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  #61  
Old Feb 20, '12, 10:49 am
Simon123454321 Simon123454321 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?

Lilsheep88. I have read all of your posts, skimmed some others. You have not stated what your conflict is. You talk around it a lot, but you have not clearly stated what it is you are having a problem with living in the workd and being Catholic or religious.

There are some problems:
Pride, Geed, chosing to not submit to the will of God, black and white thinking, swings from workaholism to sloth, etc.

There is nothing wrong with working hard, it is by the sweat of our brow that we gain our food and substinance from the earth. There is something wrong with not working, let those who do not work, not eat.

God, created us, holds us in existence from moment to moment by the exhertion of his will. We are not self-made, that is pride. It is our responsibility to use the gifts God gave us, should that be intelligence, physical strength, gentleness, wisdom, to obtain work, provide for our families and help others who are disabled. There are people who are "really disabled" and can not work and then there are those who chose to not work because it is easier to be lazy and depend on others. That is a different disucssion.

So, I have no idea what you want to know. Use your talents to earn a living in a way that does not take advantage of others. I see your motivations as questionable. If the motivation of your hard work is to amass earthly riches rather than working hard to privide for you and yours then that is the path to the dark side. If you work hard to persue a job that God has called you to do and it pays $X and that enables you to own a house and a car with some left over to buy someone in a nursing home a new pair of clothes or a diabetic child a month's worth of insulin then great. If however, you chose to be a CEO, fire 20,000 people so you can get a $20,000,000 raise then not so much. You work like you live, according to a moral code based on the bible and your religion. You show up on time, work hard, save to cover your bills, do not go into excessive debt, help people as you are moved to.

It sounds like you are conflicted in some way, but you do not state what that is. God does not move people to be slothful. He does call people to not be greedy and prideful. What is it that you want to know?

In the end you need to follow God's plan, he gives you gifts, opens and closes doors and waits patiently for you with love. It is in our weakness that we find God, in the gentle breeze, not in the earthquake or the tornado. Be calm, be at peace, let God lead, but also be bright, get an education and listen to what God wants you to do with it.

God has moved my life in ways I had not anticipated and continues to do so. As funny as it sounds not only has he called me to get a Ph.D. though I hated school and have learning disablities, to go back to school after I completed it when I never wanted to go back to school, called me into a very small town with not even a McDonalds within 100 miles, has called me into administration where I am reluctant to go and also to complete marathons and ironmans. I have no idea how this all ties together for his greater good, but his will not mine, in his time not mine. Who knows, in another 20 years he may call me to be a priest. We don't know, he calls, we answer, his will not mine. You can not be at peace if you do not follow his will, even if you earn the entire world...and have not love. He will not lead you into depression and sloth. You can put yourself there though despairing over God's plan for you and failing to give him lead.
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  #62  
Old Feb 20, '12, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Is it wrong to want to be successful? To be powerful? To be ambitious? To be self made?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilsheep88 View Post
answers please..

Help me.. I am really confused. My journey back with the faith has caused me a complete identity crisis.
Dear Lilsheep,

Cordial greetings and a very good day.

Without controversy, wealth does have its dangers and the Catholic who desires to do God's will and live an otherworldly life will ensure that his heart is fixed where true joys are to be found. He will certainly not allow money and its acquisition to become the chief driving force of his life. Moreover, if he has embraced the attitude in the Lord's Prayer, expressed by the words 'Lead us not into temptation', he may very well avoid possessing too much of it, lest in gaining the whole world he loose his own soul.

We would all do well, I think, to offer the prayer of Agur: "give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me" (Prov. 30: 8). We have every right, dear friend, to avoid poverty and to provide for ourselves and our families. However, at the same time, there is no encouragement in Sacred Scripture to seek wealth for its own sake or to secure a comfortable, anxiety free existence. You will observe that in the Lord's Prayer, when we pray 'Give us our daily bread', it is not for a luxury but for one of the basic necessities of life. This is really all that we are entitled to seek, for "if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content" (I Tim. 6: 8). The tragedy of our materialistic Western world is that men have allowed opulent properties, possessions and food etc. to be regarded as indispensable necessities if they are to be happy at all. Moreover, high pressure advertising only serves to increase men's appetite for the latest gadgets, cars and exotic holidays etc. It is so very easy for the Christian, who should be diligently engaged in the pursuit of holiness, to assimilate this worldly outlook and live for the things of time, rather than for the things of eternity.

