Communion of the Saints

Praying to the Saints
Catholics nor Jews pray to the dead. Catholics and Jews believe that no one who is created in the image and likeness of the Lord can in actually die since they have an immortal soul which lives on forever. This soul is the true essence of man which animates and gives the body life here on earth.

Jews believe that those who pass away from their physical existence on earth are not dead but fully alive in the bosom of Abraham and able by the Mercy of the Lord to hear all supplications made to them. Jews today continue the practice of praying to righteous departed - the tzaddikim. They will ask the tzaddikim for their intercession. However, the tzaddikim are not merely intercessors but also channels of divine grace which flow through them from the Lord.

Jews believe in the communion of the Jewish people that is the belief that all Jews be they on earth, Sheol or in the intermediate state of purgatory belong to a single body of people and that when something hurts those on earth the others feel that hurt as well. Jews believe that without the intercession of the righteous departed that this world would be unendurable place of pain and woe.

The righteous departed still have the love for those on earth and care for them and their problems and continually intercede with the Lord acting as a meilitz yosher (advocate) for those living. It is the Jewish belief that the tzaddikim are more with us than they have been in their mortal life because they are now free of the bounds placed by their mortal bodies and can ignore all limitation placed upon them by their physical bodies.

Jews do not consider praying to the tzaddikim idolatry rather as “unidolatory”. Judaism has a strong belief that there is no intermediary between the Lord and man, yet they believe that the tzaddikim who are closer to the Lord can intercede on their behalf. They make a distinction between the divine and the tzaddikim as there is a lehavdil (separateness) between them yet they abide in the Lord. Praying to the tzaddikim does not take anything away from the great glory and majesty of the Lord due to the metaphysical lehavdil which exists between them. The intercession of a tzaddikim is worth the prayers of 1,000 persons on earth. The term of “unidolatory” is used to describe the golden cherubs which sit atop the Ark of the Covenant and other images in the temple as these were permitted by the Lord Himself or directly commanded by Him.

The root word for tzaddik is tzedakah meaning charity. The tzaddikim have achieved great holiness through prayer and joyful habitual charity. This love of the other continue beyond their passing away from the earth. Those in Sheol continue to pray through charitable love for those on earth. One can today go to Jerusalem and join one of the Hassid (Orthodox) tzaddikim tours which visit the graves of the tzaddikim so that Jews can visit and ask for their intercession and graces.

Because, the tzaddikim are channels of Divine Grace, those things with they used in life here on earth are charged with spiritual power – their clothing, pens, yad and anything else he used in life. These relics are not in and of themselves magical by any means but by only the Mercy of the Lord have spiritual power made available. Jews do not worship the tzaddikim but they are venerate out of respect for them and the Lord who has been merciful by making the tzaddik available.

The Catholic belief is exactly the same no different except for one. That is the Jews believe that the graces that flow from the tzaddik is limited while the Catholics believe this this is unlimited. This divergence in view can very easily be reconciled when one takes into account that the Jews do not consider the tzaddikim to be in heaven but in Sheol and do not yet behold the Face of Lord while Catholics believe that the saints are in heaven and behold the face of the Lord and are awash in a sea of graces which flow from the Godhead.

Just like the Jews, Catholics believe in the Communion of Saints, those in Heaven (Church Triumphant), those on earth (Church Militant) and those in purgatory (Church Penitent). One of the Catholic teachings is that you do not need faith or hope in heaven and that only love survives past death.
Catholicism has not invented anything, it just follows those things which the Lord taught Moses on the mountain for 40 days and carried through the Oral Tradition into Catholicism. All this goes to show that Catholicism is nothing new, but a continuation of Judaism carry on those beliefs, practices, customs and traditions of the Jews congruent with the post-messianic age. Each covenant builds upon the previous covenants.

If one wishes to pray to the tzaddikim St. Gamaliel or his son St. Abibas one can visit the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pisa. Both are buried together under the main altar.

to be continued…

Praying to the Saints as Part of the Divine Plan
It is the tzaddikim who hear the prayers of all persons and elevate and present them before the Lord. Thus, all prayer is heard by the tzaddikim who then offer these in a manner pleasing to the Lord. Thus, the prayers and petitions directed towards the tzaddikim have greater potentiality than praying to the Lord alone. Due to the potency of the prayer of the tzaddik, it is like having 1,000 persons joining with you in prayer.

Imagine this, if you go to court would you not want a legal counsel advocating on your behalf? Or do you go to court and pray for relief on your own? Most would rather have counsel who is familiar with the procedure, facilitates the process, and advocates on your behalf.

In is the intention of the Lord that we honor and pray to the saints whom He has glorified. Just as the Lord honors His saints, the Church calls on her members to do likewise. Obeying the Church, we acknowledge what the Lord has already done, and accept in obedience to the Divine Will. In honoring the saints we are honoring the Lord himself.

It is the intention of the Divine Plan of Salvation of the Lord that we are saved not as individuals but as a community of believers partaking in the divine life through His Church. The Lord wishes that we cultivate the familial bonds between all members of his Church so that each sees the others as member of the Christian family whether they in heaven, on earth or in purgatory united one to another in the family of the Lord.

In the Old Covenant, the Lord has called a people to himself – the Jews, who are all physical members of a single family, that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each person is physically related to each other. In the New Covenant, the Lord call all people to come into His Family by grafting the Gentiles people onto His Cultivated Olive, this into His Mystical Body, His Church. In this manner, His Church became the family of the New Covenant. This is what Christ wishes us to be, a family. It is Christ integrates us into His family.

The Bible asks that we pray for one another in several passages of scripture. The Church make it an imperative that we pray for those for whom we owe a duty to pray on behalf of. Thus, there is an obligation that we pray for those whom we are obliged to pray for such as our relatives in purgatory, our children, parents, our loved ones and even those who are our enemies. Those in heaven likewise pray on our behalf until the Second Coming of Our Lord.

Did you have a question?
Is this Catholic “news”??

Thank you @Quaestor for this article. :thumbsup:

Neither catholics nor Jews believe that those who pass on to eternal life, are dead. Rather, they are alive. Jews like Catholics pray for those in purgatory (yes Jews believe in purgatory - guess where Catholics get it from as a part of our Sacred Tradition).

As for a question… this is not. Rather, it shows that these like much in sacred tradition is of apostolic origin brought into the Church by the Jewish Catholic apostles. These are markers which evidence the fact, that our Church IS that original Church.

Most issues protestants have with Catholicism are tradition brought in from Judaism. The tree is a Jewish olive tree to which the Gentiles were grafted. Our Sacred Tradition gives evidence of the tree to which the gentiles were grafted.

Moderator - could you Please move this to apologetics?

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