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Elements Of The Rosary Essay

566 words - 2 pages

On the negative side discussions of what happened in the Middle Ages are apt to be obscured by the fact that so many documents have been lost, especially during the ravages of the Black Death. On the positive side, however, more and more discoveries are constantly made, so that if we cannot say with certainty that a particular thing was not done by our ancestors, we can often say with cer- tainty that a particular thing was done.In the field of devotion the findings of scholars are especially rich, and certain elements, universally present, make a very rich and varied pattern. From the days of the early Church right through the Middle Ages men and women were at work finding ways of prayer. Much of the thought and fancy that today are employed (in so far as they exist at all) on novels, movies and love songs, were thrown into the worship of God, into the perfect- ing of liturgical worship and int6 extraliturgical devotions, prayers and hymns. Long after the Reformation, as Dr. Helen White (1) has so well shown, Catholic books of devotion remained the staple for the English people, for whom no more such books were being written by the Reformers.In all that comes to us, whether from the earliest centuries or from the Middle Ages, we find three strands, sometimes separated, sometimes mingled: vocal prayer, bodily prayer (i.e. kneeling, standing, prostrating, beating the breast and such like) and medi- tation. Let us look at these as we find them practised by our ancestors and as they came to be united in the prayer of the Rosary.For a very long time the Rosary was known as Our Lady's...

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