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REIKI AND MASSAGE THERAPY

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REIKI AND MASSAGE THERAPY

What is a Reiki massage? Reiki is not really a massage, but can be combined with massage for reiki healing.   Reiki healing is the usage of spiritual energy to heal a person’s aura or situation.

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.

Reiki healing is the usage of spiritual energy to heal a person’s aura or situation.   The word “Reiki” actually translates to “Universal Life Force Energy.”   Massage is the process or rubbing or kneading different parts of the body for therapeutic reasons or purposes.

The word Reiki comes from two Japanese words –Rei which means “Gods Wisdom or the Higher Power” and KI which is “life force energy.” So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided force energy.”

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows though and around you.   Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and well-being. Many have reported miraculous results.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing an self-improvement that everyone can use.

It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

An ancient Japanese massage technique, reiki is a formula to help stress reduction and promote healing. This is a hands-on healing technique through massage that generates life force energy flowing through the body. If the energy levels are low individuals can feel fatigue, experience negative emotions, and have physical complications with organs and glands. Various healing techniques that enable the qi and meridians to connect with the chakras in the body exist. These are all energy fields that, when depleted, result in emotional and physical ill health. Here you will learn what a reiki massage is and what it can do for you.

The patient is fully clothed and lays face up on a massage table. The practitioner places their hands in specific positions on the body, starting from the head and ending at the feet. These positions used depend on the energy levels of the patient, as there may be blockages in some organs more than others. The patient then lays face down so the practitioner can perform treatment on the back. The practitioner stores energy in their own body so the heat and flow can translate to energize the meridians, qi, and chakras in the body.

The main benefits are that the patient feels less stress and relaxed. Depending on the depletion of energy in the body, the patient may feel heat radiating from the practitioner. They also may feel a tingling sensation that is the energy coming to life and connecting within the body. As a relaxation technique, some patients fall asleep during the session. After treatment, the patient may feel sleepy yet as they move around, they will be energized more than before.

Reiki and massage are two separate things.   The usual treatment of Reiki massage begins at the head and works its way through the seven different chakras.   The hand placements coincide with these chakras or energy centers of the physical body.

Reiki massage has been used to help patients manage pain and to increase their quality of living. Reiki massage is different from normal massage because the practitioner does not knead or manipulate the tissues or muscles of the patient.   Instead the hands of the practitioner remain still, and the energy of healing is sent through the channels of the practitioner into the patient.

If you are nervous about your first massage treatment combining Reiki and traditional massage, there is no need.   The practitioner will not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.   You remain completely clothed, as it is not necessary for there to be skin-to-skin contact.   Reiki massage can even be used to send energy to broken bones or injuries that are covered by casts and bandages.

Reiki is also used to treat conditions such as TMJ (also known as lock-jaw), muscle pain, tension, stress, injury healing, pain management and over 60 other medical ailments.   IN the Western world, there are four different areas of chakras of the body used for treatment.   They are the head, body, legs/fee and back, respectively.

Reiki treatments are said to be one hundred percent safe; they don’t incur any side effects or injuries.  There are sensations that are felt, but are different for different people. Some people experience a sensation of warmth or tingling.   Others experience a spirit of relaxation and balance.

Reiki is a form of faith healing developed by a Japanese Buddhist in the early part of the 20th century. Pronounced “ray-key,” this complementary therapy is known as a road to healing, and a system of   divine enlightenment.

The word “reiki” in Japanese roughly translates as “universal life form energy.” It would explain why reiki can only be   passed from master to apprentice, and why the theory behind this spiritual practice upholds that only a skilled reiki practitioner can absorb energy from the universe and then channel it into a patient in order to improve their health and well-being.   In this way it is much like touch therapy, with the reiki master acting as the conduit – removing bad energy and replacing it with good energy.   This channeling of good energy will then encourage the patient to heal.

The actual channeling  procedure involved in reiki works something like this: the reiki master holds their hands over the recipient’s body – sometimes actually making contact with the         body – and uses their spiritual expertise to administer the healing treatment.   Some schools of reiki prescribe specific spots on the bod y for hand placement; while others believe that the hands of the reiki master should be used to detect the right place to administer treatment.   This second school believes the practitioner should intuitively recognize places of imbalance in our bodies.

Reiki can be administered in one of two ways – either in person or via distance healing.

In-person – During an in-person reiki treatment, the client will be asked to lie down on a massage table or mat.   They remain fully clothed throughout the treatment and the practitioner never makes contact the patient’s skin.   The environment is totally relaxed, with candle light, soothing music and aroma-therapy are used to put the client in a totally relaxed state.   The reiki practitioner will transfer energy from their own hands to the client, by gently touching different areas on the client’s body.

Distance healing – the client is asked to set up a relaxing environment in their home or place of their choice.   The reiki practitioner will then transfer the energy from themselves to their patient from a distance.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others.

