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The Rosary and Orthodoxy
WesternOrthodox.com ^

Posted on 09/15/2003 9:33:35 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker

The Rosary and Orthodoxy

From The Walsingham Way (Vol. II, No. I, Fall 1999), a newsletter of Western Orthodox spirituality published by the Orthodox Christian Society of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Some people have asked why the Orthodox don’t pray the Rosary as Roman Catholics and some other non-Orthodox do. Others object to Orthodox praying the Rosary since, in their view, this is not an Orthodox devotion, but peculiar to Roman Catholicism.

In hope of shedding some light on the subject, we publish the following letter of Father Alexander Gumanovsky, a spiritual son of Father Zosima, who was himself a spiritual son of St. Seraphim of Sarov. Fr. Alexander begins his letter with a quote from Fr. Zosima:

... I forgot to give you a piece of advice vital for salvation. Say the O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin one hundred and fifty times, and this prayer will lead you on the way to salvation. This rule was given by the Mother of God herself in about the eighth century, and at one time all Christians fulfilled it. We Orthodox have forgotten about it, and St. Seraphim has reminded me of this Rule. In my hands I have a hand-written book from the cell of St. Seraphim, containing a description of the many miracles which took place through praying to the Mother of God and especially through saying one hundred and fifty times the O Hail, Mother of God and Virgin. If, being unaccustomed to it, it is difficult to master one hundred and fifty repetitions daily, say it fifty times at first. After every ten repetitions say the Our Father once and Open unto us the doors of thy loving-kindness1. Whomever he spoke to about this miracle-working Rule remained grateful to him…

The elder Zosima greatly valued and loved Bishop Seraphim Zvezdinsky and always spoke of him as that saintly Bishop. Bishop Seraphim Zvezdinsky performed the Rule of the Mother of God every day, and; when he performed it he prayed for the whole world, embracing in is this Rule whole life of the Queen of Heaven.

He gave one of his spiritual children the task of copying a plan which he included his prayer to the Ever Virgin Mary. Here it is:

First decade: Let us remember the birth of the Mother of God. Let us pray for mothers, fathers, and children.

Second decade: Let us the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin and Mother of God. Let us pray for those who have lost their way and fallen away from the church.

Third decade: Let us remember the Annunciation of the Blessed Mother of God—let us pray for the soothing of sorrows and the consolation of those who grieve.

Fourth decade: Let us remember the meeting of the Blessed Virgin with the righteous Elizabeth. Let us pray for the reunion of the separated, for those whose dear ones or children are living away from them or missing.

Fifth decade: Let us remember the Birth of Christ. Let us pray for the rebirth of souls, for new life in Christ.

Sixth decade: Let us remember the Feast of the Purification of the Lord, and the words uttered by St. Simeon: Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also (Luke 2:35). Let us pray that the Mother of God will meet our souls at the hour of our death, and will contrive that we receive the Holy Sacrament with our last breath, and will lead our souls through the terrible torments.

Seventh decade: Let us remember the flight of the Mother of God with the God-Child into Egypt. Let us pray that the Mother of God will help us avoid temptation in this life and deliver us from misfortunes.

Eighth decade: Let us remember the disappearance of the twelve-year old boy Jesus in Jerusalem and the sorrow of the Mother of God on this account. Let us pray, begging the Mother of God for the constant repetition of the Jesus Prayer.

Ninth decade: Let us remember-the miracle performed in Cana of Galilee, when the Lord turned water into wine at the words of the Mother of God: They have no wine (John 2:3). Let us ask the Mother of God for help in our affairs and deliverance from need.

Tenth decade: Let us remember the Mother of God standing at the Cross of the Lord, when grief pierced through her heart like a sword. Let us pray to the Mother of God for the strengthening of our Souls and the banishment of despondency.

Eleventh decade: Let us remember the Resurrection of Christ and ask the Mother of God in prayer to resurrect our souls and give us a new courage for spiritual feats.

