Making Difficult Decisions

HELP WITH DIFFICULT DECISIONS

By

Rev. Eamon Tobin

Father Eamon Tobin

 

From the time we get up in the morning until we go to bed at night, we make many decisions. It has been said that we are the sum total of our decisions. When we make a decision, we are writing another line in the script of our lives. Daily, we make all kinds of decisions that impact our health, our relationships (with others and self), our character, etc. Daily, we make decisions on how to use our time, treasure and talent. Some decisions can have some very long-term effects on our lives, e.g., choice of career, whom to marry or not to marry, etc. Other choices can be very traumatic and difficult, as in the following instances. Should the expectant woman who discovers that her preborn baby has some serious physical or mental defect, carry the child to full term or terminate the pregnancy? Should the woman who has had a very difficult pregnancy be open to having another child? Should one stay in a marriage that is loveless? The decision to place a loved one in a long-term nursing facility is heart-wrenching. Equally painful is the decision to withdraw the life-support system from a family member who has no hope of recovering. We might say that nothing impacts our lives more than the decisions we make, especially the difficult ones and those with far-reaching effects.

When it comes to the difficult decisions in our lives, most of us would like to be able to pick up the phone and dial God so we could ask him what choice we should make in the particular situation we face. Often we feel that there is a conflict between what we think is good for us and what God wants for us. That is not necessarily true. We can always assume that God only wants our happiness and what is best for us. In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that he has come so that we may have “life in its full abundance.” Spiritual directors like to point out that what we most deeply desire in our hearts is also what God wants for us. The difficulty is getting at what we most deeply desire—a whole other topic.

 

Five suggestions when dealing with difficult decisions

 

Suggestion #1.  Pray for guidance and openness to whatever God may ask of us. In some situations, this will be very hard because our minds and hearts maybe set on a particular direction. For example, if a married man falls in love with another woman, he will most likely find it very hard to hear God calling him back to his wife. Because I like Ascension parish very much, I would find it hard to hear God calling me to another place. Our attachment to a particular place or relationship or job would usually make it very hard for us to have what St. Ignatius calls “interior freedom” when it comes to discernment or decision-making. In other words, how free are we to go in whatever direction God may point us? Probably not very free if our minds and hearts are set on going in one particular direction. Of course, the direction we have in mind may be the direction that God also wants for us. So as we face some difficult decision, itis very important that we not only pray for guidance and openness but also for inner freedom.

 

Suggestion #2.  Take a piece of paper and jot down the pros and cons of possible options available to us. When I was invited to consider coming to Ascension parish, I was quite happy with my previous parish and had no desire to leave. But I knew that I needed to pray for the right decision. One of the steps I took was identifying the pros and cons of why I did and did not want to come to Ascension. In doing so, I quickly realized that all my reasons for wanting to stay where I was were somewhat selfish. So after praying a little more, I recognized that God was calling me to pull up roots and move south. I am glad I did. In drawing up our list of pros and cons, it might be a good idea to enlist the help of others. Sometimes we may be blind to aspects of the dilemma we face that other people may otherwise see quite clearly.

 

Suggestion #3.  Take time to pray with our list of pros and cons. As we sit with each side of an issue, we can check how we feel. We may want to stay with one side of the issue for a few days, after which we can assess if we feel good about it or if peace is lacking. This step demands a lot of honesty, especially when we have a strong attachment to one particular option. As we struggle with our decision, it would be helpful for us to distinguish how we feel during prayer as opposed to how we feel outside of prayer. Oftentimes, the doubt and confusion we feel occurs outside of prayer. We would do well to trust more what we think and feel while we are in prayer and most open to hearing God’s voice.

 

Suggestion #4.  Discuss your decision with others. We could talk to friends who know us well and are willing to tell us what they truly think, and not what they think we want to hear. We may want to speak 2 with a counselor. What is important is to talk and listen to someone who will be objective with us.

 

Suggestion #5.  Go through three imaginative exercises recommended by St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits.

 

  • First, consider what advice we would give to another person faced with the identical situation. It would be interesting to see how clear our situation becomes when we picture someone else in the same boat.
  • Second, imagine ourselves being on our deathbed and asking which route we would have taken.
  • Third, picture ourselves standing before God on the last day and consider what decision we would like to have made in such circumstances. The latter two suggestions are pretty heavy ones but perhaps they might awaken us to the seriousness of our decisions.

