Musical Rosary #10–Crucifixion

But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit. And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. I don't really know how other Catholics do it, but I am a worrier and a gnawer by nature and so I most often find myself praying the rosary for various intentions--praying over issues in my own life or for other people, using the mysteries as jeweled lenses through which to view those issues. I don't do enough of praying the rosary simply in order to be … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #9: Carrying the Cross

As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they pressed into service to carry his cross Today's entry will be brief, since I've written before about the embarrassment and even shame we feel at asking others to help us bear our cross. We think of friendship as a form of sharing in one another's joy, but resist sharing our suffering and struggles, because we don't want to be burdens. But at some point every true friend acts as Simon of Cyrene.Sometimes it's helpful to … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #8–Crowning with Thorns

Weaving a crown out of thorns,they placed it on his head, and a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”--Matt. 27:29They talked for over an hour. Near the end, after they'd been sitting in silence for a while, Burns said quietly, "Do you know what Christ died of?"Rivers looked surprised, but answered readily enough. "Suffocation. Ultimately the position makes it impossible to go on inflating the lungs. A terrible dea … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #7–The Scourging at the Pillar

But he was pierced for our sins,crushed for our iniquity.He bore the punishment that makes us whole,by his wounds we were healed. Departing from my previous practice of quoting the Gospels to give you this bit from Isaiah, because it gets at the reason this mystery is so important to me. When I was growing up my parents subscribed to Tikkun, a progressive Jewish magazine with the slogan, "To heal, repair, and transform the world. All the rest is commentary." That's cute and I get … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #6–Agony in the Garden

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will." This one's really short and straightforward because there's a song which more or less perfectly captures the acceptance & surrender which this mystery is mostly about for me. I already wrote some stuff about the Mountain Goats' We Shall All Be Healed and it's not like you guys were ever going to escape this rosary series without SOME … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #5–Finding Jesus in the Temple

Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him … [Read more...]

Musical Rosary #4–Presentation

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.... A couple years ago I was having some kind of argument with a freshman Hegelian. I'll mangle his argument--I don't remember it well enough and haven't read Hegel--but what I took away from it was that everything in life served to advance ideas. Better and better ideas over time. So there's a progressive view of history, but one which focuses solely on … [Read more...]


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