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Author Topic: Converts from Catholicism...Do you still pray the rosary?  (Read 1741 times) Average Rating: 0
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JMJCatholic
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« on: May 28, 2013, 10:40:48 PM »

I'm wondering if converts to Orthodoxy who have a personal tradition of private devotions associated with the Catholic Church, such as praying the rosary, still do so. Is praying the rosary permitted by the Orthodox Church?  It seems the main prayers (The Creed without the Filioque, the Our Father, the Glory Be, and the Hail Mary) would not contradict Orthodox teaching, as far as I know.  Just wondering.
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2013, 10:49:50 PM »

I am Western Orthodox now. We say the Rosary as Orthodox--as a parish.
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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2013, 10:56:21 PM »

There have actually been a number of threads about Orthodox use of the Rosary, whether by converts from RCism or "born" Orthodox (and then some!).  Not that this thread won't be useful, but you might consider some of those as well. 
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2013, 01:30:39 AM »

I do(without the mysteries) with the blessing of my spiritual father
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2013, 02:03:39 AM »

Joanna, though I was never officially a Roman Catholic, I was very devoted to the traditions of the RCC, especially the rosary, which are also traditions passed down to me from my Polish grandmother.

I do not pray the rosary as an Orthodox Christian.  The prayers are fine (with alterations,) it's just that I associated it with Roman Catholicism.  My mother never let me go to the Catholic Church, you see, so for years the rosary stirred up doubts and "what if"s in my faith.  I avoided it.  Now, I'm really not interested in the rosary as my devotional practices are very much eastern, but I suppose I could take it up if I felt so inclined.  However, I do prefer a good Jesus Prayer to Hail Marys and Our Fathers. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2013, 02:07:32 AM »

Was never RC (though I did spend a few years praying in RC churches and attended a handful of Why Catholic? classes), but on an odd occasion I will pray the rosary. I have found that sometimes I get "our" Hail Mary mixed up with "theirs" in my mind when I do.
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« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2013, 07:37:50 AM »

I was raised Roman Catholic, still have my first communion rosary AND missal. Those have served me well on my journey. The rosary is a prayer rope. I do pray both prayers, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. I am still just an inquirer of orthodoxy, but I have always been a child of God. I married a protestant and we have been in that realm for many years until now.
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« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2013, 07:46:05 AM »

I'm cradle Orthodox, but I like using a rosary, merely because I prefer the feel of wooden beads to that of woollen knots. I don't use the rosary prayers, though. Still, there is such a thing as an Orthodox rosary.

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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2013, 07:48:28 AM »

I wish I still did. I've been pretty lax in my prayer life, and I should fix that.
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2013, 11:17:41 AM »

Thank you for your posts.  Is there a link somewhere as to how to pray the Orthodox rosary? 

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« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2013, 11:21:58 AM »

http://www.bombaxo.com/blog/files/rule.pdf

The Rule of the Mother of God
of St Seraphim of Sarov

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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2013, 11:23:47 AM »

Thank you for your posts.  Is there a link somewhere as to how to pray the Orthodox rosary?  

Joanna

Arachne gave the link in her post to a PDF file on St. Seraphim's rosary, if that's what you're asking. It's a few posts up.

Edit: Looks like my response was too late. Tongue
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« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 10:32:13 PM »

Thank you, Arachne and Nephi!  People here are so helpful!

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« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2013, 05:24:25 AM »

We like sharing our light around here. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 07:37:50 AM »

No. I've never "felt" this prayer, although as a RC I used to attend services with the rosary prayer. When I've discovered the Jesus Prayer, I thought "yeah, that's it!". I've never been able to focus on the rosary. What's more important: Hail Mary, the mysteries, my intention or maybe another thing? And in Jesus Prayer it's very simple. Even my mother, who still being RC, prefers saying Jesus prayer, than rosary.
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« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2013, 09:02:21 AM »

After our families came to Orthodoxy "en masse" from the Greek Catholic church church in the late 1930's my grandmothers continued their Rosary devotions until their repose many years later. My mom's generation did not . In some by then-Orthodox parishes, the older women continued organized Rosary devotions through the early 1980's until their generation passed on.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2014, 04:33:09 PM »

I am very late to reply to this thread, BUT would like to contribute with my two cents. I'm a convert from RC and with the blessing of my previous priest, I still pray the Rosary. I do some modifications though.

