How Can Mary Hear Us?


#1

Okay, you guys are so wonderful with my husbands questions… well, he hit me with another one:

He knows that I enjoy praying the Rosary, and he sort of gives me a hard time about it (praying to Mary is “blasphemous,” etc.) Finally, I said, “You ought to pray it with me sometime, and then you’ll see what a wonderful devotion it is, because it draws you closer to Jesus!

Here’s where he stumped me-- please help! :crying:

He said, “How can Mary even hear your prayers?!? God is omniscient, so He can hear everyone’s prayers at the same time-- but Mary is human. Even if she could hear one person’s prayer, how could she possibly hear/understand all the prayers being said to her throughout the world at any given time?” Then he also brought up a Gospel passage where Jesus says “a great chasm exists between here and there” or something (sorry-- I don’t know my Scriptures as well as my husband knows his! :frowning: ); anyhow, it’s referring to somebody who, I guess, is in Hell, and he wants someone to come and bring him some cool water, or something like that?!? So Tim was trying to say that the folks who are in the afterlife cannot hear or know anything that is going on down here. I mentioned the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews, but he doesn’t believe that refers to what we Catholics understand as the “communion of saints.”

So, how does our Blessed Mother hear us?!? :confused:

Any insight is greatly appreciated! I love my hubby, but he’s driving me nuts! :stuck_out_tongue:


#2

Surely your husband doesn’t mean to say that, if God were to choose to use Mary in this way, he couldn’t make it possible?

How is it that the Apostles were able to heal, and even raise people from the dead, if they were only human?

How is it that people even tried to have Peter’s shadow fall on them so that they would be healed? He’s human.

These phenomena do not make these saints omniscient, or omnimpotent, or divine. They merely show the unlimited wonderful ways God can use those who serve him.

Peace.
John


#3

Well, the simple answer is, if God desires the saints to be able to hear prayers directed to them, who are we to say He could not accomplish this? We most certainly do not know what one’s abilities will be in heaven, by the grace and power of God.

Here is also an interesting scriptural verse from Revelation:

5:13: And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!”

Here we have a person (John) who can hear, not just some people (as is the case with prayers directed to saints), but every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea! The writer of revelation, who is not a saint in heaven but is just visiting heaven, so to speak, is still able to hear every single creature in existence.


#4

Well, how could Mary, being a virgin, have a child?
Answer? Because that was her God-given job, & God took care of the details.

How can Mary hear our prayers?
Answer: Because that is her God-given job, & God takes care of the details.

(I do realize that this is oversimplifying, but it is what makes sense to me. Mary is our mother, & she is provided with all that she needs to fulfill that role in our lives).


#5

Now this is just speculation on my part you already got good answers I think.

Have you ever wondered how prayers are communicated? Angels do not have bodies, Saints do not (yet) have their glorified bodies, God is Spirit. How does the Holy Spirit “hear” our prayers? I am not asking how is it possible, but how mechanically is it done?

When we humans talk to each other or listen it is usually one on one and through physical mediums like matter conducting sound waves or visual cues. But computers can here millions of requests in a short time. And these are physical phenomena. limited by matter. Perhaps we do not (I know I don’t) fully understand the spiritual highways that make our prayers heard, the language of the heart…

Certainly, it is all done as God wills it, but God willed the Earth in existence with many rules that govern it to an ordered functioning, I think the same is true with prayer. Being in a state of grace having your heart set right, humility, these (I think) are all the protocols to having strong prayer; or more importantly, being receptive to grace and promptings received in prayer and the sacraments.

Just some thoughts to think about.


#6

The answer lies right in the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds in which we declare “I believe in the Communion of Saints.”

From the CCC: 962 “We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always [attentive] to our prayers” (Paul VI, CPG § 30).

