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When has religion irked you personally and why?

 
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 12:56 pm
Piffka

According to "Grimm's German Dictionary", 'luck' is oldfrisian, becoming in Middle English 'lukke', 'luk' and English 'luck'.
Middlehigh German it is 'gelücke' and seldom 'lück'.
Middle Swedish 'lykka', 'löcka'.

Seems -since it appears only relatively late in Germany [1160] - that it's origin is in the old francian 'galukki'.


There are five theories mentioned about its origin. The dictionary doesn't think one to be all-to-true, but gives as best choice either a slavic [from a term, meaning "success"] or a nordic-germanic origin [meaning "light].


There's an interesting essay about Loki and Lugh at this website
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:55 pm
Thanks, Walter! That was an interesting website, especially that the connection to mistletoe leaves were a clue to that researcher. It is surprising where a comparison of myths lead.

I'm sure you're right about the etymology of luck. I was trying to shorten up the OED's long discussion and fritzed it.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:58 pm
Piffka wrote:
I was trying to shorten up the OED's long discussion and fritzed it.


And I "had"
a) to summarize
and
b) to translate all that :wink:
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:58 pm
<deleted> (much more than just double posted :wink: )
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:58 pm
deleted
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:58 pm
deleted
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 01:58 pm
deleted
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Jul, 2003 02:11 pm
Uh-oh, multi-copy post!

Walter, you did a much better job than I. Very interesting too that the word appeared in the German language 300 years before the English. You'd think luck would have been more used or needed before then.

I guess they were "OUT OF LUCK." heeheeeee
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maliagar
 
  0  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2003 11:15 pm
Hey, people: What about occasions in which religion opened a door, or a possibility, or a solution, or inspiration to you personally? Or an occasion in which religion enriched your life?

I would be able to tell you so many stories!!!

For example, visiting a hospital for deformed and burnt children run by nuns... and the very evident spiritual motivation behind all of it... (see also Mother Teresa)

Or the very real consolation and hope the dying find in God... (grandparents, uncles...)

Or the motivation and strength that those who fought against Communism draw from their faith (ask Lech Walessa)...

Or St. Maximilian Kolbe's death in Auschwitz (you should really check out his story).

Or the story of Father Damien in Hawaii (go and check it out)...

Or the gratitude of Jewish friends of mine towards Pope Pius XII for his help during WWII...

If you really want to have a balanced view, you need to open yourself to the fact of the transforming power of a seriously committed faith.
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sun 17 Aug, 2003 11:31 pm
I've seen both the positive and the negative. Due to the ignorant nature of blind faith there has been more ignorance in religion and therefore more of the negative in my life.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 05:56 am
maliagar, welcome to the thread. Personally, I have no problem expanding the thread, and would like to hear the St. Maximilian Kolbe story first. Growing up Jewish, most of what we hear regarding the holocaust is from our perspective, and I think it would be fascinating to hear another story of faith, from another faith Wink
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 06:18 am
I know a number of religious persons whom I respect and admire. They are in a distinct minority. Most so called religious people are much too ambiguous about it, being faithful when reminded to be so, but acting as bad as they want to the rest of the time. While it is true that religion can be a powerful opiate for many persons, most of it is a sham.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 11:05 am
Once when I was seven years old, my parents left my sister and I with my Grandmother for the afternoon while they went shopping. Being an active southern Baptist, who's mission it is to convert non-believers, Grandmom took that opportunity to educate us children with a blazing lecture on the concepts of hellfire, brimstone, and the eternal agony which awaited anyone who failed to recognize the truth (whatever the "truth" was). I don't remember being traumatized by this (though I think my younger sister might have been), but I do remember my father being furious at Grandmom for doing this after they had specifically told her not to tell us such things. People in my immediate family don't yell very often, but Dad sure did some yelling that day.

Some of my extended family are fundamentalist Christians. And I have seen their families (adults and kids) plagued with problems including depression, suicide, alcoholism, racist tendencies, family mistrust, poor control of finances, and psychosis.

Other members of the family are just as religious but not quite as extreme in their views, and they seem to have no problems at all. They go to church, enjoy their neighbors, raise happy kids and don't preach much about their religion. They just live it and are happy.

As near as I can tell, religion itself is not the cause of most problems, but merely a fertile environment in which the personal demons of emotional damage find places to hide and grow.

