31 Days of Prayer – Hail Mary

Piggybacking off of yesterday’s post, I want to encourage you to say the Hail Mary slowly and reflectively.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Cradle-Catholics are taught the Hail Mary at a young age and it is one of those prayers that are recited mindlessly. Yet, it is one of the most powerful prayers we can pray! Popes, saints, and others have written endless pages about the efficacy and power of the Hail Mary. There are even promises attached to praying the rosary.

The rosary is also scriptural. The first part (Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee) comes from the Annunciation when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she is the bear Jesus, the Lord. The second part (Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus) comes from the Visitation when Mary went to her cousin, Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.

The last part of the rosary (Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, sinners, now and at the hour of our death) is our petition to Mary and asking for her intercession for our needs now and when we die.

Let us, today and every day, pray the rosary with attention and focus:

Hail Mary, full of the grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – Hail Mary

31 Days Writing Challenge

31 Days of Prayer – The Rosary

Today is the memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. So, naturally, I want to encourage you to pray the rosary.

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

Image by LoveToTakePhotos (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public domain

It took me a long time before I realized how powerful and wonderful and scriptural the rosary is. Now, I look forward to praying the rosary. If you are interested, go here to learn about Catholics and the Rosary, and here are some links about the rosary.

I wish I had the chance to make a video or had the opportunity to do a live chat so we could pray the rosary; It just isn’t possible today. However, here is a quick rundown on how to pray the rosary:

On the Cross: Make the sign of the cross, state your intention, and pray the Apostle’s Creed.

Large Bead: Pray an Our Father.

3 small beads: Hail Mary on each bead.

Large bead: Pray a Glory Be, announce the first mystery**, pray an Our Father.

10 small beads: Pray a Hail Mary on each bead.

Large bead: Pray the Glory Be, “Oh my Jesus,”* announce the second mystery, pray an Our Father.

10 small beads: Pray a Hail Mary on each bead.

Continue in this way, remembering to announce the next mystery, until you finish the fifth mystery.

Large bead: finish with the Hail Holy Queen and “Oh, God..” Make the sign of the cross.

*Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven. Amen.

**Joyful Mysteries of the rosary are: The Annunciation, The Visitation of Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth, The Nativity of Jesus, The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, The Finding of Jesus at the Temple.

**Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary are: The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, and fifth, The Crucifixion and Death of Our Lord.

**Luminous Mysteries of the rosary are: The Baptism of Jesus at the Jordan, The Wedding Feast at Cana, The Proclamation of the Kingdom and call to Conversion, The Transfiguration, and The Institution of the Eucharist.

**Glorious Mysteries of the rosary are: The Resurrection of Jesus, The Ascension of Jesus, The Coming of the Holy Spirit, The Assumption of Mary, and The Queenship of Mary.

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Tweetable: 31 Days of Prayer – The Rosary

31 Days Writing Challenge

7 Links About the Rosary

Rosary and bible

photo credit: Courtney Emery via photopin cc

Piggybacking off the previous post on Catholics and the Rosary, today I am going to give you a compilation of links and resources about the rosary:

1. Why Pray the rosary?

2. History of the rosary.

3. theholyrosary.org (many links about the rosary)

4. 15 Promises of the rosary.

5. The rosary and Sacred Scripture (from EWTN)

6. Praying the rosary (How-to)

7. How to pray the rosary printable – in pdf format (from New Advent)

There are tons of other links, books, and information about Mary and our Catholic devotion to Mary. I encourage you to do some reading to deepen your understanding and appreciation for the rosary. I know a lot of people who struggle praying the rosary, in fact, I was one of them; however, I’ve come to love praying the rosary and I hope you do too!

(The books by St. Louis de Montfort are wonderful (and pretty well-known) books about Mary and the Rosary that you  could start with first.)

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Tweetables:

7 Links About the Rosary

Rosary resources just for you!

