Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Rosary Confraternity Part Two

A complete consecration to Jesus and Mary
This sharing is not confined to the saying of prayers, but embraces concern for the whole spiritual and bodily welfare of one's companions. It is primarily concerned with the sharing of the supernatural values, which arise from the intercessory prayer and good works of all members. Those who wish to join, are asked to make a complete consecration of themselves to the Blessed Virgin, allowing her, in her gracious wisdom, to share out the combined treasury of grace with the whole group. We can see from this, that what we are talking about in the true Rosary fellowship, is not a question of counting of heads, or being together in one place or united in one voice. The oneness aimed at is a oneness in Christ.

William Pepin
That other great preacher of the Rosary Confraternity, William Pepin, a contemporary of Michael de Insulis, has left us a splendid collection of sermons on this subject of the shared spirituality of the Rosary. He pointed to the text: All that I have, is yours...' Luke 15:31: which comes from rhe story of the Prodigal Son. The father gives the elder son a powerful lesson in the matter of sharing with his brother. In those words, 'All that is mine, is yours,' the father is telling him to assume the authority of an elder brother. The generous father tells his first-born that he is perfectly entitled, indeed obliged, to go into the family treasure- room, and take out what is necessary for the younger needy one. He is being challenged to put the cloak of mercy on his brother's back, to put the shoes on his feet, and the ring of loving relationship on his finger. The cloak is for protection, the shoes are for freedom - only slaves went barefoot. The ring symbolises love, friendship, covenant relationship. Celebrate our brothers and sisters

Members of the true Rosary Confraternity are expected to exercise this same ministry towards their fellow members, that is to support and upbuild each other as the Father of the Prodigal did and as the Elder Brother ought to have done. These are the qualities of confraternity, united brother/sisterhood, which brings with it genuine respect and generous sharing. Far from the begrudgery of one who has 'slaved all these years', the long-standing elders should realise that everything the father has is already their own, and that they are perfectly entitled to kill the fatted calf themselves and to celebrate their brothers and sisters. They claim that authority, not for their own selfish interests, but for the common good of all.

Step out wth head held high
The Book of Revelation speaks of those who win the victory and are given the right to share the throne. Rosary leaders then, have should not disclaim this God-given authority. If, out of false humility, they do so, then others suffer by their failure to act as true elder brorhers or sisters. William Pepin continues: every member of the Rosary Confraternity should step out with head held high, not only to claim personal inheritance, but to share it in a spirit of Christian fellowship. As princes and princesses of the royal blood we enjoy innumerable privileges which, however, bring with them obligations of love and service in the royal household of the Confraternity.

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