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Everyday Rosary Newsletter -- New Year Resolutions
January 02, 2010
Everyday Rosary Newsletter Vol.2, Issue #01 -- New Year Resolutions
January 1, 2010
Feast of Mary Mother of God
Happy New Year!
The monthly Everyday Rosary Newsletter is brought to you from the How-to-pray-the-rosary-everyday.com website. In each issue you will find Rosary inspirations, new meditations, feature articles and ideas that support your prayer life, a calendar of upcoming Rosary Feast Days, and how to incorporate your faith in other holidays. Plus stories on how the Rosary has affected the lives of others and what people are doing to promote the Rosary. It will also keep you up-to-date on information added to the site. It is your monthly dose of Rosary inspiration!
Table of Contents
The Twelve Days Of Christmas And Making Spiritually Beneficial New Years Resolutions
A Note From The Editor:
Advent has finally ended and in the last few days we have been enjoying a festive celebration of Christmas! For Catholics, Christmas does not end on December 26th, but it continues 12 days following Christmas Day ending on January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany.
Epiphany is the fulfillment of both the Advent and Christmas Seasons. During Advent, you were preparing for the coming of Jesus. During Christmas you joyously celebrated His birth and at Epiphany, His kingship is first manifested. The word Epiphany means manifestation. For it is at Epiphany when the Church celebrates the adoration of the Christ Child by the Magi, the Three Wise Men who brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Wise Men's faith allowed them to see that the poor and helpless baby laying in the manger was really the Son of God and the King of the world.
So please, don't rush to take down your Christmas decorations and instead, keep the Christmas Spirit alive even past New Years Day and keep the celebration and focus until the spectacular feast of the Epiphany is celebrated. This feast has lost much of its splendor in this modern, commercialized world who has already tore down the Christmas Trees and Christmas displays and are getting the shelves ready for St. Valentine's Day.
They would try to keep our focus on the future, always looking ahead to the next big thing, the next opportunity to buy something. Don't fall into this trap. Our Lord wants us to live one day at a time. Preparing our souls each minute to meet Him. So slow down and enjoy this Christmas Season.Top
The Parallel Between The Twelve Days Of Christmas Song And The Rosary
Many do not know that the popular Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" is actually a Catholic song that developed in England during the years in which Catholics were persecuted. This song, like the Rosary has much deeper meaning than what is seen on the surface. And like the Rosary it teaches all about the gift of the Catholic Faith.
The "True Love" refers to God. Just like the Rosary this song keeps your mind focused on the greatest gift of all, Jesus.
A Partridge symbolizes Jesus. The partridge is a bird that will pretend to be hurt in order to protect her defenseless chicks. Without Jesus, we are defenseless against the wickedness and the snares of the devil. The apple tree symbolizes the Fall of Man, whereas a pear tree symbolizes the redemption and salvation of man. Jesus is the Partridge in the pear tree of Salvation.
Two Turtle doves symbolizes the offerings made by Joseph and Mary when Jesus was presented in the Temple, the Fourth Joyful Mystery. People of the Old Covenant were bound to offer in place of their first born a sacrificial offering to God suitable to their social class. The poor Jews offered two doves. This event symbolized the sacrifice that was to come, Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.
Three French hens symbolizes the gifts that were given by the Three Wise Men as well as the three theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith is the fruit of the First Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection. Hope is the fruit of the Second Glorious Mystery, The Ascension. Finally Charity is the fruit of the Third Glorious Mystery, The Descent of the Holy Spirit.
Four calling birds represent the four major prophets of the Old Testament and the four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The four major prophets told of Jesus' coming while the four Evangelists wrote the Gospels that proclaimed Jesus' message. The Rosary is the prayer of the Gospels and in it is proclaimed the message of Jesus Christ.
Five golden rings is a symbolism for many things: the five wounds of Christ, God's never ending love, the five necessary Sacraments and the first five books of the Bible.
Most importantly the five golden rings symbolize the five wounds suffered by Christ, the two in His feet, one in each of his wrists, and the one on His side. These wounds are meditated upon during the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. The tune of the song changes at this point to emphasis the importance of Jesus' suffering in atonement for the sins of the world.
Secondly, a golden ring signifies the everlasting love of God for us His creation, our love for Him, and our love of neighbor. Love of neighbor is the fruit of the Second Joyful Mystery, the Visitation.
Thirdly, there are five necessary Sacraments: Baptism, Penance, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation and Last Rites.
