Necessity of Praying to Saints


#1

I know that the Church does not force people to pray to saints, although it is biblically recommended and can do no harm. But someone asked me this question:

"then it is an unnecessary action (praying to saints) and completely dispensible?

yes or no?"

Now how do I respond to that?


#2

An article of Catholic faith is the Communion of Saints. Thus, you can’t say that it is wrong to pray to saints and still be in communion with the Catholic Church. However, it isn’t any more required than asking your friends to pray for you. In that sense, you could say that practice is “dispensable”. But, by that logic, the Rosary, Marian devotions, and reading the Bible are all “disposable” parts of the faith. Obviously those practices are central to Catholic identity. So the answer is (oddly enough) both yes and no.


#3

No one is ever required to ask anyone (Saint or otherwise) to pray for us. But I cannot imagine why we would not want to (I dunno about you, but I need all the prayers I can get!)


#4

Consider this passage from James:
… The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. 17Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit. (James 5:16)
Certainly during the three and a half years of drought on the earth many good folks prayed for rain but it was not until Elijah prayed that God granted rain. From this it would seem that sometimes God waits until just the right person prays before He grants requests. Because of this, would it not be prudent to ask the prayers of as many people as possible to increase the likelihood that the right person is asked?


#5

To me, it’s like playing a football game without some of your best players. Can you still win? Sure. But if the reward for winning the game was heaven, I’d like to “hedge my bets” by using my top players.

Notworthy


#6

is it optional to converse with and maintain contact with our distant relatives? of course, but is it healthy or advisible? What kind of family life is that when members have no contact?


#7

[quote=Fidei Defensor]I know that the Church does not force people to pray to saints, although it is biblically recommended and can do no harm. But someone asked me this question:

"then it is an unnecessary action (praying to saints) and completely dispensible?

yes or no?"

Now how do I respond to that?
[/quote]

As an apologist I would not respond to this question by trying to defend praying to saints. The person asked:

“Then it is an unnecessary action (praying to saints) and completely dispensible? Yes or no?”

My answer: “Yes” However one must believe in the Doctrine of the Communion of Saints.

The person should respond with “What is the doctrine of the Communion of Saints?”

Then I would go on to describe the basics of the Doctrine of the Communion of Saints and the optional devotions.


#8

People seem to forget Hebrews 12:1 which says; 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:

I often just simply ask them if they have ever seen a race at which the witnesses (ie: fans) just sat there stoically.

Can anyone imagine that those saints already in the cloud of witnesses would do any less for their fellow members of the Body of Christ, especially when the race has such eternal consequences?

Pax tecum,


#9

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