Edward, I think if you read enough of the saints and are open to their teachings as they themselves present it, rather than filtered through any lenses, you will find your beliefs changing.
I have two stories in regard to this. The more recent occured this past Feast of St. Andrew, the first disciple called, November 30. While going to morning Mass, knowing little of the life of St. Andrew, I noticed an ominous darkness on the way to the Chapel across many miles. When I set foot on the pathway to the entrance, the darkness left and the sun came into full shining. I had never experienced a more vivid, sudden contrast in outdoor visible light. We remembered the saint in prayer, and I prayed to read more about St. Andrew. In the evening, I went to the Confraternity site and saw the painting of St. Andrew, and read of his preaching for days from the cross. When it came time for him to give up his spirit, the sky became dark, and when it became light again, he gave up his spirit. Then I remembered the earlier morning event. Christ had visited me with St. Andrew, and I hadn't even known it. But I do now, and I'll never forget.
The other story is in regard to beliefs, and involves a question I was once asked, which, much like the teaching I received this past Feast of St. Andrew, grace had led me to have studied enough to answer. We are led in the Creed by much debated and approved dogma, yet, the history of such debate is not always apparent. The following is the answer I gave to one perceiving only hapless murder :
Hapless murdering was not the goal of the Crusades. Historically, the bulk of the warring centers upon a simple misquote of the words spoken by Jesus Christ. The misquote centers upon the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father. The misquote is in the form of an addenda, the addition of the words "and the Son". Christ specifically taught that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Though the Father and Christ be One, and the Father has handed everything over to Christ, this mechanism of procession remains unchanged, for He Who glorifies the Son is the Father : in the words of Christ : "I am the Vine, My Father is the Vinedresser."
The custom of adding the words "and the Son" in Ritual Worship began as early as the end of the 4th century. The logistics of Heaven's response to this was to send an angel to a descendent of Ishmael to correct an error begun through the descendents of Isaac, Ishmael and Isaac being brothers via Abraham. The correction was given in a simple command "Recite", for if those adding "and the Son" to the Creed in worship were to check Scripture, they would see their error.
It wasn't until the Pontificate of Leo III (795-816) that the matter came to be seen as a definite error. Eric John, the editor of "The Popes", sums it up this way on p. 132 :
"It is difficult not to see that the addition to the Creed is both in accord with Scripture and reason, and the pope could do nothing but support it."
By this time, Islam was already on the rise in response to the angelic apparition, burgeoning with similar error. Even today in Jerusalem, there is the muslim quarter, the Christian quarter, and the like, remnants of error and correction from centuries past. Yet, through humanity's struggle in that city, the Cathedral of St. Anne, the mother of Our Spotless Virgin, has remained intact, a sign of Christ's legacy and leadership. (end of initial answer)
To this can be added, that in 1054 A.D., when the Great Schism began, it has been said that the rebellious Orthodox insisted that the filioque remain in the Creed to be a blemish upon the Pontificate of Rome. The only agreement that can be reached is that "and the Son" cannot be supported Scripturally, it became a forefront of debate prior to definition of infallibilty, and that, initially, even the Bishop of Rome, the successor of St. Peter, did see it as error.
If in fact these things are what you truly believe, rather than simply you trying to have some fun.
That is a bit vague.
But there has to be some element of fantasizing.
For non-fiction, at least. But the saints are real.
And our salvation can either depend upon ourselves
No one is saved except through the Blood of Jesus Christ and His Most Precious Body!
But if it's on the latter
It can only be so.
then we have to rely on His Revelation, through the Church -- because in this way we do not rely upon ourselves, and our own intelligence and virtues or rather lack there of -- we rely on true, unchanging Revelation. We rely on Him. That is what Faith is all about. God gives us a Revelation, and teaches it to us through His Church, in a way that is infallible -- because it is from Him, His gift, of unchanging truths, rather than something of ourselves.
That is so true. Christ has raised me gently for it is written, "A bruised reed He shall not break." He has made me more cognizant of His work both in the world and in me, these being called, according to Dei Verbum
, public and private revelation, respectively.
Among many beliefs, reincarnation is not acceptable, it is considered against more than one dogma, and so a heresy. This means it is deadly poison for the soul. Take care!
Indeed. I recently wrote concerning the use of 'reincarnation' as a substitute for 'resurrection' stating, "In a pinch, it will do." It has a lot to do with how far along one is in not only the spoken/written language, but also ones knowledge of Scripture and dogma. By some definitions, 'reincarnation' describes accurately the action of resurrection, but has other connotations.
Please remember that on this forum, and carefully read the announcements about how this forum is for discussing the saints, rather than non-Christian beliefs. This isn't a forum for the promotion of them, or apologetics to answer them in fact.
I am praying for you, and I hope that you will take seriously the idea that Faith is something concrete, revealed, that we can rely on, and so reform ourselves in accordance to, or, overcome ourselves in regard to. That's why it's such a beautiful answer. It is beyond our poor selves.
Please enjoy reading the saints, and please take care in your conversation, to get an understanding of how it is conducted here.
I was merely trying to answer another's question here in a broad-based sense. I, too, look for the continued resurrection of the dead. The mystery of Faith is something that will be revealed to us forever. And thank you, too!