Matthew 6:7-8: Vain Repetition
Many non-Catholics believe that praying the rosary violates Jesus’ teaching about “vain repetition” found in His Sermon on the Mount:
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)
Immediately after saying this, He went on to teach the crowd the following prayer:
"This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’” (Matthew 6:9-13)
Jesus didn’t say, “You might want to say something like the following”…he said, “When you pray, say” and He gave us precise words that we should pray daily for our daily bread, and these words have been repeated for 2,000 years. Is this “vain repetition”? Hardly.
Consider these passages:
43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
Jesus prayed a third time saying the same things he had said previously. Is this “vain repetition”? Hardly.
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings.Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
The creatures keep saying the same thing over and over and over again - day and night. Is this “vain repetition”? Hardly.