Twelfth decade: Let us remember the Ascension of Christ, at which the Mother of God was present. Let us pray and ask the Queen of Heaven to raise up our souls from earthly and worldly amusements and direct them to striving for higher things.

Thirteenth decade: Let us remember the Upper Room and the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the Mother of God. Let us pray: Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me (Psalm 51).

Fourteenth decade: Let us remember the Assumption of the Blessed Mother of God, and ask for a peaceful and serene end.

Fifteenth decade: Let us remember the glory of the Mother of God, with which the Lord crowned her after her removal from earth to heaven. Let us pray to the Queen of Heaven not to abandon the faithful who are on earth but to defend them from every evil, covering them with her honoring and protecting veil.

After every decade Bishop Seraphim prayed his own prayers, which he revealed to no one, so that only the Lord and the Queen of Heaven knew these prayers.

Thus, we can see that the Rosary is a completely Orthodox form of devotion to our Lady.

Those who follow the Western tradition should follow one of the standard forms, i.e. the opening consisting of the Sign of the Cross followed by the Lord’s Prayer; or O Lord, open Thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise and the Glory be… followed by the Lord’s Prayer and the Angelic Salutation (three times). After this, either five or fifteen decades (each preceded by the appropriate mystery) are recited; and after the decades, the conclusion consisting of the Regina Coeli and the appropriate collect.

Those who follow the Eastern tradition could very easily follow the form cited above, ending with the hymn, It is truly meet to call thee blessed.

What is essential is to daily seek the intercessions of the Mother of God, so that in drawing closer to her, we may be drawn closer to her Son, our Savior, Jesus, with whom she now reigns eternally in Heaven.

1. The Full text of the prayer is: Open unto us the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, in that we set our hope on thee, may we not go astray; but through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, for thou art the salvation of all Christian people.


TOPICS: Catholic; Orthodox Christian; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mary; orthodox; prayer; rosary; stseraphim
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This is a fascinating insight into the spirituality of St. Seraphim of Sarov, and also the History of the Most Holy Rosary.

We fly to thy Patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, O ever Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

1 posted on 09/15/2003 9:33:35 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: MarMema; The_Reader_David; Desdemona; Destro; FormerLib; NYer; Salvation; ThomasMore; Tantumergo; ..
Ping!
2 posted on 09/15/2003 9:35:44 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
We fly to thy Patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, O ever Glorious and Blessed Virgin.

Ping! That is the oldest known prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary (other than the angel Gabriel's)

3 posted on 09/15/2003 9:42:51 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Thank you. This is very interesting indeed - the Rosary of Our Lady should be a powerful instrument of reunion.
4 posted on 09/15/2003 9:44:05 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Very interesting and lovely. Thank you.

Maybe by learning each other's traditions, things we didn't know we had more in common than not, a few hatchets can be burried.
5 posted on 09/15/2003 9:55:32 AM PDT by Desdemona
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To: Polycarp; ultima ratio; Land of the Irish; narses; Canticle_of_Deborah; TradicalRC; ...
Ping!
6 posted on 09/15/2003 10:13:26 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker; NYer; Polycarp; Catholicguy; TotusTuus; Tantumergo
***Open unto us the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, in that we set our hope on thee, may we not go astray; but through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, for thou art the salvation of all Christian people.***

Help me see how this isn't blasphemous.

It describes Mary:
[1] ...as the focus of our hope. (compare: Hebrews 11:2 -- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith)

[2] ...as our deliver and savior. (compare: Mathew 1:21 -- and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.)

7 posted on 09/15/2003 10:15:42 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
One clue might be the the employment of the word "through" here.
8 posted on 09/15/2003 10:20:46 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: wideawake; drstevej
While it is wrong to consider Mary as a co-Christ it is just as wrong to think Mary was just a birth vessel to be ignored.
9 posted on 09/15/2003 10:30:36 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorisim by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Would you disagree that Mary participated in Christ's redemptive acts? (in other words, Mary as Co-Redemptrix)
10 posted on 09/15/2003 10:50:53 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: drstevej
It describes Mary:
[1] ...as the focus of our hope. (compare: Hebrews 11:2 -- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith)

Blessed Mary is the "Hope of Christians", because in the ways God has glorified her, we also hope to receive His blessings. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reads in no. 966:

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: "In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death." (Note 509 - Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th)

[2] ...as our deliver and savior. (compare: Mathew 1:21 -- and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.)

