How Can Mary Hear So Many Prayers at Once? And More! [Akin]

jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/CatholicAnswersLogo-300x180.jpgIn this episode of Catholic Answers Live (1/8/15), Jimmy answers the following questions:

[LIST]
*]Can you reconcile Natural Family Planning with Leviticus 18 about intimacy and the times and restrictions on intimacy?
*]Is it okay to listen to protestant preachers and go to their church to listen to them preach?
*]Why does the Catholic Church not refer to marriage as Holy Matrimony?
*]About purgatory, my friend is planning to leave the Catholic Church and purgatory is an issue for her. How can I help her understand that purgatory is biblical and a reasonable belief?
*]How can you explain how Mary can hear and answer so many prayers all at the same time? Does it have to do with God being infinite and Mary being outside of time with God?
*]About confession and the frequency: I have had priests discourage me from coming to the sacrament, and they say “That is not a sin” and I feel discouraged. What do you suggest?
*]About Mary being at the foot of the cross. I have heard some priests say that she was not at the foot of cross and I thought the Bible says that she is. Why would a priest say that she was not?
*]About the star of Bethlehem and the documentary “Bethlehem Star”, can Jimmy comment on how accurate is the film?
]The book of Sirach: is that in the KJV? Is it in another book in the KJV that I can refer to my friend?
[/LIST]
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**How can you explain how Mary can hear and answer so many prayers all at the same time? Does it have to do with God being infinite and Mary being outside of time with God? **

I think Jimmy’s second explanation (basically Mary by God’s grace can multitask concurrently whether hearing or interceding) was the only one on the money. Jimmy struggled a bit to explain the mechanism. I think the “mechanism” is pretty traditional and is a direct consequence of bodily glorification. (The soul’s great control over the body (matter/time) endows it with greater memory and intellectual capacity much like what is natural to the intellect of the angels) According to Aquinas all the angels (including fallen ones) by their spiritual intellectual nature are capable of naturally grasping/following an infinitude of singularities. We fallen human beings need to use a database.

**Why does the Catholic Church not refer to marriage as Holy Matrimony? **
That was well answered. But I am not sure that baptised persons by that fact alone have sacramental marriages when married. (Of course this is to be imputed unless proven otherwise.)
After the 2015 Synod I think we will find that if a baptised person was known to have no real personal commitment to his faith then that could be grounds for annulment has no sacramental marriage was in fact present.
A Canon Lawyer recently told me this is actually a little known ground that is already in place. I was surprised because I didn’t think that was quite the case yet.

And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One; … I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One. (Tobit 12:12,15)

These verses from Tobit suggest to me that angels act as speedy, spiritual messengers who take down our prayers, go to heaven, and read them to whomever they are addressed and do this in a most orderly and expeditious manner. Since we each have an (guardian) angel assigned to us, I can easily imagine my angel taking down my prayer, then zipping up to heaven, quickly reading it to whomever it was addressed, and then zipping back to me and accomplishing all this in the blink of an eye. If multiple angelic messengers arrive in heaven at the same time for the same saint, it is not too hard to imagine them forming an orderly queue and waiting their turn to deliver the prayers to the saint one at a time.

Now, the world’s fastest talker can speak or pray at a rate of about 500 words per minute. His speed of communication is subject to certain physical limitations, such as how fast he can move the muscles in his lips, tongue and jaw to form words and how fast he can breath, etc. Assuming that there are 10 billion people on the planet and they all prayed at a rate of 500 words per minute, that gives us a combined maximum prayer rate on earth of 5 trillion words per minute. If angels and saints in heaven can communicate with each other faster than this, and there is no reason to think that they cannot, especially in this age of high-speed internet when two-hour movies can be downloaded in a matter of seconds, then I see no reason why the Virgin Mary or any of the other saints in heaven couldn’t through the ministry of angelic messengers handle the prayers of everyone on earth all praying to them at the same time.

A person in heaven is “absent from the body,” (2 Cor. 5:8) theologically and practically speaking. I’ve therefore often found it silly to try to impose bodily limitations into a situation that is not known to have those boundaries. The strictest scientist can no longer demand that Mary’s “synapses” process prayers at an adequate terrestrial rate.

:thumbsup:

:confused: Isn’t Mary there, in her glorified body?

Good point!
In liking MarcoPolo’s contribution it was really the phrase “I’ve therefore often found it silly to try to impose bodily limitations into a situation that is not known to have those boundaries. The strictest scientist can no longer demand that Mary’s “synapses” process prayers at an adequate terrestrial rate.”

The reason I think MP is right is because a glorified body has such spiritual dominion over the material body that for all intents and purposes it is “spiritual” and not subject to the restrictions of space and time of this life.

And that really looks to be St Paul’s point, he wishes to be with God and away from this life where the body is enslaved to corruption and many other limitations (time, slow synapses, memory limits etc) besides.

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