If you do eventually secure a lucrative position, then you will be afforded a wonderful opportunity to make use of your wealth for the good of others who are less fortunate. - "As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, thus laying up for themeselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed" (I Tim. 6: 15,16). You can apply this to the Church, to individuals and nations, in fact, any persons or group of people who possess a greater share of material wealth than others. We may indeed thank God for the many Christian benefactors who have not only been endowed with wealth but have unselfishly used it to alleviate the needs of others, without asking harsh questions. In these days when men have never had it so good, how we need to follow their example, even if on a slightly smaller scale. Unfortunately, owing to inborn sinfulness, wealth and the personal comfort and security that it makes possible can render some people callously insensitive to the needs of others, and perhaps quite oblivious of the distress in which the less fortunate find themselves, not necessarily through indolence or reckless spending.

If we have a highly paid job then we must needs beware of covetousness and the subtle dangers of riches, especially if we live and move and have our being in an affluent society. Alas, the days of plenty in the West have not been marked by a particularly high standard of spirituality or morality. It is surely no coincidence that these times of great material wealth the Church is so often ineffective and powerless, but that is a topic for another time. Moreover, luxury is not infrequently accompanied by sensousness and we know only too well today how morally decadent an affluent society can become. An abundance of wealth can make us feel very much at home in this present godless world, so much so that we forget that we are only strangers and pilgrims here, destined, we hope, for a fuller and felicitous life in Heaven, where earthly wealth will be of no use.

Trust that that will be something to reflect upon, dear friend. God bless.


Warmest good wishes,



Portrait



Pax
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Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do - St. Thomas Aquinas
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  #63  
Old Feb 20, '12, 11:33 am
Simon123454321 Simon123454321 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?

Portrait,
Wow, yes, that is what I wanted to say, but lack your graciousness and eloquence with the written word. Lilsheep, this is all you need right there. The thread need go no farther.
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  #64  
Old Feb 20, '12, 12:20 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 Simon123454321 View Post
Portrait,
Wow, yes, that is what I wanted to say, but lack your graciousness and eloquence with the written word. Lilsheep, this is all you need right there. The thread need go no farther.
Dear Simon123454321,

Cordial greetings and a very good day. Thankyou for your kind words and a warm welcome to the world of CAF. Hope you find your time here profitable and spiritually enriching.

God bless, dear friend.


Warmest good wishes,



Portrait



Pax
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Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do - St. Thomas Aquinas
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  #65  
Old Feb 20, '12, 12:36 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?

It is just that I am thinking of working two jobs in addition to being in school and want to live a sort of workaholic lifestyle (working up to 6 days a week possibly even sundays ) in an effort to save up for expensive modifications for my car / save up for a new car and for flashy clothes which the exact purpose is so that I can show off to people. I want to do this also in addition to try and be financially independent from my parents instead of always having to rely on them.. So the whole point of working so hard is to achieve financial independence.. Money as an ends rather than money being as part of the process. The whole goal of working harder and putting more hours in is to attain more money.

I understand how you are saying that if you have a well paid job.. you can the option of being moral.. It is that much easier to say that you can be virtous around money when you have a well paying job.. But what about people who live on a check by check basis.. Those people who work by the hour.. Obviously they have to work harder and the more hours they point in the more money they get.. anyway this is enough..

This would mean less prayer time, less time to go to adoration and living the "I love money" mentality...

"Give me neither poverty or riches"

No need for further words. That hit the nail right there. I will be greatly reflecting upon this post.. Beautiful reply.
Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Portrait View Post
Dear Lilsheep,

Cordial greetings and a very good day.

Without controversy, wealth does have its dangers and the Catholic who desires to do God's will and live an otherworldly life will ensure that his heart is fixed where true joys are to be found. He will certainly not allow money and its acquisition to become the chief driving force of his life. Moreover, if he has embraced the attitude in the Lord's Prayer, expressed by the words 'Lead us not into temptation', he may very well avoid possessing too much of it, lest in gaining the whole world he loose his own soul.

We would all do well, I think, to offer the prayer of Agur: "give me neither poverty or riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me" (Prov. 30: 8). We have every right, dear friend, to avoid poverty and to provide for ourselves and our families. However, at the same time, there is no encouragement in Sacred Scripture to seek wealth for its own sake or to secure a comfortable, anxiety free existence. You will observe that in the Lord's Prayer, when we pray 'Give us our daily bread', it is not for a luxury but for one of the basic necessities of life. This is really all that we are entitled to seek, for "if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content" (I Tim. 6: 8). The tragedy of our materialistic Western world is that men have allowed opulent properties, possessions and food etc. to be regarded as indispensable necessities if they are to be happy at all. Moreover, high pressure advertising only serves to increase men's appetite for the latest gadgets, cars and exotic holidays etc. It is so very easy for the Christian, who should be diligently engaged in the pursuit of holiness, to assimilate this worldly outlook and live for the things of time, rather than for the things of eternity.

