Passionist Laity

The Confraternity of the Passion

 

What’s a confraternity?

At the time of St. Paul of the Cross (+1774), founder of the Passionists, confraternities still played a large part in the life of the Catholic Church.  The were often the means for spiritual formation and a number of Christian ministries, for example, prison ministry, bereavement ministry, the instruction of children, various prayer ministries, Today, they’re less prominent.

History of the Confraternity of the Passion

The Confraternity of the Passion began in April 6, 1755 when a group of laypeople in Frosinone, Italy, already members of a prayer group, approached the Passionists about helping them “ observe the liturgical feasts and assist those in need.” They knew the Passionists through parish missions and retreats they conducted.

Since then, “the Passionists have generally felt committed to promote the Confraternity of the Passion as a way to continue parish missions and retreats and achieving what St. Paul of the Cross sought to do with prayer groups. The association was also seen as a spiritual movement for Passionists to promote the memory of the passion and make it part of daily family and social life,” writes Passionist historian Fr. Fabiano Giorgini, (History of the Passionists, p 160)

What’s the Confraternity of the Passion?

  1. It’s a lay organization enabling men and women to take part in the liturgy and inspiring them to work for the good of those in need.
  2. It promotes the memory of the passion “as part of daily family and social life.”
  3. It fosters the ministry of the Passionists.

How can you participate?

  1. Keep the Passion of Jesus in mind each day in your life and your prayer.
  2. Send your name and email (or address) to be enrolled. We’ll email you a monthly calendar with the lectionary readings and some reflections on the feasts of the month.
  3. Follow this blog and other Passionist sites online to enter the mystery of Jesus Christ as it unfolds in your life and the days of the church year.
  4. Some Passionist locations have meetings for members of the Confraternity of the Passion or groups associated with the Passionists.
  5. Other Passionist locations and resources in North America and worldwide are indicated below.

Father Victor Hoagland, CP

vhoagland@mac.com

confraternitycp@gmail.com 

Resources

Praying the Year with the Liturgical Calendar

There is no better way to pray everyday than to pray each day with the church. One of the principal goals of the Second Vatican Council was to foster the daily prayer of the church through the liturgy. Along with other parts of the liturgy, it ordered the renewal of the liturgical year and the Roman calendar. (Sacrosanctum Concilium 102 -110)

The renewed liturgical year and Roman calendar appeared in 1970. Pope St. Paul VI, in promulgating the renewed year and calendar, wrote that celebrating the mysteries of Christ as it unfolds through the year from his birth till his death and resurrection “has a special sacramental power and influence over the Christian life.”

The renewed Roman calendar became the basis for the regional and religious calendars that govern the daily liturgy of the church today. 

The renewal of the church year and calendar began well before Vatican II. Pope St. Pius X and other popes restored Sunday, “the original feast”, and the season of lent to promote the yearly celebration of the mysteries of Christ. Vatican II continued the reform, asking that “ The minds of the faithful be directed primarily toward the feasts of the Lord whereby the mysteries of salvation are celebrated in the course of the year. Therefore, the proper of the time shall be given preference over the feasts of the saints, so that the entire cycle of the mysteries of salvation may be suitably recalled.” (SC 108)

Vatican II recognized an imbalance in the yearly liturgy due to the large number of the saints feasts and devotional feasts and directed the mysteries of Christ be given preference during the year and certain seasons of the year. 

Yet Vatican II did not lose sight of the saints in the liturgical year. Feasts of Mary, closely connected to the mysteries of Christ, were to be celebrated throughout the year.  Besides Mary’s feasts the council affirmed the celebration of saints, “who proclaim the work of God in Christ and offer an important example to the faithful.” (SC 103-104)

The feasts of the saints, however, were reduced in number and in the place they had in the liturgy. In choosing saints for the church’s general calendar, the post-conciliar commission tasked with reforming the church calendar followed certain principles: 

The historical principle. 

Saints reveal the saving work of Christ through time and in various places. They help us understand God’s unfolding plan and how the church changes, develops and is renewed over time. For that reason, only saints historically verifiable are now celebrated in the calendar. Almost 40 feast days of saints– all martyrs and saints from the early church period– were eliminated from the 1960 general calendar following this principle. 

According to this same principle, saints chosen for the general calendar are to be universally significant, from different times and places. 

Saints of the New Testament

Mary, the mother of Jesus, the most significant of our saints, is important for every time and place. Following her are the apostles, the evangelists and New Testament figures like John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, who are universally significant because they knew Jesus, heard his voice and saw what he did. He appeared to them after rising from the dead. They are living stones on which the church is built.