After the morning EO prayers; in the beginning and at the end, I start and finish with the Rule of St. Pachomios http://timhollingworth.webs.com/docs/catholic/HowtoPraytheRuleofStPachomius.pdf

I substituted each mystery with the mysteries in the Rule of the Theotokos (Seraphim of Sarov). Here is the link to the one I use http://therosemarytree.blogspot.com/2009/01/rule-of-theotokos-byzantine-rosary.html and do not use my imagination. I either read the mysteries or if I have memorized them I look at an icon of the Theotokos.

I also add the Jesus' Prayer (Lord Jesus Crist, have mercy on me a sinner) at the beginning and the end of each decade. The Creed I recite is the EO Creed.

I believe reciting the Rosary is a spiritual exercise. You can feel how the devil attacks you with distractions, so I personally feel it makes me strong and helps me focus all my senses in God. I homeschool so the Rule of Theotokos given by St. Seraphim of Sarov is usually too long, in my particular case. This is why dividing the rule by mysteries, throughout the week, makes it easier for lay people like me.  Smiley



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« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2014, 12:37:47 AM »

Not of late but I am going to try and get back into it. I use my Rosary as a prayer rope ha! Was using it at the Novus Ordo tonight! But I am going to suggest it to a very sweet friend from high school who was married a couple years ago. She's just so good by nature, even in the nonsense of modern Catholicism. God has just granted her a good, humble heart even though she is very beautiful--I mean goregeous. She was called the hottest girl in school and yet she has no pride and shows good nature towards all. She's really happy in her marriage and I might suggest it to her to pray with her husband. Just in a casual way and say nothing else. After all: "The family that prays together stays together." I figured if I am going to suggest it to her, I might as well not be a hypocrite. It's a great prayer and not contrary to the Orthodox faith, even if it is Latin. I wont pray the Fatima Prayer though but will replace it with the Jesus Prayer.

I still pray the Hail Mary though during my prayers to the Theotokos. The Hail Mary is scriptural and orthodox after all, even if a post-Schism Latin prayer.
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 12:52:02 AM »

I'm in the process of conversion from Roman Catholicism. My priest told me that it is not proper to pray the rosary, at least not in the way the Roman Church does it. The reason is that you're supposed to close your eyes and mentally focus on aspects of the Passion. But in Orthodoxy, this is apparently thought to make you vulnerable to demonic visions.
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« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2014, 01:00:13 AM »

I didn't know that. It seems opinions vary among Orthodox priests I suppose. But even now I have problems with Fatima. To me it seems far too focused on some apocalyptic prophecy where one is supposed to pray a bunch of Rosaries and do penance to save the world from a great war. It just seems dangerous to me to proper piety, especially from an Eastern viewpoint. Not because of the "conversion of Russia" thing so much as the passionate demand to pray all these Rosaries and do all this penance, making God out to be this wrathful.
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« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2014, 03:26:03 AM »

I still don't get why Orthodox are against imagining the mysteries.  I had a devotion to the rosary but since I'm converting to Orthodox I'm trying to understand their prayer.  I've read some good books about it but I still don't get it.  If you imagine the mysteries then you aren't distracted, that's the point.  God gives you the prayer of quiet in His own time.  That's what I learned and it makes more sense to me then trying to force your mind to have no thoughts whatsoever.  I learned doing that is bad because it's like trying to force the prayer of quiet or prayer of the heart when it's God who is the one who gives it to you.  
I still don't know about the rosary and imagining during prayer.  I asked my priest about it but he is misinformed about many Catholic teachings.  
I mean, why is it ok to stare at an Icon but it's not ok to imagine something about Jesus or Mary?  Shouldn't we use our imagination to imagine something good, something about Jesus.  If not, then why do we even have an imagination?  And if it's not ok to imagine Jesus then why did He become Man??  Didn't He become man so that we could have that connection to God that we otherwise couldn't have? 
I've been struggling with this teaching for a while and I don't get it.
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« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2014, 04:24:02 AM »

I since i became orthodox from the roman catholic church I ve prayed the rosary on a few occasions but  I find it to rcctholic for me and  is not orthodox. So I tend to use my battle rope now.the Jesus pray is a good weapon against the devil.
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« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 05:43:25 AM »

I still don't get why Orthodox are against imagining the mysteries.  I had a devotion to the rosary but since I'm converting to Orthodox I'm trying to understand their prayer.  I've read some good books about it but I still don't get it.  If you imagine the mysteries then you aren't distracted, that's the point.  God gives you the prayer of quiet in His own time.  That's what I learned and it makes more sense to me then trying to force your mind to have no thoughts whatsoever.  I learned doing that is bad because it's like trying to force the prayer of quiet or prayer of the heart when it's God who is the one who gives it to you.  
I still don't know about the rosary and imagining during prayer.  I asked my priest about it but he is misinformed about many Catholic teachings.  
I mean, why is it ok to stare at an Icon but it's not ok to imagine something about Jesus or Mary?  Shouldn't we use our imagination to imagine something good, something about Jesus.  If not, then why do we even have an imagination?  And if it's not ok to imagine Jesus then why did He become Man??  Didn't He become man so that we could have that connection to God that we otherwise couldn't have? 
I've been struggling with this teaching for a while and I don't get it.

