Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Neon Mysteries

In another post I wrote that Pope John Paul II had "screwed around with the Rosary".

To understand my statement, one must view from a scholarly standpoint what the Rosary actually is. There are those who rightly say that the Rosary is a part of the small "t" tradition of the Church, and therefore can be changed. That doesn't mean to say that it should be changed.

What I mean by this is that while I feel smoking my pipe and wearing my kilt and having picnics are all fine to do, I shouldn't do these things in Church because they are wildly inappropriate. The same goes for changing the Rosary.

If JPII wanted the faithful to meditate on the public ministry of Jesus Christ, there are better ways to do so rather than changing traditions. But as has been poined out by a regular reader, the Pope is well within his rights to do so.


The Pope is also the defender of the Catholic Church and its Traditions and traditions. He also has the duty to hand down the unadulterated Faith to others.

So now let's look at the Rosary's history a bit.

Way back in the day, the faithful prayed all 150 psalms. (Try getting some Catholics today to pray one decade of the Rosary...!) As we move into the Middle Ages, people had trouble learning all the psalms, and they longed for a way to do it, so at some point to help these folks, the tradition began of saying 150 Pater Nosters, and in time it eventually became 150 Ave Maria's.

This tradition of saying 150 Ave Maria's was already well under way for hundreds of years by the time Saint Dominic Gusman came along and was told by the Blessed Mother at the church at Prouille "Wonder not that you have obtained so little fruit by your labors, you have spent them on barren soil, not yet watered with the dew of Divine Grace. When GOD willed to renew the face of the earth, He began by sending down on it the fertilizing rain of the Angelic Salutation. Therefore preach my Psalter composed of 150 Angelic Salutations and 15 Our Fathers, and you will obtain an abundant harvest".

It was thereafter known as Our Lady's Psalter. "Psalter" because as I explained, the Rosary is modeled off of the Breviary, with it's 150 Ave Maria's in place of the 150 Psalms. But when John Paul the Innovator decided to add mysteries to the Rosary, by adding 50 Ave's, the whole structure of the traditional Rosary is screwed up.

Hence, JPII screwed with the Rosary. If you don't like my choice of words, remember it could have been much worse.

So we can see that now with the new mysteries suggested by JPII, we have 200 Ave's instead of the traditional 150. But this is no great surprise, for in this great time of Catholic awakening since Vatican II, priests and religious don't even say the 150 psalms anymore because the VII genuises omitted some of the psalms in the newer form of the Breviary.

So, let's get back to small "t" traditions in the post Vatican II era and changing the Rosary. History has shown that whenever the Novus Ordites want to attack capital "T" Tradition, they always go after the small "t" traditions, and during our post Vatican II springtime we have seen it time and again. They went after Latin, Chant, the Mass (!), the Eucharistic fast, Communion on the tongue, Communion kneeling, they removed Prime from the Breviary for whatever reason, they instituted altar girls and EMHC's, they allowed women in the Sanctuary, and they threw out saints because they claimed there wasn't enough proof they existed.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

When you attack traditions, you attack the Traditions handed down by the Apostles themselves, and you breakdown traditional devotion and piety. When you change traditions you change the religion. If you don't think that is the case, have a look around at the havoc that has been wrought in the Church the last forty years.

And that true believers, is why changing the Rosary is a bad idea.



Anonymous said...

.................where are you finding the nifty pictures?

- L

The Rockin' Traddy said...

I Google my subject, then I use a discerning eye to eliminate any modern depictions, and voila! Pics fit for a Traddy!

Christian said...

Ok, NO.

First off, I think you know that I am no LIturgical Dance teacher, Reiki Master, or Womin Priest Ordinand. Although... come to think of I was once pretty close to all that... but I digress.

There are several problems with your argument Traddy, but it really all boils down to a logical fallacy. "Because x,y,z changes to the tradition have produced disasstrous results, therefore ALL changes to the tradition will prpoduce similar results and are therefore, wrong."

The church does not require us to believe in private revelation, and the deposit of faith was complete with the death of the last apostle. The appearance of our Lady to St. Dominic and the subsequent promulgation of the rosary as a substitute for the LIturgy of the Hours was in the realm of private revelation.

A further change to the rosary not opposed with so much ballyhoo was also in the form of private revelation -- the Fatima prayer. Should we all say the fatima prayer, or not? Will the church slide further into apostasy if we decline to follow our Lady's instructions and NOT say the prayer? Or is the opposite true?

