I have a question that has been on my mind for a long time. I accept the practice of intercession, such as when we pray for each other, and the Saints and Angels in Heaven pray for us, but I’m having trouble understanding it.
In an earthly sense, if there was a King I needed a favor from, I would certainly try to find someone I know to ask him for me, if I thought it would give me greater chances of success. This would be because I would be dealing with an earthly, busy, imperfect, human king who doesn’t know or care about me.
HOWEVER, when we are talking about God our Father, who is perfect, just, merciful, loving, and with no limits on space and time, It seems the analogy breaks down. When we hear things like “pray and make sacrifices to save souls from hell”, I have trouble with that. In my mind, if a soul is in hell, it wasn’t a mistake. Surely God who is all merciful and all just would have ensured that that person chose hell and belongs there. Do you see where I am going with this?
If two lukewarm Catholics live identical lives, but Catholic #1 has 100 cloistered nuns praying for him throughout his life, and he makes it heaven, but Catholic #2 has no intercessory prayer and goes to hell, how does that square with God's justice? In apologetics situations with Protestants, sometimes Catholics will say, you pray for your friends right? Well that is what Mary does, pray for us like that. We are referring to a more familiar practice of praying for friends, but I don't really even understand that. In another analogy, if two parents are carrying a couch at the ends, and they ask their five year old son to "help" carry it, they are probably doing it so he can "feel" helpful, although he isn't carrying much of the weight, and the parents would do fine carrying it on their own. I can understand if God allows us to intercede so that we can grow spiritually, and "help" carry the couch so to speak, but whether we intercede or not, the couch still gets moved, and all people still receive the perfect balance of justice and mercy when they stand before God. Can anyone help me understand this? Thanks in advance.:shrug: