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HOLY WEEK AND EASTER

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HOLY WEEK AND EASTER

 

Uova-di-PasquaI remember growing up when it came time for the celebration of Palm Sunday and all things relating to Easter, we always had a special new outfit for the occasion, Easter finery as it was called.  In my family I remember on Easter morning waking up to find a jelly bean trail from my  bed (and my brother found the same) down the stairs leading to our Easter baskets with special treats and goodies that the Easter bunny had brought us.  In the days leading up to Easter, we always colored and dyed eggs for Easter.   The eggs were hard boiled, of course, prior to being able to color them.   This was always a fun family activity for us, just as going in the pasqua-2007-new-york-2Manhattan at Easter in our new outfits to be in the annual Easter Parade.   This was always something interesting to do and just to watch everyone parading around showing off their finery for all to see.   Also we went on Easter egg hunts around the house (inside and out) to find out where the eggs were hidden and to see how many we could actually find.  Also at this time there were family outings to visit relatives and others friends.  We also spent time cleaning the house before Holy Week, and helping out at church and in the community as well doing acts of charity and helping our neighbors.

For dinner at Easter, it was tradition to have lamb, ham, asparagus and other holiday foods.   I realize that in many cultures in the United States, other traditional foods are added to their Easter meals, and not just what most others would consider “traditional Easter” foods.

 

PalmeB-w2From the very beginning of Christianity it has always been devoted to a special commemoration of Christ’s Passion and death through the practice of meditation, prayer, fasting, and penance. After the great persecutions, the Christian emperors of both the East and West Roman Empires issued various decrees forbidding not only amusements and games, but also regular work in trade, business, professions, and courts. The sacred days were to be spent free from worldly occupations, entirely devoted to religious exercises. Every year during Holy Week an imperial edict granted pardon to a majority of those detained in prison; in the courts many charges were withdrawn in honor of Christ’s Passion. Holy week begins with the observance of Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, in which the church celebrates  Jesus’s triumphant entry in Jerusalem, the week preceding        his death and resurrection.    Christians place blessed palm leaves in the shape of a cross behind religious images or statues.  To many Christians palm leaves are a symbol of victory and joy.      The bible tells us that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, he was greeted by crowds greeting him by waving palm branches and covering his path with palm branches, and supporters also laid down small branches of trees.     This reference to Jesus’ coming in God’s name is seen as a clear indication that he was being hailed as the Messiah (the promised one).

Kings and rulers in medieval days retired from all secular business during Holy Week to spend the time in recollection and prayer, often within the seclusion of a monastery. Farmers set aside their plows, artisans their tools, schools and government offices closed, and courts did not sit. Popular feeling caused the banning not only of music, dancing, and secular singing but also of hunting and any other kind of sport. It was truly a “quiet” and “holy” week even in public life.

The Sacred Triduum of Holy Week (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) was a time of holyday obligation all through the Middle Ages. The Christian people, freed from servile work, were all present at the impressive ceremonies of these days.

Holy Thursday-

Holy Thursday is the day on which Christ celebrated the Last Supper with His disciples, four days after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus also washed the feet of his disciples when they felt they should be washing his, but this shows his humility by doing this and tradition that continues today at Holy Thursday mass, when the pastor of the church washes the feet of twelve members of the parish.   Hours later, one of the disciples, Judas would betray Christ while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane, setting the stage for the Lord’s Crucifixion on Good Friday.

Holy Thursday is notable for being the day on which the chrism mass is celebrated in each diocese.  Usually held in the diocese’s cathedral, in this mass, the holy oils are blessed by the bishop, they consist of the chrism, oil of the sick and oil of catechumens.    The oil of the catechumens and chrism are to be used on Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil, for those baptism and confirmation and for those entering the church.

Holy Thursday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood and the Mass.  During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy. In telling His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of me,” He instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.

GOOD FRIDAY.

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Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday is when the Catholic and Christian churches commemorates the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.

The evening (at sunset) of Good Friday begins is the second day of the Paschal Triduum.  The major Good Friday worship services begin in the afternoon at 3:00 PM (the time Jesus likely died). Various traditions and customs are associated with the Western celebration of Good Friday. The singing (or preaching) of the Passion of St. John’s gospel consists of reading or singing parts of John’s Gospel. . The Veneration of the Cross is also common in the Western Church. This is when Christians approach a wooden cross and venerate it, often by kneeling before it, or kissing part of it. In addition to these traditions, Holy Communion with the reserved host is practiced. In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, no Masses are said on Good Friday or Holy Saturday.  Therefore the reserved host from the Holy Thursday Mass is used. Sometimes it is referred to as the “Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.”

