Monday, May 31, 2010

Love of Neighbor: Feast of the Visitation and Memorial Day

Today we celebrate both Memorial Day and the feast of The Visitation, the Second Joyful Mystery.  They are beautifully tied together through the fruit, or virtue, of this mystery which is Love of Neighbor. 

The Blessed Mother embodies love of neighbor in her perfect charity. After Mary accepted her role as Mother of  the Redeemer, the Angel Gabriel informed her that her aging and previously barren cousin Elizabeth was six months pregnant.  Mary went "in haste" to visit her cousin and offer assistance.  Imagine that!  Mary was told that she was to be the mother of the Savior, and she thinks nothing of herself.  She doesn't run out and tell everyone she knows, "Hey!  Guess what?"  Instead, she quickly prepares for a rather difficult journey to the hill country because she knows that her cousin is elderly and will need lots of help.  Mary doesn't need to tell Elizabeth her secret.  The Holy Spirit does this for her and even informs the developing infant in her womb, John the Baptist, who jumps for joy as he recognizes the Divine Presence of the Son of Man.  Elizabeth declares that Mary is "blessed among women." (Luke 1:42)  She is God's masterpiece of human creation, and her soul magnifies His presence through her perfect humility and charity.

On this Memorial Day, we recall Jesus' words, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13) As we remember and honor those who died for our nation today, think of how they died not only for their friends, but for millions of strangers. Please pray for their souls and for the families who mourn them.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Short Blogging Break

I'm taking a short break from blogging this week as we have family in town.  Also, my husband is in charge of dedicating a veterans' memorial on Friday, and he needs all the help he can get.

Please pray that all the little details necessary for such a big event get done (and done well).  Please especially pray that the weather is perfect as the forecast is not good for Friday.  The ceremony is outdoors and includes military paratroopers and an Air Force jet flyover, so good weather is critical.  I have been constantly badgering St. Martin of Tours for divine intercession for my husband's project.

During this Memorial Day weekend, please keep our soldiers and veterans, as well as their families, in your prayers.  (While you're at it, why not pray for those who pretend to be veterans too.)   This link has several prayers for the military.

I'll be back next week with more reflections on the Rosary.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pentecost and the Tower of Babel

"Christ's whole life is a mystery of recapitulation. All Jesus did, said and suffered had for its aim restoring fallen man to his original vocation."
-Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 518

Sometimes recapitulation can be a type of reversal of Old Testament events by those in the New Testament.  Pentecost is one example.  Do you remember the story of the Tower of Babel?  At one time, "The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words." (Gen 11:1)  Yet man, once again, became arrogant and thought he could be like God.  The people built a giant tower, with a goal of reaching heaven to make a name for themselves.  God thwarted their plans by confusing their language, hence the name Babel. (Gen 11:9

Does this mean that people literally started speaking Greek, Spanish, Italian and French?  Possibly not.  I like one interpretation that I heard a few years ago:  In modern times we talk of "speaking the same language" as sort of "being on the same page".  That is, we agree and want to work together.  At Babel, the people stopped agreeing.  Perhaps one worker wanted to use a certain type of stone and another thought that was a bad idea.  Or perhaps they disagreed about how high each level should be or when they should take breaks to eat.  Fights began to break out, and the project was abandoned due to all the hostility.  People drifted away to other parts of the world and slowly developed their own unique languages.  An interesting theory, I think.

Now what does that have to do with Pentecost?  Recall that after the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, they went outside and proclaimed the Gospel to the thousands of Jews from all over the region who had gathered for the Pentecost feast (see yesterday's post for more info). 

"They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, 'Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language?  We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene, as well as travelers from Rome, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs, yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.'" (Acts 2: 7-11)

The Holy Spirit, through the Apostles, reverses the confused language of the Tower of Babel.  The people are once more united through the proclamation of the Good News of Christ.  Peter's words were so compelling that about 3,000 people were baptized that day.  The disunity of the Tower of Babel has become the unity of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church-- the "four marks" that identify the Church that Christ founded.