 

Decision time

 

Finally, we have to make a decision of some kind. Our decision may be to take more time with the issue, placing it on hold for some time, or we may decide to go in one particular direction even though we are not at all sure that we are making the right decision. St.Ignatius counsels us not to decide while in doubt.(The assumption here is that we are in a position to wait.) The next step is to act on our decision. This can be a difficult step.

Acting on what we decide

Sometimes we can be quite clear on what we need to do but we may find it very hard to do it. For example, family members may decide that they need to confront the abuse of alcohol but they may find it extremely difficult to do what they know in their hearts is the right thing.

In our hearts, we know the right thing to do is to forgive someone who has hurt us but we may have a strong inner resistance to taking that step. Here we need to pray a lot for the grace to do what we do not feel like doing. Here prayer is crucial. We should pray for the grace to do what we believe is the right thing.

As we carry out our decision, we may wonder some months later if we made the right choice. One way to check is to ask ourselves if our choice brings us peace and is life-giving for us. Of course there maybe days when we experience a lot of conflict and struggle, and wonder if we really made the right decision. Such difficult days and feelings are normal and do not necessarily prove that we made the wrong decision. As I just said, if our decision gives us a sense of peace and life, then we have two good reasons to believe that we acted in accord with God’s will. On the other hand, if our chosen direction gives us little or no peace and drains the life out of us, then there is reason to believe that we may not have made a good decision. This raises the difficult question: what if we discover or believe strongly that we made the wrong decision? If we prayed about our decision and made an honest effort to seek God’s will, we can be very sure that God is pleased with us. As in everything else we do, the art of good decision making is developed by trial and error and, of course, with the grace of God. It has been said that there is only one real mistake, and that is the one we keep repeating and learn nothing from. The Lord does no task that we always be right; he only asks that we try our best and act out of the best understanding we have of a particular situation. Our God is so creative that he is always “writing straight with crooked lines.” Some of our best lessons are learned in the detours of life’s journey.

If you know of someone facing a difficult decision, consider sharing this column

Militant Christian Bashing

The way Christianity is portrayed in the media has changed tremendously even when paring it to media in the 70s. 

On NRATV’s Hot Mic, Bill Whittle talks about Christianity and the media.

While the average Christian doesn’t mix his religion with his politics although he may be active in both, the secular Left seems to want to make religion, that is the removal of it from the marketplace, a plank in their ideology. Dennis Prager says that can be no morality without God. Others have said that without a moral and informed society democracy or our Republic will not survive.

The problem that confronts us is the lack of Judaeo-Christian values, the breakdown of the family, abortion and the rise of sexual neutering may degrade our society so badly that we are headed for Civil War.

Three Wooden Crosses

 

“It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it’s what you leave behind when you go.”

There are some lessons here. First of all think about your legacy. What have you done to make this world a better place? What will you be remembered for? Perhaps you were one who forged strong relationships. Or maybe you always had a kind word and a lift-me-up for those around you. On the other hand you could have been a mean and nasty soul who degraded those around you. It’s not too late. You make your own world. Is it a pleasant, joyful experience or a down and dirty struggle? It’s your choice.

Second, be prepared to go at a moments notice. You never know when it is your time. Make your peace with God ahead of time. Put your affairs in order now. Later never happens. Live in the moment. Forget the past. Forgive yourself for all your past transgressions and ask for God’s forgiveness, making a commitment to not repeat your mistakes. Then put them out of your mind. What’s done is done and cannot be redone. Don’t worry about the future. What will be, will be. The future is not for us to see. Dwelling on it will not change it. Trust in the Lord. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you. With that assurance now make the most out of this moment. It is the first day of the rest of your life. It is not the past or the future that you can change or redo or make happen, it is this very moment you are in right now. Make the most of it. Then there are no regrets. You lived life to the fullest and that my friends is joyful!