And Fundamentalism seems not to be a religion at all, but rather a psychology in which questionable desires and actions can be rationalized as permissible behavior. It's just bad luck for religion that the concepts of pure faith and forgiveness, so benign in one sense, can also be twisted to free people from the concept of responsibility. And once this happens, all sorts of inner demons can be set free. Many people who are already broken (emotionally) in some way, seem to be drawn to fundamentalism and fanaticism like moths to a flame; where they are blissfully blinded by the light.
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maliagar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 05:46 pm
My experience has been (most of the time) quite positive.

When I was a kid, an uncle of mine (a Jesuit priest who was later ordained a bishop) always encouraged questions and the critical examination of issues. He had studied Philosophy and Theology in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Spain, Germany, and the UK. He got a doctorate in Classical Languages from Oxford. He was not only knowledgeable but wise. His was a spiritual path, in which all the facets of his life were integrated into the single purpose of loving God by loving the neighbor. I was one of the many beneficiaries of that self-less, so throughly Christian love. Unfortunately, he passed away 10 years ago... I pray that one day I'll be 10% of the man he was.

From him I learned that all the answers we need are out there to be found... if we are serious about it.

:wink:
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 05:48 pm
Can you explain how religion irked you then?
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maliagar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 05:50 pm
Here's something on St. Maximilian Kolbe, Catholic priest killed in Auschwitz under very special circumstances (sorry for the length).

Excerpts from http://www.catholic-pages.com/saints/st_maximilian.asp

Priest hero of a death camp

...He was born... on 8 January 1894 at Zdunska Wola near Lodz in Poland, and was given the baptismal name of Raymond. Both parents were devout Christians with a particular devotion to Mary. In his infancy, Raymond seems to have been normally mischievous but we are told that one day, after his mother had scolded him for some mischief or other, her words took effect and brought about a radical change in the child's behaviour. Later he explained this change. "That night, I asked the Mother of God what was to become of me. Then she came to me holding two crowns, one white, the other red. She asked me if I was willing to accept either of these crowns. The white one meant that I should persevere in purity, and the red that I should become a martyr. I said that I would accept them both." Thus early did the child believe and accept that he was destined for martyrdom...

In 1907, Raymond... entered a junior Franciscan seminary in Lwow. Here he excelled in mathematics and physics and his teachers predicted a brilliant future for him in science. Others, seeing his passionate interest in all things military, saw in him a future strategist. For a time indeed, his interest in military affairs together with his fiery patriotism made him lose interest in the idea of becoming a priest. ... Raymond hadn't the heart to upset his parents' plans and so he abandoned his plans for joining the army. He was recieved as a novice in September 1910 and with the habit he took the new name of Maximilian. From 1912 to 1915, he was in Rome studying philosophy at the Gregorian College, and from 1915 to 1919 theology at the Collegio Serafico. He was ordained in Rome on 28 April 1918.

The love of fighting didn't leave him, but while he was in Rome he stopped seeing the struggle as a military one. He didn't like what he saw of the world, in fact he saw it as downright evil. The fight, he decided, was a spiritual one. The world was bigger than Poland and there were worse slaveries than earthly ones. The fight was still on, but he would not be waging it with the sword. ...Fr Maximilian's health had already begun to deteriorate. He was by now in an advanced state of tuberculosis, and he felt himself overshadowed by death. ...

When Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919, he rejoiced to see his country free once again... The doctors had by now pronounced him incurable; one lung had collapsed and the other was damaged. Yet it was now that he flung himself into a whirlwind of activity. In January 1922, he began to publish a monthly review, the Knight of the Immaculate, in Krakow.

...To cope with the flood of vocations all over Poland, a junior seminary was built at Niepokalanow... A few years later, there were more than a hundred seminarians and the numbers were still growing. Before long, Niepokalanow had become one of the largest (some say the largest) friaries in the world. ... The place was entirely self-supporting. ...
...On 8 December 1938, a radio station was installed at Neipokalanow...

...The results of the work done there were becoming apparent. Priests in parishes all over the country reported a tremendous upsurge of faith, which they attributed to the literature emerging from Niepokalanow. A campaign against abortion in the columns of the Knight (1938) seemed to awaken the conscience of the nation...

