Time and spirituality

You invest in your material possessions, your appearance, your social standing and the trappings of success, you keep fit and eat well – and yet, something is missing. Are you investing in your spiritual life?

What are we missing?

Our lives are a precious gift and to squander our full potential on the pursuit of material goods is to miss the purpose of life altogether. We need to ask ourselves, what exactly have we done in our lives? As you approach your final days, do you think you will look back and applaud yourself for swapping months of your time to purchase that designer watch? Or forgoing your children’s milestone events in order to work overtime and afford that slightly better car?
But! The most precious gift of all is to be able to look back over our lives and give thanks for the experiences we shared, the relationships we built, the love we had and the difference we were able to make in the world.

Life is there to be lived!

So! Beyond the necessity level, life is there to be lived! This means investing in health, well-being, and spirituality. It means:

  • Going outside for a walk in nature and rejoicing in all that is around you.
  • Prioritizing people who we love.
  • Considering our role in the world and the good that we can do around us.

And what about our loved ones? Think about children and the thing they desire above all else – the love and approval of their parents. The greatest gift you can give them is your time. And with adults, you can show your love in far more beautiful ways than by buying expensive trinkets – buy a prayer for success, happiness or even forgiveness.

Rethinking how you live

By emphasizing the spiritual dimension of our lives, we open ourselves up to experiencing the true meaning and joy of a life well lived – rather than a life squandered on the endless pursuit of material possessions.
Most of all, it’s never too late. Embrace today as an opportunity. Leave work on time. Put that shopping catalog away and simply spend time with your loved ones, listening to their stories and building real memories together. Suddenly, time will take on a new dimension and the urgency of a life well lived will reveal itself to you.
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They say the power of Confession is positive. Is it?

WE KNOW CONFESSION IS ONE OF THE SACRAMENTS, BUT CAN WE SEE IN IT A RELATIONSHIP AS WELL?

2000 Years Tradition in Modern Time

The Sacrament

Confession of sins, otherwise known as the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Hence it is a crucial part of following God in our everyday lives. Moreover, confession has been so for thousands of years. Historically, the forms of confession have varied over the centuries, ranging from public confessions and self-organized repentance to the more canonical tariff penance.
Eventually, the private confession is the customary way, ever since it became widespread in the 16th century. However, the necessity and meaning of it have stayed the same. Confession is a way to maintain our relationship with Jesus.

Constant Development of the Soul

By honoring Jesus’s sacrifice for our sins, so that it would not be in vain. Just like in any relationship, where admitting and regretting our wrongdoings often lets us mend it and move forward.
Confession to Christ cleanses us of our sins, lets us try to make up for them and relieves us from burden and guilt. Hence we can move our lives in a new direction, towards salvation.
Confession is both what improves us and lets us feel the immensity of God’s love. God will not abandon us, even when we fail, neither the faithful community that supports us.

Modern Time

Even in the age of modern technology, which is known to desensitize or isolate us, skewing our perception of sin, the presence of Jesus is there. Even if we can’t connect with our local priest, we can do it through a confession online with a priest located in the Holy Land, and he will remind us of the importance of Confession and calls us to examine the state of our spirits.

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Sacraments. Do we really know what their meanings are?

What is the difference between the sacraments of the dead and the sacraments of the living?

The Basic

According to the Catholic Culture Dictionary, Sacraments are defined as, “Those sacraments which can be validly and fruitfully received when a person is not in the state of grace. They are baptism, penance, and, if needed, anointing of the sick. These sacraments confer or restore sanctifying grace and confer actual graces when received by one who is already in God’s friendship”.

Sacraments of the Dead

“Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”.
(John 3:5)

In death, we want to enter into God’s Kingdom. With Baptism and Penance, we are preparing our spirit to receive God’s blessing to achieve his approval. Therefore, they are called the Sacraments of the Dead

Sacraments of the living

Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are called sacraments of the living because their chief purpose is to give more grace to souls already spiritually alive through sanctifying grace.