Many Churches also offer the Stations of the Cross, also referred to as the “Way of the Cross,” on Good Friday. This is a devotion in viacruciswhich fourteen events surrounding the death of Jesus are commemorated. Most Catholic Churches have fourteen images of Jesus’ final days displayed throughout the parish, for use in public Stations of the Cross services.   Good Friday, along with Ash Wednesday, is an official day of fasting in the Catholic Church.

The Eastern Churches have different customs for the day they call “the Great Friday.” The Orthodox Church begins the day with Matins (Morning Prayer), where the “Twelve Gospels” is chanted, which consists of 12 passages drawn from the Passion narratives. In the morning, the “Little Hours” follow one after the other, consisting of Gospel, Epistle, and Prophet readings. Vespers (Evening Prayer) ends with a solemn veneration of the epitaphion, an embroidered veil containing scenes of Christ’s burial. Compline (Night Prayer) includes a lamentation placed on the Virgin Mary’s lips. On Good Friday night, a symbolic burial of Christ is performed. Traditionally, Chaldean and Syrian Christians cease using their customary Shlama greeting (“peace be with you”) on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, because Judas greeted Christ this way. They use the phrase “The light of God be with your departed ones” instead. In Russia, the tradition is to bring out a silver coffin, bearing a cross, and surrounded with candles and flowers. The faithful creep on their knees and kiss and venerate the image of Christ’s body painted on the “winding sheet” (shroud).

 

HOLY SATURDAY

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Also known as the Easter Vigil, Holy Saturday has had a long and varied history.   It is noted that “in the early Church this was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted.” Fasting is a sign of penance, but on Good Friday, Christ paid with His own Blood the debt of our sins. Thus, for many centuries, Christians regarded both Saturday and Sunday, the day of Christ’s Resurrection, as days on which fasting was forbidden. (That practice is still reflected in the Lenten disciplines of the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, which lighten their fasts slightly on Saturdays and Sundays.)

The night of the vigil of Easter has undergone a strange displacement. During the first six or seven centuries, ceremonies were in progress throughout the entire night, so that the alleluia coincided with the day and moment of the Resurrection.   In the eighth century these same ceremonies were held on Saturday afternoon and, by a singular anachronism, were later on conducted on Saturday morning, thus the time for carrying out the solemnity was advanced almost a whole day. Thanks to this change, special services were now assigned to Holy Saturday whereas, beforehand, it had had none until the late hour of the vigil.

This vigil opened with the blessing of the new fire, the lighting of lamps and candles and of the paschal candle,  many of the  ceremonies have lost much of their symbolism by being anticipated and advanced from twilight to broad daylight.  The light was symbolic of the Risen Christ. The assembled faithful gave themselves up to common prayer, the singing of psalms and hymns, as well as scripture readings.  The vigil of Easter was especially devoted to the baptism of candidates and catechumens converting to the Catholic faith.

The congregation remained silent in the church awaiting the dawn of the Resurrection, joining at intervals in psalmody and chant and listening to the reading of the lessons.

EASTER SUNDAY

Resurrezione

Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar. On this Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. For Catholics, Easter Sunday comes at the end of 40 days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving known as Lent.  Through spiritual struggle and self-denial, we have prepared ourselves to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of His Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with Him in new life on Easter.

Through his death, Christ saved mankind from bondage to sin, and He destroyed the hold that death has on all of us; but it is His Resurrection that gives us the promise of new life, both in this world and the next, also coming at the same time as the beginning of Spring it also conotates a rebirth of everything around us, and the promise of bright things to come.

For people with strong Christian beliefs, the cross that Jesus was crucified on and his resurrection are important symbols of the period around Easter. Other symbols of Easter include real eggs or eggs manufactured from a range of materials, nests, lambs and rabbits or hares. Sometimes these symbols are combined, for example, in candy models of rabbits with nests full of eggs. Eggs, rabbits, hares and young animals are thought to represent the re-birth and return to fertility of nature in the spring.