On 26 February 1930, Fr Maximilian left Poland with four brothers from Niepokalanow on a journey to the Far East. They travelled by way of Port Said, Saigon and Shanghai, and on 24 April they landed at Nagasaki in Japan... Archbishop Hayasaka received them very warmly when he learned that Fr Maximilian had two doctorates and would be able to take the vacant chair of philosophy in the diocesan seminary in exchange for a licence to print his review.

The going was hard. The Poles' only shelter was a wretched hut whose walls and roof were caving in. They slept on what straw they could find and their tables were planks of wood. But despite such hardships, and the fact that they knew no word of the Japanese language, and had no money, on 24 April 1930, exactly a month after their arrival, a telegram was despatched to Niepokalanow: "Today distributing Japanese Knight..." ...a year later the Japanese Niepokalanow was inaugurated... built on the slopes of Mount Kikosan. The choice of this site in the suburbs had been dictated by poverty, but it proved to be a lucky one... in 1945, when the atomic bomb all but levelled Nagaskai, Mugenzai no Sono sustained no more damage than a few broken pains of stained glass. Today it forms the centre of a Franciscan province.

...Fr Maximilian proved to be a wise missionary. He did not attempt to impose Western ideas on the Japanese. He respected their national customers and looked for what was good in Buddhism and Shintoism. He entered into dialogue with Buddhist priests and some of them became his friends. In 1931, he founded a novitiate, and in 1936 a junior seminary...

Fr. Maximilian's health was rapidly deteriorating... in 1932 he was already seeking fresh pastures. On 31 May he left Japan and sailed to Malabar where... he founded the third Niepokalanow... On another of his journeys, he travelled through Siberia and spent some time in Moscow. ... He had studied the language and had a fair acquaintance with marxist literature. Like Pope John XXIII, he looked for the good elements, even in systems he believed to be evil; and he tried to teach his friars to do likewise.

In 1936, he was recalled to Poland, and left Japan for the last time. ... He was racked by violent headaches and covered with abscesses brought on by the food to which he could not grow accustomed...

Just before the Second World War broke out, Fr Maximilian spoke to his friars about suffering. They must not be afraid, he said, for suffering accepted with love would bring them closer to Mary...

By 13 September 1939, Niepokalanow had been occupied by the invading Germans and most of its inhabitants had been deported to Germany. Among them was Fr Maximilian. ...on 8 December (the feast of the Immaculate Conception) the prisoners were set free. From the moment that he returned to Niepokalanow, Fr Maximilian... began to organize a shelter for 3,000 Polish refugees, among whom were 2,000 Jews. "We must do everything in our power to help these unfortunate people who have been driven from their homes and deprived of even the most basic necessities. Our mission is among them in the days that lie ahead." The friars shared everything they had with the refugees. They housed, fed and clothed them, and brought all their machinery into use in their service.

Inevitably, the community came under suspicion and was watched closely. Early in 1941, in the only edition of The Knight of the Immaculate which he was allowed to publish, Fr Maximilian set pen to paper and thus provoked his own arrest. "No one in the world can change Truth," he wrote. "What we can do and should do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?"

...On 17 February 1941, he was arrested and sent to the infamous Pawiak prison in Warsaw. Here he was singled out for special ill-treatment. A witness tells us that in March of that year an SS guard, seeing this man in his habit girdled with a rosary, asked if he believed in Christ. When the priest calmly replied, "I do", the guard struck him. The SS man repeated his question several times and receiving always the same answer went on beating him mercilessly. Shortly afterwards the Franciscan habit was taken away and a prisoner's garment was substituted. On 28 May, Fr Maximilian was with over 300 others who were deported from Pawiak to Auschwitz. There he received his striped convict's garments and was branded with the number 16670. He was put to work immediately carrying blocks of stone for the construction of a crematorium wall.

On the last day of May he was assigned with other priests to the Babice section which was under the direction of "Bloody" Krott, an ex-criminal. "These men are layabouts and parisites", said the Commandant to Krott, "get them working." Krott forced the priests to cut and carry huge tree trunks. The work went on all day without a stop and had to be done running --- with the aid of vicious blows from the guards. Despite his one lung, Father Maximilain accepted the work and the blows with surprising calm. Krott conceived a relentless hatred against the Franciscan and gave him heavier tasks than the others. Sometimes his colleagues would try to come to his aid but he would not expose them to danger. Always he replied, "Mary gives me strength. All will be well." At this time he wrote to his mother, "Do not worry about me or my health, for the good Lord is everywhere and holds every one of us in his great love."