I think the main difference between an icon and something created in your mind is that the icon is written. You do have some good points though. Perhaps our imagination is not meant to be used in this way, even though it is essentially good? The same could be said about our sexuality, appetite, humor etc?

Personally I still continue to pray the rosary even though I was never very good with the mysteries. It is the one prayer that has followed me my entire Christian life and I feel very attached to it. But then again, I am not yet Orthodox and I still go to Mass etc. sometimes.

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« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2014, 01:39:58 AM »

I still don't get why Orthodox are against imagining the mysteries.  I had a devotion to the rosary but since I'm converting to Orthodox I'm trying to understand their prayer.  I've read some good books about it but I still don't get it.  If you imagine the mysteries then you aren't distracted, that's the point.  God gives you the prayer of quiet in His own time.  That's what I learned and it makes more sense to me then trying to force your mind to have no thoughts whatsoever.  I learned doing that is bad because it's like trying to force the prayer of quiet or prayer of the heart when it's God who is the one who gives it to you.  
I still don't know about the rosary and imagining during prayer.  I asked my priest about it but he is misinformed about many Catholic teachings.  
I mean, why is it ok to stare at an Icon but it's not ok to imagine something about Jesus or Mary?  Shouldn't we use our imagination to imagine something good, something about Jesus.  If not, then why do we even have an imagination?  And if it's not ok to imagine Jesus then why did He become Man??  Didn't He become man so that we could have that connection to God that we otherwise couldn't have? 
I've been struggling with this teaching for a while and I don't get it.

It depends on the practice. I have read in Orthodox books where the author encourages the use of the imagination. In the book How to Live a Holy Life (published by ROCOR with the blessing of Metropolitan Laurus) by Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg for example, he encourages the reader to imagine the Lord in His sufferings on the Cross and to pray to Him about everything that comes to our heart (p. 103). There are other instances where he recommends this as well throughout the book.
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« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2014, 01:41:45 AM »

In reply to the OP, I never learned the Rosary when I was Catholic at a child, but later picked it up after praying it at my grandfather's funeral visitation. I pray it occasionally, though not as often as I should. It has brought me much comfort.
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« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2014, 03:11:19 AM »

Quote
by Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg for example, he encourages the reader to imagine the Lord in His sufferings on the Cross and to pray to Him about everything that comes to our heart

This is straight out of RC teaching. He might be a bishop, but he's wrong on this. Logismoi (imaginings, even those associated with the act of prayer) are consistently spoken of in prayers and pastoral advice as things to be avoided.
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« Reply #26 on: March 08, 2014, 03:38:26 AM »

It depends on the practice. I have read in Orthodox books where the author encourages the use of the imagination. In the book How to Live a Holy Life (published by ROCOR with the blessing of Metropolitan Laurus) by Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg for example, he encourages the reader to imagine the Lord in His sufferings on the Cross and to pray to Him about everything that comes to our heart (p. 103). There are other instances where he recommends this as well throughout the book.

Yeah, while there are many Orthodox that speak out against the practice, there are also many (hierarchs, monastics, etc.) that recommend some variation of it.
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« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2014, 11:41:22 PM »

Yes, it seems to vary according to different spiritual fathers or priests. I can see how these deep meditations might lead to demonic influence but maybe I just not Orthodox yet, but I just can't say the Rosary is bad or dangerous. If someone wants to pray it as an Orthodox they should, as long as they understand I suppose how Orthodox view prayer as opposed to Roman Catholics. And I stand by telling my friend to pray the Rosary with her husband because she is a good person and praying the Rosary with him can only make so virtuous a soul even more divine. Some people are pious by nature, a sort of natural piety since piety has more to do with internal charity as seen outwardly by action. It has nothing to do with how much one prays or goes to church, as Orthodox and Catholics agree. But prayer is important and the Rosary is good. I friend told me he was on a plane and a female solider was beside him praying her Rosary. He talked to a bit about it and she said she never was very religious though Catholic. But when she got into boot camp and things got hard she starting going to Mass and praying the Rosary. So it can do a lot of good, even if it can do bad. And I would say for the benefit of Roman Catholics that any visions a person claims to have of the Virgin, etc. are very much investigated if they become popular and few are "approved" by the local bishop or Rome if it gets so far. Exorcisms and visions are taking seriously. Mental illiness, holiness, and all such things are investigated.
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2014, 04:45:20 PM »

I'm in the process of conversion from Roman Catholicism. My priest told me that it is not proper to pray the rosary, at least not in the way the Roman Church does it. The reason is that you're supposed to close your eyes and mentally focus on aspects of the Passion. But in Orthodoxy, this is apparently thought to make you vulnerable to demonic visions.

