Sunday, May 1, 2011

Do Catholics Worship the Saints? And Why Don't You Just Pray to Jesus?

This is the last in a series of posts on the Catholic practice of praying to the saints. The first post can be seen here. The second here. And the post that inspired all of these posts can be seen here.

The last protestation, and the one I’ve met with the most often, is usually said in this form: “Well that’s all fine and good for Catholics who don’t seem to think they can speak directly to God, but I’ll go straight to Jesus.”

Sigh. Where to begin?

As Catholics we do speak directly to Jesus. And, contrary to popular belief, we read and study the Bible too... but I digress...

The fact that it’s a good thing to pray directly to Jesus doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good thing to ask others to pray for you as well (from those inside and outside of time!). It’s one of those instances where there’s no such thing as “too much of a good thing.” And its quite wonderful that way!

And there are benefits to asking those who are free of their bodies and the distractions of life for prayer: they have greater devotion to God than is possible here on earth with our earthly limitations.

Of those of us on Earth James says: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit" (James 5:16–18)

Still we know that those in heaven are even more righteous for they have been made perfect to stand before God (Heb 12:22-23) and are more perfect than anyone on earth. Thus their prayers are more effective.

If you’d like a few more points found in scripture of the prayers of the saints I’d suggest Revelation 8:3-4 which says "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3-4).

The Church Triumphant in heaven still prays for the Church Militant, down in the midst of the battle, here on earth. And I’m very grateful for that fact.

I hope this post, Karen, even if it hasn’t convinced you of the truth of the Church that Christ founded with Peter (Matthew 16: 14-28), has helped you understand a little bit of the faith you left behind and what we really believe. I’d like to think that the main purpose of this blog (although I do get distracted quite a bit!) is to help dispel a tiny bit of the slander that is spread about the fullness of the truth found in the Catholic faith.

May God Bless you abundantly in your journey towards God! And thank you for your concern!

1 comment:

  1. I've found this example a good way to explain our relationship with the saints and why we seek their intercession; it's like asking a friend to put in a good word for you with a potential boss. Sure you could go directly to the boss, but it doesn't hurt to have someone well respected give you a bit of a boost.

    Mary is the greatest of the saints, of course; it was at her behest that Jesus performed His first miracle, at Cana, when His "time had not yet come". I think it's a pretty good indication that Jesus pays attention when saints intervene.


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