How meaningful is the connection between people and Jewelry?

The Bible as a mirror to the place of Jewelry

Through the ages, the culture of wearing necklaces among other accessories was a common practice as seen in Genesis 24:30 where Rebekah, Jacob’s wife, wears jewelry. A variety of jewelry crafted from gold, silver and natural stones not only delivers you beauty but also offers you spiritual completeness.

Not just a material

Gold

Gold, for instance, is regarded as an ornament, money, and a symbol of social status. It also has spiritual properties.

The lustrous metal can bring harmony and gladness to you when adorned to your body. Gold has strong protective features and is used in the creation of amulets and talismans. If you were to place gold on your ring finger, you could potentially attract a divine consciousness.

The divine energy which is stimulated by gold keeps off all forms of dark energy from you.

Silver

Silver mainly gets associated with recovery of one’s protection, luck, and mental peace. Silver can protect you from evil and cure you of a variety of disorders. The affordable and durable steel jewelry has the capability of offering you the protection against extreme pessimism and physical attacks.

Natural stones

Natural stones, on the other hand, are overwhelmingly sacred and powerful. Natural stones can strengthen energy patterns which coincide with your will and plans to help you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Gemstones, for instance, which have been in use for over seven thousand years, can enhance your focus and energy, especially in situations of extreme stress or high pressure.

Jewelry has the capability of offering high spiritual aid. No wonder that the book of Proverbs 25:12 gives valuable advice on it for a keen listener.

“Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is the rebuke of a wise judge to a listening ear.”

Love, How Many Ways Do We Have To Love?

Love, How Many Ways Do We Have To Love?

What has Jesus taught his disciples about love?

In the Gospel according to Matthew 5:43-48, Jesus said,

“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax-gatherers do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

Is there a new way to love our enemies?

Pray for your enemies

Praying for your enemy opens you up to the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Forgive your enemies

Loving your enemy does not mean:

  • You have to add them to your Christmas list, or
  • make them your best friend, or
  • excuse their actions

it means you forgive them, with the knowledge that God is both merciful and just.

How would you feel?

Loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you is liberating. You can find yourself in pitched battles with the people who hate you, always seeking the upper hand, always noting who’s up and who’s down, and always analyzing every slight. Praying for them can make you feel even better and change your attitude towards them.

So what Jesus is telling us is hard, but it’s not impossible. And it’s necessary, too, because ultimately he is inviting us not only to forgiveness and charity but to something else: freedom and happiness

How can you prepare for anything? Is it possible?

The Bible tells us that we are in a conflict and Satan is doing everything he can to make you fail. In 1 Thessalonians 5:6, we learn that we should not sleep as others do, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober”.

But how can you prepare for anything?

 

What can we learn from Jesus?

The very act of becoming Christians put us in unfamiliar territories. Christ has called his followers to stop seeking earthly riches as in Matthew 6:19,

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”.

He also tells us not to worry about the future as in Luke 12:22

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear”.

We should also live sacrificially to seek the good of others as in Matthew 22:39

“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself”.

All these run contrary to what the world demands of us as Christians. Christianity offers ways to prepare ourselves, and they include:

PRAY

If you wish to know what God wants, you have to begin by asking in prayer. He will lead and guide you to a place of peace and safety. Our prayer requests should be to learn the will of God.

LISTEN

We have to listen to the voice of God so that we can know and do God’s will.

WATCH

Saint Paul teaches us to watch and be ready. We should watch with joy and gladness.

STORE

The kinds of things we need to store are those things that feed our light within.

IMPROVE

Even though God does not expect us to be perfect, we should make sure that each day we are a little better than the previous day.

Christians often wonder how they should live to make sure that their daily lives reflect who Christ is. Here are some of the habits you can include in your daily routine to become closer to Jesus.

Spend time talking to God

What this means is that Christians should spend time praying and learning about the will of God and what He truly wants from us. To clarify this thought, you can imagine it as if you were catching up with a friend or filling out an imaginary diary about your day. Even a few minutes of your daily time spent for a confession to God in prayer will help you reflect on your actions and strengthen your bond with Him.

Set time aside for the Word of God

Christians, who want to renew their minds, rely on the Bible as a source of information on how to lead themselves on a day-to-day basis. The Bible provides the blocks upon which we build our faith. While it’s not necessary to memorize it, making time for reading and analyzing even a few verses a day is sufficient. The Rosary is a great companion with which you can achieve this goal.

Bless someone with an unexpected act of kindness

As Christians, we must endeavor to live out our faith at every opportunity. Therefore good deeds are one of the ways that we can put our faith into action. Jesus advises us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Whether you give up your lunch break to assist a colleague, donate something to the local charity, or even pray for someone else. Because it is even the smallest acts of kindness are important.

Write a “thank you” note

One of the best feelings in life is to realize that our efforts are being appreciated. Take some time to think about the things or people you are grateful for, and then thank them for it. A good way to do it is to write a “thank you” note to someone who is always there for you. If it’s God you are thankful for, you can do it through a prayer. Making this practice into an everyday habit can show us just how much good God is doing in our lives and how much of His kindness we are surrounded by.

