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Tamara Condie

on 14 June 2013

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Virtues & Vices
Chastity is the virtue which excludes or moderates the indulgence of the sexual appetite. Under Christianity chastity has been practiced in a manner unknown under any other influence. Christian morality prescribes the right order of relations. It therefore must direct and control the manner of relationship sustained to each other by soul and body. Don't think about chastity in the manner of what you CAN'T do, think about it as what you CAN do- lead a positive lifestyle that respects self and others. Being promiscuous and unchaste is considered a sin in God's eyes, and our sins create a barrier between us and God. Chastity helps us strengthen our individuality and self control, and gives us time to explore who we are and get to know what we want and need in life previous to giving ourselves away and being dependent on someone to be there for us for the rest of our lives, when you've only been in a relationship at the age of 16 for 2 months. God wants us to familiarize with him, ourselves and the true meaning of love and once we succeed in doing so, sav ourselves to commit to a serious relationship (marriage) based on true love.
Pathway to familiarizing with God
Sometimes in life we lose touch with God and need to find ways to renew our unconditional love with him, or even just strengthen it.
It may seem impossible or unrealistic at times, how can you enhance a relationship with someone that isn't physically with you? The answer to this is simple. Simple; yet detailed. God's love for us is boundless and forgiving. A quote from John 3:16 proves this:
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
So if all of this is true, ask yourself "Do I want to form a relationship with this man, God who claims to love me endlessly?" If the answer to your question is a yes, then continue on your pathway to the golden treasure: a closer relationship with God.

Virtue- behavior showing high moral standards towards God.
Vice- Immoral or wicked behavior towards God.
Evidently, God wants us to be virtuous. Being virtuous can consist of many little acts of kindness and understanding of other people's feelings. They are attitudes and habits that make us likely do what is good even when we don't stop to think! A few virtues are:
Developing a virtuous attitude isn't hard; prayer, education and practice will help you form a virtuous lifestyle.

Types of Friendship
God has given us the opportunity to shape our own friendships in the way they fit us best. There are many different types of friendships, and here are a few:
boyfriend-girlfriend relationship
relationship with your parents
relationship with your siblings
Each and every one of these relationships are significant in their own way. But each relationship requires two characteristics: They should be rooted in the love of God, and each person in the relationship should have a positive influence on the other person's life. Developing healthy and blissful relationships helps us understand what love is, and understanding what love is is understanding who God is.

The word beatitude signifies a promise of true happiness. In the bible, Jesus teaches us that if we live according to the beatitudes, we will live a happy and selfless Christian life. They inspire us to adopt a certain mindset or vision for our lives, namely, the vision of Jesus Christ. The Beatitudes challenge us to be people of virtue. Society of our days puts the rich on top of the world; Jesus put the poor on top. Jesus calls us to change our vision and learn that in order to be happy we must be peace-loving, merciful, clean of heart, and meek. .
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
In recent years researchers and educators have come to realize that different parts of the brain handle different types of information. Being book smart is not the only types of intelligence, there are several different types of intelligences. We learn that it takes intelligence to be a good athlete or artist just as it does to be a good mathematician. The better we understand out learning preferences and strengths, the easier time we have learning new things especially when it comes to learning about God.
The seven intelligences are:
Word smart
Number smart
Picture smart
Body smart
Sound and rhythm
People smart
Self Smart
Multiple Intelligences
The type of inclusivity that Jesus practiced and called us to practice is the exact opposite of hatred. He taught us that no matter how better "society" may consider you compared to another individual, there should be no reason for exclusion. We sometimes focus on things that make us different from one another, such as race, gender, money and religion, when we should be looking beyond surface differences and look for the similarities deep within.

