Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rosary Beads : Vain Repetition or A Way to Holiness?


In my former life as a non-Catholic Christian, I had come to view rosary beads as the "quintessential" example of what Jesus meant when he said "And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words."
As a young Catholic (before I left the Church at 14) I said the rosary but didn't understand how to pray it. I didn't understand that as you pray the prayers on the rosary , you are to meditate on specific events in Jesus' and Mary's life. What can be better than that as a way of getting close to Jesus?
As a revert to Catholicism, I have now learned how to pray the rosary. Different days of the week are assigned to a different set of events that the Church calls mysteries. These "mysteries" are not real mysteries but events based in the Scripture. (As I have said before, Catholics tend to have a different vocabulary that causes confusion and fear among the un-initiated) My favorite is the Sorrowful Mysteries. As I pray each decade of Hail Mary prayers, I think on my Lord's agony in the garden, his scourging by the guards, the crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross and finally the crucifixion. Praying the Hail Mary allows me to ask Mary's intercession for myself and others in light of the agony and suffering that Christ endured for me. My meditation of Him as the Psalmist says surely "is sweet." In between the decades are the Our Father Prayer which is the prayer that Jesus gave His church to pray. Praying the rosary is not worshipping Mary as noted in my last post. If you have any doubt, please go back and check!

So praying the rosary is not vain babbling, because we are not thinking that our prayers will be heard because of the quantity of them. In my former charismatic church, many folks would repetitiously pray, "thank you Jesus, praise you Jesus, thank you Jesus" over and over . We never felt this was vain or repetitious. In Revelations 4 it says the heavenly hosts proclaim "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty", day and night. So repetition is not wrong. The Jews prayed the Psalms over and over and Jesus being a good Jew participated in temple worship and certainly repeated prayers over and over again. The unjust judge and the widow make us understand that God expects us to intercede often and Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing.

The rosary is not in the Bible,(Neither are Scripture flash cards or "praise and worship tapes") but it is a tool that us humans use to get us closer to our God. The concept of holding beads in your hand seems to disturb some non-Catholics because they think it is a pagan practice. Unfortunately, this attitude has its roots in the persistent unspoken paradigm of some forms of Protestantism as well as Christian Science: "spirit= good" but physical= bad ." Catholicism is incarnational , God has come to us in the flesh and He allows us to use the things of the material world to get closer to Him. The beads aren't magical and carry no power of themselves. Actually the word bead is from middle English meaning bede which translates to the word prayer. So the beads hold our place, keep our physical body engaged in an attitude of prayer, the Hail Mary prayers engage our lips in intercession and the mysteries engage our hearts and minds on Christ and the events in the Gospels. What's not to love here?

Some non-Catholic denominations have taken to praying a rosary as well and the Christian bookstores are starting to carry a "non-denominational" rosary using the Jesus prayer. So if you are a non-Catholic reading this, you can now tell your friends what you have learned: the Rosary is not Mariolatry nor vain repetition, not vain repetition, repeat not vain, not vain repetition, not vain repetition, etc. You get the point.

For more information on the rosary please check the links below.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/ROSARYDI.HTM

http://www.rosaryarmy.com/ (Get a free rosary here)

http://www.virtualrosary.org/ (On-line rosary) Look Ma no beads!

http://home.inreach.com/bstanley/repeat.htm

John Paul 2's Writings about the Rosary

If you are a Catholic who has been blessed by praying the Rosary, please feel free to comment here how God has used it in your life.

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16 Comments:

Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

Far too many are ignorant of our Blessed Mother's role in Jesus' Church, and miss out because of it. What are they afraid of? It's terribly ironic that liberals accuse the Church for disregarding women, while we hold Jesus' Mother in the highest regard. I guess they just don't like the example of humility and chastity.

