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Author Topic: Of Chotkis and Rosaries  (Read 7135 times) Average Rating: 0
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NDHoosier
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« on: July 25, 2003, 01:50:27 AM »

This is for the former Roman Catholics out there.

I've given some thought to the Jesus Prayer versus the Rosary.  Both involve a lot of repeated prayers.

I never could get into the Rosary.  I was bored to tears by it, and when I tried to pray it, or "had" to pray it (like before Mass), I always wondered when it would be over.

I don't have that experience when I use my chotki.  I don't get bored by the Jesus Prayer.

Has anyone else had this experience?
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2003, 06:42:26 AM »

As a Byzantine Catholic prior to my "adjustment" to Holy Orthodoxy, ND, I tried to get "into" praying the Latin Rosary myself, but to no avail--I couldn't see the connection between it and Byzantine Christianity.  When I was first introduced to the Jesus Prayer, however, and this was by reading "Way of A Pilgrim," it was like I had entered a whole new world which was previously hidden from me, and the Jesus Prayer became very much a part of my daily prayer life, as it is to this day.  My now-departed Byzantine Catholic pastor, however, seemed absolutely oblivious to the Jesus Prayer--he hadn't ever read "Way of a Pilgrim" until I suggested it and loaned him my copy.

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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2003, 09:07:11 AM »

Yeah, I'm not smart enough to pray one thing while meditating on something else, so the rosary never worked well for me at all.
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2003, 09:12:45 AM »

I enjoyed praying the Rosary ages ago when I was first introduced to generic-Catholicism.  I still from time to time pray the hail Mary.  I don't think there is anything wrong with praying it but once I discovered the Akathist Hymn I just naturally began praying that instead.

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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2003, 09:57:36 AM »

I pray the rosary fairly frequently, usually Saturday mornings after morning prayers.  I normally do not try to meditate on the mysteries per se, but try to enter into the actual words of the prayers.

However, I find it much easier, and more in tune with my personality to prayer the Jesus prayer on my prayer rope.  So I do it more often.
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2003, 10:03:52 AM »

<surfacing>

Actually my experience has been the other way round. Never got into the chotki and Jesus Prayer, even though The Way of a Pilgrim made me more aware of Russian Orthodoxy as a living reality that still exists.

Quote
My now-departed Byzantine Catholic pastor, however, seemed absolutely oblivious to the Jesus Prayer--he hadn't ever read "Way of a Pilgrim" until I suggested it and loaned him my copy

A son of a 1917-exile Russian Orthodox priest told me his father was the same way. Chotki are monastic — literally part of the habit when worn on the left wrist. The late Fr X never owned any.

The Rosary is wonderful and does work for me - up to a point.

It's a great prayer when you are ill, overtired or otherwise unable to concentrate on more bookish prayers. (Devotees of the Jesus Prayer say the same thing.)

Consider where the Rosary came from - it is literally a substitute for the 150 psalms of the hours/divine office cleverly and effectively devised for the illiterate. All one needs is memorization: 'Pater noster, Ave Maria, Criede/Learn the child while yt is nede'. (The chaplet, that is, the set of beads = 1/3 of this bookless psalter.)

That it parallels the older use of prayer beads in other religions — Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, to this day — speaks of its effectiveness.

It has its place.

Literate people East and West have used forms of the hours/divine office since medieval times.

(Though using them privately/at home in a breviary format seems to be a western Catholic thing - as Subdeacon Lance Weakland, a forum member, points out in his foreword on my hours page, the Byzantine Rite hours evolved with no thought of using them anywhere other than church.

The long lists of the same long prayers every day in Orthodox manuals for the laity don't work for me. Sorry.)

I can read, therefore I usually prefer that form of prayer.

This basically agrees with anastasios' point. The akathist, a literate prayer, works wonderfully too as a standalone or as part of the office (Little Compline in the Byzantine Rite).

To keep this from seeming snobbish, I will point out that simple memorized prayer forms have flourished alongside breviaries/books of hours for centuries, so they obviously work for many kinds of people.

