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Author Topic: Holiness and calling-all equal?  (Read 682 times) Average Rating: 0
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Anastasia1
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« on: December 30, 2012, 11:06:34 PM »

Are some called to a life of greater holiness than others?  I am having a discussion on a blog and an EO is saying that asceticism is more holy than living in the world, and only some are called to it.  On the other hand, I grew up learning that we should all try to be holy and live for God rather than the world as much as possible. I'm having trouble with this idea that some are just not called to be as holy.  Please help sort this out.  I get that not all are supposed to marry if they are able to control themselves well, but this seems to affect so much more in a life than just marriage and sex and that is what I am having trouble with.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 11:08:59 PM by Anastasia1 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 11:11:23 PM »

I just used this in another thread as well

“Some people living carelessly in the world have asked me: ‘We have wives and are beset with social cares, and how can we lead the solitary life?’ I replied to them: ‘Do all the good you can; do not speak evil of anyone; do not steal from anyone; do not lie to anyone; do not be arrogant towards anyone; do not hate anyone; do not be absent from the divine services; be compassionate to the needy; do not offend anyone; do not wreck another man's domestic happiness, and be content with what your own wives can give you. If you behave in this way, you will not be far from the Kingdom of Heaven.’” (Step 1, Section 21)
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 11:17:55 PM »

Well, I was kind of grumpy and thinking over things and was like:

Quote
Thank you for teaching me to put others ahead of myself until I am resentful and miserable instead of inconveniencing others so I can be kind and selfless.

Thank you for teaching me how much spiritual things were more important and material things don't matter much where I ended up not trying as hard for that.

Thank you for telling me to believe in God so when I didn't believe in myself (yet long live determinism in everything good we get).

in a blog, then I got some comments and tried to explain better:

Quote
So many of the people that are supposed to be like good Christian examples never try to be more than middle class. We are only taught to get good paying jobs because if we don't, then we will will hardly or barely get by. It's kind of like the you should love someone for who he is and not how much he makes, while he just works as a cashier with no visible indication of a future as a provider for a family outside saying that if he loves his family, he will try to provide for them while he does not try yet. (Family being the future kids and wife.)

I don't mean to seem or be callous, but there is a point where you cannot always out others ahead of yourself. It denies your own value as a person. If one is always tending to others, going out their way for others, etc., they are not taught to be aggressive in taking care of their own stuff. If we are to take care of what God has given us, sometimes we cannot just be "nice" because it is the "Christian" thing to do. Is it that no greater love has any man than this that he lay down his life for another that we can say the one that gave his only cloak to another is more Christian than the one that gave his second cloak to another? Are we all supposed to give our last cloak? If not, then why is that so Christian? And if so, then why did that particular scripture reference use two cloaks?

We talk about the importance of patience (and sometimes also of being polite though not as much in general society), but no one ever talks about being more aggressive in trying to achieve something. Why is patience and perseverance the only thing that matters? (This comes up in job hunting.)

And why does it have to seem so unrealistic to think that I could ever be upper middle class without going into stock analysis, engineering, or being a very successful corporate attorney with $110,000 of debt at the start of work?

Then I got a reply and was like,

Quote
Holiness is holiness. All are called to holiness. If that is not what all are called to, then it is not holiness. And if it is not holiness, then we should not confuse it so. Why does asceticism have to be glorified as the "Christian" holy thing to do? Doesn't that preach that those who are called are more holy than those who are not? I find this disturbing. Are we really less holy for having a different calling in life? Even if they are less set apart from the world, those of a different calling are no less living out the calling God has for their lives, and yet there can be that impression.

You say, "It is not a sin to seek a high-paying job and spend enough money on yourself to maintain yourself in that position," yet Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all that he had to give to the poor, so if it is not always a sin, then it can be a sin. To spend money on one's self is not giving it to the poor. If one enjoys something bought with money, how is that different than loving the money itself? (Since the love of money can so easily be extended to matters of superficial wealth and material gain).

Job hunting should not be in conflict with Christian values. Paul worked (as a tent maker). The Proverbs 31 woman worked a bit. If no one works, how will they support the church?

If one is called to asceticism, then does that mean that one is not to get married, and if one does marry and have kids, is it right to subject the kids to that life without knowing otherwise what their calling is in life?

Am I crazy? Am I wrong? Help sort me out here.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 11:25:48 PM »

Some Bible passages that come to mind...