Kathy Kiefer

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LOVE – RELATIONSHIPS

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LOVE – RELATIONSHIPS

What is love?

Is it something we are taught?

Is it a feeling, an emotion or what?

What about physical attraction?

Do looks matter in a relationship?

125699-1920x1200-1024x640The English word “love” can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from pleasure (“I loved that meal”) to interpersonal attraction. (“I love my partner”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong affection and personal attachment. It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another”. And it may describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals. I don’t think that looks should matter in a relationship; it’s what’s inside the person that matters. I know someone to whom looks matter more than anything and he is what is termed a “Player,” is shallow and really does not know what love truly is, he tells all the ladies the same thing without meaning it to any of them how much he loves that person and that they are the only one in his life. He is missing out on so much. To him, is you are not slender don’t bother him. Probably why I hardly talk with him.
What is love? It is one of the most difficult questions for the mankind. Centuries have passed by, relationships have bloomed and so has love. But no one can give the proper definition of love. To some Love is friendship set on fire for others Maybe love is like luck. You have to go all the way to find it. No matter how you define it or feel it, love is the eternal truth in the history of mankind. Some have tried to use the following to define love: profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend, a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart, affectionate concern for the well-being of others.
Love is patient, love is kind. It has no envy, nor it boasts itself and it is never proud. It rejoices over the evil and is the truth seeker. 482452_620250331326549_1714635493_nLove protects; preserves and hopes for the positive aspect of life. Always stand steadfast in love, not fall into it. It is like the dream of your matter of affection coming true. Love can occur between two or more individuals. It bonds them and connects them in a unified link of trust, intimacy and interdependence. It enhances the relationship and comforts the soul. Love should be experienced and not just felt. The depth of love cannot be measured. Look at the relationship between a mother and a child. The mother loves the child unconditionally and it cannot be measured at all. A different dimension can be attained between any relationships with the magic of love. Love can be created. You just need to focus on the goodness of the other person. If this can be done easily, then you can also love easily. And remember we all have some positive aspect in us, no matter how bad our deeds maybe. God said to us “LOVE ALL.” Depending on the context, love can be of different varieties. Romantic love is a deep, intense and unending. It shared on a very intimate and interpersonal and sexual relationship. The term Platonic love, familial love and religious love are also matter of great affection. It is more of desire, preference and feelings. The meaning of love will change with each different relationship and depends more on its concept of depth, versatility, and complexity. But at times the very existence of love is questioned. Some say it is false and meaningless. Some say that it doesn’t exist, because there have been many instances of hatred and brutality in relationships. But love is not responsible for that. It is us; the people who have forgotten the meaning of love have undertaken such gruesome apathy.
301929_440667259361168_800767817_nIn terms of interpersonal attraction, four forms of love have traditionally been distinguished, based on ancient Greek precedent: the love of family, the love of friendship, the love of sexual and/or romantic desire and divine love. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states. The word “love” can have a variety of related but distinct meanings in different contexts and cultures. Interpersonal love refers to love between human beings. It is a more potent sentiment than a simple liking for another. Unrequited love refers to those feelings of love that are not reciprocated. Interpersonal love is most closely associated with interpersonal relationships. And this love might exist between family members, friends, and couples. Empty love only includes commitment. Romantic love includes both intimacy and passion. Companionate love includes intimacy and commitment. Fatuous love includes passion and commitment. Lastly, consummate love includes all three. There are many different theories which attempt to explain what love is, 68570_613296528688596_693395762_nand what function it serves. It would be very difficult to explain love to a hypothetical person who had not himself or herself experienced love or being loved. In fact, to such a person love would appear to be quite strange if not outright irrational behavior.  Also there are theories that consider love to be an unexplainable mystery, very much like a mystical experience. Love also includes compatibility. I think that it is more of journey to the unknown when the concept of compatibility comes into picture. Maybe the person whom we see in front of us, may be least compatible than the person who is miles away. We might talk to each other and portray that we love each other, but practically we do not end up into any relationship. Also in compatibility, the key is to think about the long term successful relationship, not a short journey. We need to understand each other and must always remember that nobody is perfect.
Be together, share your joy and sorrow, understand each other, provide space to each other, but always be there for each other. And surely love will blossom to strengthen your relationship.

Kathy Kiefer

THE MOTHER’S DAY

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MOTHER’S DAY

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mothers-day-gifts_0Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in March, April or May.  It complements Father’s Day which is a celebration honoring fathers.

Mother’s Day is an American invention, and it is not directly descended from the many celebrations of mothers and motherhood that have occurred throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration.  Despite this, in some countries Mother’s Day has become synonymous with these older traditions

The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother in America. She then began a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States. Although she was successful in 1914, she was already disappointed with its commercialization by the 1920s. Jarvis’ holiday was adopted by other countries and it is now celebrated all over the world. In this tradition, each person offers a gift, card, or remembrance toward their mothers, grandmothers, and/ or maternal figure on mother’s day.

