Great and wonderful are all your works, Lord, mighty God! – Revelation 15:3
Anyone who has visited ancient cities such as Jerusalem, Babylon, Rome, Athens, Sparta, Memphis and Thebes, is shocked at how immense and beautiful these ancient cities must have looked in the prime of their days. I have been blessed to visit Rome, Jerusalem, and Memphis – which is not too far away from modern day Cairo. I was shocked looking at the gigantic archeological sites and how big the buildings must have been.
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Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “This feast commemorates the dedication of the church of St. Mary, built in Jerusalem near the site of the Temple. Additionally, with Christians of the East, the Latin Church also remembers on this day the tradition according to which Mary as a small child, was presented to the Lord by her parents in the Temple” (The Liturgy of the Hours, Volume IV, p. 1572).
These are three questions that many people ask with sincerity—they ask them honestly: Why can't I pray in nature, which truly lifts my spirit up to God? Why do I have to be with others if I pray better on my own? Why couldn't I substitute my personal prayer for Mass if I'm very busy? I want to address these questions with gentleness and love because, as I said, I think many people ask them sincerely. And I'd like to begin with our Gospel passage which might be able to set us in the right direction.
One October, the month of the Holy Rosary, I felt particularly ambitious about getting my kiddos, ages five and fifteen, to pray the Rosary more. At first, I haven’t had much success. The “rap rosary” was a total fail, my teen informed me. The Rosary podcasts had “too much opera” or “the people talk like they need a nap,” reported the little guy. I enjoy saying my Rosary in the morning on my back patio, beads in one hand and coffee in the other, but that wasn’t appealing to my family.