Can the departed saints hear us?


#1

In thinking of prayer to the saints, a practical question entered my mind. How can you know that the saints in heaven can hear our prayers? How can you know that we are able to communicate to them? We know from Scripture that we can communicate to God through Christ. We know from Scripture that the “heavenly host” praise God. But why should anybody believe that we can pray to the saints and ask them to pray to God for whatever worthy things that might be on our mind. Maybe they do pray to God (Jeremiah 15:1), but how do we know that we can communicate to them?

The Catechism of the Council of Trent says that this doctrine of praying to the saints is so entrenched in Catholic theology that nobody should ever even entertain a single doubt as to it’s truth, so I’m not trying to give you doubt. I just want to know.


#2

Of course the Saints do not hear our prayers in the normal way we hear each other. But God presents to them our prayers and needs.


#3

[quote=Reformed Rob]In thinking of prayer to the saints, a practical question entered my mind. How can you know that the saints in heaven can hear our prayers? How can you know that we are able to communicate to them? We know from Scripture that we can communicate to God through Christ. We know from Scripture that the “heavenly host” praise God. But why should anybody believe that we can pray to the saints and ask them to pray to God for whatever worthy things that might be on our mind. Maybe they do pray to God (Jeremiah 15:1), but how do we know that we can communicate to them?

The Catechism of the Council of Trent says that this doctrine of praying to the saints is so entrenched in Catholic theology that nobody should ever even entertain a single doubt as to it’s truth, so I’m not trying to give you doubt. I just want to know.
[/quote]

best answer i can give…just an excerpt:5. This Rock November 2002 How can the saints hear our prayers?

Along with the concern about the “worshiping of saints” by praying to them, the question of their ability to hear us is among the most frequent of Protestant concerns. The book of Revelation is especially helpful in dealing with this, since it describes people in heaven who are aware of the happenings on earth (Rev. 6:11; 7:13–14). They have this capacity according to God’s designs and not of their own power. Paul alluded to this when he said, “Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood” (1 Cor. 13:12).

Those in heaven are part of the mystical body of Christ, and have not been separated from us by death. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. So, if we are connected to him, we are inseparably bound together with them as well. Thus, the angels and saints stand before the throne of God, offer our prayers to him, and cheer us on as we run the good race.

If those in heaven are of no help to us, is it that they do not care, or does God forbid them to know of our toil and render them incapable of praying for us? Encourage the person you are speaking with to take this to prayer, asking the Father if this is truly his plan for the body of Christ.

  1. THE INTERCESSION OF THE SAINTS (This Rock: March 1999

#4

Don’t worry, questioning the faith is not the same as doubt. In answer to your question, Luke’s account of the Transfiguration:

:bible1: “While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.” Luke 9:29-31

Both Moses and Elijah are saints who have passed from this world, yet they were aware of things that were happening in Jesus’ time. If the saints are aware of the events happening in time, they can hear our prayers.


#5

Hi Rob,

The saints who are in the presence of God can hear our prayers only because God desires that they hear us. It is the power of God alone that makes all things possible, including Christians interceding for one another.

It is God’s will, as reflected in scripture, that we bear one another’s burdens and make intercession for one another, thereby sharing in His saving work. Not because He needs our help, but because it is good for us. Therefore all baptized Christians, on either side of the veil, by His grace, are allowed to share in the one priesthood of Christ.

Grace to you,
Paul


#6

Revelation 5:8 discusses the four creatures and the 24 elders bringing golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, before the Lamb. Surely the Lord already knows our prayers, but this shows that they are also presented to him by those in Heaven as part of the heavenly liturgy. This is the essence of Catholic teaching on the Communion of Saints (in this life and the next) and how praying to them does not go against Scripture - because they bring our prayers to the Lord as described in Revelation.


#7

[quote=space ghost]best answer i can give…just an excerpt:5. This Rock November 2002 How can the saints hear our prayers?

Those in heaven are part of the mystical body of Christ, and have not been separated from us by death. Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. So, if we are connected to him, we are inseparably bound together with them as well. Thus, the angels and saints stand before the throne of God, offer our prayers to him, and cheer us on as we run the good race.
[/quote]

This is the way I have always thought about it. We are all branches on the vine that is Christ. The fact that the saints can hear our prayers while those of us in the Church Militant generally cannot can be attributed to the fact that they now are more alive than we are. If God allows them to hear our prayers, then so be it.


#8

Wow, thanks!!

That bit from “THIS ROCK” was helpful. I’m careful in using the book of Revelation in understanding this, but I’ve got Dr. Scott Hahn Solo’s :slight_smile: “Lamb’s Supper” and I should read it.

Thanks, and more discussion is certainly welcome!


#9

the saints in heaven can’t hear us. why not? aren’t they more alive now than when they were with us? the medium of communication is christ himself–the vine between branches. we and the saints form one communion, one body of christ, being members of him and members of one another. heb12:1 tells us that we are surrounded by " a cloud of witnesses". how could those watching be unconcerned about our welfare? look at rev5:8 and rev8:3. the petitions offered as incense to god must be for those who still need help, the holy ones on earth. they are offered by those who can help the most, the holy ones in heaven. :blessyou:


#10

If we can expect to be heard when we speak in faith to God, to demons (Luke 10:17-20), to fig trees and to mountains (Matt 21:19-22), by what logic can we exclude angels and the departed from hearing us? Besides, if angels and the spirits of the just can’t hear us, then the following verses from Sacred Scripture don’t make sense:

Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! (Psalm 103:21-22)

Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! (Psalm 148:2)

Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. (deuterocanonical Daniel 3:86)


#11

[quote=Todd Easton]Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will! (Psalm 103:21-22)

Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! (Psalm 148:2)

Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord; praise and exalt him above all forever. (deuterocanonical Daniel 3:86)
[/indent]
[/quote]

Hey now hey now

Those are pretty good! I’ll remember those verses!!

Thanks


#12

these are all some good ways to ‘prove’ that the saints can hear us.

but for me, it’s pretty simple. the apostle’s creed, dating back (most probably, i have to say - it’s tradition) to the time of the apostle’s, teaches the communion of saints.

from that, and from other examples (including intercessory miracles), the church teaches that we can ask saints for their intercession.

the church wouldn’t teach us that we can ask for intercession if the saints can’t hear our prayers.

so, by that, i know that the saints can hear us.

i’ve always thought so, as long as i’ve been a christian. long before i was catholic, i believed that those who have ‘passed away’ could see and hear me. i’ve talked to people who have died from time to time. at that time, i knew it intuitively, along with alot of other things that have proven to be true (and some, i must admit, about which i was mistaken).

so when i became catholic, this thinking was deepened and enriched.

i believed in the eucharist, confession, and the examples of the lives of the saints long before i swam the tiber.

good thing there’s not a border patrol on the tiber, eh?


closed #13

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