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In 1912, Anna Jarvis trademarked the phrases “second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day”, and created the Mother’s Day mothers-day-storyInternational Association. She specifically noted that “Mother’s” should “be a singular possessive, for each family to honour their mother, not a plural possessive commemorating all mothers in the world.” This is also the spelling used by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in the law making official the holiday in the United States, by the U.S. Congress in relevant bills, and by various U.S. presidents in their proclamations concerning Mother’s Day. However, “Mothers’ Day” (plural possessive) or “Mothers Day” (plural non-possessive) are also sometimes seen.

As the American holiday was adopted by other countries and cultures, the date was changed to fit already existing celebrations honoring motherhood, such as Mothering Sunday in the United Kingdom or, in Greece, the Orthodox celebration of the presentation of Jesus Christ to the temple (2 February). Mothering Sunday is often referred to as “Mother’s Day” even though it is an unrelated celebration.

In some countries the date was changed to a date that was significant to the majority religion, such as Virgin Mary day in Catholic countries. Other countries selected a date with historical significance. For example, Bolivia’s Mother’s Day is the date of a battle in which women participated.

Ex-communists countries, such as the former East Germany, usually celebrated the socialist International Women’s Day instead of Russia2the more capitalist Mother’s Day. Some ex-communist countries, like Russia, still follow this custom or simply celebrate both holidays, which is the custom in the Ukraine.

In most countries, Mother’s Day is a recent observance derived from the holiday as it has evolved in the United States. As adopted by other countries and cultures, the holiday has different meanings, is associated with different events (religious, historical or legendary), and is celebrated on different dates.   In some instances, countries already had existing celebrations honoring motherhood, and their celebrations then adopted several external characteristics from the American holiday, such as giving carnations and other presents to one’s mother.

The extent of the celebrations varies greatly. In some countries, it is potentially offensive to one’s mother not to mark Mother’s Day. In others, it is a little-known festival celebrated mainly by immigrants, or covered by the media as a taste of foreign culture.

Religion

In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In many Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox C

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hurches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.

In the Hindu tradition Mother’s Day is called “Mata Tirtha Aunshi” or “Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”, and is celebrated in countries with a Hindu population, especially in Nepal. The holiday is observed on the new moon day in the month of  Baisakh, i.e., April/May. This celebration is based on Hindu religion and it pre-dates the creation of the Western-inspired holiday by at least a few centuries.

 

Foreign women maternity in ItalyMother’s Day in most Arab countries is celebrated on March 21, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. It was introduced in Egypt by journalist Mustafa Amin in his book Smiling America (1943). The idea was overlooked at the time. Later Amin heard the story of a widowed mother who devoted her whole life to raising her son until he became a doctor. The son then married and left without showing any gratitude to his mother. Hearing this, Amin became motivated to promote “Mother’s Day”. The idea was first ridiculed by the Egyptian president but he eventually accepted it and Mother’s Day was first celebrated on March 21, 1956. The practice has since been copied by other Arab countries.    When Mustafa Amin was arrested and imprisoned, there were attempts to change the name of the holiday from “Mother’s Day” to “Family Day” as the government wished to prevent the occasion from reminding people of its founder. These attempts were unsuccessful and celebrations continued to be held on that day; classic songs celebrating mothers remain famous to this day.

 

In Afghanistan, Mother’s Day was celebrated on 12 June 2010, on the second Saturday in June.

In Argentina, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of October. The holiday was originally celebrated on October 11, the old liturgical date for the celebration of the Virgin Mary. After the Second Vatican Council the Virgin Mary festivity was moved to January 1st.  Around 1982, national merchants asked that Mother’s Day be moved to the third Sunday of October to stimulate sales in the second half of that month.

In Australia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Festa-della-mamma-data-e-originiThe tradition of giving gifts to mothers on Mother’s Day in Australia was started by Mrs. Janet Heyden in 1924. She began the tradition during a visit to a patient at the Newington State Home for Women, where she met many lonely and forgotten mothers. To cheer them up, she rounded up support from local school children and businesses to donate and bring gifts to the women. Every year thereafter, Mrs. Heyden raised increasing support for the project from local businesses and even the local Mayor. The day has since become commercialized. Traditionally, the Chrysanthemum is given to mothers for Mother’s Day as the flower is naturally in season during May (autumn in Australia) and ends in “mum”, a common affectionate shortening of “mother” in Australia. Men will often wear a chrysanthemum in their lapels in honour of mothers.

In Bangladesh, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May. In observance of the day discussion programs are organized by government and non-governmental organizations. Reception programs and cultural programs are organized to mark the day in the capital city. Television channels air special programs, and newspapers publish special features and columns to mark the day. Greeting cards, flowers and gifts featuring mothers are in high demand at the shops and markets.

