DNA evidence has shown that most men in Europe descend from just three Bronze Age males

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By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

First Published: 12:01AM BST 20 May 2015

 Almost two out of three modern European men (64 per cent) were descended from just three Bronze Age males

Most European men descend from just three Bronze Age dominant forefathers who began a ‘population explosion’ several thousand years ago. 

A research team from the University of Leicester looked at the DNA sequences of 334 men from 17 European and Middle Eastern populations. 

The study shows that almost two out of three modern European men (64 per cent) were descended from just three males. 

Archaeologists have been puzzled about whether European populations started to surge in the stone age or later. But the new research appears to suggest that there was a rapid expansion of communities in the succeeding Bronze Age.

It appears that that between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago there was a raid explosion in the size of populations from the Balkans to the British Isles. 

Professor Mark Jobling from the Department of Genetics at Leicester University said: “The population expansion falls within the Bronze Age, which involved changes in burial practices, the spread of horse-riding and developments in weaponry. 
“Dominant males linked with these cultures could be responsible for the Y chromosome patterns we see today.” 

Now the team is hoping to study skeletal remains to see if they can pinpoint the exact period that triggered the sudden population expansion.

Study lead author Chiara Batini, from the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics, added: “Given the cultural complexity of the Bronze Age, it’s difficult to link a particular event to the population growth that we infer. 
“But Y-chromosome DNA sequences from skeletal remains are becoming available, and this will help us to understand what happened, and when.” 

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11615902/Most-European-men-descended-from-just-three-ancestors.html

Word Definition: Zephyr

 zeph·yr\ˈze-fər\noun

* a very slight or gentle wind

Full Definition: 

* 1 a : a breeze from the west 
b : a gentle breeze

* 2 : any of various lightweight fabrics and articles of clothing

Examples: * a summer zephyr gently stirred her hair

Origin: Middle English Zephirus, west wind (personified), from Latin Zephyrus, god of the westwind & zephyrus west wind, zephyr, from Greek Zephyros & zephyros.
First use: 1611

Zephyr: air, breath, puff, waft, breeze

(c) Merriam-Webster Dictionary App

Bible may be older than previously thought, hi-tech analysis indicates

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By DANIEL K. EISENBUD
Tue, 12 Apr 2016, 08:05 AM

Inscriptions dating to 600 BCE suggest widespread literacy at the time of Kingdom of Judah, say Tel Aviv University researchers.
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Photo by: MICHAEL CORDONSKY

Scholars have long debated how much of the Bible was composed before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah, in 586 BCE.

While experts agree that key biblical texts were written starting in the 7th century BCE, the exact date of the compilation of these books remains in question.

Now, a groundbreaking new study by Tel Aviv University (TAU) published in theProceedings of the [US] National Academy of Sciences this week, sheds important new light on the debate.

“There’s a heated discussion regarding the timing of the composition of a critical mass of biblical texts,” said Prof.

Israel Finkelstein of TAU’s Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, who led the research with Prof. Eliezer Piasetzky, of the university’s School of Physics and Astronomy.

“But to answer this, one must ask a broader question: What were the literacy rates in Judah at the end of the First Temple period? And what were the literacy rates later on, under Persian rule?” According to the study, the researchers determined that widespread literacy was required for the massive undertaking, and it provides empirical evidence of that literacy in the final days of the Kingdom of Judah.

A profusion of literate individuals in Judah may have set the stage for the compilation of biblical works that constitute the basis of Judahite history and theology, such as the early version of the books of Deuteronomy to Second Kings, according to the researchers.

Using cutting-edge computerized image processing and machine learning tools, the TAU team analyzed 16 inscriptions unearthed at an excavation in the remote fort of Arad, and deduced that the texts had been written by at least six authors.

The content of the inscriptions disclosed that reading and writing abilities existed throughout the military chain of command, from the highest echelon, all the way down to the deputy quartermaster of the fort.

http://m.jpost.com/Israel-News/Old-Testament-may-be-older-than-previously-thought-hi-tech-analysis-indicates-451004#article=6020RDFDODRFNUM0QjlFNUE3REI3RDNGM0I0REQ5QzgxRjM=

Fascinating Native American Contributions 

21 March 2016

By K. H.

