Catholic Explanation of Repeated Prayers


#1

Mathew 6: 7-13 :slight_smile:
7
3 4 In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
8
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9
5 6 "This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come, 7 your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
11
8 Give us today our daily bread;
12
and forgive us our debts, 9 as we forgive our debtors;
13
and do not subject us to the final test, 10 but deliver us from the evil one.

How do y’all answer a Protestant that uses the Scripture above to try to prove that prayers such as the Rosary are vain? As I see it, the “Our Father” that comes right after this reading is commanded by Jesus to be prayed, and is a repetitive prayer. As long as you say it from the heart, it’s not vain. Isn’t Jesus’ point vanity, rather than repetition? Couldn’t you have good repetitive prayer? :wave:

Jorge.


#2

Well, first of all we are not babbling. Second of all it is very interesting that JEsus said do not pray like the Pagans. Jewish people still have a set series of prayers that they say three times a day. If saying repetitive prayers was wrong, why didn’t he criticize Jewish people for their practices? I also read somewhere that the gentiles of the time were just reciting a bunch of nonsense words.


#3

[quote=Delgadoajj]Mathew 6: 7-13 :slight_smile:
Couldn’t you have good repetitive prayer? :wave:

Jorge.
[/quote]

Of course. Vain repetition is the problem. Thinking that mere repetition is, in itself, prayer is the problem.

An Anglican, Robert Llewellyn, has written the most AMAZING book on praying the rosary, where he addresses the question of fruitful versus vain repetition. The book is A Doorway to Silence: the Contemplative Use of the Rosary.

Repetition can be a means of focus, of achieving some serenity. Since we are creatures of time, we are never exactly the same at any given moment, so we may be “repeating” but we are also to some extent saying a prayer anew with each passing moment . . .

Focus and intention are everything. I mean, you can’t even BEGIN understand the Lord’s prayer until you have prayed it thousands of times and meditated on it thoughtfully . . .

Part of interiorizing Scripture is repetition.


#4

[quote=Delgadoajj]Mathew 6: 7-13 :slight_smile:
7
3 4 In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
8
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9
5 6 "This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10
your kingdom come, 7 your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
11
8 Give us today our daily bread;
12
and forgive us our debts, 9 as we forgive our debtors;
13
and do not subject us to the final test, 10 but deliver us from the evil one.

How do y’all answer a Protestant that uses the Scripture above to try to prove that prayers such as the Rosary are vain? As I see it, the “Our Father” that comes right after this reading is commanded by Jesus to be prayed, and is a repetitive prayer. As long as you say it from the heart, it’s not vain. Isn’t Jesus’ point vanity, rather than repetition? Couldn’t you have good repetitive prayer? :wave:

Jorge.
[/quote]

Ask a Protestant to read any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane and ask them why Jesus repeats the same prayer three times? If we are not to repeat words, then Jesus is violating His own command.


#5

When Jesus says this he is talking about repeating prayers in vain over and over again. The rosary is different that this. You may be repeating the Hail Mary several times, but while you are saying this prayer you should be meditating on the life of Jesus and Mary. One who simply repeats prayers, but do not do it from their heart would be doing the repetative prayers Jesus warned against.

matt


#6

Start by asking them how they square Psalm 136 with Matt 6.


#7

Ask them if they have said the Lord’s prayer more than once.


#8

Ask them how they obey the command, “Pray without ceasing”
(1 Thess. 5:17)


#9

You could also ask them about the Book of Revelation. Remember those angels who stand at the foot of the Throne of God and repeat, “Holy, Holy, Holy…” non-stop? Yeah, ask them about that. :slight_smile:


#10

[quote=Swiss Guard]Ask a Protestant to read any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus praying in the garden of Gethsemane and ask them why Jesus repeats the same prayer three times? If we are not to repeat words, then Jesus is violating His own command.
[/quote]

That’s a really good point!

Thanks,

Jorge. :slight_smile:


#11

Praying the Rosary is not something one is expected to do in the Catholic faith. I don’t pray the Rosary myself, because I honestly feel reciting ten Hail Marys to one Our Father is not balanced. Our prayers should be directed to our heavenly Father through Christ. I talked to my priest about it and he told me Rosary recital was an option. I realize the words found in the Rosary have a biblical basis, but there is no command or early church tradition to pray the Hail Mary repetitiously fifty times. I know I will get blasted for this, but I am just being honest.

                                         I pray the "Our Father" daily and in mass. I find support for doing so from scripture and early church tradition. The rosary recital did not come into existence til long after the 7th century and so it was a development within the church. But I do not condemn someone who chooses to recite the Rosary daily. But I can't help but wonder, if that person is placing more of there devotion to Mary, than to Christ while reciting it? That is the issue with me.

#12

[quote=piety101]Praying the Rosary is not something one is expected to do in the Catholic faith. I don’t pray the Rosary myself, because I honestly feel reciting ten Hail Marys to one Our Father is not balanced. Our prayers should be directed to our heavenly Father through Christ. I talked to my priest about it and he told me Rosary recital was an option. I realize the words found in the Rosary have a biblical basis, but there is no command or early church tradition to pray the Hail Mary repetitiously fifty times. I know I will get blasted for this, but I am just being honest.

I pray the “Our Father” daily and in mass. I find support for doing so from scripture and early church tradition. The rosary recital did not come into existence til long after the 7th century and so it was a development within the church. But I do not condemn someone who chooses to recite the Rosary daily. But I can’t help but wonder, if that person is placing more of there devotion to Mary, than to Christ while reciting it? That is the issue with me.
[/quote]

Theologically, you are correct, of course.

But in saying that one “places more devotion to Mary than to Christ” by praying the Rosary sidesteps the fact that 18 of 20 decades of the Rosary are dedicated to mysteries of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Praying the Rosary is praying the Gospel.