Catholics and the Rosary

Rosary and bible

photo credit: Courtney Emery via photopin cc

In a previous post, I explained a little about the Catholic’s devotion to Mary. This week I want to write a little about the Rosary. Actually, a lot can be, and has been, said about the rosary and in an upcoming post I will point you to some resources that do a good job explaining why we pray the rosary.

However, before  I do, I want to point out one thing: Although we direct many of the prayers to Mary, the rosary is all about Jesus and meditating on the life of Jesus – and based on the Bible.

Let’s take a look at the mysteries of the rosary: During the Joyful mysteries, we meditate on the birth and early life of Christ, from when the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary she would conceive a son, to the visitation to Elizabeth where John the Baptist “leaped for joy,” to the birth of Jesus, to His presentation in the temple and finally to His being found in the temple by Mary and Joseph.

During the Luminous mysteries, we contemplate Jesus’ public life. In the first mystery we think upon Jesus’ “baptism” by John. In the second we meditate on Jesus’ first miracle at Cana and the third mystery is centered on the proclamation of the kingdom and call to conversion. In the fourth mystery we meditate on the Transfiguration of Jesus and in the fifth we meditate on the Institution of the Eucharist.

The Sorrowful mysteries are centered on the suffering and death of Jesus. In the first mystery we accompany Jesus during his Agony in the Garden. In the second mystery we meditate on Jesus’ flagellation at the pillar. In the third mystery we see Jesus as he is mocked and receives the Crown of Thorns. In the fourth mystery we join Jesus as He carries His cross and in the fifth mystery we meditation on the Crucifixion and  death of Our Lord.

Finally, the Glorious mysteries allow us to rejoice in the great mysteries of the Resurrection (decade one) and Ascension of Jesus (decade two). In the third Glorious mystery, we meditate on the Descent of the Holy Spirit. In the fourth and fifth Glorious mysteries we honor Mary as she is Assumed into heaven and Crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

I also want to encourage you to take a closer look at the prayers of the rosary. The Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Glory Be and even the Hail Mary are God-centered and Christ-centered prayers.

Even the Hail Mary is focused on Jesus. The first part of the Hail Mary comes from Gabriel’s greeting to Mary (from the gospel of Luke) and Elizabeth’s cry of joy (“blessed is the fruit of thy womb). In the second part of the prayer we are asking her to pray for us, just like we would ask our own mother to pray for us.

It would be impossible to expound on the rosary in this short post, but I hope you can begin to see how rich and Christ-centered the rosary is and why it is such an important devotion to Catholics. In tomorrow’s post I will share some links on the rosary that I trust you will find helpful.

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Tweetables:

Catholics and the Rosary

Did you realize that the Rosary is all about Jesus? It is!

Ten Ways to Get The Most Out of Lent

(repost)

As you know this week is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I *LOVE* Lent. I do. Really! Lots of us cradle Catholics find the fasting and sacrifices of Lent a drudgery. Others ignore Lent altogether. Not me. I see Lent as a mini New Year. A new beginning and another chance to re-charge the batteries in my relationship with the Lord.

10 Ways to Get the Most out of Lent

Here are some ideas for you to spend your time this Lent. (Btw, if you read my “Making Advent Meaningful” post, you’ll notice some of the suggestions are the same. That’s because there are some things – like the Mass and rosary – that are worth being reminded of again. 🙂 )

1. Daily Mass. Since the Eucharist the the “source and summit of our faith”, it stands to reason that daily mass should be on top of our Lenten “to-do” list!

2. Adoration. Next to the mass, adoration is the next best thing – especially if you are unable to make it daily mass for whatever reason. More and more parishes are offering at least monthly or weekly exposition and adoration (and some have perpetual adoration) of the Blessed Sacrament, so try and snag a half hour each week if you can!

3. Stations of the cross. The Stations of the Cross is a beautiful way to remember the passion of the Lord. Again, most parishes have Stations of the Cross once or twice each Friday of Lent. If you can’t make it to church, you can get some beautiful pamphlets for next to nothing and pray they them at home with your family.

