Saint Agapius, Saint Asterius, and Saint Cornelius are known as the Saints of Caesarea. They lived in Caesarea, the Holy Land, and spread Jesus’ teachings and faith in God. They had to face the Romans and kept their true faith at all costs.

  Most of our current knowledge regarding the early life of Christians in the Holy Land comes from Eusebius and his book The Martyrs of Palestine.

Saint Agapius

During the persecutions of Diocletian, Saint Agapius was arrested three times but released each time.  However, he was imprisoned after the fourth arrest. He was offered freedom if he renounced Christianity but he refused. As a result, he had to face a bear and other animals in the public arena. His bravery and strong faith stood by his side in the arena so he suffered injuries but not death. After long suffering and mauling by animals, stones were affixed to his legs and the man was thrown into the Mediterranean and drowned. Saint Agapius’ feast days are observed on November 20 and August 19.

From Paganism to Christian Martyrdom

Saint Asterius of Caesarea was a Roman senator, a well-known man who became a Christian martyr. He lived during the reign of the emperors Valerian and Gallienus, who were both pagans. Even though he lived during the pagan regime with persecutions escalated against Christians, Saint Asterius maintained his faith. He is known to have expelled a demon with a prayer during a pagan feast. However, the main reason he was sentenced and beheaded was a Christian burial ceremony that he performed. Saint Asterius’ feast days are observed on March 3 and August 7.

Saint Cornelius

Our Second saint was a Roman Priest, Saint Cornelius his name. He was elected as the Pope. And then succeeded Fabian after the papacy had been vacant for over a year in a reign when Christians were heavily persecuted. He condemned the suffering of Christians as a result of their faith. And later was exiled, suffered a lot of hardships and later was decapitated. Some of his writings were fundamental to the unity of the Catholic Church. He asserted that the unity of the church was grounded in the authority of the Bishop. Saint Cornelius’ feast day is observed on September 16.
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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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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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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 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.

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.

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.
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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”.
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Jesus Pray

How did Jesus pray?

The Importance of prayer, at any time

 

Prayer is a very important part of our spiritual lives as Christians. As it is extremely essential, Christians always wonder how they should pray and what for their prayers should take. Even though the answers to such questions may vary, it should be the aspiration of every Christian to make prayers an important aspect of their lives. Christ teaches us about prayer through his own examples. Jesus Christ prays frequently and by doing so, he shows us how to pray. This article gives an insight regarding prayer by reflecting on the prayer of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Who is our teacher regarding prayers?

After Jesus arrived in the garden, He withdraws from his disciples and goes to pray, as recorded in Luke 22:41. Even though he prays for the whole of his life, this night is one of the several instances he isolates himself to pray, and by doing so, he provides an example for us. Christians should, therefore, try to make prayer part of their lives and focus exclusively on God. When making big decisions, Christians should always take the time to seek out the will of God.

Who is our Dad?

Jesus starts to pray by addressing God as Dad (Abba in Hebrew), according to Mark 14:36. He kneels down in the garden and starts preparing to embrace his passion and death. In the most difficult part of his life, Jesus prays. The prayer of Christ invites us to address God as children. Christ bridges the infinite gap between human and divine, welcoming us into a relationship with God that is not distant and fearful, but rather, loving and deeply personal.
Jesus Christ then asks God to “let this cup pass from me”, according to Matthew 26:39. From this verse, we learn that He is bold in presenting his desires and wishes. We learn that sometimes we hold back not knowing the will of God for us.