quod pro nobis traditum est

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Holy Rosary

Today the Western Church commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The use of the Rosary in the Catholic Church is attributed to St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Friars Preachers.

From the Collect: "O God whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection, purchased for us the rewards of eternal life . . ." ("Deus, cujus Unigénitus per vitam, mortem et resurrectiónem suam nobis salútis aetérnae praemia comparávit . . .")


Dr. Jack Kilcrease said...

I find this post a little bit hard to understand. I mean, maybe I misunderstood the post (and this of course very possible), but it seems like you're encouraging Marian devotion in such a manner that is some what at variance with the Lutheran Confessions.

Fr. Timothy D. May said...

Thank you for reading the blog.

I write a lot about liturgical theology and practices. The first part is a simple observation regarding the traditional Western Calendar.

The second part is a portion of the prayer for the day which shows how Jesus purchased eternal life.

Mary's connection in respect to the origin of the rosary for devotional practice, which is celebrated on this day, is certainly questionable. However the rosary per se as a help for devotional practice is neither commanded nor forbidden.

The use of the rosary may be looked at and discussed in a number of ways, liturgically, historically, theologically. Just because Lutherans do not use it does not make its use wrong per se. There are many ways to encourage prayer.

Hopefully, what is quoted here from the Collect is not somewhat at variance with the Lutheran Confessions. Hopefully, He "has purchased for us (and all believers) the rewards of eternal life."

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to know what the rest of that collect said, because as the previous commenter did, I had a hard time seeing the connection in the parts of the post.

Are you referring to simply using the rosary to help organize and structure your daily prayers (as opposed to specifically Marian devotion)?

I greatly enjoy the blog and find it stimulating. Thanks. -- pr. k. hagen

Fr. Timothy D. May said...

Without forgetting the beginning (eternal rewards purchased by Jesus), the Collect continues ". . . grant, we beseech Thee, that, meditating upon these mysteries, in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same . . ."

It is not necessary to have a "holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary" in order to pray the rosary. This is why I did not quote the entire Collect earlier. The origin of the rosary through Mary is questionable but this does not make the use of the rosary wrong per se. Still, we can be encouraged through means such as this to meditate upon the mysteries, imitate the good example and trust in the promise.

On a separate note, I am aware of excesses in Marian devotion. My blog is more concerned with what seems to be an inordinate amount of "fear" of Mary on our part due to a number of factors (ie, association with excessive devotion, association with "non-Lutheran" Christian beliefs and practices), almost to the point where it is hard to find Mary even in the Bible.

A few years ago I wrote something about the importance of the Incarnation and this was mis-interpreted by some as being opposed to the Cross. This was a real eye opener for me, that the Cross and the Incarnation might be seen in opposition, one to the other. I still naïvely maintain both, while appreciating more how the Incarnation itself is an act of redemption and that the Cross in incomplete without it. Enough of the aside.