Okay, I don’t know if this should go here but I need some clarity on this. I have been trying to come understand Catholicism, and have many beliefs in common with Catholics. Sometimes, however, it seems like I come to wrap my mind around a concept and begin learn more about it and start to incorperate it into my own beliefs, then a Catholic will say something that sets me back. So its like…Hold the Phone, that can’t be,that’s not what I was understanding!? So here’s the question. Intercessory prayer. I thought that it was asking saints who are in heaven to pray on your behalf. All the different saints, in their earthly lifetimes had all experianced different trials and so some are prayed to often for more specific reasons because they were, for lack of a better word, experianced, with certain problems. Well, the other day, I was reading some responses, I can’t remember the thread, but it has been bothering be ever since. One non-Catholic said something like…How do you know that saints hear your prayers? Then the Catholic person said…Because they answer them, all the time? This is not intersession. This would be like me asking my pastor to pray for me, the prayer gets answered, and I give the credit for the answer to my pastor. I’m confused…
Well, that is rather confusing.
I, myself, give credit to God.
I look forward to hearing what other’s say, though.
Probably the Catholic that said “they answer them” meant that if the request was granted, then that was evidence that the saint prayed for the person.
God answers our prayers. Not the saints. They intercede for us. They take our prayers to Our Heavenly Father.
You will learn that not everything that you read in these forums are “factual” in the Catholic Church. There are a lot of opinions. You must find a reliable resource when you need guidance.
Don’t get me wrong there is a lot of good advice on the threads here, but just be careful.
Yeah, to say “Saints answer my prayers” is a bit of a misnomer because although, Saints do answer our prayers by praying, it’s God that grants our petitions.
If you were going through a rough time and asked your Pastor to pray for you, when things got sorted would you or would you?
- Not thank the Pastor for praying for you because that would be taking some of the thanks away from God
- Thank the Pastor for praying for you because you know that by acknowledging a good deed that someone has done by the grace of God gives Glory and thanks to God.
The Bible tells us that Christains are to pray for each other. this is intercessory prayer. The saints in heaven can not hear your prayers, they are not omnipresent and our prayer do not flow to them through the air waves. Finally only God can answer your prayers
By the way, every one that is in heaven is a Saint not just a special few.
I suspect the person didn’t mean it quite the way you understood it.
My wife and I have a special devotion to St. Dymphna, the patroness of those suffering from nervous conditions (as we have two children with autism, and one with ADHD). We occasionally seek the intercession of this saint when we’re faced with a challenge related to our children, and when we see progress in the area for which we were seeking prayer, we say St. Dymphna ‘answered’ the prayer. This isn’t to say that she did anything more than pray for us - we’re aware that it is God who truly affected the change in our children. In a sense, though, St. Dymphna *did *answer our prayer to her in that she did as we asked - prayed for us.
I suspect that’s what this person meant when he/she attributed an answered prayer to a saint.
Catholicism would be so much easier to understand if not for all us Catholics. I think what might confuse you is the defininition and word choice used by Catholics often differs from Protestants. If you asked your pastor to pray for you because you were having difficulty making the rent, and the pastor not only prayed for you but also gave you $300, would you give God the credit, or the pastor, or both?
It’s always God, but sometimes He shares the credit. When we credit saints with “answering our prayers” informed Catholics know it is God working through them, but we don’t always phrase it like that. I think of saints as being closer to God and therefore knowing better how to ask Him for what I want and need. If they interceed and obtain the favor on my behalf, they obtain it from God. Like people here on earth, saints in heaven can do nothing without God.
I am a former Catholic and can understand your confusion. When you pray to the saints you are simply asking them to ask God for help for you. When your prayers are answered, it’s because God has given His answer, whether it’s what you wanted or not. He always answers prayers but He answers them in the way that is right for us, not necessarily in the way that we want. The saints are helping us. Someone said that everyone who is in Heaven is a saint. I firmly believe that. I often talk to deceased relatives and ask their help. They can easily relay my problem or question to God and He can then respond. Don’t give up. The saints are on your side!
8When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
The 24 elders represent the Church Triumphant, all those saints who are now in heaven. Notice that they are actively offering the prayers of Christians on earth to God. If they are offering our prayers, that means that they can also hear them. If they can hear our prayers, it is because God granted them this privilege. This passage is a wonderful illustration of the communion of saints.
Hey All’s, just wanted to offer that Catholics don’t claim Saints are only a special few. The Cathoic Church fully agrees with you, everyone in heaven is a Saint. However, since we aren’t supposed to judge people’s souls, noone cannot presume if people are in heaven or hell. So, the Church acknowledges those men and women whom either Scripture/tradition hold to be in Heaven like the good good theif. And additionally there are many holy men and women that were asked to pray to God for miracles, if these men or women are able to procure a miracle by asking God for this gift, then the Church can know they are in Heaven b/c no one in Hell would be able to interceed in such a way.
