When we ask them for intercession, do they merely pray for us or somehow they perform their power upon is?
No. Mary and the saints don’t have any supernatural powers on their own. They merely pray for us. God answers our prayers through His power through their intercession.
God gave supernatural gifts of healing, of working miracle, etc., to people on earth. There is no reason to think that they lost those gifts when they died and went to heaven. And, there is no reason to think that the God who gave such gifts to people on earth could not also give such gifts to the saints in heaven.
The Old Testament mentions at least two miracles associated with righteous dead people:
[Dead Samuel, appearing to the medium, spoke to King Saul, saying,] "Moreover the Lord will give Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me [i.e., shall die]; the Lord will give the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.” (1 Samuel 28:19)
And as a man was being buried, lo, a marauding band was seen and the man was cast into the grave of Elisha; and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood on his feet. (2 Kings 13:21)
And, elsewhere Sacred Scripture gives those righteous dead people credit for the miracles:
Even after [Samuel] had fallen asleep [i.e., died,] he prophesied
and revealed to the king his death,
and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy,
to blot out the wickedness of the people. (Sirach 46:20)
Nothing was too hard for [Elisha],
and when he was dead his body prophesied.
As in his life he did wonders,
so in death his deeds were marvelous. (Sirach 48:13-14)
Though I am sure they would say that the miracles they did were not worked by their own innate power but by the power of God working through them.
If God wishes to exercise his power through them, he does.
If not, he doesn’t.
They have no powers of their own and take no credit.
How they became Saints.
Our Lady is, of course, completely dependent upon God…but I don’t think its fair to say that she “merely” prays. She is actively involved in our spiritual lives. She has agency…she is alive and well in heaven and busy “doing” things on our behalf…with and through God.
The OP included angels in the heading of his/her question. As spirit beings, they probably do have supernatural powers, but we must remember that God created the angels, so any power they have he gave to them.
Good answers. Thank you very much.
Satan and devils have power. So why can’t saints and angels?
Satan and devils only have power because God allows them to have it. They don’t somehow have power on their own.
Saints and angels only have power because God allows them to have it. They don’t somehow have power on their own.
Yes, that’s what I mean. Saints and angels still have power because of God.
Angels were gifted by God at the moment of their creation with certain abilities that we would consider supernatural. Because God is always faithful, he does not take these gifts away even if an angel rejects Him and abandons his station in Heaven.
God can stop an angel from doing anything, but he sometimes permits them to act.
Human beings are also gifted by God with certain abilities (a physical body and the ability to control the body; an intellect; a will), and saints make supplications to God when we pray to them. This is possible through the power and mercy of God. Mary by herself is nothing without God enabling her to pray. She was created and continues to exist through the power and mercy of God.
So by God Mary has power?
She is Queen of the Universe. Her vocation is to be the Mother of God and the Mother of Sinners, so she makes supplications to God on our behalf.
She doesn’t literally perform miracles or anything like a wizard in a fantasy book. Prophets or other holy people that do miraculous things are instruments of God. God is the one actually doing the miracle.
I think a good way of stating it is that Mary is completely capable of miracles, but the power comes from God. She neither can, nor would, do anything that her son doesn’t want.
We can consider a priest at Mass. The priest celebrates the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and through his words, the bread & wine are transubstantiated to be the body & blood of Christ. The priest doesn’t have magical powers, but he is the instrument through which God gives us the sacrament.
This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.