First, because she gave birth to the Divine Son. Second, because she continues to intercede for us in heaven and distributes all of the graces of God. Third, because she is the "Gate of Heaven", just as God became man through Mary, so man becomes god through Mary, to expand on St. Athanasius' famous dictum.

The title is by way of appropriation, and is meant to reflect glory on the Son, by whom Mary has been given such power and exalted so greatly. You cannot rightly praise Mary without praising the Son she bore. If Jesus is the "Sun", with rays of Truth, Love, Mercy, and Justice pulsating outwards, Mary is the "Moon", and reflects all of these uncreated energies of the Most Holy Trinity within herself and to us as habitual sanctifying grace. It is from her prayers to her Son that we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in our souls.

Mary is our salvation not because she redeemed us from sin, which Christ did alone, but because she brought us and still brings us grace and truth.

BTW, many of Our Lady's titles may be found here.

11 posted on 09/15/2003 10:55:42 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
And the Luminous Mysteries? Or Mysteries of Light, as some call them?
12 posted on 09/15/2003 11:19:01 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Thank you for that link!

And our Archdiocese has commissioned an icon, Mary, Star of Evangelization!!
13 posted on 09/15/2003 11:21:18 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
As much as I am open to the idea of these mysteries (I meditate on them with my rosary group on Saturdays, during which we meditate on all 4 sets of mysteries - I follow the old pattern usually), with its inclusion of the Wedding at Cana (one of my favorite passages in the Bible), I am wary of the fact that its addition departs from the 150 number, which derives from the 150 Psalms.
14 posted on 09/15/2003 11:22:47 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Thanks for the wonderful post. Very interesting.

Bookmark bump.
15 posted on 09/15/2003 11:39:38 AM PDT by ThomasMore (Pax et bonum!)
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To: Pyro7480
** I am wary of the fact that its addition departs from the 150 number, which derives from the 150 Psalms.**

Of this, I was not aware!
16 posted on 09/15/2003 11:41:24 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: drstevej
1) The term "focus of our hope" refers to Mary being in the Kingdom of God in her resurrected body as we all hope to be when the time comes. It does not mean that she is the source of that hope.

2) Mary's role in Christ's coming was an important one. While the Orthodox avoid terms such as "Co-Redemptrix" because that could be (possibly mis-) interpreted as meaning that Christ couldn't have done it with her, we do recognize that she was the singlemost important member of all of His chosen.

Neither of these positions is blasphemous, IMHO.

17 posted on 09/15/2003 11:41:44 AM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: Salvation
In the article above, the mysteries already differ slightly from the Catholic model. They already include the Wedding at Cana!
18 posted on 09/15/2003 11:42:13 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Salvation

Mary, Star of Evangelization

Looking on the icon of Mary, Star of Evangelization, we see three dominate images Mary, the Star of Bethlehem and the almond shaped background. As one contemplates the icon consider the image from three hills or three levels:

The image is rooted in scripture. In the Gospel of St. Luke, Mary, pregnant with Our Lord “rises and goes to the hill country” (Luke 1:39) to visit her kinswoman Elizabeth. This is the first evangelization journey. Mary brings the Word of God, flesh incarnate, to her cousin. Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist, the one who goes before him. The Stance – Mary stands with her hands in the position of prayer.

The Veil - Traditionally icons clothe Mary in a mulberry, dark red outer garment. That color is not used here, nor is she wearing dark blue. Instead Mary’s garment is a turquoise green. God chose this garment color when He made her appear on the cloak of Guadalupe. In iconography turquoise green is the color of the Holy Spirit, so Mary is veiled in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the principle agent of evangelization.