4. Forgive. Through Jesus, our sins are forgiven and so that we may receive mercy. One of the best (and hardest!) ways to show gratitude for the Lord’s goodness is to forgive those who have hurt us – especially if the transgression was grievous. Just as hard, if  not even harder, is forgiving ourselves. Or sometimes we hold on to grudges and anger, even when we can’t remember how a particular person has hurt us! If you see yourself in any of these scenarios, maybe you can pray the Lord opens your heart to forgiving someone who has hurt you, or praying that He will help you forgive yourself? Even the prayer that He helps you to WANT to forgive would be a great start…

5. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours. The morning and evening prayers of the Liturgy of the hours are always beautiful, but especially during the Lenten season.  It is the official prayer of the church, and when you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you are united will all the faithful around the world who are praying it with you!

6. Go to confession. It’s called the Sacrament of Reconciliation now, but whatever you call it, there’s no better way (besides the mass!) to prepare for Easter. There will be (or should be) many Penance services around your diocese, so you should be able to find one that fits in your schedule.

7. Watch the Passion of the Christ. Yes, watching the Passion of the Christ is painful. It’s in your face. It renders us speechless. And it should. What Jesus endured for our sake wasn’t “touchy feely” or a walk in the park. It was ugly, but our sin in even uglier, and sometimes we (I) need something like this movie to remind us (me) just how much Jesus loves us and was willing to endure for us.

8. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Who says you have to wait for the Divine Mercy Sunday Novena to pray the chaplet? It’s a short but perfect prayer for Lent. I also try and read parts, if not most, of Saint Faustina’s diary during Lent, too.

9. Pray the the Scriptures. Next to participating in the Sacraments, there is no better way to deepen our relationship with the Lord than Scripture.  Spending as little as five minutes a day with His Word can transform your life. (New to reading the Bible? Read this guide on how to pray the Scriptures.)

10. Fast. All through Lent we will be hearing about fasting. It’s good for the soul. It opens our eyes to the needs of others. it cleanses us of our base passions. But, fasting isn’t just giving up food, or even television (both of which are excellent). This year, why don’t we fast from anger, sloth or any of the other “capital sins” and try to feast on its opposing virtue? (I know my diet has been terribly deprived of patience lately! 😉 )

Now, don’t feel pressured to do all of these activities. Remember, the focus is to deepen our relationship with Christ not add on more to-dos! Start out small. Pick one to three activities and focus on those. Lent is not a competition or race to see how much you can do. It is about focusing on a few things and doing them well so that you can focus on growing deeper in your relationship with the Lord, not exhaust yourself.

So tell us, what are your suggestions for making Lent special for you this year?

P.S. For a printable version of this list go here to subscribe. Subscribers, go to your private page to download the list.

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Tweetable: Ten Ways to Get the Most Out of Lent

Christ the King

(Repost with some changes)

Christ the King

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Wow! Yesterday was the last Sunday of the Church’s liturgical calendar. It’s hard to believe that we will be heading into Advent next week! Where has the time gone?

“At the name of Jesus every knee must bend in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth, and every tongue proclaim to the glory of God the Father: JESUS CHRIST IS Lord.” Philippians 2:10-11

Yesterday, the Church celebrated the feast of Christ the King. It is the day that we celebrate and acknowledge the all-encompassing authority of Christ over our lives. To find out more about this awesome feast, go here.

As we transition into Advent, like many of us, I have been thinking about what I want to do to prepare for Christmas this year. In light of today’s feast, here are some questions I am asking myself:

  • How have I grown in my relationship with Jesus this year?
  • Am I growing in trust and surrendering my will to His?
  • In what areas of my relationship with Jesus do I need to improve?
  • How has my prayer life been this year? Am I taking time for the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet and other devotions?
  • Am I actively participating in the sacramental life? Am I fully participating in the Mass? Confession?
  • What can I do this year to make Advent a true preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas?