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"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Eph. 3:17-19

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." - Eph. 4:11-13

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matt. 5:48

I think we are all called to holiness, it's just that we take different paths. God wants us all to come to the "fullness of God/Christ," and all to be perfected and continually ever more perfected (theosis). All are called to strive for holiness, to cultivate the virtues, to live the life in Christ. And don't forget the 24th saying of Abba Anthony:

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It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 11:40:57 PM »

Some Bible passages that come to mind...

Quote
"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Eph. 3:17-19

"So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." - Eph. 4:11-13

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." - Matt. 5:48

I think we are all called to holiness, it's just that we take different paths. God wants us all to come to the "fullness of God/Christ," and all to be perfected and continually ever more perfected (theosis). All are called to strive for holiness, to cultivate the virtues, to live the life in Christ. And don't forget the 24th saying of Abba Anthony:

Quote
It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the angels.

Can I please count my playstation3, xbox360, and wii along with my flat screen under needs?
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 05:56:03 AM »

"Pursue... holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." -Hebrews 12:14

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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 08:55:42 PM »

*bump*
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Ashman618
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 09:46:10 PM »

Can Someone define Holy please
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 09:57:17 PM »

I would say... dedicated to God or doing God's will or cooperating with God in love and works of faith and having the image cleansed and likeness restored and all that...  Huh
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 10:12:03 PM »

Can Someone define Holy please

“Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.'" -Leviticus 19:2

Holiness is biblical 'shorthand' for what God is like. This makes the command of Lev 19:2 quite breathtaking. Your life, it is said to Israel, must reflect the very heart of God's character.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 10:16:44 PM by xariskai » Logged

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Anastasia1
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« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2013, 12:18:00 AM »

Holy according to Dictionary.com

ho·ly [hoh-lee] Show IPA adjective, ho·li·er, ho·li·est, noun, plural ho·lies.
adjective
1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground.
2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.

In my Lutheran confirmation class, we learned that holy means set apart for God.
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« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2013, 08:00:09 AM »

If we were to go by the definition set apart for God then we are called to equal holiness in whatever and wherever He sets us apart.  I can't give specifics but I'm sure I have read saints that have said we are all equal before God.

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Anastasia1
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« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2013, 09:56:35 PM »

A Catholic said that some vocations (nun, priest, wife/mother, etc.) allow for more opportunity to be holy, but we are all called to be holy within our vocation and having one vocation over another does not guarantee that one will live a holy life. So it's like one could be called to a life that is more able to be holy than another, but that one might not live a holy life while the other does, thus the other would be more holy. What do you think about that?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 09:58:01 PM by Anastasia1 » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 10:04:52 PM »

I think I understand that position, and I think it's a perfectly acceptable one, though I'm not sure how far I agree.  Huh I think the maximum holiness you can attain isn't limited by your employment or vocation or family status. However, I would certainly agree that different paths have different potential for each of us. If I were a priest, for example, I'd be in deep trouble, because that is not my calling and I'd be in over my head. I can best work out my salvation where I'm at (or around this place), not as a monk or priest or mother of 12 (ok, I technically can't be that last one, but even if I could, I'd be terrible at it).
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 10:29:29 PM »

I'm currently a single father, with only part time custody of my child, it's the best place for me to be right now to be sure although I do aspire to monasticism when He grows older God willing, I think that's where my greatest potential lies, however I would say that a mother of 12 is an automatic Saint!!!! and there's no way I could Handel that
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« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2013, 02:01:13 AM »

Holy according to Dictionary.com

ho·ly [hoh-lee] Show IPA adjective, ho·li·er, ho·li·est, noun, plural ho·lies.
adjective
1. specially recognized as or declared sacred by religious use or authority; consecrated: holy ground.
2. dedicated or devoted to the service of God, the church, or religion: a holy man.
3. saintly; godly; pious; devout: a holy life.
4. having a spiritually pure quality: a holy love.
5. entitled to worship or veneration as or as if sacred: a holy relic.

In my Lutheran confirmation class, we learned that holy means set apart for God.

Interestingly, the Greek word for holy, "agios", literally means "not of the world."

For an example of non-monastic holiness, I think St. Juliana of Lazarevo is perfect, especially seeing as her feast day is January 2nd.  Wink
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 02:02:17 AM by Antonis » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2013, 02:49:36 PM »

Holiness is a greatest goal for people.  It is purity, rightness, chastity.
 Only God know all details about all people and only He can reveal holiness of some people through miraculous things.
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