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Questions: Of God and belief

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  1. God as a personal, spiritual being.
  2. Causes of my belief.
  3. The nature of god.
  4. Encountering and communicating with God.
  5. How God wants people to live.
  6. God's plan for me.
  7. Preparing for death.

Questions, questions? the good disciple is always full of questions. Josef Pieper held that the only true happiness comes from the gradual quenching of the intellect by God's infinitely unwinding mystery. God is somewhat like a riveting, never-ending mystery novel in which the plot keeps thickening and thickening, but the suspense never comes to an end. Who would want to read a mystery wherein the crime is solved in the first two pages? Many find that their curiosity about God increases exponentially the more they pray and the more clues they uncover. One of the most important questions people bring to God through prayer is: ?How am I to live my life?? Kierkegaard also sought the answer to this question in his search for ?the idea for which I may live or die.? The sooner one plunges into the investigation, the sooner the direction of life becomes clear. On a grand scale, God hints at a standard of action that legislates for all out of love and God's desire for human happiness. On a more intimate scale, God has created each person with a unique purpose, the capacity to be of use in instigating the collective happiness and experience immense fulfillment. However, one can only uncover this purpose by opening a channel to God and asking questions that will lead to the joy of discovery and guidance that one seeks. Therefore, on with the questions? the game is afoot!

[...] God knows the pleasure of giving and working for others will likely have a better aftertaste than any sandwich, and so God continues to provide options to be of use. The uniqueness of each individual suggests the likelihood of many different God's instructions for each person would be different, and specially tailored. It is therefore worthwhile to investigate and ask questions of God, because one can then find one's own personal function, idea for which one can live and die.? My favorite literary example of this importance comes from a book by John Irving, called A Prayer for Owen Meany. [...]

[...] For me, the most striking church-related exhibition of God lies in the love and reverence of the people who assemble there to worship. Just as I try to envision God in different forms in my prayer, I try to recognize him in other people and forms of creation. It is easiest to do so when smiling parishioners surround me, combed over and buttoned up in reverent poise. Everyone walks out of the chapel full of goodwill and charity. The real challenge lies in perceiving God in less obvious places, such as in unruly children, strict librarians, fascist dictators, and dominating employers, to name a few. [...]

[...] God existed before creating mankind, and is not dependent on creation in any way, would not become stronger if I went to church every day instead of once a week. God wants obedience less like a government and more like a perfect parent. A government cannot survive without compelling its subjects to pay taxes and cooperate in an orderly fashion. Parents, on the other hand, live many years before they have children, although when children arrive, the parents (ideally) love their offspring to the extent that they would suffer and die in their for their sake. [...]

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