Each month the general calendar today offers a feast of Mary and a feast of an apostle; other New Testament saints appear frequently through the year. 

The Martyrs

Martyrs from all periods of church history are significant saints in our calendar. Luke’s account of the martyrdom of Stephen the Deacon at the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles describes the importance of the martyr saint in the church.  “Filled with the holy Spirit, Stephen looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Luke parallels the martyrdom of Stephen with the death of Jesus, who dies and rises in glory.

In Luke’s account the martyr sees glory ahead in the midst of suffering and pain, and so inspires the faithful to “believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” 

Martyrs also draw others to believe. Peter Brown, an historian of early Christianity, says it wasn’t the bravery of Christian martyrs that impressed the Romans. The Romans were a macho people; war was in their blood and they prided themselves on dying bravely. What the Romans marveled at was how Christian martyrs approached death. They saw something beyond death. They considered themselves citizens of another world and believed in the promise of everlasting life. As they died, Jesus Christ was their Lord and Savior and another world, more glorious than this one, was calling them on.

The apostles Peter and Paul are celebrated as martyrs and founders of the Roman church in a common solemnity in our present calendar; they are joined by a celebration of all those who suffered with them in the Neronian persecution of 64 AD. (June 29-30) Martyrs are the most prominent saints in our calendar today.

From the subsequent centuries of persecution, martyrs like Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, Agnes, Felicita and Perpetua, Lawrence the deacon have a place in our calendar because they were the seed of a growing church as they witnessed to the mystery of Jesus’ passion in their time. 

The centuries afterwards also produced martyrs. Some are founders of new churches who not only died for Christ but did what Jesus commanded: “Go out to the whole world and preach the gospel, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Boniface, a martyr bishop, is considered a founder of the church in germanic lands. Andrew Kim Taegon and a layman Paul Chong Hasang, head the list of 103 martyrs canonized in 1984 as founders of the church in Korea. Augustine Zhao Rong, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs, are considered founders of the church in China. Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc,Priest, and Companions, Martyrs, are founders of the church in Vietnam. The martyrdom of St. Charles Lwanga and twenty-one companions in Uganda began Christianity’s remarkable growth in the late 19th century. 

Saintly teachers and spiritual guides

Besides martyr saints, the church was blessed in the centuries after Constantine granted liberty to the church with a significant number of holy teachers and spiritual leaders, like Athanasius, Augustine, Jerome, Basil the Great, Ambrose, Anthony of Egypt, Benedict and Martin of Tours. They are memorialized in our calendar.

They are joined by saints like Bernard, Francis of Assisi, Dominic, Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure from the medieval period and saints like Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, John of the Cross, Francis de Sales, Vincent de Paul from the Reformation period. Some of these saints were founders of religious communities or began important movements in the church. 

Popes, Bishops and Kings

Church leaders through the centuries are also prominent in our present general calendar. Twenty popes like Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, and Pius X are celebrated, some as memorials, others as optional memorials. The popes in the calendar (once 38 in number, now reduced ) are an important source for understanding the development of the papacy in the church from the beginning till today. Recently John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II were placed in the general Roman calendar as optional memorials. 

Bishops like Charles Borromeo of Milan, Turribius of Peru, Ansgar of Scandinavia influenced important movements of reform in their parts of the world. King Louis of France, Casimir of Poland and Lithuania were civil leaders who inspired their people with their holiness. They appear on our general calendar as church leaders or leaders of society. A wide range of Christians, young and old, are celebrated through the year.

Saints on the General Calendar

The historical principle for calendar reform says that only saints universally significant should be placed in the general Roman calendar, which led to reducing a number of saints from particular nations, like Italy, Spain and France, leaving them to be placed in national calendars or calendars of religious orders. Thirty saints, most of them from Italy, were dropped from the general calendar in 1970 to be placed on regional calendars or calendars of a religious order.

For example, Paul of the Cross, as the Italian founder of a worldwide religious community, remains in the general calendar. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, appears only in the calendar of his religious order, the Passionists.

The historical principle also prompts us to increasingly recognize women saints like Catherine of Siena, Clare of Assisi, Hildegarde of Bingen, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux in our calendars. Women have been overlooked in the life of the church and society in the past, historians point out today; their work and accomplishments need to be recognized.