Those in heaven are just as much, if not more, connected to Christ in his Body, the Church. All that Christ can do they can do, as Jesus himself said, “Greater things than these (the miracles he had done) will you do” (John 14:12). Jesus didn’t limit this promise to those still living on the earth. Indeed, since he says it is because he is going to the Father that they can be done, how much more can they be done by those who are in heaven in complete union with him?


#7

Revelations 5:8 and 8:5 (I believe- sorry - I don’t have my bible handy) describe the saints and angels in heaven bringing the prayers of the ‘saints’ on earth (meaning us) to God. The prayers are in the form of incense. I think this is the clearest example of how, in some mystical way, God grants the members of the Body of Christ in heaven (the Church Triumphant) to continue to intercede for us. How? I have no idea. But it is clear it happens. Stress that is isn’t by ‘their’ power they can hear us, but rather by the power given to them by God. Same with Mary. Everything she is and any intercessory power she has is only because of God.

If this doesn’t make sense, use this example. Many people believe that on occasion people are healed through the ‘laying on of hands’ by a priest, minister, etc. If you husband believes that this type of healing can take place, then he must realize it isn’t the power of the pastor or priest or lay individual that heals the person, but rather by the power of God working THROUGH that person that heals the individual.


#8

Hi Photini!

Have a look at these 2 articles:
Praying to the Saints
The ECF on the Intercession of the Saints

Also you can point out Hebrews 12:1 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: and then ask if he’s ever seen the people witnessing any race at all that just sat there and didn’t cheer for their guys? Can you imagine that the Church Triumphant would remain stoic as they witness the races of the Church Militant? Especially a race with such eternal consequences for their fellow brethren in Christ!? :eek:

Pax tecum,


#9

For me the answer is as simple as it is complicated. In other words easy to understand at first brush then quickly becomes complicated when we try to analyze or ‘understand’ it.
Simply stated, God is the source of all life and the life we have with all its attributes, including awareness, knowledge, wisdom, etcetera, are drawn from God’s attributes and shared with us.
Therefore we can, through God, understand speech, interpret reflections of light, etcetera, and communicate with or through whomever God deems is fit and proper for our good and His glory.
In short God does it. See Him for details. :slight_smile:


#10

First off, if you look right before the “great cloud of witnesses” quote, you’ll see that the author of Hebrews gives an extensive list of great “saints” (he doesn’t use that word, but he sure isn’t talking about angels). So, the witnesses must follow from the premise, and as witnesses, they are able to see and, presumably hear, us.

Scripture also indicates that, when we die and reach Heaven, we share in God’s omniscience. This would solve the problem. Here are some verses:

[left]Saints need not be omniscient to hear “so many prayers”

1 Cor 13:9-12 – Saints share in God’s divine knowledge

Rom. 8:16-17 & 2 Cor. 3:18 – Saints share in God’s divine glory

2 Tim. 2:12, Rev. 22:5, & Rev. 2:26-28 – Saints share in God’s divine authority and power

Heb. 12:10,14, Mt. 5:48, & Heb. 12:22-23 – Saints share in divine holiness

1 John 4:12 – Saints share in God’s divine love

1 John 5:11, 20 – Saints share in divine life

[left]Eph. 3:19 & 1 John 3:2 – Saints filled with fullness of God[/left]
[left] [/left]
[left]Lastly, the next time your husband challenges you in this way, ask him if he is really curious, in which case he should be doing his homework in order to support you instead of grilling you every time you worship as you chose. If he isn’t really curious, you might ask him why he’s attempting to stress you out when all you want to do is grow close to God. He’s challenging your simple faith by expecting you to be a theologian (just because you don’t know the answer doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist), when he should really be modeling himself after Christ in Eph. 5 and helping to build you up and bring out your inner beauty.[/left][/left]


#11

[quote=awfulthings9]First off, if you look right before the “great cloud of witnesses” quote, you’ll see that the author of Hebrews gives an extensive list of great “saints” (he doesn’t use that word, but he sure isn’t talking about angels). So, the witnesses must follow from the premise, and as witnesses, they are able to see and, presumably hear, us.