In Belgium, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. In the week before this holiday children make little presents at primary school, which they give to their mothers in the early morning of Mother’s Day. Typically, the father will buy croissants and other sweet breads and pastries and bring these to the mother while she is still in bed – the beginning of a day of pampering for the mother. There are also many people who celebrate Mother’s Day on August 15th  instead; these are mostly people around Antwerp, who consider that day, Assumption, the classical Mother’s Day and the observance in May an invention for commercial reasons.

In Bolivia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 27thEl Dia de la Madre Boliviana was passed into law on November 8, 1927. During the Bolivian War of Independence women fighting for the country’s independence were slaughtered by the Spanish army. It is not a festive day, but all schools hold activities and festivities throughout the day.

casa novella Brasile 3In Brazil, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.   The first Mother’s Day in Brazil was promoted by the Young Men’s Christian’s Association of Porto Alegre) on May 12, 1918. In 1932, then President Getulio Vargas made the second Sunday of May the official date for Mother’s Day. In 1947, Archbishop Jamie de Barros Camara, Cardinal-Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, decided that this holiday would be included in the official calendar of the Catholic Church.  Mother’s Day is not an official holiday but it is widely observed and typically involves spending time with and giving gifts to one’s mother. Because of this, it is considered one of the celebrations most related to consumerism in the country, second only to Christmas Day as the most commercially lucrative holiday.

In Bulgaria, March 8th is associated with International Women’s Day. The holiday honours women as human beings and equal partners.   Another Bulgarian holiday related to maternity and the family is Babinden which is celebrated on the 8th of January.

Mother’s Day in Canada is celebrated on the second Sunday in May (it is not, however, a public holiday or bank holiday), and typically involves small celebrations and gift-giving to one’s mother, grandmother, or other important female figures in one’s family. Celebratory practices are very similar to those of other western nations, such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Many people in Canada express their gratitude towards mothers and mother figures on Mother’s Day. A Québécois tradition is for Québécois men to offer roses or other flowers to the women.

Mother’s Day is becoming more popular in China. Carnations are a very popular Mother’s Day gift and the most sold flowers in mamma-e-figli-2relation to the day. In 1997 Mother’s Day was set as the day to help poor mothers and to remind people of the poor mothers in rural areas such as China’s western region.  In the official newspaper, an article explained that “despite originating in the United States, people in China accept the holiday without hesitation because it is in line with the country’s traditional ethics – respect for the elderly and filial piety towards parents.   Mother’s Day remains an unofficial festival, except in a small number of cities.

In the Czech Republic, Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May. It started in former Czechoslovakia in 1923. After World War II communists replaced Mother’s Day by International Woman’s Day, celebrated on March 8th.  The former Czechoslovakia celebrated Women’s Day until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. After the split of the country in 1993, the Czech Republic started celebrating Mother’s Day again.

In Estonia, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is recognized nationally, but is not a public holiday.

In France, amidst alarm at the low birth rate, there were attempts in 1896 and 1904 to create a national celebration honoring the mothers of large families.  In 1906 ten mothers who had nine children each were given an award recognizing “High Maternal Merit”.  American World War I soldiers fighting in France popularized the US Mother’s Day holiday created by Anna Jarvis. They sent so much mail back to their country for Mother’s Day that the Union Franco-Americaine created a postal card for that purpose.  In 1918, also inspired by Jarvis, the town of Lyon wanted to celebrate a “journée des Mères”, but instead decided to celebrate a “Journée Nationale des Mères de familles nombreuses.” The holiday was more inspired by anti-depopulation efforts than by the US holiday, with medals awarded to the mothers of large families. The French government made the day official in 1920 as a day for mothers of large families. Since then the French government awards the  Medaille de la Famille francaise to mothers of large families.

frasi-dedica-mamma-432x576In the 1920s, Germany influential groups in society (politicians of left and right, churchwomen, and feminists) believed that mothers should be honored but could not agree on how to do so. However, all groups strongly agreed on the promotion of the values of motherhood. In 1923, this resulted in the unanimous adoption of Muttertag, the Mother’s Day holiday as imported from Americaand Norway. The head of the Association of German Florists cited “the inner conflict of our Volk and the loosening of the family” as his reason for introducing the holiday. He expected that the holiday would unite the divided country. In 1925, the Mother’s Day Committee joined the task force for the recovery of the volk, and the holiday stopped depending on commercial interests and began emphasizing the need to increase the population in Germany by promoting motherhood.  The holiday did not celebrate individual women, but an idealized standard of motherhood.   The holiday is now celebrated on the second Sunday of May, in a manner similar to other nearby European countries.

 

Mother’s Day in Greece is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.

In Hungary, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May. It was first celebrated in 1925 by the Hungarian Red Cross Youth.

The modern Mother’s Day has been assimilated into Indian culture, and it is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. In India, mothers are considered as god to their children.  Indians do not celebrate the occasion as a religious one, but do their best to thank their mothers for care and love.   Traditionally, mothers are given great importance in Indian culture. The day is celebrated mostly in urban centers, by performing special acts to honour them and their contribution to the family. As per Hindu tradition, mothers are paid homage to on Saraswati pooja day during Devi Navrati, with “Maatru Pooja” (worship of mother).

