Friday, October 07, 2011

October 7th: Most Holy Rosary

Heaven intervenes in the Battle of Lepanto, where the Muslim fleet outnumbered that of the Christians.
Per the Rule for the Dominican Laity, I pray the Rosary (five decades) every day.  I don't usually pray the Luminous Mysteries, because I prefer the traditional 150 Hail Marys that mirrors the 150 Psalms.  (Pointing out that the very number of Hail Marys in the Rosary is biblical enables one readily to refute what I call the Jimmy Swaggart Theorem of the Rosary, which runs roughly thus: since there are 10 Hail Marys to one Our Father, this proves Catholics prefer Mary to Jesus 10 to 1.)  

Although many objected to Bl. John Paul's change to the Rosary, he is not the first Pope to have made such a change.  As. Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. has reminded me, during the latter half of the 18th century, the Franciscan Pope Clement XIV replaced the last two Glorious Mysteries with the ones we are familiar with today: the Assumption and the Coronation of Mary.  The Glorious Mysteries used to be: (1) the Resurrection; (2) the Ascension; (3) the Coming of the Holy Spirit; (4) the Second Coming of Christ; and (5) the Last Judgment.  I suppose it could be said that Pope Clement did not substantially change these last Mysteries, but merely changed their emphasis.  Mary, after all, is a type and figure of the Church: she anticipates the state of the Church at the end of time.  Our physical bodies will share in our triumph at the Second Coming, as Mary's already does in her Assumption; and we shall be crowned in glory at the Last Judgment as she has already been.

The best way to conclude this post seems to be with the Lesson from the Extraordinary Form of the Mass for today's feast, taken from Proverbs 8:22-24, 32-35.  The Church applies these praises to Our Lady:
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old, before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived. Now, therefore, ye children, hear me: blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.
Pray the Rosary every day.  If you're already doing that, keep doing it.  If you're not...start!  The times grow more and more ominous.  

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