Thursday, October 6, 2011

NO ONE WAS EMBARRASSED BY THE CELEBRATION OF OUR STRONG CATHOLIC IDENTITY THROUGH THE POPULAR DEVOTIONS OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY AND BENEDICTION

Last night we had our normal weekly Wonderful Wednesday parish supper with our social hall being filled to capacity (more came than we expected in other words) followed by our annual celebration of the Most Holy Rosary with Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament:

Many comments afterwards sounded like this: "Father, you can't get anymore Catholic than this" and "thanks Father for giving us our Catholic identity back and sharing it with our children!"

Implicit in these very powerful statements is that many of us were made to feel uncomfortable and embarrassed about loving these sorts of popular devotions and making them integral to our Catholicism. That is so very sad!



Last night we had an almost full church for our annual celebration of the Most Holy Rosary which also included Exposition, adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

We had six torch bearers, crucifer, thurifer, censor, master of ceremonies (2), two deacons and yours truly. Everyone was well choreographed, solemn and reverent.

Our children in the second and ninth grades preparing for First Penance, Holy Communion and Confirmation respectively were in attendance. Five 9th grade girls read the scriptural meditations between the recitation of the mysteries and our combined choirs sang traditional hymns and anthems after each biblical meditation.

It was all very glorious. Incense wafted through the air and all senses were touched in a most delightful, elevating way.

Afterwards I had young parents and older parishioners come up to me to describe how incredibly beautiful these devotions are and the younger ones saying they had never attended anything like this. They've only been to Mass on Sunday (if that!).

Many said that "you can't get any more Catholic than that, Father!"

Implicit in their comment was that horrible phenomenon that we have inherited with those who see a great breach between the Church prior to the Second Vatican Council and the Church after the Second Vatican Council.

This "breachers" made rank and file Catholics feel embarrassed about their strong pre-Vatican II Catholic identity with all its accoutrements, including Latin, habits, popular devotions such as rosaries, novenas and exposition, adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Almost overnight these were tossed out in the middle 1960's and ridiculed as immature and unworthy of post-Vatican II Catholicism with its emphasis on worldly things, ecumenism and a modern, fresh look devoid of the excesses of a by-gone era that formed only so-called immature Catholics who needed these sorts of crutches.

One wonders if the Church wasn't infiltrated with non-Catholics or former Catholics who lost their Catholic faith who took great delight in the dismantling and deconstruction of the Church and her traditions with both a little "t" and big "T" in order to turn it into something else altogether different that would appeal to a broader coalition of people and make life on earth more enjoyable since for many of these non-believers life on earth is it. Who knows. I shouldn't be too judgmental about these groovy reformers who "knew not what they were doing" or did they?

13 comments:

Jody Peterman said...

They knew what they were doing. The typical liberal priest hates the Rosary, especially when they see it in someone's hands during the Mass. It takes away from their status as "star of the show." Do they not think we can do 2 things at once and do they not know that the Rosary is Biblical? Part of their criticism of the TLM is based in part of their remembrance as children and young Priest in watching the faithful praying the Rosary during Mass.

Anonymous said...

Some might suggest that the celebration of the sacraments, primarly the Eucharist, is "more Catholic" than praying the rosary.

The Church can exist without the rosary, but not without the sacraments.

pinanv525 said...

Ignotus, my money is on that you could do without both! LOL! Besides, is it a matter of having to choose? Your anger and cynicism about things traditional Catholic and the reform of the reform are beginning to make you appear less intelligent than you are...presumably.

Frajm said...

Every Catholic nation has devotions that are unique to their culture. We happen to share a great deal with other nations in the popular devotions that we have inherited from them. Devotions have a particularly Catholic ethos. With that said, in no way do devotions detract from the primary symbol of our Catholicism, who is Jesus Christ and the Holy Eucharist that He has left us as a re-presentation of his Sacrifice. That truly is the most Catholic, but we need supports for it don't we.

Henry said...

Pin, not to worry too much about poor Ignotus and his problems. Perhaps the same Psych 101 explanation (which I mentioned yesterday) applies to both antipathy for Latin and antipathy for the Rosary. Indeed, I heard of a Latin-hating priest (and big preacher of Christian charity) snatching a rosary from the hands of a little old lady in the pew, breaking it and flinging the loose beads down the aisle. Apparently, the same kind of Christian charity with which the traditional liturgy so dear to millions was snatched from them.

Templar said...

Some might suggest that the WAY the Sacraments are celebrated in most Parishes is about as un-Catholic as you can get.

TCR said...

During a time of mourning, when the spontaneous prayers of my Protestant childhood failed me, I received much grace and comfort through the Rosary. Instead of hearing the Nativity read once a year during Christmas, we have the joy of meditating upon it every week! I have been accused of possessing the zeal of the convert. Well then, so be it.

A gift received should be a gift cherished---and not hidden under a bushel.

Shadow said...

As Jody Peterman said, "They knew what they were doing." All about the smoke of Satan that Paul VI spoke about........

Anonymous said...

No Catholic can do without the Sacraments which are constitutive of the Church.

Devotions, as valuable as they may be, are not constitutive of the Church. We existed long before Benediction or the Rosary.

I am opposed to neither - just want to help keep our Catholicism properly oriented.

Henry, the traditional liturgy is celebrated in every Catholic church.

pinanv525 said...

So, Ignotus, the Sacraments are it...that is the Church, the Sacraments? Well, let's see, that leaves out some things...like preaching, like service, like evangelizing, like praying (outside the Mass),like contemplative discipline, and many more aspects of the Christian life that existed, yes, before the Church and the Sacraments. So, your's is a pretty sterile view of the Church. It is sort of like saying, "baseball is the rules," or "the symphony is the score."

Now, just what if (wonder of wonders)the devotionals and sacramentals better prepare us for participating in the Sacraments and the life of the Church? Could that possibly be so? And, if that is true, might not our Lord and Saviour bless these things for keeping our Catholicism "properly oriented"..i.e. toward Him?
God is truly wonderful...He once spoke through the mouth of an ass, and he repeats this miracle every Sunday at your parish. Of course, this isn't "constitutive" of Catholicism...

Anonymous said...

No, Pin, the sacraments are not "it" and I never said they were. Reductio ad absurdum doesn't work.

The rosary and benediction are NOT constitutive of the Church. The sacraments are. The rosary and benediction are latecomers to the Church, while the sacraments have been there ab initio.

If people find benefit in the rosary and benediction, then, by all means, celebrate them. But don't pretend that they are either 1) essential or 2) "as Catholic as it gets."

When pious devotional practices supplant those essential elements of the Faith, then, Houston, we have a problem...

And that includes Latin and Birettas.

Frajm said...

But in terms of devotions (which are sacramentals with a little "s") these are as Catholic as you can get and beyond a doubt!

pinanv525 said...

Ignotus, you want to set up an either/or. There has never been a problem with sacramentals or devotionals supplanting "esential elements" of the faith. It is a non-issue. But, you raise a straw man to support your not-too-well-disguised contempt for such "non-essentials...."