Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Does Mary's Non-Rosary Usage Miss the Issues?

In a previous post (link), I had mentioned the fact that Mary never prayed the Rosary. It is a point that I made to help folks recognize that the Rosary is a non-apostolic innovation.

I got a most peculiar comment on this post from Mr. Greco. The salient part of his comment was:
Turretinfan stated: One thing seems fairly certain: Mary never prayed the Rosary.

Me: Now why would you say something like this? This comment truly betrays your ignorance of the issues. For starters, the Rosary was not around until the time of St. Dominic (late 1100s early 1200s). So no, Mary would not have been praying the Rosary.

Secondly, the Rosary is a meditation on the Gospel...and I do think that Mary meditated on her son's life and the wondrous things God had done for her.
I answer:

1) Mr. Greco thinks that my making a true and accurate statement about Mary "betrays ... ignorance of the issues." There is just no answer to such silliness. I can appreciate that Mr. Greco may wish that I were ignorant of the issues, but when I make accurate statements that he only reinforces (note that he agrees that the Rosary was not around until much later), he should have the wisdom not to accuse his theological opponent of ignorance.

2) Assuming that Mr. Greco's dating for the Rosary is correct (and it is always dangerous trying to pin dates on innovations in church history), this only reinforces one of the points that my original post was making, namely that the Rosary is foreign to the Bible. It was unknown to Mary - it was unknown to the Apostles - and (per Greco) it was unknown to a thousand years of the universal church.

3) Mr. Greco's own comments, furthermore, seem to miss the point of the post. The post noted that although Mary didn't pray the "Hail Mary," (how silly would that be?!) she may well have prayed the "Our Father," which would have included her acknowledgment of her own sinfulness. Mary, the greatly blessed mother of Jesus, was a sinner who needed a savior, and she quite properly called God her Savior.

4) Casting the Rosary as, "the Rosary is a meditation on the Gospel...and I do think that Mary meditated on her son's life and the wondrous things God had done for her," (ellipsis in original) misses the issues and objections to the Rosary.

a) We do not object to people meditating on the Gospel, in fact we encourage them to do so;

b) We agree that Mary meditated on her son's life and the wondrous things God had done for her and for His people;

c) But the Rosary is not in the form of meditation, but prayer;

d) And the prayers of the Rosary are objectionable both as to the fact that at least one prayer (the "Hail Mary") is not directed to God, and because the method of successive repetition is a heathen practice specifically condemned by Jesus (Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.)

Hopefully, in the next post, I will be addressing the much more detailed and thoughtful comments of Mr. Mike Burgess.

-TurretinFan

6 comments:

exotesparemboles said...

A similar question that I have related to Mary not praying the Rosary:

http://exotesparemboles.wordpress.com/2008/06/28/re-presenting-the-actual-sacrifice-before-the-actual-sacrifice/

Thoughts?

Blessings in Christ,
exo

Turretinfan said...

I'm not sure it is very similar, but your post does address some of the issues upon which Rome necessarily stumbles.
-TurretinFan

Mike Burgess said...

I look forward to the interaction. I hope I'll be able to respond. Best wishes. By the way, I added your blog to my sidebar.

Turretinfan said...

Thanks!

Ben Douglass said...

the Rosary is foreign to the Bible. It was unknown to Mary - it was unknown to the Apostles - and (per Greco) it was unknown to a thousand years of the universal church.

The same could be said of "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." Nay, this hymn was unknown to 1,500 years of the universal Church.

Christians are allowed to pray new prayers, provided that they are consistent with revelation. So, your attempts to demonstrate that the Rosary is inconsistent with revelation are relevant to the present controversy. The mere proposition that Mary did not pray the rosary during her earthly life, on the other hand, is not. It does indeed miss the issue.

Turretinfan said...

Dear Ben,

1) "A Mighty Fortress" is a paraphrase of Psalm 46. Whether paraphrases (especially such significant paraphrases) should be permitted is an interesting question, but not particularly relevant to this post. Believers in the one true God have been singing it for thousands of years.

2) No one is saying that Christians cannot pray new prayers. The standard, however, is Biblical warrant, not mere "consistency with" revelation. The latter is the standard of the innovator.

3) The fact that the entire "sacramental" was unknown to the apostles should give a person pause.

So, I would agree that the fact that Mary (and the Apostles) did not pray the Rosary or say the "Hail Mary" is not conclusive, but there is a difference between not conclusive and not relevant.

-TurretinFan