Jesus Christ’s signs

Getting into Heaven is our goal, according to Matthew 6:25-33. One must have Sanctifying Grace in their soul when one dies to enter Heaven. Sanctifying Grace is God’s life in the soul and is chiefly obtained through the Seven Sacraments. A Sacrament is an outward sign made by Jesus Christ to give one grace. An outward sign is anything one can see, hear, or feel, which tells one about something one cannot see. Each Sacrament is a direct encounter with Christ, who is the One who really gives the Sacrament. Christ gave His Church only the essential parts of each Sacrament; the Church has surrounded each Sacrament with a ceremony.
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What is God’s plan and Transfiguration?

What is God’s plan and Transfiguration?

One of the most important days for any Christian is the Transfiguration of the Lord. The light of God was shown to Jesus, the apostles, and then to everyone else in the future.

In the books of Mark 9:2-8, Matthew 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36 we are presented with the Transfiguration of Jesus Christ. While in Luke 9 there is a focus on the collection of incidents that clarifies the identity of Jesus Christ, on Mark 9 we have a good emphasis on the event itself.

“(2) Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, (3) and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white.
(4) Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. (5) Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (6) He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.
(7) Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!” (8) Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus”

Moses and Jesus

The transfiguration of Jesus is a confirmation that his suffering will end in glory. According to Luke 9:32, “Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him”. Therefore, we can see in this scene the acceptance and approval of Jesus as God’s son, and as the successor of Moses.
In both stories, we see the following resemblance: the six days, the mountain, the radiance is seen on their faces and the clouds (Exod. 19:16; 24:15-18; 34:29-35). Also, we see that the Mountain is also a place of prayer, Luke (6:12; 22:39-41). Both Moses and Elijah represent the Old Testament Law as well as the prophets, while Jesus represents the new law.

God’s Plan

But what did the apostles learn on the mountaintop? This experience allowed them to peer deeply into the identity of Jesus and better understand his divine mission from heaven. The Mount Tabor experience is imperative for the journey up to Jerusalem, as it strengthened Jesus and the apostles. It also provides us the perspective, vision, and strength of our lives as Christians and disciples. The transfiguration of Jesus teaches us that God’s brilliant life included death, and there is no way around it, only through it. It also reminds us that the terrifying darkness can be radiant and dazzling.

Transfiguration & Rosary

Pope John Paul II made the Transfiguration as one of the five Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. The Luminous Mystery Rosary or the Mysteries of Light focus on the public life of Jesus, the years he was preaching spanning the time between His Baptism and His death. They are called the Mysteries of Light because Jesus is the light of the World. Jesus as the light is mentioned several times in St. John’s Gospel.

What is a Spirit?

What is a spirit?

What Is A Spirit?

What is its/her origin? Are there different types? What are the Influences of the Spirit? In this article, we will discuss these questions from the Christianity point of view

Origin and Influence

The word “spirit” comes from the words “breath” or “wind” because both are expressing an existence of something we cannot see but understand its power. And when Jesus explained to his disciples about the Holy Spirit he emphasized the connection and difference between the Spirit and the Flesh. For example: In John 3:5-7, Jesus told Nicodemus, a religious leader who was trying to understand the teachings of Jesus that

“Jesus answered,

5 Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[a] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[b] must be born again”.

Therefore when the Holy Spirit comes into a person, he imparts the life of God and makes the person.

The Spirit in Jesus

According to John 15:26, the Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus, from the Father, to dwell in a person. “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me”. The Holy Spirit is God that is working with the Father and the Son.

Holy Spirit’s power

The Holy Spirit makes the difference between being religious, but spiritually dead, and being religious and spiritually alive. The spirit, therefore, brings spiritual life. According to Romans 8:9, “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit; if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ”. In Ephesians 5:18, St. Paul said that the Holy Spirit can fill us. This understanding is also available in Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31; 9:17; and 13:51. Even though our current life can feel like it’s situated in the physical, there is more. Once we begin having a spiritual lifestyle, God is able to work with the Spirit and save us from sins.