The Robe - The garment underneath is sort of rose in color, not necessarily red. Icon writers to identify God the Father use the rose color. So Mary also puts on the color of God the Father.

“Mandola” or Almond Shape

This symbolizes the rending of two realities - the spiritual and the corporal- and opens up the heavenly realm. It literally is pulling apart. The background is dark because it represents the uncreated light and the spiritual light that is in the invisible world. The spiritual light is so bright that it is not really perceivable to our eyes – to us it would be darkness. Through Mary’s intercession the uncreated light is becoming visible to our eyes. The blues get lighter.

The Greek letters to the left and right of Mary’s halo proclaim the title used in all traditional Marian icons - Mary, God bearing or Mother of God (Theotocus).

19 posted on 09/15/2003 11:42:37 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: FormerLib
See my post #10. And what do you think of the actual article?
20 posted on 09/15/2003 11:43:46 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Salvation
Wow! That is so beautiful! I can see that the icon is based in part on the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I would hope that they produce smaller copies of this icon. I would buy one in a heart beat. I actually got an icon of Mary called Holy Protection. This is what it looks like:


21 posted on 09/15/2003 11:47:36 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
A little different than what we teach, actually.

The Orthodox Rosary

The Jesus Prayer

if anyone prays this rosary to Me, heaven will open to him and My Mercy shall save him (message to Vassula, January 18, 1990 )

the following is from the 'Orthodox Church'
by Bishop Kallistos Ware

There is one type of private prayer, widely used in the west since the time of the Counter-Reformation, which has never been a feature of Orthodox spirituality — the formal ‘Meditation,’ made according to a ‘Method’ — the Ignatian, the Sulpician, the Salesian, or some other. Orthodox are encouraged to read the Bible or the Fathers slowly and thoughtfully; but such an exercise, while regarded as altogether excellent, is not considered to constitute prayer, nor has it been systematized and reduced to a ‘Method.’ Each is urged to read in the way that he finds most helpful.

But while Orthodox do not practise discursive Meditation, there is another type of personal prayer which has for many centuries played an extraordinarily important part in the life of Orthodoxy — the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." Since it is sometimes said that Orthodox do not pay sufficient attention to the person of the Incarnate Christ, it is worth pointing out that this — surely the most classic of all Orthodox prayers — is essentially a Christo-centric prayer, a prayer addressed to and concentrated upon the Lord Jesus. Those brought up in the tradition of the Jesus Prayer are never allowed for one moment to forget the Incarnate Christ.

As a help in reciting this prayer many Orthodox use a rosary, differing somewhat in structure from the western rosary; an Orthodox rosary is often made of wool, so that unlike a string of beads it makes no noise.

The Jesus Prayer is a prayer of marvelous versatility. It is a prayer for beginners, but equally a prayer that leads to the deepest mysteries of the contemplative life. It can be used by anyone, at any time, in any place: standing in queues, walking, traveling on buses or trains; when at work; when unable to sleep at night; at times of special anxiety when it is impossible to concentrate upon other kinds of prayer. But while of course every Christian can use the Prayer at odd moments in this way, it is a different matter to recite it more or less continually and to use the physical exercises which have become associated with it. Orthodox spiritual writers insist that those who use the Jesus Prayer systematically should, if possible, place themselves under the guidance of an experienced director and do nothing on their own initiative.

For some there comes a time when the Jesus Prayer ‘enters into the heart,’ so that it is no longer recited by a deliberate effort, but recites itself spontaneously, continuing even when a man talks or writes, present in his dreams, waking him up in the morning. In the words of Saint Isaac the Syrian: ‘When the Spirit takes its dwelling-place in a man he does not cease to pray, because the Spirit will constantly pray in him. Then, neither when he sleeps, nor when he is awake, will prayer be cut off from his soul; but when he eats and when he drinks, when he lies down or when he does any work, even when he is immersed in sleep, the perfumes of prayer will breathe in his heart spontaneously’ (Mystic Treatises, edited by Wensinck, p. 174).