1. The U.S. Constitution is partially based upon the Great Law of Peace, the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy.

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In 1988, the United States Congress passed a resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois League upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

2. Native Americans made the oldest cotton cloth ever found.

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Cotton cloth has been unearthed by archaeologists from caves in Mexico which date back as far as 8,000 years ago. Remains of both cotton cloth and cotton bolls were found.

3. The Cherokee, like many tribes, traced their families through the mother. As a result, women often held leadership roles.

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Women of great influence became known as “Ghigau,” meaning Beloved Woman, the highest role to which a Cherokee woman could aspire. The name also translates into War Woman and was often awarded to courageous women warriors.

4. Even though most Native Americans live in the west today, the single city with the largest population is New York.

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5. Christopher Columbus was not the first to meet the Native Americans, the Vikings were.5

First making their way to North America in the 11th century, archaeological evidence suggests they encountered Native American some 500 years before Columbus arrived.

6. The English language has adopted countless Native American words.

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Some examples include: barbecue, cannibal, caribou, chipmunk, chocolate, cougar, hammock, hurricane, mahogany, moose, opossum, potato, skunk, squash, toboggan and woodchuck.

Skip to content7. The 1894 Census Bureau estimated more than 40 “official” Indian Wars in the United States that cost the lives of some 19,000 white and 30,000 Native American men women, and children.

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In addition to the official Indian Wars, there were hundreds of skirmishes between the settlers and the Native Americans that resulted when pioneers pushed westward, trespassing upon traditional Native American lands.

8. The first kidnapping in America took place when Italian explorers kidnapped a Native American child to bring to France in July, 1524.

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9. The red dye that was the most valuable export from the New World in the 16th century and was used on British uniforms in the Revolutionary War was developed by Native Americans.

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The process in which dried cactus-eating insects could be turned into red dye – called cochineal – was developed centuries ago.

10. Some time between 600-1450 AD in Arizona, the Hohokam were constructing one of the most sophisticated irrigation networks ever created using pre-industrial technology.

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11. Native Americans cultivated and developed many plants that are very important in the world today, including white and sweet potatoes, corn, beans, tobacco, chocolate, peanuts, cotton, rubber and gum. They also invented popcorn!

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12. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians were remarkably free of serious diseases and rarely died from illness.

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However, as Europeans and colonists began to arrive, bringing with them measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, whooping cough, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chicken pox, and small pox. Epidemics over the years killed millions of people.

13. Many old Native American villages, located on waterways and trails, would eventually become trading posts and then small villages as pioneers moved westward.

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Today, some are the sites of large cities such as of Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pocatello, Idaho, and countless others.

14. Native Americans were some of the first developers of anesthetics, using coca, peyote, datura and other plants for partial or total loss of sensation or consciousness during surgery.

Immigrant doctors who came to America were unaware of these techniques until the mid-19th century. Before this, they performed surgery after giving the patients alcohol or knocking them out.

15. Native Americans were the first people to make maple syrup, using basically the same method which is used today.

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16. During World War II, the Japanese Army could not break the secret code of the U.S. Military. The code was simply a group of Navajo volunteers speaking their Native American language on their field radios.

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Source: http://first-americans.com/16-important-facts-you-should-know-about-native-american-heritage/

God’s Special Weapon Against Evil: Spiritual Mothers

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From the Catholic Exchange

JANUARY 27, 2016

God’s Special Weapon Against Evil: Spiritual Mothers

By Kathleen Beckman
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There is a most beautiful, vital vocation within a vocation that is “largely unknown, scarcely understood and, consequently, rarely lived, not withstanding its fundamental importance”: spiritual motherhood for priests. “It is a vocation that is frequently hidden, invisible to the naked eye, but meant to transmit spiritual life.”(Mauro Cardinal Piacenza, Eucharistic Adoration for the Sanctification of Priests & Spiritual Motherhood, 2013, p 12,13).Cardinal Piacenza further explains the reason why now is the time to emphasize this vocation for the broader Church, “The present situation of the Church in a secularized world and the subsequent crisis of faith has the pope, bishops, priests and faithful looking for a way forward. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the real solution lies in the interior renewal of priests, and in this context the so-called “spiritual maternity for priests” assumes a special role. Through being “spiritual mothers”, women and mothers participate in the universal motherhood of Mary, who as mother of the Supreme and Eternal High Priest, is also the mother of all priests of all times.”

