Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Happy second Sunday of Advent.

I was today years old when I realized that the lyrics to Ave Maria are the same words you say when you pray the rosary.

I feel so utterly stupid right now. It's rare that I feel this way. I consider myself to be an intelligent, well-read person. But yeah, I had no idea.

But if you didn't know, don't feel stupid. This is just another trick our rulers played on us. This is how much the Deep State  wants us to forget our history.

This is why they:

  • Stopped teaching Latin in school.
  • Turned Catholic and Christian schools into public school. And when I say public school, I mean government school.
  • Took God and prayer out of the schools.

When we forget our history, we can no longer connect the dots.  

It's the same reason the communists topple statues. The same reason the Protestant reformers destroyed Catholic art.

Reading helps you absorb information and learn, but imagery and art and music help you remember – they get to you on an emotional level which helps the information sink in.

I think that's why memes are so powerful and why we are currently fighting a "meme war".  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Ave Maria

In case you don't know the song Ave Maria, here it is:

Ave Maria Lyrics in Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave, ave dominus
Dominus tecum
Benedicta tu in mulieribus
Et benedictus
Et benedictus fructus ventris
Ventris tuae, Jesus
Ave Maria

Ave Maria, Mater Dei
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Ora pro nobis
Ora, ora pro nobis peccatoribus
Nunc et in hora mortis
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Et in hora mortis nostrae
Ave Maria

Ave Maria Lyrics in English

Here are the lyrics in English:

Hail Mary, full of grace
Mary, full of grace
Mary, full of grace
Hail, Hail, the Lord
The Lord is with thee
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed,
Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Thy womb, Jesus
Hail Mary

Hail Mary, Mother of God
Pray for us sinners
Pray, pray for us
Pray, pray for us sinners
Now and at the hour of our death
The hour of our death
The hour of our death
The hour of our death
Hail Mary

Rosary and wine
Photo by Alina Sofia / Unsplash

How to Pray the Rosary in Latin

The rosary is a Christian prayer that dates back to the 3rd century. It is a form of meditation.

When I asked God why He wants me to pray the rosary, He told me it allows Him to communicate with me easier. His exact words: "It's one of the only ways I can get a word in edgewise." Ha!

I know this is true because when I pray the rosary, I am not thinking about all the things I have to do, or reading stuff on my phone, or watching a video or reading a book, etc. I'm just open, and that's when God can communicate to me.

It's funny because oftentimes God will talk to me in the shower – that's another time I'm not talking or reading or watching something.

The other night He actually woke me up at two in the morning to show me something: how the seven vices map to the seven gifts from the Holy Spirit, and how they do battle with the seven deadly sins. And how the vices and gifts also map to the seven archangels and the days of the week and the seven energy centers of the body (I have another blog post on that coming soon).

Anyway, it was amazing how God showed all of it to me. And He wouldn't let me fall back asleep until I had it.

Here is a site that tells you how to pray the rosary in Latin. You can read along with it as you pray.

Ein Kruzifix an einem Rosenkranz - gefunden bei einer Höle ✝📿
Photo by Patrick Pahlke / Unsplash

If you don't know how to pray the rosary, it's not difficult at all. Here are the instructions.

Do Catholics Worship Saints?

No, we don't worship saints. We honor them and we celebrate them.

We also don't "pray to Mary". We ask her to pray for us. We honor her as the mother of Jesus Christ our Lord and savior.

Protestants always say we Catholics worship saints but that's just wrong. When we say prayers of intercession to saints like Mary and Joseph, we are not praying to them. We are asking them to pray for us.

It's kind of silly on its face, isn't it? What did all the saints have in common? They followed Jesus. As do we.

A stained glass window of St. Therese of Lisieux at St. Therese of Lisieux R.C. Church in Montauk, NY
Photo by Nick Castelli / Unsplash

We ask them to pray for us and with us. Just like you would ask your friends to pray for you.

Also, this is biblical. Jesus said "if two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20)

I'll write a longer post on intercession of the saints later. In the meantime, you can go read what the earliest Christians thought about it here.

The Meaning of Advent

Did you know Christmas doesn't actually start until December 25th?  Well, actually the evening of December 24th.

All Christian and Jewish holidays begin on the eve before the day of the holy day (holiday). That's why we celebrate All Hallow's Eve (Halloween) the night before All Saint's Day, for example.

Photo by Ojaswi Pratap Singh / Unsplash

The word advent is from the Latin "adventus" which means coming or arrival. It  is a time of fasting, prayer, and anticipation. When you're getting ready for a baby to be born, it is not a time to celebrate and feast. It's a time to rest, eat small meals, pray, decorate the nursery. And wait in happy anticipation for your bundle of joy to arrive.

When I say fasting, I don't mean you have to go without eating. But you can give up some of the things you do, or do less of them – like drinking alcohol or eating desserts and fancy meals.

I actually quit drinking just for this week. I'm sipping licorice tea as I write this, instead of my usual Bourbon after dinner. And I'm eating less. Not following any special diet. Just eating less and eating smaller meals.  

There is no set rule for how to do it. I'm just listening to God.

We also light Advent candles and put up Advent calendars to count down to Christmas.

Ahem. Christ-Mass. Mary Christ-Mass.

