Communion of Saints


#1

How do I answer my husband, when he said that we should pray to the saints. He believes we can pray to the saints that are only living - which are in heaven. And the only one that we know that is truly in heaven is Mary. Because she was the mother and had to be without sin. But all other holy people, including the Pope, we don’t know if they are in heaven. Only God knows this and what each judgement is.

He believes that a Pope is a man and can sin and can be in Hell or away from God. A Pope may teach us correctly on faith and morals but that still doesn’t justify a Popes salvation based on his on personal faith and works.

So how does the church justify praying to certain saints if we really do not know the judgement? Are the saints in heaven or puragatory still?


#2

He is correct - a pope can go to Hell. What he arguing is called a straw man because he is arguing against something we don’t teach. The church doesn’t teach that we can know someone is in Heaven based on their life on earth. Only God can know that.

HOWEVER, when the Church declares someone is a saint, it is because God, who is in the know, has given us a sign of this through miracles closely associated with prayers to that person. The Church will not be able to affirm that John Paul II is in Heaven until it has done an extensive investigation into his life, which includes a scientific investigation into miracles attributed to his intercession. This is a really brief summary, but there is plenty of information available on this. Secondly, as God has given the Church the power to bind and loosen through his power, we can trust that, when the Church declares someone a saint, it had the Holy Spirit’s guidance in discerning this. God would not set up an institution that was designed to mislead us regularly.


#3

I guess, his agruement would be that the Church is run by man and man can interrupt the Holy Spirit wrong and that no one would know really know. He thinks we should not pray to the saints even for intercession because they may be “dead” in Hell and that is against the scriptures. He took it in the scriptures that Sammuel was dead and not of the living because God punished him. But I always saw Sammuel in heaven. And again when Jesus said that he was from the God of the living, and Abraham, Issaac and Jacob, were dead.


#4

How do I answer my husband, when he said that we should pray to the saints. He believes we can pray to the saints that are only living - which are in heaven. And the only one that we know that is truly in heaven is Mary. Because she was the mother and had to be without sin. But all other holy people, including the Pope, we don’t know if they are in heaven. Only God knows this and what each judgement is.

I believe we can know if we’re going to heaven or not.
1 John 5:13 says “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so *that you may know * that you have eternal life.”

I don’t understand how come Mary had to be without sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
It doesn’t say ‘except for Mary’. I’ve heard that when she was created, God created her without sin so that is how she is sinless. But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that actually talks about it. In my opinion, God brought Jesus into a sinful world by the humblest of means. Even though Mary was blessed among women, I just don’t understand how even she could be sinless. Please help me with understanding this idea.


#5

[quote=jdc1084]I believe we can know if we’re going to heaven or not.
1 John 5:13 says “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so *that you may know *that you have eternal life.”

I don’t understand how come Mary had to be without sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
It doesn’t say ‘except for Mary’. I’ve heard that when she was created, God created her without sin so that is how she is sinless. But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that actually talks about it. In my opinion, God brought Jesus into a sinful world by the humblest of means. Even though Mary was blessed among women, I just don’t understand how even she could be sinless. Please help me with understanding this idea.
[/quote]

Certainly you don’t believe Jesus sinned?! Or Enoch, or Elijah???

Mary was set apart because she is the one God chose to bear His only begotten Son. She is the New Eve, the new example for mankind. Christ is the New Adam, the savior. Man was meant to be born sinless, and always in a state of perfect grace. Since the first sin of Adam & Eve, pride, we had been cut off from the grace of God. Jesus, being fully man & fully God, who was elect before the world was created, knew Mary would be His mother, the mother of the Incarnate Word. Mary was the first Christian because she was the first to be saved by Christ and the first to carry out the Father’s will perfectly because she said “Let it be done unto me, according to Thy word” (Lk 1:38) . Mary, in her perfect faith was the ONLY one able to carry out God’s will in order to bear His divine Son so we may be saved.

