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Another - Why pray to Saints?

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Chris†opher Paul, May 31, 2002.

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  1. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Ok, another big one that I am struggling with is "Why pray to saints?"

    Isn't that blasphemous? I have heard it is like going through a middle man, so to speak, but priests are middle men and I don't pray to them? :scratch:
     
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  2. jukesk9

    jukesk9 Dixie Whistlin' Papist

    +82
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    US-Republican
    No middle man here. Christ still mediates these prayers. All a prayer to a saint is a request for them to pray for us. We believe, from Romans, that death doesn't separate us from Christ therefore those Christians who have gone before us are with Christ. From Hebrews, we know we are surrounded by them. From Revelations, we know that they hear our prayers and deliver them to God. From St. Paul's epistles, we are taught that prayer from a righteous person is very powerful and again St. Paul urges us to pray for one another. So no, it's not blasphemous because it takes nothing from Christ. Check out the ending of the Hail Mary, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." Who's Mary going to pray to? God through Jesus, the mediator.
     
  3. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    I see, thanks. Of course, this brings the question of why can't God hear them Himself, but alas, you answered that as well...a prayer from a righteous person is very powerful.

    You all have been very helpful, thanks again.
     
  4. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

    +76
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    No -

    We believe that those who have died and are alive in heaven and that we are all part of the living, mystical body of Christ.

    The operative word here is "TO" and it causes some concern. We are not praying to the Saints as if they were God, but rather we are asking them to pray for us as we would of each other here on earth.

    I use my "football game" analogy:

    God's up in the Coach's box
    Jesus is on the sidlines calling the plays and directing the teams movement down the field to the goaline "Heaven".

    Mary and the Saints are in the stands cheering on the team (we the believers) as we take on the Devil and his minions.
    Have you seen a game where the players are on the goaline and turn to the crowd, waving their arms wildly for "some noise"?

    Well, to me praying to Mary and the Saints for assistance is like waving my arms in the air for some crowd noise from the Saints.

    We hear them cheer, Jesus hears them cheer and will respond with the right play to get us in the endzone.

    Corn, I know...but I believe that we are all one family - on earth as it is in heaven!

    Hth.
     
  5. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To KC:

    I LOVED your football play analogy!!!


    To Souljah:

    Another comparison is when you were a little kid. Say you did something STUPID, like break a bedroom window. You know when Daddy gets home, there's going to be an explosion. You go tell Mommy what happened. She gets the broom and dustpan, tells you to clean up the mess, and she'll be with you when you explain things to Daddy.

    Moms are often more approachable than Daddies.

    You aren't "required" to pray to saints, though. It's an individual decision. But it doesn't hurt to read up on some of them, understand exactly what they went through in their Faiths. They can be incredibly inspiring.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  6. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Cool. thanks.
     
  7. cougan

    cougan Senior Member

    766
    +6
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    1Tim 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

    Well this verse seems to say that Jesus is the only way for you prayers to get to the father. Consisder the next verse.
    John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

    There isnt any examples that I know of in the bible of someone praying to someone that has all ready died so that they can have the prayers of this dead person. Perhaps you can show me that example. The bible teaches over and over again to pray to the father in Jesus name. When it talks about praying for each other that is in refrence to living breathing people. Oh yeah on top of that the bible doesnt say anywhere that I know of that a person that has died can hear your prayers. Perhaps you can provide an example.
     
  8. bouncer

    bouncer Senior Member

    740
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    yea...it is hard to understand why we should ever have to pray to saints to pray for us. i mean eventually, it is Gods will.....what difference does it make if WE pray, or a saint prays for us? in fact i think God would appreciate us praying directly to him through Jesus, as is taught to us in the Bible....
    (umm...im not aware of the verses in Revelations and the epistles and hebrews, where jukesk9 pointed out that it tells us we can....so can you please also post the specific verses...)

    Also, I believe it sends wrong signals out to people of other religons that we christians worship other men. now, i know thats not true but it is our duty to ensure that people see us in the right sense, and not as worshippers of mortals.

    just a few thoughts.....
     
  9. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    The last passage is quoted to show that those in Heaven are aware of the lives of those on Earth. I have refrained from posting references from Scripture that is deemed apochryphal by Protestants, but it can be posted, too, if you are curious about it. Hope it helped a little!

    Neal
     
  10. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    The following quote comes from a previous discussion from this forum on this very topic. Jason is in China now, so I hope he doesn't mind my quoting him :) He's not (yet, but will be, I hope) Catholic, so I figured his viewpoint would be helpful.

    God Bless,

    Neal

     
  11. Julie

    Julie ONLY JESUS CHRIST SAVES

    +3
    Christian
    How can we be sure who we are praying to is even in Heaven?

