Catholic Church: October 2002 Archives

From Rosarium Virginis Mariae One


From Rosarium Virginis Mariae

One thing I find interesting is a constant reference to what appears to be "course correction" or "focus" constantly uttered by the Popes to the faithful. In the course of this letter, there must be dozens of references to the Christological aspects of the Rosary. I'm certain all the readers of things like blogs have the "proper" focus when praying the Rosary. However, I know of people for whom that focus is not so clear, and for whom, in fact, the communion of the Saints is not terribly clear. When St. Teresa or St. Anthony obtains something for these people, one gets the impression that the given saint is granting some gift, no matter how carefully worded the petition. If this is rampant in the total communion of Saints, how much more true for that greatest of Saints. The reiteration of the Christological focus of the Rosary is an anodyne to many of the anxieties about it that come from converts from more evangelical or fundamentalist mentalities. While the Rosary opens the opportunity to see Christ through the eyes not only of a loving mother but of his Chief disciple and primary Apostle, it remains intently, narrowly focused on the Life , Mission, Death, and Glories of Jesus Christ.

With regard to the new mysteries of the Rosary, to put everyone at ease, article 19 clearly spells out the Pope's intent in promulgating these:

from Rosarium Virginis Mariae
His Holiness Pope John Paul II

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 lpattern which, while left to the freedom of individuals and communities could broaden it to include the the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion.

(bold-face emphasis mine)

Thus, clearly delineated for even the most skeptical, our Pope makes clear he is offering new mysteries that do not have to be said. But I know that for me the proposed additions do precisely what the Pope would like them to do , "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 depths of the Heart of Christ, ocean of joy and of light, of suffering and glory."

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I Am and Wish Always


I Am and Wish Always to be . . .

I am and wish always to be a true son of the Church. All that I say or do I wish to be in conformity with Her teachings. Where I stray, I pray for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring me back. However, in all that I say, do, or otherwise make public, I wish always to express Her mind in the issue and I submit all matters of faith and morals to her judgments and humbly accept correction when and where necessary.

I love the Church. I think with the Church, but I am a broken, distant image of Him whom I would follow, and therefore I fail. I struggle with a great many things that the Church Teaches. But nothing in the centrality of the Creed or in the understanding of the hierarchy or teaching authority of the Church.

I like this expression far more than the one I posted before. I believe it to be truer, closer to the heart of the matter, and more personal. The Church is a Mother for me--I cannot bear to see those who would disgrace Her or tear Her down, be they revolutionaries or reactionaries. But being human, I struggle mightily with some of her teachings, to understand and accept them. These struggles are, however, my own. And to the best of my ability to do so, I would always state first and foremost what the Church teaches--it is sheer arrogance and pride to assume that in my span of years I could have accumulated sufficient knowledge to refute what she may teach. The Church is my teacher, in my immaturity, I struggle with some of what She teaches--but that is more a reflection on me that it is on the doctrines of the Church. And as I struggle, I pray I struggle toward truth and not toward self-will. To even begin to do this, I must defer my doubts to the wisdom of the teaching authority of the Church.

And I feel compelled to post even this much because so many would deny the teachings of the Bishops. It seems that every time they open their mouths someone is telling them to shut up. See one of the comments (you'll know the one) on this post at Disputations if you wonder whereof I speak. So, my apologies for the abortive and ultimately unsatisfactory attempt at definition this morning. This afternoon I say simply, I stand with my Bishops until such time as they teach out-and-out heresy (and I do not believe they [en masse] will ever do so.)

Later--Apologies Rereading this blog at a later time I realized that it could have been read to have accused the blogmaster at Disputations of holding some of the views I repudiate. That was not my intention and I hope the clarification above makes more clear what I was trying to say.

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Work in Progress I wanted


Work in Progress

I wanted to share this for any comments or reactions. There are two points that I am a bit concerned about. First, I realized the title is suggestive of Vachel Lindsay's magnificent "General Booth Enters Heaven." It is not intended to refer to that poem, nor is the content even remotely similar. The second is that it may seem to approach universalism by implication. I am not a universalist, largely because the Church has put the whole idea under Anathema. But let me say that my approach is very similar to what I understand of both Hans Balthasar and, more recently, Richard John Neuhaus. I am somewhat concerned about Jesus saying, "Judge not lest ye be judged." Here I hope I have not judged, but only played out a scenario both possible, and it is my prayer, probable for all us weak mortals.

Jesus Greets Sir Richard Rich

My perjurer,
My chancellor,
my saint-maker,
my conniving fool,
my puppet,
my liar,
my escapee.

Your fine clothes
betray you,
lock you up
again and again.

You ask no
quarter, gave
none. You gave
me a martyr,
and helped to slay
the conscience
of a king
far gone along
that way.

Oh my fellow,
what shall I
do to you?
But for the
prayers of
that merry
one, who twists
words with the rest
of the puzzlers--
with Good Robert
of the Canon Code,
and Jerome
who made me
known to all.
With Thomas
who loved me
with words all straw,
and Francis
who laughs them all
to silliness.
That man, good
friend, has bent
my ear for
year upon year.

So though your case
was perilous
close, my father's
Grace, through my
mother's hands
brought me yet
another bought
with my own blood.

Oh my perjurer,
meet him whom
you doomed and be
welcomed through
his love to
this heaven, though
it be hell
your actions earned.

© 2002 Steven Riddle

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Catholic Church category from October 2002.

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