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  #31  
Old Oct 31, '13, 9:58 am
bmonk bmonk is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by Lidocaine View Post
God does not answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).
The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in heaven to pray for him. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in heaven praying for anyone on earth.
There may be no need to pray to the saints. The Church does not require it.

However, just as we ask those we know and respect to pray for us when we need it, so we also turn to the Saints for prayers.

We believe in the "Communion of the saints," as mentioned in the Creed used at baptism. That is, the Body of Christ is one and living--even though divided (at this time) into those living here in this world, those who have died and are awaiting their entrance into glory, and those who have reached heaven. We are one Body of Christ.

As mentioned, the Bible does describe the saints in Heaven praying for those on Earth--in Revelation 5. We also have the opposite--in 2 Macc 12:38-46, Judas has prayers offered for the dead, "in light of the resurrection" to expiate for their sins. Yes, this is in the "deuterocanonical" books--but we believe them inspired.

As for what texts are inspired or not, how would we know? God did not hand us a bible from heaven, nor did Jesus give us a list of what texts would (eventually) be included. It is only by the authority of the Church that we can know what should be included.

Given that, it is also by the authority of the Church that we know how to interpret what is there, and what might be remembers outside of the Bible. Including such ideas as the Communion of the Saints, and even the Trinity itself.
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  #32  
Old Oct 31, '13, 10:09 am
bmonk bmonk is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by Robyn p View Post
If anyone is in Heaven, they are saints. Nothing unclean can be in heaven as Rev 21:27 tells us. And no, it's not important to know specifically which saints they are. The point of John's vision is not to give us the attendance sheet of Heaven, but to show us the worship of Heaven. He doesn't tell us the names of the angels either, yet that doesn't mean they're not really in heaven or that they are unimportant to our lives.

Where else are the prayers coming from? The point is they are bringing prayers from other people to the throne of God. That's intercession. The harps are obviously symbolic. As are the incense and the bowls and the crowns and even the throne of God and the Lamb. Revelation is full of symbolic imagery to convey spiritual realities. I don't quite see what your point is making that joke. It's not like anyone here actually believes there are physical harps in heaven.

You might respond that then what's the point? But remember, Jesus already told us our Father knows what we need before we ask it. Yet He wants us to pray for ourselves and for others anyway. Why? Because He wants us to be involved in each other's lives. He wants to use us as His instruments, as His fellow workers. We are told that we can't say to any member of the Body of Christ, "I have no need of you" (1 Cor 12:21) We need ALL the Body of Christ, we are intimately connected to each other through Christ. That includes the Saints. There's only one body of Christ. Not one on earth and one in heaven.
These are good points.

I smiled too when I read about UPS delivering harps to heaven. Perhaps there are harps there, perhaps not. Perhaps these are symbolic images, perhaps they will be literally true. After all, God is the center and soul of heaven, and can do as He wishes. If he wishes us to have harps, he can provide them.

Remember that, the one thing we know for sure about heaven is that we know nothing about it, except that God will be there, and it will be better than anything we can imagine.
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  #33  
Old Oct 31, '13, 10:42 am
pablope pablope is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by Cachonga View Post
Apparently, God's promise that there would be no sorrow in Heaven doesn't apply to Catholic Saints (I se


The best Biblical support the Catholic Church can offer to support this teaching are very weak "indications". What it ultimately comes down to is - this is an acceptable practice because the Church says so!
And has Jewish roots:

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/201...ption-of-mary/
The first real blow to this interpretation came when I read Peter Brown’s book, The Cult of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity.
Brown challenged my view that the place of saints and relics in the church was a mere holdover from paganism, and that the practice was somehow peripheral to true Christianity. Instead, Brown painted a picture of ancient Christianity and paganism in which relics were indispensable to the former, and repulsive to the latter. Far from a holdover from paganism, the place of relics in the Church appeared as something intensely Jewish, Hebraic, and Old Testament. Pagans, like Julian-the-Apostate, found the practice revolting and legislated against it. (Paganism, with its notions of ritual purity, had strictly delimited the realm of divine worship and neatly separated it from the realm of corpses and the dead.)
Peter Brown:
On this point, the rise of Christianity in the pagan world was met by deep religious anger. We can chart the rise to prominence of the Christian church most faithfully by listening to pagan reactions to the cult of martyrs. For the progress of this cult spelled out for the pagans a slow and horrid crumbling of ancient barriers.1



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What it ultimately comes down to is - this is an acceptable practice because the Church says s

And you Church says it is not an acceptable practice....so who is right...your church or the CC?
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  #34  
Old Oct 31, '13, 10:44 am
pablope pablope is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by Lidocaine View Post
God does not answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).


