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 Post subject: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:12 pm 
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Hello, I am completely new to the Catholic faith, after several years of being agnostic. Which is why I am asking these questions. I know I've already posted a question here earlier today, but I have two more questions that I feel deserve their own new thread.

My first questions is about prayer, specifically repetitive ones. As I was raised Baptist My parents always warned me about repetitive prayers, now from My admittedly very limited understanding of Catholicism, it seem that some prayers are said daily, one of the passages My parents always referred to was Matthew 6:7 ( Here is a link for your convenience, http://www.openbible.info/topics/repetitive_prayer ) Which warns against, heaping many useless words into prayers, ( which I am assuming also means repetitiveness. ) So My question is, are daily and repetitive prayers against the Bible or somehow bad? Sorry if this isn't a very informed question, but I am honestly curious.

My second questions is about confession, why are confessions given to a priest, and not through prayers only? This is not an accusation, just a genuine question. Any answers are appreciated. Thank you. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:17 pm 
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1) That particular passage is hard to translate. "Repetitive prayer" is not a particularly good way to translate it. "Pointless babbling" might be better. You might look at Matthew 26:36-46, where Jesus Himself prays repetitively.

2) Because Jesus established it that way. See John 20:23.

The Catholic Church really is Biblical :)

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 7:19 am 
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Just a couple of other points on the "vain repetition" issue.

i) Psalm 136 [135 in Catholic bibles] is a hymn of praise to God which repeats the same phrase "for His mercy endures forever" 26 times in 26 verses. That by itself is proof that repetition in an of itself is not a bad thing.

ii) In Matthew 6:7 Jesus is pointing out the futility of the Gentiles praying to a false God, and so however much they pray they cannot be heard. But the True God will hear our prayers. The point here is not that repetition itself is bad.

iii) Revelation chapters 4 and 5 describe the heavenly liturgy. The same prayers are said over and over through eternity.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:13 am 
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I grew up in Baptist country. Their made up prayers always sounded like pointless babbling to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:46 am 
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Read the whole chapter. Is it a Baptist or a Catholic chapter of the Bible? ::):

Pretty obvious answer there. I always use a simple rule in defeating these little one verse Bible bullets, read the next verse. If necessary, read the whole paragraph and the one before and after or just the whole chapter. Usually the next few verses are sufficient to defeat whatever nonsense interpretation is being given.

So what came directly after Matthew 6:7? The Our Father! ::):

So, if I say the Our Father every morning and before bed every day, am I going to hell? Will my prayers be pointless?

What was Jesus talking about? Heathens. Pagan sacrifices and pagan mumbo jumbo chants. Then he goes on to talk about mammon(earthly riches) and when you fast...... Boy howdy, is that stuff anathema to Baptists, or what? Whoa!

Bishop Sheen addressed this once, he was speaking to an engaged couple.

He asked the woman who is that with you?
My fiance.
Do you love him?
Yes.
How does he know?
I told him so.
What did you tell him?
I said I love you.
When did you tell him?
Last night.
Have you ever told him before?
Yes, many times.
Does he not tire of hearing it?
No.

Prayer is a conversation with God, it is like telling him I love you. He doesn't tire of it even if our words do not change much, or even if we do not use words. But we should keep our prayers fresh and introduce new things and cut out the old, so that it doesn't beccome stale. For our sake. That's what Bishop Sheen said.

If you understand Catholic prayer you will realize it really isn't repetitive. The most repetitive would be the rosary, but it is a meditation, not a string of words.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:09 pm 
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ClaireBennett wrote:
My second questions is about confession, why are confessions given to a priest, and not through prayers only? This is not an accusation, just a genuine question. Any answers are appreciated. Thank you. 




As one who comes from an evangelical protestant background I understand your reservations about something so personal, like the confession of our sins, to another human being. I even shared them during my journey through RCIA.

Aside from the Biblical and theological answers which have already been given, there are also very practical reasons why the Lord has done what He has done with the Sacrament.

Sins themselves are not merely personal, even though we commit them personally. Sins have a way of affecting everyone around us, both directly and indirectly; so what one may do in private does in fact affect others in one way or another. Just as when one does something good, even heroically good, we swell with pride and aspiriation at their example.

The Church calls this the mystery of human solidarity.

So as we offend God, so do we also offend our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ.

Secondly, when I was an evangelical (just speaking from my own experience), confessing my sins to God amounted to this: "You know my sins Jesus, and I know that you have forgiven me, thank you", and I would go about business as usual. No real contrition, no resolution to improve or to not sin in the future, and no real guidance in finding out why I sinned to begin with. IOW, no real spiritual growth.