If you do eventually secure a lucrative position, then you will be afforded a wonderful opportunity to make use of your wealth for the good of others who are less fortunate. - "As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, thus laying up for themeselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed" (I Tim. 6: 15,16). You can apply this to the Church, to individuals and nations, in fact, any persons or group of people who possess a greater share of material wealth than others. We may indeed thank God for the many Christian benefactors who have not only been endowed with wealth but have unselfishly used it to alleviate the needs of others, without asking harsh questions. In these days when men have never had it so good, how we need to follow their example, even if on a slightly smaller scale. Unfortunately, owing to inborn sinfulness, wealth and the personal comfort and security that it makes possible can render some people callously insensitive to the needs of others, and perhaps quite oblivious of the distress in which the less fortunate find themselves, not necessarily through indolence or reckless spending.

If we have a highly paid job then we must needs beware of covetousness and the subtle dangers of riches, especially if we live and move and have our being in an affluent society. Alas, the days of plenty in the West have not been marked by a particularly high standard of spirituality or morality. It is surely no coincidence that these times of great material wealth the Church is so often ineffective and powerless, but that is a topic for another time. Moreover, luxury is not infrequently accompanied by sensousness and we know only too well today how morally decadent an affluent society can become. An abundance of wealth can make us feel very much at home in this present godless world, so much so that we forget that we are only strangers and pilgrims here, destined, we hope, for a fuller and felicitous life in Heaven, where earthly wealth will be of no use.

Trust that that will be something to reflect upon, dear friend. God bless.


Warmest good wishes,



Portrait



Pax

Last edited by Lilsheep88; Feb 20, '12 at 12:47 pm.
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  #66  
Old Feb 20, '12, 12:54 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?

I guess this is the idea that Lost Wanderer is trying to get at..
Was it not Christ who said before you take the speck out of your Brothers eye you should take out the speck on your own..This can also be applied in a financial sense as well if you want to help people..

And the thing is.. for most of us a Magic Check doesnt just fall out from the sky. Wages have to be earned in this cold world whether we like it or not..

Just my 2 cents
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  #67  
Old Feb 20, '12, 4:53 pm
alias235 alias235 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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilsheep88 View Post
answers please..

And if so.. Why do I feel guilty whenever I work hard to earn my own success.
Everytime I study hard, or work hard, or try to preserve money, or go in a state of pure mental focus ("beast-mode".. as I call it) Or work aggresively towards a successful future, I feel bad because I feel selfish..

I understand that everyone has their own vocation, but seriously.. In this capitalist society, the main motivation is money, wealth and prosperity. I am not gonna lie, that has always been my main motivation to succeed.. But how can one reconcile this with Catholicism? I am begginign to feel that faith is making me weak, making me submissive and making me less and less driven to do anything in life. but instead sit around and pray and be passive about everything else and it makes me feel like a helpess animal.. helpless about my own future, helpless about how I can impact the world and its as if that I cannot dictate my own terms on my own life..

I am not saying that God doesnt play a role because he certainly plays a very big one.. he is the one that provides the oppurtunities and it is up to the individual to grab it, and grab it aggresively if they can.

I have always grown up to believe that life is what you make of it, and that life is like an empty slate and YOU have to paint it..

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 self made is concerned.

I am not the type of guy to naturally sit around and wait for oppurtunities (or miracles) to fall out from the sky. I have always beleived that OPPURTUNITY must be created and seized..

I have always brought myself up in this philosophy that I must be proactive to survive in the world and I must do my best to paint own future with my own two hands.. ( but I am not also saying that God doesnt play a role because he certainly does).

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.
No, it isn't wrong to want to be successful, ambitious and self-made. Its only when the means by which you go about becoming successful and defying the Word does it become a problem.

I like to refer you to this quote, "The glory of God is man fully alive"
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  #68  
Old Feb 20, '12, 9:40 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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Wanderer View Post
Are you aware that industriousness and aspiration for monetary success actually condemn vagrant spending?



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.



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.
We will have to agree to disagree.
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  #69  
Old Feb 20, '12, 11:30 pm
runwaymodel runwaymodel 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?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Credo in Deum View Post
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


This!