And finally, the five books of Moses, the Pentateuch are also represented in the five golden rings. These books include: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. In these first five books of the Old Testament, the story of Creation and the Fall of Man as well as the Old Law are given. A knowledge of these first five books is important in gaining a correct understanding of the reason for Jesus' Incarnation and act of Redemption.
Six geese a-laying symbolizes the six days of creation.These can be found in Genesis 1:3-31
Seven swans a-swimming symbolizes the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the seven works of both Spiritual and Corporal Mercy.
The seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit should be meditated upon during the Third Glorious Mystery, the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:
The seven Spiritual works of Mercy are:
When meditating upon the Sorrowful Mysteries, you'll realize that some of those who played a role in supporting Jesus during this time were performing Corporal works of Mercy. People like Veronica, Joseph of Arimethea, Simon of Cyrene, Mary Magdalene, John and the Blessed Mother offered the only comfort Jesus received.
The seven Corporal works of Mercy are:
Eight maids a-milking symbolizes the eight Beatitudes that should be meditated upon during the Third Luminous Mystery, the Proclamation of the Kingdom. They are as follows:
Nine ladies dancing symbolizes the the nine choirs of angels. Angels are spirits without bodies who surround the throne of God. They are His messengers and they protect and guide us. Angels play a role in the events that are meditated upon particularly during the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. And the Archangel Michael has a special place during the concluding prayers of the Rosary. The nine choirs of angels are:
Ten lords a-leaping symbolizes the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The fruit of the First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden is Sorrow for Sin. You cannot be sorry for sin if you don't know what sin is. Sin is disobedience to God's law. You must know the laws of God in order to follow them. The Ten Commandments are:
Eleven pipers piping symbolizes the eleven Apostles that remained and proclaimed the Resurrection of Jesus, the Resurrection of course being the First Glorious Mystery of the Rosary.
Twelve drummers drumming symbolizes many things. In Sacred Scripture, the number twelve means completeness. Twelve drummers drumming also represents the twelve minor prophets, the twelve points in the Apostle's Creed, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve Apostles, and the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit.
The twelve points in the Apostle's Creed are stated at the beginning of the Rosary. The twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit are reflected upon during the Third Glorious Mystery, the Descent of the Holy Spirit.
This article was written in an effort to reveal the true meaning behind the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas", and to illustrate how the Rosary contains all the truths that the Catholic Church holds and believes.
To learn more about "The Twelve Days of Christmas" song, you will find a book in our Resource section of this newsletter. A First Day of Christmas ornament for your Christmas tree can also be found under Miscellaneous.The Feast Of Mary Mother Of God
Mary is the Mother of God the Son, the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity. The Church does not and never has taught that Mary is the Mother of the Creator. That would be impossible for God always was and Mary is a creature like us. But she was chosen by God the Father to be the Mother of God the Son, Jesus Christ. Mary therefore holds the title Mother of God by the fact that she truly is the Mother of Jesus Christ Who is God. Jesus is both true God and true Man. He received His human nature from Mary.
Jesus is pleased with His Mother being known by the title Mother of God. Furthermore, God is in no way offended by people honoring Mary through the recitation of the Rosary.
It is offensive to God however when Mary is unappreciated and treated with little or no respect. She was a holy woman and was chosen to be the mother of God the Son. She played a role in the redemption of humankind and should be honored, not worshiped as a god, but honored as a holy woman and as the Mother of God.
Top Ten New Year Resolutions
These are simply suggestions. Don't try to tackle all of them. And if you are already doing many or all these things, you are surely on your way to a happier, more peaceful and holier life.
How To Guide
How To Deepen Your Spiritual Life During The New Year
If you incorporate any number of the above Top Ten, you will be greatly deepening your spiritual life in 2010.
Many people do not pray before meals. Adopting this habit gets you thanking God at least three times a day. If you already are in the habit, slow down and make sure you are really meaning the worlds you are praying. Also add the Grace After Meals prayer. This is a good way to end a meal. It also indicates to small children that they can be 'scused'.
Adopting the habit of Grace Before and After Meals totals six additional prayers per day. That is sure to deepen your spiritual life.
Praying the Morning Offering every morning is much more significant that is may seem. Not only is it giving the first moments of your day to God in prayer, it is setting up your entire day to be a prayer. Everything you do from that point becomes a prayer of thanksgiving and reparation to God for in it you offer to Him all your "prayers, joys and sufferings of this day."
