Seminary Program

This is where we post the essays from many of our Universal Life Church Seminary students. When students finish a ULC course, they write a comprehensive essay about their experiences with the course, what they learned, didn't learn, were inspired by, etc. Here are their essays.

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Christian Studies

After reading the book,  I was really fascinated by the deep message of the Gospels, and also the image of Jesus, as described in the Gospels, was enhanced in all His aspects, some of them unrevealed to my knowledge.

I can say that the most important message of the Gospels relies in the teachings of Jesus intended as the source of Christianity.

These teachings have been reported in the Gospels as very vital words to apply to everyday’s life: we can state that  the message clue  is based on the  importance to be merciful, to forgive, to seek goodness, to respect others, to be kind and humble.

These messages have a deep meaning therein contained:  it is important to be merciful because our Father is merciful to us; we have to love our enemy and forgive because of this law; we do not have to harm the others even if they are not good with us, otherwise God will not be merciful to us;  we have to love and feel compassionate towards our enemies so that we can behave like our Father and to receive the same good attitudes to us.  In my opinion God through Jesus words is not giving a catalogue of things to do or not to do on a severe way, but these teachings are an indication to act in our life, not because  to gain good from others on an egoistic and selfish requirement, but rather to completely change our mind and make all our thoughts and behaviours as a natural way to be good, without any constriction or obligation; the change will take place in our life without we can even perceive it, but the result will be great for us and for others, a real food for our soul.  As a matter of fact,  Jesus gave His life for us and did not blame or punish the enemies; His death is the symbol of his love towards us and His loss of judge, only an example of prayer and compassion.  We should know that we have first to love ourself, which means to respect ourselves on the physical and spiritual level, in order to have consciounsness of our behaviours towards the others; we should meditate on this concept because it represents  the basis to get a better opinion of ourselves and consequently of all the others; to be compassionate implies ourselves at the very beginning, all the further steps will take place inevitably to an outerment direction.

The teaching about seeking Goodness can be interpreted as to show all the good powers and possibilities we have inside our heart in respect to others; good things will result in more good things in our life and in everybody’s life; God wants our happiness and goodness  and Jesus teachings are the way to reach this condition; on the contrary bad things may only produce evil and negativity in our life, and will negatively affect all the others’ life, unfortunately enough; God wants our well-being and love us, no bad behaviours or thoughts can be included in this concept. We have to love each other the same way He loves us, no question at all.
The teaching of respecting Others is strong and even difficult for most of us; it means that  the respect of others  is strictly connected with our possibility to love our enemies, to be peaceful, to feel compassion, to forgive; in this way we have to become humble and our life will be positively transformed because we become ourselves a tool of love for everybody who needs to be helped,  to be loved.

The same teaching of being kind is on the same level; in short we can say that we will receive the same things we are capable of giving to others; if you are kind, maybe others will be kind to you, if you respect others, they will respect you;  you do not have to expect and claim, this is not the rule, as clearly explained before:  Jesus is a living example of respect and forgiveness, the utmost expression of love towards every single human being, despite they are bad, false, enemy and so on.

In the Gospels one of the most important passage is the Sermon of  the Mount on Beatitudes where we can really understand the spirit of God through Jesus words; this sermon helps everyone to take comfort in all negative situations and gives everybody a message of hope and love; every time I read this passage I tear because of its beauty and deep meaning; if  each of us simply follows these teachings, all our life will be transformed and all our relationships will improve; these teachings are directed to every single person in the world and everyone can follow them. It is not so easy to be a real Christian because we have to overcome all the bad and negative aspects of our personality, however just making an effort, trying to apply all the Jesus teachings in our life, it can be a small step towards an opening of our heart and a positive change affecting all the aspects of our existence.

The Beatitudes:
1And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,  For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4Blessed are those who mourn,   For they shall be comforted. 5Blessed are the meek,    For they shall inherit the earth. 6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,    For they shall be filled.  7Blessed are the merciful,
    For they shall obtain mercy. 8Blessed are the pure in heart,    For they shall see God. 9Blessed are the peacemakers,    For they shall be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake,    For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Thank you and best regards.
Manuela Fasoli

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