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Seeking Protestant opinions on this article on the Rosary

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  • Seeking Protestant opinions on this article on the Rosary

    www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/mary_rosary.php

    I've heard it said "the Rosary is all about Mary." Actually it is more about Jesus in Scripture than Mary. There are two layers to the Rosary. 1) The physical layer which is the repeating of prayers and 2) the meditation on the "Mysteries" which are scenes from Scripture of Jesus' life.

    If we take into consideration both these aspects and give equal weight to them both, the Rosary is about 65% about Jesus and 35% a request for prayer from Mary. (88% of the Rosary is directly from Scripture)
    Aside from the idiosyncratic interpretation of Mary as being the Woman crowned with stars in Revelation (I think the mainstream Catholic view is that the Woman is the church or Israel).
    O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

    A neat video of dead languages!

  • #2
    It's not my thing. But if it helps someone else, and doesn't lead them into idolatry, then have at it.
    That's what
    - She

    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
    Stephen R. Donaldson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
      www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/mary_rosary.php



      Aside from the idiosyncratic interpretation of Mary as being the Woman crowned with stars in Revelation (I think the mainstream Catholic view is that the Woman is the church or Israel).
      I don't find it very convincing. How things like rosaries, icons, statues, relics, etc. ought to be understood, and how they are actually understood among the laity often seem like two very different things. It seems to me that most of these objects found their way into Christian worship well after Christianity's separation from the Jewish faith proper. Once the whole church started taking on a more Gentile appearance. My biggest issue with most of this stuff is that, anything that can move us away from simple prayer, praise, worship, and devotion to God through Christ, appears to do so. Whenever we make material objects something to focus our faith on, its easy to slip down the slope of superstition and idolatry. I think we find this even among Protestants and the reverence they sometimes give to their Bibles. As though the leather cover and pages between are some sort of holy object that can't be set on the ground, or have another book on it, or what have you. Not to get all Gnosticy, but It seems to me that there's something about our fleshy nature that wants us to keep our focus on material things, and material tasks, and so there's something in us that tends to create all of these things to get us to worship God, and I don't think they're necessary. I don't think they're all innately evil, but I don't think they're necessary, and more often than not, they steal our focus.

      Also, I don't really care what Martin Luther said about X, Y, and Z. I'm thankful that he put a fire under the Church's butts, but he wasn't the first to question the way things were being done, and he certainly wasn't the last, and some of the things he did and said I totally disagree with.
      Last edited by Adrift; 12-09-2014, 10:01 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        It makes me think of the cross. When I was in Israel last year, there were shops all over the place that sold souvenirs, of course, but many were selling "actual pieces of the real cross". I bet if you added up all those pieces that were sold, you could build Noah's Ark!
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
          I don't find it very convincing. How things like rosaries, icons, statues, relics, etc. ought to be understood, and how they are actually understood among the laity often seem like two very different things. It seems to me that most of these objects found their way into Christian worship well after Christianity's separation from the Jewish faith proper. Once the whole church started taking on a more Gentile appearance. My biggest issue with most of this stuff is that, anything that can move us away from simple prayer, praise, worship, and devotion to God through Christ, appears to do so. Whenever we make material objects something to focus our faith on, its easy to slip down the slope of superstition and idolatry. I think we find this even among Protestants and the reverence they sometimes give to their Bibles. As though the leather cover and pages between are some sort of holy object that can't be set on the ground, or have another book on it, or what have you. Not to get all Gnosticy, but It seems to me that there's something about our fleshy nature that wants us to keep our focus on material things, and material tasks, and so there's something in us that tends to create all of these things to get us to worship God, and I don't think they're necessary. I don't think they're all innately evil, but I don't think they're necessary, and more often than not, they steal our focus.

