We had a couple of questions about finding patron saints for finding some good Catholic boys suitable mates. I have played patron saint match maker while doing custom patron saint match ups more than once and can't wait to tackle this assignment.
But we have to pause one last time to clear up some rosary issues.
So what is the penalty for praying the 'wrong' mysteries on the wrong day? I usually stick with the traditional distribution, but sometimes I'm more in the mood for a different mystery, so I just do the one I want. Will I be docked grace? Points? More time in purgatory?
I can see I have some explaining to do.
Rosary Mysteries Days of the Week 101:
In order to actually say the Rosary, you have to go through the beads four times. Each time through you meditate on a different set of Mysteries. There are four sets of Mysteries now. There used to be three. A few years back the Pope added the Luminous Mysteries, so now we have those plus the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries. Holy Mother Church in her infinite (and we do mean infinite) wisdom realized that what with internet surfing, blog reading, raising a large family, clipping coupons and searching for the cheapest gas, you don't have time to say a Rosary every day. No one, however, has such a hectic life that they can't get through ONE set of Mysteries during the day. Let's call this saying the rosary. Small 'r'.
I'm not sure why the Church (in her infinite wisdom) decided to suggest exactly how to do that. I can guess. There are people who only like one set of Mysteries and would just stick to that all time saying the Joyful Mysteries day in and day out. That would rather defeat the purpose of saying the Rosary.
What is the purpose of saying the Rosary? Let's review: The Rosary is a meditative prayer.
Here's something that really tickles me, by the way. "Guided Meditation" is the new rage here on the Coast (capital "C"). Just the other day I had to ride in a car with someone who had a tape on with a woman's voice who was telling my driver over and over that she was "an organized person" and will organize her things. Nothing could be further from the truth. My feet, resting on empty water bottles, a gift she had to give someone but hadn't yet, and some important paper work her lawyer had given her about her recent car accident, were testifying to the fact that the tape was not working.
The Rosary is guided meditation! We are laughing behind our hands at how advanced we've been since St. Dominic popularized the beads way back when. WAY back when.
The Rosary is a meditation on the Life of Christ as seen through the eyes of His mother. I'm surprised Oprah hasn't noticed.
So to just stick to one or two sets of Mysteries that you like causes you to miss the boat.
Sister St. Aloysius has come up with a chart of the break down and I apologize in advance. She is not a person that needs a tape to tell her she is organized. Sister St. Aloysius is neat as a pin. She is a mathematician. I thought a chart would be right up her alley. Here's the chart. Sorry.
It's all on there, though. I should have known that Sister St. Aloysius would do something....unexpected.
During Lent you have to say two rosaries because you do the regular day's meditation and then you add the Sorrowful Mysteries to each day. Those are little plus signs there at the bottom. They look like "T's" but they are supposed to be plus signs. On Tuesday and Friday you are off the hook for the two rosaries as far as I can make out.
You're best bet, if your only concern is confusion, is to just say the Rosary every day and not the rosary. Then you side step the whole problem.
As for your question, (did you think I forgot? I actually did for a minute there!) there is no penalty of any kind for not saying the right thing on the right day. To begin with, there is no right day or wrong day. The Church is just trying to help you, Sister St. Aloysius' chart notwithstanding. You can skip the Rosary and the rosary all together and no one is going to blink.
That said, you're never going to get a nun to tell you doing things because of your 'mood' is a good habit to nurture.
I'm letting it pass, though, giving you the benefit of the doubt that what you really mean is something like, 'today I feel put upon, so to remind myself that my suffering is paltry, I'm going with the Sorrowful Mysteries because I need a good swift kick in the pants."
That good swift kick is what' s going to keep your Purgatory time at a minimum. That, and all the people who are praying the Rosary for the repose of your soul.