Today is the feast day of the man who will morph into Santa. The real saint is far more interesting.
I have an on and off relationship with the Rosary. There was a time in my life that I’ve prayed it daily for many years, and it did bring a lot of spiritual good into my life. I also know that a lot of the time I prayed it just so that I don’t break my daily ritual. Often rushed and not really getting anything out of it. Now this is not the fault of the Rosary, it is all on me.
When I was younger the Rosary was a constant in my house. I remember my grandma praying it, I remember my mom praying it. What I remember most clearly though is that we always prayed it when ever someone died. You would go to the deceased house and pray the Rosary. The connection between death and sadness and Rosary was strong in my mind for a long time. When I became an adult and picked it up voluntarily I discovered that Rosary can be a wonderful prayer. It is the gospel open up for meditation. It can also quickly devolve into a rushed repetitious prayer that does nothing to the soul. This was the case with me a lot of the time.
I have a very hard time concentrating on the meditations when I pray it. My mind always wonders to other things. Instead of contemplating Christ’s life I start to think about tons of other things. I find that I can focus much better at more liturgical prayers that don’t require repetition. I love the Liturgy of the Hours or just reading the Bible. I tried to pick up the Rosary again from time to time, and I can do it, but not daily.
Celebrating couple of guys who thought that they have discovered the true gospel.
Who thought that they and only they have the correct understanding of God. Forget about the whole history of Christianity before them. Forget about that their silly new doctrines make no sense prior to the printing press. (I wonder how much it would cost to produce a bible for each person prior to printing press). It doesn’t matter that no one has ever taught what they invented prior to them. Obviously they are right. Christ started a church and then quickly forgot about it for 1500 years.
Of course the moment they separated from Christ’s only Church, they started to fight with each other. Now 500 years later vast majority of them don’t even agree with their founders. Each generation must invent new doctrines and new ideas. Chopping more and more of the truth away. God forgive them.
What should we as Catholics do on Reformation Day? We should pray for the souls of Luther, Calvin, Hanry VIII, Wycliffe, Zwingli and all those who are responsible on both sides for this horrible break. Followers of reformers do not pray for their founders. We should, they may need it.
Since Mark Driscoll does not have comments turned on on his website I’m going to comment on one of his articles here. In What Happens To Babies When They Die? article Mark posts this:
The Catholic church perpetuated this tight connection between baptism and salvation. To me, as someone baptized as a baby in the Catholic Church, this is superstitious. Parents wanting some assurance of salvation are prone to look to a sign such as baptism. But baptism does not save; only Jesus can accomplish that. We can sympathize with the anxiety a parent feels in losing a child and the concern they have for their child’s fate, but baptism is neither a savior nor any foundation upon which to build a house of hope to live in after the funeral.
Now I don’t have to be a theologian to cringe at this. First of all, wasn’t it Jesus that said to Baptize? (Matthew 28:19). The connection between baptism and salvation is Catholic indeed for the reason that Catholics listen to Christ. We do what he says. Is that superstition? Does Mark Driscoll think following Christ’s direct command is superstition? I hope not! Maybe I’m misunderstanding him. In other parts of the New Testament we have our first Pope saying:
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you– not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience– through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:19-21)
That’s a pretty clear connection between baptism and salvation. Mark Driscoll says baptism does not save. The inspired word of God says otherwise. Surely he knows this.
I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. - St Ignatius of Antioch
This year Cardinal Thomas Collins is doing a series of Lectio Divina meetings on the Gospel of Mark. This is the second entry in the series.
For the rest and to keep up with the schedule go to the Lectio Divina website.