Other Mary’s

From the heart of the Church comes a call to imitate Mary in transmitting spiritual life to souls. A trumpet sounds, a need arises, and the role of Catholic womanhood is called forth. Where are the “other Mary’s”? I’ve often reflected on why the Lord Jesus, when He ascended to the Father, left behind His holy Mother at the start of the Church? Her presence, prayer, encouragement, wisdom, and exhortation; her feminine lovemust have strengthened the Apostles. Her maternal holiness and prayer helped to form the first clergy.In the words of Fr. John Cihak, “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s role is to call out of the priest this celibate “agape” to help him become a husband to the Church and a spiritual father—a strong father, even in his weakness. She does this at the foot of the Cross by drawing the priest out of his own pain to offer pure masculine love in the midst of her own feminine love. This scene becomes the icon of the relationship between the priest and the Church.” (Fr. John Cihak article, “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s Role in the Celibate Priest’s Spousal and Paternal Love”, quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, p 54, 55.) The lesson for spiritual mothers: the more we reflect the heart of Mary, the more God can use us to spiritually call forth from men the masculine ideal of Christ-like spiritual fatherhood.The role of a Catholic woman might be summed up in a word: MARY. Motherhood (physical and spiritual) Adoration (first duty to God) Resourceful (wise, creative) Yes to God (serving the divine will). Some women will transmit life physically, but all women of faith can be life bearers: Christ-bearers. What does Catholic womanhood have to do with the clergy? We can learn from several female saints whose lives bear witness to the beauty of spiritual maternity for priests.

“Woman: God’s special weapon in His fight against evil”

St. Edith Stein helps us to understand the unique role of woman in God’s plan. Always the role of woman is best revealed in the life of the Virgin Mary. Her singular dignity to be the Mother of Christ reveals the thought of God regarding the dignity of women. He chose women to be cooperators in creating new life. In light of how much the fallen angels despise and fear the Virgin Mary, we better understand the teaching of St. Edith Stein: The intrinsic value of woman consists essentially in exceptional receptivity for God’s work in the soul. For an understanding of our unique feminine nature, let us look to the pure love and spiritual maternity of Mary. This spiritual maternity is the core of a woman’s soul. Wherever a woman functions authentically in this spirit of maternal love, Mary collaborates with her. This holds true whether the woman is married or single, professional or domestic or both, a Religious in the world or in the convent. Through this love, a woman is God’s special weapon in His fight against evil. Her intrinsic value is that she is able to do so because she has a special susceptibility for the works of God in souls—her own and others. She relates to others in His spirit of love. Here, a great woman and saint of the Church broadens spiritual motherhood beyond the walls of the cloister or convent where for centuries beloved women Religious Sisters interceded for priests; and thankfully, continue to this present time. More recently, Fr. Raniero Cantalamesa addresses the movement of the Holy Spirit: “God calls some souls to the even higher task of atoning for priests…only men can be priests, but the wisdom of God has kept aside a task for women, and even a higher task in a certain sense, which the world does not understand and thus rejects with distain: that of forming priests and of contributing to raising the quality, not quantity, of Catholic priesthood. The Lord is calling the faithful in ever growing numbers to pray, to offer sacrifices, in order to have holy priests. A concern, a passion, for holy priests has spread as a sign of the times though today’s Church” (Fr. Cantalamessa, OFM, Sober Intoxication of the Spirit: Part Two quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests, p 18-19). We turn to Mary to understand how women of faith who are called to be spiritual mothers become God’s special weapon in His fight against evil. We’ll consider the ten evangelical virtues of Mary that form a powerful arsenal of spiritual arrows to mortally wound the fallen angels; those demons who “prowl the earth like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

The ten evangelical virtues of Mary:
* Most Pure (Mt 1:18, 20, 23, Lk 1:24,34)
* Most Prudent (Lk 2:19; 51)
* Most Humble (Lk 1:48)
* Most Faithful ( Lk 1:45; Jn 2:5)
* Most Devout (Lk 1:46-47; Acts 1:14)
* Most Obedient (Lk 1:38; 2:21-22; 27)
* Most Poor (Lk 2:7)
* Most Patient (Jn 19:25)
* Most Merciful (Lk 1:39, 56)
* Most Sorrowful (Lk 2:35)

