Monday, September 27, 2010

Scraping the Bottom

Okay, after reading this it will be obvious that I need some ideas on what I should write about here. Since it's not really a personal blog, I don't want to spend too much time ruminating on my own life but would like to post things helpful to people as far as rosary making or general Catholic geekery. And, of course, a mention of J.R.R. Tolkien whenever I can sneak one in (Tolkien being a traditional Catholic, that's not as farfetched as it might seem).

Jesse is putting up some novenas on the Prayers on a Wire team blog. He mentions that October is the month of the Rosary. I just thought I'd point out that the actual feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is October 7. It's probably best if we just forget the fact that the feast came about because of a military victory that the winners attributed to Mary's intervention. Anyway, for a novena to end on the feast day, it would have to be started on September 29.

Of course, "feast day" is a misnomer here, because Our Lady of the Rosary isn't a feast but a memorial. But it would be kind of confusing to talk about a "memorial day".- especially since there's a holiday with the same name. 

As I posted in the team thread, in case anyone doesn't know, the reason Catholics pray novenas (nine days of prayer) instead of septenas or decatenas is because of the nine days the disciples prayed in the upper room for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Because of that, about the only novena I really like to pray is one to the Holy Spirit that I keep in my Volume II of the Liturgy of the Hours so I can pray it between the feast (although it's really a solemnity) of the Ascension and Pentecost. However, Volume II is one of the two volumes I haven't been able to find since I moved the last time. I bought a new Volume IV a few weeks ago, and I'll probably have to buy a new Volume II before we get to Lent, but if so I'll kind of miss that novena.

Since we've already established a bit of goofiness here, how about my favorite (and only) joke about novenas? It loses a little by putting it into text instead of telling it live, but ---

A priest was hearing confessions. A man came into the confessional and said, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I stole some lumber."

The priest said, "Well, for your penance, say three Our Fathers."

Two weeks later, the man came back and said, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I stole some lumber."

The priest said, "Since this seems to be a problem for you, for your penance this time pray the rosary."

Two weeks later (you'll notice this is a good Catholic, as he goes to confession every two weeks) the man came back again and said, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I stole some lumber."

The priest said, "Now, this is starting to get pretty serious. Do you know how to make a novena?

The man said, "No, Father, but if you've got the blueprints, I've got the lumber."

---Of course, in the real life situation any good priest would make sure the man was also doing restitution, but that doesn't fit into the joke.

My all-time favorite confession joke requires sound effects so really can't be put into text. If anyone ever meets me in person, ask me about it and I'll be glad to act it out.

On that note, since we're moving into October soon, let's listen to two saints who have feast days* in October:

Saint Francis said that it's not fitting for disciples of Jesus to go around with sour looks and long faces.

Saint Teresa (not Saint Therese) said "God save us from gloomy saints."

*St. Francis' celebration is a memorial for the universal Church and a solemnity for Franciscans. For Franciscans, St. Francis trumps the Sunday, so on the evening of Sunday, October 3, use Evening Prayer I for the solemnity instead of Evening Prayer II for the Sunday. Now, that's just for Franciscans - everyone else, behave yourselves.

St. Teresa's celebration is a memorial for the universal Church and a solemnity for Discalced Carmelites (not for other Carmelites, I'm guessing, since they didn't go along with Teresa's reforms, but I don't have any personal knowledge of that). If I was still with the Carmelites, I'd get **two** recreation days out of it.


And because I have to, to placate the Etsy gods, here are some new rosaries. Clicking on a photo will take you to more photos and a description:

September birthstone rosary

October birthstone rosary

Autumn harvest rosary

And a custom order (so not for sale) Franciscan Crown rosary

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