So, I’ve been looking at the One Mediator counterargument against prayers to saints, and I don’t really know what to think. They say that praying to a saint is adding a Mediator between God (Jesus) and man, and is not sanctioned in Scripture. I kind of have to agree, there are no outright(clear) references I can find. Anyone help me refute this?
Why can’t we be mediators between Jesus and each other? As Catholics we believe in The Communion of the Saints. We pray with them to Our Lord. Even in Revelations the saints are lifting up prayers and incense to God.
This issue, in its theological explanation, is comparable to the role of Mary in the lives of the faithful. The college of bishops, gathered in ecumenical council, well explain the matter in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – Lumen Gentium. They declared.
/…/ Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. **This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source**.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
Thus also, theologically, the intercessory intervention of the Saints is not at all in competition with Christ’s munus as Mediator but rather rests upon it and derives its efficacity from it.
The paradigm of the priesthood of Christ and its varied participation by the clergy and the laity, each in their distinct and proper way, provides an excellent parallel to the mediatorship of Christ and how others participate in it, by the will of God.
Yes, Christ is the only mediator between God and man, but that speaks of the atonement he made for us and how he reconciles us to God by this atonement. Jesus died for our sins–not Mary or any of the Saints. Jesus was God incarnate–not Mary or any of the Saints. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus was the only one found worthy in all of creation to open the scrolls. He is the only one who could have made atonement for us.
This mediation is not the same as prayer, however. When we pray for each other or when we ask others to pray for us–including Mary and the Saints–we are only beseeching God on others’ behalf. We all have had to rely on the One Mediator between God and Man–our Lord Jesus Christ. He still is the only mediator between God and man in that only through Jesus do we receive forgiveness for our sins. Mary and the saints do not do this–only Jesus.
Yes! It is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that made our Blessed Mother and the saints holy! Of course, they freely cooperated with the Lord to grow in that grace. We are family! And our Blessed Mother is a great gift from our Lord, given to us at the foot of the cross!
As Father points out earlier in the thread, the mediation of Our Lady and the saints is participation in the Lord’s ministry as Mediator between God and man. This is also true of priests, who participate in Christ’s role, acting as mediators on earth between God and men (especially in the sacrament of reconciliation). All of us are called to this same role, to one degree or another… do you pray for your family and friends? Are you not then mediating between them and God? Like the saints in heaven, you, by virtue of your baptism in which you “put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27), are called to participate in the ministry of Christ and intercede for others.
The Lord doesn’t need the saints nor us…but He chooses to work with and through His servants. The Lord Jesus could have appeared to have living human directly and preached the Gospel Himself…yet He chose to send us out…to be mediators of a sort.
In terms of the intercession of the saints in Scripture, take a look at Revelation chapters 5 and 8. You will see descriptions of both “the elders” (saints in heaven) and an angel interceding for those on earth.