We modern-day Christians need to re-learn the lesson of "speaking the same language".  Too often these days, political correctness causes us to hold our tongues when we should say something, whether it be words of encouragement or gentle warnings that a person is on the wrong path.  We have oxymorons such as "Pro-Choice Catholic" and "Rad Trad Catholic" that drive a wedge of disunity into our Church.  The Holy Spirit is still alive and well in the Catholic Church today.   Like the Mary and the Apostles at Pentecost, we must spend much time in prayer to receive His grace.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pentecost and the Ten Commandments

In other posts, I've mentioned the connection between the Old Testament and the New in regard to the mysteries of the Rosary. The Third Glorious Mystery, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, is no exception.  With the celebration of Pentecost fresh in our minds, this is a good time to delve a little deeper into the mystery.

We think of Pentecost as a Christian celebration, but it actually goes all the way back to the days of Moses.  Pentecost means "fiftieth" or "50 days," and Moses received the Law, or Ten Commandments, on Mount Sinai fifty days after the Israelites fled Egypt on the night of the Passover. (Exodus Chapters 12-13 and Exodus Chapter 34)  After that year, the Israelites celebrated Pentecost every year, giving thanks to God for the first fruits of the harvest.

It is no coincidence, then, that the Descent of the Holy Spirit occurred on the day of the annual Pentecost feast in Jerusalem.  We celebrate this day as the "Birthday of the Church," because the New Law was proclaimed by Peter and the Apostles, who were literally on fire with the Spirit.  This New Law is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law given to Moses on that first Pentecost thousands of years earlier.

Our Christian feast of Pentecost also ties in with the Jewish firstfruit concept of the ancient Pentecost feasts.  St. Paul states in 1 Cor 15:20-25),

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to his God and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power.  For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet."

As we celebrate the "Birthday of the Church," we look, filled with hope, to the day when our resurrected bodies will rejoice in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Related links:
The Roots of Pentecost
About Pentecost Sunday
Pentecost: The Birthday of the Church

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rain in the Desert

My Novena to the Holy Spirit ends tomorrow, and I plan to wear red to Mass on Pentecost Sunday, but I still feel like pre-Pentecost Peter-- lost and not sure what I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm in the desert, spiritually, once again, and it's no fun. 

My prayers seem pointless.  I am easily distracted during Mass, and I have to force myself to pray.  I know that spiritual dryness is a good thing and that I'm being "purified" so that my faith can be more mature.  Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn't make it any easier.  What does make my time in the desert easier, is looking forward to the rain of grace that will eventually come if I persevere in prayer.

Since I am a veteran of the desert experience, I know that at some point I will feel God's grace come back into my life.  Sometimes it is a gentle rain, other times it's like a fire hose.  At those moments, I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is a God and that He loves me very much.  That knowledge keeps me on my knees during that "dark night of the soul".

Related links:

I have a copy of Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, but I haven't read it yet.  I'm sure it will be enlightening when I can find the time.  In the meantime, I found the articles at the link above for "spiritual dryness" very helpful and informative.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rosary Workouts

As soldiers of Christ, we are all called to spread the Good News of the Gospels.  One way we can do this is through our words and actions, by "[loving]  God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind... and [loving] your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:37-39)

Note that there are three requirements here:  Love of God, love of neighbor and love of self.  That last love is often forgotten, but we must love and care for our selves-- body and soul.  We are created in God‘s image, and we are masterpieces of God‘s creation.  Our human person, body and soul, is a gift from God-- it is of utmost importance to care for both.  We cannot love ourselves if we neglect our bodily and spiritual needs.  It's tough to love God and our neighbor if we don't love ourselves.  I'm not talking about a self-centered, "Me! Me! Me!" approach here but rather cultivating your self-worth and dignity as a child of God.

My apostolate (or lay "ministry") is to spread devotion to the Rosary as well as to motivate others to exercise regularly.  The Rosary is a relatively simple prayer, but its blessings and benefits are enormous.  If you simply pray the Rosary on a regular basis, the Blessed Mother will see to it that you improve your spiritual life in other ways.  As St. Louis de Montfort powerfully states in his book The Secret of the Rosary,

"If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that in spite of the gravity of your sins you shall receive a never fading crown of glory. For even if you are now on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil, sooner or later you will be converted. Heaven will amend your life and save your soul if you say the Rosary devoutly every day of your life."