Couldn't the same thing happen when doing the Jesus Prayer? The Eastern Rite does not have the market cornered on private prayers with strings of beads or knots. And it surprises me that an Antiochian pastor doesn't know better. You're a new convert (btw congratulations) and you should listen to your priest at this formative stage.
It's just irritating to see a priest just nix a person's use of the rosary by pulling such an extreme, over the top abuse of this devotion that would be unacceptable to any priest, East or West. FWIW, my use if the rosary is ok with my priest and bishop (Antiochian), but your mileage may vary.
Western praxis is just as old as Eastern, and the RC cannot high jack it away from the Church. 
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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2014, 08:06:59 PM »

The Eastern Rite does not have the market cornered on private prayers with strings of beads or knots. 

 Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2014, 08:16:00 PM »

I have been taught that the fallen imagination is too unrestrained. After all, we don't know how to pray for as we ought. So the church gives icons so we don't vainly use our imagination in prayer. That is why icons are not a free-for-all, but are supposed to follow a certain organic tradition. Now this forum is irrationally hostile to the idea of icons having a set of standards, so note that I pointed out that tradition is "organic." Meaning maybe it can slowly develop through ecumenical acceptance and veneration by the faithful. Even LBK, whom the peanut gallery despises for her iconographic expertise, has told me about iconic types that were very late developments that she considers acceptable in representing the Orthodox faith (like the innovation of depicting St. George killing a dragon).
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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2014, 08:20:06 PM »

Some people are pious by nature, a sort of natural piety since piety has more to do with internal charity as seen outwardly by action. It has nothing to do with how much one prays or goes to church, as Orthodox and Catholics agree.

Can you show me where you've found that Orthodox Christians agree that piety has "nothing to do" with prayer?
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2014, 08:29:18 PM »

I have been taught that the fallen imagination is too unrestrained. After all, we don't know how to pray for as we ought. So the church gives icons so we don't vainly use our imagination in prayer.

I remember hearing an Abbot give a talk once that touched on this subject. He mentioned how it was even inappropriate to imagine icons, much less events in the life of Christ and Mary. He explained and gave a number of reasons as to why imagination in prayer was absolutely forbidden, but I still can't find the arguments all that compelling. We wrestle with these kinds of thoughts and distractions all the time anyway, so I just don't see how not actively imagining something prevents our mind from inadvertently, or however else, being led astray to inappropriate thoughts/imaginings any more than imagining Christ's Nativity or something. IDK.
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« Reply #33 on: April 21, 2014, 01:12:38 AM »

I have been taught that the fallen imagination is too unrestrained. After all, we don't know how to pray for as we ought. So the church gives icons so we don't vainly use our imagination in prayer.

I remember hearing an Abbot give a talk once that touched on this subject. He mentioned how it was even inappropriate to imagine icons, much less events in the life of Christ and Mary. He explained and gave a number of reasons as to why imagination in prayer was absolutely forbidden, but I still can't find the arguments all that compelling. We wrestle with these kinds of thoughts and distractions all the time anyway, so I just don't see how not actively imagining something prevents our mind from inadvertently, or however else, being led astray to inappropriate thoughts/imaginings any more than imagining Christ's Nativity or something. IDK.

Yeah, I really don't get it.  I can focus on an image in my mind and it will help me with prayer, with being focused, and then eventually the quiet will come.  Trying to focus on keeping my mind empty or on the meaning of words, whatever that means, is just distracting and weird to me.
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« Reply #34 on: May 09, 2014, 01:35:12 AM »

Maybe I am doing it wrong but when I pray the Jesus Prayer I am thinking on my sins and talking in my mind as I say the words on things like the nature of my sins and their occasions. Not too hard though. In a very simple manner that sort of goes along with the speed of the prayer. I am also asking God for mercy and considering my own death and judgment. It may seem complicated the way I explain it but it's actually very simple. And I often strike my breast with my other hand and bow if my emotions grow really strong.
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« Reply #35 on: May 09, 2014, 09:24:49 AM »

I still pray the Rosary. A Western Rite priest who has been instrumental in my conversion encouraged me to keep praying the rosary, but without the Fatima prayer.
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