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Reformation & Salvation History

Northern Renaissance

11222008 [web] Salvation History

NR_03 Reformation and Salvation History

Copyright © 2008 Michael Johnathan McDonald

November 2008


The 14th century and the Seven Sacraments


Salvation history by the 14th century intended that one could enter heaven by fulfilling seven sacraments authorized by the Roman Catholic Church. Pentecost is the story of the birth of the Church. The first sacrament is usually fulfilled by one’s parents for you within the first week of your life. Baptism (1) rooted in the New Testament story explains the importance by Jesus’ cousin John, who baptizes him in the Jordan River. (2) The Sacrament for reconciliation portend that participants begin this sacrament around the ages of 12 or 13 years-old. The age of Knowledge (age 12 -13) was believed to be attained by a human at the age of twelve to thirteen years old, in the medieval ages. Jesus told his apostles to go out and forgive people of their sins. These priest acts as a modem day apostle and these practitioners go to the priest to confess their sins, and this allows them to become repentant. It is an act of attrition, and maybe the priest will give you a penance – like go to mass everyday for a week or two. (3) The Eucharist, or the Holy Communion, is a sacrament connected to the Lord’s Supper.  The example comes from Jesus and the apostle’s last supper, which had fallen on the day of the Passover.  The references to the body and blood of Christ are metaphorically represented as a vehicle of the holy sprite, administered by the Priest serving wine and bread to the congregation. During the 14th century, the Eucharist was observed daily, and even often offered multiple times per day to allow practitioners to fit this ritual into their schedules.  The Eucharist was a way of God staying with us in a physical form. Usually practitioners start this regimen from 7 to 8 years old. (4) Sacrament of Confirmation. This sacrament happens only once in a lifetime, and usually takes place at the age of consent. During the 13th-15th centuries, when children possessed a faculty to make adult decisions, this ritual took place. Its main ritual was Confirmation. A  Confirmation of belonging to the community of Christians, and was the most important Vehicle of the Holy Spirit.


(1-4 sacraments are part of Pentecost – early foundations of the church.)


(5) The Sacrament of Marriage: Jesus goes to a marriage at Canaan, so we know that Jesus is connected to Marriages. Jesus performed a miracle at this Canaan wedding, so according to the Church, Jesus was approving of marriage – so this was a sacrament. (6) The last rites, the unction or in modern parlance, the blessing of the sick. This sacrament is administered usually by local priest when one is close to death.  (7) The holy orders, this sacrament is for the appointment of the Clergy—based upon Jesus’ own commanding of this disciples or particular duties, and gives these disciples the power to remove sin of the people.



The Economy of Salvation


By 15th century, these sacraments are not the only way to experience grace or know God in the world. There are other holy spirit-vehicles that grace can be transmitigated to humans.






Jesus Christ [ God]  is the beginning and end of creation, He from whom it came and to whom it is going.


·        What was life like if one submitted to the Roman Church? How was one’s legal accountability to morality and the local customary laws?

·        How is individualism, connected to Marx’s rise of the bourgeois merchant class, associated to the emancipation of community of Church to individualism by the Reformation movements?

·        Protestant: Publica Protestatio of Geert ( c. late 1370s (Geert Groote (October 1340 – 20 August 1384)). Meaning declaration, yet in a protesting of a normative socio-political conviction. It is connected to social and political apparatuses in that Geert was speaking about “impartiality of his censures.” In

·        Protestant Reformation: Declaring a reform and by the use of a protest against the prevailing system.

·        Luther's famous protest: 31 October (Halloween Today) 1517, he nails 92 thesis questions about the Roman Catholic Church’s doctrine practices of the selling of indulgences to build the Cathedral of St. Peters on the university bulletin board (on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517 – some contend this fact). He appeared as a radical, such as the case as are plenty at U.C. Berkeley, California who intend the United States of American government runs a program of fear to control the people. Note that protest is what is declared, so Protestant is a natural cognate of some social opposition formula and is a useful word because it usually portends to groups that feel either inferior or physiologically depressed by a prevailing system in which the natural occurrence is to react against it by  a protest – of some sort. It is part of historicism, and describes how in the 1960s in the U.S.A. political and social reform movements appeared en masse to rise up against the U.S. central authority. Reformations tend to seek to change the central power structures to their local advantages ( even if it is at the state of federal level). The first and foremost method is to attack the ideology and reinvent it, change its critical criteria and destroy the former ideology in which is deemed conservative. There was nothing conservative about the religious reformations of the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries—with its modern effects still present today. I intend Luther defined liberalism in the individualist context: we are all able to possess the justification of the Bible for our own sakes, and do not allow other ideologies to control our actions or our ultimate destinies.



