Praying To Saints - NCC Friends Response


#1

My friends response to my defending, praying to saints and scripture:

“Personally, I think it is not only good–I think it to be correct, this asking the saints to stand with you in prayer and agreement.
Having not been raised in a system who would go to the saints in heaven I would not see a need for such but this would take some amount of looking into. The first concern I see is identifying those who are in heaven.
I know that ther are some folks I want too see in heaven, want them too be there. There are those I think should be. I don’t know that for sure”.

Where should I go from here? Thanks and God Bless!


#2

Your friend seems quite reasonable. As for identifying those in heaven, it is one of the freely-given gifts of God that He has allowed the Church to know with certainty the identity of some (a very few) of those in heaven, so that they may be our guideposts and members of our heavenly family. This is yet another case of the importance and benefit of the Church.

And personally, I am quite sure that if one prayed intercessory prayer to someone who was thought to be in heaven and that person was not, that God would understand the gesture and the intention and would not in any way be offended.


#3

PRECISELY.
This is yet another example of the “God can do anything he wants” belief that we Catholics have and that Protestants have a hard time with (for whatever reason).
Another is transubstantiation.
Why is it so hard to understand that God is not bound by time or human reason? This to me is the highest hurdle for the non-Catholic.


#4

Besides this, we can ask the holy souls in purgatory to pray for us because, like us and those who are enjoying the Beatific Vision, we are all one Body in Christ, not separated into the “living and the dead.” This is Jesus’ own teaching–that those who have died are not dead but alive in God:

Matthew 22:32 “`I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not God of the dead, but of the living.”

Mark 12:27a “He is not God of the dead, but of the living…”

Luke 20:38 “Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to him.”


#5

I think I would like this person. LoL.

Well, who do they think would be in Heaven? If they can find one Saint who they’d like to help them (Maybe not Mary if they’re touchy about that, maybe Mother Teresa of Calcutta, because that was during their lifetime, or, if you know a hobby of theirs, find a saint for them who shares that hobby and introduce them) if they can find one, they’ll get more comfortable and learn the benefit of the Communion of Saints.

At the same time, this might help: people.howstuffworks.com/question619.htm

and I’d specifically mention:

“According to the Catholic church, the pope does not make someone a saint – the designation of sainthood only recognizes what God has already done. For centuries, saints were chosen through public opinion. In the 10th century, Pope John XV developed an official canonization process”

This site is slightly more technical:
catholic-pages.com/saints/process.asp

Make sure your friend realizes that the life of the person is judged (as they will be before God) and the life after the person has died, in the examination of post-death miracles. It’s difficult to be canonized, but we have reasonable proof that the canonized saints are in Heaven.


#6

The Communion of Saints (MP3 Link)
Copyright 2000, John Martignoni

Catholic Teaching
A. Catechism of the Catholic Church #946-962
1. The Communion of Saints is the Church; #946
2. All members of the one body - Christ; #947
3. All Christians are connected through the Body of Christ; #953, 2 Cor 2:5, and 2 Cor 1:5
B. Communion of Saints-Underlying Principles
1. Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ; Rom 12:4-5, 1 Cor 12:12-13
a. Through baptism; Col 2:12; Rom 6:4,Gal 3:27
2. Physical death does not separate us from the Body of Christ; Rom 8:38-39
3. There is only one Body of Christ, in Heaven and on Earth; Eph 2:15-16; Eph 4:4
4. The Church is the Body of Christ; Eph 1:22-23, Col 1:18,24
C. Just as we can pray for one another, we can suffer for one another; Col 1:24

II. Objections to Catholic Teaching
A. Contrary to Deut 18:10-12, �calling up the dead�
1. Misinterpretation of Scripture; this is about the occult
2. Misunderstanding of Catholic practice and teaching; Catholics do not use mediums, spiritists, etc. to �call up the dead�
3. Saints in Heaven are �alive�; Mt 22:31-32 God is the God of the Living!
4. Mt 17:1-4, Elijah and Moses �appear� to Jesus and 3 disciples
B. Terminology: �Prayer� to Mary or �Prayer� to the Saints is not worshipping them; it is asking or re- questing their prayer and intercession. E.g., �I pray thee, brothers and sisters, pray for me.�
C. Saints in Heaven can’t hear us or see us; therefore, we cannot pray to them
1. Saints in Heaven do not have the same limitations that we have on Earth: Rev 21:21;1 Cor 13:12; 1 Cor 15:49; 2 Ptr 1:4; 1 Cor 2:9
2. God reveals certain knowledge to angels and saints in Heaven; 1 Cor 2:10, Rev 6:9-10, 1 Sam 28:8-19, Lk 16:19-31
3. Angels and saints, to some extent, know what’s in a person’s heart and mind; Luke 15:7-10, Mt 22:29-30, Heb 12:1
D. Prayer to Mary and the Saints is attributing God-like power to them
1. Example of left hand sticking right hand with needle; all impulses 1st go through the brain
2. All prayer 1st goes through Christ; everything is through Him, with Him, and in Him; Mary and the Saints have no power of their own

Summary:
1) Saints in Heaven are alive, not dead;
2) Saints and angels in Heaven have some knowledge of events, present and future, on Earth; and some knowledge of interior dispositions;
3) This knowledge is not of their own power, it is only through Jesus Christ.