One day, Krott found some of the heaviest planks he could lay hold of and personally loaded them on the Franciscan's back, ordering him to run. When he collapsed, Krott kicked him in the stomach and face and had his men give him fifty lashes. When the priest lost consciousness Krott threw him in the mud and left him for dead. But his companions managed to smuggle him to the Revier, the camp hospital. Although he was suffering greatly, he secretly heard confessions in the hospital and spoke to the other inmates of the love of God. In Aushcwitz, where hunger and hatred reigned and faith evaporated, this man opened his heart to others and spoke of God's infinite love. He seemed never to think of himself. When food was brought in and everyone struggled to get his place in the queue so as to be sure of a share, Fr Maximilian stood aside, so that frequently there was none left for him. At other times he shared his meagre ration of soup or bread with others. He was once asked whether such self-abnegation made sense in a place where every man was engaged in a struggle or survival, and he answered: "Every man has an aim in life. For most men it is to return home to their wives and families, or to their mothers. For my part, I give my life for the good of all men."

Men gathered in secret to hear his words of love and encouragement, but it was his example which counted for most. Fr Zygmunt Rusczak remembers: "Each time I saw Fr Kolbe in the courtyard I felt within myself an extraordinary effusion of his goodness. Although he wore the same ragged clothes as the rest of us, with the same tin can hanging from his belt, one forgot his wretched exterior and was conscious only of the charm of his inspired countenance and of his radiant holiness."

There remained only the last act in the drama. The events are recorded in the sworn testimonials of former inmates of the camp, collected as part of the beatification proceedings. They are as follows:

Tadeusz Joachimowski, clerk of Block 14A: "In the summer of 1941, most probably on the last day of Juyl, the camp siren announced that there had been an escape. At the evening roll-call of the same day we, ie Block 14A, were formed up in the street between the buildings of Blocks 14 and 17. After some delay we were joined by a group of the Landwirtschafts-Kommando. During the count it was found that three prisoners from this Kommando had escaped: one from our Block and the two others from other Blocks. Lagerfuhrer Fritzsch announced that on account of the escape of the three prisoners, ten prisoners would be picked in reprisal from the blocks in which the fugitives had lived and would be assigned to the Bunker (the underground starvation cell)"

Jan Jakub Zegidewicz takes up the story from there: "After the group of doomed men had already been selected, a prisoner stepped out from the ranks of one of the Blocks. I recognized Fr Kolbe. Owing to my poor knowledge of German I did not understand what they talked about, nor do I remember whether Fr Kolbe spoke directly to Fritzsch. When making his request, Fr Kolbe stood at attention and pointed at a former non-commissioned officer known to me from the camp. It could be inferred from the expression on Fritzsch's face that he was surprised at Fr Kolbe's action. As the sign was given, Fr Kolbe joined the ranks of the doomed and the non-commissioned officer left the ranks of the doomed Firzsch had consented to the exchange. A little later, the doomed men were marched off in the direction of Block 13, the death Block."

The non-commissioned officer was Franciszek Gajowniczek. When the sentence of doom had been pronounced, Gajowniczek had cried out in despair, "Oh, my poor wife, my poor children. I shall never see them again." It was then that the unexpected had happened, and that from among the ranks of those temporarily reprieved, prisoner 16670 had stepped forward and offered himself in the other man's place. Then the ten condemned men were led off to the dreaded Bunker, to the airless underground cells were men died slowly without food or water.

