Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My moment of grace

I can't think of one moment I have experienced grace, but when I think of grace, I always picture problems being solved. If my sister and I were in an argument, my mother would usually intrude, eliminating the fist fight that may have ensued. In E.E Ford, we learned about bridges and walkways that collapsed due to weak links. Despite the tragic collapses, these failures have led to progress and success to ensure safer and more efficient bridges and walkways. Problems derived from mistakes, evil, revenge, hate, or even too much love are alleviated by grace. Grace is the answer to our problems and it is a source for our human desires to be quenched. Sometimes we don't even realize that we also demonstrate grace through guiding a friend through a difficult time, being a leader, not a follower, and helping someone build their confidence.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Theology Reflection

Sarah Yearwood
Ms. Pickett
13 November 2016
Jesus to Me
            To me, Jesus is a symbol of suffering, love, and power. As a young child, I was taught to think of Jesus as a Savior or Messiah. While Jesus is a Savior or Messiah, I feel as though his symbolic meanings take precedence over other definitions of him. Jesus represents love through accepting and showing compassion to all people: the outcasts, the rich, the poor, and the weak. Jesus symbolizes suffering, as he had to overcome and experience pain for all of us. Lastly, Jesus is a symbol of power through his ability to endure the abuse and pain of his crucifixion, but also through the miracles and patience he had with all people. To be powerful, one must be able to overcome obstacles set before them with love. Jesus endured the pain, suffering, ostracization, and mockery out of love for us. Jesus literally died on the cross for the people he loves, something mothers would do for their children as well. When you love someone or something, you will do everything in your power to help and care for that individual or thing to have the best existence possible.
Personally, I think Jesus’ suffering represents the power of love he has for all people. But, if I could ask Jesus any question if he were living today, I would ask him how could he carry on living if he knew of his gruesome death? It genuinely amazes me how he still allowed the Jews and Pontius Pilate to crucify him and abuse him even though he knew it would happen prior. If I were Jesus I would have killed myself right before Judas betrayed me and I was brought before Pontius Pilate. Jesus’s ability to sacrifice himself for the people that were persecuting him astonishes me because if I was him I would be completely bitter that the people I am working so hard for are against me and desire to kill me.
            Jesus taught all people to be compassionate and love thy neighbor as thyself. As Christians, we are supposed to uphold to Jesus’ teachings and exercise compassion in every aspect of our lives. Some Christians today, however, do not live the way Jesus wants us to. According to Jesus’ actions, we are supposed to support and ally with the most vulnerable. Many Christians do help and support the most vulnerable through working at food shelters, donating clothes to the homeless, and working with sexually abused victims. While these individuals maintain Jesus’ teachings, they may also engage in actions that are the opposite of being compassionate and loving towards others.

Upon attending Holy Child, I learned that some Christians do not support the LGBTQ+ community because in parts of the bible homosexual or countercultural relations were condemned. While the LGBTQ+ community may be condemned or not discussed in the Bible, Jesus created relationships with the outcasts and most vulnerable. Subsequently, Christians should also create relationships and accept the outcasts and most vulnerable in our society. In addition, Jesus advocated for his beliefs and the glory of God. I think it is very crucial in the Christian faith and in the secular sphere to voice our opinion and hear other perspectives in order to grow and learn. Through expressing our opinions and understanding other individuals’ viewpoint on an issue, we work towards creating a compassionate and understanding environment for all people.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What would life be like without an afterlife?

If there was no afterlife, I feel as though many people would feel compelled to live their lives to the fullest through taking many risks and having various experiences. At the same time, many individuals could feel there is no point of living if there is no afterlife, sadly, there could be an increase in suicides. Both routes presents the idea that without an afterlife, people will take time to reflect and ask themselves, what is the meaning of my life? The meaning of life could be to save lives and help the corrupt for some individuals. Teaching people to sing and dance could the meaning of life for another individual. Despite the wonderful purposes of life, some people may find that they have no purpose. They will choose to wash away and lack the ambition to carry on.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

My Opinion on God Being Male

1. Personally, I don't get upset when people refer to God as "he" because everyone is allowed to identify God in the form they are most comfortable with. Subsequently, God is different for everyone and we are all made in God's image and likeness, therefore God can embody any shape or form. If someone refers to God as "he," that is how they interpret God and they are most comfortable with that identification because it's only God and that person in that relationship. No one has the right to tell someone how to view someone or something. However, I can also understand that by referring to God as "he" can be demeaning and paint a picture that women are inferior to men.

2. Personally, I prescribe to egalitarianism because it is important that in the future for me that my only point of living is not just to bear a child and take care of he or she, rather work hard to achieve a goal or greatness. Additionally, I think it is important that I will not be marginalized from a job or activity because I am a girl. If men and women are created in the image and likeness of God, then both sexes are equal because God is us, and we are God. We never say, men are two-thirds of God and women are one-third, therefore, there should be no distinction between each gender's ability and desires in life.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Is God male?

I wonder if God is male. All my life, I have referred to God as "he" because that is what I have been taught. Despite the fact that I referred to God as a male, I never gave God a face. I knew I called God a "he," but I could never create an image of God in my mind. However, I believe that God has no gender because he encompasses all of his creation, men and women. Subsequently, God is a divine being rather than a man or woman.