If the Rosary helps to "save your soul," then regular exercise helps to save your body.  Taking time to exercise is not selfish, unless it is taken to an extreme or becomes an obsession.  Our bodies were created to move.  Neglect of the body through inactivity can lead to disease, low energy, and a decreased sense of self-worth.  Many studies have shown that those who exercise have a better outlook on life and an increased self-esteem.  Exercise helps you love yourself so that you are better able to love God and your neighbor.  Through regular exercise and Rosary prayer, you can become a better vessel to do your part in spreading the Good News.

My book, The Rosary Workout, outlines a program to integrate Rosary prayer and exercise and helps you form a lifelong habit of both.  You can buy the softcover version on Amazon or the ebook version on my website.

I am honored that has invited me to be a regular contributor to their Fitness channel.  I just published my first article, A Sensible Solution for Regular Exercise.

Since I have a bit of free reign in choosing topics for articles, I would love to hear any thoughts and suggestions you might have.  Please leave a comment on this post or email me at peggy [at] rosaryworkout [dot] com  (My email address is written this way to reduce spam emails.)

Related links:

I  found a lot of wisdom and insight from a Catholic perspective of fitness in Robert Feeney's book, The Catholic Ideal: Exericise and Sports

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Children and the Rosary

One of the terrific benefits of being a Catholic author and freelance writer is meeting so many wonderful people, either in real life or online.  One such person is a fellow military wife, mom, blogger and Rosary devotee named Maia.  A few weeks ago, she emailed me asking for ideas for the Rosary Field Day she was running for her CCD classes.  She wanted it to be outside, on the track at the base where her husband is stationed.  After some prayer and thought, I came up with a few ideas and sent them to her.  She was the genius behind the implementation, and it was so fun to read about the field day on her blog.  This would be a great activity for CCD classes, a homeschool group or even just to implement with your own family.  I loved how Maia stated that all the children remembered the mysteries after the event.

Another online friend is Lindy Meyer, who created a Catholic version of the popular lapbook concept used by homeschoolers.  She calls her projects "Faith Folders," and they're terrific!  You don't need to be a homeschooler to take advantage of her great products.  I ordered the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary faith folder, and I am so impressed!  There are 114 pages for the project and it will keep your crafty child occupied for hours as she cuts and pastes the pockets to make the folder.  The content is fantastic and includes a brief history of the Rosary, Church teachings, and Bible quotes, summaries and beautiful artwork for all 20 mysteries.  Lindy has created a variety of faith folders and other products to help enrich your family's Domestic Church.

Children learn by doing and a faith folder or a field day will help them remember the Rosary prayers and mysteries.  They may even surprise you by asking, "Can you pray the Rosary with us?"

Since Memorial Day is coming soon, please pray a Rosary for all our military men and women, especially those in harm's way.  Do remember to include the families who love and support them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mary's Joyful Song

Due to the pouring rain, I was forced inside for my workout yesterday.  It was one of those days when I would have rather sat on the couch and read a good book with a cup of tea.  Some days I don't feel like exercising or praying, but I know that both are good for me and that my day will be so much better afterwards.  I dragged myself to the gym, climbed on a Spinning bike, and chose the Joyful Mysteries from my ipod playlist.

As I meditated on the Second Joyful Mystery, The Visitation, I thought about Mary's joyful canticle, known as the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).  A canticle is a sacred song, and Mary must have been bursting with joy as she sang to Elizabeth, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." (Luke 1:46-47)  Mary was to be the Mother of God Incarnate.  How could she not be filled with joy?

What I find especially interesting about the Magnificat is the remarkable similarity to Hannah's canticle in the Old Testament.  (1 Samuel 2:1-10)  Hannah, who also calls herself a handmaid, is the mother of Samuel, a judge and great prophet in ancient Israel.  Hannah and Samuel are Old Testament "pre-figures" of Mary and Jesus.  These precursors are flawed and have not reached perfection, but Mary and Jesus are the fulfillment and perfection of the many Old Testament figures who foretell them.

If you haven't read 1 Samuel, it's not to be missed, especially the fascinating story of the loss and return of the Ark of the Covenant.  If you don't have a Bible nearby, you can read 1 Samuel online.

I have a beautiful recording of Mary's Magnificat on my ipod.  It's called "Canticle of the Turning" from the album Safety Harbor.  You can download it on Amazon.  (Listen to a preview by clicking the "Play all samples" arrow.) 