    Julie
     
  12. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
    Catholic
    Married
    To Cougan:

    What evidence do you have that is the intention of Scripture? I haven't found any Scripture saying, "Only living, breathing people can pray for one another." However, there is ample evidence that those who have died are alive in Christ, for that indeed is the promise of Jesus.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  13. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    Married
    To Julie:

    The Scripture you quoted is in the Old Testament; the teaching of Jesus in the New Testament is that the dead are alive in Christ.

    The canonized saints of the Catholic Church are people who lived very holy, very inspirational lives here on earth. Some of them even died for the faith, incredible, tortuous, bloody deaths for Christ. If ANYONE would be in Heaven, they would.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  14. bouncer

    bouncer Senior Member

    740
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    to isshinwhat:

    thanks for the posts...that does help...

    just one quick question, is it that catholics pray to the saints only when there is something that is really important, and they are in desperate need for God answering their prayer; or are all prayers directed to the saints.....?

    if it is the former, then i must admit it makes sense as well, but if its the latter, to me it seems to take away the personal one to one realtionship you might have with God by taking your requests directly to him. if all the prayers are to saints then somewhere along the line someone who doesnt know better might confuse as to who they actually should be praying to.....

    thanks.
     
  15. VOW

    VOW Moderator

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    To Bouncer:

    It depends on the Catholic. But I'd say it's generally the former. Many Catholics look upon the Saints (a patron saint, especially) or Mary, as a very close, understanding, loving friend. And in prayer, they talk to these "friends" as you would visit with someone close to you. You share the good times as well as the bad times with a beloved friend.

    Understand, though, that in worshipping at Mass, ALL PRAYERS are directed to God. Mass it the ultimate worship, and we all glorify God when we attend.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  16. bouncer

    bouncer Senior Member

    740
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    to VOW and isshinwhat:

    ok...i understand the concept now....but why not just pray to Jesus as that 'close friend' and 'mediator' between yourself and God. isnt Jesus the best person to pray to, since he is God and he is also man, and he was sent down for this very purpose....

    the only reason i seem to have a problem with praying to saints is that in the end, they were after all human....but Jesus on the other hand was the perfect saint, God himself as man, who better to pray to? why put a saint before Jesus?...

    thanks.
     
  17. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    bouncer:

    Presumably a person would ask Mary or the saints to pray for her, and then also direct a prayer or five of her own to Jesus. It would be rather suspicious if a person never prayed directly to Jesus, only to saints.

    Have you ever asked a friend to pray for you? If so, why didn't you just pray to God yourself? Whatever answer you give for that will probably also apply to the Catholics asking saints to pray for them.

    -Chris
     
  18. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    To Bouncer:

    You aren't putting a Saint "before Jesus." You are talking to a friend, someone who inspires you, someone you admire, someone who has demonstrated a deeper knowledge of the faith, someone who has shown a rich prayer life, and you are asking this friend to pray for you. It's the same as if you ask your fellow congregation members to join you in prayer.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
  19. bouncer

    bouncer Senior Member

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    to VOW :

    yea i see what you mean finally....thanks. a friend once told me that he prays to saints. he didnt elaborate, and i took it to mean that it was the saints themselves that he was praying to, or that he was praying to GOD through the saints alone. which i thought was wrong...but this does make it clearer. :)

    to kern :

    honestly, I have NEVER asked anyone else to pray for me purely because in my own personal opinion I think God will hear my prayer as much as he will hear it through anyone else. i mean, i dont think it is wrong, my parents, pastors, friends all ask others to pray for them, but honestly, ive never felt the need to do that.

    which brings me to another question.....how important is prayer by OTHERS(saints, friends,pastors, family) for us? could God be persuaded by others, to answer our prayers even if he does not want to answer it when we ourselves ask him? am i wrong in not asking others to pray for me?!
     
  20. VOW

    VOW Moderator

    +15
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    To Bouncer:

    The person who gathers a huge team of folks to pray for him isn't more likely to "get what he wants from God." We don't work on the point system, LOL.

    Community prayer encourages us to work together, as a whole, for the betterment of everyone. We do not exist in a vacuum, the Church is a collection of PEOPLE, and we all together form the whole. A single cell in your liver, say, isn't more important than a single cell in your eyeball. BOTH have vital functions to work together for the entire "you." And NEITHER can function alone! Community prayer is a constant reminder that none of us is more important than another.

    Secondly, prayer is GOOD for you! By asking others to pray for you, you are actually doing THEM a favor, LOL. Prayer encourages your spiritual growth, so you, as the recipient of the prayer benefits, but so do the people who pray for you.


    Peace be with you,
    ~VOW
     
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