Saints from the eastern church, like John Damascene, Cyril and Methodius, Josaphat, Nicholaus, Ephrem the Syrian and Andrew the Apostle are paid special attention in our general calendar today because their promote union between the churches of the east and west. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, can be counted among them because we celebrate many of her feasts together with these same churches.

Saints that draw our attention to certain acute social problems in the world are also given a place in our general calendar. Martin de Porres, Peter Claver, Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Maximillian Kolbe point to the challenge of racism and war. In fact, all the saints of our general calendar, who responded to the poison of their times, can offer lessons for today.

The calendar may note days to pray for a particular intention recommended by the papacy for the whole church. The intention suggested may be connected with a saint celebrated at that time:  

January 1.          For Peace                                      (Mary, the Mother of God)                                                 January 18-25    Octave of Prayer for Church Unity (Conversion of St. Paul )                                               February 2.        For Consecrated Life       (Feast of the Presentation of Jesus)                                                                                 February 11.       For the Sick                     (Feast of  Our Lady of Lourdes)                                                                               April                    For the Holy Land                                                                                         May  8                For Vocations                                                                                                 May   29             For Social Communications                                                                       June                   Peter’s Pence Collection. For the Pope                                                      September 1       For the Care of Creation                                                                             September 25.    For Migrants and Refugees                                                                          October. 23         For the Missions                                                                                       

The ritual principle

A new system for celebrating the saints and feast days of the church was established following Vatican II to give balance and order to the church year. According to the ritual principle a feast day or saint’s day may be ranked as a solemnity, feast, memorial, or optional memorial. 

The Sunday celebration has special importance. “ Other celebrations, unless they be truly of greatest importance, shall not have precedence over the Sunday which is the foundation and kernel of the whole liturgical year.” (SC 106)

Feasts of the Lord and “ the proper of the time shall be given the preference which is its due over the feasts of the saints.” (SC 108) Seasons, like Lent, Advent, the Easter Season are to be preferred in celebrating the liturgy. 

In the general calendar of 1970 there were 63 obligatory memorials and  95 optional memorials. Certain saints are celebrated as obligatory memorials because of their exceptional significance in the history of the church. Martyrs especially, like Ignatius of Antioch, Perpetual and Felicity, and Boniface, and Charles Lwanga are celebrated in this way. Universal teachers and spiritual guides like Gregory the Great, Augustine, Bernard and Ignatius Loyola are obligatory memorials.

Saints celebrated with optional memorials witness to a holiness present in every time and place. The celebration of their feasts is left to “individual discretion”, according to the instruction that introduced the general calendar, which indicates that their celebration depends on the benefit or timely lesson they may bring to a community today. 

National calendars and calendars of religious orders 

National calendars like the Calendar of the Dioceses of the United States and calendars of religious orders, like that of the Passionists, follow the feasts, seasons and saints of the Roman calendar but have feasts and saints of their own. 

In the Calendar of the Dioceses of the United States 23 saints and feasts, not found in the general calendar but important to the church in the United States, are celebrated: 6 are obligatory memorials, Elizabeth Seton, John Neumann, Kateri Tekakwitha, John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Peter Claver, and Frances Xavier Cabrini, the rest are optional memorials. Along with the saints, certain important days, like Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day also appear on this calendar. 

The Calendar of the Dioceses of the United States can be found on the website of the American Catholic Bishops. www.usccb.org

The Passionist Calendar

The Passionist Calendar follows the general calendar of the church. The Passionists pray with the church throughout the world, following the mysteries of Jesus Christ and the saints, taking part in its sacred seasons and reading the scriptures day by day through the year. 

The Passionists celebrate some solemnities and feasts of saints of their own inspired by their charism, but they pray in harmony with the universal church and the church where they serve. Their calendar celebrates the solemnity of their founder, St. Paul of the Cross, and obligatory memorials of some of its saints: St. Gabriel, St. Vincent Strambi, St. Gemma Galgani, its blessed martyrs Eugene Bossilkov, the martyrs of Damiel, Spain, Dominic Barbari and Lorenzo Salvi.  Others like St. Charles Houben and Blessed Bernard Silvestrelli  are celebrated as optional memorials. 

The Passionist Calendar also celebrates certain feasts inspired by the Passionist charism: The Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of our Lord is celebrated on the  the Friday before Ash Wednesday and the Prayer of Jesus in the Garden on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. A memorial of the Glorious Wounds of Jesus Christ is celebrated on Friday, the 2nd Week of Easter. A feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ is celebrated July 1.

The Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows (September 14-15) are celebrated as feasts with some proper readings.