When Do Christians Celebrate Advent & Christmas?

Advent is celebrated for four weeks leading up to Christmas, and we then celebrate Christmas for 12 days.

You know that Christmas carol, The Twelve Days of Christmas? Yeah, that doesn't start until Christmas Day.

Photo by Elena Mozhvilo / Unsplash

Most Christians have no idea how this is supposed to work, and that's why you see people posting on Facebook that they are taking their Christmas trees down on December 26th, which always horrifies me. I never take my tree down until January 7th, the day after Epiphany.

Why take the tree down so early? It's like you barely get to enjoy it. But I guess these are the people who put their Christmas trees up the day after Thanksgiving. That I cannot understand. I don't like to put the tree up until late December.

Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf / Unsplash

When I was growing up Catholic in New York, we put the tree up and decorated it just before Christmas. And on Christmas Eve, we get dressed up in brand new outfits (sometimes sewn by my mother) and we'd go out to a fancy dinner at a restaurant, and then open our presents at night.

Upholding Tradition is What Conservatives Do

And this, my friends, is why we must maintain our traditions. That is what the word conservative means. Someone who conserves what is good.

Including Advent, celebrating the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany. Leaving the tree up. Going to mass. Praying the rosary.

After 40 years in the desert, I came back to Christianity in 2017, after I watched President Donald Trump's inaugural speech. When he vowed to  eradicate "radical Islamic terrorism," I felt a chill go down my spine and I sat straight up in my chair.

It was at that moment I knew God needed me to be a Christian. This is a numbers game. The only way we can beat the Deep State is with sheer numbers.

So I said, "Put me in, Coach. I'm on the team."

Islam & Communism

You see, I knew what he was talking about because I had been learning about Islam at that time, back in 2016. That was when I was hanging out a lot with one of my best friends, Maryam. She grew up in Iran and lived through the Islamic takeover when she was a young girl.

They never had to wear headscarves or be Muslim before the invasion. Now she's in her 50s (my age) and she and her family have almost no freedom. They don't have freedom of speech, they don't have the right to bear arms, and they don't have freedom of religion. It's a terrible place to live.

The Iranian people are good people who just want to be free, like all of us, but they live under tyrannical regime. My Iranian friend told me she loves Trump. When I asked why, she said, "He keeps us safe. He keeps the bad people out."

One of my other closest friends and former neighbor is Czech-American; her parents grew up under communism in Czechoslovakia. She told me the communist playbook is always the same: first they take the guns and then they take the Bibles.

Part of a continuing project to photograph the colourful people in and around Rozelle in Sydney Australia. This old lady has a clear point of view. After visiting this same spot every weekend for about 3 years, I’ve never seen her again.
Photo by Doug Maloney / Unsplash

Interestingly, my Czech friend married a American Jewish man who also grew up in Iran. His family fled during the Islamic invasion. I guess they had the money to get out. He is now a conservative and voted for Trump.

I think having friends who lived through losing their freedoms really influenced me. You don't know what you've got until it's gone. Without Christianity, we can't defend against these forces that seek to enslave us.

If you look back on history, Judeo-Christian faith in God and our traditions and unity is what always kept us free.

Why I'm Catholic

It was a year after I came back to Christianity, 2018, that I came back to Catholicism.

I was a cradle Catholic who was baptized and had my first communion.  I was even named after a nun, Sister Ann Marie. I wanted to become a nun when I grew up.

I left the church in my heart when I was 8 years old because of public school. They tricked me into believing all the lies about evolution. I'll write a longer post about that some day but suffice it to say, Darwin didn't even believe in evolution the way they teach it today. Absolute nonsense.

I'll write a longer post later (probably many posts) about why I know Catholicism is the purest form of Christianity.

In a nutshell, it's this: Protestantism is casserole and Catholicism is quiche. Just no comparison. Casserole is fine. But not something to write home about.

Sure as heck wouldn't travel to France to eat casserole. Does anyone ever travel anywhere to eat casserole? I say no.

Photo by Dilyara Garifullina / Unsplash

I'll explain that later, I promise. In a longer post on the topic.

Why We Go To Mass

Today we went to mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral in downtown Austin. The cathedral is stunningly beautiful and the music was like listening to angels sing.

I wish all churches were like this.

Saint Mary's Cathedral, Austin, Texas

In fact, God has put it on my heart to help build cathedrals. He told me that I will make a lot of money writing books, and I will have a lot of influence in the world. And when I do, He wants me to raise money and spend my own money building new cathedrals, upgrading existing cathedrals, and turning mega-churches into cathedrals.

Ha! That last one. I do what He tells me today, so okay. I guess I will be busy for the next few decades.

I have a lot of resistance from my family about going to mass. My kids don't want to go. But I know it is important. So I make them. Just like I make them brush their teeth and drink their milk.

Saint Mary's Cathedral, Austin, Texas

It's not just important for me go to mass, or even for my family members. It's critical for the world. And for future generations.

God told me this morning, “You don’t go to mass for you. You go to mass for the whole world. For the future of humanity.”

Read today's mass reading for the second Sunday of Adent.  It's very apropos.

Nothing can stop what's coming, folks. And the best is yet to come.