Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Booster shots for your blessings

Sound doctrine comforts the soul

Michael in Omaha had a question for Patrick Madrid, who was serving as the religion expert for the July 23, 2009, broadcast of EWTN's Open Line. Michael got in just under the wire, at the 51:10 mark. Here is a transcript of their conversation, with just a tiny bit of added emphasis at the end:
Michael: If a rosary breaks, and it's been blessed, and there are pieces missing and one wants to make, say, a small chaplet out of it. Or if a rosary breaks and one has to add new parts. I know we're not supposed to have a rosary blessed more than once, but what do you do in terms of blessing it again?

Patrick Madrid: Well, the first thing to do is get it out of your head that you can't have a sacramental blessed more than once. You can have any sacramental blessed any number of times. It doesn't become more holy. In other words, it doesn't gain more grace in that sense. So if that's what you mean then, yeah, people shouldn't be superstitious.
Wow. Just wow.

Any comment would seem superfluous. Patrick, however, wasn't quite done.
But you can have any holy object blessed as often as you might want. You may be wearing a Miraculous Medal and your parish priest blesses it and then you happen to go to the Vatican and meet the Holy Father and have him bless it, too. No problem with that.

If you're asking whether or not by adding new beads to a rosary whether or not you'd have to have it blessed all over again, the answer's no. Because the blessing that a priest or bishop would give to a rosary or some other sacramental, that's integral to the thing itself. So it's not as if now that you have twenty percent replacement beads suddenly now you've got a blessing that's out of warranty. It doesn't work like that. So you don't have to worry. If that's the question you're asking, you don't have to worry about that kind of thing.
Sound doctrine has a way of putting one's mind at ease, right? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty pleased with the numerical example. What a relief to learn that a rosary retains its original blessing even with a 20% replacement of beads! Imagine having to go to your parish priest and asking him to bring your 80%-blessed rosary up to full strength. How awkward!

And silly, too. Right?


Eamon Knight said...

If I get my rosary blessed (if I had one, which I don't), do I get +2 on my rolls to turn the undead? Will my Miraculous Medal allow me to Heal Minor Wounds, or Purify Food? Seriously, this guy really does sound a bit like a page out of the AD&D rulebooks.

There's a sense in which all religion is superstition, but this fetishism about objects and the blessing thereof makes it explicit: it's a belief in magic amulets and spells. At least the fundy Protestants of my past avoided that level of primitive absurdity.

Anonymous said...

What about the "tin man" effect? Can I replace pieces bit by bit until nothing is left of the original?

Can I add Darwin Fishes and have it still be blessed?

my verification word is "cruser", as in "cruser fiction".

Theo Bromine said...

At least Patrick Madrid actually answered the question, unlike this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgfyVZEHcLQ

(and since we seem to be sharing verification words, mine was "loldb", which gave me a bit of a chuckle at least)

Karen said...

My mother was a devout Catholic, and said the Rosary every day. (That's one prayer for each of those beads, for you non-Catholics; i.e. serious dedication.) Not only that, but she and her Catholic neighbors got together once a week and said the whole thing as a group. Then they shared coffee, cookies, and gossip.

This unbeliever's mind boggles.

(I would've at least done crackers and good cheese with the gossip. You can never have too much good cheese.)

The Ridger, FCD said...

Yes, people shouldn't be superstitious, but religion is different! Really!

I guess this also means that strangers who pick up your lost blessed beads get no value from them...

Phillip Moon said...

See now, I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church, and we didn't have any of that superstitious nonsense. We knew that the wafers and grape juice (we didn't use wine) didn't really turn into Jesus. We were better than that. We new the magic was in the ritual. See how much more rational we were?

Anonymous said...

I've never heard it called the "tin man" effect before, although it's quite apt and very clever. I would have gone farther back and called them the Rosary Beads of Theseus.