Saturday, October 14, 2017

Four Videos to Guide You in Praying the Rosary

Our Lady has asked us to pray the Rosary daily. The following beautiful videos from YouTube can guide you in your prayer. If you are busy with a task that keeps you from using a physical Rosary, then you can play these videos on your phone or tablet to help you pray.








Saturday, October 7, 2017

Rosary Challenge: Pray One Rosary for Each Member of Your Family Every Day



Recently, I was reading a book called The Rosary: Your Weapon for Spiritual Warfare by Johnnette Benkovic and Thomas Sullivan. Towards the beginning, we see a description of a grandmother who would pray a Rosary for each of her grandchildren every day. She had thirteen grandchildren.

The prayerful grandmother gave me an idea. What if we all challenged ourselves to pray a Rosary for each member of our families? What if you prayed a Rosary every day for your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings each - whoever is in your immediate family?

If the prospect of so much prayer seems daunting, perhaps you could start with just one decade each. Or if even that is too daunting, how about one Our Father, One Hail Mary, and One Glory Be for each of them? If you can’t start big, start small. If you pray with a sincere commitment, sooner or later, you will feel the desire to pray more, and you will find the time to do so.

However we get started, today, on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, let us challenge ourselves to pray the Rosary every day for our families.

Photo: Inside the Basilica of the Rosary in Lourdes by Zoltan Abraham.

For more information on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, read the entries at Wikipedia and the Catholic News Agency.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Praying at the Cave of the Annunciation in Nazareth

March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord in the Catholic Church, commemorating the appearance of the Archangel Gabriel in Nazareth to the Virgin Mary, as narrated in Luke 1:26-38, to reveal to her that she would become the Mother of God. Today, a magnificent two story basilica stands at the site. The bottom layer encloses the cave that, according to tradition, was the house of Mary, where the apparition and the Annunciation took place. The basilica is adorned with images of Our Lady from different parts of the world.








































Visiting the House of St. Joseph in Nazareth

March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph's (though this year the celebration was transferred to Monday, March 20, because March 19 fell on a Sunday). Next to the magnificent Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth in the Holy Land stands the Church of St. Joseph, under which pilgrims can visit the excavated ruins of ancient homes dating back to the small community of Nazareth at the time of Jesus. One of these homes is believed to be the house of St. Joseph, where the Holy Family lived. The last picture shows a sign at the foot of the altar saying: "Hic erat subditus illis," meaning "He became obedient to them," a reference to the story of the young Jesus at the temple, told in Luke 2-41-51.






























Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Beautiful Town of Lourdes

February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Below are some pictures of the enchanting town of Lourdes, France, from my visit there in October of 2015. Situated at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, Lourdes is a beautiful little town, complete with a Medieval castle overlooking the area. Lourdes is the site of a series of 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in 1958, over the course of several months. During one of the apparitions, Mary directed Bernadette to find a spring in the grotto, instructing people to drink from the water and to wash themselves with it.

The grotto of the apparition has been well preserved. Pilgrims are able to enter, touch the walls, and view the location, now behind Plexiglass, where Bernadette found the spring. A beautiful church complex was built over the rock formation in which the grotto is located. More recently, under the promenade leading to the grotto, a huge, modern-style basilica was built, large enough to accommodate 25,000 people, making it the third largest basilica in the world. This underground church might initially strike visitors more as a backup parking garage rather than as a church, but the space has a power of its own in its aggressive starkness. Ironically, the basilica is named after St. Pius X, who was not exactly a fan of modernity.

5 million people visit Lourdes every year. Pilgrims can drink from the water and are able to bathe in it through an elaborate, stream-lined process. Visitors can also tour the buildings where Bernadette lived while she was at Lourdes. From March through October, thousands of people participate in a nightly candle light procession, involving multi-lingual prayers. A nightly Eucharistic procession is also held in the underground basilica. Close to the grotto, a life-sized set of the Stations of the Cross winds up the side of a wooded hill, inviting pilgrims to a prayerful walk, with a stunning view of the surrounding area.

Lourdes has a profound spiritual power, and from a spiritual perspective, the experience of this shrine was an amazing spiritual highlight. On the other hand, the rows and rows of shops selling all kinds of articles of commercialized religion can be disturbing and spiritually deflating. God and mammon are both present in this place - it is our choice which we embrace.