Old Protestant heresy that refuses to die: Did Jesus ever use the term “vain repetition”?

vainrepetWhen it comes to Catholic prayer, repetition is anything but vain

by Doug Lawrence

In the Gospels, we find Jesus praying quite often, just as he trains and encourages his apostles and disciples to do.  He also delivers a caution:

Matthew 6:7-8 And when you are praying, speak not much, as the heathens. For they think that in their much speaking they may be heard. Be not you therefore like to them for your Father knoweth what is needful for you, before you ask him. (Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible)

Some 1500 years later, our Protestant brethren decided to translate the same passage (in their King James Bible) thusly:

Matthew 6:7-8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

As if mis-translating the Holy Writ wasn’t  bad enough, they went on to apply their twisted logic to traditional Catholic prayers and devotions – like the Rosary and the Mass – deeming them “unbiblical”.

That is and always was pure, virulently anti-Catholic “BS”!

Jesus simply wanted his disciples to know that even a vast number of prayers – combined with any number of  incantations, sacrifices, dances and chants – to false, pagan gods – could never accomplish a thing – and he certainly didn’t want his disciples to be out in public, looking like pagans, scandalously wasting their time and committing grave sin – by praying to false gods.

That’s one reason Jesus gave us “The Lord’s Prayer” – a short, simple method of placing 7 key petitions before our Father in Heaven – petitions which effectively address virtually every human need.

St. Paul reminds us in 1st Thessalonians 5:17 to “Pray without ceasing.”

Does any of this sound like “vain repetition”?

How many times can a person recite “The Lord’s Prayer” before it becomes “vain repetition”? How many times can someone sing “Amazing Grace” or “How Great Thou Art” before it becomes “vain repetition”? How many times a day can we elevate our minds and hearts to God, before it becomes “vain repetition”?

Without repetition human beings find it extremely difficult to learn and/or perfect just about anything. Our Creator God, of all persons, would certainly know that. But those who showed up a thousand years late and in order to promote their novel religious practices, chose to deny the sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church and co-opt the text of the Catholic Bible, apparently didn’t. Many of them apparently still don’t.

To put it simply – no amount of prayer, faithfully offered up to the one, true God, according the grace of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit – can ever be “in vain” – although through our own fault, our  prayers may not always prove to be completely effective. (Study this link to the Catechism about The Lord’s Prayer for important terms, limitations and conditions.)

Vain repetition?

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Revelation 4:8-11 And the four living creatures had each of them six wings: and round about and within they are full of eyes. And they rested not day and night, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come. (9) And when those living creatures gave glory and honor and benediction to him that sitteth on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever: (10) The four and twenty ancients fell down before him that sitteth on the throne and adored him that liveth for ever and ever and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: (11) Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. Because thou hast created all things: and for thy will they were and have been created.

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July 25–Lt. Nathan Jeffcoat, of Orrtanna, didn’t always want to be a U.S. Marine, but it’s safe to say it’s something that runs in his blood.

After being hit by an improvised explosive device, IED, in Afghanistan on June 30 and traveling back to the states, doctors went looking for him in his hospital room to do physical therapy, and the platoon commander in the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines was nowhere to be found.

Turns out, in true commander fashion, he had escaped and made his way through a quarantined hospital area to check on one of his men who had been injured two weeks before him, and was still in the hospital.

Jeffcoat knows he’s a lucky man, a lucky Marine…

“He’s really, really lucky,” [his mother] Sue said, as she watched her son.

She breaks the eye contact to say she tells him all the time it’s because of the number of times she said the rosary for him, and all the prayers.

When he came back, the only things he had on him where his dog tags, watch, St. Christopher’s medallion and his rosary.

“Pray pray pray,” Sue Jeffcoat said.

That’s how they got through this, and that’s how they’ll get through it during the next tour.

Link

A former evangelical learns to love the Rosary…

I was brought up in a devout Protestant, Evangelical home in Pennsylvania. We weren’t exactly anti-Catholic, but we thought Catholics needed to “get saved.” After college in South Carolina, I moved to England and became an Anglican priest. It was my habit to make my annual retreat at the Benedictine Abbey of Quarr on the Isle of Wight. Just as I was about to leave for retreat, a parishioner gave me a rosary. She had just come back from a pilgrimage to the great Marian shrine of Walshingham, and she had felt led to buy me this gift. I had never used the rosary, and was prejudiced against it.

My first instinct was to reject this “Catholic superstition.” However, one of my guiding principles was a little saying I had discovered while a student. It is, “A person is most often right in what he affirms and wrong in what he denies.”

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