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I have a question!

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Wypadek, Jul 26, 2003.

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  1. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

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    Some people think of the heavenly realm as the fourth dimension because angels have influencial power. Miracles, which have no scientific explanation, are definitely out of the ordinary.
     
  2. Philip

    Philip Orthodoxy: Old School, Hard Core Christianity

    +228
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    Time is part of Creation. God is not bound by His creation.
     
  3. Miss Shelby

    Miss Shelby Legend

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    Thanks Philip.. I thought perhaps it could demonstrate that God's concept of time isn't the same as ours...maybe not. :)

    Michelle
     
  4. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

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    Our God is the lover of mankind, merciful and kind, and forbearing.
     
  5. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    +47
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    This is also how Christ's atoning sacrifice is eternally present in the Eucharist and its effects cover sins of the past, present, and future:

    "Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne " (Rev. 5:6)

    "All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world" (Rev. 13:8 )
     
  6. Skripper

    Skripper Legend

    +541
    Catholic
    I see some more posts have been added since I began composing this but I'd still like to add my two cents worth to all the fine answers already given by Michelle, Phillip and Tim, et al.

    I think the basic question, that being “how" Mary can hear multiple simultaneous prayers since she is not God, still hasn’t been answered. Nor do I think it can be answered, because I don’t think any of us knows “how” this happens, only that God wills it, as Phillip mentioned. So my answer to how she does this would be: “I dunno”.

    But I also think that the very question itself assumes at least two things that aren’t necessarily true:

    1. That (it would seem anyway) only God can hear “everyone’s prayers at once”.

    2. That “hearing” simultaneous prayers is somehow analogous to trying to “hear” with only natural human “ears” thousands of people simultaneously “speaking”.

    As to number one, this is an assumption for which there is no evidence. Although it would, intuitively at least, seem to require either : (a) a supernatural ability that originates from God or (b) existing in a state of existence outside of our “normal” 3-dimensional plain of existence, where the normal laws of physics don’t apply or, and more likely (c) a combination of both (a) and (b).

    As to (a), as Phillip points out, and I think most everyone would agree, God absolutely can “. . . will for them to hear them.” How God does that really isn’t relevant, is it? "How” God does anything is usually not only not relevant but probably way beyond the intellectual ability of most of us to grasp and understand anyway (especially me!).

    If God wills it, He wills it. How did he “will” creation into existence out of nothingness? I dunno, He just did. Who cares “how”? I don’t understand the physics of creating something out of nothing. Nor do I understand “how” God accomplishes, through His will, that the Saints in heaven can be aware of or “hear” our prayers. But it is the teaching of the Communion of Saints that He so wills it, and that they can and do, in fact, “hear” our prayers. There is also scriptural support for this, in addition to what’s already been mentioned, which I’ll get to.

    So, in reference to (1) above, it is not of their own doing or by their own power that Mary and the other Saints are able to “hear” all the simultaneous prayers, but by the power and will of God. It is a supernatural gift from God. So the power to hear these prayers is not inherent in the created beings themselves, it is not within Mary and the Saints themselves and of themselves, but rather in the creator; it is in and from God.

    As to (2) above, I think the answer lays in (b) and (c) as explained above and which both Michelle, Tim and others have already pointed out and which I think most folks would also agree with: God, the Saints and heavenly existence are all outside of “time” and “space” as we know and understand these things. And, therefore, not bound by the rules of physics that bind us and which we are automatically, even subconsciously, accustomed to applying to concepts like “hearing”. Mary and the Saints are simply not bound by the same physical laws that we are. Plus, they are merely instruments of God’s grace, not themselves possessing any inherent divine attributes of their own, of course.

    Finally, I would mention an often overlooked passage in the Gospel of Luke that I think is extremely relevant here. At least I think it’s relevant in helping see that those in heaven can and actually do “hear” (for lack of a better word) the prayers of those on earth, even if it doesn’t answer the “how” question. I think this passage is also, though frequently read, its implications escape most casual readers because the overall context is that of repentance and forgiveness. Nevertheless it is still very relevant here and actually has some profound implications concerning the topic of Mary and the Saints “hearing” prayers of those still on earth:

    “I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.” (Luke 15: 7, NAB).

    The first thing to consider is this: exactly who is it that is “in heaven”? Answer: God, angels and “the spirits of the just made perfect” (Hebrews 12:43, NAB) . . . IOW, it is Mary and the Saints that is among those in heaven.

    The next thing to consider is this: how can those in heaven, other than God Himself, (i.e. angels and Mary and the Saints) know which folks on earth are in need of repentance and when they repent? I mean, after all, repentance is an internal event; it takes place in the mind and in the heart. And, no doubt there is quite a bit of “simultaneous” repentance going on all over the world, at any given moment. Yet the Bible tells us that heaven rejoices over each sinner who repents. How? How if not aware of it?

