a love of neighbor at play; feeding, clothing, tending the sick, etc. but with fasting you are doing a work to get closer to God but why so very few practice this if it is very biblical and it use to be common and Jesus did it himself and taught how we should fast. If he gave us instructions then why is the work not being done and what would it accomplish to fast.

    “What denominations do you know of that teach that faith alone – without going to church, reading the Bible and prayer – makes a healthy Christian?”
    I would prefer it to be taught the way you have said but it is sad to say that the bigger things fall by the waist side (I think that is the phrase) unless it is said directly many people will think that attendance and type of prayer will go astray. I am sure we can see that from both ends.

    I am sorry for my writing style

    1. I’m going to try to rewrite your comment a best as I can understand it. When next you write, you can also try writing first into a text editor with a spell checker before putting it here. That should help.

      I don’t remember the man’s former denomination, but he was a religious minister of sorts. As he learned and taught fasting, he was criticized for preaching salvation by works.

      I see two concepts of works here; one involving effort, and the other involving no effort (a product of nature or salvation). I made this distinction based on your previous reply (from the 2nd to 6th sentence). in many cases, my good works are effortless and due to my heart being oriented towards God’s things.

      Certain things take effort on our part, however, and they make it then seem that we are trying to work our way to God. Fasting is one of those things.

      Firstly, I don’t think there is an important distinction between works that require effort and those that don’t. I love going to church, so it takes no effort to do so every week. On the other hand, it takes a lot of effort to stop myself long enough to pray. But praying is no more of a work that going to church (assuming that we are using the definition of a work as something we do). Both prayer and church attendance, like fasting, draw us closer to God. If we were not already saved by his grace, they would be worthless, (like a thief telling a judge that he shouldn’t be punished for stealing because he volunteered at the food bank). So, we are saved by God’s grace and not those works. Therefore, encouraging fasting does is not encouraging salvation by works.

      In conclusion, one pastor said his congregation objected to fasting. That’s to be expected. Given the billions of Christians on the planet, someone is bound to believe something untrue. I know that pentecostal churches don’t oppose fasting and neither do any of the other churches I’ve attended, so that was probably an exception. In any case, I don’t see why you think that the catholic church teaches salvation by grace and works. From what you’ve said, it seems that we are saved by God’s grace and that grace produces works in us. That’s pretty much evangelicals believe (as far as I know).

      1. The one thing I have been wanting you to do the entire time is look to scripture on fasting and I believe you will because of your dedication to scripture.
        Yes we are first saved by His grace from his crucifixion. So encouraging fasting does encourage rigoursly seeking God I would say.
        “encouraging fasting does is not encouraging salvation by works”
        yes I think that evangelicals run into that problem when they go to fasting and that is why I asked you to go to scripture in that area for if it is so good why is it not encouraged because it is counter to a conceptual teaching of most evangelicals which so strongly are against salvation by works so they don’t see the beauty of fasting due to a traditional teaching that is over emphasized. I am not saying that you can get to heaven by works alone to this work is rigorous and without earthly joy I would say and so many do not get to the end where many feel Godly joy. The works are of our will but our will for God is our dedication. The difference is also grace. Grace is always an unmerited gift but in catholic teaching we can accept the gift and use it or we can neglect or avoid it. This is a huge topic but some other month it would be fun to get into but I would rather wrap this topic up so that we can do as we talked about.

        Saturday Vigil Mass is coming up and I would like to do that as well with a full length talk on scripture in the mass for understanding of what is going on so that you can expierence what catholics get to expierence. Friends are welcomed.

      2. Ok. I’ll see if a friend of mine wants to come. She wanted to see a catholic mass, but she’s also reluctant to do anything that doesn’t involve lying in bed.

  4. I just read what i said and I understand why it was not a long response. Thank you for reading that confusing mess of run on sentences.

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