Orthodox believe that the power of God is present in the Name of Jesus, so that the invocation of this Divine Name acts ‘as an effective sign of God’s action, as a sort of sacrament’ (Un Moine de l’Église d’Orient, La Priére de Jésus, Chevetogne, 1952, p. 87). ‘The Name of Jesus, present in the human heart, communicates to it the power of deification ... Shining through the heart, the light of the Name of Jesus illuminates all the universe’ (S. Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church, pp. 170-171).

Alike to those who recite it continually and to those who only employ it occasionally, the Jesus Prayer proves a great source of reassurance and joy. To quote the Pilgrim: ‘And that is how I go about now, and ceaselessly repeat the Prayer of Jesus, which is more precious and sweet to me than anything in the world. At times I do as much as 43 or 44 miles a day, and do not feel that I am walking at all. I am aware only of the fact that I am saying my Prayer. When the bitter cold pierces me, I begin to say my Prayer more earnestly, and I quickly become warm all over. When hunger begins to overcome me, I call more often on the Name of Jesus, and I forget my wish for food. When I fall ill and get rheumatism in my back and legs, I fix my thoughts on the Prayer, and do not notice the pain. If anyone harms me I have only to think, ‘How sweet is the Prayer of Jesus!’ and the injury and the anger alike pass away and I forget it all ... I thank God that I now understand the meaning of those words I heard in the Epistle — "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:17)’ (The Way of a Pilgrim, p. 17-18).

22 posted on 09/15/2003 11:48:59 AM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: Pyro7480
Yes, I see the similarities.
23 posted on 09/15/2003 11:50:15 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: FormerLib
Thanks for posting this. I've heard of this tradition before, and I have actually prayed it before.

As a help in reciting this prayer many Orthodox use a rosary, differing somewhat in structure from the western rosary; an Orthodox rosary is often made of wool, so that unlike a string of beads it makes no noise.

I've seen them made out of wood too.

24 posted on 09/15/2003 11:52:37 AM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Pyro7480
And what do you think of the actual article?

Put bluntly, it would require a fair amount of research on my part before I could either question or affirm what it has to say. There is an unfortunate pattern of behavior in people that they are willing to "gloss over" certain details if it means arriving at a greater good (very often, the end result is not so "good" after all). That this could represent something of that nature makes me pause.

25 posted on 09/15/2003 11:54:34 AM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
It describes Mary:
[1] ...as the focus of our hope. (compare: Hebrews 11:2 -- Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith)

Blessed Mary is the "Hope of Christians", because in the ways God has glorified her, we also hope to receive His blessings. The Catechism of the Catholic Church reads in no. 966:

DRSJ:  Jesus is the "blessed hope" of Christians according to Paul. Titus 2:13 -- 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians: "In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death." (Note 509 - Byzantine Liturgy, Troparion, Feast of the Dormition, August 15th)

DRSJ:  Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection according to Paul. 1 Cor 15:20 -- 20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

[2] ...as our deliver and savior. (compare: Mathew 1:21 -- and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.)

.....

Mary is our salvation not because she redeemed us from sin, which Christ did alone, but because she brought us and still brings us grace and truth.

DRSJ:  Grace and truth come through Jesus according to John. John 1:18 -- 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.


DRSJ:  Notice how many of the things ascribed to Mary by the Catholic Church are ascribed to Jesus in the Bible.

26 posted on 09/15/2003 11:57:03 AM PDT by drstevej
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To: FormerLib
could be (possibly mis-) interpreted as meaning that Christ couldn't have done it with her

Something to ponder. Could Christ have done it without her? In a certain sense no. He needed Mary to be truly made man. A theophany would not have sufficed for true God to be made true man.

27 posted on 09/15/2003 11:57:56 AM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
Could Christ have done it without her? In a certain sense no.

