In what sense you you consider them “Catholic saints”?
If Catholicism is true, then of course the saints are happy to pray for you, and obviously you should be moving toward entry into the Church (says the guy who has taken twenty years and still hasn’t managed it).
But if you aren’t thinking about becoming Catholic, doesn’t that imply that you don’t think the Catholic Church is “the Catholic Church” (i.e., the true, universal Church to which all Christians should belong). And if that’s the case, then these saints, who are in heaven, won’t care whether you are Catholic or not, will they? They aren’t “Catholics” in a sectarian sense anymore.
So either way you should just ask for their prayers and not worry
Perhaps I worded things a little awkwardly in my original post, referring to ‘Catholic saints’. Also, when I said I was not thinking about becoming Catholic at this point, I didn’t mean that I was actively rejecting the idea or that I would never consider it.
I suppose I just wondered if it was all right at this stage in my journey for me to ask for the saints’ prayers .
I am also praying that God’s will be done, and not just for relief of my troubles.
Sorry if I don’t put myself across very well. I am new to the forums, and also full of worries and feeling very low right now, which doesn’t help how I express things.
And there I was, thinking my ignorance as a non-Catholic would stand out like a sore thumb!
Well, maybe it is indeed ignorance that is holding me back. I think perhaps talking about the saints makes me appear more knowledgeable than I am about the Catholic faith. I have been interested in the saints for a long time, ever since I had Catholic friends who I knew prayed to them. I researched and read about the lives of various saints and also about the devotion and practice of asking for their intercession. I developed a devotion to them myself, and as I say, found peace in asking for their intercession, along with praying to God directly.
Following and taking part in these forums will hopefully give me the chance to look into other aspects of the faith.
The first real blow to this interpretation came when I read Peter Brown’s book, The Cult of Saints: Its Rise and Function in Latin Christianity.
Brown challenged my view that the place of saints and relics in the church was a mere holdover from paganism, and that the practice was somehow peripheral to true Christianity. Instead, Brown painted a picture of ancient Christianity and paganism in which relics were indispensable to the former, and repulsive to the latter. Far from a holdover from paganism, the place of relics in the Church appeared as something intensely Jewish, Hebraic, and Old Testament. Pagans, like Julian-the-Apostate, found the practice revolting and legislated against it. (Paganism, with its notions of ritual purity, had strictly delimited the realm of divine worship and neatly separated it from the realm of corpses and the dead.)
Here, you will see a similarity to Catholic teaching about the communion of saints:
In the Introduction to the book, titled “How I Discovered the Jewish Origins of Catholicism”, essentially giving an overview of his conversion to Catholicism after being a priest in another faith, Dr. Marshall recounts an experience he had talking with a Rabbi in a hospital waiting room (Dr. Marshall was visiting someone as a priest), who told him that Jews believe that “if someone is suffering and you invoke the name of his or her mother in prayer, God will be more merciful in granting your prayer for that person“. Dr. Marshall then goes on to make a connection with the Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary, and goes on from there:
Reaching back even further, the Church reveres and invokes the Blessed Mother because it inherited the Jewish custom of showing profound reverence for the spiritual role of the mother in a family. The rabbi’s answer was a surprising confirmation that Catholic customs are rooted in a Jewish understanding of reality.
A Protestant eh? Well, remind me to walk on the other side of the road. LOL! No saint worth their salt would give a hoot how far the road we are in our journey to Christ as long as we are on the narrow one. Funny you say you have had no relief yet, yet you continue to pray. There’s a making of a saint in you for all you may protest. I find God one of the worst conversationalists. Most taciturn. You are right in finding inspiration in the Saints’ lives, for that is the purpose of the Church’s declaration.
I find Mother Teresa, surely one of the clearest Saints of our times, an especial case. A woman who, in her own admission, had not one spiritual event or relief in her life, and she spends it regardless, amongst the poorest of the poor for the sake of her Christ. She understood the taciturn Christ like no one else of which I have read.
If you could look at the tatty souls of most of us Catholics you would laugh at your own humility. May God answer your prayers swiftly.