Although in traditional Roman Rite practice, and according to Byzantine Rite rules in church as well, one isn't supposed to recite liturgical prayers from memory, I know by heart most of the ordo of the office I use (see link for hours, above) and so often do pray them at home (usually silently) without the book. So I can have it both ways — the non-thinking part of my brain getting into a prayerful groove, just like the way the memorized prayers of the Rosary or the chotki work, and the thinking part taking on board the written word of God.

Your mileage may vary.

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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2003, 10:46:16 AM »

The Rosary is a school of prayer all its own. It was crucial to my conversion to Catholicism. It is more of a Roman Catholic thing, but Byzantines can pray the way that Serge explains on his website. I think the Mother of God likes both the Rosary and the Akathist Wink.
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2003, 11:42:31 AM »

I never was one for the Rosary, however after reading The Way of the Pilgrim etc I find myself thoroughly attracted to prayer ropes and the Jesus Prayer.

I also pray the Liturgy of the Hours, RC style.

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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2003, 12:00:41 PM »

Hmm - well as the RCs seem to be answering as well I might as well join in.

I came to the Rosary very late on - and only in fact after reading Redemptoris Mater. I don't meditate  on the Mysteries as is generally understood by that, but add a phrase in to each Hail Mary  which refers to the specific Mystery eg for the Nativity it would be "Hail Mary , Full of grace, Blessed art thou among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy Womb, Jesus, born in poverty Holy Mary Mother of God........

Having said that I do have a Chotki and some Prayer Ropes and am never without something with me. I have found the Jesus Prayer  wonderful in use and will often pray that in preference to anything else.

I do pray the Liturgy of the Hours as well [ well Morning Prayer and Night Prayer and others when possible] I could go on but as the topic was Chotki and Rosary I'll stop there Wink
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2003, 01:16:20 PM »

I had a hard time with the rosary, felt awkward, and my mind wandered, felt like I wasn't meditating the mysteries "properly".

Then, like the Slave, I found a website that had the phrases after reciting the first half of each Hail Mary. It really helped keep me focussed right in those mysteries for the first time.

Now I don't need to use the phrases at all, unless I'm having a hard time. Practice, practice, practice. I try to say a rosary several times a week in the evening in those lovely moments of quiet just after the kids are asleep.

I've been praying the Jesus Prayer for a couple of years, through out the day, while folding laundry or driving or cooking, while trying to fall asleep, etc... This has helped me so much! I tend to ruminate terribly on foolish fears and events that disturb me... I would run over in my mind over and over again some  grievance I had with someone, trying out all my possible arguments and their possible responses, and instead of this clarifying a relationship, it would leave me feeling more anxious.

I knew it was a good thing to sweep the anxiety-thoughts away, to trust in the Lord, but I didn't expect it to also help me to respond more assertively and more compassionately in my relationships. I now try my best to keep the prayer in mind when having difficult conversations. It surely has helped my marriage.

Now, all my Jesus Prayers and rosaries are said for my in-laws, who have moved in with us this year.

Please pray for me!  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2003, 06:51:26 PM »

Actually, I get sufficiently bored with both of them.  I love them a lot, but it's the truth.    

I like the Rosary.  But, like some of the other posters here, I find it hard to meditate on the mysteries while reciting the prayers.  Either I meditate well and do not pay attention to what I'm saying, or I pay attention to what I'm saying, and I ignore the mysteries.  The only thing that has ever helped me with this is a little book called the Scriptural Rosary.  It's got Scriptural verses for each "Hail Mary", and that I really liked.  I stopped using it after a while, but perhaps I should go back, since trying anything else usually ends with me giving up.  I haven't felt the desire to take it up again, though, since I find Eastern forms of prayer more fulfilling.  Maybe trying it once more will help determine this for sure.    

