Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bishop Barron on what Faith is and what Faith is not


I will have little access to the computer for a few days, so I thought I would put up one of Bishop Barron's excellent and short teaching videos (11 minutes). This one is from 2011, and it explains what faith is and what faith is not. 

Atheists get it so wrong, as do many Catholics who were never really taught the right way to think of faith in relationship to reason. This is simple and beautiful, and it might surprise you:





If you want more incredible videos like this, go here (or search Bishop Barron on YouTube), and for his website, go here:





Enjoy!






13 comments:

  1. I like Father Barron. I was with him through most of the video except that he never really explains what it means to say that God is a "person" because God certainly isn't anything like the "people" that we are--in fact it seems a little bit diminutive to refer to him as a "person." Further, FB says that we have faith in God as a result (I think this is what he said) of "hearing" him. But FB doesn't explain how we hear God, and if we believe that we do, how do we know for certain it is God's voice we are hearing.

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  2. Johanne- some thoughts:

    I was with him through most of the video except that he never really explains what it means to say that God is a "person" because God certainly isn't anything like the "people" that we are--in fact it seems a little bit diminutive to refer to him as a "person."

    Actually God is exactly like we are, only with a divine nature and no sin. Christ is the 2nd person of the Blessed Trinity. Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Three people. One God. Even the Holy Spirit is referred to as ‘person’, theologically.

    Jesus is exactly like us, but without sin. He took on flesh from His mother, was born a baby, grew up, befriended people, got to know them intimately, shared life, broke bread, interacted, ministered, suffered, died, rose again. He is fully human and fully God – one person with two natures (that’s called hypostatic union).

    Jesus is a personal God (in His flesh and in His Spirit) who relates to people directly by probing our hearts and minds for the sole purpose of healing and saving. He willingly took on our flesh to walk in our way, to reach us, to build relationship, to heal, to save. He would’ve never truly been able to relate to us unless He became one of us, and so, for love of us, he did this.

    There’s nothing diminutive about referring to God as a person who willingly humbled Himself and came to us as an infant born of a Virgin. This is accurate and theologically precise. He purposefully uses small packaging (so to speak) and small ways to accomplish great things. His greatness is made manifest in vulnerability and (apparent) weakness because Christian love is all about sacrifice. It’s not what it seems. It’s nothing to human eyes. It’s hidden work, inward work.

    A person would dismiss God’s work as non-existent based on the slow rate at which He works (ever patiently) and on the human notion that everything about God needs to be banging with fireworks and immediately evident on display in order to be valid. Not so. He’s a very silent Worker, very patient. His ways are not our ways.

    He certainly would see nothing diminutive about it, since His greatness can never be diminished or lessened no matter how “micro” his ways appear to human opinion.

    “The greatest are the least”, right. See, everything gets turned on its head. Christianity is all about paradox. First shall be last, last shall be first. Greatest of all must be servant of all. He exalts the humble, but humbles the proud and haughty. Etc. All things about the Kingdom of Heaven are revealed in the very person of Jesus Christ.

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  3. Johanne,

    You asked:

    Further, FB says that we have faith in God as a result (I think this is what he said) of "hearing" him. But FB doesn't explain how we hear God, and if we believe that we do, how do we know for certain it is God's voice we are hearing.

    Do you have a bible handy? Maybe read the first chapter of John’s gospel. The “Word” is explained here. We hear God through His Word (written and oral, through His Church). Ok. What’s His Word? Or who is His Word? His Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Christ is the Word of God, made flesh. He literally is the Living Word of God. If you want to hear the Father, you listen the Son. So to know Him (as we come to know other living people) is to hear Him. To hear Him and to respond to Him is to love Him.

    A person knows God’s voice through discernment, prayer, and relationship with God. God will never contradict His commandments, so right there is a starting point for discerning His voice. He will always encourage and edify. He will always speak Life to darkness. This is God’s voice, in broad terms. It is actually quite easy to hear His voice, as He is always speaking, always inviting us, and always at work directing our steps toward eternal communion with Himself.

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  4. Hi Johanne! What's interesting about the concept of "person" is that the very word itself came out of a discussion in Christianity about the nature of the Holy Trinity. So God is personal first, and primary. We are persons, meaning personal, i.e., relational, because we are made in his image and likeness. So there is no diminution at all. We are reflections of the Trinity, not vice versa.

    And since the Second Person of the Holy Trinity became incarnate (Jesus) and walked the earth as a man (truly God and truly man), we can know Him, His words and teachings, as Nubby said, through both the Scriptures and the Church He explicitly founded to teach and sanctify in His name. And, yes, through prayer and discernment, we hear Him personally, but never would he speak in opposition to the Apostolic faith, handed down intact for 20 centuries.

    How do we know Jesus is God? He rose from the dead, literally, on the third day. Only God could do that.

    Sorry if there are mistakes or typos but I'm working on my little phone because I'm out of town.