OTOH, I remember the first time that I resolved to go to the Sacrament of penance, I actually had real fear and trepidation, not of God, not even of the priest, but for the fact that I'd actually have to confess my sins. In "going straight to God" I've never in my life ever had to really face my sins and what I had done. I just always presumed upon it based upon God's knowledge. Now I actually had to speak the words, I had to hear the words pass my lips. Facing that fear itself requires no small amount of courage, humility and grace, which is precisely why I believe that Christ established it. Being human we need to hear our sins in confession to face the reality of them. It is a form of sacrifice, of offering ourselves up for judgement, because we know that our sins deserve that judgement.

Yet at the same time in confessing our sins we offer ourselves up to Christ's mercy. In coming to the Sacrament of penance in faith and confessing our sins in faith we receive the mercy which we so desperately seek. In Confession we receive the spiritual guidance in order to find the source of those things in our will which causes us to sin and ways which to avoid committing those sins in the future.

Most significant is that through the words of the priest who is given the ministry of reconciliation, and who acts in the name of Christ, offers to us the words of absolution.

I never felt as an evangelical the fullness of love of God, the healing and the utter relief of the burden of my sins than I did after I had left the confessional that first time. I think that is precisely what Christ intended when he established within the Church the Sacrament of penance.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:05 am 
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It should be noted that repetitive prayer, as in "vain repetitions" (Geneva Bible, KJV) or "meaningless repetition" (NASB), may not be what the original author meant to convey. The word used, transliterated "battalogeō", is only found once, here, in the NT.

Translating hapax legomena is difficult because a clearer sense of the meaning of a given word can be gleaned when that word is used in multiple contexts.

In the case of the word battalogeo it has also been translated "speak not much" (DR), "do not ye speak much" (Wycliffe), "babble" (NAB), and "heap up empty phrases" (RSV).

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:38 am 
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Thank you all for these answers I've received so far, in regards to these answers: Obi Wan Kenobi, Thank you for directing me towards that passage, after reading that, the thought of confessions seemed less wrong. And to Seanie, Jon Snow, Bombadil, thanks for all of your answers too, you've all been very informative, and I am starting to understand that My parents must have definitely misunderstood the contexts of most of these passages. When you really look into Catholicism does seem to have a sound basis. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:45 am 
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claire, if i might suggest another book for your reading pleasure... our past host, steve ray, also came from a baptist background...his book, crossing the tiber , details his conversion process of how he set out to prove Catholicism wrong, and ended up researching himself into the Church of our Lord..in addition to his conversion story, the last two parts of the book detail the early Church's understanding and teaching of the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist in a way in which i have never seen before and since... i truly believe you would be blessed by reading such a book and i would loan you mine... but i think i loaned it to someone and never got it back

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:18 am 
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i think of when the apostles and Mary were praying for the Holy Spirit 9 days before Pentecost. God is always giving himself freely to us and we continually have to look (pray) for Him. if you say "God, i need you" all day it's great and it's the truth.

as for confession i love it. "touching the hem of Jesus' robe" and being cured.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:40 pm 
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Thanks for the book suggestion faithful servant. I have both books on My GoodReads list, I will buy a copy ASAP. :D You are right kpl2014, one of the ways I interpet "repetitive prayers" Is as a sign of respect to God, and a show of humility. Of course I could be wrong about this, but at this point I definitely don't see it as bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:31 pm 
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ClaireBennett wrote:
Thanks for the book suggestion faithful servant. I have both books on My GoodReads list, I will buy a copy ASAP. :D You are right kpl2014, one of the ways I interpet "repetitive prayers" Is as a sign of respect to God, and a show of humility. Of course I could be wrong about this, but at this point I definitely don't see it as bad.


Another point on "repetitive prayer": No lover ever tires of hearing "I love you" from their beloved, especially the Divine Lover.

Prayers, even prayers like the "Our Father" or the "Glory Be", are our love songs to God. They may be prewritten and prescribed, but no less meaningfull.

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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:18 am 
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ClaireBennett wrote:
My second questions is about confession, why are confessions given to a priest, and not through prayers only? This is not an accusation, just a genuine question. Any answers are appreciated. Thank you. :)


This is a bit lengthy, but worth the read. I think you will find it useful.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/albertlitt ... w-my-mind/


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:41 pm 
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Jon Snow wrote:
ClaireBennett wrote:
Thanks for the book suggestion faithful servant. I have both books on My GoodReads list, I will buy a copy ASAP. :D You are right kpl2014, one of the ways I interpet "repetitive prayers" Is as a sign of respect to God, and a show of humility. Of course I could be wrong about this, but at this point I definitely don't see it as bad.


Another point on "repetitive prayer": No lover ever tires of hearing "I love you" from their beloved, especially the Divine Lover.

Prayers, even prayers like the "Our Father" or the "Glory Be", are our love songs to God. They may be prewritten and prescribed, but no less meaningfull.


I agree with what you are saying. I also think most people who oppose ( Or hate ) The Catholic Church, for things like this, just haven't done enough research


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Thanks for the article Vincenzo. It made me feel much better about this, because I couldn't argue with anything he said. It all makes perfect sense really. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about Confessions and Prayers.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 4:32 pm 
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:thumbsup:


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