The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in heaven to pray for him. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in heaven praying for anyone on earth.
Actually....not true...there is a basis for this:


Job 42:

7 After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite did what the LORD told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
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  #35  
Old Oct 31, '13, 1:04 pm
johnnyc176 johnnyc176 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope%...ven-29414.html


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Pope: the communion of saints, an unbreakable bond between us and those who are in Purgatory or in Heaven

Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - There is " a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world","the souls in purgatory and those who are already in Heaven ." A "shared union" that should propel us to seek God's help and that of our brothers in times of "insecurity, loss and even doubts on our journey of faith", which "we have all experienced", even the Pope, "none of this should surprise us because we are human beings, we are fragile, we have limits, all we have".

The meaning of the "communion of saints", a "very beautiful reality of our faith " was illustrated today by Pope St. Francis to 80 thousand people present in St Peter's Square for the general audience. As usual the Pope toured among the throng for almost half an hour in his white jeep, from which he alighted several times to greet people, especially an enthusiastic group of dozens of altar boys from Paris, for one of whom he signed a cap. And while the jeep was stationary, a child of 4 or 5 years climbed up next to Francis, who spoke to him for a few moments in a low voice. And once more today, a loyal group of Argentines brought a bottle of "mate" which the Pope drank through a straw.

At the end of the general audience the Pope announced his pending meeting with a delegation of Iraqi authorities and representatives of the various religious groups, "who are the wealth of the country". In his catechesis instead he pointed out that with the "communion of saints" the Catechism refers to two realities: communion with holy things and communion with holy people. This second meaning is "one of the most comforting truths of our faith, because it reminds us that we are not alone, that there is a communion of life between all those who belong to Christ. A communion that is born of faith, in fact, the term saints refers to those who believe in the Lord Jesus and are incorporated in Christ through Baptism in the Church".

"The Church, in its deepest truth is in communion with God, intimacy with God, a communion of love with Christ and with the Father in the Holy Spirit , which continues in a fraternal communion. This relationship between Jesus and the Father is the" matrix "of the bond between us Christians: if we are intimately included in this "matrix" in this ardent furnace of love that is the Trinity, then we can become truly one heart and one soul among us, because the love of God burns our selfishness , our prejudices, our internal and external divisions . God's love burns even our sins. "

"If we are rooted in the source of Love, which is God, then there is also a reciprocal movement : from my brothers to God, the experience of fraternal communion with God leads us to be united among ourselves, it leads us to be united with God, in this connection with God who is our Father . Our faith needs the support of others, especially in difficult times. And if we are united, the faith is strong. How beautiful it is to support one another in this wonderful adventure of faith! I say this because the tendency to retreat into the private has also influenced the religious sphere, so that it is often hard to ask for the spiritual help of those who share the Christian experience with us. Who among us - everybody, everybody! - who among us has not experienced insecurity, loss and even doubts on their journey of faith ? Everyone! We've all experienced this, me too. Everyone. It is part of the journey of faith, it is part of our lives. This should not surprise us, because we are human beings, marked by fragility and limitations. We are all weak, we all have limits: do not panic . We all we have them".