It is hard to remember the sins you commit and even more so to work on your faults if you are not doing a nightly examination of conscience. This is an easy habit to adopt. When you are ready for bed, go through the Ten Commandments. Most days there will be no serious sins, but you may discover that you are offending God in little ways. Using the Ten Commandments as your guide, try to think of the things you did or didn't do that may have offended God. Then say a good Act of Contrition and ask the Blessed Mother to send you all the graces you need to avoid these sins in the future. And she will.
Read the lives of the saints. The church has held them up for us to imitate. They lived holy lives marked by heroic virtue and they experienced all the trials and tribulations you are experiencing.
Choose your spiritual reading carefully. Make sure the book bears the Imprimatur and a Nihil Obstat of a Catholic bishop saying there is nothing contained in it that is contrary to the Catholic Faith. This is of the utmost importance. There are many New Age spirituality books out there and these are NOT good for your soul. Excellent spiritual readings are suggested in the Books and Spiritual Reading section of the Resources in this Newsletter.
Besides spiritual reading, perhaps you will adopt the habit of reading the Scripture daily. This would be the perfect companion to your Rosary. The benefits of reading the Scriptures are huge. I would suggest getting a good Catholic Scripture Guide to go along with your daily Scripture reading and would suggest the beautiful and authentic Douay-Rheims Version of the Holy Bible. Both can be found in the Resources Section.
Going to the Sacrament of Penance or Confession once a month goes along with several other suggestions for deepening your spiritual life. It goes hand in hand with the nightly examination of conscience that has already been discussed as well as the first five Saturdays devotions to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and nine first Fridays devotions to the Sacred Heart. There are two excellent books that discuss these two devotions in their entirety that are listed in the Resources Section.
As for a monthly Confession, it is important to note that whenever you fall into mortal sin, deadly sin that kills God's life in your soul, you must go to Confession as soon as possible. But Confession is also a means of receiving many, many graces. So even if you're soul is not dead in mortal sin, going to Confession is the best way to receive grace second to receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist of course. When you confess your sins, you receive absolution and the grace to avoid those sins in the future. Who wouldn't benefit from going once a month?
Another sure way to receive all the graces necessary for you to attain holiness is to be a daily Communicant. If you are at all able, go to daily Mass. When you receive the Holy Eucharist, you receive Jesus. This is a sure way to deepen your spiritual life.
And don't forget to pray the Rosary everyday during the New Year!
Calendar Of Upcoming Feast Days
Epiphany of the Lord - January 6th
The Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany is usually celebrated on the Sunday closest to January 6th.
There are many traditions observed on this day, but I would like to mention the blessing of homes. Above the main doorway written with blessed chalk (blessed by a priest for this purpose) is written the inscription 20+C+M+B+10, C+M+B stand for the initials of the three wise men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar or it can also stand for Christus Mansionem Benedicat which means "May Christ bless the house”. The numbers 20 10 stands for the year. By having your house blessed by a priest and by writing this inscription above the doorway, your family is asking for the blessings of Jesus through the intercession of the Three Wise Men throughout the upcoming year.
Baptism of Our Lord - January 10th
The First Luminous Mystery
Presentation of Jesus - February 2nd
The Fourth Joyful Mystery
ResourcesRosary Gift Resources
Books And Spiritual Reading
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Meet This Month's Rosary Promoter!
If you would like to be highlighted as the Rosary Promoter of the Month, use the Rosary Promoter Submission page on How-to-pray-the-rosary-everyday.com and write us asking for a Rosary Promoter application. If you know someone that promotes the Rosary and should be featured as a Rosary promoter, by all means pass this along to them or send us their information and we'll contact them.
Can anyone pray the Rosary? Or only Catholics?
Are Catholics worshiping Mary when they pray the Rosary?
We do however honor Mary. And the Rosary is the best method of honoring Mary and learning about the life of Jesus.
Mary was the handmaid of the Lord and in her humility she would not desire to be honored but through the Rosary Jesus grants His Mother graces to send to her children because she loves them. Mary is our Mother because Jesus is our Brother and God is our Father.
Praying the Rosary creates holiness in those devoted to it through meditating on the Mysteries in Jesus' life.
Studying the life of Jesus enables you to transform your soul to reflect His. Mary is the perfect reflection of Jesus and meditating on her role in His life is of great benefit as well.
As you become familiar with the lives of Jesus and Mary by meditating on the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary you will soon discover how Jesus and Mary's relationship works with each other and how they work in your life.
A Glimpse Into February's Newsletter
I hope your New Year is filled with peace and blessings from God.
Holy Mary, Mother of God. Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death!
Queen of All Saints. Pray for us!
To Jesus through Mary,
Kathleen Bowen and The Rosary Team
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