Many of the protestant evangelical brothers think the Holy Rosary is more about Mary and less about Jesus. And that the primary focus is always of Mary that we (Catholics) fail to realize the dreaded “repetition” of words attributed to it in the Gospel of Mathew 6:7; KJV “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
The Repetition Argument Against Rosary
At first glance of this verse our fundamentalist brothers seem correct on their allegations against Catholics practicing this form of prayers. Catholics with less faith can easily be convinced and subverted of their original positions and allegiance to their Church. The “repetition” argument proves damaging to those who have less faith but to those who have faith on its effect and miraculous results (praying the Holy Rosary), many are willing to be called blind followers or fanatics in the name of Mary and the Holy Rosary.
Does repeating a prayer to God violate Jesus teaching? Our protestant brothers said, definitely, because Mathew 6:6-8 said so; KJV- 6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.”
Will examine the alleged malpractices charge to us by our protestant brothers if that “repetition’’ argument on its broader context does not contradict Jesus teaching.
In Mathew 6:7; KJV- 7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” To arrive to a better conclusion of this text we should examine also why Jesus language and message was thrown in this manner. 2 “Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.” 5 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”
These two verses (2&5) have a connection to verse 6 to help us understand its broader context of the messages. The connection can be glaringly seen by the used of the words “hypocrites and synagogues” as have been the practice of the Pharisees during that time. Jesus often called the Pharisees hypocrites (Mat 15:7; 16:3; 22:18; 23:23,25,27,29; Mk 7: 6). …. 8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? … 8: 11 in Matthew 21:13; “According to scripture He said my house will be called a house of prayer; this indicates that at least part of the above was for His time.
Jesus Himself Repeats Prayers
Now we shall expound if repetitive prayers violate or contradict Jesus teaching.
Mathew 26:38-45 KJV- “38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. 45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”
See how Jesus himself repeats prayers, such as at Matthew 26:44, and in three instances he repeated a prayer to His Father. Protestants such as Martin Luther have employed this verse to attack Catholic practices such as the use of praying the Holy Rosaries. This is a clear manifestation proponent against repetitive prayer erred in interpreting Mt.6:6-8 because Jesus would surely not contradict His teaching with His action in Mt.26:44; “So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.” The old familiar saying was correct that “Action speaks louder than Words”. Jesus practice repetitive prayer (41) “so that we will not fall into temptation” as suggested by the very verse in that episode.
One of my letter exchanging (Christian) mates in the mary forum sent me letter addressed this way: Comment #1301
“I must point out that the topic of this post is titled – SHOULD WE PRAY TO VIRGIN MARY? – people till date have post argument for and against. Well.. no body has considered what the RC Church actually says in its official teachings of the Catechism (CCC). The surprising answer is that the RC Church officially does only state that Virgin Mary and saints can only be “honoured” and not prayed to or worshipped.”
Precisely, you have correctly indicated that Catholics do honored Mary and the Saints and not prayed to or worshipped! Thank you sir for helping us Catholic shared your personal view to our dear protestant brothers.
The word “prayer” means to ask, not “to worship”. People who pray to Mary are only asking for her to pray to Jesus WITH them. Mary is not “between” us and God, but is rather “alongside” of us in her prayers. Mary was not only the first Christian; she was also the first Evangelist. And by all indications the real first-born from above (again) Christian.
Why we pray to Mary, maybe what they mean is the Holy Rosary? First and foremost, my dear brothers the Rosary is not a prayer of words but of meditation…meditated the entire gospel, the incarnation, birth, life, suffering, death, resurrection, and glory of our Lord Jesus the Christ. The Rosary is also called “angelic salutation”, it is the summary about the Blessed Virgin and his Son’s life on earth and it consists of two parts, that of praise and petition.
The key to properly saying the rosary is to concentrate on the Hail Mary, and more emphasis on the MEDITATION of the MYSTERIES. In that way, you are properly reliving the entire GOSPEL in your heart and soul. (Hebrew 8:10) “I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. Then I will be their God and they shall be my people.” This is the quickest and surest way to please the Holy Trinity as told to us by St. Domininic in his book the secret of the Holy Rosary.
Vocal Prayer: (Biblical)
Let us prove if the Rosary is more Mary than Jesus; let us do some accounting:
1) Begin: Creed; 1 Father – 1 Jesus (Son) – 1 Holy Spirit 1 Hail Mary
2) Our Father 1 our Father –
3) For Faith 1 Hail Mary – 1 Jesus (SON) –
4) For Hope 1 Hail Mary – 1 Jesus (SON) –
5) For Charity 1 Hail Mary – 1 Jesus (SON) –
6) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus (SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh, my Jesus
7) Mystery of day 1 our Father –
8) Hail Mary each 10 Hail Mary – 10 Jesus(SON)- of the ten beads
9) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus(SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh my Jesus
10) Mystery of day 1 Father –
11) Hail Mary each 10Hail Mary – 10 Jesus(SON) of the ten beads
12) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus(SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh my Jesus
13) Mystery of day 1 Father –
14) Hail Mary each 10Hail Mary – 10 Jesus(SON) of the ten beads
15) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus(SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh my Jesus
16) Mystery of day 1our Father
17) Hail Mary each 10Hail Mary – 10 Jesus(SON) of the ten beads
18) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus(SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh my Jesus
19) Mystery of day 1our Father –
20) Hail Mary each 10Hail Mary – 10 Jesus(SON) – of the ten beads
21) Glory be & 1 Father – 2 Jesus(SON) – 1 Holy Spirit – Oh my Jesus
22) Hail Holy Queen 2 Mary 1 Jesus(SON) –
23) Oh God 1 Father (GOD) 1 Jesus(SON) – 1 Mary
13 Our Father; 57 Mary 68 Jesus(Son) – 7 Holy Spirit
Vocal layer results:
* From its decade there were 13 refers to Father.
* From its decade there were 57 refers to Mary.
* From its decade there were 68 refers to Jesus.
* From its decade there were 07 refers to Holy Spirit.
* Combine Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit equals 88 lines.
* Mary has 57 lines divided into 88 lines composing the Trinity.
* Resulting to 0.353% more on Mary and 0.647% on Trinity /Jesus.
About The Mysteries
For each decade of the Rosary focuses on passages of scripture as a meditation. These are called the mysteries. Out of 20 meditation decades (5 are done each day) 18 of them follow Jesus through the Bible and two are related to Mary (Assumption and Coronation).
My simple accounting proves that the Rosary is more of Jesus (TRINITY) than of Mary. PLUS meditating the sorrowful mysteries in each bead is much more beneficial, from the agony in the garden to the crucifixion in death on the cross would be the best sign that we can show and share His passion carrying the (our own) cross.
Matthew 19: NIV-23 “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their CROSS DAILY AND FOLLOW ME.” Through DAILY recitation and MEDITATION of whole mysteries of the ROSARY we surely shared His cross (also ours) and assured we FOLLOW Jesus right path to our salvation.
Jesus king of mercy I trust in you. Oh Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee! Ave Maria!
– – – written by Christine Marie