Prior to the reformation, the community and yourself tallied and recorded your sins. You then did penance for your sins with visible signs and rituals. This was for atonement purposes and a communal recognition that a society seeks peace, order and relative communal responsibility. There arose a group of people who felt this restricted their individual freedom of expression and freedom of modes of operation. The reformation changes this. Now only you were accountable for your own actions, because God, in the form of his son Jesus, had infinite amount of grace in which you could use to forgive your sins. For whatever crimes you committed, such adultery, theft ( without others knowledge murder, rape, torture, one could feel free from guilt and community pressure to atone for any of these sins. Therefore, it was a play without pay. The Catholic Church had a pay to play program nominally called indulgences. These payment programs were a constellation of duties authorized by members of the Church who had drawn their conclusions from the life of Jesus, the apostles and the Saints and then their own justifications. Luther saw many of these ‘own justifications’ as morally incorrect for a communal society. However, he ran into a paradox  by allowing one’s personal accountability replace communal accountability represented by the economy of salvation program.


 There will be many who argue with my view; however, they cannot overturn its findings. If Jesus forgives all your sins in a personal way, and in private way you absolve moral crimes deemed by normative society such as murder, rape, pillaging, fraud, theft, then you have no accountability to an ecclesiastic organization. This means you have carte blanche to perform any acts you deem desirable for yourself interests.  The Roman Catholic Church held the conviction that the Catholic Church was foretold by the prophets to be the Messianic Kingdom and to rule its people under monotheism of the God of Adam, Moses, the prophets, and then himself as teacher of mankind, Jesus Christ. Martin Luther denied the Catholic Church’s claim and stated that Jesus was a personal conviction, not unlike the Arian controversies of early Christian communities, so that one can replace church – the actual space of the building—and live a Christian life by oneself without a community to observe one’s adherence to any set of convictions drawn up by observing the saints, apostle, and the life of Jesus.


The reformation(s)


Calvin, Luther,

But a good sense of religious habits and belief, before the reformations ( note the plurality) come on the scene.   Italian renaissance was about honoring Roman Catholic Christianity. So in the early modern period, it seen as taking off in 1517 with Martin Luther’s reform suggestions – so we can assume a date of between 1350-1517 as the totality of the Italian  renaissance ( Identified as the early renaissance).

Unified marks: Christian geography (Scotland, Prague, Spain, one would have a common understanding in regards to worship beliefs. Latin was the language given for Mass. It was a ritual that from a childhood Europeans had been constructed in, so one did not have to be literate: The Church could teach everyone – so there was a set of beliefs – and these beliefs were taught with signs and symbols and simple concepts. It was a group togetherness that framed this pedagogical form. Luther used selective passages to argue the emancipation of the individual from the group. People, Luther argued, could save themselves, and decide for themselves what the Bible is, was and will be – to their private selves. 


A religion is belief and practices – defined.


Salvation History

The term is about 5000 years old.


Paradise: God communed with Adam and Eve, and they kick out God (by disobeying him); God punished them by creating death, disease, hardship and pain. There is no hell but life on earth itself.

First Covenant: God will commune with humans but they have no salvation or promise to return to paradise because they are sinners – however God promises to send intercessors on his behalf to observe humans and decide to send a person to forgive humans their sins.  Covenant (1) So it is all about God’s attempt to lead them back to God’s communion.


Covenant (2) God sends himself in the flesh to suffer his creations’ death (human’s), in the form of a son named Jesus (who will become Christ), generally adopted as the savior promised in the Bible by the first Covenant. Now humans have a chance to go back to paradise. Luther claims that because God sent himself, man can do anything they want and get back into heaven by adopting the concept of God’s eternal grace.