I like the Jesus Prayer as well.  I read Way of a Pilgrim last year, and it moved me.  After finishing it (and while reading it), I burned with a desire to take up the Prayer.  However, whenever I try it, I get bored fast.  Unlike the Rosary, there is no meditation with this Prayer--indeed, if I have read correctly, you're not supposed to entertain "images" while praying the Prayer.  Perhaps my problem is that I tried the last time to pray it regularly, and I may have tried to take on more than I can.  I started with three hundred a day (a number I've heard was commonly given to beginners).  After about a hundred or so, I wasn't into it--I guess I need a lot of purification.  Maybe I have my solution already, and should start with one hundred a day and work my way up slowly.  We'll see.  Please pray for me as well, I could use some help from above getting back on track.
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2003, 06:01:08 AM »

I agree Mor Ephrem that the Scriptural Rosary is very helpful. Over the years I've amassed quite a collection of booklets about different ways to use the Rosary, some of which add a bit of much-needed freshness to it. I particularly like those by Peter Huyck who did one called Rosary Psalms and a most interesting one called A Scriptural Rosary - 1596 complete with Tudor English. I love the Rosary and find I get into my best contemplative rhythm when I recite it in Latin.

Serge's pages on the Rosary are a wonderful resource for any Orthodox interested, the little booklet We fly to Thy Patronage O Holy Mother of God he recommends is great as it gives meditations from the Byzantine liturgy.

I have been using the Jesus Prayer more of late, but have to confess that I find it much harder work than the Rosary.

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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2003, 08:17:24 AM »

I've used the Jesus Prayer from time to time, but I have come to use it more as a quick tonic and I do not use any kind of mechanical aid. Back in the days when I had more time, I did offices (Morning and Compline, because that's when I had the time); the 1979 BCP has a plethora of different office services including a set of very minimal services designed for personal use. (The main office services require two people.) These services are highly variable and can be done straight out of the book with fixed psalms and lessons, or can be expanded to full sets of daily office psalms and lessons (read most of the bible in two years!).

There is an Anglican rosary which is a little different from the Catholic one (less beads, for one thing-- it's that "Catholic-lite" thing Smiley ) and for which different prayers are suggested. I've never used it because I don't have the time. The sense I get from most wesern writers these days is that the office with the psalms is the central askesis and that something like the rosary is a supplement to that. YMMV, of course.
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2003, 11:44:13 AM »



There is an Anglican rosary which is a little different from the Catholic one (less beads, for one thing-- it's that "Catholic-lite" thing Smiley ) and for which different prayers are suggested. I've never used it because I don't have the time.

I like your Catholic-lite quip Keble. I have a couple of items on the Rosary by two English Anglicans, Robert Llewelyn and Austin Farrer. Both are keen to address the question of 'vain repetition'. Another interesting read on the Rosary is by an English Methodist author, Neville Ward, who wrote a book called "Five for Sorrow, Ten for Joy".

I have a rosary blessed at the Anglican shrine of Julian of Norwich but have never managed to track down an actual Anglican set of 33 beads, they're very low church where I come from.

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« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2003, 12:02:39 PM »

Anglican rosaries are offered almost all the time on EBay; here's a page fro the Daughters of the King on how one might use one.
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« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2003, 12:40:15 PM »

Come on, guys, 50 Hail Marys is not that tough! And it can be very rewarding! Wink  Tongue

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« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2003, 02:04:51 PM »

Hmm - someone can't count - it's 60 now !! Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2003, 02:15:13 PM »

Slave,

What sort of modernist heresy are you pushing here? Besides, it's really 63.
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« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2003, 04:13:51 PM »

OK - true - but even so you still couldn't count Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: July 26, 2003, 04:22:39 PM »

People, it's still 50 per day, it's just that the new set of mysteries makes the total number of Hail Mary's 200 (not everyone does the Apostles' Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Mary's, and Gloria before beginning the decades...I've heard the Rosary being said in Latin from the Vatican, and they always start it with the beginning of the Latin Offices [God, come to my assistance; Lord, make haste to help me: Glory to the Father, etc.]).
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2003, 04:07:57 AM »

Both are keen to address the question of 'vain repetition'.