As you prepare for the Advent season, I pray that Christ will truly be at the center of your heart, that you may grow in His Love, and that you will be guided by the Holy Spirit throughout the season and always. 🙂

Tweetable: Christ the King

 

Our Lady of the Rosary

The Rosary is one of the most powerful prayers we Catholics can pray. A lot has been written and preached about the rosary and it is an integral part of our Church History.

Our Lady of the Rosary

Image by tpsdave (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

This particular feast of Our Lady of the Rosary was instituted by St. Pius V because the Christian victory at the Battle of Lepanto was attributed to the praying of the rosary.

Sadly, there is a lot of misconceptions about the rosary and it isn’t always an easy prayer to pray. It can seem monotonous at times but the purpose of the rosary is to mediate on the life, death, and resurrection of Our Lord Jesus. When prayed properly, and in the right spirit, the rosary can lift our hearts and souls to God. In fact, the rosary is so important, there are 15 promises attached to the rosary (as Our Lady revealed to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche).

By the way, are you familiar with the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary? It is also known as the Altar Rosary Society and is world-wide. Most churches have an Altar Rosary Society and if there is one in your area, you should consider checking them out. I recently found out about them and joined the group in my parish. They do a lot of wonderful things for the church, both physically and spiritually.

So, on this beautiful feast day, don’t forget to take time to pray this most efficacious prayer! For more information on this feast go here and here.

God bless!

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Tweetable: Our Lady of the Rosary

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here is how it went this week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Finish presentation for Drama class. It is an oral presentation, so please pray it goes well! (I survived it, thank the Lord!)

5. Blog at least twice. (Not exactly twice, but I’m counting it. 🙂 )

6. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation to Andrew and write review.

7. Take Andrew to CCD and play practice. Andrew is in the Christmas pageant for our church and very excited about it!

Here are my plans for this coming week:

1. Pray at least one decade of the rosary each day.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Pray over devotional for bible study I am participating in.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review.

6. Take Andrew to CCD and play practice.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

(P.S. The Christmas Season is fast approaching and if you want to stay organized and sane this year, you may want to check out the Christmas Planning Toolkit that I put together. It is chock-full of templates and lists to help you make the most out of the holidays!)

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

Here is how it went this week:

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Read “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review. (Read some, but we didn’t finish it yet.)

6. Take Andrew to CCD and All Saints Party.

Here are my plans for this week:

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Continue reading “Biff and Beckas Stupendous Vacation” to Andrew and write review.

6. Take Andrew to CCD.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!

(P.S. The Christmas Season is fast approaching and if you want to stay organized and sane this year, you may want to check out the Christmas Planning Toolkit that I put together. It is chock-full of templates and lists to help you make the most out of the holidays!)

 

Weekly Goals

Set Goals

I got a lot of stuff done this week but not everything from this list:

1. Pray the rosary twice this week.

2. Get up by 6:30 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes.

4. Keep Andrew on track with his home-school assignments.

5. Blog at least twice  this week. (No blogging done this week except last week’s goals…)

6. Start reading the Catholic Update guide to Mary (affiliate link). (Didn’t finish it, but I got it started at least!)

7. Take Andrew to CCD.

8. Take Andrew to the homeschooling field trip. We are going to the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory! Andrew had a blast! He and his group learned the process of making pretzels, got to try their hand at shaping the dough and of course brought home some pretzels to enjoy. 🙂

I am keeping my goals really small this week. Michael took Andrew on the road with him this week so he will be doing home-schooling with Andrew and I have a few days to focus on my school stuff. It will be a good experience for Andrew to see his daddy in action at work!

1. Pray the rosary at least twice.

2. Get up by 7:00 am each morning.

3. Keep up with the readings and assignments for my classes. Get ahead with some school projects.

4. Blog at least twice.

5. Finish reading the Catholic Update guide to Mary (affiliate link) and write review.

What are your plans for this week? Let us know in the comments or head over to Money Saving Mom and share them with us!