Marian virtues perpetuate the victory of her Son Jesus Christ and can render Satan’s corrupting vices impotent. Satan fears Mary. Why? He knows God is omnipotent. But Mary is a lowly creature favored by God, raised to such a level of dignity and influence that her little heel can crush Satan’s head. He can’t get over this! In many rites of major exorcism in which I have participated on the team assisting the exorcist priest, Mary responds to the plea of the priest to help him cast out demons. Frequently, the Virgin Mary’s presence is the finishing touch to evict the evil one. A woman who identifies with Mary is His special weapon in His fight against evil. The humble Mother of the Eternal High Priest is gathering a little army of daughters who attain to her virtues. God uses Mary’s daughters as righteous arrows against the malice of the devil.

The example of an ordinary wife and mother

Here’s a practical example in the ordinary life of a Catholic wife and mother of five young sons. She has answered the call to spiritual maternity for priests. Recently, in an interview we did for the Foundation of Prayer for Priests, she shared that when she is making her children’s lunches, desiring to feed them the most nutritious food, she also considers the priest who desires to feed God’s flock the imperishable food of the Eucharist. Then she offers up her tiredness for him. I asked her how praying for priests has impacted her life as wife and mother. She shared that, at first, she did not fully understand the priest. He was set apart for God and a bit mysterious. When she realized that the Holy Spirit was quickening her heart to pray for her parish priest, the Holy Spirit began to teach her how to pray for him. She came to understand that the priest is a spiritual father of the Catholic family entrusted to him. He is charged with the care of parishioner’s souls but is subject to weariness and spiritual warfare also. During the Mass she observed more carefully the reverent gestures of the priest and began to see more of Jesus on the altar. Also, in recognizing the priest’s spiritual paternity, her appreciation of her husband’s role as spiritual father for the family grew. When we pray for the priests, the Sanctifier pours graces of wisdom, knowledge and understanding upon us. Thus, we become more like Mary—attuned to the things of God. Priests and laity have a mutual need to mirror holiness for one another. Often this takes place in a silent, hidden, real and transformative way.

“The priest is the target of the devil’s malice”

“The priest is a marked man, the target of the devil’s malice. Don’t pray for priests superficially. Pray fervently. We priests need your prayers and sacrifices” – these words of Fr. William Casey are confirmed by Fr. John Hardon, “…No words I can use would be too strong to state that the Catholic priesthood needs prayer as sacrifice as never before since Calvary. Priests experience pressures with a violence and a virulence such as no one else, but a priest can understand. One saint after another has declared that the devil’s principle target on earth is the Catholic priest. Priests need special graces from God. We ask why pray for priests? We should pray for priests and bishops, because this has been the practice of the Church since apostolic times. It’s a matter of truth. It is a divine mandate.” (Fr. John Hardon, The Value of Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests,The Real Presence Association, quoted by Beckman, Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization, p 21). Priests are the spiritual head of the Body of Christ and therefore; Satan aims to spiritually decapitate the Body of Christ in mockery of the Eternal High Priest. Some spiritual writers refer to Mary as the spiritual neck of the Church connecting the members of Christ’s body with the head, the priests in “persona Christi”—a beautiful analogy. Spiritual motherhood of priests is our response of love for Jesus Christ. This Year of Mercy is an opportune time to practice a vital spiritual work of mercy: spiritual adoption of priests. May the Lord help you to discover this beautiful vocation within your vocation to His glory.