When it is your time may you go with a smile on your face, joy in your heart and expectations of greater things to come!  –  Frederic L. Milliken

The Discovery Of The Ancient Home of Jesus’ Apostles, The City Of Julias

Haaretz has announced what it thinks is an important archaeological discovery. Here is their story:

Lost Roman City Of Julias

The Lost Home of Jesus’ Apostles Has Just Been Found, Archaeologists Say

Archaeologists believe Julias, the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip, was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee

Noa Shpigel and Ruth Schuster

Archaeologists think they may have found the lost Roman city of Julias, the home of three apostles of Jesus: Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). A multi-layered site discovered on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, is the spot, the team believes.

The key discovery is of an advanced Roman-style bathhouse. That in and of itself indicates that there had been a city there, not just a fishing village, Dr. Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret College told Haaretz.

A Roman Bathhouse

None other than the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius – in fact the only source describing this city’s existence – wrote that the Jewish monarch King Philip Herod, son of the great vassal King Herod, transformed Bethsaida, which had been a Jewish fishing village, into a real Roman polis (Ant. 18:28. Though whether it was built on Bethsaida, or by it, remains unknown.

Philip flatteringly renamed the city “Julias” after Livia Drusilla, who after marriage would become known as Julia Augusta, the mother of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.
“Josephus reported that the king had upgraded Bethsaida from a village into a polis, a proper city,” Aviam says meticulously. “He didn’t say it had been built on or beside or underneath it. And indeed, all this time, we have not known where it was. But the bathhouse attests to the existence of urban culture.”

Josephus himself would take over fortifying Bethsaida’s defenses (as reported by himself) ahead of the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome that began in 67 C.E., and would end in disaster for the Jews in 70 C.E.  Josephus himself claims to have been hurt in battle in the swamp near Julias (Life 399-403).

There are actually three candidates for Julias: this one, called el-Araj; and two nearby sites by the lake. After unexpectedly finding the bathhouse and other Roman-era remains below the (previously known) Byzantine ruins at the site, the archaeologists think this site, at the delta of the  River Jordan on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, is the strongest candidate.

The Julias archaeological dig

What the archaeologists found at el-Araj is an older layer dating from the late Roman period, the 1st to 3rd centuries C.E., two meters below the Byzantine level. That Roman layer contained pottery sherds from the 1st to the 3rd centuries B.C.E., a mosaic, and the remains of the bathhouse. Two coins were found, a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius featuring the Emperor Nero from the year 65-66 C.E.

And has a major missing church been found too? The excavators found walls with gilded glass tesserae for a mosaic, an indication of a wealthy and important church. Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, visited the Holy Land in 725 C.E., and in his itinerary, he describes his visit to a church at Bethsaida that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew. It may well be that the current excavations have unearthed evidence for that church, say the archaeologists.

A key argument in favor of el-Araj being Julias lies in a mistake about the level of the Sea of Galilee, claim the archaeologists.

Based on calculations by the excavators of nearby Magdala, most archaeologists assume that the level of the lake was 209 meters below sea level during the Roman period. They therefore assume that the site of el-Araj was under water until the Byzantine period. But either the ancient Romans had gills, or it wasn’t.

The Roman layer discovered is 211 meters below sea level. The level of the lake was evidently lower than previously thought, “and el-Araj most certainly was not under water in the Roman period,” they state.

Geologists Prof. Noam Greenbaum from Haifa University and Dr. Nati Bergman from the Yigal Alon Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, studied the layers of the site and concluded that the site was covered with mud and clay that were carried by the Jordan River in the late Roman period, which corresponds to a gap in material remains from about 250 C.E. to 350 C.E. Later, in the Byzantine period, the site was resettled, the archaeologists conclude. Stay tuned for further discoveries as excavations, funding permitting, continue.

 

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.805402

 

 

 

Everything Is A Value

 

Dennis Prager starts off explaining American values.  The French, representing most of European thinking, have” Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” while the United States has “Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.”  It is the “In God We Trust” that Prager says is under attack and it is that with which he devotes his talk.

Prager tells us:

“The notion that you can get rid of God and retain American Values is false.”

He then goes on to explain the War against God. He reminds us that all our Rights are from God. That is the American way. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But the secular society that disavows that is saying that we can do fine without God.

“If there is no God, murder is not wrong,” says Prager. All morality then becomes subjective, that is made up.

“Everything is a value. Nothing is fixed”

Examples:

  1. morality
  2. marriage
  3. children
  4. family

Prager then tells us the question he is apt to ask women when coming in contact with them: “If you could have a great career or a great marriage which would you choose?”