EASTER CLEANING

According to an ancient tradition, the three days after Palm Sunday are devoted in many countries to a thorough cleaning of the house, the most vigorous of the whole year. Carpets, couches, armchairs, and mattresses are carried into the open and every speck of dust beaten out of them. Women scrub and wax floors and furniture, change curtains, wash windows; the home is buzzing with activity. No time is wasted on the usual kitchen work; the meals are very casual and light. On Wednesday night everything has to be back in place, glossy and shining, ready for the great feast. In Poland and other Slavic countries people also decorate their homes with green plants and artificial flowers made of colored paper carrying out ancient designs.   The thought that the idea of the cleansing comes from another lesson from the bible in which we are taught that Jesus “cleansed” the Temple of Jerusalem by violently driving out the money-changers and other merchants associated with Temple commerce. This act resulted in the Temple authorities seeking to arrest him as a threat to public order and a danger to the peace between the Jews and Rome. They succeeded in bribing his disciple Judas to betray him and were able to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, leading to his trial by Pontius Pilate and his ultimate crucifixion as a traitor to Rome. For traditional Christians, these events were all part of God’s foreordained plan to send Jesus to die for the sins of mankind and thus bring about salvation.

 

History of Foods associated with Easter:

 

It appears that many of the traditions that are associated with Spring and Easter has its roots from Pagan times.

Eggs

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Eggs are seen as a symbol of life, fertility, immortality and rebirth in so many cultures.  They are colored and ate during spring festivals that also celebrate the return of the sun after a long winter and the fertility of new soil.   This tradition of including eggs in such festivals into the Christian tradition in which the egg is seen as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus and of his immortality.   They also symbolize rebirth, and thus long life and even immortality. Eggs represent life in its various stages of development, encompassing the mystery and magic of creation…The concept of eggs as life symbols went hand in hand with the concept of eggs as emblems of immortality. Easter eggs, in fact, symbolize immortality, and particularly the resurrection of Christ, who rose from a sealed tomb just as a bird breaks through an eggshell.”

Why do we have Easter egg hunts?
“From very early days the finding of eggs has been identified with riches. The relationship is readily apparent. Eggs are a treasure, a bounty of nature, and when hens are unconfined they deposit these treasures in unexpected places.

Two Girls (6-8) Painting Easter Eggs on a TableWhy do we decorate eggs?
We are told that people have been decorating eggs for thousands of years. The practice was inspired by religion. Techniques and styles vary according to culture and period. Decorative eggs were also fabricated from other foods, most notably confectionery.   It is duly noted that because eggs are the embodiment of life’s essence, people from ancient times to the modern day have surrounded them with magical beliefs, endowing them with the power not only to create life but to prophesy the future. Eggs symbolize birth and are thought to ensure fertility. They also serve as a symbol of rebirth, and long life and to some immortality. Eggs represent life in its various stages of development, encompassing the mystery and magic of creation…The concept of eggs as life symbols went hand in hand with the concept of eggs as emblems of immortality. Easter eggs symbolize immortality, and in particular the resurrection of Christ, who rose from a sealed tomb just as a bird breaks through an eggshell.”

LAMB AND HAM

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The tradition of eating either lamb or ham at Easter finds roots from the pagans who would preserve meat to eat throughout the winter. By the time spring arrived and livestock began to reproduce, people would eat the last of the cured or salted meat, knowing that there would soon be more. Lamb is also directly associated with Jesus, called the “lamb of God.”

Hot Cross Buns

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Hot cross buns have their origin in the springtime festival honoring the goddess Eostre or Ostara, from whose name “Easter” is derived. The buns, decorated with small crosses to symbolize the quarters of the moon or a bull’s horns, were thought to ensure fertility and the goddess’ protection in the coming year. These buns were incorporated into Christian tradition. Today the cross represents that upon which Jesus was crucified, and the buns are eaten throughout the Easter season.

Candy

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The Christian tradition of eating candy eggs and rabbits, both symbols of life and fertility, comes from the idea that one could assume the qualities of a given symbol by eating something that represented it. Candy rabbits and eggs are a way of celebrating the essence of spring and the qualities of fertility and life.

Easter Baskets

easter-basket

According to tradition, baskets full of treats were left out for fairies at different times of the year. This was said to save the basket provider from becoming the subject of fairy mischief. At Ostara, these baskets were filled with sweet things, corresponding to the nectar in new flowers. This is most likely the origin of the traditional Easter basket, filled with real or artificial grass, candy, eggs and other treats.

 

 

Kathy Kiefer

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SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION IN MY OPINION

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SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION

Spirituality can be broadly defined as a search for the sacred and set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.   The term spirituality has changed numerous times the ages, and is often separated from religion and by some is seen as a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions, and by some aimed at personal well being and development.

Spirituality can come not only through the practice of traditional organized religions but other movements as well and by some accounts associated with mental health, inner peace, ones mental health, and so forth. It could be suggested that spirituality could lead to finding purpose and meaning in a person’s life.   According to some, it denotes the realm of inner life, purity of motives, affections, inner dispositions, the psychology of ones spiritual life, or analysis of feelings.