Indonesian Mother’s Day (Hari Ibu) is celebrated nationally on December 22, 1953 22 December. The date was made an official festa-della-mamma-nel-mondoholiday by Presidential Decree, the 25th anniversary of the 1928 Indonesian Women Congress. The day originally sought to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian women and to improve the condition of the nation. Today, the meaning of Mother’s Day has changed, and it is celebrated by expressing love and gratitude to mothers. People present gifts to mothers (such as flowers) and hold surprise parties and competitions, which include cooking and kebaya wearing. People also allow mothers a day off from domestic chores.  Indonesia also celebrates the Kartini Day on April 21st, in memory of activist Raden Ayu Kartini.   This is a celebration of the emancipation of women. The observance was instituted at the 1938 Indonesian Women Congress.

In Iran, Mother’s Day is celebrated on 20 Jumada al-thani. This is the sixth month in the Islamic calendar and every year the holiday falls on a different day of the Gregorian calendar. This is the birthday anniversary of Fatimah, Muhammad’s only daughter according to Shia Islam orthodoxy. Mother’s Day was originally observed on December 16th, but the date was changed after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The Islamic regime used the holiday as a propaganda tool to undercut feminist movements and to promote role models for the traditional concept of family. Fatimah was the chosen model of a submissive woman who was completely dedicated to traditional female roles. The celebration is both Women’s Day and Mother’s Day.

mostra-festa-mamma[1]Israel – The Jewish population celebrates Mother’s Day on Shevat 30 of the Jewish calendar, which falls between January 1 and March 31. The celebration was set as the same date that Henrietta Szold died. Henrietta had no biological children, but her organization Youth Aliyah rescued many Jewish children from Nazi Germany and provided for them. She also championed children’s rights. Szold is considered the “mother” of all those children, and that is why her annual remembrance day was set as Mother’s Day.  The holiday has evolved over time, becoming a celebration of mutual love inside the family, called Family Day.  Mother’s Day is mainly celebrated by children at kindergartens.

 

 

In Ireland, Mother’s Day is celebrated on Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Mother’s Day in Italy was celebrated for the first time on 12 May 1957, in the city of Assisi, thanks to the initiative of Rev. Otello mammaMigliosi, parish priest of the Tordibetto church. This celebration was so successful that the following year Mother’s Day was adopted throughout Italy. On December 18, 1958 a proposal was presented to the Italian Senate to make official the holiday. It is celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

In Japan, Mother’s Day was initially commemorated during the Showa period as the birthday of Empress Kojun (mother of Emperor Akihito) on March 6th.  This was established in 1931 when the Imperial Women’s Union was organized. In 1937, the first meeting of “Praise Mothers” was held on May 8th, and in 1949 Japanese society adopted the second Sunday of May as the official date for Mother’s Day in Japan. Currently Mother’s Day in Japan is a rather commercial holiday, and people typically give their mothers gifts of flowers such as red carnations and roses.

Mother’s Day in Latvia was celebrated for the first time in 1922. Since 1938, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. It is recognized nationally, and is a public holiday.

The first mention of Mother’s Day in Malta occurred during the Radio Children’s Programmes run by Frans H. Said in May 1961. Within a few years, Mother’s Day became one of the most popular dates in the Maltese calendar. In Malta, this day is commemorated on the second Sunday in May. Mothers are invariably given gifts and invited for lunch, usually at a good quality restaurant.

Mamma e figli, GuatemalaIn Mexico, the government imported the Mother’s Day holiday from the US in 1922, and the newspaper Excelsior held a massive promotional campaign for the holiday that year. The conservative government tried to use the holiday to promote a more conservative role for mothers in families, but that perspective was criticized by the socialists as promoting an unrealistic image of a woman who was not good for much more than breeding. The government sponsored the holiday in the schools. Today the “Día de las Madres” is an unofficial holiday in Mexico held each year on May 10th.

 

 

In the Netherlands, Mother’s Day was introduced as early as 1910 by the Dutch branch of the Salvation Army. The Royal Dutch Society for Horticulture and Botany, a group protecting the interest of Dutch florists, worked to promote the holiday; they hoped to emulate the commercial success achieved by American florists. They were imitating the campaign already underway by florists in Germany and Austria, but they were aware that the traditions had originated in the US. In 1931 the second Sunday of May was adopted as the official celebration date. In the mid-1930s the slogan Moederdag – Bloemendag (Mother’s Day – Flower’s Day) was coined, and the phrase was popular for many years.  In the 1930s and 1940’s “Mother’s Day cakes” were given as gifts in hospitals and to the Dutch Queen, who is known as the “mother of the country”.

