Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

Blessed Alan

All of the posts under the "Blessed Alan" category.

What Are the World Mission Mysteries of the Rosary and Should We Pray Them?

Some time ago, I received a “World Mission Rosary” in the mail from the Rosary Shrine of St. Jude, along with a pamphlet describing a new set of mysteries, the “Mission Mysteries.” Being an avid promoter of the Rosary, these mysteries piqued my interest. I thought about writing up an article then, but decided against it, as I hadn’t seen anything else talking about these mysteries and put the idea on the back burner.

World Mission Rosary

But a couple of weeks ago, I received a second World Mission Rosary in the mail from a different religious order, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady, Mother of the Church.

What is the Mission Rosary?

The Mission Rosary was envisioned by the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen in 1951. At the time, he was the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. During one of his radio programs, Archbishop Sheen requested that his listeners “embrace the world in prayer.”

This Rosary is to honor the work of missions, our call to be missioners, and world unity and peace.

This particular Rosary consists of five different colored beads on each decade. Each decade represents a different area of the world that the Church is currently leading missions. The colors are as follows:

1. Green – for the forests and grasslands of Africa.
2. Red – calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missioners to the Americas.
3. White – symbolizing Europe, the home of the Holy Father.
4. Blue – for the ocean surrounding the Islands of the Pacific.
5. Yellow – symbolizing the morning light of the East and the “beginning of civilization” for Asia/Middle East.

World Mission Decades

The World Mission Rosary is to be prayed just like you would any other Rosary, except with one caveat.

The World Mission “Mysteries”

There are five new mysteries given to us with the World Mission Rosary. These mysteries are:

1. The visit of the Magi, the first missioner.
2. Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman, crossing borders/breaking down boundaries.
3. Jesus cures the centurion’s servant, acts of healing and service.
4. The conversion of St. Paul, expanding the faith of the Gentiles, the “other” and thus the world.
5. Jesus sends out His disciples, we’re all called to mission.

World Mission Mysteries

While Archbishop Sheen gave us the concept of the Mission Rosary, it appears that the Maryknoll’s gave these mysteries to us, not Archbishop Sheen.

Several Problems With These Mysteries

While the mysteries may seem harmless at first, I’d like to point out a few issues I see with them that weaken arguments for the Rosary, instead of strengthening them.

The first problem I see is that Our Lady gave us the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries. Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan and handed the Rosary, along with these mysteries, to them. Our Blessed Mother has reappeared throughout history in varying apparitions begging and pleading us to pray the Rosary. This Rosary she asks us to pray is not a man-made set of mysteries, but the same mysteries that she has given us. With the number of times she has appeared to men and women requesting we pray her Rosary, she has not at any time given any new mysteries.

Our Blessed Mother is perfect, just as is her son, Jesus Christ. If she wanted us to meditate upon new mysteries, wouldn’t it make sense for her to give them to us herself like she did the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries?

The second problem I see is that these mysteries don’t look at Jesus through Mary’s eyes like the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries do. One of the biggest arguments that Catholics use when discussing the Rosary to Protestants is that when we pray the Rosary, we are looking at Jesus through the eyes of Mary. When we look at the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries, we can say that this is true, as Mary was present at each mystery.

We can not say the same for all of the Mission Mysteries. When Jesus talks with the Samaritan woman, Mary was not there. When Jesus cured the centurion’s servant, it is debatable if Mary was present. We can say with certainty that Mary was not present at the conversion of St. Paul. It is also debatable if Mary was present when Jesus sends out his disciples. The only mystery where we know for certainty if Mary was there or not would be the Visit of the Magi.

Furthermore, the conversion of St. Paul doesn’t even focus on Jesus, but on St. Paul. When we pray the Rosary, we are meditating upon the life of Christ, as seen through the eyes of Mary. This mystery takes the aim off of Jesus and places it on a Saint, which is not the intention of the Rosary.

The third problem I see is it gives the impression that anybody can create whatever mysteries they want when that isn’t the case. As stated above and is part of Catholic teaching, Mary gave the Rosary to St. Dominic. It is not up to us, whether we are ordained, religious, or laity, to alter a devotion that is not ours to alter.

The Rosary is not weakened if we dedicate each decade to one of these intentions and do not mediate upon new mysteries. Likewise, the Rosary is not strengthened if we are meditating upon these new mysteries while offering up our decades for particular intentions.

Finally, to squelch an argument before it is raised, these mysteries do not form a more “complete life of Christ” as some proponents may argue like they do with the Luminous Mysteries.

Our Blessed Mother is perfect. To state that the Mission Mysteries or even the Luminous Mysteries paint a more “complete life of Christ” goes against the belief that Mary is perfect, by suggesting that she gave us an incomplete Rosary. Mary is the Mediatrix of all Grace and has a will perfectly in line with that of God’s. This argument also suggests that God’s will is imperfect and needs correction later down the line, which simply can not be.

Conclusion

The idea of offering up each decade for a particular intention is a noble and just gesture. The issue with this Rosary is not the intentions, but specifically, with the man-made “Mission Mysteries.” If you want to pray the Rosary and offer up each decade for the intentions of the Mission Rosary, that is fine and even just. If you pray the Rosary with man-made mysteries that aren’t given to us by Our Lady, then you are not strengthening your prayer, but weakening it.

Pray the Rosary every day, but pray it as Our Blessed and Holy Mother gave it to us.

Jeff February 28, 2017 4 Comments Permalink

The Luminous Mysteries and Why You Should Dump Them

Luminous Mysteries

On October 16, 2002, Pope St. John Paul II issued his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, that is “The Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. In it, he proposed a recommended new set of mysteries to be meditated on when praying the Rosary.