The tune for this version of the Magnificat is based on a lovely Irish folk song called "Star of the County Down."  I like this version though there are hundreds of different arrangements.  It's a sweet song about a young man who sees a beautiful girl and plans how to win her love.  View the lyrics here.

I came across the painting above while searching for a joyful depiction of The Visitation.   It was created by Danish artist, Carl Bloch in the 19th century.  Interestingly, this painting inspired Norman Rockwell to create "The Homecoming" to portray the joyful welcome to a soldier returning from World War II.  Learn more at The Deacon's Bench.

It's important that we find the joy in being a Catholic.  Too often we focus on guilt and our faults and shortcomings.  Ask Mary to fill you with so much joy that it cannot be contained and must be belted out in song.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The New Adam

For most of my life, I thought of the Old Testament as a quaint collection of stories about apples, arks and Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea.  I knew most of the four gospels, simply by attending weekly Mass, but the Old Testament readings had little meaning to me.  That all changed about five years ago when my parish offered a Bible study called The Great Adventure.

Suddenly the Old Testament came alive!  I found myself unable to put down the Bible because the stories were so fascinating.  Not only that, but I finally understood the idea that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament.  I never realized that there were "Christ figures" such as Isaac (carrying the wood for his sacrifice up the hill) or Melchisedec (the king and High Priest who offers a sacrifice of bread and wine), and that's just scratching the surface.

Today as I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, I reflected on Jesus as the new Adam.  As St. Paul states, "But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come." (Romans 5:14).

In the First Sorrowful Mystery, The Agony in the Garden, Jesus reverses Adam's disobedience:  "... Not what I will but what You will."  It is no accident that this scene occurs in a garden.  Jesus' acceptance of His Father's will is clearly repairing the damage done eons ago by Adam in the garden of Paradise.  Adam's disobedience closed the gate to that garden, but Jesus' obedience opens the gates to the heavenly Paradise, to which we now all have access.  All we must do is deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him.  (Matthew 16:24)

Note:  You can rent an older version of the Great Adventure DVDs at Pius Media.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Triple Feast Day!

Today is the Feast of the Ascension, whether or not it's a Holy Day of Obligation in your parish.  (See yesterday's post for more.)  On Ascension Thursday, we honor the day that Jesus returned to the Father.  Can you imagine all the rejoicing in heaven that day?!  On this day, we also look to the future with hope, knowing that Jesus "will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven." (Acts 1:11)

On May 13th, we also honor the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.  In a series of visions in 1917 Mary appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal.  She called herself "The Lady of the Rosary" and encouraged daily recitation of her favorite prayer.  One of her requests was to add what is now known as the Fatima Prayer to the end of each decade, following the Glory Be:

Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

Unfortunately, the Fatima visions have become a source of division among Catholics.  There is a small but vocal group that follows an excommunicated priest named Nicholas Gruner, who insists that the Fatima message has not been heeded by Church leadership.  Catholic Culture has a review of one such site to avoid.  A much better source of information can by found at the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.  If in doubt about Fatima websites or any Catholic website, check it out using Catholic Culture's site review feature.

The third feast day celebrated today is Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament.  Learn more at this lovely and informative site.

Related links:

My children and I enjoyed watching the DVD movie,  The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima  You can rent it at one of my favorite websites, Pius Media.

A more recent version is The 13th Day.  I haven't watched it yet, but it does look worthwhile despite the rather mixed reviews.

Read this informative article about all three feast days at Catholic Culture.  The article mentions that the Novena to the Holy Spirit begins today, but it can also be started tomorrow so that it ends on the vigil of Pentecost.  (See my post yesterday for more info.)  In any event, it doesn't matter when one begins a novena.  Your prayers will still be heard!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Ascension

My road bike has a part that needs to be replaced, so I dusted off my mountain bike to explore the roads near our new home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I love riding out in the country, enjoying the rolling hills and the breathtaking views.  With little traffic to distract me, I can clear my head for meditation on the Rosary mysteries.  Since it's Wednesday, I prayed the Glorious Mysteries.

As I pondered the Second Glorious Mystery, The Ascension, I felt regret that this great feast day has been given so little prominence in these modern times.  Only a handful of Catholic churches celebrate the Ascension on its original date, Ascension Thursday, as most have "moved" the feast to Sunday since Catholics can't be bothered to attend Mass in the middle of the week.

