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  #46  
Old Feb 19, '12, 9:52 pm
Lochias Lochias is offline
 
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lost Wanderer View Post
Fair enough. I just like to argue that the word 'ambition' does not always carry negative connotations and is increasingly becoming another term to describe an aspiration to be at one's best.

And is that not what God wants out of His creation?
Perhaps, but you are substituting your own version of "being one's best" with God's. We won't "be our best" until we've run the race of this life and made it to Heaven. The tools we have, like almsgiving and sacrifice, were given to us to help get there.
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  #47  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:06 pm
Qoeleth Qoeleth is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lilsheep88 View Post
answers please..

I am starting to get confused.. The more "faithful" I have become, the less I ambitious I have been.. As if I had lost my drive to do anything good for myself. I have lost almsot all of my competetive drive.. this is the reason why I sometimes want to walk out on the faith.. because I feel that it is putting a limit on my own personal success as far as being
And I am not gonna lie, I do want to be rich a couple of years from now (Im in my early 20s) which is the exact reason why I am killing myself with all this schooling in university. a comfortable life, brought about by money, has and always will be the prime motivation of success in any capitalist society.. but how do you really balance it?

Like who doesnt want a good life? Honestly.. and quite frankly money does play a key role in life's happiness.

Help me.. I am really confused. My journey back with the faith has caused me a complete identity crisis.
Thomas a Kempis, in the Imitation of Christ, says you cannot have two joys- this world, and Heaven. Jesus said "Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the hungry, Blessed are ye that mourn.. But alas for ye rich, Alas for you well fed, Alas for you who laugh"

Ambition and greed, while not 'sins', are sinful tendencies.

The best response is to treat the values of the capitalist system with disregard, contempt for the world... This is the key to the Gospel.

Mourn in this world, go hungry and poor in this world- and know eternal blessing in the next.
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  #48  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:19 pm
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Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
Any good thing we have comes from God, and it is readily apparent that the things we have are not given to us to fritter away. Things come and go, and material excess can be taken in the blink of an eye.
Are you aware that industriousness and aspiration for monetary success actually condemn vagrant spending?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
You have no idea, no idea at all, what circumstances have forced some people into. You have no idea at all what a lifetime of poverty, poor health and lack of help can do to a person. You have no earthly idea how hard it can be for someone to get on their feet without help.
You want to give them help? Sure, I give a few coins every now and then (like what LilyM and TimothyH suggested). However, I'd rather focus the real effort on boosting myself first so I can have a bigger capacity than that in the future (or at the very least, ensure my future wife and family don't suffer the same fate).

It's you who doesn't have a clue. I walk by these people every day. I've had real physical encounters with them. I'm probably more aware of what poverty has done to people's minds and I tell you, it is dark, bitter, and unfriendly.

If you still can't believe I don't know what poverty is like, please let it be known that my home town has a high crime rate.

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Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
And, sadly, you have no idea what kind of power 5 bucks can have, the hope it can inspire, and the joy, gratitude and prayer it can earn you when given to someone who needed it given out of love.
Five bucks? Are you asking me to dump two week's worth of transportation? I live on the outskirts of town and I have half a mind right now to check Google Maps and give you the exact number of kilometers I have to travel to the office.

My work has demands too and I have just as much a right to allocate it so that I can provide for myself. If I can't even do that, how can I provide for the needs of others? How can I show them what it means to raise oneself if I myself don't be an example?

Have you even asked yourself that?

You can't give what you yourself don't have.
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  #49  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:20 pm
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Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
Mourn in this world, go hungry and poor in this world- and know eternal blessing in the next.
Why aren't you pro-choice then?
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  #50  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:20 pm
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lochias View Post
Perhaps, but you are substituting your own version of "being one's best" with God's. We won't "be our best" until we've run the race of this life and made it to Heaven. The tools we have, like almsgiving and sacrifice, were given to us to help get there.
There are other ways to give alms and sacrifice isn't limited to charity work.
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  #51  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:34 pm
Lilsheep88 Lilsheep88 is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

Haha.. You know what. I kind of laughed...
Especially during the part when you said the Holy Spirit was hard at work...
It made me smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Mae View Post
Maybe you have just begun to learn what "doing good for yourself" really is. It ain't acquiring wealth, I can tell you that.