We should, therefore, seek for the Holy Spirit’s power at all times.


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What is a spirit?

What are the outcomes of the Original Sin?

What are the outcomes of the Original Sin?

The Bible doesn’t clearly state what made Eve follow the Serpent instead of God. But we can say what happened afterward. Today, we should ask what we can do if we, like Eve, have sinned.

According to the Christian tradition, the original sin affected the whole humankind. Adam and Eve, the first humans and parents of mankind, committed the first sin known as the Original Sin. God had created the world and placed humans in the Garden of Eden. Although they had all they needed to thrive and nourish, they eventually disobeyed him. In the Garden, God gave them laws to maintain the order. One of the laws was the prohibition of eating the fruits from the Tree of Knowledge. Unfortunately for the whole humankind, the serpent had deceived Eve. Therefore, by telling her to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, the road to the first sin had begun.

Effects of the Original Sin

In Christianity, the principle of this sin explains why there are so much trouble and wrong in the world. On a worldly scale, the effects of the universality of sin are seen in things such as cruelty, abuse, genocide and exploitation experienced in daily life.

How to cure the Original Sin

As a result of the disobedience of the first parents, humans became helpless. According to Christianity, we are helpless against our sinful nature since it was programmed. But there is a way the human can be saved from the consequences of sin. Redemption is possible and Jesus is the key. For people who sinned, the path towards earning their redemption starts by accepting God’s grace. Jesus shows us the way of believing in forgiveness through many ways, but mainly through his death on the cross. This is the only way sinful humans can realize the benefits lost by the fall of man and get on the path to return to the original state in the Garden of Eden.

What did God destine for Mother Mary?

GOD DESTINE FOR MOTHER MARY

What did God destine for Mother Mary?

What can we learn from the mission and purpose God gave to Mary? How is it connected to the Planet Earth?

Missions, Mother Mary and God

Just like Mother Mary, we all come to this world with a mission, a calling from God. While we all know about her purpose of being the Mother of Jesus Christ, we should consider her further callings.

In our age, we as sons and daughters of God are called together to fulfill our vows. But, many of us have lost the memory of the vow and of the inner experience with our God. Therefore, we tend to forget that God is personable and that we can talk to Him as an old friend, rather than a stranger. Since God is almighty and friendly at the same time, we might tend to forget that he gave us missions, purposes.

The Present God Gave us

As God has given us the world to take care of, we should make sure that we do not destroy it. We have seen many actions of human beings have led to disasters like climate change which are threatening to destroy the very nature of human beings and the very place God has created for us.

What must we do?

We should strive to conserve the environment by planting more trees and making sure that it is clean. Also, we must take care of our rivers and lakes and everything that God provided for us in our natural surroundings.
We have to avoid activities which lead to any type of pollution, be it air, land or water. When our air is polluted, it leads to diseases which threaten our lives, the lives of animals and plants.

Mother Mary is our Reminder

In conclusion, in order to live like Mother Mary and do what God instructs us to do of our planet; we should always strive to ensure that we protect it for our generation and the generations to come.

Mother Mary had fulfilled her mission, she is an inspiration to all mankind. She is a constant reminder of the importance of life and assuring its existence. Since we all have a mission from God, making efforts to protect life should be our main concern and all living matter.


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GOD DESTINE FOR MOTHER MARY

What can we do in troubled times?

What can we do in troubled times?

Or how come that the simple things in life, such as praying and breathing are making the difference?

When Everything is Falling Apart

Life on this earth has always been stressful, and will always be. There are daily threats to our survival and well-being, whether from the natural world or from what we may perceive as dangerous. Sometimes we feel that there is nothing to be done. We feel that our actions don’t matter. Or that our small doings are not enough. For these reasons and more, we might feel helpless. But, saying a breath prayer is praying a word or short phrase that you can express in the time it takes you to breathe in and out once.

