Friday, November 27, 2009

I've run out of saints

I've been spending a little time each morning reading the saints legends for the day in the Anglican Brev, both the general ones and the English-region ones. It's some good reading and quite inspiring. But this week, being so close to the end of the year, I came to the end of the list. There aren't any more Anglo saints until Dec. 3rd and nothing more in the general Kalendar until the new year.

So now I'm stuck praying the Rosary.

I'd forgotten just what an awful snore the Rosary is.

I think I must be a bad Catholic.


BillyHW said...

How do you think I get to sleep?

Works better than any pill.

Anonymous said...

No, just an honest one.

John said...

You and my wife are the only two traddie types who admit to that. I actually am not far from feeling the same way, although I don't admit to it. (Oh, dear. I think I just did.)

I slog on anyway. I figure that even if I don't get any points for it in the prayer column, I may get extra credit in the penance column.



Anonymous said...

Why don't you say the Office, Hilary?

I also find the Rosary rather boring, tho' admitting I've never really tried.


Anonymous said...

The Rosary is for those of us whose concentration has been destroyed by family life. - Karen

Anonymous said...

I have never prayed the Rosary much. I think I'm just not a real Catholic.

I am a fake Catholic.

Jeff said...

Oh, dear. I actually LIKE the Rosary....

HJW said...

I don't have a family life to destroy my concentration, I had TV instead, and then the internet to grind it into powder and scatter it into the ether. Long gone now, and I can't concentrate on the Rosary for five seconds.

me too.

that's because you are actually a holy person. And don't bother to deny it because that's really just what a holy person would do.

HJW said...


because the Office is also a snooze. I'm strictly looking for entertainment value with the saints' legends.

Br. Stephen, O.Cist said...

I have heard it referred to as the Dominican Abacus.

It never really caught on with monks, whom it please God to give books.

Anonymous said...

I'm strictly looking for entertainment value with the saints' legends.

See now, the great value of this is that firstly it is reading which is almost always enjoyable for many of us. Secondly it is indeed entertaining. Thirdly we get to call it "spiritual reading" and therefore feel like "not fake" Catholics for a while.

You obviously just need some more saints books.

Anonymous said...

Also, Hilary, don't forget Wilde's remark that "the Catholic Church is for sinners (e.g. you and me) and saints (e.g. Jeff). For the perfectly respectable, the Anglican Church will do."

Adulio said...

Try the Golden Book of Legends. I hear it speaks fantastically of the Turk

Anonymous said...

<3 Golden Book of Legends. - Karen

Niall Mor said...

If I may offer a few words in defense of the Rosary? I'm president of our parish praesidium (chapter) of the Legion of Mary, and the Rosary is more or less the centerpiece of what we do.

The Rosary is a form of contemplative prayer. Contemplative prayer takes discipline, focus, and concentration; all things that most people (including me) aren't very good at. I keep trying anyway. The challenge with the Rosary is to stay focused on the actual Mysteries of the particular decade and not let your mind drift off to more ordinary things. If, while saying the Rosary, you find yourself wondering about what you'll have for dinner tonight or just how Aunt Bertha got so fat in the first place, instead of the particular mystery at hand, then you're just rattling off Hail Marys mechanically, which can indeed be an awful snore. Such distractions are almost inevitable. Our minds produce them and The Enemy exploits them. The only cure I know of is to bring your mind back when you become aware of yourself drifting.

On the other hand, when you can say The Rosary with a focused mind, it can be a powerful and moving devotion. I recall once in college when I said the Rosary out by the side of a lake and had a moment of clarity, when I suddenly "got" the Catholic faith in a way that I never quite had before. At other times in my life when I was struggling with my faith, the familiar repeated words and rituals of the Rosary were comforting and reassuring. I didn't have to be clever and think of everything to say on my own. In both instances, the Rosary helped revitalize my Catholic faith, albeit in different ways.

Does this mean that every time I pray the Rosary, I am lifted up into some soaring, overwhelming, transcendent experience of complete communion with Christ and his Blessed Mother? No, but when is that true of any form of prayer, including the Mass? But I keep praying and keep hoping for God's grace to penetrate and break up the darkness of my sinfulness and selfishness so that I can have at least a tiny glimpse of God's glory.

Br. Stephen, O.Cist said...

Give Newman's old Lives of the English Saints series a try. They're available for download at Google Books.

HJW said...

Niall duckie,

important not to take things too terribly seriously around here or you risk getting mocked.

DP said...

When there's a hole in the AngBrev (which still has fewer holes than the current office), just substitute in a read about Christina the Astonishing. I'm not clear that she is a canonized Saint (she's in Butler's). Even though it would get repetitive, I think she'd be right up your alley: she kept fleeing people because she couldn't stand to be around them.

Not so BTW, CtA is one of the reasons we named our newest Elizabeth Christina.

[Unless I'm misreading something, there's lots of saints legends in the AngBrev after December 3:

4: Peter Chrysologus, Clement of Alexandria, Osmund
6: Nicholas
7: Ambrose
11: Damasus
13: Lucy....

Obviously I'm not getting something?]

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to avoid Nick Cave! He is an occasion of sin! And look, there you go making me think of that song! - Karen

Also, I've said the Rosary in an MRI.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, pretty much a terrible Catholic. And hardly a traditionalist. In love with yourself, though, that's easy to see.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what?
But I thought Jp2's "Luminous Mysteries" were supposed to jazz that ol' rosary right up?
Just like the Novus Ordo was supposed to grab our attention, since that old stuffy Latin Mass made us yawn.

So much for the New Springtime!