Is thinking that God is male problematic?
Thinking that God is male is very problematic because that notion creates a barrier between men and women, implying that women are inferior to men. The idea that God is a male demonstrates that men are supposed to be looked highly upon and should be considered an all-powerful and all-knowing gender. However, intelligent individuals would know that God created us equally.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Problem of Evil Reflection

Have you ever considered the problem of evil before CTWR class? If so, why or in what context?
            Before theology, the problem of evil always perplexed my mind. I never understood why there was a need for so much suffering in the world, if there was supposed to be an omnipotent and benevolent being watching over us. In freshman year, we learned about Noah’s Ark and the Israelites being freed from slavery, but all these wonderful occurrences stemmed from evil. Why would God allow his creation to be enslaved by another part of his creation and why would God wipe his creation out with a violent flood? How are we supposed to believe in an individual that kills his or her creation because they were upset? That sounds petty, however it almost seems as though God used his or her power just to use it, not to better the people. However, I know we are supposed to read these Bible stories with religious truth, but it’s concerning that God would want us to know that he can destroy us in a matter of days, minutes, or days.
            In addition, I see suffering in my daily life, people live in poverty, there are natural disasters, there is cancer, and people rape, kill, and abuse. All this happens under God’s supervision and I never understood why he would let all these horrific events happen.
After our readings and discussions this week, why do you think there is suffering in the world?
I think suffering exists because God gives us free will to choose to do good or bad. As a result, humanity’s evil actions derive from wrong choices. You may be wondering why God does not step in to eradicate these wrong choices. The answer is if God intervenes in every bad choice someone makes, then do we have free will? We will not know and use our freedom if this omnipotent being controls and stops anything that can harshly impact others.  If God intervenes everything, then we are just his puppets in a show called “No Freedom, Just Control” starring God.
Have you ever seen or experienced pain and suffering that had a greater purpose or led to a greater good?
My sister is the strongest and most confident person I know and she inspires anyone in her presence. In 2013, she had gallbladder disease; as a result she experienced continuous stomach pains that were more severe than childbirth. At this time, my sister was attending college in Boston, Massachusetts and weekly she had to go to the hospital for medical attention regarding her stomach pains. Eventually, she was scheduled for a surgery to remove her gallbladder; subsequently my mother, father and I drove to Boston for the surgery.
As I entered the hospital, adrenaline filled my body, my hatred for hospitals came rushing through my blood. Some of the strongest people I know always suffer in hospitals; I never understood why a building full of people suffering was ever created. Upon entered my sister’s room in the hospital, I noticed she looked completely disheveled and weak, but she kept saying she would be okay and I believed her. My family and I said the twenty-third psalm before my sister entered into surgery and we waited.
            After her surgery, I knew my sister would not have to endure anymore suffering, and I was glad. However, I was resentful at the fact that she had to endure this pain in the first place, but at the end of suffering, both my sister and I realized that we need to cherish everyday of our lives because you never know how quickly it can be taken away. If my sister’s gallbladder exploded, she wouldn’t be here today and I am thankful for everyday I spend with her.
            Prior to this incident, I barely called my sister at college; I didn’t even know that she changed her major until that point. After the surgery, I made sure that I called my sister at least once a week to check in and see how she was doing. I think it’s important to fully strengthen and cultivate relationships with the people you love so you aren’t resentful that you didn’t tell them you love them enough because they could pass away at any time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Word Made Flesh

  1. What is the big deal about learning the nature of God?
I think the big deal about learning about the nature of God is to understand the power and strength God has and uses to allow humans to flourish in the world. We learn that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient to strengthen our faith in our Creator and know that he will always be present, powerful and all-knowing to better humanity day by day. 
2. How can a human person possibly meet God?
I believe human people can meet God physically in heaven, during purgatory, and through other people when they show love and compassion. In addition, we spiritually meet God through prayer in times of need or thankfulness.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Why is there suffering in this world?

I think there is suffering in the world because in order to know good, we must know the bad. We must learn that are difficulties in life to test us and the individuals around us so we can value life more. Suffering is a symbol of strength, if you are able to overcome obstacles, you will be able to better your relationships with individual and value them more. If there was no suffering many jobs, people or concepts would not exist, there wouldn’t be a purpose for doctors, nurses, in a sense you wouldn’t need to really pray to God in times of struggle because you wouldn’t have any. If individuals don’t experience pain, they won’t learn how to learn from certain experiences and they loose valuable development. In addition, when God comes on judgment day, he wants to save us all from destruction and suffering in our lives, in order to really show us that he is omnipotent and reward all the people that have supported him throughout their lives.

Does human life have meaning? If so, what is the meaning of human life?
I think all humans have the same meaning in life, to love, be compassionate, find our talents, and create relationships with one another. God created us in his image and likeness; therefore he wants the best for us. For example, everyone has a talent, either singing, dancing, or acting, and the list could continue. Every talent can be used to spread God’s love and promote compassion for another. God gave us these talents and he wants us to utilize them for the good of humanity, where we can learn to be more accepting, considerate, and kindhearted towards one another. In addition, an important meaning in our lives is to make relationships with one another because God created us all together so we could establish trust, generosity, and love on Earth. The people God has made should have connections with one another and help each other in any type of relationship because everyone deserves to learn from each other. Today, people have valuable friendships and relationships that have bettered them as a person and made them stronger. Each of those beneficial relationship supports God's notion of having relationships that will foster your development and strengthen your faith in God as you grow.