Do you have to completly believe a saint can help when asking for help and if you receive that help will make a beleiver out of you? Can you ask for Mary’s help, not knowing if it is the right thing to do? I need to know what direction I should take and what to put my confendince in. I am sorely confused. Can someone suggest the course of action to take concerning the catholic church? I am way past critizing the cathoic church and am trying to decern the right way to go. I need help from someone. Do I need to kneel down before the Blessed Sacrement and still not knowing if this is the real presents. I need help with the in be between belief. Would it help if I wore a metal, hoping this would help me but not being sure? I need help.
Perhaps you need to pray what the man in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe, help me overcome my unbelief!” to which Jsus responded by delivering the man’s son from demonic possession.
I am a convert, and at one point I was given a book by a friend, written by an ex-priest that really shook me up because it reinforced all the negative perceptions I had of the Catholic Church. Up until that time I had intellectually accepted the truth of the Catholic faith, but I was still harboring some mistrust from years of anti-Catholic sentiment taught in the churches I had attended. I didn’t know what else to do, so I asked God for a sign. I didn’t tell anyone about it, and I gave some specific details for the sign. God provided the sign, abundantly more than I could have asked for, which confirmed to me directly that the Catholic Church was true and I had to become Catholic. (And I also prayed Proverbs 3:5-6, which became my “life verse” during that time).
My prayers are with you, and God bless you with His wisdom an guidance!
Can I ask you a question? Why would you want to take your concerns or joys to anyone but our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Afterall, he’s the one who suffered and died for you.
Saints are a much misunderstood thing. Many Protestants put more mystery to saints and believe things about them that Roman Catholics find quite strange.
So here is a short coarse on Saints.
1st the word saint means literally means holy one.
Saints are simply people who have lead holy lives in keeping with Christ and are examples for us to follow to bring us closer to Christ. Saints are not thought of as divine or gods etc. They are simply people throughout the ages who have lead exemplary Christian lives, so hence they are Holy Ones.
Now when a holy person dies we assume that he/she has gone to heaven. We are never certain of this as only God knows who gets into heaven, but we do have the teachings of Jesus so we do have a pretty good idea what it takes to get to heaven.
Now when “praying to saint” we only ask a person in heaven to pray for us. That’s it, Saints have no power. They only can ask God for things, but they have more pull since they are in heaven and Christians have always found it beneficial to have others pray for them, especially holy people. Also in times of need, lives of Saints can be inspirational as they to were people like you and me and dealt with many obsticles, but still were able to live the Christian life.
But aren’t Saints dead many say. The answer is NO. Perhaps their physical bodies are dead but their spirits in heaven are alive forever. So to believe in the Christian view of heaven is to believe that people have eternal life. Christ said that God is the God of the living, not the dead. Also, early Christians and Scripture never said that Christians had died, but rather had gone to their rest because their spirits were alive in heaven resting until the bodily ressurection occurs.
Why not just go straight to Jesus? All Catholics are supposed to pray to Jesus, but that in no way forbids us from asking other humans on earth or Saints in heaven to pray for us. No Catholic is ever forced to ask for a Saint or another on earth to pray for them, they are obligated to pray to Jesus though. So, Saints’ help is only to be used if if brings one closer to Christ. If Saints don’t help one become closer to Jesus then their prayers are not asked for. Simple as that.
So to the poster of this thread.
Ask a Saint to pray for you if it helps bring you closer to God.
If not then don’t ask a Saint to pray for you.
Your question about the real presence is an common one.
1st, I am assuming that by "real presence you mean that the bread and wine becomes the Body and Blood of Christ at the mass.
Don’t worry about not being 100% sure.
NO ONE is sure about the Bread and Wine being turned into the Body and Blood of Christ. It still looks like bread and wine, so it is a difficult teaching.
It is a matter of faith. We must trust that Jesus will turn these objects in to his Body and his Blood. He said in the Gospels that he would do this especially in John 6. Many people left Jesus after being told that they had to eat his flesh and drink his blood. It is difficult to comprehend and can only be believed by faith that Jesus will do what he said.