July 30, 2006 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hold the Virgin Mary in very high regard, she is the blessed mother of the one and only Messiah. Too many Roman Catholics pray to her, I have seen it numerous times with my eyes, heard with my ears, and have been directly told by my many Roman Catholic friends and THIS IS WRONG! Call it devotion, call it anything but praying to her and as the saying goes, "looks like a duck, walks like a duck, it is a duck!" What am I afraid of? Blasphemy of our Lord Jesus the Son of God. If Our Lord meant for us to pray to His earthly mother, well He would have made sure His Word clearly instructed us to do so.

August 01, 2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

The above argument results from a sincere belief in "the Bible Only " as a sole rule of faith. Strangely enough, Martin Luther who was the driving force behind Sola Scriptura also had a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother of God.(as did Calvin) If Our Lord meant for us to derive all our knowledge for living a Christian life in the Bible alone, He would have made sure He told us in the Bible to write down everything He said and to read it only. Jesus is remarkably silent regarding the "Bible" but not so regarding the Church.
All generations will call me Blessed Mary said. Do the "Bible alone" people call Mary Blessed? The Catholics are only obeying Scripture when they pray the Hail Mary. Try it , you'll be blessed!

August 01, 2006 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Theo said...

Actually Tiber, I think you might have slightly misunderstood Anonymous.

I don't see any reason to doubt him (or her) when he reports, "I hold the Virgin Mary in very high regard, she is the blessed mother of the one and only Messiah." I pray that his report is utterly true.

His objection *appears* to be to idolatry--though he does not define the "duck" in his metaphore--aside from being a duck.

His stated objection is not that we Catholics hold Mary in high regard (We do.), but that "too many Roman Catholics pray to her." (This leads one to wonder just how many are "too many, " but that really wasn't his point, I think.) He also asserts that this is wrong.

I suspect his objection is not that "too many" Catholics pray to Mary, but that some do.

Interstingly, if that *is* what he meant, then he understated his criticism; for every participant in the Mass prays to God *and also to all* members of the Church.

The confitior that we pray at every Mass provides an excellent example. "I confess to Almighty God that I have sinned through my own fault, through my own words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do; and I ask blessed Mary ever virgin, all the angels and saints and you my brothers and sisters to pray for me to the Lord our God."

But then, I also suspect our anonymous brother objects in part because of how he interprets the meaning of the word "pray"; perhaps assigning it the same or nearly the same meaning as "worship."

Some people confuse the meaning of, "prayer" with that of "worship" (the offering in fealty and homage that which is due to divinity).

This is understandable. After all, many expressions of worship are made through prayer.

You and I know that "to pray" means "to speak with purpose."

The misunderstanding is neither the fault of our Protestant friends nor of we Catholics. Rather it is the result of common 20th-century English language usage, where the meaning shifted among those who used it or heard it only in the context of petition to God.

Today, were you to repremand a misplaced man with a full grocery cart by saying, "I pray thee sir: know that this is the ten-items-or-less line. Pray thee read the Express Line notice," he would recognize it as archaic and a bit funny; perhaps he would not quite understand it; but he would not imagine that you were worshiping him.

August 03, 2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thanks Theo!
Yes, the mis-understandings of Catholic devotional practices often find their root in the vocabulary of times long gone. The flowery verbiage used in some Marian Prayers is often used as evidence by Protestants that we worship Mary, when they were used in the vernacular of the time as a way of honoring the Mother of God. I like the supermarket analogy. But we could ask that person to pray for us as well! As we do Mary.
It all goes back to the communion of saints.
http://crossed-the-tiber.blogspot.com/2006/05/i-believe-in-communion-of-saints-whats.html

August 03, 2006 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes gentlemen--what I do report is true that I (as well as many good Protestant friends around me) hold very high regard for the Belssed Virgin Mary. Theo has explained my own thoughts to me better than what I originally thought when I wrote my comment, which (and is somewhat oddly alluring) is quite fine with me!

I did not realize that I needed to clarify my reply in order to be understood, but Theo was able to help me with that. Thank you.