Visit http://www.foundationforpriests.org for more information on spiritual motherhood, fatherhood and spiritual warfare. This article contains excerpts from Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization.image: Praying for Priests. Tagged as: Edith Stein, Mary, praying for priests, spiritual motherhood138

The Author: Kathleen Beckman

Kathleen Beckman, L.H.S. President and co-founder of the Foundation of Prayer for Priests (www.foundationforpriests.org), has served the Church for the past 25 years as a Catholic evangelist, author, radio host, Ignatian trained retreat director and speaker. Over the past 15 years she has served with priests in the Church’s healing, deliverance and exorcism ministry. She has leadership roles for Catholic apostolates including the Pope Leo XII Institute for Priests, Magnificat, a Ministry to Catholic Women, and Radio Maria’s “Living Eucharist & Mercy” program. She’s often featured on EWTN radio and TV programs related to her books on healing and holiness through sacramental life. A writer for Catholic Exchange, Sophia Institute Press published her last two books, (2014) Praying for Priests: A Mission for the New Evangelization and (2015) God’s Healing Mercy. A wife, mother and grandmother, Kathleen lives in Southern CA where she and her husband are business owners.www.kathleenbeckman.com.

5 Reasons Why YOUNG Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

5 Reasons Why YOUNG Catholics Should Pray a Daily Rosary

Posted on March 20, 2012 by Mary| 56 Comments

Let’s be honest. The rosary isn’t the most popular prayer amongst our age group. It’s the prayer that we sometimes got guilt-tripped into reciting on long car rides with the family, or guilt-tripped into reciting while at the Lenten prayer service, or guilt-tripped into reciting when…well, you get the picture. For many of us, the rosary is pretty much just the result of a guilt trip.

However, despite what preconceived notions or feelings you may have towards the rosary, I submit to you that it should be a regular part of your daily life as a young Catholic. Why? Five main reasons:

1. In the fight against temptation and against Satan, a wimpy and sporadic prayer life simply will not do.

What does the prayer life of most people our age look like? Most likely: whatever we feel like that day. This is, quite simply, a recipe for disaster, and a fast-track to grave sin.

If you’re not accustomed to it, developing the habit of praying a daily rosary (or any consistent daily prayer) is difficult. Because of this, we can easily come up with a thousand reasons why getting in a rosary every day is just not all that important. The Catechism describes this battle of prayer:

2725 Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort. The great figures of prayer of the Old Covenant before Christ, as well as the Mother of God, the saints, and he himself, all teach us this: prayer is a battle. Against whom? Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray. If we do not want to act habitually according to the Spirit of Christ, neither can we pray habitually in his name. The “spiritual battle” of the Christian’s new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.

So, we turn to the one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal: the rosary.

“The holy Rosary is a powerful weapon. Use it with confidence and you’ll be amazed at the results.” -Saint Josemaria Escriva

“No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary” -Bishop Hugh Doyle

2. Because “World Peace” isn’t just a go-to answer for beauty pageant contestants

Prayer may be described both as an internal struggle and as a spiritual battle, but as Christians, we are always faced with the task of bringing the peace of Christ to a confused and hurting world. How are we even to begin to go about this?

Mary literally gave us the answer to this herself. And then she made the sun dance.

If you’re not familiar with Mary’s apparitions at Fatima, she appeared several times to three children at the beginning of the twentieth century. Her message:

Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary in each of Her apparitions, asking the children to pray the Rosary every day for peace. Another principal part of the Message of Fatima is devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, which is terribly outraged and offended by the sins of humanity, and we are lovingly urged to console Her by making reparation. She showed Her Heart, surrounded by piercing thorns (which represented the sins against Her Immaculate Heart), to the children, who understood that their sacrifices could help to console Her.

Again and again, Mary has appealed to us in her apparitions to pray the rosary daily. Why not do as she says?

3. Because Jesus listens to his mom

We see this in John’s account of the gospel, when Jesus transforms the water into wine after Mary tells him they had run out at the wedding (John 2:1-11). In a similar way to the Old Testament, when the King listened to and respected the Queen Mother, so Jesus respects and listens to his Mother, Mary, Queen of Heaven.

“And the king said to her, ‘Make your request, my mother; for I will not refuse you” -1 Kings 2:20

Of course we can go straight to Jesus, but he has given us his Mother as well (John 19:27). And as we know from the gospel, Jesus hastens to answer his Mother’s requests.

4. Miracles Happen

“Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary.” -Pope Pius IX

Books could be filled (and, in fact, have been filled) with stories of miraculous healings, conversions, and other events brought about by the regular recitation of the rosary. There’s no reason to expect the rosary not to bring about some dramatic and powerful change in your life as well.

