Wednesday, June 13, 2007
NEW AGE ROSARIES
An article at Spirit Daily warns that New Age rosaries have found a way into Catholic events and are being distributed as though they are Catholic rosaries:
"These rosaries have appeared on sale at pilgrimage centers across Europe and in most cases are given away for free," warns a blog. "They are made from cheap plastic and come in white, blue, or pink, stamped as having been made in Italy, yet no one knows who has produced them. Since they are available at places of pilgrimage, this makes people automatically think they are fine to use. Information regarding the danger of these rosaries was given at the Marian Cenacle in Limoges, France, on 14th March 2005."
"I found two in my home and a friend found three in her home and another friend of mine found tons of them!" wrote a viewer who received hers from a friend in Richmond, Virginia. " A friend of mine and myself found some of these 'New Age rosaries in our collection of cheap plastic rosaries to give away for Legion of Mary. This is true and I am guessing that we should burn them?"
Yes. Another report has come from Wilmington, North Carolina.
"I thought that this was a hoax until I checked and found that I had a ton of these rosaries," wrote another. "I was given them to use for the Jericho March for Life. We've probably all used them at one time or another -- when we've lost or forgotten our rosary or the children will pick them up here and there -- or someone always gives the children this type of rosary. Creepy!"
"During these days, very disturbed and concerned people from Ireland and England wrote to me and told me about how people are giving back rosaries that they have received in Medjugorje, because a priest told them that these rosaries were New Age," a Croatian priest, Father Jozo Zovko, was quoted as saying.
"I must tell you: this is not true! It is a great temptation, but there is no such thing as a New Age rosary. There can only be the material from which the rosary is made, when the rosary is blessed, when it is placed in the hands of those who believe. It is not a matter of asking who made the rosary, but who prays with it and how they pray with it.
"When the rosary is blessed it becomes a key with which we open our hearts and God’s heart. There is no such thing as a New Age rosary. There is only a rosary that is blessed, and when blessed the value of the rosary is not judged in what it is, whether it is of plastic or solid gold. It does not matter who made it."
"They are considered New Age due to their symbolism which is not too easy to see except by close inspection of the Crucifix, which shows a very sinister story," says another warning. "Behind the figure of Christ there can be seen a caduceus, which is an upright pole, representing mediation between Heaven and earth.
"It is an ancient herald's wand which was carried by messenger gods like Hermes or Mercury. The rod is also a divining rod to measure the earth and its energies of power. Satan is shown behind the figure of Christ and is depicted by a coiled serpent which means latent power, concealed but not yet fully manifest, a dormant power. It may also represent that the devil is co-messianic, co-redeemer, and co-Christ. The circles on the Crucifix are from Egyptian Graeco-Roman, Phoenician, and Baal symbols. The circles or pentagrams have five points which represent, spirit, fire, earth, water and air. The pentagram at the bottom is upside down represents the devil's goat. The four circles with dots in the center signifies gold or the sun in alchemy. In general the meaning is 'The resolution of all possibilities.'"
You can discern whether they are harmful or not. Is the symbolism New Age or simply arcane?