The Scripture is: you cannot serve God and a mammon. Mammon is the pagan god of STUFF. Mostly money. So, you are being pulled away from God by... hmmmmm.. could it be the Liar? The one who hates your growing Faith and would do anything to stop your soul from progressing one inch closer to God?



But the "type of guy" you were (are) is the one who needed more, who needed to find the Truth, the more, the REAL, the actual eternal, yes, you can take it with you, life in the Spirit.



Not really. I mean, sorry to pull age rank, but you're a kid compared to me and I promise you that the last thing to make you happy in this world will be money.

Look. Maybe you'll be here 70+ yrs. And maybe that hidden aneurysm in your abdominal aorta will give way in a couple hours. Point is, the longest time you spend here isn't even an eyeblink compared to ETERNITY.

Go read the Gospels. All of them. Start at Mark and just read right through. Listen to Jesus. No one wants your total joy forever more than Jesus. He will tell you how to get that.



Hallelujah! Nothing better than a complete identity crisis! It means the Holy Spirit is working very hard in your life, you are being hugely blessed.

There is nothing more corrupting than power and money. No thought more twisted than "it's mine because I earned it." Nothing is yours. Your body isn't yours. It all belongs to God.

Maybe, possibly, there will be some money in your future someday. Maybe God would like you to obtain and possess and use that without great danger to your soul, and so, right now, you need to be reformed. You=clay. God=potter.

And maybe, possibly, God can take that enormous energy and ambition and use you for His purposes. Maybe you'll find a vocation.

I'm thinking Franciscan for you. Perfect fit. Real happiness.




Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.
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  #52  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:34 pm
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

Wow, I feel the same WAY.

I thought that devoting myself to Christ would bring joy, but it bring confusion. I became less successful in my career and increasingly disastisfied but was not convinced that I was helping anyone. I went from ambitious and praying for hours a day with daily Mass to unambitious and guilty and not wanting to go to Mass once a week.

I do not want to be a religious. But I also feel that I am not giving God my ALL without living a life of poverty or consecrated virginity or the convent. Yet, that all sounds repugnant to me. Not only repugnant, but counterintuitive - why should I give away my money to become poor so that someone else will not be poor? My thoughts are the linking should be love. Doing all these things without love is nothing anyways.

Quote:
1 Corinthians 13
Though I command languages both human and angelic -- if I speak without love, I am no more than a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.

2 And though I have the power of prophecy, to penetrate all mysteries and knowledge, and though I have all the faith necessary to move mountains -- if I am without love, I am nothing.

3 Though I should give away to the poor all that I possess, and even give up my body to be burned -- if I am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

4 Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited,

5 it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances.

6 Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth.

7 It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.

8 Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophecies, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will fall silent; and if knowledge, it will be done away with.

9 For we know only imperfectly, and we prophesy imperfectly;

10 but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will be done away with.

11 When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does, and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.

12 Now we see only reflections in a mirror, mere riddles, but then we shall be seeing face to face. Now I can know only imperfectly; but then I shall know just as fully as I am myself known.

13 As it is, these remain: faith, hope and love, the three of them; and the greatest of them is love.
But then the question is - how do you know if you are doing it out of love? If you hate doing something but do it anyways, is it out of love because you have suffered more? Neither St. Therese of Liseux nor St. Teresa of Avila wanted to go to the convent. Perhaps if you can keep those qualities of mind AND sacrifice, then it is out of love? Otherwise, you are better of not sacrificing anything that isn't an absolute requirement for the faith.
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  #53  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:36 pm
Lilsheep88 Lilsheep88 is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

Nice... Glad to see I am not alone..

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovePatience View Post
Wow, I feel the same WAY.