5. Because meditation helps us to “see for the first time”

The rosary is meant to be the “epitome of the entire Gospel”. When we pray the rosary, we are engaging in the practice of mediation

CCC 2708: Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him.

Mediation is meant to lead us as a step along the way to true knowledge of the Lord, to personal union with Jesus. As GK Chesterton said, “If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time, you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.” This is what we attempt to do in mediation – to see for the first time. We meditate on the stories of the Gospel as we pray with Mary to help us see Jesus for the first time, to fall in love with Him by meditating upon his life.

So get the beads out and start praying! You won’t regret it

Source URL: http://youngandcatholic.net/2012/03/5-reasons-why-young-catholics-should-pray-a-daily-rosary/

10 Tips To Help You PRAY (not just SAY) The Rosary!

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10 Great Tips To Help You PRAY (not just SAY) The Rosary!

Jul 9th, 2012 by Gary Zimak.

I’ve always found praying the Rosary to be difficult. Although I love the Blessed Mother and understand the importance of the devotion, it just doesn’t come easy to me. In reality, I have no problem SAYING the prayers, the problem arises in transforming the words into a heartfelt prayer. Furthermore, many books tell us how to SAY to Rosary, with only a few instructing us how we should PRAY it. In an attempt to discover the “secret” of this beloved prayer, I’ve done a lot of research and uncovered 10 great (I can say that in all humility because they’re not mine!) tips to help you PRAY (not just SAY) the Rosary!

1. Less Is More – In his book, The Rosary of Our Lady, Msgr. Romano Guardini offers the following advice:

“It is not necessary to ramble through the whole Rosary; it is better to say only one or two decades, and to say them right.”

Talk about removing the pressure! I’ve always struggled to make sure I complete the entire Rosary, even if it meant that I wasn’t paying attention. Now I realize that quality is more important than quantity.

2. You Are Not Alone – A great proponent of Marian devotion, St. Louis de Montfort urges us to be aware of our company while praying the rosary. In The Secret of the Rosary, Montfort reminds us that, when we pray the Rosary, we should put ourselves in God’s presence and imagine that He (along with the Blessed Mother) is watching us and that our guardian angel is standing to our right. If we say the prayers well, our angel will use them to make crowns for Jesus and Mary. Thinking about this before beginning to pray helps us to realize that we are doing A LOT more than just repeating pious words!

3. Watch What You Say – St. Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, contributes a simple, but often overlooked suggestion. He encourages us to pronounce each Our Father and Hail Mary clearly and without rushing. In doing so, we will better express our love for Mary and Jesus. When praying the Rosary, it’s easy to fall into the trap of mumbling and our rushing through the prayers. Remembering that the Our Father was handed down to us from Jesus and that most of the Hail Mary is taken directly from Scripture should help us to recall that the words DO mean something!

4. Been There, Done That – When we look at Mary’s life, we sometimes overlook her many struggles. Like us, Mary was forced to endure suffering and difficulties, often without a lot of explanation. Being the Mother of God didn’t make her all knowing. The Bible tells us that Mary experienced confusion and had to seek understanding through prayer. In her book, The Splendor of the Rosary, Maisie Ward (Catholic author, publisher and wife of noted apologist Frank Sheed) stated:

“In the Rosary we rejoice, sorrow and triumph with Our Lady as she walks the same path we have to walk. But now she has reached the end.”

When we pray the Rosary, we should remember that Mary understands our problems and confusion. By meditating on the events in her life and the life of her Son, we can obtain help for our daily struggles from someone who is now in a place where we’d like to someday be!

5. Listen To The Word – In his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae (On The Most Holy Rosary), Blessed Pope John Paul II recommends that we supplement our Rosary meditations with Bible reading. After announcing the individual mystery, the late Holy Father encourages us to read an appropriate Bible passage. While this is not always possible (if we are praying while walking or driving, for instance), we can still mentally recall the details of an appropriate Bible story. This underscores the importance of becoming familiar with Sacred Scripture.