Nepal.  “Mata Tirtha Aunsi” (“Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”), or “Mata Tirtha Puja”  (“Mother Pilgrimage offering”), falls on the last day of the dark fortnight of the Baishakh month (April/May). The dark fortnight is fifteen days from the full moon to the new moon. “Mata” means mother. “Tirtha” means pilgrimage. This festival is observed to commemorate and respect mothers and is celebrated by worshipping, giving gifts to mothers, and remembering mothers who have died. To honor mothers who have died, it is traditional to go in pilgrimage to the Mata Tirtha ponds, which are six miles south west of central Katmandu. The nearby Marta Tirtha village is named after these ponds. Previously, the tradition was observed primarily by people from Newar communities and people living in the valley. Now, this festival is widely celebrated by many communities.   In Nepali “Aama ko Mukh Herne Din”, the literal translation is “to see Mother’s face”.

In New Zealand, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mother’s Day is not a public holiday. The New Zealand tradition is to give cards and gifts and to serve mothers breakfast in bed.

In Nicaragua, the Día de la Madre has been celebrated on 30 May since the early 1940s. The date was chosen by President Somoza, because it was his mother-in-law’s birthday.

In Maldives, Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 13th. The day is celebrated in different ways. Children give gifts and spend time with their mothers. Daughters give their mothers cards and handmade gifts and sons give their mothers gifts and flowers. Maldivians love to celebrate Mother’s day, and they have it specially written on their calendar.

In Pakistan, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. Media channels celebrate with special shows. Individuals honor their mothers by giving gifts and commemorative articles. Individuals who have lost their mothers pray and pay their respects to their loved ones lost.

In Panama, Mother’s Day is celebrated on December 8th, the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This date was suggested in 1930 by the wife of Panama’s President. December 8th was adopted as Mother’s Day in 1930 and established as a national holiday

Palestinians celebrate Mother’s Day on March 21st, similar to other Arab countries

In Paraguay, Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 15th, the same day as the Dia de la Patria, which celebrates the independence of Paraguay. This date was chosen to honor the role played by Juana María de Lara in the events of 14 May 1811 that led to Paraguay’s independence.  In 2008 the Celebration Committee of the city of Asuncion asked that Mother’s Day be moved to the second Sunday of May.

Mother’s day in the Philippines is celebrated every second Sunday of May. A Filipino mother is called the “light of the household” around which all activities revolve. Families treat mothers to movies or lunch or dinner out, spend time with their mothers in a park or shopping at the mall, or give their mothers time to pamper themselves. Most families celebrate at home. Children perform most chores that the mother routinely handles, prepare food or give their mothers small handcrafted tokens such as cards. Although in its current form Mother’s Day is not a traditional Filipino holiday, this and Father’s Day owe their popularity to American influence.

In Poland, “Dzień Matki” (“Mother’s Day”) is celebrated on May 26th.

In Portugal,  “Dia da Mãe” (“Mother’s Day”) is an unofficial holiday held each year on the first Sunday of May (sometimes coinciding with Labour Day).

In Romania, since 2010, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of May.  Both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are official holidays in Romania. Previously, Mother’s Day was celebrated on 8th of March, as part of International Women’s Day (a tradition from the days when Romania was part of the communist block). Now Mother’s Day and Women’s Day are two separate holidays, with Women’s Day keeping its original date of March 8th.

In Russia, the Mother’s Day holiday was established in 1998 by law initiated by “Committee on Women, Family and Youth” of the State Duma. Since 1998, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the last Sunday of November.

Traditionally Russia had celebrated International Women’s Day and Mother’s Day on 8 March, an inheritance from the Soviet Union, and a public holiday. Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1913 and in 1914 was proclaimed as the “day of struggle” for working women.

In Singapore, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. The day is celebrated by individuals but not recognized as a holiday by the government. However, many companies offer special products and services for the day.

Slovakia – Czechoslovakia celebrated only Women’s Day until the Velvet Revolution in 1989. After the country split in 1993, Slovakia started celebrating both Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. The politicization of Women’s Day has affected the official status of Mother’s Day. Center-right parties want Mother’s Day to replace Women’s Day, and social-democrats want to make Women’s Day an official holiday. Currently, both days are festive, but they are not “state holidays”. In the Slovak Republic, Mother’s Day is celebrated every second Sunday in May.

In Sri Lanka, Mother’s Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of May. Although relatively new to Sri Lanka, this occasion is now becoming more popular, and more people now honor their mothers on this day. Mother’s Day is celebrated by individuals but is not yet recognized as a holiday on the government calendar. However, the day has a commercial importance with many companies that offer special products and services for the day.

In Sweden, Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1919, by initiative of the author Cecilia Bååth-Holmberg. It took several decades for the day to be widely recognized. Swedes born in the early nineteen hundreds typically did not celebrate the day because of the common belief that the holiday was invented strictly for commercial purposes. This was in contrast to Father’s Day, which has been widely celebrated in Sweden since the late 1970s. Mother’s Day in Sweden is celebrated on the last Sunday in May. A later date was chosen to allow everyone to go outside and pick flowers.