Breath first

“And with that, he breathed on them and said, “’Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22)
But Praying can and will guide us since there is a breath of each prayer. Furthermore, when we are praying with intention, we are breathing with intention. Praying can and does lead to miraculous emotional healing. It helps you find peace in the middle of stressful situations. Breathing and inhaling deeply is a powerful means to relieve stress as much as professional spa treatments like massages can, and when we incorporate deep breathing into our prayers, we can blow stress out of our souls and welcome in peace.

The origin of short prayers meets contemporary times

In history, monks would say simple prayers in form of breathing and this developed the history of breath prayers, which are short enough to be expressed in just one breath. Therefore the rapid pace of our life today fits in well with the ancient practice of breath prayers. As life rushes toward you at full speed, you can relieve the stress of everything through practicing breath prayers. Even if you’re extremely busy for a long prayer session, you can always and easily make time to pray when you’re breathing, because that’s a constant process.
You can always make your prayer powerful when sharing it with your loved ones. When you know that someone else is praying for you, your intimate prayer becomes even more powerful.

Useful suggestion:

After you found the one who will pray for you, choose a brief phrase that expresses what you want to say to God. You should then repeat your phrase out loud and meditate on its meaning. Say the first part of your prayer while inhaling then say the second part while exhaling. Keep praying whenever you sense an urge to pray.

What is perfection in Christianity?

What is perfection in Christianity?

He who possesses Christian perfection will obtain salvation. How do we define perfection, and what can we do to attain it?

Spiritual Union

According to the Catholic Dictionary, “Christian perfection is the supernatural or spiritual union with God which is possible of attainment in this life…”. Once we manage our lives in the light and guidance of God, we are open to receive God’s love.

Ways to reach perfection

This perfection consists in charity, in the degree in which it is attainable in this life. For example, Romans 13:10 says that “Love doesn’t do anything wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is what fulfills the Law”, which is also part of Christian perfection.
Therefore the law means that we should increase the proportion of our charity activities. These active services are fervent acts of God that exclude your soul from the mortal sin. Also, from venial sin or any other affections which separate your heart from God.
Furthermore, according to the Book of Matthew 22:37, Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind”.

The Primary object of Charity

God is, therefore, the primary object of charity; while our neighbor is the secondary object. This, however, is not limited to necessary and obligatory duties, but extends to our friends, strangers, and enemies, and may advance to a heroic degree, leading a man to sacrifice external goods, comforts, and life itself for the spiritual welfare of others. This is the charity taught by Christ by word in John 15:13, which says, “No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends”.

What did Jesus find in Garden of Gethsemane?

Olives Garden of Gethsemane

What did Jesus find in Garden of Gethsemane?

Our lesson from Jesus is that at times of great turmoil, we always have access to the path of salvation

The Suffering of Jesus

The Garden of Gethsemane is where Jesus went to pray before the ordeal on the cross of Calvary. The Bible indicates that Jesus was extremely troubled and overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of sweating drops of blood. For three times, Jesus Christ prayed if it was possible for the cup of suffering to be removed from him, but that the will of the Father would be done.

The 12th Chapter of the Book of Hebrew says that Jesus “endured the cross, scorning its shame” and that he did this “for the joy set before him”. Even though he was under pressure, by faith, he knew that he would experience great joy on the other side of the suffering. The Garden of Gethsemane, therefore, has a deep meaning.

Willingness is strength

Jesus’s strength to be the Savior is of fundamental importance. Jesus Christ was willing to die on the cross for our salvation and pay the penalty for our sins. According to 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. This was the gospel of Jesus Christ.

“An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him” (Luke 22:43).

For two times Jesus woke up his disciples to remind them to pray so they wouldn’t fall into temptations. But they kept on falling into sleep and temptations. Even so, Jesus didn’t lose his faith, and although it did trouble him, he kept on praying. Then he had the strength he needed from God.