In some of the major religions of the world it is noted:

Judaism is known by a variety of observances including ethical rules, prayers, Torah reading, dietary laws, pilgrimages and more.

UnknownChristianity, spirituality is the practice of living out personal acts of faith and acceptance of faith.  Christians are also expected to pray together at mass, but there are many forms of spirituality as well as private prayer.

Islam has five pillars or five basic acts which are essential for all believers and serves as a framework for their belief.  They are the creed, daily prayer, almsgiving, fasting and pilgrimage.

To me this seems to be essential in every religion and tradition that I have studied and plays an essential part in everyone’s life regardless of what religion (or not) one believes in and follows.   There are some that choose to define themselves as spiritual but not religious, yet those that do seem to believe in an existence of different spiritual paths, and emphasize finding one’s own path to spirituality.

Also an interesting observation to note is that personal well-being (physically and emotionally) appears to be an important facet that should work closely to develop inner peace and set a foundation of happiness and cause a variety of positive health outcomes.

Spirituality emphasizes ideals of one’s moral character/qualities as love, compassion patience, tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, responsibility, harmony and concern for others.    This fact helps to make us each a unique individual that we are from birth and continue fine tuning all of our lives.

Religion’s definition is set as:  Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator, and governor of the universe.   A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.     A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

We all pray, and yet people ask What is Prayer?  We all pray in churches, temples, synagogues.  But we can also pray to God, Allah, CUORE-PUROJehovah  or whomever is our spiritual leader in other places as well, these can include home, in the car, outside walking around, at the office (albeit quietly) anywhere.

Prayer is our direct line with heaven. Prayer is a communication process that allows us to talk to God! He wants us to communicate with Him, like a person-to-person phone call. Cell phones and other devices have become a necessity to some people in today’s society. We have bluetooth devices, blackberries, and talking computers! These are means of communication that allow two or more people to interact, discuss, and respond to one another.

Too many people, prayer seems complicated, but it is simply talking to God.   There is something I have always heard, “Give your problems to God, he’ll be up all night anyway.”     Know with confidence that God can hear you when you pray, so open that line of communication! Pray, knowing that no matter how far you roam, your connection with Him can never be lost!

Yet different, the Christian religions (Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, and so forth) have 600810_467423513323966_852427136_nsimilarities that are inherent in all of them, similar prayers, traditions and teachings.   But each is unique in their own way, the wording and hymns may be a little different in a church other than what one is use to, the architecture of the church set a little different, but you grow and learn from visiting other denominations.   It’s all part of the experience of life and it helps you grow as an individual.   Even if you relocate to a different area, the best thing one can do is check out several different churches (which ever faith you follow) to find out which one you’d be most comfortable attending and becoming a part of.  By this I mean the one that is the most close to where you live may or may not be the best fit for you.    I know this from experience.   When I moved nearly 30 years ago from New York State, I was fortunate that the church I attend was only ½ block from where I lived.   I got involved from day one with different things they had that I enjoy doing such as teaching Sunday school.  After a few years I moved 10 miles from there and started to attend a church near to where I moved, but ultimately returned to the other church that I had been going to prior to moving 10 miles away.  I was and am happier there.   This is the point; you have to be happy with where you go to church

Below is a list of some things that all Christians believe:

1.God created all that is seen and unseen
Christians believe that God is the creator of all people, the world, the universe, and everything seen and unseen.

2.Jesus is the Son of God and is one with God
Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he is one with God, and that he was sent here for our salvation.

3.Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary
Christians believe that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit of God and born through the Virgin Mary.

4.Jesus suffered and was crucified
Jesus suffered and died for our sins. Jesus was falsely accused of being an anti-government rebel and, as explained in Matthew 27:23-56, he was brought to Pontius Pilate to be executed through crucifixion. He was mocked, beaten, taunted and crucified by the Romans.

5.Jesus died and was buried
Jesus died after being crucified. He was buried in a tomb that was owned by a man named Joseph of Arimathea, who was a follower of Jesus.

In the Gospel of St. Matthew we are told that: “As evening approached Joseph went to Pilate, asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.”

6.Jesus rose again (the Resurrection)
Jesus was resurrected, which means that he died and was brought back to life again.

The resurrection of Jesus is described in various places throughout the Bible’s New Testament. As explained in the Bible, all people who die before Judgment Day will be resurrected. The people who believe in Jesus will be resurrected to eternal life in Heaven. Those who do not believe in Jesus will be condemned, eternally, by their own sins.
7.Jesus ascended into Heaven
Jesus ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.