#13

Mercygate

I understand your point, when one reflects on the mysteries. But what of the words themselves? Are more words of devotion said to Mary than to Christ? That is the issue for me. Since I am not compelled to recite the Rosary and I can find no early church evidence for it’s practice, I will leave it as an option and be happy with the “Our Father” and our Nicene creed and Glory Be.


#14

[quote=mercygate]Theologically, you are correct, of course.

But in saying that one “places more devotion to Mary than to Christ” by praying the Rosary sidesteps the fact that 18 of 20 decades of the Rosary are dedicated to mysteries of the Incarnation and Resurrection. Praying the Rosary is praying the Gospel.
[/quote]

Also, the majority of the mysteries are about Jesus’ life, so there is a balance. Perhaps instead of the rosary you could say the divine chaplet. I believe that the major prayer is; **For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and the whole world. **My hubby, who is not Catholic, has said that he would be comfortable reciting the Divine Chaplet.

I am not Catholic yet, so if I got the above prayer wrong I am sorry. I heard it on EWTN and thought that it was beautiful.


#15

Deb

      You are correct concerning reflecting on the mysteries, but what of the WORDS said in the Rosary. Are more words directed to Mary in the Rosary than to Jesus? This is the issue. :)

#16

[quote=piety101]Mercygate

I understand your point, when one reflects on the mysteries. But what of the words themselves. Are more words of devotion said to Mary than to Christ? That is the issue for me. Since I am not compelled to recite the Rosary and I can find no early church evidence for it’s practice, I will leave it as an option and be happy with the “Our Father” and our Nicene creed and Glory Be.
[/quote]

Not challenging you here; one of the turning points in my conversion to the Church was the realization that I would never be required to pray the Rosary.

However, once I began doing it, I found that the repetition of the prayers (so deeply embedded in Scripture), enabled me to focus in a non-intellectualizing, non-verbalizing way on the pith of the mystery, which I always introduce with a passage of Scripture related to it.

Besides, having read several hundreds of pages of the writings of JP2, with his deep, contemplative understanding of Scripture and of life, and his intense love of Jesus, and knowing that the Rosary was a most valued prayer for him, I figured, hey! If it’s good enough for JP, it’s good enough for me!

I’m not trying to sell you this, just explaining how it has developed for me, as a convert. I’ll probably never be in the Rosary Society, but I do try to pray 5 decades of the Rosary every day. When I’m really tired or harassed, sometimes this level of prayer is all I can muster.


#17

Mercygate

             I do not condemn you for choosing to recite the Rosary. My issue is that the majority of the words in the Rosary are directed more to Mary herself, then to our Lord Jesus. That was my point. I am aware that John Paul II was a Marian devotee and that was his choice. But I am not that overly devoted to Mary, as I am to Jesus in my life. If I was dying, I would cry out to Jesus to forgive me and remember me in the hour of my death. Stephen the missionary made this same plea in Acts 7. :)

#18

[quote=piety101]My issue is that the majority of the words in the Rosary are directed more to Mary herself, then to our Lord Jesus. That was my point. I am aware that John Paul II was a Marian devotee and that was his choice. But I am not that overly devoted to Mary, as I am to Jesus in my life. If I was dying, I would cry out to Jesus to forgive me and remember me in the hour of my death. Stephen the missionary made this same plea in Acts 7. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

piety101,

To link this topic to the thread, is it your issue with the repeated Hail Mary’s that turns you off to the Rosary? I look at the Rosary as a meditation on the life of Christ through the mysteries (I have received some great insights on the mysteries during this meditation), even when I wasn’t praying a scriptural rosary (which takes longer, but is another great idea). It is through the Mother that the Son received humanity. Contemplation on Mary’s role in the Church does much to illuminate our understanding of the love of God.

As far as praying to Mary for help, have you ever asked anyone to pray for you, and if so, who better than the mother of Our Lord? You can always pray directly to God (Our Father?..hmmm, rosary!). If you would have anyone pray for you, start with the one who elicited Jesus’ first miracle (Cana), even though “His time had not yet come.”

God bless you.

jb


#19

I love all the Catholic Prayers. They are beautiful and bring me so close to God. I would never characterize them as “repetitive” because there is a negative conatation with that word and these prayers are anything but.

Due to private revelations through the Saints and true witnesses such as St. Padre Pio, Pope Leo XIII, Pope John XXIII we know how important the Rosary prayer is. Certainly it is not mandated, but with all the private revelations, we know all the graces associated with it.

St. Dominic and Blessed Alain were given the fifteen promises of Mary to Christians who recite the Rosary. One of them being, “I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the Rosary”.

At Fatima 1917, Our Lady said, “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Pray the Rosary everyday to obtain peace for the world”.

St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote, “The Rosary is the most Powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who so loves His Mother.”

I pray the Rosary because I love it and it allows me to think of the Mysteries which is scriptural and brings me closer to Jesus and His Mother.


#20

I remember once hearing that “The Rosary is simply contemplating with Mary the face of Christ.” 100% true. If you really have problems though, look at the Chaplet of Divine Mercy-One prayer to Mary VS 55 to the Trinity. The Rosary is 53 Mary 12 to the Trinity (17 if you include the Fatima prayer). The mental part of the Roaary, the most important part, is all about Jesus. Jesus urges us to think about his Passion often in apparitions (or others say he does) but I’ve never heard an apparition say "keep saying Hail Mary’s instead of meditating on Christ’s Passion). Mary encourages the Rosary through various apparitions. If it was “bad” then she wouldn’t. She tells people to pray the Rosary for peace at Fatima. My point is, the meditations are about Jesus and much more important, and if you don’t like the Rosary, say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy (instigated by Jesus himself).


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