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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.


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About Isidore

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  1. Isidore

    Staying on Windows 7

    This is true. In many cases, new hardware is designed to only work with Windows 10. If you are dead-set on win 7 you should find an older machine with hardware that still supports that OS. You should still be able to find some decent hardware out there now, but in the future you may have no choice. I should mention that win 10 users should go ahead and review privacy settings. "Recommendations" is a code word for targeted ads. Pretty silly for an OS , but here we are.
  2. Isidore

    Do animals go to heaven?

    I think we might just be splitting hairs here. I agree completely that creation shares the penalty of sin and the benefits of redemption, however, creation itself cannot be redeemed in the same sense that man can be redeemed, because of the lack of free will. Creation, or rather creatures, can't have faith unless they are human. Creation is affected by externality in relation to man, not directly. Bringing this back to pets, it is possible that pets could benefit from the redemption of their owners, but God would not "redeem" the pet of its own accord - it is both logically impossible and unnecessary.
  3. Isidore

    Do animals go to heaven?

    So is the passage referring to persons or not? I may have gone a bit afield with that one, admittedly. The idea that suffering is a prerequisite for needing salvation is the inverse of the idea that those who prosper or do not suffer are saved. That is what I meant. Though one does not necessarily lead to the other. Regardless of what Paul means by "creation," it isn't necessarily true, therefore, that creation apart from mankind needs salvation. Only mankind has free will, only mankind can sin, therefore only mankind can be redeemed.
  4. Isidore

    Do animals go to heaven?

    #1 is exactly what I was disputing. It could be read similarly to the phrase, "the whole world," meaning "all men," not literally the planet Earth. The distinction he makes, I think, is between Christians (who have the firstfruits of the spirit) and non-believers. I think it is fallacious to conclude that if something suffers, it therefore needs redemption. Innocent people suffer all the time at no fault of their own. This line of thinking is tantamount to the "prosperity gospel," which should be strongly rejected. It is also wrong to say that something which suffers can be "redeemed" at all. It is not suffering which defines what can or cannot be redeemed. It is ultimately God himself who chose explicitly to offer mankind His redemption.
  5. Isidore

    Do animals go to heaven?

    I think it would be perfectly reasonable to interpret this passage to mean all of mankind, i.e. Jews and Gentiles, not animals, plants, and rocks. Alternatively, as mankind has dominion over creation, the redemption of mankind may be sufficient to release creation from its "groaning" - under the yoke of man's corrupted rule. While I don't see a problem loving pets as part of God's creation, I think it is problematic to give them more importance than they deserve and can be a distraction from holiness. God gave us dominion over animals; He did not raise them up to be our equals. That being said, it is perfectly within God's power to bring animals into heaven (God can do whatever He wants). My point is that perhaps God wants the pet owner to let go of his or her anxiety over losing the pet and focus on following Christ.
  6. Isidore

    Has your politics corrupted your religion?

    I think this comes down to deciding which master you choose to serve. Christians should play a prominent role in politics, but politics should not play a prominent role in Christians. Politics is a means to an end. That end, to a Christian, should be doing God's will.
  7. Isidore

    Happy Necy

  8. Isidore

    Am I Saved?

    Hello, @HeLives33 and welcome to the forum. Some of the responses of others have been very interesting. I think the takeaway here is that Protestants are all over the map in how they view our Catholic faith. Some are adamant that we are all going to burn for even considering the pope to have any authority whatsoever, others see us as just another denomination, still more fall along a spectrum somewhere in between. As a way to cut through the confusion, I suggest you head over to www.catholic.com and use the search function to see what Catholic apologists say about the objections brought forth in this thread, such as "Catholics worship Mary!" and "Catholics pray to saints instead of to Jesus!" Here's an article to give you an example. Also, check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The USCCB has a fantastic online version that is easily searchable. I would say the vast majority of the objections here arise from a simple confusion of terms. When Protestants hear "prayer" they think "worship," however to a Catholic the two are not necessarily the same thing. When Protestants see Catholics kneeling in front of a statue they automatically think we are "worshipping" that statue or the person represented in the statue, when in fact we are merely adopting a pose which is conducive to prayer. Even the word "worship" is subject to interpretation; for example, to say a young man worships his father doesn't necessarily imply that the boy's father is divine, merely a virtuous person worthy of imitation. A proper understanding of worthiness, in this case, would conclude that the boy's father resembles God in holiness, that the father is only virtuous because of God. Another example is this kerfuffle over salvation through faith alone vs. works. Catholics do not believe that they can get to heaven by their own merits. Impossible. God's grace is necessary for salvation. Catholic teaching is very clear on this point. An excellent article written by Fr. Leslie Rumble takes an in-depth look at the wrangling between the Catholic and Protestant understandings of this subject. As to the question, "am I saved?" I can't really answer since I'm not Protestant, and you asked for a Protestant perspective. I will tell you, though, that if you have been validly baptized, you are cleansed of both original and temporal sin. Completely clean! The difference in teaching between Protestants and Catholics here is that Catholics believe that salvation can be lost through an act of the will, namely sin. When we sin, we sever the lifeline of grace that connects us to God. Only through God's forgiveness is that connection restored (generally through the sacrament of Reconciliation, though there are exceptional circumstances.) I'd like to point out that it is GOD who forgives the sinner and welcomes him back, as the father of the prodigal son did in Jesus' parable. Importantly, the prodigal son recognized that he had strayed, and came back to the father so he could at least have work and continue living - never expecting to be forgiven. In this way, Catholics are taught to not presume forgiveness for the sins we commit, but to humbly give ourselves over to the loving mercy of God. I'd love to discuss any of these topics at length if anyone feels they have been misrepresented in this post. I think it's important for everyone to consider whether they are arguing against what Catholics actually believe and what the Catholic church actually teaches, or whether they are merely poking a straw man. If Catholics really did think Mary was divine, if we really did believe we could save ourselves without needing God, then I would never have had anything to do with Catholicism at all, or at least would immediately divulge myself from it.
  9. Hello, and welcome! I would also be open to talk. It's why I'm here in this forum, after all ;)
  10. Isidore

    Born Again

    @David Lee Thanks for the explanation. I've heard the term used before, but never in the context of my Catholic faith. To me, it seems equivalent to "owning" your faith instead of being passive and going with the flow. I see nothing objectionable with that so long as it's not meant to be a replacement for baptism or the crucifixion. Theologically, I would say baptism itself would account for the concept in its entirety. I would reject the notion that you must have a particular feeling or experience in order to be saved. God, in His wisdom, sometimes withholds experiential manifestations of grace. There are many saints in the Catholic tradition, for example, who have experienced times of "spiritual darkness" in which they couldn't feel the presence of God - I'm sure there are many holy Protestants who have experienced something similar. To base something as important as the salvation of a soul on something as arbitrary and fleeting as a feeling or emotion is folly. Instead, we must remain vigilant in our faith and cooperate with God to have the certitude of heavenly life after death, even through the times when it seems God is far away or silent. That, at least, is my take. Have I been "born again?" Strictly speaking, yes, through baptism. I was born in the womb, then born again in baptism.
  11. Isidore

    Born Again

    Forgive my ignorance, but what does being "born again" mean?
  12. Isidore


    Hello everyone. This is my first post. I'm a Catholic looking to engage in some thoughtful and respectful conversations. I believe that Christ desires all Christians to be unified in worshiping Him, and so good communication between all of us is an important step in that direction. I was never great with introductions, so I think I'll leave it at that. Pax hominibus!

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