Learning to pray the Rosary – The Creed

wpid-img_20130820_173554I’m killing two birds with one stone.  I need to pray more, and take time to meditate and focus on Scripture.  I also need to learn the Rosary.  I can follow along with it, as long as I’m in the company of seasoned pray-ers, but my brain goes blank when I try to do it myself.  So, I’ve decided to add the Rosary prayers and meditations to my prayer journal, for the purpose of memorizing them to be able to recite on my own.

Catholic Answers has a very good article about the Rosary here.

I’ll share my journal pages and thoughts as I go.

Okay?  Great.

The rosary begins with the cross, we hold it in our hand as we make the sign of the cross over ourselves.  Beginning with the forehead (In the name of the Father), then down right about under our sternum (and of the Son), then from left shoulder to right shoulder (and of the Holy Spirit).

While still grasping the cross, we recite the Apostle’s Creed:

wpid-img_20130820_173733“I believe in God the Father, Almighty Creator of heaven and earth.”

Here, I’m reminded of the crash course I took in the names of God.  I see three of them:  Father, Almighty, and Creator.  In this opening line, we recognize our God in a paternal relationship, in control, and engaged in creative imaging.

He is our Father; He loves, protects, nurtures, provides and guides us, His children.

He is Almighty; He is all seeing, all knowing, all powerful, ever present, eternal, never changing, Supreme.  He is all-in-all.

He is Creator; He made it all.  In His own image, He created us.  From nothing He formed everything that exists.    And without Him, nothing was made that now exists, both in heaven and on earth.

This phrase is reminiscent of the one in the Lord’s prayer “…on earth as it is in heaven“.  Since He created it all, it stands to reason that His will continues to be done in it all, both here on earth and in heaven.

In this opening statement, we get a sneak peek into His Kingdom, power and glory and we affirm it every time we proclaim our faith through the recitation of the Creed.

…and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord

creed JCJesus asked Peter, “who do men say that I am?”  The answers are as varied today as they were then.  Some say “a great teacher”, or “a good man”, some even might recognize Him as “a prophet or sage”.  But, when asked “who do YOU say that I am?”  Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, answered correctly, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God”.

It matters that we believe in Jesus, but it matters more, who we believe He is.

Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit; born of the virgin, Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, died and was buriedconceived born crucified

The Creed is the gospel (or Good News) in a nutshell.  It identifies Jesus by declaring where He came from, and what He did.  It affirms His place in the Godhead, His miraculous birth, sorrowful death and glorious resurrection.  And most importantly, when we recite it, we affirm our belief and agreement that He is who He says He is, and we unite ourselves to Him and to each other in this affirmation.

descended to hell “By the expression “He descended into hell“, the Apostles Creed confesses that Jesus did really die and through his death for us conquered death and the devil “who has the power of death” (Heb 2:14).”  His human soul did so being “united to His divine person”.  Dying, he went down to “the realm of the dead” and opened heaven’s gates for the just who had gone before Him.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church 636, 637)

On the third day, he rose again from the dead. 

Jesus was really dead.  He wasn’t just sleeping.  He wasn’t just “reckoned for dead”, he was gone.  But he didn’t STAY dead.  He overcame death and the grave with His glorious resurrection.  This was a real event, with sworn testimony by people who SAW him, who touched him, who testified even to the point of death that this was truth.

I would not die for a lie, would you?

I think we get this part of the Apostles Creed from Paul’s words to the Corinthians;  “I gave to you the most important thing that I received…the confession that Christ died for our sins to fulfill Scripture, and that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day to fulfill Scripture, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve….” (1 Corinthians 15:3-9)

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty

creed ascended

Mark 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Acts 1:9 …he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

From there He will come to judge the living and the dead

Matthew 4:30 “…They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. ”

judge

Matthew 25:31-46  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another…And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life”

I believe in the Holy Spirit

“To believe in the Holy Spirit is to profess that the Holy Spirit is one of the persons of the Holy Trinity, consubstantial with the Father and the Son: “with the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.”6 For this reason, the divine mystery of the Holy Spirit was already treated in the context of Trinitarian “theology.” Here, however, we have to do with the Holy Spirit only in the divine “economy.” ”   (Catechism of the Catholic Church 685)

I believeThe Holy Catholic Church

“To believe that the Church is “holy” and “catholic,” and that she is “one” and “apostolic” (as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In the Apostles’ Creed we profess “one Holy Church” (Credo . . . Ecclesiam), and not to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearly to God’s goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.” (CCC 750)

The communion of saints

One of my biggest hurdles to calling myself Catholic, and now one of my most treasured new things.  I wrote about it here, here, and here.  Bottom line, Jesus has one body, and we that love Him are part of that body.  When our earthly bodies die, we do not become disconnected from His body, we are still one with Him and with one another (as Jesus prayed for in John 17).  I love the image of my parents continuing in prayer for me like they did when they lived here, only with an eternal perspective and direct access to the throne.

The forgiveness of sins

It’s not an accident that this part is here.  We can have forgiveness of sins only because of who we profess that Jesus is.  If Jesus, the only Son of God had not died on that cross and taken the punishment for my sin upon HImself, then conquered death and the grave, there would be no forgiveness, because without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.  I am so very thankful that Jesus gave me this priceless gift.

res body The resurrection of the body

1 Corinthians 15:12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

And life everlasting, life ever

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

I love the Apostles’ Creed.  It reminds me of a musical ensemble, this litany of profession.  With each affirmation the tempo builds and increases in strength, climbing, and ascending toward the crest, and closing in a final, dramatic crescendo of validation and resolution.  Amen!

Advertisements