In Switzerland, the “règle de Pentecôte” law allows Mother’s Day to be celebrated a week late if the holiday falls on the same day as Pentecost. However, in 2008, merchants declined to move the date.

 In Taiwan, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of the month of May, coinciding with Buddha’s birthday and the traditional ceremony of “washing the Buddha”. In 1999 the Taiwanese government established the second Sunday of May as Buddha’s birthday, so they would be celebrated in the same day. Since 2006, the Tzu Chi, the largest charity organization in Taiwan, celebrates the Tzu Chin Day, Mother’s Day and Buddha’s birthday all together, as part of a unified celebration and religious observance.

Mother’s day in Thailand is celebrated on the birthday of the Queen of Thailand (August 12th). The holiday was first celebrated around the 1980’s as part of the campaign by the Prime Minister of Thailand to promote Thailand’s Royal family.  Father’s Day is celebrated on the King’s birthday.

Turkey celebrates Mother’s Day (“Anneler günü”, literally “Mothers’ Day”) on the second Sunday of May.

Ukraine celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday of May. In Ukraine, Mother’s Day officially became a holiday in 1999  and is celebrated since 2000. Since then Ukrainian society struggles to transition the main holiday that recognizes woman from the International Women’s Day to Mother’s Day.

The United Kingdom celebrates Mothering Sunday, which falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent.  This holiday has its roots in the church and was originally unrelated to the American holiday. Most historians believe that Mothering Sunday evolved from the 16th-century Christian practice of visiting one’s mother church annually on Laetare Sunday. As a result of this tradition, most mothers were reunited with their children on this day when young apprentices and young women in service were released by their masters for that weekend. As a result of the influence of the American Mother’s Day, Mothering Day transformed into the tradition of showing appreciation to one’s mother. The holiday is still recognized in the original historical sense by many churches, with attention paid to Mary the mother of Jesus Christ as well as the concept of Mother Church.  Mother’s Day is now the time of year to celebrate and buy gifts of chocolate or flowers for their mothers as a way to thank them for all they do throughout the year.

 

mothers-dayThe United States celebrates Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May. In 1872 Julia Ward Howe called for women to join in support of disarmament and asked for 2 June 1872, to be established as a “Mother’s Day for Peace”. Her 1870 “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world” is sometimes referred to as Mother’s Day Proclamation. The current holiday created by Ann Jarvis in Grafton West Virginia in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother.  President Woodrow Wilson made the day an official national holiday in 1914.   Moreover, going to church is also popular on Mother’s Day, yielding the highest church attendance after Christmas Eve and Easter. Many worshipers celebrate the day with carnations, colored if the mother is living and white if she is dead. Mother’s Day continues to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions.

It is possible that the holiday would have withered over time without the support and continuous promotion of the florist industries and other commercial industries. Other Protestant holidays from the same time, such as Children’s Day and Temperance Sunday, do not have the same level of popularity. Mother’s Day is also prominent in the Sunday comic strips in the newspapers of the United States, expressing emotions ranging from sentimental to wry to caustic.

 

Kathy Kiefer

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

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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

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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

SPIRITUALITY IN THE WORLD

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SPIRITUALITY IN THE WORLD

Spirituality as seen by some lack a defining definition…but the basic definition of spirituality is that it is the fact or quality of being spiritual.  Spirituality has come to mean the internal experience of the individual.   But the term of spirituality use has changed though out the ages, in more recent times spirituality has been separated from religion and is a blend of humanistic psychology with mystical and esoteric traditions as well as eastern religions that are aimed at a person’s well-being and development.

Spirituality may be sought not only through religion, but through movements like the feminist theology and green politics.  There have been suggestions that spirituality also leads to finding purpose and meaning in one’s life.   Spirituality also aids in developing inner peace as well as forming a foundation for happiness.

Spirituality means something different to everyone. For some, it’s about participating in organized religion: going to church, synagogue, a mosque, etc. For others, it’s more personal: Some people get in touch with their spiritual side through private prayer, yoga, meditation, quiet reflection, or even long walks.

Spirituality is extremely hard to define with words alone, as it encompasses so much more than what we can express with our language. Although people tend to label themselves as being ‘spiritual’ or ‘not spiritual’, almost everyone on this planet is on the proverbial spiritual path, whether they are aware of it or not.

There are many different branches of spirituality, including mystical spirituality, intellectual spirituality and secular spirituality. Here are some of the most common spiritual themes:

  • Understanding that we are all connected and part of a larger reality
  • Realizing that we are infinite souls
  • Transcending the physical world and achieving enlightenment
  • Discovering the true nature of consciousness
  • Practicing kindness and compassion to all beings

Traditional Spirituality

Judaism

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Rabbinic Judaism has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Talmud, which is characterized by the belief that the Written Torah (the law) can’t be correctly interpreted without reference to the Oral Torah and by voluminous literature specifying what behavior is sanctioned by the law.   Judaism has a variety of religious observances:  ethical rules, prayers, religious clothing, holidays, Shabbat, pilgrimages, Torah reading, dietary laws.

Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline and school and thought of Judaism.  According to the tradition and aims of their followers from its religious origins as an integral part of Judaism, to the later adaptations.   Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings that is meant to explain the relationship between an unchanging, eternal and mysterious and the mortal and finite universe.

While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not its own denomination itself.    Inside Judaism, it forms the foundations of mystical religious interpretation. Outside Judaism, its scriptures are read outside the traditional canons of organized religion. Kabbalah seeks to define the nature of the universe and the human being, the nature and purpose of existence, and various other questions. It also presents methods to aid understanding of these concepts and to thereby attain spiritual realization.

Hasidic Judaism means piety and is a branch of Orthodox Judaism that promotes spirituality through the popularization and internalization of Jewish mysticism as the fundamental aspect of the faith.   Hasidic Judaism was founded in 18th Century Europe.  Hasidic teachings cherished the sincerity and concealed holiness of the unlettered common folk, and their equality with the scholarly elite. The emphasis on the Divine presence in everything gave new value to prayer and deeds of kindness, alongside rabbinic supremacy of study and replaced historical mystical and ethical asceticism and admonishment with optimism, encouragement and fervor. This emotional revival accompanied the elite ideal of nullification to paradoxical Divine through intellectual articulation of inner dimensions of mystical thought.

 

siege-jerusalemChristianity

Union with Christ is the purpose of Christian mysticism.

Catholic spirituality is the spiritual practice of living out a personal act of faith following the acceptance of faith.  Although all Catholics are expected to pray together at Mass, there are many different forms of spirituality and private prayer which have developed over the centuries. Each of the major religious orders of the Catholic Church and other lay groups have their own unique spirituality – its own way of approaching God in prayer and in living out the Gospel.

Christian mysticism refers to the development of mystical practices and theory within Christianity.  It is often connected to mystical theology, especially in both the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.   The attributes and means by which Christian mysticism is studied and practiced are varied and range from ecstatic visions of the soul’s mystical union with God to simple prayerful contemplation of Holy Scripture.

 

ISLAM

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The five pillars of Islam.

The Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam, considered obligatory for all believers. The Quran (or Koran) represents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to the faith.

They are (1) the creed (2) daily prayers, (3) almsgiving, (4) fasting during Ramadan and (5) pilgrimage to Mecca (haji) at least once in a lifetime.

The Shia and Sunni sects agree on the essential details for the performance of these acts.

 

sufismSufism

The best known form of Islamic mystic spirituality is the Sufi tradition in which a spiritual master transmits spiritual discipline to students.   Sufism is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam.  Sufis believe they are practicing perfection of worship as revealed to Muhammad by the Angel Gabriel.   Sufis consider themselves as the original true proponents of this pure original form of Islam. They are strong adherents to the principal of tolerance, peace and against any form of violence.

Classical Sufi scholars have defined Sufism as “a science whose objective is the reparation of the heart and turning it away from all else but God.

 

JIHAD

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANSJihad is a religious duty of Muslims.  In the Arabic language, the word jihad translates as a noun meaning “struggle”.

There are two commonly accepted meanings of jihad: an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle.  The greater jihad” is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfill his religious duties.  This non-violent meaning is stressed by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

 

 

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Hindu

The Hindu traditions know a wide range of spiritual practices called Sadhana, which is aimed at reaching enlightenment.    Sadhana literally means “a means of accomplishing something.  It includes a variety of disciplines in Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Muslim traditions that are followed in order to achieve various spiritual or ritual objectives.

Sādhanā is a discipline undertaken in the pursuit of a goal. Abhyāsa is repeated practice performed with observation and reflection. Kriyā, or action, also implies perfect execution with study and investigation. Therefore, sādhanā, abhyāsa, and kriyā all mean one and the same thing. A sādhaka, or practitioner, is one who skillfully applies…mind and intelligence in practice towards a spiritual goal.

 

 

Buddhism

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Buddhist practices are known as Bhavan, which literally means “development” or “cultivating   in the sense of “calling into existence.”     It is an important concept in Buddhist praxis.  The word bhavana normally appears in conjunction with another word forming a compound phrase such as the development or cultivation of the heart/mind or the development/cultivation of loving kindness. When used on its own bhavana signifies ‘spiritual cultivation’ generally.

 

 

Slave-Rebellion-HaitiAfrican spirituality

In some African contexts, spirituality is considered a belief system that guides that welfare of society and the people therein, and eradicates sources of unhappiness that is thought to be caused by evil.

 

 

 

 

AGNOSTIC

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Then there are people that hold that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience, as well as a person who denies or doubts the possibility of ultimate knowledge in some area of study.

 

 

 

ATHEIST

One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

Kathy Kiefer

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.