The jaguarundi or eyra is a small wild cat native to southern North America and South America. It has been listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002; the megareserves of the Amazon Basin are the only conservation units that can sustain long-term viable populations. In some Spanish-speaking countries, the jaguarundi is called gato colorado, gato moro, león brenero and leoncillo; the Brazilian Portuguese pronunciation of its common English and Portuguese name is. It is called gato-mourisco, eirá, gato-preto, maracajá-preto in Portuguese. Jaguarundi comes from Old Tupi yawaum'di; the jaguarundi has short legs, an elongated body, a long tail. The ears are rounded; the coat is without spots, uniform in color, with, at most, a few faint markings on the face and underside. The coat can be either foxy red to chestnut, it has a length of 53 to 77 centimetres with a 31-to-60 cm-long tail, weighs 3.5 to 9.1 kilograms. The two color morphs were once thought to represent two distinct species: the grey one was called the jaguarundi and the red one was called the eyra.

The jaguarundi inhabits areas from southern Texas and coastal Mexico in the north, through Central and South America east of the Andes, as far south as northern Argentina. In 2015, it has been recorded in Cerro Largo, Uruguay, its habitat is lowland brush areas close to a source of running water, including dry thorn forest to wet grassland. While inhabiting lowlands, it has been reported at elevations as high as 3,200 m, it occurs in dense tropical areas. Jaguarundis have been sighted in Florida since the early 20th century. Here, the species is assumed to have been introduced, but it is not known when the introduction occurred, their presence in Florida is attributed to a writer from Chiefland who at some point imported the animals from their native habitat and released them near his hometown and in other locations across the state. No live or dead specimens are known, but many sightings considered credible by biologists have been reported; the earliest of these occurred in 1907, was followed by various additional sightings throughout the Florida Peninsula from the 1930s through the 1950s.

The first official report was released in 1942. Fewer reliable sightings were reported after that, in 1977 W. T. Neill concluded the population had declined. However, sightings have continued. Jaguarundis have been reported in the coastal area of Alabama since the 1980s, which may be evidence of the Florida population migrating northward; the jaguarundi has been sighted around the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana. Felis yagouarundi was the scientific name used by Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in 1803 who described two zoological specimens from Central America, including one from French Guiana. In the 19th and 20th centuries, several more jaguarundi specimens were described: Felis eyra proposed by Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim in 1814 was a ferruginous skin from Paraguay. Felis cacomitli proposed by Jean-Louis Berlandier in 1859 was a skull and greyish skin of a female from the Rio Grande area in Mexico. Felis yagouaroundi tolteca proposed by Oldfield Thomas in 1898 was a skull and a reddish skin from Sinaloa in Mexico.

Felis Ameghinoi proposed by Eduardo Ladislao Holmberg in 1898 for cat bones found near San Luis, Argentina of a jaguarundi, which are embalmed in the Turin Museum of Natural History. Felis fossata by Edgar Alexander Mearns in 1901 was a large skull from Yucatán. Felis panamensis by Joel Asaph Allen in 1904 was a dusky grey skin of a young adult female collected in Panama's Chiriquí Province. Felis yagouaroundi melantho by Oldfield Thomas in 1914 were skulls and blackish brown skins of a male and female adult from Pozuzu in Peru; as of 2017, the Cat Classification Taskforce of the Cat Specialist Group considers the jaguarundi as member of the genus Herpailurus and does not recognise any subspecies. The jaguarundi is most related to the cougar and cheetah. A genomic study of the Felidae indicates that a common ancestor of Leopardus, Puma and Felis lineages migrated across the Bering land bridge into the Americas about 8.0 to 8.5 million years ago. The cheetah genetically diverged from the Puma lineage in the Americas.

