29 August 2015

Off with his head?

As History and S John Paul II both teach, the Rosary has been/is a flexible devotion. I sometimes recall my great Patron by saying these decades: The Annunciation to Zachary; the Visitation; the Nativity of S John Baptist; the Baptism of Christ; and the Decollation of S John Baptist.

In this delightfully hypersynodical age, what a very topical festival today's commemoration is. How sad it never occurred to S John Baptist to make clear to Herod and Herodias that all would be tickety boo about their interesting and fulfilling 'union' if only they performed an episcopally-authorised 'Penitential Path'.

Anyway, the Good News is that nobody has decapitated Cardinal Marx.


Steve Perisho said...

Fr. Hunwicke: Would you agree that the post-Vatican II Missal and Breviary are an improvement in at least this one regard?


Stephen said...

When was the last time the hoi polloi stoned a bishop, or separated his head from shoulders, or some such, for stubborn attachment to a heresy?

That's one way to keep clericalism at bay.

Unknown said...

Smile, with genuine joy - not a plastered on variety:

'As History and S John Paul II both teach, the Rosary has been/is a flexible devotion.'

Not all Rosaries are that of the Blessed Virgin Mary. That rests on her union with her divine Son, the Lord our God, as thus a reflection on the communion which is devoutly to be wished [and prayed for] between Him and us. And this can be viewed individually, or corporately (by way of type), with various additional petitions to underscore the point.

'I sometimes recall my great Patron by saying these decades: The Annunciation to Zachary; the Visitation; the Nativity of S John Baptist; the Baptism of Christ; and the Decollation of S John Baptist.'

A beautiful set of meditation-worthy mysteries of the Faith .. not of the BVM's life with the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (and ours in imitation of hers in her Son). I suspect, if you had the time, you could mark out a whole Rose Garden for these mysteries and more. Not that you'd ask me, so I'll suggest a Triune Circle of Mysteries each of five parts:

The Holy Rosary of the Prophetic Call by the Spirit of God ..

1) The Call of Israel = [i] the Garden Family (Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Seth), [ii] the Patriarchs (Enoch, Noah, Moses, Judah, David), [iii] the Prophets (as you please), [v] the Maccabean Martyrs (mother and sons, among others);

2) The Call of Baptist = your list, [i] the Annunciation to Zachary, [ii] the Visitation, [iii] the Nativity of S John Baptist, [iv] the Baptism of Christ, [v] the Decollation of S John Baptist; the inclusion of the Visitation being a contingent but important link to us (and them) in Christ through Mary's womb etc;

3) The Call of the Apostles = [i] the Twelve (minus one), [ii] the Replacement of Judas (as you'd expect) [iii] the Co-adjutors (James, Barnabas, Paul, et al), [iv] the Successors (Timothy, Titus, Silas, Cletus, Clement etc), and [v] the Magisterium (Priests, Bishops Popes, Fathers as you will, with us to the end time).

But I do trust you allow the Holy Rosary of the BVM to be the Holy Rosary of the BVM, not a vehicle for tagging on similar notions - yet perhaps disruptive and irrelevant to her life (in union with the Life, Death and Resurrection of her Son). The Concluding Prayer of the Holy Rosary of the BVM (sadly, not always recalled) is sufficient to tell us to link all in her with the Lord's Life, Death and Resurrection (not His mission, nor His Church's, nor that of His precursors). And, to be a right nasty party popper, if this was good enough for Heaven at Lourdes and Fatima, well, it is quite good enough for us (however otherwise flexible it is as a meditative vehicle on the BVM as a Daughter, a Bride, a Mother, a chosen soul).



Donna Bethell said...

The new Missal and Breviary repeatedly praise John the Baptist's witness to the truth, but they don't say what truth. Would it have taken too much ink and paper to say "the truth about the sacred bond of marriage"? We are plagued today by pious encouragement to vacuous virtues of "openness" and "mercifulness" and "tolerance." No, let's be clear, precise, and concrete and stop this abuse of language by coded winking. If your priest or bishop does it, off with his head!

Steve Perisho said...

Agreed, Rose Marie.

But if I'm not mistaken, the previous Missal and Breviary were at points even less "clear, precise, and concrete". Though I see now that I had overlooked some of the responsories and later readings (e.g. at Matins) in the older Breviary (also, lacking a copy in print, I had been relying on http://divinumofficium.com/), compare the two collects in the two Missals:

New missal: "O God, who willed that Saint John the Baptist should go ahead of your Son both in his birth and in his death, grant that, as he died a Martyr for truth and justice, we, too, may fight hard for the confession that you teach."

1962 missal: "May the holy festival of Thy Forerunner and Martyr, St John the Baptist, we beseech Thee, O Lord, afford us help unto salvation."

For what very little it may be worth.

Ben Trovato said...

Some while ago, I looked at the Gospel pericopes chosen for reading in the 3 year Sunday cycle - and particularly what was omitted. St John the Baptist was an astonishing victim of omission... http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/dont-mention-st-john-baptist.html

Conclude what you will...