So, the saints that Catholics always talk about are those people we know are in Heaven. Hopefully there are millions or billions more but we just don’t know on these others so we’ll wait to see in heaven.
Oh, and you are also correct that saints aren’t omnipresent or omniscent, but they don’t need to be. Just like guardian angels on their own can’t read our thoughts and prayers, neither can saints. But God with all of His infinite processing power is able to tell/send these Saints and Angels our millions of prayers while still getting to all His other tasks. The angels and saints then recieve the prayers thru God’s power, and pass them back to God with their own special graces as intercessions for our behalf.
Just a helpful tip-- a lot of times you’ll need to remember that the answer to the question isn’t, “either/or” but rather, ‘both/and.’ Did God or the saint answer my prayer? It’s a false dilemma. Both God and the saint did.
Granted, the sense in which the saint answers the prayer is qualified-- the saint only does so inasmuch as God gives the saint power to, and the saint only acts in accord with God’s will. All the glory goes to God.
Yup. Are saints Christians? Yup.
Air waves? I think you made that up.
As far as not hearing our prayers, you will need to supply some proof, otherwise you are simply stating your personal views. There are many personal testimonies by sincere Christians who would disagree with you.
Sure, but can He answer them through a saint? Yup.
By the way, every one that is in heaven is a Saint not just a special few.
BTW, everyone in Heaven is a saint, but not everyone in heaven is a Saint.
If I give my brother a message to carry to our father, and our father responds to the message, may I presume my brother carried it?
:extrahappy: :bounce: :dancing: :clapping: :harp: :heaven:
That is anoher great thing about the Catholic Church – we have the deposit of faith propogated and guarded by the Magisterium, the teaching office of the Faith.
If only all Catholics would recognize this and truly know what treasures we have, none would even think of rejecting the Church and going somewhere else (or nowhere else).
Just like the healing miracles in Acts and other books of the bible. Who actually did them? Who “answered” the pleas of the sick? It was always God, of course, but he worked through holy men and women. “They answer them” is just shorthand for “God answers them through one of his beloved children”. Even the bible uses that shorthand, talking about people being healed by the apostles.
It is a key, essential fact of God’s nature that he shares all good things with us, and that includes providing extra-ordinary benefits through miracles.
The Church definitely teaches that the saints intercede for us, but there is nothing - either yea or nay - about whether their activities on our behalf can include more than intercessory prayer. (At least, I was unable to find any info in my resources.)
My personal thoughts are that God probably does allow them to aid us in additional ways. Just as the angels often aid us (even tho their activities are invisible to us), I think the saints may also help.
The examples of angelic help are so interesting.
Messengers: Dan 8:15-17; Luke chapters 1 and 2
Warriors: 2 Kings 6:17; Dan 10:10-14, 20
Protection from physical harm: Dan 3:24-28
Open prison doors: Acts 12:6-11
And all the activities of the angels given in the Book of Revelation.
CCC #2683 …They (saints) contemplate God, praise Him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things." (cf Mt 25:21) …
you might have been referring to my post where I wrote in response to the question:
Originally Posted by justasking4
If the “Saints are alive” how do you know they can hear your specific prayers?
Maybe because the prayers were answered?
The Saints are in heaven.
The Saints in heaven are righteous.
**James 5:16 **
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
If this was the post you were referring to then let me clarify what I meant.
The Saints are presenting our prayers to God, as we see in Rev. 5:8 “And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and **the twenty-four elders **(Saints in heaven) fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints (saints on earth)”
And we know the Saints in heaven are righteous, and by my other passages I quoted, show that God listens to the prayers of the righteous, and you don’t get much more righteous than being in heaven.
I was giving natural reasoning apart from scripture of how we could know that the Saints had heard our prayer, a confirmation of the fact that the prayer was indeed heard and answered. God does not always give us the answer we want in the timely manner we want, but he does answer all of our prayers.
I was not saying that the Saints apart from God answer our prayers on their own. They intercede for us, just as you pastor would intercede for you. The only difference is that though you pastor might be a holy and righteous man, the Saints in heaven are very much more so. Their intercessary prayers to God on our behalf are powerful and effective as St. James writes.
So, if my post was the one you were questioning, I hope that this clears it up a little bit.
Get thee to the Bible Christian Society and download the lecture on the Communion of Saints. Get One Church while you’re at it, and any others that strike your interest. You also have the option to order the CDs for free, just $1/ea shipping.
I used to be Baptist, so I totally understand where you are right now. :hug3: