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Why pray something so repetitive?

Updated: Jan 3, 2022

One of my greatest struggles with the Rosary was the repetition of prayers. 50 Hail Marys often put me in 'auto-pilot' and left me feeling like I was simply rattling off words. Why bother with it when I could say a heartfelt personal prayer instead?


Ultimately, the Rosary was revealed to us as a gift. It is intended to help us 'fill our minds with the mysteries of the life of Christ' and has often been described as a 'weapon' for our spiritual life. Sadly, as much as I would have liked otherwise, this information did not help me engage prayerfully (read: stay awake), especially after a long day of work.


I started reflecting on the importance and beauty of repetition in my every day life:

  • Repetition as discipline:

When I go to the gym, I don't see results until I commit to regular training. As much as I would love to get fit and build muscle from a monthly session, I know that it is through repetitive training ('showing up every day') that I will reach my goals. Repetition develops the discipline I need to do things that are good for me.


  • Repetition as love:

I have lost count of the times I have cooked dinner for my family, or bathed my children. I'm not always super excited to do these things, and they can feel a bit mundane (do I need to make lunches every day?). But I repeat these things as an expression of my love. More often than not, these things help

deepen my love because I am putting the needs of others before my own desires ("true love is willing the good of the other").


I came to the conclusion that repetition is not a bad thing, and often is a powerful way of developing good habits and health, as well as expressing love.


I pondered these things in context of the Holy Rosary. The repetition of prayers could be an instrument to:

  • Develop the discipline of extended prayer (to support my spiritual wellness)

  • Express and deepen my love of Christ (through the mundane).

There's so much more to the Rosary than its repetition. But the repetition can, in and of itself, help us grow closer to Jesus.... something worth the time and effort.












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