Is it just repitition?


I recently had a non-Catholic friend/co-worker tell me that when we say the Rosary or when we are given penance by a priest of saying 20 Hail Mary’s that it is repitition for reptititons sake. How do I respond to this. :shrug:
I told him that I think it depends on the person and that when I say my Rosary that I feel each and every prayer.
I don’t know what else I could have said. I’m so bad in these situations. I always feel like I’m having to defend my faith:(


Good day EMAC and welcome.

Now I’m going to try to recall this from memory, so I may be off just a little bit… but here goes.

When we say our meditative prayers they occupy a point in finite space and time. To say “I love you” at this moment has a somewhat different meaning than saying “I love you” a moment from now, or a moment then. This came to me reading Archbishop Fulton Sheen. I don’t think God ever gets tired of hearing us say that we love Him.

I hope I got this right. Anyone else care to add?



The point of the rosary is not the repeated prayers, but the mysteries of which we mediate. I guess you could explain the mysteries of the rosary to your friend and just tell him that when you pray them, you focus on the life of Jesus and His mother. The “Hail Mary’s” just keep your mind from wandering off-topic.


We recently had a similar discussion on the Divine Mercy.

This link will be helpful:


Oh, that’s wonderful advice and very true. Thanks!


Great link! It was very helpful. Thank you!:thumbsup:


Ask him why he breathes, because that’s just repitition for repitition’s sake. Tell him he just goes to Church only because he likes the music, or that when he reads the Bible he just likes the words being strung together like that. You’re just as qualified to make those judgements about him as he is to make judgements about the rosary.

If someone has not prayed the rosary, they do not understand it. It is in the culmination of the Hail Mary’s, Our Father’s, and contemplation of the Mysteries that you realize what the rosary is, and it takes more than just thinking about the mysteries and saying the Hail Mary. I’ve heard the rosary described as two parts that are inseperable - the ‘body’ (the beads and prayers) and the ‘soul’ (the contemplation of the mysteries). Unless your friend has truly prayed the rosary, then he’s in no position to say it “just repitition for repitition’s sake”.

Sorry if I sound defensive.

P.S. What did you do to get 20 Hail Mary’s?! :stuck_out_tongue:


LOL, I was away from confession for close to 25 years:blush:

I got 3 chaplets of Divine Mercy and was blessed to say them.


Have your friend read Rosarium Virginis Mariae by Pope John Paul II.

And tell your friend that it was recommended by a former Southern Baptist.


That is great! Thanks for sharing, Biblioassistant!
Every time someone shares us story such as yours, it strengthens us faith, hope, and love.

God bless.


Haha! That was just an example he made. It didn’t happen to me :smiley: The 20 Hail Mary’s that is.


As a non catholic lurker :smiley: I will add if you want, that ANYTHING can be repetious. Ive been to a friends charasmatic church and her daughter describes some of the other people as doing “pew calastics” in other words they come and jump around and sing the same way each week.

Its all in our hearts. I was at a Baptist retreat one time and we had a think she was Lutheran ? not sure but she had a book of prayers. She said people get weird about “book prayers” over “off the cuff prayers” and explained that prayer comes from the heart and it didnt matter which was the source. In fact it could help your prayer life to see how others pray. And if its from the heart that was what mattered.


erm, I’d also stress… though i might be wrong, that it is no repetition but vain repetition to be wary of.

I would say that the rosary is almost like a flick through the new testament and biblically based.

I doubt anyone would object to thinking about biblical events in a repetitious way, or saying repetitious prayers every week in church, or hymns or psalms.

also due to the mysteries changing throughout the week i try to think of the words as a kind of meditation to clear my mind to be more focused.

Thought can very rarely be repetitious and every time we think about something we will gain a slightly different knowledge or reaction, understanding or thought… so even though the words are repetitious the outcome can never be the same on an internal level.

although i still struggle to think one thing and say another lol…

Take care, S.


When the Angels say, Holy, Holy, Holy, God of Power and Might, all day and all night vain and repetitious?

Was Jesus vain and repetitious in the Garden when he said the same prayer to the God, Our Father?

If you recite repetitious prayer it must come from the heart. Since the heart can also be a source of goodness, and grace which we received from God.


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