This happened after Jesus was resurrected. We too can go to Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ.
8.Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead
Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

Jesus is quoted as saying that he will return: “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”

9.Anyone can have salvation
All people may receive salvation in the name of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says:  “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all (rich, poor, no matter where you live, skin color, creed, etc.) and richly blesses all who call on him”.

10.People who repent of their sins will be forgiven
People are forgiven and saved if they confess their sins and confess their belief in the resurrection of Jesus

We learn in the Gospel of St. John:   “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

l43-vaticano-120529163005_bigWhen I was in Rome, Italy in the fall of 2012, I had opportunity to go to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.    It was such a moving experience for me to be in the seat of the Catholic Church, to be able to explore such a great church with its marvelous statutes, art work (such as Michelangelo’s The Pieta).   The altar behind me is directly above the Crypt of St. Peter on whom Jesus founded the church and the only person that can say Mass at this altar is the Pope.  Being there gave me a whole new outlook and perspective and deeper understand of what my faith is all about.

 

 

papa_francesco_balcone_papa_francesco_getty__3__1Today there was history made in the church with the election of a new Pope, historical in so many ways.   Pope Frances  (formerly his eminence Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio), a Jesuit priest hailing from Argentina, and the first non-European pontiff since Pope Gregory III in the eighth century, and the third successive non-Italian pontiff.   He comes from a working class family in Argentina (and ironically has family roots in Italy), who use to take the bus to work and elected to live modestly away from the Cardinal’s residence and even enjoys cooking his own meals.  He is fluent in Spanish, Italian, and German, and will possible pick up other languages as time goes on.

The Holy Father is the first Jesuit priest to become pope, who I am learning is a person of simple needs and tastes.   He honors St. Francis of Assisi in choosing the name Francis, who himself was a man of humility, simplicity and modest means and needs, and also cared about the poor as does the new Pontiff.

It will be interesting to see what church doctrine will be changed (or modified) and new doctrine over time I am sure will emerge.

The new Pope Francesco, in metro.
The new Pope Francesco, in metro.

Things may change on policy of priests who refuse to baptize children born out of wedlock, and taking the reins of problemsthat has been floating around the church for some time.   But he will put his own stamp on the church as well.  He has been known as a priest of the people.    It’s such an exciting time for the Catholic Church and all of us that are Roman Catholic (like myself).

But what brought about this change eight years after the election of Pope emeritus Benedict XVI was unforeseen retirement of Pope Benedict.   No one could have known this was coming except for the  Pope (this was the first time a Pope retired in over 600 years), and it was done in part to his health and being directed by the holy spirit to step down and use his remaining years on reflection, writing and prayer.

It will be interesting when Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI meet in just a few days.     I don’t think there will be any conflict between the two men, yet there will be cooperation, obedience, shared love and concern for the entire church and its people.

We have special gifts and talents, and we need to use them for good and not evil.   Unfortunately there are many that use their talents for ill and allow improper influences rule their lives.    They miss out on so much.    Our gifts and talents aid and serve to make us the unique individuals that we are.   Some of the special gifts that come to us via the Holy Spirit are:  wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.

What do you think faith can bring to humanity that is so uncertain about the future?  What is your thinking about the places and ministers of God can give men during their journey of faith, and what do you expect of religion to serve men?

I see faith as the magic that allows those with a pure heart who believe with faith they can achieve their dreams.   Religion also can be the discipline to be able to communicate with God.  I think that with the new Pope, the men of the church can give the Catholic religion as well as the faithful a true and clear signal of change from the elitist of the church and closed to the real needs of a people such a true witness of Jesus’ that is made from charity, mercy and true love not only coming from the written word, but in action and deed.  It is quite possible that the new Pope is a worthy and inspiring representative.

Kathy Kiefer.

 

Italian Version:

Spiritualità e religione

La spiritualità può essere generalmente definita come una ricerca del sacro fuori dal comune per questo degna di venerazione. Il termine  spiritualità ha cambiato significato numerose volte nei secoli, ed è spesso separata dalla religione e da alcuni è vista come una miscela di psicologia umanistica con le tradizioni mistiche ed esoteriche, e da un po’ di tempo a benessere personale e di sviluppo.


La spiritualità non può venire solo attraverso la pratica delle tradizionali religioni organizzate, ma anche altri movimenti interiori e da alcuni account associati con la salute psichica, la pace interiore, e così via. Si potrebbe suggerire che la spiritualità potrebbe portare a trovare scopo e significato nella vita di una persona. Secondo alcuni, essa designa il regno della vita interiore, la purezza delle motivazioni, affetti, disposizioni interne, la psicologia della vita spirituale, o l’analisi dei sentimenti.