As Fr. Bechtel said, the Pope is the Vicar of Christ and head of the Church on Earth. Complaining about his change to the rosary as being the moral equivalent of the 'smoke of satan' is as specious as the progressives complaining about B16 re-promulgating communion in the hand.

I categorically reject the notion implied here and other places that a FAITHFUL adherence to the post VII church spirituality cannot produce good spiritual fruit. I do agree that many of the changes that loosen requirements for fasting, simplifying/eliminating of prayers etc. can and do put many people on a downward trajetory in faith.

Another problem is one of authority. You seem to have the idea that the traditions of the faith were complete and sufficient at some point in the past, and that any change will have negative effect. Who has the authority to determine when the traditions were complete. Who has the authority to change. My brother, you are suggesting that more than the vicar of Christ, YOU know what is best for the propogation of the faith. I respectfully submit that such hubris comes from pride.

AS Chesterton said, the Church is MUCH bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside. There are a mtyriad of new and ancient spiritualities and traditions sharing one deposit of faith. You are suggesting that one path WITHIN Catholicism is greater than the others. As a bi-ritual laymen (LOL) I respectfully suggest you are dead wrong.

This is NOT to say that there is a problem with the 'Traditionalist' Latin Rite Spirituality. Only that it is not the only show in town, nor the first among equals.

In Christ

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Oi vay!

When the modernists attack the Church, they attack the traditions in order to change Traditions.

Why is that so hard to understand?

I didn't say that this is was the case with the neon mysteries, but considering JPII did enough to harm the Church during reign that that isn't so far fetched either, is it?

God Bless Ya!

Christian said...

I don't have a problem with your thesis on the attack against a 't' being really aimed at the 'T'. I wholeheartedly agree that 'lex orandi, lex credendi.'

I am just rejecting your a priori position that JPII changing the Rosary was one of those attacks. Also, how does one discern when a change is an attack; whether covert or overt?

I'm also intrigued by your statements that JPII made many innovations that are bad for the faith. Try as I might, I find it difficult to come up with an example myself. Perhaps you could post on this subject as well for those of us who may have an open mind about such things.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Oh please, Christian give me a break.

I didn't read your whole statement earlier as I was in a rush, but now that I have I am insulted that a defense of the faith prompts such a response from you "...YOU know what is best for the propogation of the faith".

I have 2,000 years of Church history and tradition including the teaching of countless councils and Popes to back up what I write.

What do you have? JPII?

Last time I checked, VII and JPII do not make all the writings and teachings of the past null and void.

If it does, show me where.

I am waiting.

Christian said...

Brother, I think you are still rushing.

I re-read my original post and can see how it can be read in a way that implies a caustic approach. I apologize for any sense of hostile tone -- it wasn't my intent. I though I was matching the 'snarky' tone of the original post (that's not a dig at you BTW).

I didn't write a single thing that is out of step with the faith (except perhaps with an unintentional lessening of charity). I'm confused where you think I am some Spirit of VII enthusiast.

In the SPECIFIC example of JPII adding the Luminous mysteriies -- your a priori assumption that it was "a bad thing" needs proof.

This month's Magnificat has a meditation on the rosary:

"Through Mary, it is impossible to reduce Jesus to a mere religious icon or to an abstract God. You pray to Jesus in a personal, intimate way because you see him from the human and intimate point of view of his mother...even if the rosaries were not prayed with perfect knowledge or devotion, they still fostered a relationship and a knowledge of Christ that stands against whatever fashionable opinions are circulating in the current climate."

How do the luminous mysteries, or the fatima prayer detract from that? When JPII died, I was a fallen away Catholic. I distinctly remember watching his funeral and looking at my old rosary thinking, "If it was good enough for him, then I ought to try to pray it daily." I started with the Luminous mysteries. And you know what -- I am thankful that I did take an example from him to re-introduce prayer to my life so that I could actively live out what I have been named for.

I never said nor intimated that there is or should be a hermeneutic of discontinuity in interpreting VII or the Papacy of John Paul II. I DID say that faithfully following the church (i.e. actual council docs,promulgated prayers, encyclicals) CAN lead people to become saints. I didn't say that this was my own preferred path within Catholicism (Ruthenian Rite)

I am genuinely, honestly, intellectually intrigued as to why you believe John Paul II was not good for the church in assorted ways. I am accustomed to hearing the progressives moan and lament about how he was so conservative -- it is a novelty to hear how he may have done grievous harm to the church.

Anonymous said...

Dear Traddy,

I, too, am interested to hear how JPII has done harm to the church.

Thanks for any comments clarifying this.

Trad mom

The Rockin' Traddy said...

