instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

If devoutly used

Just to sum up my posts from Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Laetitiae sanctae, by quoting from that encyclical:
We are convinced that the Rosary, if devoutly used, is bound to benefit not only the individual but society at large.
It benefits society, Pope Leo argues, by making the individual who prays the Rosary into a better person, and societies with better people are (all else being equal) better. The individual is improved by devout use of the Rosary because he is fortified against "three influences which appear to [Pope Leo] to have the chief place in effecting this downgrade movement of society":
  1. The Joyful Mysteries counter "the distaste for a simple and labourious life."
  2. The Sorrowful Mysteries counter "repugnance to suffering of any kind."
  3. The Glorious Mysteries counter "the forgetfulness of the future life."
The encyclical was published in 1893. You can decide for yourself whether those influences are still in play 120 years later.

Another question is what baleful influence the Luminous Mysteries might be said to counter. Without giving it much thought, I'd suggest some variation on loneliness or isolation or lack of purpose or meaning to life.

The Rosary, for Pope Leo XIII, is a devotion that is not merely private.