Remind me of repeated prayers

some one here in catholic answers told me that the verse that says “repeated prayer” or something dont exist in the greek translation, and what was on it was “empty prayers.” as a catholic i am proud to say that it is true. but what proof do i have?

so… can someone post a proof that it does not say in greek that it is forbiden to pray repeatedly… thanks.

The argument that I have always heard is that the bible tells us not to participate in vain and repetitive prayers - the Rosary is not in vain…

It is only the person who prays the rosary (or any other prayer) who can do it in vain. Two people can pray the rosary - one can do it in vain, while the person next to him can do it with a pure heart and mind.

I don’t think it was intended that we should only say the Lord’s Prayer once in our life, without ever repeating it. Or any other prayer.

=jersen05; some one here in catholic answers told me that the verse that says “repeated prayer” or something dont exist in the greek translation, and what was on it was “empty prayers.” as a catholic i am proud to say that it is true. but what proof do i have?

so… can someone post a proof that it does not say in greek that it is forbiden to pray repeatedly… thanks.

***Friend, I supect this is the verse in question?

Here is STRONGS LITTERAL TRANSLATION from the Greek:

Mt. 6: 6 But thou, when thou mayest pray, go into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is’ in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly.6:7 `And – praying – ye may not use vain repetitions* like the nations, for they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard, 6:8 be ye not therefore like to them, for your Father doth know those things that ye have need of before your asking him; **

“Forbidden by Mt.6: 7” See Psalm 136: Repeats “For His Kindness endures forever” 26 TIMES!

***This is but one example . What Mt.6: 7 is actually has NOTHING to do with prayers of Praise, Glory, Petition.

The reference is to this understanding:

Matt.7: 21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

God is saying it’s NOT THE WORDS WE USE but the thoughts, feeling, sincerity behind them that matter:thumbsup:***

Love and prayers,
Pat

Anyone who thinks repeating prayers over and over is forbidden should really look at Revelation, where the Heavenly court spends eternity chanting Holy Holy Holy and Worthy is the Lamb - over and over and over . . . .

There seems to be some confusion about declarations (Psalm 136: Repeats “For His Kindness endures forever” 26 TIMES) and praising God (Holy Holy Holy and Worthy is the Lamb - over and over and over) with prayer. What about when the priest assigns someone a certain amount of “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys” for penance? I know people who would come out of confession and rattle off 30 prayers in less than 10 minutes (maybe some of you know people like this as well). Wouldn’t that be considered “vain and repetitious”? If so, then wouldn’t that invalidate their confession and revoke their absolution? I realize this is taking things a bit off topic, but if penetential prayers could be considered “vain and repetitious”, then I would suggest that the person has not fulfilled the required pennance. This leads into other questions, but they are even more off topic, so I’ll stop here.

. 6: 6 But thou, when thou mayest pray, go into thy chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is’ in secret, and thy Father who is seeing in secret, shall reward thee manifestly.6:7 `And – praying – ye may not use vain repetitions like the nations, for they think that in their much speaking they shall be heard, 6:8 be ye not therefore like to them, for your Father doth know those things that ye have need of before your asking him;

Okay-let me correct a few things. See that little bit about the nations? That’s pagans.The nations in the bible is anyone who is not a Jew.You see this reference time after time in the OT especially.
if you know anything about Ancient religions is that they were big on form- not so big on meaning.Ancient Roman rituals predate Latin , where said in an archaic language.These things could go on for a heck of a long time and if you fumbled a phrase and mispoke a line you had to start all the way from the very beginning.If you didn’t redo the thing the gods may get angry.The luck of Rome was believed to be tied to these rituals and the correct performance of them.
What is being said here is “don’t be like the pagans who say things that have no meaning to them but do it with your heart and mind and not just your mouth.”

The forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of confession does not depend on completion of the penance assigned. The assigned penance is merely a token of our sorrow. Not completing it, or completing it imperfectly, may be venially sinful in itself, but does not affect the validity of the absolution.

I know some people can complete a rosary in a shorter time than others, often depending on the area of the country they come from. (Southerners might be a little scandalized by the speed of yankee prayer!) But it is the thought behind the prayer which counts, not the mere recitation of the words.

**Sacred Scripture teaches us that our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, repeated His prayers!
** Read the Word everyday!!!

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” 43 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words." (Mt 26:41-44)

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark

[quote=JimG] The forgiveness of sins in the sacrament of confession does not depend on completion of the penance assigned. The assigned penance is merely a token of our sorrow. Not completing it, or completing it imperfectly, may be venially sinful in itself, but does not affect the validity of the absolution.
[/quote]

So you’re saying that someone can go to confession, confess mortal sins, receive absolution, then not complete the penance (or perform it imperfectly) and just have a venial sin, which can be erased by receiving the eucharist. I would like to ask more questions along this line, but it would be off topic, so I’ll just ask if I understood you correctly.