6. Savor The Repetition – Sometimes it feels as if praying the Rosary is just “repeating a bunch of words”! In fact, one of the criticisms of the Rosary is that it is nothing more than “vain repetition”. In his book, The World’s First Love: Mary, Mother of God, Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen addresses those who consider the rosary to be monotonous. Using the analogy of a husband telling his wife “I love you” or a mother proclaiming “you’re a good boy” to her child, Sheen stresses that the words mean something different at each point in time that they are repeated. In the same way, each time we pray the Rosary, we are saying “I love you” to God, the Trinity, to Jesus and to Mary. With each successive bead (or decade) the meaning shifts as we contemplate a new aspect of Jesus or Mary’s love.

7. Do Whatever He Tells You – Praying the Rosary, no matter how devoutly, is never a substitute for following the commands of Jesus and His Church. The Rosary should spur us on to live the mysteries in our daily life. In his book, The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales on Our Lady, St. Francis de Sales had this to say:

“The worldly-minded imagine that devotion to Our Lady usually consists in carrying a rosary in their cincture. It seems to them that it is enough to pray it a number of times without doing anything else. In this they are greatly mistaken. For our dear Mistress wants us to do what her Son commands us (John 2:5) and considers as done to herself the honor we give to her Son by keeping His commandments.”

8. Think – In the preface of Father Peyton’s Rosary Prayer Book: The Family That Prays Together Stays Together, Fr. Patrick Peyton reminds us that the Rosary is more than a series of prayers to be recited. Rather, it is “a series of thoughts to be dwelt on, to be turned over in the mind, to be applied in daily life.” While we are saying the words of the prayers, we should be meditating upon the mysteries. That was a hard concept for me to understand, but it’s the key to unleashing the power of the Rosary.

9. Grow In Virtue
– Mother Angelica loves the Rosary. In her book, The Prayers and Personal Devotions of Mother Angelica, she discusses how to use the Rosary to grow in virtue:

“If you’re not making progress in one virtue, say your Rosary and meditate on that virtue as Our Lord practiced it. I cannot get over my faults and weaknesses if I don’t substitute those faults and weaknesses for something of God. This is precisely why the life of Jesus and the reading of Scripture and the rosary never seem to change us – why we remain the same: Because to change you need to admire someone other than yourself.”

10. Ask Mary For Help – This one’s so obvious that it’s easy to overlook! This simple, but powerful suggestion comes from a list (Tips On Praying The Rosary More Devoutly) put together by The Association of the Miraculous Medal in Perryville, MO. Before beginning the Rosary, we should ask Our Blessed Mother to help us pray devoutly.

Although the Rosary follows a simple pattern, it can be a very challenging prayer to master. Rest assured that many of the Saints struggled with it too. If you find it difficult to pray the Rosary, try out these tips and see what happens. It might take a little time, but eventually your persistence will pay off. The next time you pick up your rosary beads, imagine that you’re holding Mary’s hand and taking a trip to visit Jesus. For when we pray the Rosary, that’s exactly what happens!

“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God…and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary.” (Pope Saint Pius X)

Posted in: Blessed Mother, devotion, Marian, Mary, prayer, rosary.

Source URL: http://www.followingthetruth.com/10-great-tips-to-help-you-pray-not-just-say-the-rosary/

The Origin of the Knights Templar – Descendants of Jewish Elders?

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Knight Templar – Temple Church, London, England

31 DECEMBER, 2015 – 14:09 MARKPINKHAM

The Origin of the Knights Templar – Descendants of Jewish Elders?

The Knights Templar initially arrived in the Holy Land on a mission to reclaim some treasure that they believed was rightfully theirs. According to the modern Templar historians, Tim Wallace-Murphy and Christopher Knight, the knights who banded together as the Knights Templar were part of a wave of European royalty descended from Jewish Elders that had fled the Holy Land around 70 AD, when it was invaded by the Romans.

Templars of the Rex Deus Families

Before leaving their homeland, these Elders had hidden their temple treasures and priceless Essene and Kabbalistic scrolls in strategic regions of the Holy Land so that the Roman invader Titus could not plunder them as the spoils of war. The Jewish Elders then immigrated to Europe. There, many of them married into the continent’s noble families. Of these Elders, twenty-four would become the patriarchs of a group of European families known by the sobriquet of the “Rex Deus” or “Star” families.

For hundreds of years the secret locations of the Jewish treasure filtered down through the families of the Elders – until the First Crusade, when knighted members of the Rex Deus joined the procession of holy warriors traveling east with the dual goal of defeating the Moslems and recovering their family treasure.