I have actual and true testimony from three of my good friends who are baptised and confirmed Roman Catholics, who have told me that they earnestly pray to Mary and are unable to discern between prayer and worship as you gentlemen can discern.

If what you say is what you practice, I agree, and do not imply judgement. This topic is sure to arise when one asks the question why they are Protestant and not Catholic. This subject has been one of many discussed in fellowship at the local coffee house and it is my experience that many Protestants (including myself at one time) and Roman Catholics do not understand the points that we have discussed here. God Bless!

August 08, 2006 3:10 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Thank you Anonymous for your willingness to engage Catholics without the vitriol that often occurs on boths sides of these discussions! You are a breath of fresh air for this blogger.
Regarding your Catholic friends who don't discern between worship and asking her to pray: I can't comment on the motivation of their heart but the Catholic Catechism(official teaching of the Church) is very clear that worship is due to God alone, and any Catholic who worships Mary or any Saint is in big trouble, spiritually and theologically.
When you ask your friends to pray for you, you don't worship them do you? When I ask Mary to pray for me by offering my prayer intentions during the rosary, I am asking a good friend to go to Jesus and pray for me. The only difference is that I have it on good authority that she is pretty close to our Lord and so I know He hears her prayer.
What good Jewish son is going to ignore the pleadings of his Jewish Mom? :)

Why do Protestants ask friends to pray for them when they can go straight to Jesus? The argument leveled at Catholics is that there is only one mediator between God and Men. This verse however refers to salvation and not praying for others. The difference between Catholics and Protestants on this point is that we believe in the Communion of Saints,(as annunciated in the Creed) that the body of Christ remains connected and interactive, death not dividing us. Paul talked about Onesiphorus and prayed that God would show him mercy . In the context of Paul's statement, it is clear Onesiphorus had died.
"May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains." The tombs of the early believers in the catecombs often had inscriptions that indeicated the early church actively believed in a communion that went beyond the grave. It makes so much sense to me now when I think how Christ conquered death.
Actually, the communion of Saints and the knowledge that I have a whole cloud of witnesses rooting for me in heaven who are able and willing to bring my prayers before the throne is very comforting. Revelation also contains verses about the prayers of the saints being poured out in heaven.
Most of the misunderstandings about Catholicism can be resolved when the semantics and terminolgy are layed out plainly. I encourage you to keep reading, studying and thanks for posting!

Good link here

August 08, 2006 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hope this blog is still active, bec. I had just pass thru it today,

same as anonymous 1, I hold Mary in very high regard, I am a catholic before.

The question that all of us should answer is that is it right to pray to Mary?

as quoted from Anthony Pezzota, " It is quite possible that there maybe two or three, or even ten million people scattered all over the world praying to Mary at the same time, in many different languages, and asking for great variety of things. In order for Mary to hear and answer all those prayers, she should be omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent."

Is Mary equal to God? Holy Trinity?

June 22, 2008 6:07 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Anon:
The thanks for visiting and yes the blog is still active.

Perhaps the best way to answer your question is to understand the concept of the communion of saints as the early Church did. The early Christians developed the practice of asking for the intercession of those who had gone before them. Also, it was already established (by the Jewish religion which all the early Christians were) that we can pray for the souls of those who have died, as cited in Maccabees, (which Luther removed from the Bible.)
So the early Church asked those who were in heaven (originally the martyrs) to pray for them and they prayed for those who died as well. This is called the Communion of Saints which was stated in the Nicean creed in 325 AD proving that prayers to saints was an acceptable practice in the early Church.

Keep in mind Mary is not divine but is a saint. Someone who lived a heroic life of faith and holds a special place in heaven. She hears our prayers as all the saints do and brings those petitions to her Son.
Do you ask people to pray for you?
If you do then you are participating in the communion of saints as well. Catholics believe that when a believer dies, they are still very much a member of the body of Christ since nothing, even death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
If we prayed before we died, why would we stop?
Regarding how Mary or any saint can hear multiple prayers in multiple languages, here is an excerpt from a recent blog posting. I hope it is helpful.