Repetitious does NOT equal Vain. Where is the person’s heart?

If he is thinking, “Wow, let me rap up these Hail Mary’s and get on out of here”, then chances are his prayers are Vain Repetitious.

If he is thinking, “Lord, I am heartily sorry and I offer up these prayers in obedience”, then I wouldn’t bet on the “Vain” tag.

If this person’s prayers are automatically considered vain and repetitious then Jesus was using vain and repetitious prayers in the Garden of Gethsemane.

I’m not sure if you’re willing to go there with that judgment, are you? :wink:

Right - the point is not that mindless repetition of prayer words is ok. The point is that repetition of prayers or the use of formula prayers is not automatically vain.

You’re right, it is off-topic, except that it reiterates the point that it is the inner disposition, not the outward act of repetition, that make prayer “vain” or “worthy.”

As stated in #8 Jesus is trying to get people to understand that prayer is a combination of mind and spirit not just words.The pagans in many cases, did not know what they were saying-droned on and repeated it over and over again to get it “right”.Getting it "right " was what was important not thought or spirit.Prayer is nothing if it doesn’t come from the mind and heart.All it becomes is hot air.

That’s essentially correct. Sorrow for sin and an intent to avoid sin are essential dispositions for absolution. Failure to perfectly do the penance would not invalidate absolution unless it indicated a lack of one of those two items.

I do find something we all seem to agree on. We agree that if someone says prayers (whether penance or the rosary) and their heart/mind is somewhere else, then these could be considered “vain repetitions”. I do not believe Jesus said anything that could be considered vain or repetitious. The prayer He repeated before His passion (as we have it recorded) was not very long, but it would seem he took an hour to pray it each time. There’s an example we should all follow!

I am a little confused about the idea that someone can go to confession, receive absolution, and then not complete their penance and only have to worry about a venial sin (which will be “removed” the next time they receive the eucharist). As previoously mentioned, just reciting the prayers with your mind elsewhere could be considered “vain repetitions”. Without getting to far off topic, what is the “official” position of the Church on this?

I would think you, of all people, would see this - we cannot “buy” forgiveness. Forgiveness is given gratis - free - from God’s limitless mercy, if we repent of our sins. The penances assigned by the priest are not the “purchase price” of our forgiveness - the purchase price was paid in Jesus’ Precious Blood. The penances are disciplines, intended to assist us in reforming our lives, as we say we intend to do. They are, in a way, a “good faith” deposit on our efforts to reform.

Failing to complete the penance may be sinful in that it is a broken promise. But it does not, cannot invalidate the absolution pronounced in the confessional, which is an unearned, undeserved gift.

On the other hand, going confession without contrition, without actual repentance, means you may not in fact receive forgiveness - because you’re not prepared to receive the grace offered. Your obstinance can block the effects of the sacrament, because God will not force Himself upon you (as, if you receive the Eucharist unworthily, you may eat and drink to destruction rather than to life).

[quote=NHInsider] I would think you, of all people, would see this - we cannot “buy” forgiveness. Forgiveness is given gratis - free - from God’s limitless mercy, if we repent of our sins. The penances assigned by the priest are not the “purchase price” of our forgiveness - the purchase price was paid in Jesus’ Precious Blood. The penances are disciplines, intended to assist us in reforming our lives, as we say we intend to do. They are, in a way, a “good faith” deposit on our efforts to reform.

[/quote]

I really don’t want to turn this into a discussion on reconciliation, but I would suggest that if you didn’t complete your assigned penance, then maybe you weren’t as contrite and/or repentant as you thought. To follow the idea I got from JimG, suppose Joe Q. Catholic goes to confession, but has already made up his mind that he doesn’t have to do the penance. I would think that his confession and subsequent absolution would not be valid because his heart isn’t right before God. The impression I got from JimG is that God has forgiven Joe, even though his heart wasn’t right, and now he has a venial sin for not doing the assigned penance. I’m not going to ask any more questions about this because it’s getting off topic.

(BTW - If anyone out there is named “Joe Q. Catholic”, I’m not talking about you in the above story.:D)

Matt. 6:7 of the D.R. states:

“And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their ***much speaking ***they may be heard.”

The different translation lends to somewhat of a different interpretation. I think one could take from this that we should be succint in our request and to not ramble on about why we need such a thing or how it would help such and such etc. The idea of repeating worthy prayers is not here prohibited. We might have some protestant bias leaking into the other versions.

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