"However, - continued the Pope - in these difficult times it is necessary to trust in God , through prayer, and at the same time, it is important to find the courage and the humility to be open to others and ask for help, to ask for a hand : 'Give me a hand , I have this problem.' How many times have we done this? And then, we overcame the problem and found God again. In this communion - communion which means ' common union ', all united , common union - in this communion we are a big family, all of us, where all the components help and support each other . "

The communion of the saints, then, "goes beyond the earthly life, goes beyond death and lasts forever. This union between us goes beyond and continues in the afterlife. It is a spiritual union that comes from Baptism, that is not broken by death, but, thanks to that Christ who is risen, is destined to find its fulfillment in eternal life. There is a deep and indissoluble bond between those who are still pilgrims in this world, among us, and those who have crossed the threshold of death into eternity. All the baptized here on earth, the souls in Purgatory and all the saints who are already in heaven form one big family . This communion between earth and heaven is realized especially in the prayer of intercession".

"This beauty, the memory of the faith: it is our reality, that makes us brothers, that accompanies us on the journey of life , and we will meet again up there in Heaven . Let's make this journey with confidence, joy. A Christian must be joyful, with the joy of having so many baptized brothers and sisters who walk with us, and even with the help of our brothers and sisters on this journey towards Heaven, and also with the help of brothers and sisters who are in Heaven and Jesus who pray for us. Move forward on this road , and with joy . "
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  #36  
Old Oct 31, '13, 1:46 pm
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Robyn p Robyn p is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by Cachonga View Post
Do they pray for everyone that asks? Does God know will end up in Hell? Would God allow anyone in Heaven to intercede for someone He knows will end up in Hell? If so, wouldn’t that cause sorrows for the one interceding? Again, if you read the Scriptures in context, Jesus intercedes for His people, not every person that ever lived. If Jesus interceded for people in Hell, then what good is His intercession? And if He can’t keep someone out of Hell, what chance would Mary or any of the other saints have?
The implication of this is that Jesus didn't come and die to save all men, because many still go to hell, so what good was His mission? Further, He must not be the mediator of the entire human race, because the entire human race will not go to heaven. (a mediator and an intercessor are the same thing by the way)

If that's the case, I have to disagree, and so does the Bible. Paul tells us that intercessions and prayers are to be made on behalf off all men, not just Christians. (1 Tim 2:1) and that God desires ALL men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:4) and first John 2:2 tells us that Christ is the expiation, not only of our sins (that would be, Christians, since that is who John is writing to) but "the sins of the whole world.". So yes my friend, Jesus is the mediator of the entire human race, that includes those who end up rejecting His gift of salvation.

I have to point out though, Cachonga, that this same logic that you are using to reject the intercession of the saints (and now Christ's intercession and mediation for the entire human race) is the same one used by those who deny the very existence of heaven and hell. How can I be happy in heaven if I have a relative or spouse in hell?

One thing that can help solve this dilemma is to realize that those in hell are there from their own choice, they freely rejected God's grace. But God does give every human person sufficient grace to get to heaven. But He already knows who's going to reject Him and who's going to choose him? So how is that free? This is a deep mystery of God's omniscience and free will. We still don't know all the details, but we can get some lights.

We know that God does desire the salvation of all, which means He must give the means of salvation to all. Whether a person accepts it or rejects it is up to their free will. God knowing from all eternity however, who ultimately accepts His grace and who rejects it, doesn't change either of these truths. Knowing isn't the same thing as causing.

God also uses our prayers and our witnessing as means to communicate His grace. We become "God's fellow workers" as Paul describes. I see no reason to think He wouldn't use the prayers of the saints in heaven as much as ours. Just because He may know a certain soul will turn down the grace doesn't mean He won't offer it.

But now, to answer your objection about sadness, in short, no, it won't cause the saints sadness to know that a person is in hell despite their prayers, anymore than it causes God sadness to know a person is in hell despite Him giving them all they need to turn to Him, and here's why: hell ultimately is God's justice, and justice is a good thing. A person who rejects God and all the gifts He bestowed will get what they want, existence without God. This is just.

The saints in heaven see with God's eyes, they have the beatific vision, they are like Him, because they see Him as He is. People going to Hell won't cause them sorrow because it is a triumph of justice, of goodness over evil. They love the people in Hell, but the people in Hell want nothing to do with them. It's not the saints fault that those people chose this fate.