Just a brief note on this verse (Matthew 6:7). The word translated as 'vain repetition' is +¦+¦-ä-ä+¦+++++¦ß+¦-â++-ä+¦, the root of which has to do with stuttering. However, everyone I have spoken to regarding this expression has told me that the word should be translated as 'babbling' (Good grief, the NIV actually got something right Shocked). So in Matt 6:7, Jesus is telling us to avoid babbling on and on with many words when we pray and is definitely NOT condemning the repetition of short prayers.

While I'm in Matthew, I'd also like to point out that in Matt 3:4, the word ß+Ç+¦-üß+++¦+¦-é which is always translated as 'locusts', also means the soft, fleshy stems of grasses and other plants. The Fathers write that this was the food of John the Baptist and not 'locusts' as is found in every English translation of the bible (not even a footnote saying otherwise)
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« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2003, 01:45:36 PM »

Thanks John. The issue of 'vain repetition' is an old chestnut dragged up to discredit the Rosary by some Protestants. However, as I said in one of my earlier posts some of the best books I've ever read on the Rosary have been written by Protestants. Here's what Austin Farrer said:

'If I had been asked two dozen years ago for an example of what Christ forbade when he said "Use not vain repetitions", I should very likely have referred to the fingering of beads. But now if I wished to name a special sort of private devotion most likely to be of general profit, prayer on the beads is what I should name. Since my previous opinion was based on ignorance and my present opinion is based on experience, I am not ashamed of changing my mind.'

Austin Farrer, Lord, I Believe (1958), 80.

Interesting too about the 'locusts' - I'd always heard it was supposed to be the 'locust bean' which I think is also called carob.

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« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2003, 03:16:57 PM »

(Good grief, the NIV actually got something right Shocked).

Best laugh I've had all day. Smiley(
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2003, 09:07:54 AM »

Interesting too about the 'locusts' - I'd always heard it was supposed to be the 'locust bean' which I think is also called carob.

Here is the dictionary entry:

+¦+¦-ü+»+¦+¦ (II), +¦+¦-ü+»-é ++. H +¦++-ü-Ã -Ã¥+« -ä++-Ã  +¦+++¦-â-ä+¦-ü+¦++-ì: +¦+¦-ü+»+¦+¦-é ++-Ã  -â+¦-ä+¦-ì+++++¦+¦ ++-Ã +¦’ +¦+¦+¦-Ç-Ä +¦++-ä+¼+++¦-é +á-ü+++¦-ü. II 103. [++-ä+¦++. ++-Ã -â. +¦+¦-ü+»-é]

in English it is 'the tip or end of a shoot'.

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« Reply #24 on: July 29, 2003, 05:59:30 PM »

Quote from: prodromos
Here is the dictionary entry:

[b
+¦+¦-ü+»+¦+ÂÂÂH +¦++-ü-Ã -Ã¥+« -ä++-Ã  +¦+++¦-â-ä+¦-ü+¦++-ì: +¦+¦-ü+»+¦+¦-é ++-Ã  -â+¦-ä+¦-ì+++++¦+¦ ++-Ã +¦’ +¦+¦+¦-Ç-Ä +¦++-ä+¼+++¦-é +á-ü+++¦-ü. II 103. [++-ä+¦++. ++-Ã -â. +¦+¦-ü+»-é]

in English it is 'the tip or end of a shoot'.

John.
Quote


Thanks again John, but where did the 'locusts' come from?  The Vulgate has Matt 3:4 as:
ipse autem Iohannes habebat vestimentum de pilis camelorum et zonam pelliciam circa lumbos suos esca autem eius erat lucustae et mel silvestre

Are you saying that the Greek word relates to any tip or end of a shoot or is there some specific link to the carob fruit, which I understand is called "St John's bread" in some parts of the world? Sorry, I have no Greek at all.

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« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2003, 05:45:37 AM »

Sorry Brigid, I only included the botanical meaning of the word. The same word, exact same spelling, exact same accents, singular or plural, also means locust.