The problem is, according to Prager, You can devalue anything that is a value for nothing is intrinsic. And that is how he sees today’s secular society.

We invite you to watch the entire video from one of today’s great religious, political and philosophic minds – Dennis Prager

“Where there is no God, there is no wisdom.”

 

A Proof For God’s Existence From Quantum Physics

Pastor Charles Nestor II gives a proof for the existence of God from the findings in quantum physics.

Who Is The Ultimate Observer?

So if consciousness plays such an important part in what kind of world we live in, then perhaps we shape our own reality and we determine what kind of world we live in by the interpretation we individually assign to our Observations. That makes us spiritual people and the world a spiritual place not a mechanical one. If that be so then this is where science and religion join hands.

I am struck by the words of Neale Donald Walsch:

“When what you are doing is a reflection of what you are being, rather than an attempt to create what you wish you were being, you will know that you have produced lasting change in yourself.  This is what produces lasting change in the world.”

“Remember what was said earlier.  You cannot do peaceful, you can only be peaceful.  You cannot do loving, you can only be loving.  You cannot do unified, you can only be unified.”

“Seek, then, to shift your state of being.  Do not seek first to change the world, seek first to change the self.”

“When you achieve that, your actions will automatically change.” 

And then add Theologian Dr. Kenneth Boa who said this:

“Being and doing are clearly interrelated, but the biblical order is critical: what we do should flow out of who we are not the other way around.  Otherwise our worth and identity are determined by achievements and accomplishments, and when we stop performing, we cease to be valuable.  When people answer the question ‘Who are you?’ by what they do, the world has a way of responding, ‘so what have you done lately?’” 

Collective Evolution has a great article on Conscious, The Observer and Quantum Physics below:

“CONSCIOUSNESS CREATES REALITY” – PHYSICISTS ADMIT THE UNIVERSE IS IMMATERIAL, MENTAL & SPIRITUAL

“Consciousness creates reality,” a statement that has gained a lot of attention across various alternative media outlets around the world. Make no mistake, consciousness has been (for quite some time) studied by numerous scientists, especially in its relation to quantum physics and how it might be correlated with the nature of our reality.

“Looking for consciousness in the brain is like looking in the radio for the announcer.” – Nasseim Haramein, director of research for the Resonance Project

“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.”  –  Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918

“It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”  Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963

The statement that “consciousness creates reality” comes with a number of different questions. Does this mean we as individuals (and on a collective level as one human race) can shape and create whatever reality we’d like for ourselves? Does it mean we can manifest a certain lifestyle, and attract certain experiences? Does it happen instantly? Does it take time? How do we do it?

Although we might not be able to answer these questions with absolute scientific certainty, we do know that yes, a correlation between consciousness and our physical material world does indeed exist in some way, shape or form. The extent of that correlation (again from a modern day scientific point of view) is still not well understood, but we know of the correlation, and we know it must have some sort of significance.

“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.”  – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University ,  “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) (source)

The Science Behind The Statement “Consciousness Creates Reality”

The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. It is a great example that documents how factors associated with consciousness and our physical material world are connected in some way.

One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)

In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern. (source)

“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” (source)

Although this is one of the most popular experiments used to posit the connection between consciousness and physical reality, there are several other  studies that clearly show that consciousness, or factors that are associated with consciousness are directly correlated with our reality in some way. A number of experiments in the field of parapsychology have also demonstrated this.

Sure, we might not understand the extent of this connection, and in most cases scientists can’t even explain it. However they are, and have been observed time and time again.

Below is a video  demonstration from the film “What The Bleep Do We Know.”

Other examples that we’ve written about are government sponsored psychokinesis experiments, the global consciousness experiment, intelligence agency remote viewing experiments, thoughts and intentions altering the structure of water, the placebo effect, teleportation studies and more. You can find more details about those specific experiments HERE.

Some other related CE articles that relate to this subject are listed below:

Buddhist Monks Bless Tea With Good Intention

Fascinating Study Shows Human Intention Can Help Heal Cancer Patients

How We Can Incorporate This Information Into Our Lives & Use Consciousness To Transform The World

Change requires action, but the place within which that action comes from is most important.