The Passionist Calendar also suggests optional votive Masses of the Passion of Jesus and votive Masses for the Sorrowful Mother for Fridays and Saturdays of Ordinary Time during the year. 

The Passionist Calendar can be found on the Passionist website.

Devotional Prayers and Popular Piety: the Rosary, Stations of the Cross.

Besides liturgical prayers– the prayer of the Eucharist, the sacraments, the seasons,  the liturgy of the hours and remembrances of the saints–  there are devotional prayers like the rosary, Stations of the Cross, and novenas to the saints that are not found in our liturgical books or calendars but nourish our prayer. Do they belong in the prayer of the church?

It’s no secret that some people, for many reasons, find liturgical prayer inadequate, and see popular prayers more satisfying A important document on the liturgy and popular piety from the Congregation of Divine Worship admits that “History shows, in certain epochs, the life of faith is sustained by the forms and practices of piety, which the faithful have often felt more deeply and actively, than the liturgical celebrations.” (Directory on popular piety and the liturgy. Principles and guidelines, Rome 2001)

The document offers an historical account of the relationship between popular piety and the liturgy, beginning with New Testament times. ( Directory 22-49) No separation of piety and liturgy can be found in the early centuries of the church. Jesus and the mystery of his resurrection and his command of love dominated the prayer of the early Christian community. “Everything else – days and months, seasons and years, feasts, new moons, food and drink… (cf. Gal 4,10; Col 2,16-19) – was of secondary importance.” (Directory 23)The Jewish prayer tradition, which Jesus followed, is  strongly evident this period.

“In the fourth and fifth centuries, a greater sense of the sacredness of times and places begins to emerge. Many of the local Churches, in addition to their recollection of the New Testament data concerning the dies Domini, the Easter festival and fasting (cf. Mark 2,18-22), began to reserve particular days for the celebration of Christ’s salvific mysteries (Epiphany, Christmas and Ascension), or to honor the memory of the martyrs on their dies natalis or to commemorate the passing of their Pastors on the anniversary of their dies depositionis, or to celebrate the sacraments, or to make a solemn undertaking in life.”  (25)

Between the 7th and 15th century a split took place between the liturgy and popular piety for a number of reasons:

    Liturgy became the competence of clerics; the laity were no more than spectators. 

    Different styles of prayer arose – in monasteries and in cities and rural areas.

    A lack of knowledge of the scriptures, not only among the laity but also among clergy. 

    Little preaching or catechesis, especially sacramental catechesis. 

   New expressive popular forms of prayer, stressing the miraculous, engaged people.”(Directory 30)

“Various forms of Eucharistic adoration served to compensate for the rarity with which Holy Communion was received; in the late middle ages, the rosary tended to substitute for the psalter; among the faithful, the pious exercises of Good Friday became a substitute for the Liturgy proper to that day… The growth in popular forms of devotion to Our Lady and the Saints: pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and to the tombs of the Apostles and martyrs, veneration of relics, litanies, and suffrage for the dead.” (Directory 32)

The split between the liturgy and popular forms of piety continued in Reformation Time and until today. Vatican II in its Constitution on the Liturgy sought to remedy it. 

Particularly interesting to the Passionists is the description in the Directory of the post-Tridentine period, when the community was founded:

“In the post Tridentine period, the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety acquires some new aspects: the Liturgy entered a static period of substantial uniformity while popular piety entered a period of extraordinary development. While careful to establish certain limits, determined by the need for vigilance with regard to the exuberant or the fantastic, the Catholic reform promoted the creation and diffusion of pious exercises which were seen as an important means of defending the Catholic faith and of nourishing the piety of the faithful. The rise of Confraternities devoted to the mysteries of the Passion of Our Lord, as well as those of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints are good examples. These usually had the triple purpose of penance, formation of the laity and works of charity. Many beautiful images, full of sentiment, draw their origins from this form of popular piety and still continue to nourish the faith and religious experience of the faithful.

The “popular missions” emerged at this time and contributed greatly to the spread of the pious exercises. Liturgy and popular piety coexist in these exercises, even if somewhat imbalanced at times. The parochial missions set out to encourage the faithful to approach the Sacrament of Penance and to receive Holy Communion. They regarded pious exercises as a means of inducing conversion and of assuring popular participation in an act of worship. 

Pious exercises were frequently collected and organized into prayer manuals. Reinforced by due ecclesiastical approval, such became true and proper aids to worship for the various times of the day, month and year, as well as for innumerable circumstances that might arise in life.

