ok guys this might be a weird question but how come the church says cohabitation is an occasion for sin and therefore wrong, while prayers to mary and saints are ok? couldn’t that be an occasion of sin for idolatry for people who don’t know better or are poorly catechized? back to the co-habitation example, why would it automatically be scandal? the people could be staying in separate rooms for all we know and being chaste. why should we just assume the worst? and just for the record, a lot of noncatholics do think we worship mary and saints because of praying to them and i think it a bit of a stumbling block. any explanations would be appreciated. thanks
With cohabitation, the fact is that we don’t know whether or not they are actually sleeping in their respective rooms, even if they have them. And if someone is sinning, they’re likely not to openly admit it because of embarrassment. This is why it causes scandal, because no one can really know, even if the couple claims not to be engaging in sinful acts. It is an occasion for sin because if two people are sexually attracted to one another are put under one roof without supervision, there’s too much temptation there that purposefully putting yourself into such a situation like that can itself be a sin.
Praying to the Saints as ‘worship’ is easily dispelled and not an occasion for idolatry because even a poorly catechized Catholic is not likely (from my observations) to be praying much at all, let alone to the Saints. Protestants only claim that because that is what they are told by their elders, who were told by their elders, etc. who were told that because someone didn’t like Catholics.
These are two different animals.
Living together invites an occasion to sin due to biology, psychology, and just plain human nature. We are designed to procreate and close proximity increases the likelihood of your emotions getting the better of your rational mind. If you have not experienced this I can tell you it is real and powerful. It will not affect you with everyone and each person is different. However, the Church tries to give general rules for our protection.
True we should not assume the worst. The scandal part is a bit more complicated, my simple take on this is that there are sociological factors. People tend look at a situation through what they know and their own experiences. Others here can clarify this for you.
As far as the prayers to saints and Mary, the problem is understanding what is going on.
We WORSHIP God and Jesus through prayer
We PETITION saints and Mary for help through prayer (angels also fall in this category)
When cornered by a Protest friend of mine I pointed out a few things:
When you die, do you stop caring for those you left behind? The lives of saints show they care deeply about those around them, especially the suffering.
Why wouldn’t God let them help out after they die?
God created angels (9 choirs of them) to do his will, why cannot people who achieve the beatific vision also help to do his will?
The closest bond a person can have in life is with their mother. Why would that disappear for Jesus and Mary?
You get the idea hopefully.
Look at the prayers to saints, angels, and Mary more closely, they are petitions for assistance but in no way put them above God or Christ (which would be horrifying for them).
Have you ever asked a Protestant/non-Catholic to pray for you?
Has a Protestant/non-Catholic ever asked you to pray for him/her, or for his/her sick family member?
Have you ever known a Protestant to pray for another Protestant who is struggling with a personal problem?
If so, do you think that the person asking you to pray for him is actually worshipping *you *as though you were God Himself, or is he simply asking God to “lend you an ear” on his behalf?
When Protestants/non-Catholics send “get well - praying for you” cards to people suffering from illness, or when they express condolences over someone’s death and say to the surviving family members “I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers”, do you think that they believe they are becoming Godlike themselves, or do they just realize that they can petition on behalf of another?
If you or any other non-Catholic don’t believe that asking for another’s prayers elevates that particular person to a status deserving of worship, there’s no reason to think that petitioning Mary or the Saints would be any different.
We should not even give the appearance of sin; this causes scandal.
Example: a priest from New York City loves the New York Times newspaper. He travels to Alabama for a month----- he asks around where can he find a newsstand that sells the NY Times? The only place in town to sell it is the local XXX adult bookstore/video store.
Sure he could go in there to purchase his newspaper, but it gives the appearance of him going into a porn store to buy porn, thereby causing scandal.
Hi CAF’s angel,
Probably involuntarily, but you are comparing totally unrelated things.
According to your posts praying for the saints is an occasion of sin to idolatry.
This is a common argument of fundamentalist protestants, which I think is a weak one for the following reason:
Idolatry means to worship false gods.
Mary, St. Therese, St. Ignatius and all the other saints are not gods, neither false gods. They are people like you and me, however they lived a such holy, blessed and miraculous life that we believe they are in Heaven. In Heaven with God, so I don’t see how can they be false gods at the same time.
We never **worship **the saints. We ask for their intercession, because as said before we believe they are in Heaven.
For example, I am having a very hard time in University. So I’d would kindly ask you to remember me in your prayers (please :crying:). I will thank you later for praying for me. This doesn’t make you a god, I wasn’t worshipping you either, hence no idolatry present here.
As for the real occasion of sin, concerning the cohabitation before marriage, it may sound like this is a punishment, however it is the other way: avoiding such occasions is a way to keep people spiritually healthy. For example, would you have a recovering alcoholic hanging out on a bar (of course he could drink orange juice you say :D)? A game addict chilling on a casino (reading a book :D)? In the same way we are sinners, and our flesh is weak, yet we want to stay as far as we can from sin. Then why would we test the boundaries? Don’t poke the bear!