Modern day science, especially quantum physics, has been catching up to ancient mysticism and concepts that are/were so deeply ingrained in various cultures throughout the ancient world. One great example of this is the fact that everything is energy , and nothing is solid. You can read more about that here.

“We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.” – Gautama Buddha

“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” – Dalai Lama (source)

A great example of quantum physics meeting ancient wisdom is seen in the fact that Nikola Tesla was influenced by Vedic philosophy when pondering his ideas of zero point energy. You can read more about that here.

So why is this relevant? It’s relevant because new physics, as mentioned above, is pointing to the fact that the observer shapes the reality. The way we think and perceive could be  responsible and play a vital role in the physical construct we see in front of us.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Unknown

If we look at the world and examine it on a collective level, what do we see? How do we perceive it? Right now, the masses perceive it as being born, going to school, paying bills, raising a family and finding a “job” within the current paradigm to support yourself. No judgement here, but many people on the planet are not resonating with this experience. They want change. We’ve been repeating and perceiving our reality this way for a very long time, with very little information about what is really happening on and to our planet. It’s almost like we are robotic drones that are trained and brainwashed to accept things the way they are. To not question what is happening in our world and to continue on with the status quo, only caring for ourselves and our own lives. As Noam Chomsky would say, our consent has been manufactured. If we continue down this path and continue to perceive and view reality as “this is just the way it is,” we will, in essence, prolong that type of existence and experience for the human race without ever changing it.

In order to create and manifest a new reality for ourselves, our thought patters and the way we perceive reality must change. What changes the way we perceive reality? Information does. When new information emerges it changes the way we look at things and as a result, our reality changes, and we begin to manifest a new experience and open our minds to a broader view of reality. Not to say that we can’t manifest a new physical form in the blink of an eye, and that we are not capable of doing that, but it appears to be something that takes time, something gradual, something we don’t quite understand yet.

What’s also important about teachings from new physics is that, if factors of consciousness are associated with the creation of our reality, that means change starts within. It starts with the way in which we are observing the outer world from our inner world. This touches on the earlier point of how we perceive our reality. Our perception of the external world might very well be a reflection of our inner world, our inner state of being. So ask yourself, are you happy? Are you observing, perceiving and acting from a place of love? From a place of hate or anger? From a place of peace? All of these factors are associated with our consciousness, with our observation, the one (or the many) who are doing the “observing” might play a large role in what type of physical world the human race manifests for itself, what do you think?

We are indeed the observers,  can we create change and break patterns to open up new possibilities, change our direction, all through the way in which we observe ourselves, others and the world around us.

I believe that the human race is in the process of waking up to a number of different things, simultaneously. As a result, the way we perceive and “observe” the world around us (on a mass scale) is starting to drastically change. So if you want to help change the world, change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” This statement (worldview statement) was by Lord Kelvin in 1900, which was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. The new theories proposed by Einstein challenged the current (at that time) framework of understanding. This forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of the true nature of our reality. A great example of how things that once were regarded as truth have changed.

“Lord Kelvins statements bares with it the voice of paradigms past…We knew that the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the center of the universe, and we knew that a manmade heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (source)

England’s Medieval Cathedrals

5 Minute History reports:

From the Middle Ages until the advent of the skyscraper, Cathedrals were often the world’s tallest buildings.
In 1311, the spire of Lincoln Cathedral surpassed the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

They reached for the heavens to the glory of God.

Immerse yourself in the majesty of these magnificent monuments with Gregorio Allegri’s captivating Miserere mei, Deus as we take a journey inside England’s Medieval Cathedrals.

Bristol Cathedral, Bristol

A unique feature of Bristol Cathedral is its 14th-century Decorated Gothic vaulting. The short lierne ribs of the choir form beautiful stellar patterns that historian Nikolaus Pevsner called “superior to anything else in England” in terms of spatial imagination.

The nave of Bristol Cathedral looking west towards the entrance. Credit: David Iliff
The nave of Bristol Cathedral looking west towards the entrance. Credit: David Iliff
Vaulting of the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Vaulting of the choir. Credit: David Iliff

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent

One of the largest cathedrals in England, Canterbury Cathedral is famous for its 12th- and 13th-century stained glass, its perpendicular nave, the tomb of the Black Prince, and the site of St. Thomas Becket’s murder.

