Catholic Prayers and Vain repetitions

I actually love the chaplet of divine mercy, especially in song but it is very repetitive. Can someone explain the passage in the Bible about vain repetitions and why Catholic prayera arent? Thankyou

I know what passage you’re referring to in regards to the vain repetition, but I can’t put a name on the passage at this moment.

Anyway, what Christ is referring to is vain repetition without deliberation. He refers to pagans who babble long and empty prayers that are to gods who won’t hear them. The repetition of prayers without attention and focus and also without God at the forefront of the mind is vain. At a certain point, praying a ton of hail Mary’s without a good intention or purpose is vain. I hope this part makes sense.

Now, to counteract this argument against repetitive prayer, one may need to look no further than the Old Testament prophet Daniel. In Daniel Chapter 3:51-88, we are told that Hannaniah, Azariah, and Mishael are saved from the fiery furnace and begin to proclaim the “Benedictus Deus” Canticle (Blessed be God), which is a long prayer with repetition…and I mean constant repetition. For example:

57 All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
58 O ye angels of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
59 O ye heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
60 O all ye waters that are above the heavens, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever
61 O all ye powers of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
62 O ye sun and moon, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

etc. etc.

Another example is Psalm 136 (135 DRB) which repeats the phrase *quoniam in aeternum misericordia eius *(for his mercy endures forever…or the obsolete NAB, “for his love endures forever”) as a constant reminder that everything that has happened in the history of Israel is because of God’s mercy. So here, in this Psalm is an example of repetition as a reminder of something about God or something that He has done.

It’s not wrong to have repetition. It never has been nor will it ever. You just have to make sure that you have good intentions and a firm purpose of praying it with focus on Almighty God. It’s like a kid who needs to get his dad’s attention. The kid will continue to repeat “Dad, Dad” over and over again until the Dad finally acknowledges the child. Once the Father acknowledges the child, the child better have a reason for the constant nagging, for if he doesn’t, then the repetition was in vain.

God Bless :smiley:

catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/do-catholics-pray-vain-repetitions

Looking at different translations:
RSVCE has “empty phrases”
NJB has “babble”
DR has “speak not much”
NAB has " babble"

It seems to me that vain repetition refers to meaningless babbling. Now you don’t have to be repetitious to babble and you can be repetitious without babbling. Prayers like the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet fall into the later category; they are repetitive but not babbling. Look at the blind beggar in Luke 18, he kept saying, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” - that was repetitive and Jesus answered his prayer.

You might also have a look at the following articles from Catholic Answers.
Is Jesus against Catholic Prayers?
The Scandal of the Decades

Because they were to pagan Gods - which are completely useless and in vain.

As for repetitive pray - how about the persistent widow. Seems to encourage it.

Our prays are not in vain - they are to the true God and are not useless.

:amen:

If you are just saying the words because you are “supposed to be praying”, don’t bother. That is vain and repetitious. If you are simply “reciting” a pre-written prayer because you think it will bring about some external desire result, don’t bother. That’s just treating religion like magic.

If you mean what you way and think about what you say, that is deep prayer. Some people will pray for hours with one word, “Jesus”. If you are like a little kid simply stating the same word over and over again without thought, that is meaningless. If you mean it and think about it every time you say it, that can be monastic level prayer.

This article gives the best answer.

Jesus is not going to tell people to not repeat prayers then turn around and do it himself. So something is missing and once again the Church got it right

Yes, reminds me of a book I read about Cargo Cults in Oceania. Apparently, the people who fell into these cults originally believed that if they faithfully carried out certain religious rituals, they were guaranteed to have, say, a plentiful catch of fish, or a good hunting trip, or many children. If they didn’t have the results they wanted, that meant NOT that the gods had refused them, but that they had made some kind of mistake in performing the ritual.

If you mean what you way and think about what you say, that is deep prayer. Some people will pray for hours with one word, “Jesus”. If you are like a little kid simply stating the same word over and over again without thought, that is meaningless. If you mean it and think about it every time you say it, that can be monastic level prayer.

Even merely “spiritual” meditation with no particular religious belief attached to it, often involves repeating one word over and over again. Not that I really got into meditation myself. But meditative prayer, I have tried and can say that is far from meaningless repetition.

I would equate it with your marriage … Especially since that analogy is found in Scripture regarding our relationship with God (Holy Trinity, Father, Jesus - every rendition in fact)

Would you call telling your spouse you love them repeatedly vain repetition? What about conversation held with your spouse where certain themes are repeated?

Not all things repeated are vain …many times repetition is necessary and desirable!

When prayed with the heart it is not a vain repetition.

Actually I have read you should contemplate the sorrowful mysterys or focus on the wounds of Christ when praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy - it will make it more meaningful to the prayer.

I agree that is very helpful to praying well.

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