The thing I have found though is that the vast majority of dictionaries omit the botanical meaning and only list one meaning - 'locust'. Strong's concordance linked to Thayer's lexicon, the tools of all wannabe theologians, are notable examples of this. Perhaps Jerome had the same problem when he translated the Vulgate

As far as I can tell, there is no connection between the word  +¦+¦-ü+»-é/+¦+¦-ü+»+¦+¦ and carob beans specifically, so it is very interesting that it is known also as the locust bean and John the Baptist's bread. From what I've looked up, the tree is indiginous to the Middle East. I'll have to try and find which of the Fathers deal with this subject specifically.

John.
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« Reply #26 on: August 04, 2003, 10:47:52 PM »

I am just learning to pray the Jesus prayer on small chokti of wooden beads.  I have been praying the prayer on my noontime walk and also as I fall asleep at night.

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« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2003, 10:53:34 PM »

The Jesus Prayer is wonderful. I am really at a loss for words to describe its value. It is a tremendous source of comfort and consolation.
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« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2003, 11:52:37 PM »

I've been talking with my protestant friend.  She's learning more about the Roman Church.  She does have a problem with the Theotokos.  Relating to the rosary, she says that we don't need to remind Mary of how great she is, and do Orthodox and Catholics think that we need to praise her to gain her prayers.  Also, I can't really explain to her what intercession is.  She rejects the idea of praying with the Theotokos or the saints.  She says it is too much like prayer to God.  I can't explain if prayer is acceptable to everyone in Heaven, but worship is due to God alone, or if this prayer is somehow different.  I'm quite confused now that I think about it.
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« Reply #29 on: October 01, 2003, 08:50:59 AM »

I've been talking with my protestant friend.  She's learning more about the Roman Church.  She does have a problem with the Theotokos.  Relating to the rosary, she says that we don't need to remind Mary of how great she is, and do Orthodox and Catholics think that we need to praise her to gain her prayers.

Well, if Mary doesn't need to be reminded of how great she is, then God doesn't need to be reminded to an infinitely greater extent; He knows everything.  So by that logic, we can just trash prayer altogether.  It's not necessary, not to God, not to anyone else.

Of course, this is not true.  When we honour the Mother of God and the saints, we do not do so as if they are what they are by their own power and merits, but because of what God has done in them.  If you go to Italy and look at a sculpture by Michelangelo, you can go on and on about how great it is, but that's not because the statue has some innate good qualities independent of the artist, but because the artist's talent is of such a high caliber that he produced something very great.  Similarly, the saints are not honoured because they are "mini-gods" with their own good qualities that are of their own origin and possession, but because "the Almighty has done great things in them", to paraphrase the Virgin.  Honouring the saints is actually a way of praising God.  

Quote
Also, I can't really explain to her what intercession is.  She rejects the idea of praying with the Theotokos or the saints.  She says it is too much like prayer to God.  I can't explain if prayer is acceptable to everyone in Heaven, but worship is due to God alone, or if this prayer is somehow different.  I'm quite confused now that I think about it.

I have a Pentecostal friend, and I was talking to her Monday night, and we touched on this.  She didn't understand it either.  Basically, there is a difference between the "veneration" given to the saints and the "adoration" due to God alone.  Usually, the person praying can make that distinction, and so I've never met a person who prayed to the saints so much or in such a way as to detract from the adoration of God.  I'm sure there are such people, but I suspect they are kinda rare.  

When I was talking to my friend, I tried to explain to her how there is no difference between asking our friends here on earth to pray for us, and asking the saints to pray for us, but because I did that by asking a rhetorical question at the end of the night, we have to take care of that later.  Her main point was that Jesus is the one mediator, so we don't need anyone else, and so praying to the saints is wrong; by this logic, however, one should stop asking other people to pray for them, because we don't need anyone else except Jesus, and so it is wrong to do so.  But of course, this is not true, and neither is the idea that praying to the saints is wrong.  Fortunately, if you carry these ideas out to their logical conclusions, you will end up with ideas that your friend and mine, as well as others, would disagree with, and so you can show how it makes no sense to believe as they do, unless they refine/change something.  

On top of all this, there is support in Scripture for honouring the saints and praying for their intercession.  I'm in a rush so I cannot look these up, but I'm sure someone else will say something about them.
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Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
Tags: chotki rosary prayer rope 
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