Moving the feast day to Sunday also takes away the focus on the first novena.  After Jesus ascended into heaven, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem and prayed with Mary and several other women in the Upper Room for nine days while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  (Acts 1:14). 

If your parish celebrates the feast of The Ascension on Sunday, then you can still honor the feast on Ascension Thursday by reading the Bible references for the Ascension: Mark: 16:15-20; Luke 24: 49-53; Acts 1: 6-11 and perhaps praying the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary. 

The Novena to the Holy Spirit begins this Friday, the day after Ascension Thursday.  This is a wonderful way to prepare for the feast of Pentecost.

Isn't the painting above of The Ascension by Salvador Dali interesting?  It was based on a dream he had about the nucleus of an atom, which the artist felt represented the "unifying spirit" of Christ.  The woman at the top of the painting is Dali's wife, Gala.  Although it is not my favorite painting of The Ascension, I think that is thought-provoking and definitely unique.  There is brief commentary at this link.  Click on #19 in the list of paintings.

Related articles:
Did the Apostles Pray the Rosary? at Catholic Exchange
New Advent article on novenas

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Reflecting the Light of the Son

Today I'm "guest blogging" on my friend Sarah Reinhard's lovely blog.  If you'd like to read my reflections on Mary as the moon, please visit her site.  She is quite an expert on Mary and writes many thought-provoking posts.

Friday, May 7, 2010

For Mothers' Day Procrastinators: Ecard Round-up

First of all, don't forget the Blessed Mother on Mothers' Day. (Yes, this Sunday, already!) It would be a nice gesture to leave a vase of fresh flowers by the statue of Mary in your church.

On a lighter note, if you have not yet selected the perfect card or gift for your mother (or wife), there's still time to send an ecard. I thought this "Amazing Mom" ecard, sung to the tune of "Amazing Grace" was really funny and cute. There are a few more cute Mothers' Day ecards at the Hoops and Yoyo site.

If you'd rather send a Catholic-themed ecard, here are a few sites that offer free ecards:

There are some lovely Madonna and Child cards on

Plenty of choices at the Franciscan ecards site

I really like this icon ecard at the Greek Orthodox Iconograms site

Only one choice for a Mother's Day ecard through the Benedictine Sisters' site, but it's very nice

Well, that should give you a few options.  Have a blessed Mothers' Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pray the Rosary for all our priests

This video fills my heart with hope to see so many young people, in so many different countries, show their appreciation for our priests.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Rosary is a weapon against evil

I wrote an article posted on Catholic Exchange today about how the Rosary is a weapon against the forces of evil.  In this modern era, Satan is alive and well, but his focus is not on the masses who have turned away from God.  Many of those souls are already well on their way to their just reward and don't require much assistance to lead them there. 

Instead, Satan is focusing his efforts on people like you and me who are trying to "work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)  He will work overtime to direct us away from the path to eternal life, especially if we are praying for others whose souls are in danger.

Keep praying the Rosary!  It is our most powerful weapon against evil.

You can order the terrific t-shirt pictured above at the very cool Monk Rock website for just $15.  For an additional $5, you can get a starter kit with a Rosary, buttons, and an MP3 song.

Related links:

- The Franciscan Rosary House has a good article on the Rosary as a defense against evil

- Article on the Rosary Crusade for America from one of my favorite organizations, The Rosary Confraternity

- The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis, is a terrific book about how easily and cunningly the devil can tempt us

- Although I haven't read it yet, I've heard that The Loser Letters by Mary Eberstadt is a thought-provoking, modern-day satire on the "new" atheism, inspired by The Screwtape Letters.

- Please pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, if possible, for the conversion of sinners.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Please help spread devotion to the Rosary

I like to listen to Rosary CDs now and then.  I have several different versions, but I really do like the free CD I ordered from the Mary Foundation.  I keep it in my car as it is easier to pray along with the CD as opposed to fumbling with Rosary beads while I drive.  With the chorus of voices, I feel like I have a group of friends praying with me when I am alone.  The CD also includes the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a short history of the Rosary, and several other Catholic prayers.

This CD would make a wonderful (and very affordable) gift for someone who might like to learn more about the Rosary. 

