We continue our examination of the two wisdoms in James 3 using examples in Paul's letters to the Corinthians and Peter's interaction with Jesus at the end of the Gospel according to John.
In tonight's study we finish James 3 with his discussion of the Wisdom from Above and the resulting peace. We then start chapter 4 and begin a discussion of prayer, why our prayers are not always answered, and how we often do not pray or exercise faith in a spiritually mature way. This leads to a further discussion of faith, and trust drawing upon some of the writings of Saint Faustina.
In the first half of our study, we compare asking rightly and wrongly in prayer, praying according to God's will, and how that ties to trust. We discuss "good person syndrome" and examine the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the second half, we examine modes of prayer drawing upon the writings of Teresa of Avila.
In tonight's study we connect James' depiction of praying wrongfully with his condemnation of spiritual adultery and then explore the theme of spiritual idolatry in the prophets. We also take time to establish the historical context of the prophets by reading the contemporaneous accounts in First and Second Kings.
In tonight's study, we continue to explore the meaning of spiritual adultery as expressed in James 4:4 by examining sections of the prophets Hosea and Jeremiah as well as several New Testament scriptures. We also raise and answer a question about divorce and remarriage.
We transition from spiritual adultery by humans to God's fidelity toward us and our trust in that fidelity. We continue to humility in light of that trust, our submission to God and our taking a stand against Satan based upon James 4:5-8 and I Peter 5:6-9
We start tonight with a question about going beyond superficial Christianity into Christian maturity and walking with the Saints. We next continue with the themes of purification as we approach God, humbling ourselves before God, and the interaction of humility and judgment. We end introducing a discussion on self-will.
We begin this study with a further exploration of last week's question about moving off the beach into the interior, i.e., moving from immature to mature Christianity, including examining how false humility can keep us from advancing in the Christian life. We then continue with the issue of self-will, sacrificing our wills to God's will, and the height and depth of what that means. We illustrate these issues of self-will brought up in James 4:13-16 with writings from Saint Faustina and Saint Teresa of Avila.
We discuss sins of omission based on James 4:17 and see how it leads to a life of doing the love God places in front of us and how this dovetails into living a life free of self-will. We then begin James 5 and enter a discussion of how the world has not changed much, the seeming futility of battling against a world that never changes, and finding meaning in each moment.
Tonight's study consisted entirely of comments and questions. The initial questions sprang from our reading of James 5 and deal with the idea of saving a soul by bringing them back to the practice of the faith. We then proceed to a discussion about the roles of faith and grace in salvation.
We resume a discussion of questions raised in the last study and new questions tonight. We address the difference between Baptism and Confirmation as two sacraments involving the Holy Spirit. We begin an overview of Grace, Faith, and Salvation and digress into the topics of Original Sin and Infant Baptism.
We began James chapter 5 in earnest tonight and immediately plunged into the challenges of wealth. We cross referenced the words of Jesus, Paul, and Solomon to help shape our understanding of wealth and Jesus' admonition to poverty.
In our study of James 5:1-6, we revisit the subject of wealth, voluntary poverty, detachment, solidarity with the poor, and proper use of wealth. We examine the echos of the Law and Prophets regarding economic justice in James. Finally, we discuss whether or not we should resist oppression.