Especially that last paragraph. It is true, the more you have, the more attached you are. Materialism is a heavy downfall.
There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting wealth. Why would I want to be poor? With the wealth that I have I donate to my Church, organizations and charities close to my heart (thus helping people) and I give my family and those around me a better living. I don't see the harm in that as long as one does not let money corrupt them (which unfortunately happens more often then not). However, people who do not have money seem to think that money solves everything. It doesn't. Money comes with its own set of problems, believe me.
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  #70  
Old Feb 21, '12, 12:31 am
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LilyM LilyM 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?

Yes, God clearly calls some to be rich ... which is why we have the wonderful examples of an enormous number of canonized saints who amassed fabulous levels of personal wealth .... except that we actually don't.

How many saints can anyone here name who were personally very wealthy (ie through their own efforts to accumulate wealth and not because they inherited it through no doing of their own like St Katherine Drexel or those saints who were Kings and Queens)?

Shouldn't the notable lack of Saints of this kind tell us a little something about where a true follower of Christ is meant to focus his or her energies? Aren't we all called o to be saints?

Didn't Our Lord tell us to seek first the Kingdom of God and to trust that He would then add 'all these things' by providing for whatever needs we have to whatever degree He sees fit? Which doesn't mean that we are not to work when we are given work to do, just not to make money or material wellbeing the sole or chief aim of our work.
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  #71  
Old Feb 21, '12, 1:52 am
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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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.
I recommend to you St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain on laughter. Also St. Gregory the theologian- "All laughter deserves the contempt of wise people."

And does not the apostle James recommend: "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." And Solomon himself (Ecclesiastes 7) says the heart of fools is in the house of mirth, but the hearts of the wise are in the house of mourning.
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  #72  
Old Feb 21, '12, 4:19 am
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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 LilyM View Post
How many saints can anyone here name who were personally very wealthy (ie through their own efforts to accumulate wealth and not because they inherited it through no doing of their own like St Katherine Drexel or those saints who were Kings and Queens)?

Shouldn't the notable lack of Saints of this kind tell us a little something about where a true follower of Christ is meant to focus his or her energies? Aren't we all called o to be saints?
I normally wouldn't say things like this but for all you know, ours could be the century were something like that is possible.

After all, it should also mean something that one key cause of poverty in places like mine IS laziness. Sloth is just as much a deadly sin as Greed.
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  #73  
Old Feb 21, '12, 4:25 am
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Lost Wanderer Lost Wanderer is online now
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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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And does not the apostle James recommend: "Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness." And Solomon himself (Ecclesiastes 7) says the heart of fools is in the house of mirth, but the hearts of the wise are in the house of mourning.
Well then, thanks for giving me a good excuse to be the world's biggest anti-hero because I now have every right to inflict misery and pain upon others. By being the world's sole bad guy, the rest of the world goes to heaven because I make them suffer so much. After all, such states of misery are a sign of sainthood.

Believe it or not, but it's so easy to twist views like yours and use it to justify the very lust for power and wealth that I would actually condemn.

So... why aren't you for abortion again?
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Old Feb 21, '12, 1:28 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 Lost Wanderer View Post
Well then, thanks for giving me a good excuse to be the world's biggest anti-hero because I now have every right to inflict misery and pain upon others. By being the world's sole bad guy, the rest of the world goes to heaven because I make them suffer so much. After all, such states of misery are a sign of sainthood.

Believe it or not, but it's so easy to twist views like yours and use it to justify the very lust for power and wealth that I would actually condemn.

So... why aren't you for abortion again?
What I am saying is not to make others unhappy, but rather we are called to carry in our hearts the sufferings of Christ, the sufferings of our brothers and sisters at all times. This does not mean (literally) not to smile, not to enjoy a meal, etc., but rather to remember, as we enjoy the meal, that we have brothers and sisters who are going hungry- so that, as Sirach said, "Even in laughter the heart knows sorrow"

Why I am not for abortion is that it is a sin to terminate life.
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Old Feb 21, '12, 2:20 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 Qoeleth View Post
What I am saying is not to make others unhappy, but rather we are called to carry in our hearts the sufferings of Christ, the sufferings of our brothers and sisters at all times. This does not mean (literally) not to smile, not to enjoy a meal, etc., but rather to remember, as we enjoy the meal, that we have brothers and sisters who are going hungry- so that, as Sirach said, "Even in laughter the heart knows sorrow"

Why I am not for abortion is that it is a sin to terminate life.
You're missing the point. Christ suffered lash wounds and crucifixion. If that's the way to heaven for you, then what better way for me to get you all there by being the sole cause of everyone's misery? The more misery y'all carry, the more sanctified you are! After all, that's what being a greedy, power-hungry evil overlord does for everyone! Gyaahahahahaha!!


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Prayer Intentions

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