"In my last post, PA asks if saints are divine because of the ability to hear millions of prayers.
Here's my response below:

From very early on, the early Christians believed in "the communion of saints." An interchange of "spiritual goods" merited through Christ. The concept of the intercession of the saints is found very early in the history of the Church as evidenced by the writings of many Church fathers, but I like what Augustine says here:


"A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers" (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).

"There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended" (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

"At the Lord's table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps" (Homilies in the Gospel of John 84 [A.D. 417]).

"Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ" (The City of God 20:9:2 [ca. A.D. 424]).

Saints are not divine, only the triune God is . Mary is the archetype for all the saints- heroic faith, obedience to God, but not divine. Sainthood cannot equal divinity, because only God is divine. That is the Church's position on the nature of saints. Humans just like you and me but who had shown heroic faith and lived exemplary lives by God's grace. (Now some saints did some pretty interesting things like levitation and bilocation, but that's another blog post)
Does the ability to hear multiple prayers simultaneously in heaven confer a divine status to a saint? I am not sure that it has to.

Now we see through a glass darkly, but then, we will see clearly, face to face. Perhaps that "clarity" includes the ability to listen to millions of conversations at once. We will be purified and completely sanctified in heaven. The shackles of earth no longer weighing us down and our glorified bodies with abilities that could never be manifest on this side of the veil. I don't think we can put limits on our capabilities once we have "crossed the threshold."
Lorraine Boettner who wrote a book that became a popular source used to refute Catholic beliefs discussed this issue here:(cf. Catholic Answers)


"How, then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different languages, all at the same time?

"Let any priest or layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one place at a time and to do only one thing at a time.

"How, then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?" (Roman Catholicism, 142-143).

If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life.

This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God."

"There are one billion Catholics and 300 million Orthodox. If one in a hundred of these prayed a daily rosary, Mary would receive 689 million Hail Marys each day! So, even if she could hear the prayers, she’d have to be omniscient to comprehend them all. And where would she get the time?

Since Mary is in heaven, it is literally true that she does not have time to answer all the petitions—she has eternity! Time in the afterlife is not the same as it is here, and so this is not an insurmountable objection.

In regard to the number of petitions, if the number were infinite, then an omniscient mind would be required. So long as the number is finite, then the hearer requires a finite expansion of knowledge, which God could certainly grant to a glorified soul in heaven." (cf Catholic Answers)



To sum up:
Saints are created beings just like you and me, except better!
But they will never be divine.
There are some things that occur in heaven that are beyond our limited view of space and time.

For me, the communion of saints is one of God's many great gifts to his body and their ability to intercede for us is only through the merits of the Lord Jesus. We are to worship the Creator only and not his creation. Mary and the other saints deserve our honor and we have the ability to ask them to pray for us, but divinity is for the triune God alone."

To suggest that Catholics hold Mary as divine or part of the trinity is a wrong view of Catholicism based on misinformation and anti-Catholic rhetoric. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church to find out what Catholics really believe. God bless your journey.

June 22, 2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Isahel said...

The question about how do Mary and the saints in heaven hear the prayers of millions of people on earth all at the same time is a classic one. To be clear Mary and the saints do not hear prayers the way we hear our friend talk to us, the truth is they know our prayer but the mode on how they knew is not quit clear. in Rev.5:8 the 24 elders offered the prayers of the people to God, this is an evidence that Saints in heaven do hear or know our prayers. In Luke 15:10 the angels in heaven rejoice to a repentant sinner, we know that only the person who repents knew that he really repent on his sins, yet the angels in heaven knew that he repent. Mary, Saints and Angels knew our prayers yet this does not mean that they are gods, it is only the effects of having a glorified body once we are in heaven. "Pro Deo et Ecclesia"

July 19, 2009 12:45 PM  
Blogger michael said...