          Also, I don't really care what Martin Luther said about X, Y, and Z. I'm thankful that he put a fire under the Church's butts, but he wasn't the first to question the way things were being done, and he certainly wasn't the last, and some of the things he did and said I totally disagree with.
          Interesting points. Thanks.
          O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

          A neat video of dead languages!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            It makes me think of the cross. When I was in Israel last year, there were shops all over the place that sold souvenirs, of course, but many were selling "actual pieces of the real cross". I bet if you added up all those pieces that were sold, you could build Noah's Ark!
            Interesting. I don't recall seeing anyone selling "actual pieces of the real cross" when I was over there a couple years ago. I'd bet, though, that all the people selling them were Muslims (something like 90% of the souvenir shops in Jerusalem are Muslim owned now). Our guide, who was Christian, made sure to point out to us the Christian-owned shops.
            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
              I don't find it very convincing. How things like rosaries, icons, statues, relics, etc. ought to be understood, and how they are actually understood among the laity often seem like two very different things. It seems to me that most of these objects found their way into Christian worship well after Christianity's separation from the Jewish faith proper. Once the whole church started taking on a more Gentile appearance. My biggest issue with most of this stuff is that, anything that can move us away from simple prayer, praise, worship, and devotion to God through Christ, appears to do so. Whenever we make material objects something to focus our faith on, its easy to slip down the slope of superstition and idolatry. I think we find this even among Protestants and the reverence they sometimes give to their Bibles. As though the leather cover and pages between are some sort of holy object that can't be set on the ground, or have another book on it, or what have you. Not to get all Gnosticy, but It seems to me that there's something about our fleshy nature that wants us to keep our focus on material things, and material tasks, and so there's something in us that tends to create all of these things to get us to worship God, and I don't think they're necessary. I don't think they're all innately evil, but I don't think they're necessary, and more often than not, they steal our focus.

              Also, I don't really care what Martin Luther said about X, Y, and Z. I'm thankful that he put a fire under the Church's butts, but he wasn't the first to question the way things were being done, and he certainly wasn't the last, and some of the things he did and said I totally disagree with.
              A couple of additional thoughts have occurred to me.

              I find myself steadily moving away from minimalism. I think focusing only of simple prayer can sometimes lead to an unhealthy individualism because it could also be argued that being part of a church body is nothing but a distraction in itself, ya know?

              You are absolutely right that we must never lose track of the all-important center of our faith- Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. This is absolutely vital. But I feel like in order to avoid precisely the sort of Gnosticism that you allude to we have to acknowledge the fact that we are saved in a community and that God has used the physical world, He has used the social world as a real means to affect our salvation. The heart of Marian devotion of any kind, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or even Lutheran, is rooted in the fact that she bore God Himself in her womb, hence the Greek term- Theotokos (God bearer) and even calling her Mother of God. It's a Christological statement first a foremost. "All nations will call me blessed," precisely because of what God did for her and how He made her a very real part of salvation history. It pleased the Lord to use her body to "make His tabernacle amongst us." The Lord God, in a very real sense, became a physical object (kind of like the idea of Real Presence) and Mary is an eternal reminder of that.

              I think this is a big part of the sanctification of family relationships, of the human body, and of the physical world itself that Christ accomplished in our redemption capped off in His glorious death on a physical Cross and one of the biggest reasons why Doceticism was so perverse. I guess, it's why I think Billy Graham was absolutely right when we don't give Mary her due.

              Now, that being said, I agree that there is a lot of excess and it can cause problems, there are many Orthodox akathists to Mary and Saints that I have big problems with. But given the theological riches that can be drawn from God's work in her life, it seems to me that the benefits of at least a small scale Marian devotion kind of outweigh the risks.

              That's where I am currently in regard to it, anyway. Of course, the theology of prayer to the dead comes into it as well, that's a whole other debate I know.
              O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

              A neat video of dead languages!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                Interesting. I don't recall seeing anyone selling "actual pieces of the real cross" when I was over there a couple years ago. I'd bet, though, that all the people selling them were Muslims (something like 90% of the souvenir shops in Jerusalem are Muslim owned now). Our guide, who was Christian, made sure to point out to us the Christian-owned shops.
                Yes, it was pretty much the Muslim controlled sections --- like the Muslim quarter of Old City Jerusalem, and when we went to Bethlehem, which is under Palestinian Authority.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
                  A couple of additional thoughts have occurred to me.