Those mysteries were the Luminous Mysteries. Composed of The Baptism in the Jordan, the Wedding of Canaa, the Proclamation of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Transfiguration, and the Institution of the Eucharist.

The problem with the Luminous mysteries is simply that they aren’t a requirement, but a recommendation. However, if you look at just about any Catholic pamphlet on the Rosary, they automatically include the Luminous mysteries, as if it was a new Dogma.

Upon issuing the document Pope St. John Paul II states:

Of the many mysteries of Christ’s life, only a few are indicated by the Rosary in the form that has become generally established with the seal of the Church’s approval. The selection was determined by the origin of the prayer, which was based on the number 150, the number of the Psalms in the Psalter.

I believe, however, that to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary it would be suitable to make an addition to the traditional pattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities, could broaden it to include the mysteries of Christ’s public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion. In the course of those mysteries we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God. Declared the beloved Son of the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan, Christ is the one who announces the coming of the Kingdom, bears witness to it in his works and proclaims its demands. It is during the years of his public ministry thatthe mystery of Christ is most evidently a mystery of light: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:5).

Consequently, for the Rosary to become more fully a “compendium of the Gospel”, it is fitting to add, following reflection on the Incarnation and the hidden life of Christ (the joyful mysteries) and before focusing on the sufferings of his Passion (the sorrowful mysteries) and the triumph of his Resurrection (the glorious mysteries), a meditation on certain particularly significant moments in his public ministry (the mysteries of light). This addition of these new mysteries, without prejudice to any essential aspect of the prayer’s traditional format, is meant to give it fresh life and to enkindle renewed interest in the Rosary’s place within Christian spirituality as a true doorway to the depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and of glory. - Rosarium Virginis Mariae 19

Pope St. John Paul II rightly gives some history on the Rosary, but not quite enough. It is true that it was based off of the 150 Psalms, but when you pray a “full” Rosary, you pray a total of 150 Hail Mary’s. Hence the name “Mary’s Psalter”.

What Pope St. John Paul II doesn’t mention is how the Rosary was given to Blessed Alan and St. Dominic. It was given by Mary herself. Why would he want to change it? Is Our Mother’s judgment not good enough? If these mysteries were to be included, wouldn’t Our Heavenly Mother have given them to Blessed Alan and St. Dominic?

I will admit, I once prayed them every Thursday. But after realizing that in the hierarchy of the spiritual life, we have the Trinitarian God first, the Blessed Mother second and finally all other holy individuals third.

God let his (daughter/mother/wife) give the Rosary to these holy men. Had this gone against His wishes, He would have prevented it, and in her humility would have obeyed.

There  are also 15 graces tied with a daily recitation of 5 decades of the Rosary. These 15 graces were given to us by Mary herself. Seeing as she only gave us the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious mysteries, it would make logical sense that the 15 graces are only tied with those mysteries. One grace for each mystery.

The other issue is that Pope St. John Paul II alludes that the Rosary is stale. He hints at this by his assessment that adding these decades would breathe “fresh life” into the practice.

A better way to breathe “fresh life” is to emphasize how wonderful the Rosary is and how much better your faith will be for it. Get people to pray the Rosary out of love for Jesus, Mary and the Church. Its a very modernist tactic to suggest that what Mary gave us is no longer good.

Benedictine Rosary

If you like the Luminous mysteries, go a head and pray them, but I suggest you pray the other three sets of mysteries prior to doing so.

Pray the Rosary daily. Satan hates it and he loses when you do.

Jeff May 30, 2014 59 Comments Permalink

Pray the Rosary Daily

The Rosary is a powerful sacramental against evil. Satan hates it. It makes him run away, as a coward. It is also a great form of meditation. We meditate on the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of His mother, Our Mother Mary. No body knows someone the same was as their mother. In praying the Rosary, we get a unique view of Jesus, the view of how His mother sees Him.

mary_-_mother_of_christ

Mary even gave 15 Promises to those who recite the Rosary daily. She gave them to St. Dominic and Blessed Alan in the 13th century. Here they are:

  1. To all those who shall pray my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and great graces.
  2. Those who shall persevere in the recitation of my Rosary will receive signal graces.
  3. The Rosary will be a very powerful armor against hell; it will destroy vice, deliver from sin and dispel heresy.
  4. The Rosary will make virtue and good works flourish, and will obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies. It will draw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
  5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary will not perish.
  6. Whoever recites my Rosary devoutly reflecting on the mysteries, shall never be overwhelmed by misfortune. He will not experience the anger of God nor will he perish by an unprovided death. The sinner will be converted; the just will persevere in grace and merit eternal life.
  7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.
  8. Those who are faithful to recite my Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces and will share in the merits of the blessed.
  9. I will deliver promptly from purgatory souls devoted to my Rosary.
  10. True children of my Rosary will enjoy great glory in heaven.
  11. What you shall ask through my Rosary you shall obtain.
  12. To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.
  13. I have obtained from my Son that all the members of the Rosary Confraternity shall have as their intercessors, in life and in death, the entire celestial court.
  14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.
  15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

These promises are amazingly strong and powerful. In my opinion, praying the Rosary is a way to give yourself lasting joy. It brings you closer to Jesus and Mary. We are created for the Lord and when our hearts rest in the Lord, we are truly satisfied.

Pray the Rosary daily, the world needs it.

Jeff December 5, 2013 4 Comments Permalink

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