The relationship between Liturgy and popular piety during the period of the Catholic Reform cannot be seen simply in contrasting terms of stability and development. Anomalies also existed: pious exercises sometimes took place within the liturgical actions and were superimposed on those same actions. In pastoral practice, they were sometimes more important than the Liturgy. These situations accentuated a detachment from Sacred Scripture and lacked a sufficient emphasis on the centrality of the Paschal mystery of Christ, foundation and summit of all Christian worship, and its privileged expression in Sunday.” (Directory 41)

In our time, the church approaches the Liturgy and popular piety, the Directory states, “ primarily from the perspective of the directives contained in the constitution Sacrosactum Concilium, which seek to establish an harmonious relationship between both of these expressions of piety, in which popular piety is objectively subordinated to, and directed towards, the Liturgy…It is important that the question of the relationship between popular piety and the Liturgy not be posed in terms of contradiction, equality or, indeed, of substitution. A realization of the primordial importance of the Liturgy, and the quest for its most authentic expressions, should never lead to neglect of the reality of popular piety, or to a lack of appreciation for it, nor any position that would regard it as superfluous to the Church’s worship or even injurious to it.” (Directory 50)

Responding to the criticism of popular piety by some, popes like St. John Paul II have written in its defense. “Popular piety can neither be ignored nor treated with indifference or disrespect because of its richness and because in itself it represents a religious attitude in relation to God. However, it has to be continually evangelized, so that the faith which it expresses may become more mature and authentic. The pious exercises of the Christian people and other forms of devotion can be accepted and recommended provided that they do not become substitutes for the Liturgy or integrated into the Liturgical celebrations. An authentic pastoral promotion of the liturgy, will know how to build on the riches of popular piety, purify them and direct them towards the Liturgy as an offering of the people.”(Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 6).    

 Pope St. John Paul II speaks of evangelizing popular piety, “so that the faith which it expresses may become more mature and authentic.” In liturgy, how can we “build on the riches of popular piety, purify them and direct them towards the Liturgy as an offering of the people?” That’s a question for us today.

Vatican 11’s approach to popular devotions, limited as it was, contains some important principles: “Such devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the sacred seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, and are in some way derived from it, and lead the people to it, since in fact the liturgy is by its nature far superior to any of them.” (SL 13) 

Meditation on the Passion

Meditation on the Passion has been an important devotional prayer for the Passionists from their earliest days. It was a distinctive part of Passionist missions, which always featured a prayer directed to Jesus on the Cross. The purpose of the meditation in the mission was principally to dispose people for the sacrament of penance. Those participating in missions by the Passionists were urged to continue meditating on the Passion of Jesus to foster their growth in holiness. 

The devotion called for imagining a scene from the final hours of Jesus, from his agony in the garden of Gethsemane till his death on the cross on Good Friday, drawing a lesson from it and applying the lesson to oneself. “Who is this?” was a question one should ask in this meditation. “Why does he suffer?” was another question. 

St. Paul of the Cross and those who followed him recommended the devotion to all, often in the form of the Stations of the Cross. Meditation on the Passion was also recommended by church leaders and with the promise of indulgences. Prayers and meditations on the Passion became a staple in prayerbooks and books of meditation. 

Evangelizing Meditation on the Passion: Scriptural Accounts of the Passion

How can we “evangelize” this devotion today, following Vatican II? Recent scriptural scholarship offers rich insights into the way the evangelists Mark, Matthew, Luke and John see the story of the Passion. The gospel accounts of the Passion, newly interpreted, help us see each of the evangelists writing the story for the community they come from and influencing the entire gospel story they recall. “Behold I come to do your will, O God” Jesus said as he began his life. Recent scriptural studies can broaden Passion meditation today. (See The Passion of Jesus Christ, Donald Senior, CP)

Meditation on the Passion based on new insights doesn’t mean abandoning traditional devotions but rather, as the church recommends, allowing them to be enriched by new insights.  It does not mean either having one’s own imagination and insights constrained instead of being enriched by scholarly research. If we told Bridget of Sweden, for example, to limit her meditations to recent scriptural research we would never have her beautiful meditations on Mary holding the body of her Son after being taken from the cross, the pieta. Recent scriptural research awaits the meditation of believers and their basic questions and reflections. What does the Passion of Jesus mean to me, to us, to the world we live in?