I'll post something, but it won't be til next week or so. I'm going away this weekend, and I haven't even set down one word of this on paper...or uh, screen...yet.

So no bad mouthing the Traddy while he's away!

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

Your argument I thought was good.

However I hardly think JPII can be compared to some hippee liberal activist nun or priest who attacks small t Tradition to undermine the capital T Tradition.

I also await your response of how JPII has done harm to the Church.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Let me go over a few things because these will not be included in my upcoming post on JP II. I thought what I wrote was pretty self-explanatory, but I see there is some confusion.

Chris said that I was "Complaining about his change to the rosary as being the moral equivalent of the 'smoke of satan'."

Chris, are you saying I made this connection? Because I didn't. Re-read my post and show me where I did this. I mentioned the Smoke of Satan in the latest USCCB post. That may be where that came from.

About modernists attacking t to really attack T you wrote "...your a priori position that JPII changing the Rosary was one of those attacks." Again, something I did not say. I did not say that was JP II's motive. I said I wouldn't be surprised if it were.

I'm going to say I am much more of a cynic than you. None of the Church scandals, including the latest USCCB debacle has surprised me. Sickened, saddened, infuriated, yes. But I have never been surprised.

So I wouldn't be surprised if that is why he made the change. But I do not suspect it is.

And as far as your question of authority goes, JPII was not teaching, to the best of my knowledge, Ex Cathedra when he added his mysteries.

I am far more obligated and far more motivated to say the Fatima Prayer when the Blessed Mother asks me to, rather than when JPII the Koran kisser asks me to pray his fabricated mysteries of the Rosary.

Chris also wrote "You are suggesting that one path WITHIN Catholicism is greater than the others..." Really? This is a Traditional Catholic Blog. What did you think this blog would espouse? A love for Traditional Catholicism? Or should I be slobbering all over the modernists that run rough shod over the Church? The same modernists Pope Saint Pius X warned us about.

Come on Chris, really?

Anonymous said...

I didn't read any of that. Sh.

But yeah, google is good for pics. You just seem to find random good ones so I wondered if there was a Catholic site with them. I guess you know more Catholic terms than I do to find them in the first place! Like, the neon thing...I don't know what that just makes me think of hot pink and electric yellow...

- L

The Rockin' Traddy said...

L -

JP II called his addition to the Rosary the "Luminous" mysteries. Or the Mysteries of Light. Or the Light Mysteries. I've seen them called different things, so I just added to the catalog and jazzed it up a bit.

I thought that "Neon Mysteries" sound pretty cool. Kind of matches most of JP II's vestments as well...

Anonymous said...

Your witty wordplay went over my head that time, then! See I guess one needs to know the word that's being played upon (like the luminous mysteries which I hadn't heard of either sh) to understand. Hence the wit.

Or something.

- L

Christian said...

All I am saying is that the Church recognizes MANY valid expressions of Catholicism. Your blog is clearly directed to celebrating ONE among the many, and pointing out the errors of the NON VALID expressions who seem intent to turn us into the Episcopal church or the Unitarians.

That's your angle, great, COOl. BUT in the course of which, you are making some denigrating comments and claims about some of the other VALID expressions of the faith, in this instance portions of the Papacy of JPII and FAITHFUL 'novus ordo' Latin rite Catholics. It's not your cup of tea, fine. But you are drawing close to the line where there is only one way to be a 'Real' Catholic, which frankly alienates your sympathetic, and Trad curious audience who might otherwise be interested in exploring some of these jewels of the faith. YOu can't turn back the clock on VII, but you can turn the tables on the culture and, as Fr. Z says, have the two Uses of the Lain rite have a gravitational effect on eachother.

I AGREE about your principle argument being attacks on 't' being aimed at 'T'.

Just because the Luminous mysteries are not ex cathedra and still in the realm of private devotion like the rest of the rosary, doesn't mean that there is something necessarily wrong with them. Not for you-- fine, no problem, -- but promulgated with the intent of watering down the faith? Having the same moral effect as 'The Relational Mysteries'? Worthy of being mocked as the 'Neon Mysteries? Prove it. YOu can't throw these comments around, not explain why and expect us to all snicker, nod our heads in agreement about all those poor hapless ignorant souls in the Novus Ordo.

When the Blessed Mother asks me to do something, I humble myself to think there is powerful reasons for such. When PETER asks me to do something, I humble myself to think that there are powerful reasons for such. After all, I don't have the cura animarum for the whole of Christendom on my shoulders.

I'm done.

Anonymous said...

Traddy--I must say, I'm so glad I came over to your site. I find many of your articles very interesting. Thanks.