Do you feel closer to God, or Mary (or other saints)?

Not sure if this is the right forum, but…I’ve heard some Catholics state that they don’t always feel close to God, but do feel close to Mary or other saints. And of course, Christianity in general often seems to focus on Jesus than God the Father - many Evangelicals seem to mention “Jesus” 10 times for each time they mention “God”. The Holy Spirit gets more attention in Pentacostal denominations.

I know the saints are not actually taught to be deities in a pantheon, that’s anti-Catholic claptrap. However, I have noticed that some Catholics seem to care more about them when it comes to daily life, as if God Himself has way more important things to care about than, say, whether I find my cellphone – but surely, Saint Anthony will help me out!

Sometimes I get the idea that Catholics see God the Father as some celestial CEO who has delegated the more routine tasks to the Saints. And certainly, it seems the idea of Mary as Our Mother is more front and center for many Catholics, than God as Our Father.

Indeed, many Catholics actually compare Mary to a mother, that a child would be more comfortable confessing sins to, than a father, who seems to be assumed to be fearsome and distant, someone a child wouldn’t be comfortable confessing anything to. But is this how Catholics view their own biological fathers, as some distant, stern disciplinarian? Maybe it was centuries ago, but that doesn’t seem to be the case these days.

None of this is wrong, exactly, but – I wonder if some of this focus away from God, is meant to console people who don’t feel close to God?

Catholics who feel closer to a saint than to God misunderstand who God is–not unusual among most people, actually. Since God is our judge some people see him primarily as that and not as the Father of Mercy. This is pitting God’s justice against his mercy, which is the wrong way to think of it.

Devotion to any of the saints, and especially Mary, ought to inflame our love of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Sadly, many can’t seem to relate to God the Father or the Holy Spirit since neither shared our human nature. But again, this is to misunderstand the relation within the Trinity–dividing God up into multiple deities, each very different from one another. What Jesus loves and knows the Father knows and loves and the Holy Spirit. There is no separation within the Divinity, only different persons.

These concepts can be difficult for many to grasp and make part of their daily lives. It’s so much easier to pray one’s rosary than try to love God the Father whom we cannot see except in the Son, the same with the Holy Spirit. Not that the rosary itself is a distraction from that goal, but I think there are those who concentrate so much on the persons of Jesus (in his manhood) and on Mary that they miss the point of praying the rosary, which is to draw closer to God.

I believe Catholics ought to have their prayer and devotional life centered in the liturgies of the Church rather than private devotions–not that private devotions aren’t perfectly fine and beneficial. But, if one’s devotions do not draw us closer to God in the fullness of who his is, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, they may hinder us more than help us.

I always recommend people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, pray part of the Divine Office–Morning and Evening Prayer to “frame” the day in prayer and Night Prayer to finish it off, with any other devotions in between as we like. In our time when most people in the Western world can read and write, I think we ought to learn what we should be practicing as Christians that will draw us closest to the Holy Trinity since union with God is the goal of our lives.

I kind of view it as a family relationship. I have a very close relationship with my sister and brother. That doesn’t deny my relationship with my mother or father, but it is a different sort of relationship. I would apply that understanding to any relationship with the saints as brothers and sisters, and my relationship to God as father. So we can be very close to the saints as brothers and sisters, and at the same time be very close to God but it is a different sort of relationship. One does not take anything away from the other.

I think about this sometimes. I sometimes feel that I’m not worthy of being 'close" to God, so I need Mary and the Saints (St. Jude, St. Rita, St. Therese, St. Pio) to intercede for me.

Others takes on this subject are of interest to me.

I’m definitely a Mary kind of guy. I sort of see her as the gentle and understanding mother I never really had in real life. I mean I had a mother, but she wasn’t like that.

To be honest, God still scares me a lot. He’s like a pillar of rightness and I’m the sort of guy who’ll never really measure up to anything like that. I can imagine him frowning at me most of the time. But with Mary? I see her bringing a bit more heart into the situation. I see her as sort of patting me on the head and telling me not to be so stressed out. I see her trying to patiently explain God to me. And maybe me to God?

I don’t know. :blush:

Peace TITW.