In alcune delle maggiori religioni del mondo, si segnala:
L’ebraismo,  è conosciuto da una serie di osservanze comprese quelle deontologiche, le preghiere, la lettura della Torah, le leggi alimentari, il pellegrinaggi e molto altro ancora.

Cristianesimo, la spiritualità è la pratica di vivere atti personali di fede e di accettazione della fede. I cristiani sono inoltre tenuti a pregare insieme a messa, ma ci sono molte forme di spiritualità e preghiera privata, la meditazione per esempio.
L’Islam ha cinque pilastri o cinque atti di base che sono essenziali per tutti i credenti e funge da quadro di riferimento per la loro fede. Essi sono il credo, la preghiera quotidiana, l’elemosina, il digiuno e di pellegrinaggio.

A me questo sembra essere essenziale in ogni religione e tradizione che ho studiato e svolge un ruolo essenziale nella vita di ognuno indipendentemente da ciò che la religione (o meno) si crede e segue. Ci sono alcuni che scelgono di definire se stessi come spirituale, ma non religioso, ma quelle che sembrano credere in una esistenza di diversi percorsi spirituali, e sottolineano il percorso per trovare una propria via alla spiritualità.

Un’osservazione interessante da notare è che il benessere personale (fisico ed emotivo) sembra essere un aspetto importante che dovrebbe lavorare a stretto contatto per sviluppare la pace interiore e impostare una base di felicità e causare una serie di risultati positivi per la salute.

La spiritualità pone l’accento sugli ideali del proprio carattere morale / qualità come l’amore, la pazienza  la compassione, la tolleranza, il perdono, la contentezza, la responsabilità, l’armonia e la preoccupazione per gli altri. Questo fatto contribuisce a rendere noi ogni individuo unico che siamo dalla nascita e continua messa a punto tutte le nostre vite

 

La mia definizione della religione è impostata cosi: la fede e il rispetto per un potere soprannaturale o poteri considerati come creatore e governatore dell’universo. Un sistema personale o istituzionalizzato fondato  tale credenza e di culto. Un insieme di credenze, valori e pratiche basati sugli insegnamenti di un maestro spirituale.

Noi tutti preghiamo, eppure le persone chiedono che cos’è la preghiera? Noi tutti preghiamo in chiese, templi, sinagoghe. Ma possiamo anche pregare Dio, Allah, Geova o chi è il nostro leader spirituale in luoghi anche altri, questi possono includere a casa, in macchina, al di fuori in giro, in ufficio (anche se a bassa voce) da nessuna parte.

La preghiera è la nostra linea diretta con il cielo. La preghiera è un processo di comunicazione che ci permette di parlare con Dio! Egli vuole che noi comunichiamo con Lui, da persona a persona  in chiamata. I telefoni cellulari e altri dispositivi sono diventati una necessità per alcune persone nella società di oggi. Abbiamo dispositivi bluetooth, more, e computer parlanti! Si tratta di mezzi di comunicazione che consentono a due o più persone di interagire, discutere e rispondere l’uno all’altro.

Per troppe persone, la preghiera sembra complicata, ma si tratta semplicemente di parlare con Dio, quindi con la parte piu’ profonda di noi stessi che siamo suoi figli. C’è qualcosa che ho sempre sentito dire, “Date i vostri problemi a Dio, lui sarà sveglio tutta la notte comunque.” Sappi con fiducia che Dio può sentire quando preghi, in modo da aprire quella linea di comunicazione! Pregate, sapendo che non importa quanto lontano si effettua il roaming, la connessione con Lui non può mai essere perso!

Eppure sono diverse, le religioni cristiane (cattolica romana, episcopale, luterana, battista, presbiteriana, anglicana, e così via) hanno somiglianze che sono inerenti a tutti loro, preghiere simili, le tradizioni e gli insegnamenti. Ma ognuno è unico a modo loro, la formulazione e gli inni possono essere un po ‘diversi in una chiesa diversa da ciò che si utilizza per l’architettura della chiesa impostare un po’ diverso, ma a crescere e imparare da visitare altre confessioni. E ‘ tutto parte dell’esperienza di vita e ti aiuta a crescere come individuo. Anche se trasferirsi in una zona diversa, la cosa migliore che si può fare è controllare diverse chiese (che mai la fede si segue) per scoprire quale saresti più comodo partecipare e diventare parte di esse. Con questo voglio dire quello che è il più vicino a dove si vive può o non può essere la soluzione migliore per voi. Lo so per esperienza. Quando mi sono trasferito circa 30 anni fa da Stato di New York, ho avuto la fortuna che la chiesa che frequento e’ solo a mezzo isolato da dove ho vissuto. Sono stato coinvolta fin dal primo giorno con cose diverse che avevano che mi piace fare, come l’insegnamento  della Domenica.  Dopo qualche anno mi sono trasferito a 10 miglia da lì e ha iniziato a frequentare una chiesa vicino a dove mi sono trasferito, ma alla fine tornò ad altra chiesa che avevo intenzione di muoversi prima di 10 miglia di distanza. Ero e sono più felice lì. Questo è il punto, devi essere felice con cui si va in chiesa.

