Sunday, February 24, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Seventh Promise

     The Seventh promise of the Rosary is that those who are faithful to this devotional prayer shall not die without the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. There is nothing material that we can bring with us as we depart from this existence and pass into the afterlife. We can only carry into the eternity that which resides within our hearts. Love is of greater value than all of the wealth and fame attained during the years of our mortal days. The ubiquitous temptation, despair, is most perilous at death, amid our deepest  physical and emotional vulnerability.
      A secure relationship with Jesus, as experienced through a lifetime of devotion to Him, combined with frequent reception of the Holy Sacraments, will, without fail, lead us back to Him. The Sacraments are "outward signs instituted by Christ to give grace."  Our Hearts are made increasingly receptive to the Holy Spirit's direction by ardent devotion to praying the Rosary. Mary teaches us how to love Jesus and experience His love for us. Our desire to receive the gifts of His Sacraments is vastly augmented by daily reverent oration of the Holy Rosary. There is nothing of greater value with which to leave this temporal life than a heart filled with the love and graces of Jesus.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Sixth Promise

     The Sixth promise of the Rosary is that whoever recites the Rosary prayer devoutly, reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overcome by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by and unprovided death. The sinner will be converted. The just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
     Regardless of what is happening in our lives, we are always within the loving heart of our Almighty Father. He never abandons His children. We will face misfortune, tragedy and sorrow. Grieving is a necessary and natural human process. We live in a society which rejects all sorrow as unnatural. We have been conditioned to believe that disappointment, injustice and loss will never touch our existence, and that if they do, we have somehow personally failed. Many times, we blame God.
          It is remarkable how easy it is  to forget about God in the face of financial abundance and good health. Equally astounding is how deeply we are drawn to our Creator whenever we need His supernatural assistance, long after we have exhausted every effort to independently resolve our difficulties. It is not unusual at these times to be disposed to seek Him with great fervor. He is always ready to receive us into His miraculous embrace, no matter how much we have ignored Him. We are so blessed to have a merciful God.
          Contemplation of the life of Jesus familiarizes us with the virtues needed to be spiritually successful in growing closer to God throughout all life events. Praying the Rosary transforms our hearts, causing us to respond to life's chapters and to our neighbor with gratitude and generosity. There is no mountain we cannot climb. We are never alone. Our eternal destination, to be with God in Heaven at the end of earthly life, is our greatest inspiration. We are strengthened by the examples provided by the love and mercy of Jesus. 

Sunday, February 03, 2019

"Cocina Criolla"

During my childhood, the well used copy of Carmen Aboy Valldejulí's  Cocina Criolla was ever present in our kitchen. Among my favorite recipes are tembleque and flan. Within my copy, given to me by my mother many years ago, I discovered little recipe notes scribbled by my buelita (grandmother).

Fifteen Promises of the Rosary~The Fifth Promise

     The fifth promise to those who faithfully pray the Rosary is that those who trust themselves to Mary through the Rosary shall not perish.
     Our Blessed Mother lived a life of obedience to God. No human being has ever been closer to Jesus. Through her powerful intercession, she faithfully cares for the souls of all her children.
     The lovely rose reflections of the evening clouds on the lake in the image remind me of how our souls bear a reflection of what we dedicate them to during our mortal life. We shall all experience physical death. However, the eternal destination of our souls is determined by how we choose to live. Although devotion to Christ may actually lead to our physical demise at the hands of those who oppose Him, in a mystical way, our souls shall always be safe in His care. Contemplation of the life of Christ while praying the Rosary forever imprints His love upon our souls.
"Let your manners be without covetousness, 
contented with such things as you have, 
for He hath said: I will not leave thee 
neither will I forsake thee. 
So that we may confidently say: The Lord is my helper. 
I will not fear what man shall do to me."

Hebrews 13:5 and 6
Douay Rheims Catholic Bible