Interesting Article: "Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy life?"

Recently I cam across this article, one written by a theologian who believes that you can embrace God without turning your back on the world.

onfaith.co/onfaith/2015/04/13/can-you-serve-jesus-and-still-enjoy-life/36617

Below is a quote from it that I think goes a good job capturing the main point of it.

“We must know and love Jesus or we’ll never be satisfied. But it doesn’t mean you turn your back on creation. Jesus is the creator of all things and the redeemer of all things, he loves all things. We can trust him that he’s on our side, that he really wants us to enjoy our lives. That enjoying earthly pleasure is not a sin. Sin is a sin. Stuff is not sin. Stuff is God’s gift to us.”

So read the article and tell me what you think. Do you agree, disagree, why or why not? Just remember to read the article first; don’t be the guy who comments without reading.

Yes one can serve Jesus and still enjoy life :slight_smile:

I have not read that Protestant work that you ran across or the article (yes I am commenting without reading it) -but the answer is yes one can.

~ Living of course the full reality of Christian life - and knowing this life is a* pilgrimage* and we should not get lost in an Inn along the way.

Here is one site that can of interest.

opusdei.org/en-us/

 ""Human life - your life - and its humdrum, ordinary business, have a meaning which is divine, which belongs to eternity.” " (Saint Josemaría)

opusdei.org/en-us/article/message/

(PS I am not a member though I have known members for years…tis a good organization in the Church and focus on holiness in ordinary life)

You should read it. Even if it comes from a protestant work, I think it can still be applicable to Catholics.

“… nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy.”

~ Saint Paul - 1 Letter to Timothy 6:17

RSV CE

Yes we are to enjoy…and yes in an ordered way as God has given.

This along with the rest of the what Jesus and Paul ( et al) teaches … about love and self -denial, giving to the poor, being content -etc etc etc

Yes let us* give thanks*.

Oh, yes you can! :slight_smile:

For you to even ask the question tells me that you’ve never read Charlie Johnston’s blog, nor the comments below his posts.

And as St. Teresa of Avila would say, “From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us."

P.S. No, I did not read the article, but am commenting anyways.

P.P.S. And no, I am not one of those “guys.” I’m female. :thumbsup:

Finally, always remember:

Acknowledge God.
Take the next right step.
Be a sign of hope to those around you.

:blessyou:

“Just think if all the Christian mortgage brokers in America would have realized that God cares just as much about the loans they’re making to people who maybe can’t pay them back and the toxic mortgages they’re dicing up and then selling to other unsuspecting suckers. What if they knew that God cared just as much about that, as he does about them going to church on Sunday? If just the Christians realized that all of life counted, I think we could have avoided this huge meltdown.”

“[The gospel] fills every cranny of life with significance. There’s nothing in your life you can look at and say this doesn’t count. There’s nothing so small you can’t do for Jesus and receive his reward.”

This ^ is from the article in the OP.

“I don’t want balance [between personal salvation or cosmic restoration]. I want to grab both extremes by both hands.** I want to have as much worldly, earthly pleasure as I humanly can** and live as much gospel, heavenly purpose as I possibly can. I want to be a flourishing human, because if you think about it a flourishing human is the best advertisement for the gospel . . .

Unfortunately, so is this. ^

""Human life - your life - and its humdrum, ordinary business, have a meaning which is divine, which belongs to eternity.” " (Saint Josemaría)

This ^ is similar to my first quote, but not the second quote.

I just think the article confuses or conflates some things.

Yes, creation is good and is tied up with redemption.

But at the same time, we (generally speaking in the west) are slaves to comfort and pleasure. We indulge in consumerism while people starve. That is sinful. Or can be.
You cannot serve two masters. And that passage has been relativized way to much in our culture.

I want to have as much worldly, earthly pleasure as I humanly can.

The OP is right to point out that this is* not *the right approach.

Yes. Quite on the money (so to speak…)

This is one of those posts that make me wish
there was a LIKE button on CAF.

just think the article confuses or conflates some things.

Yes, creation is good and is tied up with redemption.

But at the same time, we (generally speaking in the west) are slaves to comfort and pleasure. We indulge in consumerism while people starve. That is sinful. Or can be.
You cannot serve two masters. And that passage has been relativized way to much in our culture.
This is one of those posts that make me wish
there was a LIKE button on CAF.

I dislike intensely this kind of generalisation and , yes, judgemental accusation. Look to your own page please…

Two people so far opined on the person’s article without even reading it.

You can’t form an opinion on something without reading it; that’s like writing a review about the quality of food at a restaurant you’ve never been to.

Just to clarify.

My opinion was not on the person’s article.

My opinion was on the question “Can you serve Jesus and still enjoy life?”

My opinion stands.

Sadly, I witnessed firsthand how someone was left to starve while those who should have cared indulged in consumerism. So I’m speaking from experience, not from a generalization.

And to stay on topic, while she suffered a great deal of pain in her daily life, Heidi always did her best to serve Jesus, as well as enjoy life.

She was a member here on CAF who died from heart disease before you joined. I continue to pray for the repose of the soul of my best friend every day.

Thank you for understanding.

When he said that, he was talking about wholesome pleasures. When he says pleasure, he isn’t talking about orgies and cocaine, he’s talking about things which are both enjoyable AND non-sinful.

The main point of the article is that people sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that to enjoy any earthly pleasure (even innocuous ones) is to steal glory away from God, that the only life God considers worth living is one of absolute self-abnegation. Such thinking pushes some away from God and causes others to stay away from things which God would be ok with them enjoying (there’s a reason the land that God promised to his chosen people was one described as running “with milk and honey” [both of which would be luxury foods back then]).

You can do this…:thumbsup:

Excellent point, Techno2000!
I officially like your post! :thumbsup:

Of course Jesus wants us to be happy. Avoid sinning at all costs is our aim…anything that may offend Our Lord extract it from our lives. Jesus should always be the centre of our lives above all things and then everything else comes second.

Yes, I realize that. I’m happy he is so enthusiastic about his faith. But, the author is not Catholic, so I don’t know what his idea of wholesome is. Protestants are all over the map (morally speaking), so I have no idea how far he takes his pleasure.

Since the author isn’t Catholic; I assume that fasting, mortification and redemptive suffering are off the table for him; that’s what the quote about earthly pleasure indicates.

The author seems like he is unaware of the beatitudes.

I’m not aware of anyone who thinks the only life worth living is one of self-denial and constant mortification. But the author has convinced himself that there are enough of said people that he needs to write a blog to refute their lifestyle, and preach the health and wealth gospel at the same time. I think the author is refuting something he doesn’t understand, namely…monastic lifestyles.

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