                  I find myself steadily moving away from minimalism. I think focusing only of simple prayer can sometimes lead to an unhealthy individualism because it could also be argued that being part of a church body is nothing but a distraction in itself, ya know?
                  I don't see how praying without a rosary would lead to individualism, or how praying with one leads to any sort of sense of community. If you want community, go where other believers are praying, praising and worshiping. I've been to plenty of churches that have a night devoted just to prayer with no sermon whatsoever. Friday prayer nights are not uncommon. Nor is Saturday or Sunday morning worship before a service.

                  You are absolutely right that we must never lose track of the all-important center of our faith- Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. This is absolutely vital. But I feel like in order to avoid precisely the sort of Gnosticism that you allude to we have to acknowledge the fact that we are saved in a community and that God has used the physical world, He has used the social world as a real means to affect our salvation. The heart of Marian devotion of any kind, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or even Lutheran, is rooted in the fact that she bore God Himself in her womb, hence the Greek term- Theotokos (God bearer) and even calling her Mother of God. It's a Christological statement first a foremost. "All nations will call me blessed," precisely because of what God did for her and how He made her a very real part of salvation history. It pleased the Lord to use her body to "make His tabernacle amongst us." The Lord God, in a very real sense, became a physical object (kind of like the idea of Real Presence) and Mary is an eternal reminder of that.

                  I think this is a big part of the sanctification of family relationships, of the human body, and of the physical world itself that Christ accomplished in our redemption capped off in His glorious death on a physical Cross and one of the biggest reasons why Doceticism was so perverse. I guess, it's why I think Billy Graham was absolutely right when we don't give Mary her due.

                  Now, that being said, I agree that there is a lot of excess and it can cause problems, there are many Orthodox akathists to Mary and Saints that I have big problems with. But given the theological riches that can be drawn from God's work in her life, it seems to me that the benefits of at least a small scale Marian devotion kind of outweigh the risks.
                  In your first post it sounded like you were attempting to de-emphasize Mary's significance in the rosary, to, I suppose, make it more palatable to Protestants. In this post it sounds like you're emphasizing how significant Mary is when it comes to her adoration and prayers for her intervention.

                  That's where I am currently in regard to it, anyway. Of course, the theology of prayer to the dead comes into it as well, that's a whole other debate I know.
                  Its actually the primary debate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    I don't see how praying without a rosary would lead to individualism,
                    I didn't say it did. I said the minimalist fear of losing sight of God can do that (not that it always does, by any means) which is one of the reasons I've begun to move in a different direction.
                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    or how praying with one leads to any sort of sense of community.
                    It's about the communio sanctorum. The dead in Christ are all around us.

                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    In your first post it sounded like you were attempting to de-emphasize Mary's significance in the rosary, to, I suppose, make it more palatable to Protestants.
                    That was not my intention. I'm sorry I was unclear. I just like that article because I think it shows how the idea the Saints are always with us and that Christ is saving us a community and a physical world is very much a Christocentric one. I was only sharing it because I thought it was an interesting perspective that maybe doesn't come up as much in conversations about this kind of thing. Perhaps I was mistaken.


                    I'm very sorry if I offended you. I certainly wasn't trying to convert you or anything.
                    O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

                    A neat video of dead languages!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kelp(p) View Post
                      I didn't say it did. I said the minimalist fear of losing sight of God can do that (not that it always does, by any means) which is one of the reasons I've begun to move in a different direction.
                      I don't see how.

                      It's about the communio sanctorum. The dead in Christ are all around us.
                      I agree with NT Wright that the dead in Christ are in conscious rest with him, and that there is nothing in scripture that suggests that they can offer prayers up for the living. I recommend checking out his short and readable, Surprised by Hope. He doesn't deal with the subject as thoroughly as I like, but he gives a good crash course.

                      That was not my intention. I'm sorry I was unclear. I just like that article because I think it shows how the idea the Saints are always with us and that Christ is saving us a community and a physical world is very much a Christocentric one. I was only sharing it because I thought it was an interesting perspective that maybe doesn't come up as much in conversations about this kind of thing. Perhaps I was mistaken.
                      That's okay. For the record, I didn't read any new arguments there that I hadn't seen before.

