Wednesday, September 13, 2006

' the manner how to recite the rosary '

From Jesus, Maria Joseph, or The Devout Pilgrim of the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary in his Holy Exercises, Affections, and Elevations. Upon the Sacred Mysteries of Jesus, Maria, Joseph. Published for the benefit of the pious Rosarists, by A.C. and T.V. Religious Monks of the holy Order of S BENNET. Amsterdam 1657

[And I am taking it as excerpted in A Book of Hours and Other Catholic Devotions, Canterbury Press, 1999.]

[And here, by the way, is a PDF File containing a diagram of the Rosary and enumerating the prayers associated with the beeds, etc.]

In the first place you are to settle yourself reverently in the divin presence, and (seriously recollecting your senses) to cast of all evagations of mind and extraversions, (which is the generall preparation to all Prayer.)

2ly To the end your understanding and will (both which concur in all well-order'd Prayer and Meditation) may be profitably employed; you may please to remember these two rules...

The First Rule (which concerns the actions of your undertanding) is, To Present before the Eyes of your Soul that mysterie, wheron you are to meditate, as even then acted in your presence.

As for Example, The mysterie whereupon you intend to make your meditation, is, The Nativity of our Saviour: Imagin your self standing in a privat corner of the poor Bethleem Stable, beholding, hearing, and admiring all that there passed in that sacred night: run over in your mind the condition of the place, and the circumstances of the Persons, and think what were their thoughts, affections, words, actions: above all consider who it was, that appeared to the World in this mean equipage: to wit, the Son of God, the King of Glory, the Monark of the whol Universe: then ponder his love to mankind in generall, and to your self in particular &c. [Bold emphasis, mine - Fr. WB+.]

The second Rule (which concerns the action of your will) is, That you pass speedily from speculative discourses to devout affections, and self-reflections, as for example, had you been in the Bethleem stable aforesaid, how diligently would you have employ'd your self in the service of little Jesus, and his loving Mother? How willingly would you have pick'd up sticks, made a fire, ayr'd his swaths, and fetch'd or carry'd whatsoever might have been usefull for their solace and succour, &c.

Such like reflections will rayse enflamed desires, and firm resolutions in your soul of better loving and serving both the Son and Mother for the future, and of suffering for his sake, who suffered so much for yours, &c.

And in some such manner you may conclude each mysterie by some particular resolution (drawn from the subject of the meditation) either of correcting such an imperfection, or of exercising such a vertu: and assure your self, that if you presently apply your self to the practice of such well made resolutions (humbly imploring the divin assistance therein by the blessed Virgins Intercession:) you shall find it a most speedy and efficacious means to the amendment of your life, the extirpation of vice, the implanting of vertu; and finally much conducing to your generall advancement in all sorts of spirituall Perfections.

3. You may also represent to yourself the sacred Virgin.

Sometimes as sitting or kneeling in her silent and solitary retreat, and attentively listening to the Angell Gabriels Salutation and Embassy.

Other times, as infolding gently her Sweet Infant Jesus in her sacred arms, imbracing him tenderly in her bosom, suckling him lovingly at her breasts, watchign him carefully with her eyes, cherishing him affectionatly with her kisses, contemplating him devoutly with her heart.

Other times as painfully wayting on him from place to place in the time of his Passion, sorrowfully standing by him at the foot of his Cross, cheerfully rejoycing with him at his Resurrection.

Other times, as gloriously reigning in Heaven, mercifully vouchsafing to hearken to our prayers, and piously presenting them to her Son.

Or otherwise according to the serverall mysteries, and sutably to each ones gust and devotion.

4. You are also here to be exhorted to propose to your self the cause (whether common or particular) which moves you now to the recitall of Rosary: as for example, I intend now to prayse my Lord God for the benefit of my Creation, Redemption, Vocation, &c. or, In the honour of my Saviours sacred Nativity, bitter Passion, glorious Resurrection, admirable Ascention, &c. Or I intend to render thanks to my Creator for such a particular favour as for my own, or my friends [good, or] any other privat or publick benefit. Or, I intend to implore the divin assistance for the overcoming of sucha Temptation, extirpating such a vice obtaining such a vertu. Or, For a good success in usch an affair; Or, that I may make a happy progress in my Studies, &c.

Consider therefore briefly at the beginning of your prayers, what it is that you chiefly intend: and if it be any temporall or worldly benefit which you desire to obtain, be sure you demand it not absolutely, but only conditionally, as thus: If it please the divin Majesty, and that it is for my good and his glory: I humbly beg a happy end of such a Law-sute: success in such a journey, prosperity in such an undertaking, &c.

5. Then taking your Bedes in hand, or having this your Book open before you: begin your Rosary with the sign of the Cross: saying,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Amen.


Garland said...

It is the same manner in which I would recommend it to be recited. Thanks WB+.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this!!!

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the Anglican Rosary?

How would one compare the two?

The young fogey said...

Thanks for posting this, Father.

Any thoughts on the Anglican Rosary?

Nothing wrong with it. There are many chaplets in the church besides the famous Dominican-based Marian rosary. But why re-invent the wheel? Seems to have a whiff of anti-Romanism: 'we'll use beads all right but not those Catholic ones'. The Central Churchmen I know and love don't use the rosary but wouldn't tell anybody not to.

I really don't see why other than prejudice a Christian would object to the Hail Mary. Half of it is scripture; the other makes it clear you are asking her prayers and not giving her the worship due to her Son.

I discovered the rosary as a teenager and have always felt at home with it.

father wb said...

My thoughts on the Anglican Rosary are basically those of YF's, above. Its just sort of silly: the outgrowth of some Episcopalians thinking "Rosaries are cool! We should have a Rosary!" Not realizing that, of course, they already had a rosary: THE Rosary. But not understanding this, they go and cook up some arbitrary symbolism (about "weeks" and the number 33 and what not) and string some beeds together, and pretty soon they've got themselves and "Anglican Rosary."

The REAL Anglican Rosary is THE Rosary. And its not something some bored ECUSAns invented over night, but rather has taken shape through centuries of organic development, and as a result of the devotion of millions of faithful Christians.

Why go to all the trouble to cook up the "Anglican Rosary"? Why not just pray the real one?

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