I would counter that the devotions, properly understood, reflect an interior committment. In saying the Rosary, we aren’t simply mindlessly repeating words—the words mean something to us, and they form a background to our meditations about the life of Christ. So ask them to explain how reflecting upon the life of Christ, or the saying of prayers, is superstitious? If they talk about “vain and repeated prayer”, then ask them if they have ever said the Our Father more than one time. Formal prayer has its place, and the angels, we are told, repeatedly praise God by saying “Holy, holy, holy Lord”. Ditto with the scapular: it reflects an interior disposition, and because it does so it becomes an avenue of grace. They may have a problem with that, though, because the Protestant understanding of grace is somewhat limited and so their understanding of the Sacraments and sacramentals is limited. One almost has to back up into a discussion of grace to get them to see what you’re saying clearly. But, remind them of what superstition is: the mechanical doing of some external act without an interior committment. A “magic” trick, in other words. So, unless they can see the inside of someone’s soul, they have no ability to criticize the Rosary or the scapular.
[quote=Bobby A. Greene]Hi Sherlock,
Thank you. What is the proper counter-argument if some one claims that the Rosary or the Scapular are superstitions?
My understanding of the word superstition implies an obsessive/compulsive behaviour toward a given occurence or object, such as black cats, ladders, four-leaf-clovers, rabbit foots, and the like. How would a scapular or saying the Rosary ever compare to these things in the eyes of a protestant?