Di seguito è riportato un elenco di alcune cose che tutti i cristiani credono:
1. Dio ha creato tutte le cose visibili e invisibili
I cristiani credono che Dio è il creatore di tutte le persone, il mondo, l’universo, e tutto visibili e invisibili.

2. Jesus è il Figlio di Dio ed è uno con Dio


I cristiani credono che Gesù è il Figlio di Dio, che egli è uno con Dio, e che è stato mandato qui per la nostra salvezza.

3. Jesus è stato concepito dallo Spirito Santo e nato dalla Vergine Maria

I cristiani credono che Gesù è stato concepito dallo Spirito Santo di Dio, nato dalla Vergine Maria.
4. Gesù ha sofferto ed è stato crocifisso

Gesù ha sofferto ed è morto per i nostri peccati. Gesù è stato falsamente accusato di essere un anti-governo ribelle e, come spiegato in Matteo 27:23-56, è stato portato a Ponzio Pilato da eseguirsi mediante crocifissione. E ‘stato deriso, picchiato, schernito e crocifisso dai romani.

5. Gesù morì e fu sepolto

Gesù è morto dopo essere stato crocifisso. Fu sepolto in una tomba, che era di proprietà di un uomo di nome Giuseppe d’Arimatea, che era discepolo di Gesù.

Nel Vangelo di San Matteo ci viene detto che: “Verso sera Giuseppe andò da Pilato, chiese il corpo di Gesù ‘, e Pilato ordinò che gli fosse consegnato Giuseppe, preso il corpo, lo avvolse in un candido lenzuolo,. e lo mise nella sua tomba nuova, che si era fatta scavare nella roccia. rotolò una grossa pietra davanti all’entrata del sepolcro, se ne andò. ”

6. Gesù è risorto (la Resurrezione)

Gesù è risorto, il che significa che è morto ed è stato riportato in vita.

La risurrezione di Gesù è descritto in vari luoghi in tutta Nuovo Testamento della Bibbia. Come spiegato nella Bibbia, tutte le persone che muoiono prima il giorno del giudizio saranno risuscitati. Le persone che credono in Gesù saranno risuscitati per la vita eterna in cielo. Coloro che non credono in Gesù sarà condannato, eternamente, per i propri peccati.

7. Gesù ascese al cielo

Gesù salì al cielo, siede alla destra di Dio Padre.

Questo è accaduto dopo che Gesù è risorto. Anche noi possiamo andare in Paradiso, per mezzo della fede in Gesù Cristo.

8. Gesù ritornerà per giudicare i vivi ei morti

Gesù ritornerà per giudicare i vivi ei morti, e il suo regno non avrà fine.

Gesù è citato come dicendo che tornerà:. “In quel tempo il segno del Figlio dell’uomo apparirà nel cielo, e tutte le nazioni della terra faranno cordoglio e vedranno il Figlio dell’uomo venire sulle nuvole del cielo con gran potenza e gloria. ”

9. Chiunque può avere la salvezza

Tutte le persone possono ricevere la salvezza nel nome di Gesù Cristo.

La Bibbia dice: “Non vi è alcuna differenza tra Ebreo e Gentile – il Signore stesso è il Signore di tutti (ricchi, poveri, non importa dove vivi, il colore della pelle, religione, ecc) e riccamente benedice tutti coloro che lo invocano. ”
10. Le persone che si pentono dei loro peccati saranno perdonati

Le persone sono perdonati e salvati se confessano i loro peccati e confessare la loro fede nella risurrezione di Gesù.

Impariamo nel Vangelo di San Giovanni: “Dio ha tanto amato il mondo da dare il suo unigenito Figlio, affinché chiunque crede in lui non perisca, ma abbia vita eterna.”

Quando ero a Roma, Italia nell’autunno del 2012, ho avuto l’opportunità di andare in Vaticano e alla Basilica di San Pietro. E ‘stato un momento emozionante per me essere nella sede della Chiesa cattolica, per essere in grado di esplorare una grande chiesa con i suoi statuti, meravigliose opere d’arte (come Michelangelo La Pietà).

