I’ve heard some Catholics in the past talk about lighting a candle for a particular Saint. Is this true, and in what way if so? What does this symbolize or do?
We may light a candle for a Saint, but it’s just a pious devotional practice meant to raise our minds to the Supernatural.
It’s not like Saints eat candle wax and huff candle smoke and will destroy our village if we don’t give them enough of the hot nectar they desire.
Jesus Christ is the light of the world.
We are told to shine our lights, or rather, that light that comes from God, into the world.
Saints should have been pleasing to God, a bearer of the Light of Christ.
I imagine that’s one symbolic reason.
Another is to stay vigilant I suppose.
When I light such a candle near an image or statue of Christ or one of his saints, I typically pray something like, “Dear Jesus or Saint so-and-so, As long as this candle is lit, please keep my prayer intention for such-and-such in your thoughts.” Sort of like how incense smoke and prayers are associated in Revelation 8:4.
The sacrificial fire of the candle is an ancient form of prayer.
Personally, I elevate my thoughts to that saint in particular. I pray and ask for his intercession on a matter that is somehow related to his own life and legacy. It’s a tradition and I like it personally - since it reminds me of doing it as a child!
Also, the parish has a “tiny profit margin” on the candles, so it has the additional advantage of letting me contribute to the expenses and getting my candle in return. It is also a way of “honoring” that particular saint, who he was and what he represents. To that, it gives a nice atmosphere and is all together pleasing - a habit associated with sculpture and sacred art - evocative: from “let there be light” to “I am the light of the world.”
It’s also worth noting that anything that a saint does, he/she does only through the power of God.
We believe that when we die and go to heaven, we are united with God. Scripture says so.
Well, if we are united with God, if we are members of His body, then what He does, WE will do through Him, right? God is a Three Divine Persons in One God. He lives, He ‘moves’, He has being. When He moves, ‘we’ move. When He ‘hears’, WE hear. If He stretches out His Hand, we are part of Him stretching out the hand.
So if a saint is united to God as St. Paul mentions, then they are perfectly and wholly ‘acting’ with God. Thus, any ACTION from Heaven is always from God, but it can come ‘through’ any of those who are ‘joined’ to Him, like saints. God doesn’t just stick us on some clouds and walk away and leave us, right? We aren’t up there in heaven ‘alone’ while He hobnobs only with ‘some’ people. And our prayers can go through to God through any people joined to Him as well. They’re like gates. God doesn’t ‘need’ gates but He doesn’t ‘not’ need them, either. Heck, God doesn’t ‘need’ US, but He loved us and made us anyway. So since He decided that He wants us to be joined with Him in Heaven and that we love and serve Him in heaven just as much as we love and serve Him on earth (except there we do it perfectly), doesn’t it make sense that part of the way we could serve Him as saints would be as little ‘gates’ through which people send requests and love messages to God? And that God, out of pure kindness, could grant those prayers to us ‘directly’ but that the direction ‘goes through’ the united prayer of the saint who prays with us? Not everybody ‘HAS TO’ do this, but isn’t it something that a soul who loves God would love to do? It’s all to His praise and glory. . .
Yes, I have grasped that concept, that the Saint or Angel does things through the power of God. So would it be accurate to say that the Saint or Angel can bring the power of God to you? Or deliver it to the intended purpose?
So asking a Saint or an Angel for something is always done with the acknowledgement that their power comes from God, yes? So therefore, for example, I can ask a Saint directly for something as long as I always understand that their power is not their own, that it comes from God and flows through them?
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