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October- The Most Holy Rosary

October is the month dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary!

One of the most popular devotions ever conceived in the Church has to be the Most Holy Rosary. Developed relatively early in the Church and promoted by various saints including St. Louis de Montfort and St. Dominic, it gives devotees a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to Our Lady. In fact, Our Lady appeared to children in Fatima (an apparition that resulted in another name for Mary– Our Lady of Fatima) to advise praying the rosary every day.

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For those unfamiliar, the rosary is a set of beads strung together in a circle, with an extra set of beads dangling down with a cross at the end. The prayers used include O, My Jesus; Hail Mary; Our Father; Glory Be; Apostle’s Creed; and Hail Holy Queen. Each rosary entails 5 decades of Hail Mary’s in which the person is to reflect on a particular mystery of our faith relating to Jesus or Our Lady.

The mysteries of the Rosary are divided into four categories, three original (Sorrowful, Joyful, Glorious) and one added in 2002 by Pope John Paul II (the Luminous mysteries). When praying the Rosary, typically one category is chosen for reflection during that Rosary.

 

The Mysteries of the Rosary

Sorrowful

  1. The Agony in the Garden
  2. The Scouring at the Pillar
  3. The Crowning with Thorns
  4. The Carrying of the Cross
  5. The Crucifixion and Death of our Lord 

Joyful

  1. The Annunciation
  2. The Visitation
  3. The Nativity
  4. The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  5. The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

 

Glorious

  1. The Resurrection
  2. The Ascension
  3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit
  4. The Assumption of Mary
  5. The Coronation of the Virgin

 

Luminous

  1. The Baptism of Jesus
  2. The Wedding at Cana
  3. Jesus’ Proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  4. The Transfiguration
  5. The Instititution of the Eucharist

 

How to Pray the Most Holy Rosary

There is a suggested order for when to pray different sets of mysteries, though it is merely a suggestion, not a requirement. The suggested allocation is:

Monday            Joyful
Tuesday           Sorrowful
Wednesday     Glorious
Thursday         Luminous
Friday              Sorrowful
Saturday         Joyful
Sunday           Glorious

A versatile type of devotion, the rosary can be prayed by focusing on singular sets of mysteries, or can be prayed with all 15-20 mysteries by adding together all the decades. It is common to add some form of prayer intention, and you can even do a shortened 1-decade prayer.

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Praying the rosary can feel really daunting because of the large number of prayers. But it is good to keep in mind that you do not have to pray it all at once. In fact, you do not even have to remember all the prayer sequence or mysteries to get started! You could have a printout and a physical rosary, or you could use a cell phone app such as Laudate (available for both Android and Apple users), which has an interactive rosary feature allowing you to select the set of mysteries to focus on (it also lets you know which is typically prayed that day of the week), and you tap the bead as you go along. If you don’t know the prayer, or want a reflection on the given mystery, you can tap the prayer next to the labeled bead image and it will provide that for you.  There are also a variety of apps that will pray the rosary aloud for you to follow along. EWTN has a televised rosary as well.

Any way that you choose to pray the Most Holy Rosary, I hope you benefit from the wonderful meditation reflection it provides!

Craft

There are tons of crafts and coloring pages available to illustrate and teach the rosary to children. Here is a wonderful one from Catholic Icing.

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Domestic Church Ink Slingers Karen Motherhood Vocations

Do You Know Who You Are in the Father’s Eyes?

Recently, I attended a monthly diocesan women’s night where women from the area are invited to listen to a speaker on a topic related to our Catholic faith, as well as have a chance for confession and Eucharistic adoration. It is a wonderfully enriching time!

On this particular night, Father Prentice Tipton spoke to our group on the topic of Jesus and the Baptism of the Lord, and specifically the the moment when God speaks to Jesus saying, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). -This is my beloved Sonwith whom I am well pleased.- When the Father said this to Jesus, it grounded Jesus. His identity was not wrapped up in how men viewed him, but in the love of His Father. His relationship with God and his identity as His Beloved Son came before ministry to others, and certainly took priority over the accolades of man. This carried him at every point of His ministry, both when crowds gathered to see him, and when the crowds called for His death on the Cross.

Just as Jesus found relationship and identity in the Father’s love for Him, we must also find the same validation through God the Father, Fr. Tipton went on to share.  We must believe that we are the beloved children of God and that He is well pleased with us too.