And in another larger sense, yes.

Unless, of course, you believe that this was simply beyond what He is capable of.

The Virgin Birth was foretold and was a sign and wonder that heralded His arrival.

But if it was not to be, the prophets would have foretold a different prophecy and we would have still beheld a sign and wonder that heralded His arrival.

Still, not recognizing Mary as Christ's first and greatest Saint is not a wise path.

28 posted on 09/15/2003 12:02:50 PM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: FormerLib
Catholics also have lots of other prayers like the Jesus Prayer said on beads. These are all Rosarys of a sort.

I was rather surprised to discover this Orthodox form of THE Rosary, as everyone understands the term (10 Hail Mary's with a meditation on a mystery), along with the claim that the Orthodox first received it. The 150 Aves are unknown in the West until the 11th or 12th century by most histories (Lady Godiva had one of the first Rosaries made).
29 posted on 09/15/2003 12:03:26 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: drstevej
See post #17.
30 posted on 09/15/2003 12:05:43 PM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
The Orthodox version is slightly different and I've never heard it called the "Hail Mary" by an Orthodox.

"O Hail Mother of God and Virgin, Mary full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou has given birth to the Savior of our souls."

31 posted on 09/15/2003 12:12:14 PM PDT by FormerLib (There's no hope on the left!)
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To: FormerLib
I will gladly accord Mary every honor the Bible bestows upon this blessed, honored woman.

When she is accorded by any church such names and attributes and accomplishments that are not in the Bible or contradict the Bible, I am saddened for her sake.

I do not mean this to be contentious, rather it is a candid reflection of my convictions.
32 posted on 09/15/2003 12:13:19 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
About two years ago, the Akathist Hymn became the source of much debate on the religion forum, especially for the following:
Illuminating Egypt with the Light of Truth, you cast away the darkness of error. For the idols, unable to stand your might, fell down, and those who had been delivered from them cried out to the Mother of God:
Hail, O Resurrection of mankind!
Hail, O Downfall of the Demons!
Hail, O you who crushed the error of deceit!
Hail, O you who exposed the fraud of idols!
Hail, O Sea who drowned the symbolic Pharaon!
Hail, O Rock who quenched those who thirst for Life!
Hail, O Pillar of Fire who guided those in darkness!
Hail, O Shelter of the World, wider than the clouds!
Hail, O Food who took the place of Manna!
Hail, O Handmaid of holy delight!
Hail, O Land of the promised good!
Hail, O you who flow with milk and honey!
Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!
At that time, I sent off an e-mail to one of the priests asking him to explain why addressing Mary as Manna and the Pillar of Fire should not be considered blasphemous. (In retrospect, I wish I had also asked him about addressing Mary as the Rock (Petra : )) I received the following reply that I think is instructive toward addressing your concerns:
Sorry to keep you waiting...and yes, happy and graced Eastertide to you, too. You are referring to the Sixth Chant of the Akathist Hymn as presented on our website under Prayers/Litanies, and referring to the flight into Egypt.

The metaphors used to hail Mary are taken from the Hebrew scriptures and are indeed ambivalent, not to say ambiguous. The symbols used have typological meaning and are frequently applied to both Jesus and Mary corresponding to what is termed primary and secondary symbolization. For example, Christ is the new and definitive Manna; Mary is called Manna insofar as she nourished Jesus with her own flesh once he descended into the "desert" of human condition. Again, pillar of fire is used typologically, i.e., pillar of fire is a symbol of the definitive illumination and guidance received in Christ and his Spirit. Mary is the dawn preparing the coming of the Risen sun (Christ), thus a "pillar of fire" in her own and limited right.

Read within their proper context, these metaphors are theologically of interest and even challenging. Separated from their context they have indeed a blasphemous ring. Not to forget the following: the Akathist Hymn is an Annunciation hymn hailing Mary not for herself but for her role in the Incarnation. Thus, the hymn is primarily a christological spiritual poem.