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Olives Garden of Gethsemane

Mount of Olives yesterday and today

View from the Mount of Olives to the old city of Jerusalem

Mount of Olives yesterday and today

The Mount is one of the most beautiful locations in the Holy Land and it has a unique role in Jesus’s life. Where is it and what happened there? This article opens a series on the Holy Land and the Mount of Olives.

Location first

The Mount of Olives separates the city of Jerusalem from the Judean Desert; from here it begins its descent towards the Dead Sea. The Kidron Valley surrounds Jerusalem to the east and separates the Mount from the city. On the south, there is Mount Zion and on the north, there is Mount Scopus.

Unique Features

The Mountain has three areas of uniquely high ground from which descend steep roads to the valley. From the north to the south extends “Karm as-Sayyad” (“vineyard of the hunter”), reaching 818 meters of altitude; in the center is “Jebel et-Tur” (“holy mountain”) at 808 meters; and to the southwest, on the far side of the Jerusalem-Jericho road, is “Bet el Hawa” (“belly of the wind”), also known as “Mount Scandal”, at 713 meters high.

The Olives

The name of the Mountain comes from the olive trees that have grown on its slopes for thousands of years, and some of the oldest olive trees in the world are still there. The mountain is also known as the Mount of Unction. The reason for it origins from the use of the oil in the Jewish tradition. The oil from the leaves was used to anoint the high priests and the king.

Jesus on the Mountain

Jesus set foot on the mountain immediately after the last supper, crossing the valley into Gethsemane.

An especially relevant episode in Jesus’s life is also one of the most important Christian memories accrued on the Mount of Olives. That is the teaching of the Lord’s Prayer: Eleona or the Grotto of the Lord’s Prayer. But it isn’t the only one: Weeping over Jerusalem: Dominus Flevit. Acclamation upon his entry into the Holy City on the back of a donkey: the sanctuary of Bethphage. The prayer in the garden of Gethsemane followed by his capture:   and next to it there are – Garden of Olives and Grotto of Gethsemane. And Jesus’s Ascension into Heaven, which occurred at the summit of the mount: the Edicule of the Ascension.


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Saint Anne is the Mother of…

Saint Anne

Saint Anne is the Mother of…

Little is known about the history of Mother Mary, and her family and origin. One of the reasons is that we don’t know much about her parents. But the little that is told shows an exciting view of Jesus life and legacy.

Jesus’ Grandmother

We know very little about Saint Anna. Actually, the apocryphal Gospel of James is the main source we have, with the most information about her. According to Christian tradition, Saint Anne was the mother of Mary and the grandmother of Jesus. She was born in Bethlehem and got married to Joachim who lived in Nazareth, a village in the Holy Land.

The Misfortune of Anna and Joachim

Unfortunately, Anne was infertile at a time when barrenness was considered a sign of God’s judgment or displeasure with a person. Furthermore, in the Jewish culture, barrenness was the height of misfortune. As a result of the childlessness, the temple priest refused to accept Joachim’s sacrifice.
Joachim and Anna’s Prayer Answered

In desperation, Joachim is said to have gone into the desert to pray and fast. At the same time, Anna was also praying and reminding God about how He had blessed Sarah, Abraham’s barren wife with a son. As she prayed, an angel of the Lord appeared and told her that her prayer had been heard. The angel promised that she would conceive and her offspring would be famous the world over. The angel also instructed her to name the child Mary. In gratitude, Anne, who was now set to become Mother Mary’s mother, dedicated her future offspring to God.

Jesus and Mary

In the meantime, an angel had also appeared to Joachim and assured him that Anne was going to conceive, bear a child who they were to name Mary and dedicated to God.
Just like the angel had said, Saint Anna conceived and, after birth, the couple consecrated Mary to serve at the temple in Jerusalem. When she was fourteen, Mary was betrothed to Joseph of Nazareth which continues the story of the birth of Jesus, his life, ministry, death, and resurrection.


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Saint Anne

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