As God’s creation, He is pleased with what He has made. We did not have to earn that. We have His eternal Love regardless of our actions or self-perception. Whether we stay home with our children, work outside the home, get a PhD, are homeless, wealthy, a criminal, or a saint on Earth, we are loved by God. Certainly our actions impact whether we attain heaven– but those are choices we make, not measures of our Father’s love for us.

But how many of us truly rest in that fact? Satan would have us believe that we are never going to be worthy of God’s love; even that Heaven is unattainable entirely. Satan would have us believe that the whisperings of disapproval from others is the measure of our worth.

We need to instead trust God when He sends the message to us that we are loved and only need to follow Him and rest in Him to have a relationship and identity rooted in Him that gives us peace. It was this peace that pulled Mother Teresa through when she went through spiritual darkness. Even when she didn’t think she could hear God speaking to her, she knew her value was that of God’s daughter, doing His work. She might not have had constant exuberant joy, but she had peace in her role as God’s beloved daughter.

Fr. Tipton closed his talk by asking of us, “Do you know who you are in the Father’s eyes?”

Do you know

And so I ask of you, do you?

As mothers we are drawn, by the nature of our vocation, to sacrifice for our children. We sacrifice our bodies in pregnancy and nursing, and in sheer physical exertion in caring for kids and keeping them safe. We sacrifice our sleep when our children wake at night.  We sacrifice our selfish desires in those times where we comfort our crying child rather than taking that long shower we yearn for. We sacrifice our time when we play with PlayDoh with our child instead of reading a book we were interested in. We even sacrifice spiritual practices when we walk a crying baby in the narthex during Mass, missing the readings and homily. Some mothers had careers they sacrifice to stay at home. Other mothers have to work to help their family financially. We often sacrifice to the point of feeling exhausted and drained.

All this sacrifice is very sanctifying. It prepares us for heaven by allowing us to infect our selfish urges with a spirit of giving. It forces us to use our God-given abilities to help others, often without a second thought.

But much of the time, those tiny people never say thank you. That stranger at the grocery store gives you a thorough disgruntled once over with any number of reasons for their disapproval. Your extended family members tell you how you should parent your children. Moms at the playground give unwelcome advice or admonition about a perceived trouble, or brag about their child’s advancements in light of your child’s average skills.

Are you rattled when this happens? Rest in the Father’s love. You are doing His work. You do not raise your children the best you can so as to please your children, neighbor, spouse, friends, or family members. You are raising your children up because it is God’s will for you to do so. It is too easy to allow Satan to work in you with your doubts about your mothering when you experience the disapproval of others. All this sacrifice isn’t about them or for them. And your worth does not rest in them.

Focus on God. He is the One who laid out this vocation for you, and who gives this hard road to you in order that you may become sanctified and able to enter His Kingdom. He is calling out to you as his beloved child, and He is well pleased with you.

 

Do you know who you are in the Father’s eyes?

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Ink Slingers Karen

August: The Month of the Blessed Sacrament

Last month, we discussed the July devotion to the Precious Blood. Today, we explore the August devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament.

August

We know, as Catholics, that we encounter Jesus whenever we go to Mass and experience the Consecration. When wine and bread are transformed into Body and Blood, and we receive Him, we are transformed. It grants a special grace to handle the trials of Christian living.

Consecrated hosts are kept in a sacred container called a ciborum that is housed inside the tabernacle. The tabernacle is what we are to face when we genuflect at Mass. Some parishes have designated times where the the tabernacle is opened and available for prayerful contemplation called Eucharistic Adoration. This is a wonderful exercise for your spiritual muscle. Take a devotional, your Bible, or simply a blank notebook with a pen and sit in quiet contemplation and take notes on what comes to you as you sit and pray. The Blessed Sacrament can teach you plenty.

 

Prayer

HERE is a prayer from EWTN that you can use when visiting the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration:

church-596933_1920Prayer While Visiting the Blessed Sacrament

My Lord Jesus Christ, for the love which You bear to men, You remain night and day in this Sacrament full of compassion and of love, awaiting, calling, and welcoming all who come to visit You. I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar: I adore You from the abyss of my nothingness, and I thank You for all the graces which You have bestowed upon me and in particular for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament, for having given me your holy Mother Mary for my advocate, and for having called me to visit You in this chapel. I now salute Your most loving Heart: and this for three ends:

  1. In thanksgiving for this great gift;
  2. To make amends to You for all the outrages which You receive in this Sacrament from all Your enemies;
  3. I intend by this visit to adore You in all the places on earth in which You are the least revered and the most abandoned.

