Easter Blessings

May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear.

And may Christ, Our Risen Savior, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide.

— Author Unknown

Lord we lift our hearts to you. As the dawn breaks, may we carry the unity we share into every moment knowing that we are one with the risen Christ. Lord, we lift our eyes to you. As the sunrises, may this moment stay with us, reminding us to look for the beautiful colors of promise in your word. Lord, we lift our prayers to you. As the dew air falls, may we breathe this morning in and know that like the earth, you sustain us, keep us and work within us always. And so, we lift our voices to you. We celebrate the greatest day in history, when Jesus rose from death, defeated darkness and bathed the world in stunning resurrection light. May we ever live to praise you! Amen.

Author Unknown

Happy Easter May The Renewal Of Life At Easter Bring New Blessings | Happy  easter quotes, Easter inspirational quotes, Happy easter pictures

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate

Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen

Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing

Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty

Christ is Risen indeed from the dead, the first of the sleepers, Glory and power are his forever and ever.

— St. Hippolytus of Rome

Lord God,

You loved this world so much,

That you gave your one and only Son,

That we might be called your children too.

Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace

Of Easter Sunday, everyday.

Let us have hearts of thankfulness

For your sacrifice.

Let us have eyes that look upon

Your grace and rejoice in our salvation.

Help us to walk in that mighty grace

And tell your good news to the world.

All for your glory do we pray, Lord,

Amen.

Rachel Marie Stone

Passover Pieces

On Sunday, March 28, both Palm Sunday and Passover are celebrated.

Palm Sunday is the Christian holiday that occurs on the Sunday before Easter. This celebration commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem , mentioned in each of the four Gospels. Jesus entered the city knowing He would be tried and crucified and welcomed His fate to rise from the grave and save us from sin!

I did a lot of research on the meaning of Passover and how it is presented. This link is very informative, I hope you explore!

A year ago, I was invited to a Seder dinner, unfortunately, due to the pandemic, it was cancelled. I was so looking forward to it. Perhaps another invite will come my way next year! (Hint hint to my Jewish friends)!

Passover | Story, Meaning, Traditions, & Facts | Britannica

Lent Pieces

Lent is an incredibly powerful time of year. We read daily scripture or stories leading up to the arrest, judgment, crucifixion, resurrection, 40 days Jesus lived on earth and the final ascension. It’s important as believers that we know WHY we are saved, the sacrifice that was made for our freedom from sin, forgiveness and the promise of an eternal home.

SAMAA - How do Pakistan's Christians fast in Lent

The road to the cross was heartbreaking for all who had walked with and followed Jesus’ ministry. From his family and disciples, to those who had been miraculously healed, shared in a meal of fish and loaves that fed 5,000 people, water turned into wine.

Jesus was loved and held. His mother wept and grieved. Some denied His existence. Others ran from guilt. And in the end, He took the nails for us. By His stripes we are healed. He arose from the dead. He walked for 40 days in human form. And then, in a cloud of glory Jesus returned to Heaven to sit at the throne with His Heavenly Father.

What greater love has ever sacrificed?

Empty Tomb

Advent Pieces

The colors of Advent have specific meanings, have you ever wondered about them? Tonight it’s a “101” class! Enjoy and learn! Thanks to crosswalk.com

The Meaning of the Advent Wreath | Advent candles, Advent wreath candles, Advent  candles meaning

The First Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Hope

The first Sunday of Advent leads our hearts to Hope. The purple color symbolizes royalty, repentance, and fasting. This week is a time for us to reflect on what it must have been like to feel the depth of God’s silence during the period between the Old Testament and New.

It is a time to ponder the prophecies about the promised Messiah. We begin the season with a mindset that creates hope in our hearts.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone (Isaiah 9:2).

For to us a child is born. To us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore (Isaiah 9:6-7).

The Second Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Preparation

On the second Sunday of Advent, we light the Hope candle and then we light the Preparation candle. First, hope blooms as we realize the prophecies about the Messiah are true. Then we begin to prepare our hearts to receive the Lord Jesus.

Imagine how Joseph must have rushed to prepare the crude stable for Mary and the soon-to-be-born Jesus. As we rush through the season of buying gifts and attending parties, may we pause and reflect on the words of Isaiah:

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).

The Third Sunday of Advent’s Pink Candle Signifies Joy

The third Sunday of Advent brings us to Joy. The color pink represents rejoicing. We light the previous two purple candles and then light this week’s pink one. Rejoicing is our response to the Good News — joy that our Messiah has come.

The light of the world sweeps away the darkness in our world and in our hearts. We seek him and, in joy, find him.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).

The Fourth Sunday of Advent’s Purple Candle Signifies Love

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, we reach the culmination of Love. The Messiah comes in love and righteousness. The angels filled the sky with the greatest news of love.

They visited the lowest of the lows in Jewish society, the shepherds, with the most amazing birth announcement. This love is no respecter of persons but is for all who receive. As we light the four candles, we ponder,

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him (John 3:16-17).

Why Some Add a Fifth White Candle

A fifth candle is an optional addition to the traditional advent celebration and represents Christ. This candle is lit on Christmas Eve. The color white stands for purity, light, and victory.

Jesus is pure — without sin and because of his sacrifice he makes us white as snow. He is the light in the darkness and the victor over sin and death. We have life because of him.

Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool (Isaiah 1:18).