Scripture also indicates that, when we die and reach Heaven, we share in God’s omniscience. This would solve the problem. Here are some verses:

[left]Saints need not be omniscient to hear “so many prayers”

1 Cor 13:9-12 – Saints share in God’s divine knowledge

Rom. 8:16-17 & 2 Cor. 3:18 – Saints share in God’s divine glory

2 Tim. 2:12, Rev. 22:5, & Rev. 2:26-28 – Saints share in God’s divine authority and power

Heb. 12:10,14, Mt. 5:48, & Heb. 12:22-23 – Saints share in divine holiness

1 John 4:12 – Saints share in God’s divine love

1 John 5:11, 20 – Saints share in divine life

[left]Eph. 3:19 & 1 John 3:2 – Saints filled with fullness of God

Lastly, the next time your husband challenges you in this way, ask him if he is really curious, in which case he should be doing his homework in order to support you instead of grilling you every time you worship as you chose. If he isn’t really curious, you might ask him why he’s attempting to stress you out when all you want to do is grow close to God. He’s challenging your simple faith by expecting you to be a theologian (just because you don’t know the answer doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist), when he should really be modeling himself after Christ in Eph. 5 and helping to build you up and bring out your inner beauty.[/left][/left]
[/quote]

I think I kinda agree with Photini’s husband here, that passage seems to be more poetic than literal to me


#12

[quote=levi86]I think I kinda agree with Photini’s husband here, that passage seems to be more poetic than literal to me
[/quote]

Since when are the two mutually exclusive? Cannot something poetic also have a literal truth? The only other option would be a figurative truth, but given the text of chapter 11, that wouldn’t make much sense.


#13

Protestants agree that in heaven, there is no such thing as space or time. Everything is one Now in heaven. As such, there is no problem, for prayers directed to heaven enter eternity. Those already in eternity are not bound by the limitations of the physical world. Hence, multiple prayers do not pose a problem to the saints.

The same thing goes for languages. Language is a limitation of the earthly mind, but, as the posters above indicated, we are no longer bound to earthly limitations when in the presence of God.

Part of the problem is assuming that temporal limitations still exist in heaven.


#14

[quote=Photini]Okay, you guys are so wonderful with my husbands questions… well, he hit me with another one:

He knows that I enjoy praying the Rosary, and he sort of gives me a hard time about it (praying to Mary is “blasphemous,” etc.) Finally, I said, “You ought to pray it with me sometime, and then you’ll see what a wonderful devotion it is, because it draws you closer to Jesus!

Here’s where he stumped me-- please help! :crying:

He said, “How can Mary even hear your prayers?!? God is omniscient, so He can hear everyone’s prayers at the same time-- but Mary is human. Even if she could hear one person’s prayer, how could she possibly hear/understand all the prayers being said to her throughout the world at any given time?” Then he also brought up a Gospel passage where Jesus says “a great chasm exists between here and there” or something (sorry-- I don’t know my Scriptures as well as my husband knows his! :frowning: ); anyhow, it’s referring to somebody who, I guess, is in Hell, and he wants someone to come and bring him some cool water, or something like that?!? So Tim was trying to say that the folks who are in the afterlife cannot hear or know anything that is going on down here. I mentioned the “great cloud of witnesses” in Hebrews, but he doesn’t believe that refers to what we Catholics understand as the “communion of saints.”

So, how does our Blessed Mother hear us?!? :confused:

Any insight is greatly appreciated! I love my hubby, but he’s driving me nuts! :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

First, the omniscience of God is infinite, it has no limits. For Mary or the saints to hear our prayers would not require them to be omniscient for they would only need a limited ability to hear our prayers. At any point in time, there is a finite number of people praying to Mary, even if there were millions of people praying to Mary, it still would be a limited finite number. Although this is hard for us to fathom, we can recognize that heaven is not limited by time, as we know it, and we cannot know what powers God gives to the angels, Mary and the saints, but the powers do not have to be infinite as God’s are. We can get an understanding that this is a probability from what Christ said in Luke 15: 10 *“In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents." * It would be reasonable to assume that at any moment in time, throughout the world there are thousands of people repenting of their sins. So if there is rejoicing in heaven over each individual one of these penitents, then God must have given some power to those in heaven to recognize each individual one, even though there are thousands on earth every second repenting of their sins.

