Sunday, March 12, 2017

Lenten Posts: Saints and the Rosary

I haven't kept you up to date on my posts at the National Catholic Register (unless you've been clicking on the Other Publications tab and finding them yourself). Last Monday (March 6), they posted my reflection on the liturgical calendar, especially how the saints's feast days are effected during Lent:

Except for St. Joseph’s, all of the feasts of the saints during the 40 days of Lent are demoted to Commemorations—even St. Patrick’s (outside of Ireland, where it is a Holyday of Obligation). St. Joseph is so special that his feast is a Solemnity, and since March 19 is the Third Sunday of Lent in 2017, his feast has been moved to Monday, March 20. Otherwise, the penitential season of Lent takes precedence over the feasts of the saints. We often refer to a saint’s “feast” day even though the Church has a hierarchy to honor the saints, Our Lady, and especially Our Lord, in different ways. We might be tempted to think that it doesn’t matter, but the Church has reasons for these distinctions. . . .

Violet and White

The USCCB issues a liturgical calendar each year with notes about the adjustments made because of the date of Easter or just how dates fall on the Gregorian calendar vis-à-vis the Liturgical and Sanctoral calendars. When you look at the months of March and April this year until Palm Sunday, the liturgical color designated is Violet nearly every day, except for White on March 20 and March 25 (and the option of Rose on the Fourth Sunday of Lent). Looking at the calendar page in the March issue of Magnificat, you see the words Lenten Weekday predominating with the commemoration of the saints relegated to italics in the righthand column. During Mass for those Lenten Weekdays when there is a saint to be commemorated only the Collect for the saint will be used and the prayers and readings will be for the season.

Please read the rest there--and share if you like!

Just in time for the Second Sunday of Lent with the Transfiguration of Christ as the Gospel, the Register has published my post on praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary during Lent:

When Pope St. John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in 2002, there’s no indication that he saw them as Lenten devotions. He proposed them in an Apostolic Letter on Oct. 10 that year “to bring out fully the Christological depth of the Rosary” by including “the mysteries of Christ's public ministry between his Baptism and his Passion”. In the almost 15 years since their introduction, the Luminous Mysteries have been included in most Rosary devotionals and meditation aids.

Some have resisted the option to use these mysteries for various reasons, some of which Pope John Paul anticipated in his letter: Mary, the Mother of God, is absent in all but one of the mysteries (the second); the addition of five more mysteries breaks the linkage between the 150 Aves and the 150 Psalms, and one of the mysteries is termed hard to meditate upon (the third). The five Luminous Mysteries are: 1) The Baptism of Jesus; 2) The Marriage Feast of Cana; 3) The Proclamation of the Kingdom; 4) The Transfiguration; 5) The Institution of the Eucharist. Pope St. John Paul II provided some guidance for meditation on each of these mysteries in his Apostolic Letter, noting that “we contemplate important aspects of the person of Christ as the definitive revelation of God” because “each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus”.

A Luminous Lent

For Lent this year, I decided to alternate between the Luminous Mysteries and the Sorrowful Mysteries, starting on Ash Wednesday with the Sorrowful. Each of the Luminous Mysteries lends itself to a Lenten interpretation.

Please read the rest there--and Happy Transfiguration Sunday! The illustration is Carl Heinrich Bloch's (1834-1890), “The Transfiguration of Christ” from the Register post.

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