A Prayer for Hope

Holy God, we begin this week of advent with a heart awakening to hope. You are our signpost lighting our way forward. Darkness may abound, but you reveal light. Night may linger, but hope comes in the morning because of you. May we turn our hearts turn toward you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Prayer for Preparation

Holy God, we praise you for the hope you give us. As we move into the second week of Advent, we prepare our hearts to receive you. Just as Mary and Joseph journeyed to Bethlehem over rough terrain, so our lives lead us down rocky paths.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today

This is one of my favorite childhood memory hymns.  Read the lyrics, enjoy and hum to yourself!  The video is below pic!  Happy Easter!

  1. Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
    Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
    Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
    Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
  2. Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
    Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
    Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
    Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
  3. Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
    Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
    Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
    Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
  4. Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
    Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
    Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
    Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
  5. Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
    Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
    Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
    Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
  6. King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
    Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
    Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia!
    Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!

He is Risen! | St. Michael Catholic Church

YouTube Video

Divine Mercy

Today the Catholic faith celebrates the Divine Mercy.  What is it?  I didn’t know until I stepped into church today (of course I’m only a week old Catholic, so don’t expect much from me, for awhile!!!)

Image result for Divine Mercy painting

History of the Message and Devotion to Divine Mercy

The Message of the Divine Mercy that Sr. Faustina received from the Lord was not only directed toward her personal growth in faith but also toward the good of the people. With the command of our Lord to paint an image according to the pattern that Sr. Faustina had seen, came also a request to have this image venerated, first in the Sisters’ chapel, and then throughout the world. The same is true with the revelations of the Chaplet. The Lord requested that this Chaplet be said not only by Sr. Faustina, but by others: “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet that I have given you.”

The same is true of the revelation of the Feast of Mercy. “The Feast of Mercy emerged from my very depths of tenderness. It is my desire that it solemnly be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My Mercy.”

These requests of the Lord given to Sr. Faustina between 1931 and 1938 can be considered the beginning of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion in the new forms.

Through the efforts of Sr. Faustina’s spiritual directors, Fr. Michael Sopocko, and Fr. Joseph Andrasz, SJ, and others — including the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — this message began to spread throughout the world.

Further information

Passover Pieces

I know very little about Jewish culture, religion or history.  I do, however, have many Jewish friends.  I understand that Passover, is as important as the Holy Week events Christians celebrate.  I wanted to share with you what I’ve found, in hopes that you; like me, are a spiritual seeker!

Image result for Passover

Passover (in Hebrew, Pesach) commemorates the exodus of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. The holiday originated in the Torah, where the word pesach refers to the ancient Passover sacrifice (known as the Paschal Lamb); it is also said to refer to the idea that God “passed over” (pasach) the houses of the Jews during the 10th plague on the Egyptians, the slaying of the first born. The holiday is ultimately a celebration of freedom, and the story of the exodus from Egypt is a powerful metaphor that is appreciated not only by Jews, but by people of other faiths as well.

For the complete explanation along with foods, celebrations and rituals, check out this link!

Palm Sunday Pieces

You can probably visualize it from your childhood religious teachings.  Jesus on a donkey, people waving palm fronds.  Do you know the whole story?

Image result for Palm Sunday

Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, knowing full well that this trip would end in his sacrificial death for the sin of humanity.

He sent two disciples ahead to the village of Bethphage, about a mile away from the city at the foot of the Mount of Olives. He told them to look for a donkey tied by a house, with its unbroken colt next to it. Jesus instructed the disciples to tell the owners of the animal that “The Lord has need of it.” (Luke 19:31, ESV)

The men found the donkey, brought it and its colt to Jesus, and placed their cloaks on the colt. Jesus sat on the young donkey and slowly, humbly, made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In his path, people threw their cloaks on the ground and put palm branches on the road before him. Others waved palm branches in the air.

Large Passover crowds surrounded Jesus, shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9, ESV)

By that time the commotion was spreading through the entire city. Many of the Galilean disciples had earlier seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead. Undoubtedly they were spreading the news of that astonishing miracle.

The Pharisees, who were jealous of Jesus and afraid of the Romans, said: “‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.'” (Luke 19:39-40, ESV)

Credit: https://www.thoughtco.com/palm-sunday-story-700203

Psalms Pieces

There are so many beautiful Psalms in the Bible.  Do you have a favorite?  Do you know the significance of this book?  One man struggles in his faith, wanting to surrender and know God on a deeper level.  He sings praises to God with a longing heart.  It is not always an easy book of the Bible to understand, there is as – I used to complain about when younger:  “a lot of thee’s and tho’s.”  🙂

As we continue into the Holy days; Good Friday and Passover, Palm Sunday and Easter, let us yearn for God the same way David did.

(I am referring to the Living Bible, as I appreciate the stillness of the language.)

Psalm 19 The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat.

7-8 God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light. God’s laws are pure, eternal, just. 10 They are more desirable than gold. They are sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb. 11 For they warn us away from harm and give success to those who obey them.

12 But how can I ever know what sins are lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 And keep me from deliberate wrongs; help me to stop doing them. Only then can I be free of guilt and innocent of some great crime.

14 May my spoken words and unspoken thoughts be pleasing even to you, O Lord my Rock and my Redeemer.

Image result for the psalms of david

Psalm 138 Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels.  I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.  When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever. Don’t abandon me—for you made me.