Canterbury Cathedral - 12th-century choir. Credit: David Iliff
Canterbury Cathedral – 12th-century choir. Credit: David Iliff
Canterbury Cathedral - The stained glass of the southern side of Trinity Chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Canterbury Cathedral – The stained glass of the southern side of Trinity Chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Canterbury Cathedral- stained glass window- detail showing miracles of healing
Canterbury Cathedral- stained glass window- detail showing miracles of healing
Canterbury Cathedral - upper half of Poor man's Bible window
Canterbury Cathedral – upper half of Poor man’s Bible window

Chester Cathedral, Cheshire

Chester Cathedral’s choir has exquisite figurative carving dating from 1380.

The building of the nave, which began in 1323, was halted by plague and not completed until 150 years later.

Chester Cathedral - Choir Stalls and Rood Screen. Credit: David Iliff
Chester Cathedral – Choir Stalls and Rood Screen. Credit: David Iliff
Chester Cathedral - The building of the nave, begun in 1323, was halted by plague and completed 150 years later. Credit: Michael Beckwith
Chester Cathedral – The nave. Credit: Michael Beckwith

Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex

Notable features include a transitional retro-choir, early Norman relief carvings and the 15th-century belfry. The spire can be seen from the English Channel.

Chichester Cathedral - The Choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Chichester Cathedral – The Choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Chichester Cathedral - The Lady Chapel. Credit: Richard Gillin
Chichester Cathedral – The Lady Chapel. Credit: Richard Gillin

Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Architecturally, Ely Cathedral is outstanding both for its scale and stylistic details. Built in a monumental Romanesque style, the galilee porch, lady chapel and choir were rebuilt in an exuberant Decorated Gothic.

One of the most important features is the central octagon built in 1322, which experts consider to be a wonder of English cathedral architecture.

The choir of Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire. Credit: David Iliff
The choir of Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire. Credit: David Iliff
The nave of Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire. Credit: David Iliff
The nave of Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire. Credit: David Iliff
Ely Cathedral - The ceiling of the nave and lantern, viewed from the Octagon. Credit: David Iliff
Ely Cathedral – The ceiling of the nave and lantern, viewed from the Octagon. Credit: David Iliff

Exeter Cathedral, Devon

A good example of the Decorated Gothic style of the 14-th century, Exeter Cathedral has the longest medieval vault in the world—running between two Norman towers built over the transepts.

Exeter Cathedral - looking east toward the organ. Credit: David Iliff
Exeter Cathedral – looking east toward the organ. Credit: David Iliff
Exeter Cathedral - The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Exeter Cathedral – The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff

Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire

Massive masonry piers characterize the Norman nave, and the largest medieval window in the world is the area of a tennis court.

Gloucester Cathedral - The nave looking east toward the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Gloucester Cathedral – The nave looking east toward the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Gloucester Cathedral - The soaring stained glass windows behind the high altar. Credit: David Iliff
Gloucester Cathedral – The soaring stained glass windows behind the high altar. Credit: David Iliff

The cloisters have the earliest example of fan-vaulting, making a distinctive setting for scenes of the Harry Potter film series.

Gloucester Cathedral - Cloisters with fan vaulted roof was used as a location in the Harry Potter film series
Gloucester Cathedral – Cloisters with fan vaulted roof

Hereford Cathedral, Herefordshire

A Norman nave and large central tower with unusual north transept and porch house an important treasure—the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century.

Hereford Cathedral - The nave looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Hereford Cathedral – The nave looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Hereford Cathedral - The Choir. Credit: David Iliff
Hereford Cathedral – The Choir. Credit: David Iliff

The Early English Lady Chapel is considered “one of the most beautiful of the thirteenth century”.

Hereford Cathedral - The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Hereford Cathedral – The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff

Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire

The only one of the cathedrals to have retained three spires, Lichfield Cathedral suffered serious damage during the English Civil War. Even though all of the stained glass was destroyed, the Lady Chapel retained some of the finest medieval Flemish painted glass in existence.

Lichfield Cathedral - The High Altar. Credit: David Iliff
Lichfield Cathedral – The High Altar. Credit: David Iliff
Lichfield Cathedral - The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Lichfield Cathedral – The choir. Credit: David Iliff

Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire

The third largest in Britain, Lincoln Cathedral was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt, but even so the Victorian writer John Ruskin called it “out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have.”