Convent: God promises to send a messenger, but one must obey his chosen

1.      Baptism

2.      Eucharist

3.      Reconciliation

4.      Confirmation

5.      Marriage

6.      Holy Orders

7.      Anointing of the Sick


Broad stage: Most everyone had a similar about Salvation History:

What would you believe: The world was about 5000 years old (begins with the Adam and Eve story), took your chronology from the scriptures? The salvation story (it was unifying). In general people did believe that god created the world in seven (7) days. They put this together by putting the elaborate genealogies from the Bible. Michelangelo’s ceiling, God made human beings in his image. God put these humans in paradise, everyone was provided for them. Paradise, another good thing was a communion with God, he walks in the garden, Serpent, represents Satan, the fallen angle, prior to the creation of the earth.


A fruit, the Bible, the images, we think we know but we do not know what is there. So read things carefully when there are disputes. Adam and Eve eat from the center tree of knowledge, and God exiled from the garden of Paradise. The original intent was that humans would be with God for eternally – but Humans turned their backs on that plan .


So death comes into the world, the harshest consequence of violating man. God according to scriptures is love and forgiveness. So God decides to start sending people to lead them back to him, his chosen people.


First book written was Exodus ( Moses, General scholarship) the liberation of Israel from captivity, and the story of God releasing his people from captivity and bad life’s. So it is all about God’s attempt to lead them back to God’s communion. Then after Kings, and prophets, the fruition was sending the Messiah.


Jews under the Romans, we want to become free, we need a messiah, and many came, and for salvation purposes Jesus—he represents God’s final intervention, God again with us, and he is considered to be a part of the God-head. So God walks again.  ( but Jews and Romans kill him).


Significance: Human’s have the potential to commune and get back to God and the paradise. Between (Shale, intermediately place) Adam and Jesus, no souls went to heaven. “I and early Greek Icon, descending into Shale, and taking by the hand ( right taking a prophet, and behind Moses are all the figures of the old Bible) So Jesus is taking out all of the souls in Shale. Think Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, Old Testament souls are being brought about.  So Jesus was executed at 33 years old. Jesus’ main point was I’m bringing the Kingdom of God and you can enjoy it now and in the afterlife. So from this theological conclusion, Jesus is  the savior from living the life of pain and suffering.


Jesus ends up erasing the consequence of Original Sin. Adam and Even had marked everyone after them – everyone automatically was born in sin. Jesus gave a full measure of redemption. He redeemed the human race ( an economic sense here, as first principle)


Theological principle: Jesus’ could atone for all sins prior and after of the human race.


Fundamental gifts of Jesus, the atonement, a full payment. Wiping away of original sin, the Latin masses, and there were things that you had to do. You must make Church central to salvation history. And the Church was going to expense these graces of Jesus to the people. How did the Church formulate their rituals? The Church looked back to see how Jesus had acted with his 12 apostles. This is where the rituals and a set of practices, grace, ‘vehicles of the holy spirit,’ that sanctified, developed.



Cottage industry to theologians: but the dominate, the elaborated on by Thomas Aquinas, a theologian – he was benefiting from Aristotle physics that was introduced from Toledo. So he was rethinking theology from Aristotle physics. This came Aristotelian Thinking. So he determined what happened at the Eucharist based upon a pagan philosopher of antiquity ( Classical Greece). So the metaphor of the body and blood, and the metaphysical: Are we cannibals here? But there were misunderstandings along the way. But Aquinas was trying to avoid grotesque and misinterpretations. He wanted to move away from the outrageous (cannibal) interpretation. So he makes up a word. It was important to Lutherans and Calvinists. It is transubstantiation.


Aquinas:  Aristotle categories of substance and accidental nature. The analysis the nature of things ( the rational and the irrational)


What is a chair? Accidental nature is a tree, but a carpenter transformed the tree into a chair, so its transubstantiation nature it is a chair.


Eucharist: Priest blesses and the wine and bread turn into another substance ( A pre Darwinian doctrine of the evolution). It was the ability to call down God into the bread and wine, apparently from heaven. This was seriously attacked by the reformation group:



Salvation History: By the 14th Century there are 7 main sacraments.