33 posted on 09/15/2003 12:25:21 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: Pyro7480; Salvation
As much as I am open to the idea of these mysteries (I meditate on them with my rosary group on Saturdays, during which we meditate on all 4 sets of mysteries - I follow the old pattern usually), with its inclusion of the Wedding at Cana (one of my favorite passages in the Bible), I am wary of the fact that its addition departs from the 150 number, which derives from the 150 Psalms.

There have always been more mysteries around than decades available.

This Orthodox Rosary includes three mysteries not in the traditional Rosary of Dominican Alan de Rupe or the five Luminous Mysteries of John Paul II:

1) The Birth of Mary
2) The Presentation of Mary in the Temple
3) The Flight into Egypt

The Franciscan Rosary from the 15th Century includes the mystery of:

1) The Visit of the Magi

It totals 7 decades of 10 Aves, plus two extra at the end are to symbolize the 72 years of Our Lady's life on earth.

Then there is the mystery of the Circumcision from the Chaplet of the Precious Blood.

Gathering all that up together, it wouldn't be hard to add yet another five mysteries to the Rosary, over and above the five Luminous Mysteries. To whit, the Joyful Mysteries could be increased to two sets of 5:

1) The Birth of Mary
2) The Presentation of Mary in the Temple
3) Annunciation
4) Visitation
5) Nativity

1) Circumcision
2) The Visit of the Magi
3) Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
4) The Flight into Egypt
5) Finding of Jesus in the Temple

I wonder how many other mysteries can be found on various Rosaries? The Precious Blood Chaplet also has the Piercing of Christ's side as the last Mystery. I suppose you could include the Assumption of St. Joseph and the Espousal of Blessed Mary. There must be others.

34 posted on 09/15/2003 12:32:43 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: eastsider
***The symbols used have typological meaning and are frequently applied to both Jesus and Mary corresponding to what is termed primary and secondary symbolization.***

I'll take the primary and leave the secondary. There is biblical basis for the primary. The secondary is wholly speculative.

John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me [NOT ME AND MARY].
35 posted on 09/15/2003 12:32:58 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: FormerLib; Hermann the Cherusker
Unless, of course, you believe that this was simply beyond what He is capable of....But if it was not to be, the prophets would have foretold a different prophecy and we would have still beheld a sign and wonder that heralded His arrival.

Anything is possible with God. But this type of speculation is absolutely ludicous; because as we all know, He chose to do it WITH her!

36 posted on 09/15/2003 12:40:04 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Pax et bonum!)
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To: FormerLib
I could not get through the day without the Jesus Prayer.
37 posted on 09/15/2003 12:41:48 PM PDT by RightWingMama
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To: drstevej
DRSJ: Jesus is the "blessed hope" of Christians according to Paul. Titus 2:13 -- 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

DRSJ: Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection according to Paul. 1 Cor 15:20 -- 20But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

The Resurrection and Assumption are not opposed to each other, but joined together. Matthew 27.52 notes that many Old Testament Saints arose with Christ. These were later taken up into heaven at the Ascension (Eph. 4.8-10). It is entriely fitting that Blessed Mary was assumed into heaven after her death to foreshadow the resurrection. Both events can give us Hope, because they are inextricably linked. Nobody denies that all these events are dependent upon the Reusrrection of Christ.

DRSJ: Grace and truth come through Jesus according to John. John 1:18 -- 17For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Since grace is a participation in the divine life of the Holy Trinity, it inevitably "comes from" Jesus. But we say that it is mediated by the prayers of Mary. Our Lady does not originate the grace, but directs it to us her children through her prayers and supplications before the throne of God.

DRSJ: Notice how many of the things ascribed to Mary by the Catholic Church are ascribed to Jesus in the Bible.

I really don't see it that way at all. You are equating Jesus and Mary in a way that is quite foreign to Catholics (and Orthodox). Jesus is a divine person, one of the Holy Trinity, while Mary is just an ordinary human person who is filled with the life of God, both spiritually for her whole life, and physically for nine crucial months. There is an unbridgeable ontological divide there that no amount of praise to Blessed Mary for her divine maternity could ever breach.

