The rosary is one of the most fundamental and cherished prayer tools in Christianity. Mostly identified with the Catholic Church, but also in use by the Orthodox and Protestants.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners”, was an addition to the “Hail Mary” prayer. Who said it?

Basic Structure and purpose

Praying the Rosary is introduced by four prayers:
  1. The Creed
  2. Our Father
  3. Three Hail Marys
  4. The Doxology (“Glory Be”)
The prayer is concluded with the Salve Regina. Since Praying, in general, involves recitation of prayers the prayer can use as an assistance. The beads allow the person to focus on the words instead of the counting. In the Catholic rosary, there are five decades consisting of the Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, and the Doxology. During this recitation, the person is able to meditate. The meditation is about the saving mysteries of our Lord’s life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother.

Origin and Tradition

The usage of “prayer beads” and the repeated recitation of prayers aid in meditation and has a long history. The use of beads stems from the earliest days of the Church and has roots in pre-Christian times. According to tradition, the origin of the modern rosary started at the beginning of the 13th Century. The Blessed Mother Mary appeared to Saint Dominic in the church of Prouille, and said to him:
“Wonder not that until now you have had such little fruit from your labours. You have spent them on a barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of divine grace. When God willed to renew the face of the earth he began by sending down the fertilizing dew of the Angelic Salutation. Preach my Rosary composed of one hundred and fifty Aves, and you will obtain an abundant harvest.”
Later in the 15th century, a Dominican priest had a plan to reestablish the use of the Rosary. The priest was Blessed Alanus de Rupe, a theologian, and a learned preacher. His addition to the Rosary was the “15 Promises” of Mother Mary to any Christian who uses the Rosary as a prayer instrument.

The 16th Century

In the second half of the sixteenth century, the Rosary was approved by the Catholic Church. The Dominican Pope Pius V issued the papal bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, which established the devotion to the Rosary. The Rosary is an instrument with a reassuring effect. We can see that on troubled days, the Marian devotion of the Rosary helps with regaining your strength. Saint Peter Canisius, a Doctor of the Church, who is credited with adding the sentence “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners” to the Hail Mary, was an ardent advocate of the rosary and promoted it (and its Marian devotion in general) because he believed that the Rosary was the best way to re-establish the status of the Church.
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Prayer is relevant anytime and anywhere. But when we make it one of our weekly or daily routines, we achieve much more.

The Holy Hour is a routine we received from Jesus.

 

Jesus’s Request

The practice of the Holy Hour started when Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Alacoque in 1674 during her hour of prayer. This was not the first time Jesus appeared to her. However, on this particular occasion, Christ asked her to spend an hour meditating on His sufferings every Thursday and Friday night. According to St. Margaret, the Holy Hour was to be observed between 11pm to 12am. During this period, St. Margaret was sharing the agony and sufferings of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Basically, the practice of the Holy Hour stands on 3 principles:

  1. The union with the suffering of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
  2. The remedial prayer
  3. The gestures of self-humiliation.

The Concept and the Garden

The concept of the Holy Hour is based on the Gospel of Matthew during Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane just before his crucifixion. This is how the Gospel of Matthew 26:38-40 captures the events that took place that night:
38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” 39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?”
  According to St. Margaret, Jesus made it clear that He wishes His faithful friends to become partakers of that sorrow unto death which he suffered in the Garden of Olives. His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.  
His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.

Modern Tradition

The Holy Hour remained strictly confined within the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1911, it received the right to aggregation for the whole world and is now encouraged in the Catholic tradition. Also, Mother Teresa practiced the Holy Hour as a daily routine. According to her:
“Every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it will be recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity.”  
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Reconciliation is an extremely important aspect of the life of any Christian. This article will demonstrate ways of achieving this goal.

According to Mathew 5:23-24, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift”. Reconciliation is an extremely important aspect of the life of any Christian. It reflects Jesus way for salvation as sprinkles upon all nations. This article is first out of two on the subject. For any Christian seeking reconciliation, the following are some of the most important points to consider:

Be honest about your motives

Any Christian has to make sure that their desire is to do what pleases God and not to get revenge. Settle the matter of forgiveness just like Joseph in the context of your relationship with God. Guidelines for reconciliation should not be retaliatory.

Be honest with the offender

If you need time to absorb the reality of what was said or done, express this honestly to the one who hurt you. Yet we must not use time as a means of manipulation and punishment.

Be humble in your attitude – be a sprinkle of Jesus

Do not let pride ruin everything. Renounce all vengeful attitudes toward your offender. This demands humility. Those who focus on retaliation and revenge allow self-serving pride to control them.

Be prayerful about the one who hurt you

Jesus taught his disciples to pray for those who mistreat them. According to Luke 6:28, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you”. Our attitude towards other people can tremendously change when we pray for them. According to Hebrew 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. We should act as sprinkles of Jesus love to all nations.
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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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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.

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.

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.