But they still intercede for all men, because that is what we are called to do as Christians, and saints in Heaven are perfect Christians. And God will use their prayers as instruments of grace, even for those who He knows will reject Him. God doesn't ignore anyone, not even those who hate Him, which I feel is what the logical end of your premise comes down to.

I'll address your other points in another post. Out of room.
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  #37  
Old Oct 31, '13, 2:01 pm
skeyes skeyes is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

Great answers, RobynP. Thanks
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  #38  
Old Oct 31, '13, 3:04 pm
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Robyn p Robyn p is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cachonga
The prayers went directly to God, who saved them in the Golden Bowls to be offered at the appropriate time.
Yes, I know where they went to, the same place all prayers ultimately go, God. But what is clearly shown is these elders are bringing the prayers to God. That's intercession. The same way when I ask you to pray for me, and your prayers go to God.
Quote:
God gave the bowls, harps and crowns to the Elders (who else would give an Elder a harp or a crown). Again, does the Church teach there are no actual harps in Heaven, or is that just your opinion? What about the crowns? Are they real or not? Seems to me there are other places in Scripture that tells us we’ll be given crowns (nice to know I don’t have to stop at Burger King on the way to Heaven – Oh No! Another joke!)
I don't have an issue with jokes, you should see my family. I thought wrongly that you were using the image of the harps to mock praying to saints, my mistake. The Church doesn't have a position on whether there are literal harps in heaven. Revelation is full of symbolic imagery, so it's possible they are symbolic and possible they are not.
Quote:
Even if the harps aren’t real (and I find no reason to believe they aren’t), God certainly gave the crowns. Seems more than reasonable to believe that He also gave them the golden bowls (of course, that is just my opinion – based on the reading of Scripture).
Yes! I agree completely. God gave them the golden bowls, whether real or symbolic, which enabled them to bring the prayers of the saints on earth and present them to Him. There's the answer to the original question, how do they hear us? Because God gives them the means. The saints have no power on their own to hear or answer our prayers, the Catholic Church doesn't teach that. Because apart from Christ we can do nothing. But through Christ and in Him, they receive the ability to hear our prayers. Because through Christ we can do all things.

Far from disproving the Catholic position, this actually illustrates it.

Quote:
That’s not what I said. What I said is that the Saints in Heaven know to rejoice over the salvation of a sinner because Jesus tells them it happened. As far as God telling the Saints what we pray for, again I ask – would that include prayers from someone God knew would end up in Hell?
See my previous post.

Quote:
I have never said we don’t need the Saints in Heaven. I believe they are doing very important work. I find no reason to think that they don’t pray for believers on Earth in the same way we would pray for unknown Christian brothers in other lands (especially in places where they are being persecuted).
Ok cool. So you agree they can pray for us, you just don't think they can answer and pray for specific requests from us is that correct?

Quote:
I have shown in a previous thread why I believe in the Trinity from Scripture alone. Since that is not the topic of this thread, I see no reason to go over those Scriptures again. Furthermore, I am highly offended that you would compare the clear Scriptural teaching of the Trinity with the non Scriptural teaching of praying to Saints and angels!
I'm sorry. I had no intention to cause offense. I wasn't part of that thread, so I apologize.

But just so we're clear, I wasn't arguing that the Trinity is unscriptural, not at all. I was simply pointing out that someone who rejects the doctrine of the Trinity can use the same argument, since you have to admit, it's not exactly clearly spelled out, and it can be confusing at times with the seemingly contradictory passages. I've had this argued to me in almost the exact words you used by some JWs in fact, so that's why I made the analogy

But you are right, we can discuss this another time.

Quote:
Since the canon of Scripture is not the topic, I see no need to comment on this non sequitur either
Since you said Catholics hold a teaching that has no biblical basis but simply based on the authority of the Church, and therefore implied that this fact proved praying to saints is untrue, I only was pointing out that you too accept doctrines, that we both agree on, in the same way as well. Therefore, my point simply was that this reason alone isn't a strong reason to reject the doctrine on praying to saints. There may indeed be other valid reasons, but simply having no explicit biblical basis isn't a strong one, since we would have to reject many things that you and I both agree on if that were the case.

Last edited by Robyn p; Oct 31, '13 at 3:17 pm.
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  #39  
Old Oct 31, '13, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Great answers, RobynP. Thanks
Glad you found them helpful.
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  #40  
Old Oct 31, '13, 3:06 pm
PJM PJM is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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=graciesings;11353028]I have studied the issue of prayer to saints quite a bit and I mostly understand it. My only question is, how do we know the saints can hear us? Is that in the Bible, and where?

God bless you,
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Tobit)2:18 "For we are the children of the saints, and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith from him."


Job 5:1 "Call now if there be any that will answer thee, and turn to some of the saints"

Psalms 49:5 "Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices."

Wisdom 5:5 "Behold how they are numbered among the children of God, and their lot is among the saints."

Ephesians 2:19 "Now therefore you are no more strangers and foreigners; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the domestics of God, [THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS]

Revelation 5:8 "And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints"

Revelation 8:4 "And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel"

READ also 2 Mac. Chapter 12

God Bless you!
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  #41  
Old Oct 31, '13, 10:22 pm
PeaceInChrist PeaceInChrist is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

I can never seem to grasp with my intellect how a Protestant can be so opposed to the intercession of angels and saints, as though God cannot allow these holy men and women to do His will, but not bat an eye when God sends an angel or person to do His will on earth (as seen in Scripture). I suppose, according to them, God can accomplish His will only directly, and so whenever someone listens to or obeys or speaks to an angel or sent individual, they are committing idolatry because they should have interacted only with God directly
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  #42  
Old Nov 1, '13, 1:41 am
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

It is the result of always trying to diminish them, the Saints, they are dangerous to us because they show us how we should live. And who wants that?

So many twist it by saying why do we pray to DEAD people

And we see Jesus replaying that God is the God of Abraham, Jacob, Job, Moses.
God is not a God of the dead, nope, He is the God of the living and of all of those that died in Him that are alive. More fully alive than you and me.
In a real sense we are the real dead
And await or shouls await eagerly being born in Him.


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  #43  
Old Nov 1, '13, 7:28 am
johnnyc176 johnnyc176 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

From today's Office of Readings.....

Second reading
From a sermon by Saint Bernard, abbot
Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us.

Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day mean anything to the saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.

Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints. But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.

Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us. We should not only want to be with the saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.

When we commemorate the saints we are inflamed with another yearning: that Christ our life may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory. Until then we see him, not as he is, but as he became for our sake. He is our head, crowned, not with glory, but with the thorns of our sins. As members of that head, crowned with thorns, we should be ashamed to live in luxury; his purple robes are a mockery rather than an honor. When Christ comes again, his death shall no longer be proclaimed, and we shall know that we also have died, and that our life is hidden with him. The glorious head of the Church will appear and his glorified members will shine in splendor with him, when he forms this lowly body anew into such glory as belongs to himself, its head.

Therefore, we should aim at attaining this glory with a wholehearted and prudent desire. That we may rightly hope and strive for such blessedness, we must above all seek the prayers of the saints. Thus, what is beyond our own powers to obtain will be granted through their intercession.
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Old Nov 1, '13, 8:04 am
vz71 vz71 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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So many twist it by saying why do we pray to DEAD people
Indeed it could be argued that being closer to God, in his kingdom, that they are more alive than we.
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Old Nov 5, '13, 8:58 am
bmonk bmonk is offline
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Default Re: How do you know that the saints can hear you?

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Originally Posted by JerryZ:
So many twist it by saying why do we pray to DEAD people

Indeed it could be argued that being closer to God, in his kingdom, that they are more alive than we.
Yes--they have passed through death, and come into life everlasting, while we are still struggling with death and life.

This is why the idea of the Communion of Saints is so powerful for me: the doctrine that the Body of Christ is one living body, united in life even though some are still here on earth before death, some are awaiting the fullness of purity, and some are already enjoying God's presence in heaven. Given the choices, which would you prefer to ask for God's mercy? (Not that it is a competition, or an exclusive choice. . . . )
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