[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! ); 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?!?
Any insight is greatly appreciated! I love my hubby, but he’s driving me nuts!
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 .