Fifth Commandment
The fifth commandment underlines the sacredness of human life. Jesus stated in the ten commandments that we, as Catholics, do not have the right to deliberately cause someone's death. Human life is sacred from the moment of its existence, which begins in a woman's womb. From that moment until it's natural death, it remains sacred. When the fifth commandment is properly kept, it leads to reverence for and obedience to God Himself, the ultimate Parent.
In a world filled with chaos, we pray because prayer is the antidote to anxiety. Prayer deepens our relationship with God. Prayer brings us closer to Him. He created us with a need for connection, and prayer is connection. Praying is talking to the Lord, just like friends talk to each other and are brought closer together through their sharing. When we pray, we share our innermost being with Him. The third commandment calls us to stop and pray; the Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. The forms of prayer reavealed in the Scriptures- adoration and blessing, petition, intercession, Thanksgiving and praise set the standard for Christian prayer.
Example of prayer of Intercession:
Almighty God, through the death of your Son on the cross, you have overcome death for us. Through his burial and resurrection from the dead you have made the grave a holy place and restored us to eternal life. We pray for those who died believing in Jesus and are buried with him in the hope of rising again. God of the living and the dead, may those who faithfully believed in you on earth praise you for ever in the joy of heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Faith and Design
People who believe in God understand that faith is like the ability to swim; our relationship with god helps us to avoid being overwhelmed by things like anger, fear and despair. A strong faith helps us push through the really tough times in life and have an even easier time enjoying the blissful ones. Keep in mind; people that have faith cannot force faith upon others anymore than you could force someone to learn to swim. The size and strength of our faith is not important, what matters is being willing to try to develop both our faith and relationship with God. Faithfulness is a virtue that we all need to cultivate; it helps us develop an informed conscious which helps us to choose the difference between right and wrong even when it is hard.
Some people are skeptic towards the existence of God within, and no matter how many answers are given to them about the subject, they will continue to dig for more and more questions until they can no longer be answered to make a point. Some people classify these people as realists, but in my opinion they are pessimists. The teachings of the Bible tell us that God was the creator of our universe; it all comes down to whether or whether not we choose to believe it. If you think about it, the reproduction of human life and just the general beginning of the universe must have started somewhere. The very nature of God is beyond scientific- we're trying to measure sound with a light meter. God is not bound by time; he exists in the present, future and past. The only 'scientific proof" we have of God for all of you pessimists is that the universe derived from something outside of itself, and will terminate in something outside of itself. In the eyes of a Catholic, that something is God.
Qualities of Christ-like Love
Being in a relationship as a teenager can be very complicated and draining. When a relationship becomes a struggle and painful to keep together, the love is no longer Christ-like. Christ like love is being happy and satisfied with one another effortlessly, and each party of the relationship deserves an equal quantity of respect. When we learn to respect each other's boundaries and treat each other with commendation, we begin to understand the importance and the high value of love. This helps us fathom mutuality in love and improve our ability to love not only in our relationships with loved ones, but also with God.
Paul's Description of Love: 1 Corinthians 13.4-8
Love is patient
Love is kind
Love is not envious
Love is not boastful or arrogant
Love is not rude
Love does not insist on its own way
Love is not irritable or resentful
Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in truth
In life, each and every one of us will be faced with decisions that will involve us being in conflict with ourselves. Whether it is between going to a party instead of studying for exams, or hanging out with friends while you should be doing chores, having an INFORMED conscience will help us decipher the difference between right and wrong. The process of decision making involves four basic steps: seeing, judging, acting and evaluating. These steps may appear to be small, easy and simple, but in the long run they can be the four actions you use to help you make the right choice. Our conscience helps us to see with eyes of love, to judge the best opinions based on Christ's teachings, and to act on those judgements with care and compassion. Forming our conscience can only be done by ourselves, and once our conscience is fully formed we can be closer to God and understand the positive impact of doing the right thing has on our lives and the people's lives that surround us. Many people kid themselves and tell themselves that what they're doing is okay even if it is wrong just because society is doing it. But when they are unfortunately confronted with moments of truth, such as death, the kidding terminates. In moments like so, we become aware of our false judgement and poor decision making. It is a good idea to evaluate our decisions daily so we are not surprised when all the kidding stops.
"God is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the one from whom all things come and to whom all things go (Revelation 1.8; 22.13)."
You have succeeded in finding the worthwhile treasure; Jesus Lord himself. You followed the path, had faith in God and arrived here. Being loyal and wholesome to Christ is a compulsory component of developing a strong enough relationship to bring you to him- which you succeeded in doing. Alright, realistically this is just a presentation and not the real thing, but think about it as a cardboard model of a dream house you desire to one day build yourself. With the right tools, constant practice and endless amount of faith, one day you will be able to build your dream house and pursue it. The same thing goes for developing your relationship with God, practice of the bible's sayings and faith will slowly and steadily build a path that will bring you closer to the Lord each and every day. He loves you unconditionally; loving him back and accepting his love is the key to eternal happiness.
By: Tamara Condie
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