My Jesus, I love You with all my heart. I grieve for having so many times offended Your infinite goodness. I promise with Your grace never more to offend You in the future.

Now, miserable and unworthy though I be, I consecrate myself to You without reserve;

I give You my entire will, my affections, my desires, and all that I possess. From now on dispose of me and of all that I have as You please. All that I ask of You and desire is Your holy love, final perseverance, and the perfect accomplishment of Your will. I recommend to You the souls in purgatory; but especially those who had the greatest devotion to the most Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I also recommend to You all poor sinners.

My dear Saviour, I unite all my affections with the affections of Your most loving Heart; and I offer them, thus united, to Your eternal Father, and beseech Him in Your name to vouchsafe, for Your love, to accept them.

Amen.
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Craft

HERE is a wonderful craft you can do with your children to teach them more about the Blessed Sacrament, Adoration, and the tabernacle.

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Ink Slingers Karen

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord

Last month we explored the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This month, we explore the devotion the Precious Blood of our Lord.

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our Lord

 

The Precious Blood, given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ during the Last Supper, grants us an opportunity to get closer to Jesus. It is wine that takes on the real presence of Jesus, giving us valuable graces.  

 

But even more than that, the Precious Blood refers to the blood Jesus shed for us in His sacrifice on the cross and at his circumcision after his birth. His divine blood shed for humanity is powerful! Pope John XXIII wrote a beautiful apostolic letter on the topic that can be found here

 

 

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Prayer

Please join me in praying this lovely prayer to the Precious Blood:

 

O Precious Blood of Jesus, infinite price of sinful man’s redemption, both drink and laver of our souls,

Thou who dost plead continually the cause of man before the throne of infinite mercy;

from the depths of my heart, I adore Thee, and so far as I am able,

I would requite Thee for the insults and outrages which Thou dost continually receive from human beings,

and especially from those who rashly dare to blaspheme Thee.

Who would not bless this Blood of infinite value?

July: Devotion to the Precious Blood of Our LordWho doth not feel within himself the fire of the love of Jesus who shed it all for us?

What would be my fate, had I not been redeemed by this Divine Blood?

Who hath drawn it from the veins of my Savior, even to the last drop?

Ah, this surely was the work of love. O infinite love, which has given us this saving balm!

O balm beyond all price, welling up fr

om the fountain of infinite love,

grant that every heart and every tongue may be enabled to praise Thee,

magnify Thee and give Thee thanks both now and for evermore.

Amen.

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Craft

For a nice craft to help your children understand the Precious Blood and how it ties into the Sacred Heart of Jesus, head on over to Starry Mantle for a Precious Blood craft.

Next Month: August will be the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament!

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Ink Slingers

June: The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

With each month, our Holy Church has a dedicated devotional topic. Last month, we pondered the devotion to Mary, Mother of God . For the month of June, the devotion is to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

 

June -Devotion to the Sacred Heart of JesusDevotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a very, very old practice originally arising out of devotion to the Sacred wounds of Christ and all that His sacrifice for us embodied. It is a beautiful practice with which you can get closer to Jesus in contemplation of the Passion and His most perfect sacrifice.  In 1899, the human race was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Pope Leo XIII’s decree in his encyclical Annum Sacrum. Pope Pius X extended this by instituting this dedication be renewed yearly.  

The Feast Day for the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls 19 days after Pentecost. This year that meant it was June 3rd. In 2017, it will fall on June 23rd. So while you may be sad you missed it if you weren’t aware before, you can mark your calendars for next year! The devotion is often tied to the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

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CRAFT

Here is a fun craft for your children to do to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus!

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PRAYER

Please join me in praying the following novena from EWTN:

 

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus


I. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of…… (here name your request)
Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.


II. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…….(here name your request) Our Father…Hail Mary….Glory Be To the Father….Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
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III. O my Jesus, you have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away.” Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…..(here name your request) Our Father….Hail Mary….Glory Be to the Father…Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
— St. Margaret Mary Alacoque