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.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

Today the Church honors the Lord's mom (and ours too) with this feast focusing on the rosary. Tradition has it that the rosary was given to St Dominic by Mary in the 12th century. Before that time, the devotion of praying 150 Psalms or Our Fathers on a string of beads was practiced by many of the religious in the Church. Could you imagine how long those prayer meetings went?

The Hail Mary prayer is mostly scripture and comes from the Gospel of Luke. In the 16th century, the phrase, "Holy Mary mother of God pray for us now and at the hour of our death" was added and then later ratified at the Council of Trent.

What is it that freaks out non-Catholics about the Hail Mary prayer? Besides the obvious that we are asking Mary to pray for us instead of going straight to Jesus, (though it never seems bad for them to ask others to pray for them rather than going straight to Jesus)

I propose this as the real reason why the rosary and the Hail Mary prayer are so maligned:
I think the Hail part is what really gets people steamed. They think we are hailing Mary the way the crowds hailed Caesar in Roman times! They think it is a term of worship. Well, for the 100th time on this blog, Catholics don't worship anyone but God alone . When the Scripture was written in the original koinonia Greek, (which I studied for a total of 1 year in college, which makes me an expert) the term was translated as rejoice, or be glad. So the angel Gabriel was saying "rejoice or be glad Mary, you who are full of grace!"

I suspect angels are pretty theologically orthodox considering they spend a fair amount of their time worshiping God in Heaven. So they know better than to worship Mary, and so do we. Therefore, considering the real meaning of the word hail, we conclude that the Hail Mary prayer is a wonderful devotional prayer of intercession asking the Lord's mother to go to bat for us in prayer. The rosary consists of this prayer repeated in decades while meditating on the events of Jesus life. The rosary is not vain repetition for two reasons. First, we don't pray it thinking we will get God's attention because of the many words, because we already know he hears our prayers. Secondly, its not vain, its efficacious and has a long track record of being a powerful way of intercession.

Pope Pius the fifth in 1571 attributed the Christians' victory over the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto to all of Christendom praying the rosary. This day used to be called the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, now called the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.


Blogger ~Joseph the Worker said...

Good thoughts! I always liked the thought that Jesus is at the center of the Hail Mary - "And blessed is the fruit of your womb" - and this center is what draws us to Mary and makes us want to respect her, makes Christ want to listen to her (Wedding feast at Cana), and thereby makes us want to ask for her prayers. That's besides all the wonderful things she did!

October 07, 2008 8:58 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

the Rosary is the most Christo-centric prayer! It is all you stated, TJ. Some eyes will see, some eyes seem to not want to see, and some eyes choose not to see. I'm glad the angel of the Lord said Hail Full of Grace. It's doubtful the Angel of the Lord fumbled it up or got it all wrong. I'd not want to be the one to accuse Gabriel of worshiping Mary. What shaky, arrogant ground that would be!

October 08, 2008 8:10 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

by the way, that is a most BEAUTIFUL image of Mary and Baby Jesus. Please inform me as to where you found it. Thanks, bro!

October 08, 2008 8:12 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

yes jtw, some say that Jesus is the "hinge" between the two parts of the Hail Mary prayer, it ultimately points to Him.

October 08, 2008 8:23 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

"I'd not want to be the one to accuse Gabriel of worshiping Mary."


I found the image by googling images of our lady of the rosary and st dominic, but I don't have the site. Sorry.

BTW, I have a thought, if we renamed the Hail Mary the "Luke 1 Prayer" maybe it would be better accepted. It's ironic how we were always taught to "pray the scriptures" as evangelicals, but when Catholics do it(trying to obey scripture), its idolatry!

October 08, 2008 8:31 AM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

On the same token, being told not to pray "vain repitious prayers" what was up with some of those praise choruses? Singing the same thing over and over and over again for minutes, which is a long time to sing. If singing is "praying twice" then we should have been accused of "repetious prayer" right? Did Jesus need us to sing that same thing for 5 or more minutes? And some of those spontaneous prayers were very very long-winded! I know we all meant well, and I'm not picking on anyone re: their personal prayers, but it almost seemed like a "prayer competition" in some circles we'd break off into to pray for some specific thing, person or event. And the hand-holding always bugged me. I don't like holding someone's sweaty hand, especially if I don't know the person. The nose always itches at that time, and you try to avoid "breaking the spiritual bond" but finally you just have to break down and scratch the itch. I'm just not fond of holding anyone's hand but my husbands. Guess I digressed. HAIL MARY! I love Our Lady! Our Mama Most Holy!

October 08, 2008 5:21 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie! You had Deborah and I laughing when I read your comment to her. We know what you mean. I mean why isn't saying praise you thank you hallelujah for 45 minutes straight considered repetitious!

Been there, done that, exchanged the sweaty tee shirt.

October 08, 2008 7:01 PM  
Blogger Mary DeMuth said...

Pretty Convincing thoughts there Russ.

I love how simple you put things my friend.


October 16, 2008 9:05 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

thanks Mary. I really hope I can help people see how beautiful the Catholic faith is and how it draws us close to God.

October 16, 2008 11:05 PM  
Blogger George Weis said...


I didn't know Ashley was logged in under Mary! Sorry Russ... SORRY MARY!

I will remove that comment as soon as I can have Ashley log back in as Mary :D



October 18, 2008 8:29 AM  

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