From my pastor’s sermon today:

“Human beings are made in such a way that we can’t think ourselves into acting a certain way. We have to act ourselves into thinking a certain way.”

Which, incidentally, is how obedience to the Magisterium works. I don’t think you can understand Church teaching without living it first.

Which is probably why I understand so little of it.

10 thoughts on “Quick Tidbit

  1. Ron

    Not to worry, Steve, the Church didn’t just come up with its teaching by pulling it out of the sky…it teaches what it has learned about human nature and divine nature by living these mysteries. We’re all striving to some degree, some people more successfully than others.

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  2. Ron

    Steve, I’m such a goof. What I meant to say was, “Not to worry, Steve, you’re not alone in your trying to understand the Church’s teaching…”

    Reply
  3. Dante

    I do think its possible to ‘think yourself into acting”. As a matter of fact (IF i am understanding this correctly) I believe this is what habitual fantasizing is so dangerous…begins in the mind, descends into the heart and then has the body crying for its actualization. So let’s say 10 years ago a guy might think, “Oh I’d never do THAT” and then 10 years later he is not only doing it but enjoying it and looking for more.

    Reply
    1. Andrew

      Dante, you are describing me! When I first realised I had ssa, my immediate reaction was that I would NEVER act on it. That last all of 6 years, until I turned 19. Then I started on a downhill spiral to the point where I now suspect I have a sexual addiction!

      Oops, now I’ve lost my train of thought and can’t remember my point! Oh well!

      Reply
  4. viego pobre

    i think that both Dante and the pastor are correct. we cannot underestimate the power of behaviors, but it all starts in our head and our desires.

    two more “proverbs” i would throw into the mix are “fake it till you make it”.
    dont debate or argue, just do it for 90 days and see how things change. off topic a little, but the Virgin often has given the message to pray the rosary daily. i have found people who really to it (PRAY it not recite it) find results they never would have thought. they just do it.

    they second proverb, i have noticed over the years and i would express as:
    “we become what we do”

    meaning that we become our repeated behaviors over the years. someone may tell lies once in a while, but we all know someone who is a “liar”.
    some one may have stolen once in a while, but we all know someone who is a “thief”. this is why the practice of virtues is to important…we become what we do. anyway just MHO for what its worth!

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  5. Ron

    There is a Latin proverb, “Lex orandi, Les credenti”, loosely transalted as “How we pray is how we believe”. Our life as Christians, specifically as Catholics, stems from our relationship with God and the Church. An intense prayer life will lead to a deep understanding of the mysteries of God, the human person, and the Church. A superficial spiritual life will not do the same. And from its understanding of these mysteries, the Church’s teachings develop. So yes, understanding the Church’s teachings comes from living them.

    Now, granted the Latin proverb is specifically about liturgy, how the Church worships as a body, but I believe the same applies to every individual.

    “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). One of my favorite quotes: I had to get it in here! Let’s be as iron for one another.

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  6. Cletus

    Dante- I’d add this- it is much easier to think your way into acting when the “acting” is of a selfish or pleasurably destructive nature. (Not calling you selfish or destructive). My experience is that it’s much more difficult to think my way into acting in a manner that is consistent with my values and the Church’s teachings or where sacrifice is involved. In that regard, i have to agree that acting has to come first in order to convince the committee in my head that there are rewards to not giving in to what is easy.

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