Lincoln Cathedral - The nave looking east. Credit: David Iliff
Lincoln Cathedral – The nave looking east. Credit: David Iliff
Lincoln Cathedral - Interior view of the crossing tower. Credit: David Iliff
Lincoln Cathedral – Interior view of the crossing tower. Credit: David Iliff
Lincoln Cathedral - The choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Lincoln Cathedral – The choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff

Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk

Norwich Cathedral’s Norman tower surmounted by a 15th-century spire is the second tallest in England, surpassed only by Salisbury Cathedral. The spectacular vaulting has hundreds of ornately carved, painted and gilded bosses, each decorated with a theological image, and said to be without parallel in the Christian world.

Norwich Cathedral - The presbytery as viewed from the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Norwich Cathedral – The presbytery as viewed from the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Norwich Cathedral - The pulpitum. Credit: David Iliff
Norwich Cathedral – The pulpitum. Credit: David Iliff
Norwich Cathedral - The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Norwich Cathedral – The choir. Credit: David Iliff

Oxford Cathedral, Oxfordshire

One of the oldest in England, Oxford Cathedral’s 13th-century stone spire perfectly complements Oxford’s tradition as “the city of dreaming spires”. But the late-15th-century pendant vault over the Norman chancel is its most unusual feature.

Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford - The altar and vault. Credit: David Iliff
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford – The altar and vault. Credit: David Iliff
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford - The Choir. Credit: David Iliff
Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford – The Choir. Credit: David Iliff

Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire

Known for its imposing Early English Gothic West Front, Peterborough Cathedral’s nave has a decorated wooden ceiling which is unique in Britain and one of only four in Europe.

The structure of the building remains largely unaltered since it was completed almost 800 years ago.

Peterborough Cathedral - The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Peterborough Cathedral – The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Peterborough Cathedral - The lady chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Peterborough Cathedral – The lady chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Peterborough Cathedral - The High Altar
Peterborough Cathedral – The High Altar

Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire

Dating from the 7th century to 1522, Ripon Cathedral’s choir is famed for its richly carved 14th-century stalls, with many lively figures among the carvings.

Ripon Cathedral - The nave, showing a clear asymmetry in the arches. Credit: David Iliff
Ripon Cathedral – The nave, showing a clear asymmetry in the arches. Credit: David Iliff
Ripon Cathedral - The rood screen. Credit: David Iliff
Ripon Cathedral – The rood screen. Credit: David Iliff
Ripon Cathedral - The organ. Credit: David Iliff
Ripon Cathedral – The organ. Credit: David Iliff

St Albans Cathedral, Hertfordshire

St Albans is the second longest cathedral in the United Kingdom (after Winchester), but it has the longest nave. Much of the structure was built from bricks salvaged from the nearby site of an ancient Roman town called Verulamium. Medieval wall paintings and a painted wooden roof from the late 13th century are among its other attractions.

St Albans Cathedral - The Wallingford Screen of c. 1480—the statues are Victorian replacements (1884–89) of the originals, destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when the screen itself was also damaged. Credit: David Iliff
St Albans Cathedral – The Wallingford Screen of c. 1480—the statues are Victorian replacements (1884–89) of the originals, destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when the screen itself was also damaged. Credit: David Iliff
St Albans Cathedral - The choir. Credit: David Iliff
St Albans Cathedral – The choir. Credit: David Iliff

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire

With its harmonious proportions and the tallest spire in the United Kingdon, Salisbury epitomises the English Medieval Cathedral. It houses the world’s oldest working clock (from AD 1386), and the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta.

Salisbury Cathedral - The nave looking east from the font. Credit: David Iliff
Salisbury Cathedral – The nave looking east from the font. Credit: David Iliff
Salisbury Cathedral's Trinity Chapel (Lady Chapel) ceiling. Credit: David Iliff
Salisbury Cathedral’s Trinity Chapel (Lady Chapel) ceiling. Credit: David Iliff
Salisbury Cathedral - The Choir. Credit: Julian guffogg
Salisbury Cathedral – The Choir. Credit: Julian guffogg

Wells Cathedral, Somerset

Wells has been variously described as “unquestionably one of the most beautiful” and as “the most poetic” of English cathedrals.