Bless,

Some good reading while we’re on this subject…

catholic.com/library/Mary_Ever_Virgin.asp
catholic.com/library/Mary_Full_of_Grace.asp
catholic.com/library/Mary_Mother_of_God.asp
catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp
catholic.com/library/Do_Catholics_Worship_Statues.asp


#6

Certainly you don’t believe Jesus sinned?! Or Enoch, or Elijah???

I know Jesus didn’t sin since *he * is God. As for Enoch and Elijah, well of course they sinned. The Bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I haven’t found anything about anyone being the exception, even if someone was a great prophet. I’m not saying that Elijah and Enoch and Mary were just horrible people that sinned all the time right and left; obviously they were very very righteous people that followed God. But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that says they were so good to the point of being sinless. To me, this would almost be like saying they are on equal footing with God. What I can find is the above verse in Romans 3:23 about all falling short. Obviously I’m just missing something… Thanks for the reply.


#7

[quote=jdc1084]I know Jesus didn’t sin since *he *is God. As for Enoch and Elijah, well of course they sinned. The Bible says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I haven’t found anything about anyone being the exception, even if someone was a great prophet. I’m not saying that Elijah and Enoch and Mary were just horrible people that sinned all the time right and left; obviously they were very very righteous people that followed God. But I can’t find anywhere in the Bible that says they were so good to the point of being sinless. To me, this would almost be like saying they are on equal footing with God. What I can find is the above verse in Romans 3:23 about all falling short. Obviously I’m just missing something… Thanks for the reply.
[/quote]

But Enoch & Elijah did not sin, because they were taken up to Heaven to be with God. Gen 5:22

And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters:

No problem, it’s what we’re here for, to show you the Catholic teaching. Since I assume you follow Sola Scriptura, then please, using the Bible, show me just once where Mary sinned then this will be settled. Saint Paul was speaking hyperbole, i.e. a parable.

God bless,


#8

No problem, it’s what we’re here for, to show you the Catholic teaching. Since I assume you follow Sola Scriptura, then please, using the Bible, show me just once where Mary sinned then this will be settled. Saint Paul was speaking hyperbole, i.e. a parable.

Saying that there’s no particular place in the Bible that states that Mary sinned and so therefore, she is sinless is making a huge assumption. You could say that about a lot of people in the Bible. The Bible doesn’t state whether Mary was sinless or not so we shouldn’t assume one way or the other. But as I’ve mentioned before, the Bible does state in Romans 3:23 that we have all fallen short. But since I’ve stated that one before, there’s also the the passage in which the rich man comes to Jesus asking what good things he must do to have eternal life. Jesus responded, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only One who is good.” Of course, he’s referring to God. He says ‘only One’ not ‘only One plus a few.’

As far as Elijah and Enoch go, the way I look at it is that God cleansed them as they came into heaven. They followed God with all their hearts, but that doesn’t mean they were sinless. They just followed God as best as they could and, as you know, God is the ultimate judge of things after our time on earth is done anyways. I’m not quite sure how it worked exactly for those who lived before Jesus, but in Acts 17:30 it says, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” That’s ignorance of Jesus, since they didn’t know him like we do today.

Oh well, I kinda feel like I’m not organizing my thoughts very well. Hopefully you see where I’m coming from though. Thanks again for the reply.


#9

[quote=jdc1084]Saying that there’s no particular place in the Bible that states that Mary sinned and so therefore, she is sinless is making a huge assumption.
[/quote]

This is not the reasoning Catholics use to say that Mary was sinless. All apostolic faiths (Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East, etc.) say she was. We say she was because it was by her “yes” and fulfillment as the New Eve that we say she was and because of her free will, by accepting God’s will, we were able to be saved through her Son. The Bible says she’s full of Grace. You don’t get to be full of Grace if you’ve sinned. Assuming Mary sinned is where Protestants fall short I’m afraid. I think most do just because Catholics can’t be right on this one, while discounting the writings of the Church Fathers and the other Apostolic Traditions, etc. Men and women were created to be sinless, there is nothing putting us on par with God if we are. It was God’s original plan. We are all called to be sinless through Christ, but Mary was born free of original sin because of her role as the Mother of our Savior.