god sent jessus his son too set up his church on earth that would endure too the end times ,too defeat satin and save souls. if that church prays the rosary so pray the rosary. he didnt send his son too write the bible . he sent him too build his church the bible was written by that church and the church fathers with the holy spirit much latter. its the apostles letters and guide book of history or and the traditions of that church not of some other cult that takes one verse and changes and twists its meanings too start a new religion.the bible is only deciphered valid with the churches majesterium .any way im not judging anyone its the only thing that makes sense too me other wise if you go the sola scripture route it dont work and causes division and splintering of gods churh and you end up with thousands of diferent churches claiming there all right based on more or less the same bible or bibles .remember satan divides god unites so where is there more divisions with rome or with luther? .and there has been unautorized changes to the bible and its meanings also mostly after the reformation . bye and may god blessand lead you.

June 04, 2010 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god sent his son jesus too setup his church on earth that would endure too the end times ,too defeat satan and save souls . if that church says its ok too pray the rosary who could argue with that.he didnt send jesus too write the bible the bible came much later it was written by the early church fathers with the holy spirit from the apostles letters and early church history and word or tradition. and it was written too and for that church and only authentic because of the majesterium of that church then after reformation and some bible changes sola scripture became the reformers new tool for division and confusion and some twenty five thousand diferent religions cults ect all claiming too be the one right religion in the usa alone by deciphreing the the bible themselves twisting verses out of proportion too suit there own beliefs without the majesterium of the one true church too unite all gods people .remember satan devides god unites.im not judging just the only thing that makes sense if im going too be a christian im going too woreship on sundays at that original church not something started thousand years plus later. the bible came from the church not the church from the bible. every time some one opens there proper bible they are reading the tradition or spoken and written word of the catholic church

June 04, 2010 12:23 PM  
Blogger Agnello Dsouza said...

Hi

This post is really interesting,

I am a born again believer ( its been 10 yrs since i accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour .. and I had this experience in my very own Catholics church ) I very much rooted in the catholic church & I am very much involved in the Catholic charismatic renewal ( similar style how our Christian brother and sister conduct church ).. and know that i have a big mission to play in this Catholic Church. I attended mass only when i am am able to completely focus and not as a obligation ( if I dont attend mass i have my time of worship at home ) . Many of the youth I know just attend because they have been attending church as a child and want to full fill an obligation ( i speak about many of the catholic youth and elders , but not all , few do understand the meaning of the Mass / Eucharist ). The Eucharist has a great meaning when one comes with a repentant heart and really means that he/She is sorry for his/her sins and accepts Jesus as spiritual food back into his or her heart.

With regards to the Rosary I just don't get it, i know most ( if not all) families pray the rosary. And they recite this pray as if they just want it to get over with it ..or a like a super fast poem ) , it is said so fast that it is difficult for any one to meditate ..... like as if some one was in a hurry to catch a train .. and almost every one says it in this manner. hummmmmmmmm ..

So we have 10 - "hail mary's " 10 - Holy mary's" 5 - "Our father" and 5 " Glory be to the father " ....... and all this get over in 15 minutes .. wowwwwwwwwwwww ... now that's called fast prayer ..... I once tried ( and only once in my life ) to mean every word i said and tried to meditate on every word i spoke and it took me 1hr 5 min to finish the rosary .. to tell you the truth i didn't really feel prayed up . .....

Mother Mary is a very important person and i do ask for her intersession. If i do say the hail Mary, but i only say it once and mean every word, instead of saying it 50 times and not meaning a word. For a long time my prayer has always been a personal dialogue with the lord worshipping him in spirit.

Also I tried looking up the origins of the Rosary and was quite interesting on the finding. Extracts taken from ( http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap080600.htm ) .

It is said that in 900 AD , the Monks and clergy recited or chanted the 150 Psalms which was a major source of worship. The ordinary illiterate people living near the monasteries realized the beauty of this devotion. But unable to read or memorize the lengthy Psalms,( because of lack of books i guess ) the people were unable to adapt this form of prayer for their use.

so an Irish monk suggested to the people around the monastery that they might pray a series of 150 Our Fathers in place of the 150 Psalms. At first, pebbles were carried in a pouch to count the 150 Our Fathers; later ropes with 150 or 50 (1/3 of 150) knots were used. Eventually string with 50 pieces of wood was used.

