Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Examining The Catholic Rosary In Light Of Scripture

       One Roman Catholic legend is that Mary showed up before St. Dominic in 1208 at the church of Prouille and revealed the Rosary beads to him. Catholic Priest William Saunders writes that, "the origins of the rosary are sketchy at best." Gregory the Great made popular a form of the Hail Mary Prayer and many in response began praying this prayer in repetitions with stringed beads. Jesus Christ would have condemned praying this kind of prayer:

        "But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words."  (Matthew 6:6-7)

         The Rosary consists of heaping up words and phrases in an attempt to make prayers more efficacious or more heard. It is not simply a matter of saying the same prayers repeatedly. Furthermore, we never see anybody in the New Testament using prefabricated, mechanical prayers with a continuous, repetitious nature. Scripture does not express approval of any kind of icon or relic that aids in prayer.

        Jesus Christ emphatically condemned these types of prayer by calling them vain. Those are done by pagans and legalists. God already knows everything that we are going to ask Him, even before we plead for divine intervention. He knows everything that we need, even better than what we know of ourselves.

        More prayers are dedicated to Mary in the Rosary than to God Himself in the process of it being cited. Thus, one can see how such a prayer can diminish one's affection for God. Contrast Roman Catholic devotion to Mary in the Rosary with words from the Psalms:

        "My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken." (Psalm 62:5-6)

        "Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth." (Psalm 73:25)

        What is the importance of knowing how many times a prayer is said? Why is there such a major emphasis on the number of repetitions in citing the Rosary? What are the consequences of saying too many or too little of a specific prayer? Is it some sort of magical formula or spell? Does the Rosary involve some sort of self-hypnosis technique? What is the significance of even using this relic if the repetition serves no purpose?

        The concept of praying with beads was used by pagans long before Christianity even began. An example would include the Hindus. In fact, the Rosary is connected with a prayer "rhythm," is described as being repetitious, and is linked with a rhythm of breathing. These concepts are associated with the practices of occult religions such as Wicca. Former Pope John Paul II offered this description of the Rosary in his apostolic letter called "Rosarium Virginis Mariae."

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