Yoyur objections are the Nestorianism that underlies Protestantism coming to the surface.

38 posted on 09/15/2003 12:44:15 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Salvation; NYer
The monk who "wrote" that icon has also done other icons. I think you will appreciate this one:


39 posted on 09/15/2003 12:44:46 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: FormerLib
I've never heard it called the "Hail Mary" by an Orthodox

I didn't mean to misterm it. You would agree, though, it has the same origin as a gloss of the Angelic Salutation.

40 posted on 09/15/2003 12:45:31 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: drstevej
No Catholic or Orthodox "believes in" or "has faith in" Blessed Mary. She is human. Jesus is God.
41 posted on 09/15/2003 12:46:53 PM PDT by Hermann the Cherusker
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
The Resurrection and Assumption are not opposed to each other, but joined together.

This is how many Catholic apologists have described the Protestant view of Mary - that they see every thing ascribed to Mary traditionally as being "opposed" to the redemptive work of Jesus. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mary said, "Ecce ancilla Domini" - "I am the handmaid of the Lord." Because of her yes, she participated in Jesus' redemptive work. She was chosen by the Lord, but her free will wasn't denied. She could have said no, but since she said yes, she is the highest of God's creatures, more glorious than even the Cherubim.

42 posted on 09/15/2003 12:49:28 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
***I really don't see it that way at all. You are equating Jesus and Mary in a way that is quite foreign to Catholics (and Orthodox).***

Interesting. My point is, "You are equating Jesus and Mary (through terms and ascriptions) in a way that is quite foreign to the Bible."

***Your objections are the Nestorianism that underlies Protestantism coming to the surface.***

How am I Nestorian? My only objetion to the term "Mother of God" is that it CAN be misunderstood, not that it is untrue. Mary is the mother of Jesus, Jesus is God, Mary is the mother of God. I have no problem with that unless inferences are drawn from the title that are unbiblical.

Here is the line in the prayer I originally objected to: "***Open unto us the door of thy loving-kindness, O blessed Mother of God, in that we set our hope on thee, may we not go astray; but through thee may we be delivered from all adversities, for thou art the salvation of all Christian people.***

I mentioned nothing about the term "Mother of God." The phrases I underlined all required explanation of how they don't say what they seem to say on the surface. They all are better and rightly said about Jesus.

Give me the primary and I'll leave the secondary for others.

43 posted on 09/15/2003 1:00:08 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
***we set our hope on thee***

Mary or Jesus or both? The prayer says Mary.
44 posted on 09/15/2003 1:05:01 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
See post #8.
45 posted on 09/15/2003 1:05:44 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: Hermann the Cherusker
***we set our hope on thee***

Mary or Jesus or both? The prayer says Mary.
46 posted on 09/15/2003 1:05:45 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
I'll take the primary and leave the secondary. There is biblical basis for the primary. The secondary is wholly speculative.
I don't see it as a matter of speculation as much as a matter of meditation. For example, it is not speculative that Jesus is flesh of Mary's flesh, blood of Mary's blood -- "manna" of Mary's "manna," if you will.
47 posted on 09/15/2003 1:06:01 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: Pyro7480
I actually got an icon of Mary called Holy Protection. This is what it looks like:

Great story of a miracle attributed to Our Lady of The Holy Protection.

St. Seraphim Miracle

48 posted on 09/15/2003 1:06:33 PM PDT by NYer (Catholic and living it.)
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To: NYer
I've read that before. It's a wonderful manifestation of God's love. Thanks!
49 posted on 09/15/2003 1:08:13 PM PDT by Pyro7480 (“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid" - Benjamin Franklin)
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To: eastsider
***I don't see it as a matter of speculation as much as a matter of meditation.***

Eisegesis too.
50 posted on 09/15/2003 1:11:26 PM PDT by drstevej
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