    The implication is profound. And it is strong scriptural evidence to support the fact that Mary and the Saints can indeed “hear” all of our prayers. Because consider this . . . if there is joy in heaven when a sinner repents, as the Bible says is true, then those in heaven must be able to know when these sinners repent. That's an inescapable fact. Keep in mind, also, that it’s not very likely that any of these repenting sinners are actuall making any conscious effort whatsoever to “notify” those in heaven of their repentance (i.e. they are not "praying" to them). Yet those in heaven are, nevertheless, aware of it. At least that's what the Bible says.

    So . . . if those in heaven are aware of repentance on the part of sinners on earth (and, consequently, also aware of those on earth who don’t repent), even when the sinner is making no effort whatsoever to convey this news to them . . . then it is extremely difficult to credibly argue that those in heaven somehow are unable or can’t “hear” prayers when those on earth actually DO make an effort to make them aware or “hear”, through conscious prayers to Mary or other Saints.

    You simply can’t say that on the one hand that, according to Scripture, those in heaven can “hear” repentance but on the other hand, somehow “can’t hear” conscious prayers. That would make no sense at all.

    So to answer the main part of Wypadek’s question, the “how” part? How do Mary and the other Saints accomplish this (through God’s will)??? . . . I dunno.

    But the constant teaching of the Church says they do. And the biblical evidence supports it.
     
  7. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    +47
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    Great points, David!!!
     
  8. Skripper

    Skripper Legend

    +541
    Catholic

    Tim,

    You and the others did most of the work (nice job, btw). I was just trying to tie up what I saw as a few possible loose ends.
     
  9. kimber1

    kimber1 mean people suck

    +786
    Catholic
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    okay folks! i have a question for you!! i'm not Catholic either but someone mentioned that Mary is like an intercessor between us and God. Isn't that what Jesus does? not trying to start a fight! Just curious!!
     
  10. Bastoune

    Bastoune Well-Known Member

    +47
    Catholic
    Aren't we all intercessors when we pray for each other?

    "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone " (1 Tim. 2:1)


    Christ is the one mediator (1 Tim. 2:5) between God and man. But aren't we all "mediators" or "intercessors" between ourselves and Christ?

    The Church's job is to edify each other in prayer. That doesn't diminish the role of Christ as our top mediator. It means we are just sharing in His Plan.
     
  11. kimber1

    kimber1 mean people suck

    +786
    Catholic
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    oh well that does make sense when you look at it that way! thank you! :)
     
  12. Skripper

    Skripper Legend

    +541
    Catholic
    Also, it's not an "either/or" situation, as if Catholics (or other Christians) are "choosing" Mary as their intercessor over and above Jesus. It's more a "both/and" sort of thing. Jesus is, of course, always "the" numero uno, primary and unique mediator/intercessor between God and mankind (1 Tim 2:5-6).

    Jesus is the one, and the only one, that bridged the gap between God and man. And it is because of Him, and only because of Him, that intercessory prayers throughout the Body of Christ are made possible. Yet intercessory prayers within the Body of Christ do not in any way infringement upon or "take away from" Christ's unique mediatorship but are, rather, a fruit of it.

    Christ also conquered death (2 Tim 1:10; Heb 2:14-18), which now cannot separate us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:37-39), and neither can the Body of Christ be separated from itself, or from Christ the Head (1 Cor. 12: 12-30).

    Consequently, intercessory prayer of Mary and the Saints, in addition to not being an infringement of Christ's unique mediatorship, is also not rendered useless after their physical death and their earthly sojourn complete, but rather more efficacious. Because, as it says in James 15: 16, “The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.” What persons are more “righteous” than those already in heavenly glory?
     
  13. Credo

    Credo broken

    +142
    Catholic
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    I also think that Christ's unique role as mediator goes deeper than just as intercessor, as many protestants take it to mean. I usually see, as an attack on Intercessory Prayer of the Saints, the single verse from 1 Timothy 2, that verse being 5. I will propose that we need to read a bit further:

    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: 6 Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.

    The verse immediately following mentions our redemption, not making intercession for one another. What is it that Christ mediates for us? Our redemption. He made the ultimate sacrifice as both lamb and High Priest.

    As Christ is our High Priest, He would perform the function of the High Priest. He was to offer the bloody sacrifice of the pure lamb to God Almighty for the atonement of our sins. Christ's sacrifice was His own body, as He is the Lamb of God (see John 1:29,36). Christ mediates our salvation and opened the Gates of Heaven so that we may have life everlasting.
     
  14. Skripper

    Skripper Legend

    +541
    Catholic
    Credo,

    Absolutely! Excellent point. I think you hit the nail on the head there!
     
  15. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

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    Great answers everyone, and filled with scriptures - I love it! Who ever said Catholics hate the Bible ;D

    Whenever a Protestant brings up, 1 Timothy 2:5 they always leave out verse 6, and it usually stops them in their path when I point out what verse 6 says. Great point!
     
  16. JeffreyLloyd

    JeffreyLloyd Ave Maria, Gratia plena! Supporter

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    Great post, just a quick note that the verse in Hebrews 12:23

    :D
     
  17. Skripper

    Skripper Legend

    +541
    Catholic
    Jeff,

    Ooops! Thanks for catching that, brother.
     
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