Around 1000 AD , the Angelic Salutation -- "Hail mary " replaced the 50 Our Fathers. .. ..

And so we can see how the whole Rosary came in to being .

But the fact is it all started in meditating on the Psalms -- Which Gives Glory to God. ... Now that the bible is in every house and am sure that literacy population has increased since then , why dont we go back to the Word of God, and meditate on the Psalms.

Timber please help me understand this.

Your Brother in Christ

A.Dsouza

Mumbai, India

December 13, 2010 1:18 PM  
Blogger Agnello Dsouza said...

( i am breaking this comment as it seems its too large to post .. i hope this blog is still active )

Hi

This post is really interesting,

I am a born again believer ( its been 10 yrs since i accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour .. and I had this experience in my very own Catholics church ) I very much rooted in the catholic church & I am very much involved in the Catholic charismatic renewal ( similar style how our Christian brother and sister conduct church ).. and know that i have a big mission to play in this Catholic Church. I attended mass only when i am am able to completely focus and not as a obligation ( if I dont attend mass i have my time of worship at home ) . Many of the youth I know just attend because they have been attending church as a child and want to full fill an obligation ( i speak about many of the catholic youth and elders , but not all , few do understand the meaning of the Mass / Eucharist ). The Eucharist has a great meaning when one comes with a repentant heart and really means that he/She is sorry for his/her sins and accepts Jesus as spiritual food back into his or her heart.

With regards to the Rosary I just don't get it, i know most ( if not all) families pray the rosary. And they recite this pray as if they just want it to get over with it ..or a like a super fast poem ) , it is said so fast that it is difficult for any one to meditate ..... like as if some one was in a hurry to catch a train .. and almost every one says it in this manner. hummmmmmmmm ..

So we have 10 - "hail mary's " 10 - Holy mary's" 5 - "Our father" and 5 " Glory be to the father " ....... and all this get over in 15 minutes .. wowwwwwwwwwwww ... now that's called fast prayer ..... I once tried ( and only once in my life ) to mean every word i said and tried to meditate on every word i spoke and it took me 1hr 5 min to finish the rosary .. to tell you the truth i didn't really feel prayed up . .....

Mother Mary is a very important person and i do ask for her intersession. If i do say the hail Mary, but i only say it once and mean every word, instead of saying it 50 times and not meaning a word. For a long time my prayer has always been a personal dialogue with the lord worshipping him in spirit.

(continued in my next comment ) ......

December 13, 2010 1:20 PM  
Blogger Agnello Dsouza said...

Hi

This post is really interesting,

I am a born again believer ( its been 10 yrs since i accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour .. and i had this experience in my very own Catholics church ) I very much rooted in the catholic church & I am very much involved in the Catholic charismatic renewal ( similar style how our Christian brother and sister conduct church ) . I attended mass only when i am am able to completely focus. Many of my the youth I know just attend because they have been attending church as a child and want to full fill an obligation ( i speak about many of the catholic youth and elders , but not all , few do understand the meaning of the Mass / Eucharist ). The Eucharist has a great meaning when one comes with a repentant heart and really means that he/She is sorry for his/her sins and accepts Jesus as spiritual food back into his or her heart.

With regards to the Rosary I just don't get it, i know most if not all families praying the rosary And they say this pray as if they just want it to get over with it , it is said so fast that it is difficult for any meditation .. like as if some one was in a hurry to catch a train .. and almost every one says it in this manner. hummm .. so we have 10 - "hail mary's " 10 - Holy mary's" 5 - "Our father" and 5 " Glory be to the father " ....... and al this get over in 15 minutes .. woww ... now thats called fast prayer ..... I once tried ( and only once in my life ) to mean every word i said and tried to meditate on every word i spoke and it took me 1hr 5 min to finish the rosary .. to tell you the truth i did'nt really feel pray4ed up . .....