#10

[quote=emom]I guess, his agruement would be that the Church is run by man and man can interrupt the Holy Spirit wrong and that no one would know really know. He thinks we should not pray to the saints even for intercession because they may be “dead” in Hell and that is against the scriptures. He took it in the scriptures that Sammuel was dead and not of the living because God punished him. But I always saw Sammuel in heaven. And again when Jesus said that he was from the God of the living, and Abraham, Issaac and Jacob, were dead.
[/quote]

“Man” can interpret the holy Spirit wrong, but the Church, as an institution, will not (speaking generally of infallible teachings). If it could, then we are in a world of hurt that goes way beyond this debate over communion of saints.


#11

[quote=jdc1084]Oh well, I kinda feel like I’m not organizing my thoughts very well. Hopefully you see where I’m coming from though. Thanks again for the reply.
[/quote]

I see where you are coming from. You are taking enom’s thread about the communion of saints, where she very specifically asked how to explain our knowledge of who has reached Heaven, and you are hijacking the thread to start debates on:

-The issue of Mary’s sinlessness (which wasn’t part of her concern)
-Sola-Sciptura (since you know we except Tradition, yet you put the obligation of Scripture alone on us in your post)
-Once Saved Always Saved (her questions wasn’t about assurance of salvation, but about how we can know whether OTHERS have reached Heaven).

There are plenty of people in these forums who be happy to discuss these issues with you, but I think it was extremely rude to take her thread in a direction she didn’t intend, distracting people from the question she is struggling with. I think Semper Fi was very gracious in answering you, but I will suggest you begin new threads for your other concerns and respect enom enough to post only in relation to her question (this is a common courtesy we pay each other here). I hope nobody else responds to your off-subject remarks until you have started a thread specifically for them (or, better yet, read the dozens of conversations we’ve already had on these topics).


#12

Well good grief, I wasn’t trying to offend anyone. I wasn’t trying to start any debates either. I’m terribly distressed that you get the opinion of me as someone trying to push their own agenda on this forum. Again, I really didn’t intend to sound this way at all.

In emom’s post, she mentioned that none of us know if we’ll get to heaven. I know this wasn’t her primary question, but anyhow, I simply intended the verse John 5:13 that I quoted to be encouraging. I had just never heard of Catholics believing that no one really knows if they’re going to heaven but Mary definitely is there. Since emom mentioned it and I had little knowledge of it, I just thought I’d ask. As far as Mary being sinless goes, would you rather me ask a protestant? Because I know exactly what they’d say and why. I want to hear both sides. I want to understand where both are coming from so I can know the truth. There are a million things that I don’t understand about the Catholic church and although you may think I’m being pushy, I really sincerely just want to get to the roots of truth in general. I’m sorry that I overanalyze everything, but that’s just the way I am. I really appreciate the answers I get here as I cannot get them anywhere else. I do read through many other topics on this forum as well and they have helped too, but a lot of times I can’t get direct solid answers to my particular questions unless I ask.
Once again, I’m extremely sorry if I appeared rude. I was being as polite as I could and was unaware that I was offending anyone.


#13

[quote=jdc1084]As far as Mary being sinless goes, would you rather me ask a protestant?
[/quote]

No. Please reread my post. I said that there are many of who would be willing to discuss these issues with you. I just asked that you post your topic in a new thread so that the original poster can pursue the answer she is seeking.

Your apology is accepted. You must understand that all of your questions were important ones, and we would be happy to discuss them with you. For me, though, when someone directs the thread away from the original intent, it is the same as butting into someone’s verbal conversation at lunch and changing the subject.

Your main question seems to be the sinless nature of Mary. I will do you the favor and start another thread on this topic. Thanks for understanding my concern and being civil in your response. God bless.


#14

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