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  5. I stopped listening to Father Barron when he started teaching that very few people go to hell. ('we can have a reasonable hope that everyone is saved', or something like that) If he's wrong about that, what else is he teaching that's also wrong.

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  6. On second thought, maybe I should back up my previous comments with some facts.

    This video explains how Fr Barron's ideas on hell are not really Catholic.

    http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/fr.-barron-is-wrong-08-14


    And this video speaks more about the consequences of believing that only Hitler and a couple mass murderers are actually in hell:

    http://www.churchmilitant.com/video/episode/the-vortexfr.-barron-and-the-planned-parenthood-videos

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  7. I don't give Church Militant much credibility, as they publish articles claiming that NFP use is selfish and (usually) sinful, and should NOT be promoted. I'm not interested in those who are "more Catholic than the pope".

    Bishop Barron echoes Scripture, which does give us a hope, as God wills that all be saved. Only God knows! That's not our call.

    Do you have something specific to say about this video?

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  8. I guess I think of a person as someone with a body, and even though Jesus had a body God doesn't (that know of...)--a bit confusing. Makes me think of Momons who believe God has a human body (not Jesus) and that God literally lives on his own planet named Kolob. I don't mean to be snarky at all, I just mean I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all. Thanks.

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  9. I guess I think of a person as someone with a body, and even though Jesus had a body God doesn't (that know of...)--a bit confusing. Makes me think of Momons who believe God has a human body (not Jesus) and that God literally lives on his own planet named Kolob. I don't mean to be snarky at all, I just mean I have a hard time wrapping my mind around it all. Thanks.

    The 2nd person of the Trinity has a body. To this day, He has a resurrected, glorified body that has defeated death, disease, and sin. He gave glory to our humanity by suffering on the cross, dying, and rising. We will see Him in this body. He did this to set the bar, right. He models our way to glory for us. He is literally called, “the Way”.

    The Father and The Holy Spirit did not take on flesh from Mary. It was strictly Jesus who came to us in the Incarnation, yet all are Persons. Three Persons, One God. But all are in relationship with one another, because God is a God of relationships--personal and intimate relationship. The Trinity is so vast and without limit, no one can honestly say he “understands it”. Yet it is a mystery to enter into with faith, using reason.

    Mormonism believes in a restricted type of god. There’s nothing limitless about the god of Mormonism.

    To line the two up together and compare, one can trace Christianity all the way back to the time of the gospels, historically and archaeologically. Mormonism falls short at the time of its founder and its doctrine has changed according to some of its modern day “prophets”.

    It’s really a matter of historical accuracy vs. inaccuracy, supported documentation vs. non-supported documentation, if you’re going that route. Christianity holds up logically and historically.

    But you’re Buddhist, right? Curious, does the idea of a personal God seem like a reality to you? And if so, how does your religion cultivate or seek that interpersonal exchange of hearts and minds?

    When you line up all the religions on the table and examine them, which ones speak to the human heart and which of those do you find most accurate? Just wondering.

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  10. Johanne, that's understandable. We use the term "person" to mean "human" here in 21st century America. But that word has devolved, unfortunately. Although indeed all humans are persons, so are personal beings like angels. We, they, and God all have intellect and will, all are relational, all will to love. But humans and angels were made in His image, but are not God. Jesus Christ, always personal, took on human flesh and became one of us, and yet remained fully divine. Father and Holy Spirit remain pure Spirit, as Nubby said. The Trinity is a GREAT mystery.

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  11. In this clip, Bishop Barron refers to the typical one-trick pony atheist who shouts that “the scientific method” is the primo path to understanding everything about everything, all the while the atheist himself is completely blind to his own intellectual failure here.

    When someone posits that the only acceptable method to gain knowledge of God (or of anything) is to employ the scientific method that actually requires the person to prove out that assertion scientifically. If you assert science is the only avenue to gain truth, then you must use science to prove what you just said. Right, you can’t. You’ve just refuted your own argument. The believer didn’t have to utter a word. The atheist just circled a micro-sized fishbowl of thought gaining an intellectual net result of zilch. Dead end reasoning. He needs to run a wider route of linear thought, and then flowchart it all correctly this time!

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  12. Nubby
    Are you responding to anything I said? Not sure how it follows. Thanks.

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  13. Johanne,
    I responded to your comparison of Mormonism and Christianity as they relate to God having a physical body. I also asked you a couple of questions at the end of that comment relating to your Buddhist beliefs or practices. I'm wondering what you make of the possibility of there being a God who relates to us personally, and how Buddhism does or does not reflect that dynamic.

    I like to get to the reality of comparing these things if we're going to consider what seems hard to accept about them. You brought up Mormonism alongside Christianity. I figured, knowing that you're Buddhist, let's add that to the table and look at everything we can know about these. Let's see how God relates (if He does), what doctrine says, if it's changed over time, etc. Just a systematic way to approach the conversation, really.

    My latest comment regarding a typical atheist mindset was just a general comment in reference to the Bishop Barron video posted here, and wasn't directed at you for a response unless you'd like to respond.

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