Mother Mary is a very important person and i do ask for her intersession. If i do say the hail Mary, but i only say it once and mean every word, instead of saying it 50 times and not meaning a word. For a long time my prayer has always been a personal dialogue with the lord worshipping him in spirit.

Also I tried looking up the origins of the Rosary and was quite interesting on the finding. Extracts taken from ( http://www.catholicapologetics.org/ap080600.htm ) .

It is said that in 900 AD , the Monks and clergy recited or chanted the 150 Psalms which was a major source of worship. The ordinary illiterate people living near the monasteries realized the beauty of this devotion. But unable to read or memorize the lengthy Psalms,( because of lack of books i guess ) the people were unable to adapt this form of prayer for their use.

so an Irish monk suggested to the people around the monastery that they might pray a series of 150 Our Fathers in place of the 150 Psalms. At first, pebbles were carried in a pouch to count the 150 Our Fathers; later ropes with 150 or 50 (1/3 of 150) knots were used. Eventually string with 50 pieces of wood was used.

Around 1000 AD , the Angelic Salutation -- "Hail mary " replaced the 50 Our Fathers. .. ..

And so we can see how the whole Rosary came in to being .

But the fact is it all started in meditating on the Psalms -- Which Gives Glory to God. ... Now that the bible is in every house and am sure that literacy population has increased since then , why dont we go back to the Word of God, and meditate on the Psalms.

Timber please help me understand this.

Your Brother in Christ

A.Dsouza

Mumbai, India

December 13, 2010 1:22 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Brother Dsousa:
Thanks for reading my blog.
The rosary is a two fold prayer. It is meant as a way to ask Mary to intercede for us but at the sametime it is a time to meditate on some of the great stories of the gospel.
As we pray the sorrowful mysteries, we relive the agony in the garden with our precious Lord, we revisit the scourging at the pillar, the crown of thorns, the carrying of the cross and finally the crucifixion. We don't meditate alone, we have a prayer partner in heaven, the blessed mother who prays along with us, hears our intentions and brings them before the Lord. She was physically there at most if not all of the "mysteries"=stories in the gospel of which we meditate on. Why not include her?
You said that many people rush it through to get it over with. I say don't let others steal your opportunity to appreciate this devotion of the Church. Just because some Catholics don't pray it appropriately doesn't invalidate it. Besides, we are not to judge the hearts of others anyway, so it's between them and God if they are praying inappropriately, but God knows their hearts and at least they are praying!!!
If you don't feel anything after praying the rosary, I don't think that is a valid way to judge whether there is value to a spiritual experience. We walk by faith and not by sight and I am sure that meditating on some aspect of christs life whil asking Mary's intercession is extremely beneficial, regardless of how it makes you feel. No offense but that was one of my big problems with charismatic christianity when I was a protestant. All spiritual experiences were predicated on how they made you feel, which certainly is not biblical.
I go to Mass almost daily . I even moved close to the Church so I could walk to mass. Do I feel joyful or energized by daily reception of His blody and blood? No not necessarily but I know that I receive much grace by receiving Him, regardless of how it makes me feel. but I digress.
The beauty of being catholic is that there are many devotions the Church offers in getting close to Christ, the rosary being one of them. You are not obligated to pray the rosary, but I feel that there is a reason the Church encourages it. jesus wants us to have all grace and all fullness in our faith. The intercession of the saints and particularly Mary is an amazin way to apprehend these graces.
My suggestion is to ask Jesus to help you understand and appreciate the rosary and not to look at other catholics. we are all on a different place in our journey.
I also encourage you to go to mass weekly whether you can focus or not because His grace is available to us there, regarddless of how we feel.

Finally read the link I have posted there to JP2's encyclical on the rosary. it can really help you.
God bless

December 13, 2010 6:41 PM  

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