Forgive

Learning how to unconditionally love and forgive others is a way to remind ourselves of how Jesus gave his life for our salvation. Even the Lord’s prayer teaches us about the importance of forgiving others. Forgiveness takes a lot of work, but if we practice it every day and put in the effort to pardon those who have angered or annoyed us, we can free ourselves from negative emotions and become closer to God. Habits can have various purposes in our lives, and as Christians, we can dedicate some of them solely to strengthening our bond with God. If we include at least some of these practices in our daily routines, we will be amazed how much it can increase His presence around us.
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Mother Mary's Motherhood

Our Role Model

We all know wonderful real-world examples of motherhood, but when we seek inspiration and a figure to model ourselves upon, there is none better than the divine mother herself. A woman worthy of emulation, we can find inspiration in her virtue, and in her unconditional love towards not only her son but humanity as a whole.

Our Mother as well

You see, when Mary agreed to bear God’s son, she also made a commitment to become our mother too, for we are each united with Jesus in the Mystical Body. Though taken up to Heaven millennia ago, it is in her manifold intercessions that we continue to receive the gift of eternal salvation. To us, she is an advocate, comforter, and benefactress in one single feminine form.

What makes her inspiring?

Through the study of her actions and defining traits, every woman can thus gift their children with an upbringing worthy of God: one where we exemplify acceptance, courage, endurance, faith, hope, joy, obedience, patience, strength, and trust.

More, we can learn a lesson in faith, and in teaching this to our children. Mary was asked to endure much – unwed motherhood, the disappointment of her betrothed, the torture and death or her son – and yet she came through all of these with her strength, courage, and faith in God still intact.

Devotion and Dedication

With Mary as a model of motherhood, we can thus endure every trial and tribulation that the role of parent thrusts upon us, the joys and the sorrows alike. For when we look to Mary for inspiration, we see that the way that a mother should love: devotedly, devoutly, and with an eternal and unwavering dedication to our faith.

Since the Rosary is composed with “Our Father and the Hail Mary”, it was, therefore, without doubt, the first prayer and the principal devotion of the faithful.

The prayer of Christ and the Angelic Salutation, which are the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary”, are in use all over the centuries, from the time of the apostles and disciples down to the present, and will continue to be used for centuries to come. Both prayers are composed of substance in principle which reflects our devotion and faith.

The beginning of the Rosary

It was only in the year 1214 that the Church received the Rosary in its present form and according to the method that is used today. It was given to the Church by St. Dominic, who had received it from the Blessed Virgin as a means of converting the Albigensians and other sinners. When Saint Dominic saw that the gravity of people’s sins was hindering the conversion of the Albigensians, he withdrew into the forest and prayed continuously for three days and three nights. His body was lacerated and fell into a comma. At this moment our Lady appeared to him, accompanied by three angels, and she said, “Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?” “Oh, my Lady,” answered Saint Dominic, “you know far better than I do because next to your Son Jesus Christ you have always been the chief instrument of our salvation.” Then our Lady replied, “I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the principal weapon has always been the Angelic Psalter, which is the foundation-stone of the New Testament. Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

Saint Dominic inspiration

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, instructed by the Blessed Virgin as well as by his own experience, Saint Dominic preached the Rosary for the rest of his life. He preached it by his example as well as by his sermons, in cities and in country places, to people of high station and low, before scholars and the uneducated, to Catholics and to heretics. The Rosary, which he said every day, was his preparation for every sermon and his little tryst with our Lady immediately after preaching. In the 4th century, the prayer rope used by the Desert Fathers to count repetitions of the Jesus Prayer was seen to be a form of the rosary. Details of the connection of the rosary and the holy land are sketchy.
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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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Rosary

What makes the Rosary a prayer tool?

What do we know about the contemporary uses of the Rosary? Is it a tool? Is it a companion? Is it just beautiful? How can we work with the Rosary on our daily routine?

 

The names of the Rosary

Paul VI called the Rosary a compendium of the Gospel. Padre Pio called the Rosary beads a weapon of extraordinary power against Satan.

The gentle repetition – Prayer of Rosary

The Rosary is a powerful and spiritual tool for prayer. While today it is popular to pray, many people have overlooked the Rosary. We see more and more people indicating they pray more and often. The reasons are for mental, physical and spiritual well-being. Many people, including some Catholics, may overlook the rosary as a prayer tool. It is simple, but its gentle repetition of its prayers makes it an excellent tool to moving in deeper prayer. It gives us an opportunity to be able to open ourselves to God’s word and refine our interior being by turning our minds to the life of Christ.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Praying the Rosary can teach us because we can learn about ourselves in relation to our God. We can achieve this by being able to focus on the lives of both Christ and Mary, during prayer on the mysteries. For example, Mary herself was a great model for the daily practice of prayer. By receiving the word of God through Gabriel and pondering over the word in her heart, it allowed her to take the events surrounding her externally and praying for them. This also is the essence of prayer, having God’s word and praying over it.

God’s Grace

Saint Padre Pio says that “Some people are so foolish that they think they can go through life without the help of the Blessed Mother. Love the Madonna and pray the rosary, for her Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world today. All graces are given by God pass through the Blessed Mother” while Saint Josemaria Escriva says that, “The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results”.

The power of the Rosary

Perhaps the greatest use of the rosary as a powerful tool was demonstrated by Pope Pius XI when he said, “The Rosary is a powerful weapon to put the demons to flight and to keep oneself from sin […] If you desire peace in your hearts, in your homes, and in your country, assemble each evening to recite the Rosary. Let not even one day pass without saying it, no matter how burdened you may be with many cares and labors”.

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.
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