L’altare dietro di me si trova direttamente sopra la cripta di San Pietro su cui Gesù ha fondato la chiesa e l’unica persona che può dire la Messa a questo altare è il papa. Essere lì mi ha dato una nuova prospettiva e di prospettiva e più profonda comprensione di ciò che la mia fede è tutto.

Oggi si è fatto storia nella chiesa con l’elezione di un nuovo Papa, storico in tanti modi. Papa Frances (ex Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Jorge Mario Bergoglio), un sacerdote gesuita provenienti da Argentina, e il primo non europeo pontefice da quando Papa Gregorio III nel secolo VIII, e la terza volta consecutiva non italiano pontefice. Proviene da una famiglia della classe operaia in Argentina (e ironia della sorte ha radici familiari in Italia), che usano per prendere l’autobus per lavorare e scelto di vivere modestamente lontano dalla residenza del cardinale e anche gode di cucinare i suoi pasti. Parla correntemente spagnolo, italiano e tedesco, e sarà possibile raccogliere altre lingue, come il passare del tempo.

Il Santo Padre è il primo sacerdote gesuita a diventare papa, che sto imparando è una persona di bisogni semplici e gusti. Egli onora San Francesco d’Assisi nella scelta del nome di Francesco, che  era un uomo di mezzi di umiltà, semplicità e modesto e le esigenze, e anche a cuore i poveri così come il nuovo Pontefice.

 

Sarà interessante vedere cosa la dottrina della Chiesa viene modificato (o modificato) e la nuova dottrina nel corso del tempo sono sicuro che emergerà. Le cose potrebbero cambiare in materia di politica dei sacerdoti che si rifiutano di battezzare i bambini nati fuori dal matrimonio, e prendendo le redini di problemi che è stato galleggianti intorno alla chiesa per qualche tempo. Ma metterà la sua impronta sulla chiesa. E ‘stato conosciuto come un sacerdote del popolo. E ‘un momento così emozionante per la Chiesa cattolica e tutti noi che sono cattolica romana (come me).

Ma ciò che ha portato questo cambiamento otto anni dopo l’elezione di Papa Benedetto XVI è stato emerito ritiro imprevisto di Papa Benedetto. Nessuno poteva sapere che sarebbe successo se non per il Papa (questa era la prima volta che un Papa in pensione in più di 600 anni), ed è stato fatto in parte per la sua salute e di essere diretto dallo Spirito Santo di dimettersi e di usare la sua rimanente anni di riflessione, la scrittura e la preghiera.

Sarà interessante quando Papa Francesco e Papa emerito Benedetto XVI si incontrano in pochi giorni. Io non credo che ci sarà un conflitto tra i due uomini, ma ci sarà la cooperazione, obbedienza, amore condiviso e la preoccupazione per tutta la Chiesa e la sua gente.

Abbiamo doni speciali e talenti, e abbiamo bisogno di usarli per il bene e non il male. Purtroppo ci sono molti che usano i loro talenti per malati e consentire influenze improprie governare le loro vite. Essi perdere così tanto. I nostri doni e talenti e aiuti servono a farci gli individui unici che siamo. Alcuni dei doni speciali che vengono a noi tramite lo Spirito Santo sono: sapienza, intelletto, consiglio, fortezza, scienza, pietà e timore del Signore.

Ecco le domande a cui daranno risposte il tempo e gli uomini:

Cosa pensa  la fede possa portare all’umanità che è così incerta per il futuro? Qual è il vostro pensiero circa i luoghi e ministri di Dio può dare assistenza agli uomini durante il loro cammino di fede, e che cosa vi aspettate dalla religione per servire gli uomini?

Vedo la fede come la magia che permette  a coloro che hanno un cuore puro, che credono con fede di poter realizzare i loro sogni. La religione può anche essere la disciplina  in grado di comunicare con Dio e di realizzare con lui i miracoli. Penso che con il nuovo papa, gli uomini di chiesa potranno dare alla religione cattolica e ai fedeli un segnale vero e chiaro di cambiamento dall’ elitarietà della chiesa e chiusura alle reali esigenze di un popolo come un vero testimone di Gesù ‘che è fatto dalla carità, la misericordia e l’amore vero non solo provenienti dalla parola scritta, ma anche nei fatti e con i fatti. E ‘del tutto possibile che il nuovo Papa possa essere un degno rappresentante e stimolare  con il suo esempio e possa ispirare i fedeli a seguire il suo cammino.