Lets also make another thing clear many will try to twist Scripture, usually without malice, and claim that Jesus only talks symbolically when talking about eating his flesh and blood. Early Christians of the Apostolic era NEVER believed that this was a symbolic gesture. They held the “breaking of the bread” in the highest regards because they had been taught by the Apostles and their appointed messangers that it actually became the body and blood of Jesus.
Wearing of a medal will do nothing miraculous. The wearning of any religious objects according to Catholics is simply to act as a reminder. So wearing of a cross for instance is simply a way to remember Christ throughout the day because of the object. Its like tying a sting on a fing to remeber to do something. The string doesn’t have magical powers that will awaken ones mind. It will remind one of a task or something else.
So wearing a medal will only help one remember God, a Saint’s holy life, etc.
If you really want to resolve these issues, do like what I tell everyone to do Pray and Go to mass, then Pray some more. Try reflecting on Scripture passage or meditating on an event in Jesus’ life. You need to reflect on God and talk with him. He will lead you in the right direction.
As Catholics we beleive the saints hear our prayers and petitions, for more information you can go to this link and get a free CD about the Communion of Saints.
Dear Openmind: I was once just where you stand. I was confused about all these things that I was being taught about the Catholic Church. I believed that the Church believed what she taught: it was just that what she taught was so hard to believe!
I finially decided one day that I wanted to believe these things. It was that day that I prayed “Dear God, I am confused! I don’t know if I understand these things well enough to believe any of it, but I want to. I know that I want to! Therefor I will decide to act in faith as if what you say is true and if I never understand it, then so be it!”
What I found amazing was that, after that prayer, the doors of nuderstanding geban to open and have been opening ever wider ever since! I must say that being Catholic was and still is, the most exciting and fulfilling, astounding and awe-inspiring, sobering and interior-looking, things that I have ever or ever will experience!
God bless you and may he turn that mustard seed of faith that is obviously within you into the greatest of all trees, just as HE promised He would!
Couple of reasons:
He would only be asking for the saints intercession. Same as you would ask a friend to pray for you when you are in need.
The prayers of a righteous man availith much. Which men more righteous then our glorified brothers and sisters in Heaven?
We are all members of one body. The body of Christ, death and Heaven doesn’t mean that they are no longer in Christ. When something affects one member it affects all the members of Chirsts body.
I remember the confused, wondering who to trust time too. Here’re some things you might be interested in that I read about.
A poster on this very site went to adoration before the Blessed Sacrament before she believed and, whispered to herself, “Is that really you, Jesus?” and she heard “Yes” whispered in her ear. She came to the board asking if people thought it was her imagination or not. Most people said what difference did it make, God could influence your imagination if he needed too.
There was a Jewish man who was convinced to wear a Miraculous Medal by a Catholic friend. He kept smelling roses for no reason (I think he smelled roses anyway, it was something like that) and he ended up converting. You can find his story online.
My suggestion would be pray. Don’t pray for God to show you the truth or give you a sign that the Catholic church is the right church, just pray, telling Him that you will follow Him if He only shows you the way to go. If you feel pulled to go pray before the Eucharist, then go. You don’t have to fully believe in it 100% to do it. If you want to wear a medal, do it. Pray the rosary if you feel the urge too. Listen carefully for where God is guiding you and you’ll find yourself unerstanding and trusting more and more. I’ll pray for you today at Mass.
Here is another forum if you are open. It is not a apologetics forum - no debating and such. But there are a lot of good folks and people like you who are on the journey. chnetwork.org/forums/
I understand your reasoning but I just don’t understand why you go through someone other than Christ? He loves you just as much as He loved the saints so taking your prayers to Him would be sufficient.
If this is a Catholic-only doctrine, I doubt we’ll agree but thanks for responding to my question.
Many protestants believe that those in Heaven cannot hear your prayers as if they are dead; they don’t want to pray to the Saints for intercession, but … they prefer to ask their friends who are living on earth to pray for them. Why don’t they stop asking their friends to pray for them then?
What is the difference between friends living on Earth and friends living in Heaven? God is God of the living not of the dead. Those in Heaven are very much alive and they are so close to God.