Evangelizing Meditation on the Passion: the Liturgy

The renewed liturgy is also an important source for enriching meditation on the Passion of Jesus. Pope Francis is his letter “Desiderio Desideravi” points to the vital connection between Jesus breaking bread at the Last Supper and his death on the Cross. Though his disciples were unable to see when he died “what it meant for Jesus to say, ‘body offered,’ ‘blood poured out,’ at the supper…When the Risen One returns from the dead to break the bread for the disciples at Emmaus, and for his disciples who had gone back to fishing for fish and not for people on the Sea of Galilee, that gesture of breaking the bread opens their eyes. It heals them from the blindness inflicted by the horror of the cross, and it renders them capable of “seeing” the Risen One, of believing in the Resurrection.” (DD 7) 

The Eucharist reveals the Paschal Mystery. It heals our blindness before Jesus in his Passion and enables us see him risen and his promise of Resurrection.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The liturgy then, especially the Eucharist, opens our eyes to the Passion of Jesus. In turn, the Passion of Jesus reveals the power of the Eucharist and the other sacraments. The sign of the cross is present in every liturgical act signifying the presence of the Passion. From its principal celebration of the Paschal Mystery on Sunday and its unfolding celebration in sacraments and feasts through the year, the liturgy enables us to “keep his Passion in mind.”

Besides the liturgy of the Eucharist, the liturgy of the hours, especially morning and evening prayers, is a rich resource for meditation on the Passion. Traditionally, the church finds Jesus in the psalms. They reveal the mind of Jesus in his Passion, his feelings, his fears, his trust in his heavenly Father. In the reformed liturgy of the hours, indications have been placed before many of the psalms pointing to their connection to him, especially the mystery of his death and resurrection. Besides the psalms, certain scriptural texts revealing this mystery, such as the hymn for the Second Letter to the Philippians, are repeated through the four week cycle of prayers. 

The saints celebrated in the liturgy can be meditations on the Passion. This applies especially to the martyrs who the church attests are drawn into the mystery of the Passion of Jesus through a special gift. They testify that his Passion continues in the life of the church and in the world. The mystery of the Passion is present continually in humanity and in creation itself as they make their journey through time. 

Evangelizing the Rosary and Benediction

The rosary and Benediction are two other popular devotional prayers, unfortunately now highly ritualized, that need to be evangelized in the light of Vatican II. Pope St. John Paul II spoke of the rosary as a school of Mary who leads us to the mystery of Christ. He encouraged meditation on the mysteries of Jesus in the rosary, adding the luminous mysteries to the joyful, sorrowful and glorious mysteries already part of it. 

How can the rosary “harmonize with the sacred seasons” and the liturgy itself, as the Vatican II proposes? (SL 13)

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has become a popular devotion in today’s church, encouraging silent prayer and recognition of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, however, must always be linked to “the breaking of the bread”, as Love poured out. Jesus in the Eucharist is the Word who took upon himself our human flesh, even to death on the Cross. (Philippians 2)

We need to emphasize more clearly the mystery of his Passion as well as the mystery of his Resurrection in the prayers and rites of Benediction. A recent book “Eucharistic Adoration After Vatican II,” Edward Foley, Liturgical Press, 2022 studies the history and theology of Eucharistic adoration and concludes with practical suggestions for pastorally celebrating Eucharistic Adoration, incorporating the theological and spiritual insights of Vatican II. Foley’s methodology could be well applied to devotions of the Passion and other devotions like the Rosary.

Victor Hoagland, CP                         September 25, 2022

https://vhoagland.wordpress.com ( Blog based on the feasts and readings of the church year. Jamaica Confraternity )

http://passionofchrist.us  (Resource site on the Passion of Jesus,  Jamaica Confraternity)

http://stpaulofthecrossmonastery.com/Confraternity_of_the_Passion_of.html             (Confraternity, St. Paul Monastery, Pittsburgh, Pa)

https://www.passionistnuns.org/passionistoblates/index.htm   (Passionist Oblates, Whitesville, KY)

Other Passionist Locations and Resources

http://www.passiochristi.org/en/   (Passionists, Rome)

http://passionistsinternational.org/ (Passionists International)

https://thepassionists.org/   (Passionists, Eastern Province, USA)

https://passionist.org/             (Passionists, Western Province, USA)

https://www.passionistnuns.org/index.html (Passionist Nuns, Whitesville, KY)

http://www.ourladyofcalvary.net/notes-from-olc/ (Passionist Sisters, Farmington, CT)

https://passionistcharism.wordpress.com/   (Australia)