Bruno Borgowiec was an eyewitness... for he was an assistant to the janitor and an interpreter... He tells us what happened: "In the cell of the poor wretches there were daily loud prayers, the rosary and singing, in which prisnoers from neighbouring cells also joined. When no SS men were in the Block, I went to the Bunker to talk to the men and comfort them. Fervent prayers and songs to the Holy Mother resounded in all the corridors of the Bunker. I had the impression I was in a church. Fr Kolbe was leading and the prisoners responded in unison. They were often so deep in prayer that they did not even hear that inspecting SS men had descended to the Bunker; and the voices fell silent only at the loud yelling of their visitors. When the cells were opened the poor wretches cried loudly and begged for a piece of bread and for water, which they did not receive, however. If any of the stronger ones approached the door he was immediately kicked in the stomach by the SS men, so that falling backwards on the cement floor he was instantly killed; or he was shot to death ... Fr Kolbe bore up bravely, he did not beg and did not complain but raised the spirits of the others. ...Since they had grown very weak, prayers were now only whispered. At every inspection, when almost all the others were now lying on the floor, Fr Kolbe was seen kneeling or standing in the centre as he looked cheerfully in the face of the SS men. Two weeks passed in this way. Meanwhile one after another they died, until only Fr Kolbe was left. This the authorities felt was too long; the cell was needed for new victims. So one day they brought in the head of the sickquarters, a German, a common criminal named Bock, who gave Fr Kolbe an injection of carbolic acid in the vein of his left arm. Fr Kolbe, with a prayer on his lips, himself gave his arm to the executioner. Unable to watch this I left under the pretext of work to be done. Immediately after the SS men with the executioner had left I returned to the cell, where I found Fr Kolbe leaning in a sitting position against the back wall with his eyes open and his head dropping sideways. His face was calm and radiant." ...

His reputation spread far and wide, through the Nazi camps and beyond. After the war newspapers all over the world were deluged with articles abouth this "saint for our times", "saint of progress", "giant of holiness". Biographies were written, and everywhere there were claims of cures being brought about through his intercession. "The life and death of this one man alone," wrote the Polish bishops, "can be proof and witness of the fact that the love of God can overcome the greatest hatred, the greatest injustice, evern death itself." The demands for his beatification became insistent, and at last on 12 Augsut 1947 proceedings started. Seventy-five witnesses were questioned. His cause was introduced on 16 March 1960. When all the usual objections had been overcome, the promoter spoke of the "charm of this magnificent fool." On 17 October 1971, Maximilian Kolbe was beatified. Like his master Jesus Christ he had loved his fellow-men to the point of sacrificing his life for them. "Greater love hath no man than this ..." and these were the opening words of the papal decree introducing the process of beatification. Fr Kolbe's canonisation was not long delayed. It was the Pope from Poland, John Paul II, who had the joy of declaring his compatriot a saint on 10 October 1982. ...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 07:03 pm
I guess it's the wrong time to bring up my impure thoughts. I was taught, as a Catholic teen in, say, 1957, in my strict but not atypical girl's school, that to have an impure thought enter your head was not a sin, but that it was a sin to accept it. This included any study of impure pictures, for example, in magazines. I was so wrought up over this that I worked it out that it didn't matter if the picture was in fact impure-thought-making, that if you thought it might be and turned the page and looked, you were being accepting of an impure thought. My confessions in those days were very complicated and my state of grace quite short lived. I then went around worrying for the next few weeks until the next confession, or I went extra times.

Luckily my thirst for knowledge, not kidding really, overcame this scrupulosity, and I broke out of my convoluted world by opening my mind...by reading books...not what I would have called smutty books, if I were one of those advisors then, but just ordinary books and magazines.

They let me know the whole world didn't think that way about sex, love, and related subjects.

To answer the original question, this all irks me a lot now. I remember some murmuring among the girls when our sophomore class Religion and Homeroom teacher had one of the few rather intimate chats with us, and explained that a woman wasn't to have pleasure in the procreative act, even in marriage. Those murmuring girls all knew more than I did, I was such a blank slate for all that instruction.
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maliagar
 
  1  
Reply Mon 18 Aug, 2003 07:52 pm
Yes. Whenever we accept a moral code, we have to find a way out the extremes of paralizing scrupulosity and pure license. And to find such a balance we need both to take control of our own walk and some sort of compass to avoid those extremes.

Unfortunately, all modern moral codes emphasize the "be your own master" part of the equation, and forget the "compass" part of it. As a result, they lead into puritanical "correctness" on one extreme, or total "do whatever you want" on the other.

One of the great things about the Christian Catholic path is that it requires both freedom and responsibility, personal initiative and a compass, boldness and humility, self-confidence and trusting the trustworthy...

ossobuco wrote:
Luckily my thirst for knowledge, not kidding really, overcame this scrupulosity...
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 12:26 am
They do? I am neither puritanically correct nor do I just do what I want, and I know many others like myself.
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 19 Aug, 2003 04:41 am
Whether one adheres to a religion or something else, it all boils down to personal character. It does not matter if one is Catholic, Jew, atheist or whatever. One could recount endless examples of saints and sinners from all camps.
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