II. Objections (cont’d)
E. Why waste your time praying to the Saints when you can go straight to Jesus?
1. Why waste your time asking me for prayer when you can go straight to Jesus?
2. Misunderstanding-you cannot go to the Saints with out 1st going to Jesus (Head of the Body)
3. Prayer of a righteous man; James 5:16, 1 Ptr 3:12, Heb 12:22-23, Job 42:7-10, Ex 17:8-13
4. If there are no righteous ones on earth (Rom 3:10),and therefore, according to Protestant argument, Mary was not sinless, who was James talking about in 5:16?
5. Saints in Heaven love us and want to pray for us; �Love never ends�� 1 Cor 13:8

F. Biggest objection to Catholic teaching - 1 Tim 2:5; Jesus' role as �sole mediator between God and man�
	1. Catholics agree that Jesus is the �sole mediator between God and man�. Jesus is the only one who is true God and true man; only by Jesus' blood are we saved; but, as members of Jesus' Body, we can share in His role as mediator as He 	allows us to 
	2. Moses, Abraham, Job are examples of mediation and intercession between God and man; praying for one another here on earth is an example of mediating and interceding between God and man
	3. 1 Tim 2:5 is being misinterpreted
	4. Only one foundation, Jesus: 1 Cor 3:11.  Yet, other foundations: Eph 2:19-20, Rev 21:14
	5. Only one Lord, Jesus: Eph 4:4-5 Yet, other lords: Rev 19:16, 1 Ptr 3:6
	6. Only one judge, Jesus: James 4:12, 2 Tim 4:1. Yet, other judges: 1 Cor 6:2, Lk 22:28-30
	7. Only one Father, God: Mt 23:9 Yet, other fathers: Acts 7:2, Acts 22:1, 1 Cor 4:15	

II. Objections (cont’d)
8. Only one teacher, Jesus: Mt 23:6-8 (NKJV). Yet, other teachers: Acts 13:1, 1 Cor 12:28
9. More examples of intercessors/mediators: Mt 18:10, Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3-4

Summary: Scripture tells us that there is only one Foundation, only Lord, only one Judge, only one Father, only one Teacher, just as it tells us there is one Mediator; yet, Scripture also shows us that there is more than one judge, more than one foundation, more than one lord, more than one judge, more than one father, more than one teacher. Does scripture contradict itself? No! Jesus is the head of the Body. Jesus grants different members of the Body the graces to share in His role as foundation, as lord, as judge, as father, as teacher, and yes, as mediator. The members of the Body are allowed…through, with, and in Jesus Christ…to share in the grace and glory of the Head, Jesus Christ. And, as we have seen, Scripture is full of examples of people sharing in the mediation of Christ.


#7

I’m not so sure about this…here is my understanding:

  1. Those in heaven can pray for us and for those in purgatory.
  2. We can pray for those in purgatory but don’t need to pray for those in heaven.
  3. Those in purgatory cannot pray for us nor for themselves - which is why they need our prayers.

Thoughts anyone?


#8

I’ve always understood that souls in Purgatory could pray for us but not for themselves. I’m not sure that’s right, though. It’s just what I always understood.


#9

Could I get a chapter and verse that says WHO has gone to heaven?


#10

My friend that I mention on the initial post, has gotten very quiet, since I followed up with the passages from Rev. 5 and Rev. 8.

Now another has given his opinion on Revelations. — My last question was, If the saints are in Heaven, then what are they praying for? Here is his answer.

“Well, the prayers of the saints are what the scriptures are talking about. However, keeping in mind that after Chapter 3 of Revelation the church has been taken out (i.e. Raptured) and at this point ALL Christians are in Heaven.
If you will note, the Church (i.e. ALL CHRISTIANS) is not mentioned after Chapter 4 in Revelation, until the marrige supper of the Lamb, to the chuch i.e. the Bride of Christ. More will be won to Christ during TRIBULATION but, at the point you speak of All Christians have been Raptured, and are doing what all saints (which is any saved person) will be doing for eternity”.

This comes from the same guy that accuses us of praying to “a bunch of dead people”!

How should I now respond? Thank you in advance!


#11

Well, if you want to get into the rapture with him;

catholic.com/library/Rapture.asp

Good luck, because even as a protestant I didn’t fully understand the idea of the rapture, even though I explained it to multiple athiests in detail. Actually, one time one of my other friends was listening in and said “You know, I’ve been taught the Bible for almost twelve years, and I’ve never heard about what you’re talking about.” (She was Catholic :stuck_out_tongue: ).


closed #12

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