Sacraments order the ritual life, and are the big contention for the Reformationists. [mjm Really it was laws and rituals. ]


14th century seven sacraments are ritualized actions that carry with them grace. Or vehicles transmitted by God through people to other people and to the church. Feasts of Pentecost, the pinnicle of Luke’s Gospel, portends to the holy spirit which gives spiritual gifs.


15th century had no Sacrament ideology: Martin Luther Claimed no rituals or atoning for sin necessary. God gives forgiveness for free. One will notice that the state (political) becomes the ‘spiritual’ arbitrator for men’s actions. Luther, instead, would claim that the Catholic Roman Church was indeed a state that became the spiritual arbitrator for men’s actions [ in this case, men meaning all genders].


Pentecost is the story of the birth of the Church.

Channel the Holy Spirit through the sacraments, and people need to participate in them, it will help spread Christianity? What is the first sacrament? Baptism (1) rooted in the new testament story, Jesus’ cousin John, baptizes him in the Jordan River. And the Dove is the symbol and  clear representation of the Holy Spirit. So the Christian Church saw early on this was a fundamental ritual, and part of the Salvation History. One of the central early sacraments. As soon as you are born, this is better for your soul. So Jesus mandated this, and the theology of Augustine, and Augustine had a dark view of humanity before Christianity arose, and he develops a long theology of sin before Jesus – it is a mark of damnation, so that is what Jesus came for, so one needs to be baptize early, he stated.


(conciliation , Confession (old terms)) The Sacrament for reconciliation  (2) ( modern Term)


The age of Knowledge (age 12 -13) in the medieval age ( the ages of Adults in modern times about 16-18).



Jesus says, I forgive your sins, and Jesus gives power to his disciples to forgive sins, so the Church interprets ‘’ the rite to them to decide what is sin and Jesus gives the Church the power to judge what is moral. So The priest acts as a modem day apostle, and repentant, act of attrition, and maybe they give you a penance – like go to mass everyday for  a week or two. In the early Church, confessions of sins like adultery, a bishop could send you on a pilgrimage, a 6 months of exile from the town one lived in ( this is from records),


Priests were taught on how to hear a confession, so there was lists, and a there was a kind of a sentence for various sins.


(3) The Eucharist, or the holy communion: Example set in the Gospels, the day before Jesus was crucified, and it happened to be a Passover meal, and during that meal, and Jesus takes bread and wine, and Jesus says to them, the wording, Take and eat and drink, this is my body and blool, shed for you. This commemorative meals becomes a charge, and Church centrally weekly ritual and this is the main ritual, Then everyday of the week, even multiple times. How does this work as a vehicle of the holy sprite. After time, Jesus’s Holy Sprite ( 13 – 14 Theology of eminence, God’s presence in the world., important) Jesus in the flesh and blood in the bread and wine. In the form of the holy spirit,, is God’ vehicle. The Vehicle of the Holy Spirit. The Eucharist was a way of God staying with us in a physical form. Usually starts 7-8 years old, so


Biblical precedence and Biblical texts that is what the Church used for justification of its actions.



(4) Sacrament of Confirmation. happens once in a lifetime, and usually at the age of consent, 13-15 th cc. when they a faulty to make adult decisions. Confirmation, Confirmation, and this is the (4) th most important Vehicle of the Holy Spirit.




(1-4 sacraments are part of Pentecost – early foundations of the church.



(5) Marriage: Jesus goes to a marriage at Canaan, so we know that Jesus is connected to Marriages. They run out of win, and Jesus, Jesus says “what does it have to do with me,” his mother gives him a stern look, and Jesus turns the water into the good wine, and not the later rotten ( so Jesus is a fine wine maker) So this is a miracle, and connected to the ritual of marriage. According to the Church Jesus was approving marriage – so this was a sacrament.



(6) The last rites, the unction or in modern parlance, the blessing of the sick.




(7) The holy orders, this sacrament is for the appointment of the Clergy—based upon Jesus’ own commanding of this disciples, and gives these disciples the power to remove sin of the people.


The Economy of Salvation.