You can also help spread devotion to the Rosary by placing a bulk order from the website.  Perhaps you can place the CDs in the back of the church you attend or leave them in places like hospitals or prisons.  Consider that one of Mary's 15 Rosary Promises is:

All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

The Rosary is too wonderful to keep to yourself.  Spread the word so that others can reap the blessings and benefits.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Gospel References for the Rosary

After posting this week about the family Rosary and Our Lady of Nicaragua's, request to pray the Rosary with Bible citations, I've decided to make a change to our nightly family prayer routine.  This weekend, I started reading aloud the Bible references for each mystery of the Rosary, one each night.  Afterwards, we pray a decade.  I think this is a wonderful way to teach my children more about the mysteries.  Later, I'll read from a Scriptural Rosary booklet to include the Old Testament references to the mysteries. 

I posted this list of Biblical References for the Rosary last year, but I think this is a good time to re-list them for your reference.  The mysteries are usually listed in a timeline order. I‘ve included the virtues, or fruits, of each mystery as well:

Joyful Mysteries:

1. The Annunciation (Humility) Luke 1: 26-38; John 1:14
2. The Visitation (Charity/Love of Neighbor) Luke 1: 39-56
3. The Nativity (Poverty) Luke 2: 6-20; Matthew 1:18-25
4. The Presentation (Obedience) Luke 2: 22-39
5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple (Joy in finding Jesus; prudence) Luke 2: 41-51

Luminous Mysteries:

1. The Baptism of Jesus (Fidelity to our baptismal promises) Matthew 3:11-17; Luke 3:15-22; John 1:22-34
2. The Wedding Feast at Cana (Faith in Mary‘s intercession and maternal care) John 2: 1-12
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom (Conversion of heart) Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 5:1-8; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:21
4. The Transfiguration (Become a new person in Christ) Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-8
5. The Institution of the Eucharist (Love of the Eucharist; active participation at Mass); Matthew 26:26-28; John 6: 33-59

*Note: The five Luminous Mysteries, or Mysteries of Light, were introduced in 2002 by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter, Rosary of the Virgin Mary.

Sorrowful Mysteries:

1. The Agony in the Garden (True sorrow for sin; repentance) Matthew 26: 36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22: 39-46
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Modesty and purity; mortification or self-denial) Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1
3. The Crowning of Thorns (Moral courage; love of our enemies) Matthew 27:29-30; Mark 15:16-20; John 19: 2-3
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Patience, especially when suffering; fortitude) Luke 23: 26-32; Matthew 27:31-32; Mark 15:21; Luke 23: 26-32
5. The Crucifixion (Perseverance; mercy) Luke 23: 33-46; Matthew 27: 33-54; Mark 15: 22-39; Luke 23: 33-47; John 19: 17-37

Glorious Mysteries:

1. The Resurrection (Faith) Matthew 28: 1-10; Mark 16: 1-18; Luke 24: 1-49; John 20:1-29
2. The Ascension (Hope) Mark: 16: 19-20; Luke 24: 50-51; Acts 1: 6-11
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit (Love of God; gifts of the Holy Spirit) Acts 2: 1-41
4. The Assumption* (Grace of a happy death; eternal happiness) Revelation 12:1
5. Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth* (True devotion to Mary) Revelation 12:1

* Mary‘s Assumption and Coronation are implied in Revelation Chapter 12 and in other Biblical references, but neither is directly stated in the Bible. Both events are part of Catholic Tradition. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the Assumption in Sections 966 and 974.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Five First Saturdays Devotion

This is just a quick blog post as it is the weekend and my wonderful husband's birthday.  Since May is the Month of Mary, I'd like to honor the first day of this month with a short post on a Marian devotion called the Five First Saturdays.  The obligations and blessings of this devotion were revealed to the children of Fatima almost 100 years ago.

I found this helpful site where you can sign up for email reminders and learn more about the devotion.  One link on the site was very interesting to me regarding a series of visions in Nicaragua.  I did some research to find out if the visions are approved by the Church (they are), and came across this very thorough site on Marian apparitions of the 20th century.  EWTN has a great article on the Church's teaching on apparitions and private revelation.

Today is not only the first Saturday, but it's also May Day.  Catholic Culture has a nice article on a Catholic interpretation of this holiday.  When I was a child, we made May baskets one year and hung them on neighbors' doors.  Google "May baskets" for more cute craft project ideas.