The original nine Knights Templar were either born into or related to the Rex Deus families, as was Godfrey de Boullion, the French general who led them against the Saracens during the First Crusade. His cousin, King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, assisted the Templars in retrieving the treasure by donating the al-Aqsa Mosque for their use.

Northeast exposure of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.

Northeast exposure of Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. (CC BY SA 3.0)

Treasures from the Holy Land to Scotland

Traces of the Templars’ ensuing excavations were later discovered in the 1800s by a detachment from the Royal Engineers of Great Britain and are now in the possession of the family of the late Knight Templar archivist of Scotland, Robert Brydon.

Apparently the Jewish Elders had stashed much of their treasure under Solomon’s Stables, because it was there that the Templars spent most of their time excavating. After nine years of digging, the original nine Knights had accumulated enough treasure and documents to fill four large trunks.

When their patron, King Baldwin II, suddenly took ill and died, the Knights took their four cases into Europe, stopping briefly at St. Omer in Flanders to have one of the documents copied and then replaced by cleric Lambert de St. Omer. Called the Heavenly Jerusalem, the copied document is now stored in the library of the University of Ghent in Belgium.

Copy of the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem.’

Copy of the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem.’ (University of Ghent)

After a special ceremony with Pope Honorius III at the Council of Troyes in 1128 (making their organization official in the eyes of the Church) two of the Knights, Hughes de Payen and Andre de Montbard, carried their four cases of treasures to Kilwinning, Scotland, the location of the “Mother” Grand Lodge of Freemasonry.

Rosslyn Chapel and the Four Large Cases

The trunks resided there for many years before eventually being moved to Sinclair Castle in Roslin, near Edinburgh. The Sinclairs were one of the Rex Deus or Star families whose destiny had, according to one legend, become forever entwined with the Knights Templar when their ancestress Catherine de Saint Clair married Hughes de Payen a decade or so before he took the vows of a monk in 1128. It is because of the Sinclair-Templar bond that much of the Knights’ treasure, including the prodigious wealth that landed in Scotland after the Templar escape from France in 1307, ended up in the coffers of the Sinclair Clan.

Ruins of Sinclair (Roslin) Castle, Roslin, Scotland.

Ruins of Sinclair (Roslin) Castle, Roslin, Scotland. (CC BY SA 3.0)

The Sinclair Earls of Roslin kept the four cases of Templar treasure safe in their castle until a fire unexpectedly broke out and they were forced to remove them from the collapsing edifice. The calamitous event apparently had a silver lining, however, because legend has it that soon after the fire, construction on nearby Rosslyn Chapel began in earnest. Thus, the safekeeping of the four boxes may have been the original purpose for the construction of Rosslyn Chapel.

Inside the Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Scotland.

Inside the Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Scotland. (Mark Amaru Pinkham)

Recent confirmation for the survival of the four cases in Rosslyn has come through ground scans in the chapel taken over the past twenty years, which reveal a vault in the crypt containing four large boxes. This vault is located directly under the keystone and within the most energetically protected part of the chapel.

If Rosslyn Chapel was built as a copy of Solomon’s Templar or Herod’s later temple, as many believe, then this region of the chapel would correspond to the inner sanctum or Holy of Holies. Researcher Christopher Knight contends that Rosslyn Chapel is a model of Herod’s Temple, which is why it contains a so-called “unfinished” outer wall.

The outside of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Scotland.

The outside of Rosslyn Chapel, Roslin, Scotland. (Mark Amaru Pinkham)

Knight asserts that this wall was added intentionally to give the Chapel the appearance of the ruins of Herod’s Temple – as it looked when the Templars excavated under it. If this is true, then Rosslyn Chapel was built to duplicate Herod’s Temple so that the Knights’ Jewish treasure could be symbolically returned to a version of its original hiding place in the Holy Land.

Featured Image: Knight Templar – Temple Church, London, England (CC BY NC ND 2.0) and Knights Templar Seal (Public Domain)

By Mark Amaru Pinkham

Excerpted from World Gnosis: The Coming Gnostic Civilization by Mark Amaru Pinkham. 2010. Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, IL.

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