It has been suggested that the cheetah diverged in the Old World. Jaguarundis are diurnal, being active during the day rather than evenings or night, they prefer to hunt on the ground. They will eat any small animal they can catch catching a mixture of rodents, small reptiles, ground-feeding birds, they have been observed to kill larger prey, such as rabbits, opossums. Like many other cats, they include a small amount of vegetation and arthropods in their diets. Although they seem to be somewhat more gregarious than many other cats, willing to tolerate the close presence of other members of their species, in the wild, they are encountered alone, suggesting a solitary lifestyle, their home range is variable, depending on the local environment. Like other cats, they scent mark their territory by scratching the ground or nearby branches, head-rubbing and leaving their faeces uncovered, they are shy and reclusive, evidently cautious of traps. Jaguarundis make an unusually wide range of vocalisations, including purrs, yaps, chattering sounds, ev


Knutwil is a municipality in the district of Sursee in the canton of Lucerne in Switzerland. Knutwil is first mentioned in the early 12th Century as Gnuthwilare. In 1245 it was mentioned as Knutwile. Knutwil has an area of 9.8 km2. Of this area, 69% is used for agricultural purposes, while 20% is forested. Of the rest of the land, 10.7% is settled and the remainder is non-productive. In the 1997 land survey, 20.04% of the total land area was forested. Of the agricultural land, 66.16% is used for farming or pastures, while 2.86% is used for orchards or vine crops. Of the settled areas, 4.81% is covered with buildings, 0.41% is industrial, 0.2% is parks or greenbelts and 5.32% is transportation infrastructure. Of the unproductive areas, 0.1 % is unproductive 0.1 % is other unproductive land. The municipality is located on a line of hills on the south-west edge of the Surental, it consists of the village of Knutwil and the settlements of St. Erhard, Wolen and Hitzligen. Knutwil has a population of 2,229.

As of 2007, 6.8% of the population was made up of foreign nationals. Over the last 10 years the population has grown at a rate of 7.9%. Most of the population speaks German, with Serbo-Croatian being second most common and French being third. In the 2007 election the most popular party was the CVP; the next three most popular parties were the SVP and the Green Party. The age distribution in Knutwil is. 416 people or 24.5% are 20–39 years old, 615 people or 36.2% are 40–64 years old. The senior population distribution is 185 people or 10.9% are 65–79 years old, 41 or 2.4% are 80–89 years old and 4 people or 0.2% of the population are 90+ years old. The entire Swiss population is well educated. In Knutwil about 74% of the population have completed either non-mandatory upper secondary education or additional higher education; as of 2000 there are 564 households. 76 or about 13.5% are large households, with at least five members. As of 2000 there were 386 inhabited buildings in the municipality, of which 308 were built only as housing, 78 were mixed use buildings.

There were 230 single family homes, 49 double family homes, 29 multi-family homes in the municipality. Most homes were either three story structures. There were 14 four or more story buildings. Knutwil has an unemployment rate of 1.45%. As of 2005, there were 127 people employed in the primary economic sector and about 45 businesses involved in this sector. 175 people are employed in the secondary sector and there are 27 businesses in this sector. 282 people are employed in the tertiary sector, with 41 businesses in this sector. As of 2000 52.9% of the population of the municipality were employed in some capacity. At the same time, females made up 39.5% of the workforce. In the 2000 census the religious membership of Knutwil was. There are 25 individuals. Of the rest; the historical population is given in the following table: Knutwil in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland. Knutwil in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland

Prayer, meditation and contemplation in Christianity

Prayer has been an essential part of Christianity since its earliest days. Prayer permeates all forms of Christian worship. Prayer in Christianity is the tradition of communicating with God, either in God's fullness or as one of the persons of the Trinity. In the early Church worship was inseparable from doctrine as reflected in the statement: lex orandi, lex credendi, i.e. the law of belief is the law of prayer. The Lord's Prayer was an essential element of the meetings of early Christians, over time a variety of Christian prayer emerged. Christian prayers may vary among Christian denominations, they may be private prayers by an individual. Prayers may be performed as petition, blessing, praise or confession. A broad, three stage hierarchical characterization of prayer begins with vocal prayer moves on to a more structured form in terms of Christian meditation, reaches the multiple layers of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer follows Christian meditation and is the highest form of prayer which aims to achieve a close spiritual union with God.