By 15th century, these sacraments are not the only way to experience grace or know God in the world. There are other holy spirit-vehicles that grace can be transmitigated to humans.

The Broad Social kinship : A theology intercession was saints, in 14th century, were the people you ask these saints for various intercessions for sacraments transmission of the holy spirit. St. Thomas was the patron saint of scholars – spiritual support network

Almost everyone had a personal patron saint, and most received their names from Saints. In Roman Catholic society, in hope these people would intercede for their children, an interlocking, names their child after saints in the bible or life. Among the most favorite is Mary.

Sanctity, for a person could do this themselves, it was argued. So they do not need to be connected to a Church.

Saints bones, remained charged with holy spirit juice, even after they die. So power could be in objects, so cross or the spear, clock, crown of thorns, cup, were through to have spirit charges – a theology image of the God to be a part of the spiritual life of the medieval ages. This leads to a general veneration and pilgrimage to relics.

Church of Assisi, the body is there in the chapels that Giotto painted. So his tomb of St. Francis, one can get a direct line of communication. So the relics, this leads to a wide spread pilgrimage community, people moving around, all over Europe. So in Cologne ( Germany, headquarters of the dissemination of Christian Relics to churches all over the europe – all churches must have a relic by the late 15 th cc)  Germany about 8,000 bones. So there bones found all over. So sending out relics, as a gift. If could be a bone, a finder, and even separate them. So by the 14 th 15 th  cc., every church was supposed to have a relic in their alter – part of sacrilization ( Sacrilization)  the cities, the countryside, and a way of claiming saints for Christianity. The idea of Eminence.

Pervasive practice, the reformationist hated, the symbols, relics and immages. These were not good ( like Islam, no worship) but for the church these were pedagogocal devices not to control but to disseminate Christianity.

Salvation history

the final part of Salvation history: The treasury of Merit. 

General bid idea behind much of this, when God offers himself as the final payment for the debt payment of human sins, he stores a large ‘treasury of merit’ it is kinda like a heaven bank, and stores grace to all who were and will be born --- it is a resource. But there are conditions. Must go through the sacraments, it is like gang rituals, One must tap into the ritual.


Ritual is community, without ritual there is no community.



The economy of Salvation:


There is a problem of debt, and accruing debt through sin. But indulgence would tap into the treasury of merit and get that extra grace to get into the other side.



The vast majority of Christians believe in a triune God consisting of three unified and distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. There have been significant theological differences among Christians regarding the divine and human natures of Jesus and the triune nature of God. These differences continue today.


Martin Luther: born in the town of Eisleben, Germany, on November 10, 1483. His parents were John and Margaret Luther. Inside the house is this inscription: ( this inscription by his parents on his birth place is in dispute by scholars, as well as in dispute during the 1550s, in written memories on Luther.




“ wiki

In many Christian denominations "The Church" is understood theologically as the institution founded by Jesus for the salvation of humankind. This understanding is shared between Catholic and Orthodox traditions. They see in the Church a foundation of Christ, who continues to live in it, through the Holy Spirit. In the Catholic tradition, the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. [1] [2] Protestant churches generally view all Christians to be the Body of Christ. Some Protestant theologians call this High Church. In contrast, Low Church denominations generally emphasize the personal relationship between a believer and Jesus Christ. Other Christians, however, would say that the Church is not an institution at all. Instead, it is the gathering of believers, individually, and ultimately in heaven where all believers from all nations and times will be gathered together; so, church history is not just about the history of institutions, but the major happenings amongst believers throughout the world, throughout time.


Christianity began in 1st century AD Jerusalem. It ultimately became the state religion of Armenia in either 301 or 314, the state religion of Ethiopia in 325, the state religion of Georgia in 337, and then the state religion of the Roman Empire in 380. During the Age of Exploration (15th to 17th cent.), Christianity expanded throughout the world, becoming the world's largest religion.



Protestant Reformation (1521–1579)

In the early 16th century, movements were begun by two theologians, Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli, that aimed to reform the Church; these reformers are distinguished from previous ones in that they considered the root of corruptions to be doctrinal (rather than simply a matter of moral weakness or lack of ecclesiastical discipline) and thus they aimed to change contemporary doctrines to accord with what they perceived to be the "true gospel."


The Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation is known as the Counter Reformation, or Catholic Reformation, which resulted in a reassertion of traditional doctrines and the emergence of new religious orders aimed at both moral reform and new missionary activity. The Counter Reformation reconverted approximately 33% of Northern Europe to Catholicism and initiated missions in South and Central America, Africa, Asia, and even China and Japan. Protestant expansion outside of Europe occurred on a smaller scale through colonization of North America and areas of Africa.

“Martin Luther was an Augustinian friar and professor at the University of Wittenberg. In 1517, he published a list of 95 Theses, or points to be debated, concerning the illicitness of selling indulgences. Luther had a particular disdain for Aristotelian philosophy, and as he began developing his own theology, he increasingly came into conflict with Thomistic scholars, most notably Cardinal Cajetan.[78 [MacCulloch, Diarmaid, The Reformation: A History (New York: Penguin Books, 2004) pp. 124–125]] Soon, Luther had begun to develop his theology of justification, or process by which one is "made right" (righteous) in the eyes of God. In Catholic theology, one is made righteous by a progressive infusion of grace accepted through faith and cooperated with through good works. Luther's doctrine of justification differed from Catholic theology in that justification rather meant "the declaring of one to be righteous", where God imputes the merits of Christ upon one who remains without inherent merit.[79 [MacCulloch, Diarmaid, The Reformation: A History (New York: Penguin Books, 2004) p. 119]] In this process, good works are more of an unessential byproduct that contribute nothing to one's own state of righteousness. Conflict between Luther and leading theologians lead to his gradual rejection of authority of the Church hierarchy. In 1520, he was condemned for heresy by the papal bull Exsurge Domine, which he burned at Wittenberg along with books of canon law.[80 [MacCulloch, Diarmaid, The Reformation: A History (New York: Penguin Books, 2004) p. 128]]”


“In the early 16th century, movements were begun by two theologians, Martin Luther and Huldrych Zwingli, that aimed to reform the Church; these reformers are distinguished from previous ones in that they considered the root of corruptions to be doctrinal (rather than simply a matter of moral weakness or lack of ecclesiastical discipline) and thus they aimed to change contemporary doctrines to accord with what they perceived to be the "true gospel." The word Protestant is derived from the Latin protestatio meaning declaration which refers to the letter of protestation by Lutheran princes against the decision of the Diet of Speyer in 1529, which reaffirmed the edict of the Diet of Worms against the Reformation.[76 [Definition of Protestantism at the Episcopal Church website]]”


Mjm Protestant usually also means protest.




(((((((((((((((((/ Michael J McDonald)))


Terms not mine:






This first lesson brings out the fact that Christianity is a religion rooted in history. It deals with real people who lived in a definite period of time, in a certain place; who said and did things that others remembered and of which they kept a record. In the words of the first Pope, "We do not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (II Peter 1:16).


That is what Salvation History is all about. It is about persons and places, words and events which are not "cleverly devised myths." It is about facts and not fiction.




There are four main persons treated in your first lesson. They are Abraham, Moses, and David in the Old Testament, and Jesus Christ, who as the natural Son of God-become-man brought the New and Eternal Testament into the world.


What you should keep in mind is that the history of salvation began after the fall of our first parents. No sooner had Adam and Even sinned, than God promised them and their descendants a Redeemer. After all, salvation means being saved from sin and its effects.


In one sense, therefore, Salvation History began immediately after the fall, and St. Luke traces the ancestry of the Savior back to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). However, God wanted mankind to be saved through a specially Chosen People who descended from Abraham, which is why St. Matthew traces the ancestry of Jesus back to Abraham (Matthew 1:2-16).


The main focus of this first lesson is to see two things: that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah who had been foretold for centuries in Israel; and that the Catholic Church is the Messianic Kingdom predicted by the prophets.




Cultivate the habit of often using the name "Jesus" in silent prayer. When you get up in the morning and retire at night, invoke His Holy Name. And during the day, learn to associate whatever you are doing with a moment's prayerful aspiration, pronouncing the word "Jesus."  




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