-Trident

What Della said.
But in truth, I do feel especially close to my Guardian angel. But those are FEELINGS.
I think all Catholics can say that our love of God is foremost. But just as some friends are good to keep us in line, so it is with the angels and saints. Their guidance takes nothing from God. Indeed, they are GIFTS from God to us, to help us. I thank God every day (literally) for the gift of the holy angels and saints.
In doing so, I praise Him.

I came to know Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, Mary and then the saints, in that order. As a very young child I met Jesus who led me to the Holy Spirit, who guided me through the Bible where I learned about the attributes of God. I had grown up fearful of God. I did not know Him, only His Son. The Holy Spirit also led me to a deeper knowledge of Mary. I had respected her as the Mother of Christ Jesus but I didnt know Mary as the Bible is silent on many things about her. In my study, she was introduced to me as the Theotokos. I learned about Mary from the Eastern Orthodox. It was through Mary that I learned about the saints. I had been aware all my life they existed, but I didnt know them. Getting to know various saints I have learned more about Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God and Mary. The Holy Family. Full circle, now complete. So I feel closer to them all, saints included.

For me it is God, He makes the most direct sense to me… I have an affinity for a few saints and like Jesus… but I default pray to God. I feel God’s presence perhaps the most (perhaps through the Holy Spirit) but always seen things in the context of God. I usually use the others as an easier way to verbalize a human example of God related topics but feel closest to seeing Him and understanding Him above the others.

I feel close to Jesus. Since God is Father, Son & Holy Spirit, we should only pray to Him.
Also, since Jesus became one of us and most of the New Testament is about His love for us, I feel closest to Him.
The apostles went to Jesus for all that they needed. Even the Blessed Mother told others to follow His instructions. (Wedding feast of Cana.)

Why put anyone above Jesus.

I think this still comes from a misunderstanding, whether conscious or unconscious, that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints are akin, to having friends that you ask prayers for. Or having friends that share the faith with you, who help you grow in your faith in God.

I find it interesting that you would think that Catholics see God the Father as some sort of CEO, delegating mundane tasks to Our Lady and the Saints. If anything, I’d argue that you are the one, who sees God the Father as some sort of CEO, and not other Catholics :slight_smile: That’s a projection on your part. If God the Father is a personal God who wants a relationship with us, why would He begrudge that we foster relationships with Mary and the Saints? That’s like saying my dad would begrudge that I talk to my mom, or that my dad would begrudge that I talk to my brothers.

And sometimes we do talk far more to our moms, or our brothers, than our dads, and our dads don’t really begrudge it. We’re a family.

We’re certainly not obliged to pray to Mary and the other saints, but it’s not true that in doing so we “put anyone above Jesus.” That’s a very un-Catholic idea since we believe in the Communion of Saints, which means we believe that those who have gone before us in death are alive in God and are able to intercede for us in prayer and help us follow Christ. There really is no “Jesus and me alone” idea in Catholicism. We are all part of the Body of Christ whether we are living or dead.

Christ gave His Mother to us because He knows we need a Mother’s love.

If a lonely motherless person feels closer to Mary, I am sure that Christ fully understands.

I am certain that God is not the least bit worried about His children loving His Mother and feeling secure in the knowledge that she loves them.

Respectfully, I would say this is a bit of an oversimplification.

Explaining the entirety of theology and how it plays into individual cultures and persons within those cultures is, I would think, an extremely nuanced business.

It’s important to keep that in mind, and also that Catholicism is a very rich and vast world.

I would also encourage you to approach things with what is often called “both/and” thinking. It’s noted time and time and time again that a lot of objections to Catholicism, especially from Protestants, really amount to being a bit of a false dichotomy. And I kinda wonder if this might not be an example of that.

Finally, we know from revelation that God does delegate a great deal of His work to His creation.

Whether we’re talking about angels or (Old and New Testament) priests or apostles or just individual Christians who are called to evangelize, God is clearly working through others.

Christ didn’t go to Rome, for example, and appear before Caesar and the senate and all of the world all at once. He sent people as His spokesmen. St. Paul is a great example of this, whose entire ministry was based on having certain duties delegated to him.

So I would think your statement here about God being a CEO and whatnot contains some truth to it that all Christians would agree with.

+JMJ+

I feel close to Mary and the saints because I know God is nearer to me than even I am to myself :slight_smile:

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