In Catholic, we believe in the communion of the Saints which are so beautiful and true.
Prayer and patience is always the best thing. I don’t think it would be wrong to pray to the saints for help, but if you’re not ready to do that, don’t worry. I think the same thing could be said about kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament. If you go to Mass, and are unsure about the Real Presence and aren’t sure if you should kneel, then I don’t think you should feel obligated to kneel.
But they ask their friends to pray directly to God for them. That means there will be TWO people praying directly to God, instead of just one. See my point?
[quote=water]What is the difference between friends living on Earth and friends living in Heaven? God is God of the living not of the dead. Those in Heaven are very much alive and they are so close to God.
Asking friends to pray for us in Heaven is praying to them, since they are not living. How else can you talk to people in Heaven except through prayer? It doesn’t matter how you word it, you’re still praying to people who have passed away. Prayer is reserved for God and God alone!
[quote=water]In Catholic, we believe in the communion of the Saints which are so beautiful and true.
Oh, ok. I think someone told me that before but thanks for letting me know.
I don’t think this is an area we can agree on. :o
Blue Serenity, I don’t understand your point. About two living people praying directly to God. What is the difference of a person living on earth praying for you than an angel or saint who is living with God in heaven praying for you? If you would read Tobit 12:12 it shows how the angel Raphael was the one who presented and read the record of Tobit and Sarahs prayer to the Lord. Also you should read Luke 16:19-31, which is about a deceased man who is concerned for his family members who are living and wants to pray for them.
We need to remember that God himself used mediators to deliver and carry out His messages. Remember it was the Angel Gabriel who gave the message to Mary, not God Himself. If an angel can deliver a message from God, why can’t an angel deliver a message to God?
One more thing if you believe that God is a God of the living, then the saints and angels are not dead at all. So your point about praying to dead people is moot.
Mat 22:32 - I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
Do we stop being brothers and sisters in Christ once we get to heaven?
We asked our friends to pray for us.
We ask our family members to pray for us.
We ask those at our churches and bible groups to pray for us.
We ask our pastors, priest, deacons, etc to pray for us.
We send out mass emails to strangers and ask them to pray for us.
We post threads on forums to ask people to pray for us.
We pick up the phone or write a letter asking people to pray for us.
We do all of this because all these people are our brother and sisters in Christ.
Do we stop being brother and sisters in Christ once we get to heaven?
Are the people in Heaven a live or dead?
I like to believe that the people (saints) and Angels in Heaven are ALIVE:
John 3:16 states:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB)
Or the words of St. Francis:
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
And if you think that its to far fetch or impossible:
Well, 20-30 years ago our fathers and mothers would believed that the following would be far fetch and impossible: Do you know that in 20-30 years from now I will be able to sit at my desk here in the USA and in 30 seconds after writing my letter people in Italy, China, Japan will be able to read my letter. (Now just think for a minute I’m here in the USA-Midwest where are you?)
Also nothing is impossible with God right?
Now, I may not ask the saints/angels in Heaven to pray for me. However I don’t have too! Just like I don’t have to ask my mom to pray for me, or my dad, or my sisters. I don’t have to ask anyone to pray for me.
Also one last note, many Non-Catholic Churches, especially the Anglican and Lutherans use the Apostles Creed.
What does the phrase, from the Apostles Creed: I believe in…the communion of saints, mean?
Not was does it mean to your church today; but what did it mean to those that wrote the creed in the 1st century; somewhere between 300-400 A.D? (I believe that’s the time frame)
who said that Catholics don’t pray together with Saints to God? With both living in Heaven and Earth, it makes the prayers directly directly to God.
You are not right. How could you say they are not living. When God says He is God of Abraham, God of Jacob; He also says He is God of the Living. How could you say Abraham and Jacob are dead?
I understand, and this is why we pray for you to see that God is God of the living not of the dead.
You said: “Asking friends to pray for us in Heaven is praying to them, since they are not living”
Not living? They are a lot more alive then you and I are!!! I think you are confusing Prayer and Worship.