The scripture passage you mentioned, I believe is the story about Lazarus, Abraham and the rich man. First, it does not make sense that the rich man was in hell because, at one point, he is interceding that his brothers be warned to change their lives, an act of charity, and there is no charity in hell so it is more likely that the rich man was in purgatory. Concerning the chasm between the rich man and Lazarus, it kept them apart, that is, Lazarus could not cross to the rich man with a drop of water and the rich man could not cross over to Lazarus. However, Lazarus and Abraham could hear the prayers of the rich man and the rich man could hear Abraham’s replies.

Regarding the communion of saints, the Catholic Church teaches that all Christians, both living and dead are joined together in the Mystical Body of Christ.
Romans 8 : 38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans: 12:4-5 “For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another."

So praying to Mary is no different than if you were to say to your husband “I am going into the hospital for a test tomorrow, so would you please say a prayer for me that everything comes out alright?” Whether it’s your husband or Mary or any of the saints, you are simply asking a member of the Body of Christ to pray for you .


#15

Scripture indicates that angels (messengers) present our prayers to God. (Tobit 12:12; Revelation 8:4) Perhaps, angels (messengers) also present our prayers to Mary.

Scripture indicates that distant mountains will move for us if we ask them in faith (Matthew 17:20). Perhaps, asking in faith is also enough for Mary to hear us.

Daniel 3:86 (a deuterocanonical verse) is specifically addressed to the “spirits and souls of the just” asking them to “bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all forever.”

If those in heaven can’t know about anything that’s going on here, how is it that Jesus says that there is “joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:7)

When he was conjured up by the witch of Endor, the dead prophet Samuel not only knew what was going on but he also made a prophecy about what was soon going to happen to Saul. (1 Samuel 28:15-19) When they appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration, Moses and Elijah seemed to know what was going on and what would soon happen in Jerusalem. (Luke 9:30-31)


#16

One interesting thing for thought is; how do the demons hear us?
I assume that most all Christians of any denomination believe that curses can be called down, and that people can be possessed by incantations, playing with occult dvices (ouija boards, tarot, etc.)

If people believe that the diabolic can hear and respond through these occult channels, which are physical objects or curses, then why is it so hard to believe that the saints can hear and respond to our prayers, especially through physical objects such as icons or rosaries?

Most Protestants/Evangelicals/Fundamentalists surely believe that the occult is a way to channel evil.
If you ask them that, then if they are honest they will have to admit that the same must be true for Holy things.


#17

Good point Dan-Man916.
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17)
[size=2][/size]
[size=2]But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. (Acts 16:18)
[/size]


#18

[quote=Dan-Man916]If people believe that the diabolic can hear and respond through these occult channels, which are physical objects or curses, then why is it so hard to believe that the saints can hear and respond to our prayers, especially through physical objects such as icons or rosaries?
[/quote]

Saints do not hear us through physical objects. They hear us because they are with Christ. They can respond and pray with us because they’re in Heaven. I know what you’re saying, but I’m just making this clear.

Bless,


#19

[quote=Dan-Man916]One interesting thing for thought is; how do the demons hear us?

[/quote]

Now that is a VERY interesting point! Satan is just a creature, and yet look at all the power he supposedly has, keeping track of (and offering temptation to) every human.


#20

You guys, these are GREAT responses-- you ROCK!!! :tiphat: Thanks for putting so much thought into this-- the Scripture references are expecially helpful! I don’t know if we’ll ever get through to hubby, but you’ve certainly firmed up my own faith! :yup:

Thank you!

In Christ,
Photini ><>


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