Thursday, 7 October 2010

Our Lady of the Rosary

Madonna of the Rosary - Lorenzo Lotto
"Perhaps the place which the Blessed Virgin occupies in the rosary may be a difficulty to some. We can, of course, use the method of prayer in any way we like, and reap great benefit from it. We can substitute other prayers for the Hail Marys, and find other subjects for the meditations. Most of those, however , who use the devotion have gradually come to use it in its familiar form. Yet the rosary is not necessarily a "Marian" devotion. As members of the Church, we consider and pray about the great truths of our faith, not as outsiders but as those who are closely united to our Lord by faith and baptism. We want to live through the events of his life and death with him. That is precisely what Mary did, so she is the type and representative of us all in our relationship with Jesus. When, in the last two mysteries we consider her place in heaven, we think of her as one who has been brought to glory by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. When we pray at any time, we do so as members of Christ, in union with him and the whole Church on earth and in heaven. It is with the prayers of his mother, so closely united with him, and associated with the events of his earthly life, that we especially join ourselves. We western Christians are so preoccupied with the Church as a visible society, that we forget that most of our members, and the most distinguished, are not in this part of the Church at all."
        Charles Smith from  'Praying the Rosary' (CLA 1969)

And this from another former Anglican, G.K.Chesterton, from his poem 'Lepanto' (the naval victory of the 'Holy League' over the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire which today's feast, instituted by Pope St Pius V, originally - as Our Lady of Victory - commemorated)

"St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
 (Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,--
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships."

Christina Odone has this report here on worrying attempts on the part of some members of the European Socialist grouping  at Strasbourg to restrict the rights of conscience of medical practitioners within the E.U. More here and a petition to sign.

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