Pure Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Wells features deeply sculpted moldings and has retained much of the original glass.

Wells Cathedral - The nave, viewed from the entrance. Credit: David Iliff
Wells Cathedral – The nave, viewed from the entrance. Credit: David Iliff
Wells Cathedral - The Chapter House. Credit: David Iliff
Wells Cathedral – The Chapter House. Credit: David Iliff
Wells Cathedral - The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff
Wells Cathedral – The Lady Chapel. Credit: David Iliff

Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

The longest medieval cathedral in the world, Winchester’s spectacular perpendicular nave has been literally carved out of the original Norman interior, with its tall arches and prominent vertical design.

Winchester features elaborate wooden carvings from many different periods as well as a magnificent stone screen behind the High Altar.

Winchester Cathedral - The nave viewed from the west looking towards the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Winchester Cathedral – The nave viewed from the west looking towards the choir. Credit: David Iliff
Winchester Cathedral - The Choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Winchester Cathedral – The Choir looking west. Credit: David Iliff
Winchester Cathedral - The High Altar. Credit: David Iliff
Winchester Cathedral – The High Altar. Credit: David Iliff

Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire

Worcester Cathedral incorporates  styles from every century from the 11th to the 16th.

The earliest part of the building is the multi-columned Norman crypt, with the nave showing a unique and decorative transition between Norman and Gothic over a 200-year period.

The Cathedral chancel contains the tomb of King John.

Worcester Cathedral - The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Worcester Cathedral – The choir. Credit: David Iliff
Worcester Cathedral - The lady chapel and east window. Credit: David Iliff
Worcester Cathedral – The lady chapel and east window. Credit: David Iliff
Worcester Cathedral - The transept organ-case. Credit: David Iliff
Worcester Cathedral – The transept organ-case. Credit: David Iliff

York Minster, North Yorkshire

One of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe, York Minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave with the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. The large central window has fine Flowing Decorated tracery called the “Heart of Yorkshire”.

Now an honorific title, “Minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches.

York Minster - The nave of York Minster. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster – The nave of York Minster. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster - The Kings Screen and organ. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster – The Kings Screen and organ. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster - The chapter house. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster – The chapter house. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster - The Choir. Credit: David Iliff
York Minster – The Choir. Credit: David Iliff

Getting Beyond Crayon Christianity

When Dinesh D’Souza talks about Crayon Christianity he is emphasizing the fact that many Christians have not progressed from the simple teachings of their faith they learned as a child.

D’Souza talks about being able to contend for our faith. We need to equip ourselves with a more adult and complete understanding of our faith so that we will not lose it to those who have enticing other answers. Too many Christians are unprepared for the onslaught of sophisticated Atheism, he preaches.

We need to know about Atheism and what Atheists are saying that has little truth. In short we need to become adults in our religion and to actively pursue a study of it. And to do that we need to get beyond Crayon Christianity and into a mature realization of why we are Christians.  If we ae practicing something for which we do not know why, we are mindless robots.

In short we must go BEYOND KNOWLEDGE INTO WISDOM.

Dennis Prager & Michael Shermer: Religion, Government, and the Founding Fathers (Pt. 3)

“Without God A Limited Government Won’t Work”

Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to discuss the individual vs the collective, the founding fathers and their view on religion and God, what is responsible for the crumbling of Europe and American universities, the criteria we use to decide what is right and wrong, Islamophobia and more

Dennis Prager and Michael Shermer

Dennis Prager & Michael Shermer: Discussing Belief

Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to discuss why they believe or don’t believe, atheism vs agnosticism, the probability of parallel universes, and whether or not they think the other one could be right in their beliefs .

You can’t learn morality from nature

Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to debate morality, God, and murder.

There is no good and evil if there is no God. There is only opinions of good and evil.

Dennis Prager and Michael Shermer

One of the points that Prager makes that you will find in the videos above is that most Believers have doubts at one time or another. But then he goes on to say Atheists have no doubts. This points out the difference between an ideological obsession and a religious truth. You can’t worship the absence of something.

If you are having doubts at this moment these two videos are well worth watching. And by the way Part 3 is yet to come and will be featured in an upcoming post.