Both Eastern and Western Christian teachings have emphasized the use of meditative prayers as an element in increasing one's knowledge of Christ. Prayer and the reading of Scripture were important elements of Early Christianity. In the early Church worship was inseparable from doctrine as reflected in the statement: lex orandi, lex credendi, i.e. the law of belief is the law of prayer. Early Christian liturgies highlight the importance of prayer; the Lord's Prayer was an essential element in the meetings held by the early Christians, it was spread by them as they preached Christianity in new lands. Over time, a variety of prayers were developed as the production of early Christian literature intensified. By the 3rd century Origen had advanced the view of "Scripture as a sacrament". Origen's methods of interpreting Scripture and praying on them were learned by Ambrose of Milan, who towards the end of the 4th century taught them to Saint Augustine, thereby introducing them into the monastic traditions of the Western Church thereafter.

Early models of Christian monastic life emerged in the 4th century, as the Desert Fathers began to seek God in the deserts of Palestine and Egypt. These early communities gave rise to the tradition of a Christian life of "constant prayer" in a monastic setting which resulted in meditative practices in the Eastern Church during the Byzantine period. During the Middle Ages, the monastic traditions of both Western and Eastern Christianity moved beyond vocal prayer to Christian meditation; these progressions resulted in two distinct and different meditative practices: Lectio Divina in the West and hesychasm in the East. Hesychasm involves the repetition of the Jesus Prayer, but Lectio Divina uses different Scripture passages at different times and although a passage may be repeated a few times, Lectio Divina is not repetitive in nature. In the Western Church, by the 6th century, Saint Benedict and Pope Gregory I had initiated the formal methods of scriptural prayer called Lectio Divina. With the motto Ora et labora, daily life in a Benedictine monastery consisted of three elements: liturgical prayer, manual labor and Lectio Divina, a quiet prayerful reading of the Bible.

This slow and thoughtful reading of Scripture, the ensuing pondering of its meaning, was their meditation. Early in the 12th century, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was instrumental in re-emphasizing the importance of Lectio Divina within the Cistercian order. Bernard emphasized the role of the Holy Spirit in contemplative prayer and compared it to a kiss by the Eternal Father which allows a union with God; the progression from Bible reading, to meditation, to loving regard for God, was first formally described by Guigo II, a Carthusian monk who died late in the 12th century. Guigo II's book The Ladder of Monks is considered the first description of methodical prayer in the western mystical tradition. In Eastern Christianity, the monastic traditions of "constant prayer" that traced back to the Desert Fathers and Evagrius Pontikos established the practice of hesychasm and influenced John Climacus' book The Ladder of Divine Ascent by the 7th century; these meditative prayers were supported by Saint Gregory Palamas in the 14th century.

In the Western Church, during the 15th century, reforms of the clergy and monastic settings were undertaken by the two Venetians, Lorenzo Giustiniani and Louis Barbo. Both men considered methodical prayer and meditation as essential tools for the reforms they were undertaking. Barbo, who died in 1443, wrote a treatise on prayer titled Forma orationis et meditionis otherwise known as Modus meditandi, he described three types of prayer. Based on the request of Pope Eugene IV, Barbo introduced these methods to Valladolid, Spain and by the end of the 15th century they were being used at the abbey of Montserrat; these methods influenced Garcias de Cisneros, who in turn influenced Ignatius of Loyola. The Eastern Orthodox Church has a similar three level hierarchy of prayer; the first level prayer is again vocal prayer, the second level is meditation and the third level is contemplative prayer in which a much closer relationship with God is cultivated. Prayer permeates all forms of Christian worship.

Prayer in Christianity is the tradition of communicating with God, either in God's fullness or as one of the