I thought that devoting myself to Christ would bring joy, but it bring confusion. I became less successful in my career and increasingly disastisfied but was not convinced that I was helping anyone. I went from ambitious and praying for hours a day with daily Mass to unambitious and guilty and not wanting to go to Mass once a week.

I do not want to be a religious. But I also feel that I am not giving God my ALL without living a life of poverty or consecrated virginity or the convent. Yet, that all sounds repugnant to me. Not only repugnant, but counterintuitive - why should I give away my money to become poor so that someone else will not be poor? My thoughts are the linking should be love. Doing all these things without love is nothing anyways.



But then the question is - how do you know if you are doing it out of love? If you hate doing something but do it anyways, is it out of love because you have suffered more? Neither St. Therese of Liseux nor St. Teresa of Avila wanted to go to the convent.
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  #54  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:43 pm
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Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by LovePatience View Post
But then the question is - how do you know if you are doing it out of love? If you hate doing something but do it anyways, is it out of love because you have suffered more? Neither St. Therese of Liseux nor St. Teresa of Avila wanted to go to the convent. Perhaps if you can keep those qualities of mind AND sacrifice, then it is out of love? Otherwise, you are better of not sacrificing anything that isn't an absolute requirement for the faith.
Theologically, doesn't love go beyond personal emotions? Furthermore, our actions should directed towards what is good, regardless of how we may feel.

My personal example is whenever I pay the bills or lend money to a needy sibling. I don't like it. Emotionally, it actually stings (especially when I see something at the local game shop that I could have bought with that same amount). Yet still, there are things far more important and I have to act in accordance to that, regardless of my emotions (reminding myself how petty they are actually helps).
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  #55  
Old Feb 19, '12, 10:58 pm
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lost Wanderer View Post
Theologically, doesn't love go beyond personal emotions? Furthermore, our actions should directed towards what is good, regardless of how we may feel.

My personal example is whenever I pay the bills or lend money to a needy sibling. I don't like it. Emotionally, it actually stings (especially when I see something at the local game shop that I could have bought with that same amount). Yet still, there are things far more important and I have to act in accordance to that, regardless of my emotions (reminding myself how petty they are actually helps).
That doesn't answer the question of knowing appropriate sacrifice individually.

To the OP: perhaps what I was thinking was of Ignatian spiritual exercises.
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  #56  
Old Feb 19, '12, 11:05 pm
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Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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That doesn't answer the question of knowing appropriate sacrifice individually.

To the OP: perhaps what I was thinking was of Ignatian spiritual exercises.
I think it's important to always remember what point and purpose you are doing anything. Who does it benefit? Does it violate anything (Church teaching included)? Again, is this ordered towards the common good?

Such questions were always being asked in both my Moral Theology and Moral Philosophy classes (and I attended a Jesuit school).
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  #57  
Old Feb 19, '12, 11:26 pm
LovePatience LovePatience is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lost Wanderer View Post
I think it's important to always remember what point and purpose you are doing anything. Who does it benefit? Does it violate anything (Church teaching included)? Again, is this ordered towards the common good?

Such questions were always being asked in both my Moral Theology and Moral Philosophy classes (and I attended a Jesuit school).
When you write, "does it violate anything (church teaching included)"; that is the same as what I wrote earlier, "otherwise, you are better of not sacrificing anything that isn't an absolute requirement for the faith." It is obvious that what violates the faith is wrong; but there are a lot of decisions to make in the grey areas.

The question is where are the limits. There are many ways to do good, some that are higher goods than others. There are also many actions that appear to benefit no one, i.e. consecrated virginity, that are considered to be of superior morality, or actions that would appear to be helpful such as decreasing a motivation to succeed for one's self without God granting one the grace to wish to help others. Thus, one becomes rather ineffective because one's heart is not in it. The question is how to tell when one's lack of desire coincides with lack of obligation or when one must fight through lack of desire.

