How Do Saints Hear Us?
How can the Saints know and hear so many countless intercessory prayers from so many Christians worldwide petitioning them. The question is really one of knowing, not hearing.
It is important for us to remember the fullness of revelation regarding our state of being after our human life is completed. Principle among scriptures revealing our future life is the revelation of the essential nature of God Himself.
Jesus often spoke of His Father (Abba) and of His Holy Spirit.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit.
…but if I (Jesus) perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize (and understand) that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.
The New Testament speaks often of the unity of the Godhead.
Do you not believe that I (Jesus) am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing His works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.
John also speaks of our union with the Father and Jesus as a fellowship a word from the Greek koinonia which is translated “community” meaning “in-union-with.”
What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is most specific about our final relationship with Him. He calls it a one-ness.
And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.
… so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me. And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.
The Trinity is a foreshadowing of our eternal life–a oneness with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We will share the life of the Godhead; as He knows so shall we know.
The Saints already in union, at-one-ness with God share his life and his knowledge.
Paul put it succinctly.
1 Cor 13:12
At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
John also had an insight that reflected our destiny.
1 John 3:2
Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
We know this because it is the unbroken teaching of the apostolic Church since the beginning and that Church was empowered by Christ to teach in his name (Luke 10:16). From the time of the martyrs, Masses were celebrated in cemeteries.
Because the early Christians took seriously Paul’s teaching that all the members of the Church are also “members of one another” (Romans 12:5) and that nothing—not even death—could separate us from the love of Christ.
Also, they had the example of the gospel itself, which clearly taught that the blessed dead were aware of and concerned about earthly doings (as for example the very dead and very blessed Moses was on the Mount of Transfiguration [Luke 9:28-36]).
So the Church followed this lead and held Mass near the graves of dead saints, asking the prayers and intercession of the dead in Christ since, as Jesus himself said, the blessed dead are alive to God (Matthew 22:29-33).
As to how the blessed dead are aware of us, we don’t know, any more than we know how God raises the dead or multiplies loaves. One common theory is that they know of us “in the Holy Spirit” or, as the Orthodox say, “The saints see us reflected in God’s eyes.”
This is perhaps the best analogy, but we must always remember that it is only an analogy to speak of a mystery.