                      I'm very sorry if I offended you. I certainly wasn't trying to convert you or anything.
                      LOL. Kelp, don't worry about offending me. I know that that isn't in your heart.

                      I'll be blunt with you though. As a huge fan of ancient history, saint and Mary devotion/adoration/and mediation, as its commonly understand and practiced, harks so much to pre-Christian Roman religious practice for me to ever feel comfortable with. I know quite a bit of the theology that has been thrown up around the practices to safeguard them from that assumption, but I can't shake the connection. I think sometimes its beautiful, and I even understand the allure, but there's something off about it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It depends on how you use it. Does it lead you to Jesus? Good! Go for it! Does it Draw you to have a deep Connection with God? use it!
                        If its just empty and vain and something you do, then there is no point
                        A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                        George Bernard Shaw

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          I don't see how.
                          It's when it leads to a certain quietism that withdraws from temporal concerns and only focuses on one's personal relationship with Christ. I think it can turn into a kind of spiritual self-centeredness that winds up ruining the life of the community.


                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          I agree with NT Wright that the dead in Christ are in conscious rest with him, and that there is nothing in scripture that suggests that they can offer prayers up for the living.
                          It's a cruel God who would cut them off from all knowledge of their loved ones. If they know about us, then I say it's a good bet that they're praying.

                          I'm guessing that Wright dismisses the martyrs under the altar of Revelation as being metaphorical, but why would John mention something that would scandalize the allegedly proto-Protestant sensibilities of his hearers that way ;) I could certainly also appeal to the Jewish tradition contained in 2 Maccabees that the Prophet Jeremiah is always interceding for the people of God, that Elijah is a witness at every circumcision, Jewish prayers to angels, etc. Not proof of the practice, of course. But proof that first century Jewish Christians wouldn't have looked at you like you had three heads for suggesting that the tzadik watch over us.

                          Surprised by Hope is on my list of things to get, though.

                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          That's okay. For the record, I didn't read any new arguments there that I hadn't seen before.
                          K.


                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          LOL. Kelp, don't worry about offending me. I know that that isn't in your heart.
                          Good
                          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                          I'll be blunt with you though. As a huge fan of ancient history, saint and Mary devotion/adoration/and mediation, as its commonly understand and practiced, harks so much to pre-Christian Roman religious practice for me to ever feel comfortable with. I know quite a bit of the theology that has been thrown up around the practices to safeguard them from that assumption, but I can't shake the connection. I think sometimes its beautiful, and I even understand the allure, but there's something off about it.
                          I understand.
                          O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory of the Immortal Father, Heavenly, Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ! Now that we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening, we praise God Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.

                          A neat video of dead languages!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Here is what Wright says on this, and related subjects:

                            http://ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Rethinking_Tradition.htm
                            "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                              I don't find it very convincing. How things like rosaries, icons, statues, relics, etc. ought to be understood, and how they are actually understood among the laity often seem like two very different things. It seems to me that most of these objects found their way into Christian worship well after Christianity's separation from the Jewish faith proper. Once the whole church started taking on a more Gentile appearance. My biggest issue with most of this stuff is that, anything that can move us away from simple prayer, praise, worship, and devotion to God through Christ, appears to do so. Whenever we make material objects something to focus our faith on, its easy to slip down the slope of superstition and idolatry. I think we find this even among Protestants and the reverence they sometimes give to their Bibles. As though the leather cover and pages between are some sort of holy object that can't be set on the ground, or have another book on it, or what have you. Not to get all Gnosticy, but It seems to me that there's something about our fleshy nature that wants us to keep our focus on material things, and material tasks, and so there's something in us that tends to create all of these things to get us to worship God, and I don't think they're necessary. I don't think they're all innately evil, but I don't think they're necessary, and more often than not, they steal our focus.

                              Also, I don't really care what Martin Luther said about X, Y, and Z. I'm thankful that he put a fire under the Church's butts, but he wasn't the first to question the way things were being done, and he certainly wasn't the last, and some of the things he did and said I totally disagree with.
                              Well said!

                              The bolded made me chuckle because I have said the same thing. I align myself with the Calvinist tradition, but whenever I hear a pastor go on about Calvin and Luther I envision myself jumping out of window.

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