It questions the evangelical counsels. They are not for all, i.e. poverty. Yet, they are objectively better but not individually better. How does one know, "specifically" whether they are appropriate for oneself. http://www.pathsoflove.com/pathsoflove-chapter2.html If one starts on a road, how does one know to turn back - this isn't working.
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  #58  
Old Feb 20, '12, 7:14 am
Nate13 Nate13 is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Qoeleth View Post
Thomas a Kempis, in the Imitation of Christ, says you cannot have two joys- this world, and Heaven. Jesus said "Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the hungry, Blessed are ye that mourn.. But alas for ye rich, Alas for you well fed, Alas for you who laugh"

Ambition and greed, while not 'sins', are sinful tendencies.

The best response is to treat the values of the capitalist system with disregard, contempt for the world... This is the key to the Gospel.

Mourn in this world, go hungry and poor in this world- and know eternal blessing in the next.
Your butchering what these mean. If we treat "Alas for you who laugh" the same as you want to treat wealth what would that mean? Treat laughter with contempt? I'll recommend it again because Father Barron handled this beautifully in the 2nd episode of Catholicism.
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  #59  
Old Feb 20, '12, 7:29 am
TimothyH TimothyH is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

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Originally Posted by Lilsheep88 View Post
This is becoming a very interesting debate however it is really far from the main point I am trying to get at.. anyway, interesting points here. I was sort of just trying to get at hard work and being ambitious in general and the focus wasnt really on Money.

but LostWanderer is kind of right.. God gave everybody hands and everybody should work. Sloth should be discouraged.
This is part of the reason why the Holy Spirit helped the Church bring Opus Dei into existince. Sanctification of ourselves and of the entire world through our professional lives - whatever that professional life is - is part of why Opus Dei exists.
Opus Dei is a Catholic institution founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá. Its mission is to spread the message that work and the circumstances of everyday life are occasions for growing closer to God, for serving others, and for improving society.
http://www.opusdei.us/
Right up your and LW's alley, no? Here is one of the Saint's quotes
If you have an official position, you have also certain rights which arise from the practice of that office, and certain duties.

You stray from your apostolic way if you use the opportunity — or the excuse — offered by a work of zeal to leave the duties of your position unfulfilled. For you will lose that professional prestige which is your 'bait' as a 'fisher of men.'


(The Way 372)
St. Josemaria makes an oblique refernece to the "Fisher of men" and notes elswhere how Peter, Paul, James and John were called by Christ as they faithfully plied their trade as fishermen, and how King David was dillegently tending the sheep while his brothers saught the kingship, and that it was David who was called and not the brothers. The saint spoke often of sloth.

Opus Dei does much work in fighting poverty through it's mission as well. That is what the saint understood, that our professions and alleviating suffering are not mutually exclusive, but more related than many realize.


-Tim-
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  #60  
Old Feb 20, '12, 9:30 am
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Credo in Deum Credo in Deum is offline
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

I think what we are missing is the fact that God calls some to be poor and some to be rich just like he calls some to be married while others to be in a religious vocation. Without rich people the poor would have no one to help them and without the poor people the rich would have no one to help. Same goes for marriage and religious vocations since without married people we would have no religious and without religious we would have no married people.

The point in all of this is that we pray for Gods will to be done regardless of what that means for us. We are servants and as being such we go where the Master calls us to go.

If God is calling someone to a life of wealth then this person (as well as all of us) should work on their holiness so they can perform their duties correctly for the glory of God and the love of their neighbor. We should constantly pray for the grace to have a detachment from earthly things, especially if we are to be wealthy. I would recommend reading book 3 chapter 15 from the Imitation of Christ which can be found here:
http://www.catholictradition.org/Cla...christ4-15.htm (in fact you can read the entire book on this site .)



Those who are asking to be rich are asking for a heavy cross to bear and while our Lord didn't say it is impossible for a rich man to enter Heaven, He did state that it is harder for rich people to enter Heaven because they are so attached to their earthly possessions that they forsake Heavenly ones just to keep their earthly treasures.



You're not evil because you want to be rich; however if you do not want to be rich for the glory of God and to help your neighbor then maybe you should re-evaluate your desire to be rich and see if it is really for the benefit of your soul.
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