Does the Rosary violate Matt 6:5-8?


I am a 61 year old gentleman who was born and raised Catholic in the 1950’s & 60’s. Back then very little was explained to us. It was more like shut up and just do it. So in part because of this, at 18 I not only gave up Catholicism, but I stopped believing God was real. And yet He was almost always on my mind. When I was 27 God started to call me, but I didn’t know that back then. I could never understand the old style English most Bibles were written in back then, so God lead me to the original NIV which I do understand. I read all of it and studied much of the NT. I joined a Born Again type church when I was 30 and stayed with it until I found out it was being lead by a false prophet. Since then I could never find a Born Again church I considered authentic. So for the last few years I feel God is pulling me back to Catholicism, but I have many problems and issues to deal with.

One is the Rosary and 1 problem is that the Rosary seems to be an example of what Jesus warned us against in Matthew 6: 5-8, and specifically verses 7 & 8. We read this this there:

7 “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

I have other problems with saying the Rosary too. But for now, can you explain to me why you don’t see it as constantly repeating the same words over and over again, with no real meaning to some of them?


If the rosary was simply about repeating words then you would be correct. However the rosary is about meditation. When we pray the rosary we are saying the prayers while meditating on salvation history.

The rosary is not magic or superstition. We do not simply say x number of Haily Mary’s and x number of Our Fathers and x number of Glory Be’s and voilà our wishes come true. Praying the rosary is about meditating on the events of salvation history and what God reveals to us through them. Its no different than praying and meditating upon the Psalms or certain passages of Scripture.

Jesus himself repeated prayers:

He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.

  • Matthew 26:39, 42, 44

To claim that simply repeating the same prayer is a violation of Jesus’ teaching would be to claim Jesus violated his own teaching!

Are the angels in heaven violating Jesus’ teaching by praying the same prayer forever?

The four living creatures, each of them with six wings, were covered with eyes inside and out. Day and night they do not stop exclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.”

  • Revelation 4:8

Jesus’ point in Matthew 6:5-8 is about prayer without heart, prayer without soul, prayer without inner meaning. Praying the rosary is about mediation and worship of God, not finding the right formula to get what we want.

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