Praying to Saints


#1

How come Catholics pray to Saints?


#2

[quote=jc91087]How come Catholics pray to Saints?
[/quote]

Well, James tells us that the prayer of a righteous man is powerful indeed (James 5:16)

James likewise instructs us to we are to seek out the righteous to assist us in our prayers.

So who is more righteous that those who are experiencing Heaven right now.


#3

[quote=jc91087]How come Catholics pray to Saints?
[/quote]

Because the Saints in heaven are part of the Church, and in the Scriptures we have examples of Christians asking for prayer and are exhorted to pray to pray for others.

For more details, see this short tract:

catholic.com/library/Praying_to_the_Saints.asp


#4

But where in the Bible does it say to pray TO Saints?


#5

When we say pray to saints, we really ask them to pray along with us to Jesus.
This is tied into the concept of the Body of Christ and Communion of Saints.

We are the Body of Christ. This means we share in some way that is mystery in Christ’s Body. We are united to Him, the head, through His body.
So to ask a Saint to pray for us is to pray to Christ since we are praying within His Body.

To pray has a different meaning than to worship, by the way. Praying to a saint does not mean that Catholcis worship saints. There is a big difference here.


#6

[quote=jc91087]But where in the Bible does it say to pray TO Saints?
[/quote]

To pray means to ask. It’s root is a middle english word, like in the sentence, “pray tell, what happened at school today?”

Catholics do not believe that proof texts are explicitly necessary in the bible alone since Catholics do not believe that the bible alone is the sole rule of faith and morals.

However, these verses demonstrate that asking a saint to pray for us is biblical and is a part of the Apostolic faith:

Jer 15:1; Acts 12:5; Rom 15:30;

2Cor 13:7; Eph 6:18; Col 4:3 1Thess 5:25;

2Thess 3:1; Heb 13:18; Jas 5:16 Tobit 12:12;

2Mac 15:14; Rev 5:8; 8:3-4, Heb 7:25, Rev 14:4

These verses demonstrate the idea of the Saints as members of the Body of Christ who are intimately united with Christ and continue to participate in His work of redemption.


#7

Here is what the Catechism explains:

956 The intercession of the saints. Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness… They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.

957 Communion with the saints. “It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself”:
We worship Christ as God’s Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciple


#8

[quote=jc91087]But where in the Bible does it say to pray TO Saints?
[/quote]

Your question presumes that everything that we need to know as Christians has to be explicitly stated in Scripture. Scripture itself nowhere teaches this approach to the Bible and an adherence to an erroneous Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura) interpretation results in several difficulties. For example, how do you know what books belong in the Bible? The table of contents is not inspired and had to be decided by an authoritative Church.

So to answer your question: The Bible doesn’t say directly to pray to saints, but doesn’t explicity forbid it. The question then becomes: can it be supported Scripturally and by the constant witness of the Church from the very, very (post-Apostolic) beginning.

The article I referenced above answers the first question, and here is one that addresses the second:
catholic.com/library/Intercession_of_the_Saints.asp


#9

[quote=jc91087]But where in the Bible does it say to pray TO Saints?
[/quote]

First of all, I think you might have some misconceptions about the verb “To Pray”

“To Pray” means *to ask, to implore, to humbly request * ( root word Latin Precari - to ask)

A lot of Protestant confuse that verb with “To Worship”, they think it’s one and the same. It’s Not.

The Bible certainly doesn’t prohibit is from asking (praying) others to pray for us, in In fact, as James points out, it’s highly encouraged.

We also know that the saints hear and are aware of us and our needs (Hebrews 11:36-12:1) They form a cloud of witnesses around us.

Do you think those in heaven STOP obeying God’s command to ‘pray for one an other’. They certainly have no need for us to pray on their behalf, be we certainly have need for their prayers to God on our behalf.


#10

In addition to what these guys have said :D, be aware we do not pray to the sainst INSTEAD of God, but IN ADDITION to God. :slight_smile:


#11

[quote=sententia]In addition to what these guys have said :D, be aware we do not pray to the sainst INSTEAD of God, but IN ADDITION to God. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Exactly!

When one asks (prays to) their Pastor to pray for them, it’s not like they are now praying to their Pastor rather than God, but asking\praying that the Pastor’s prayers to God be added to their own.


#12

But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?


#13

[quote=jc91087]But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?
[/quote]

Actually, we ARE basing our faith on what is in the Bible.

The Bible says to pray for one an other, correct?

We do that, ALL of us do that, the whole complete Body of Christ prays for one another.

It is Protestants that base their belief on what is not in the Bible.

Does James limit those who are to pray to only those in the material world, to only half of the Body of Christ?

No, he does not, but that is exactly what Protestants do. They put limits on Jame 5:16 that DO NOT EXIST in the Bible.

Where in the Bible does it say that we are to stop praying for one another because one of our number has achieved Eternal Salvation? Where does James put time limits? NOWHERE in the Bible, that’s for sure!

They seem to hold that there are Two “Bodies of Christ” one in the material world, one in the spiritual. And that is completely un-Biblical.

They hold that Hebrews 12:1 doesn’t mean the saints don’t actually witness (the Greek work here means ‘to give testimony to a Judge’ - and what Judge would they testify to), that they do not surround us.

It is they who have extra-Biblical traditions in this matter, not us.


#14

[quote=jc91087]But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?
[/quote]

And this is a subject for another Thread, The Bible is the Word of God, but why do you have the conclusion that the Bible is the COMPLETE Word of God given to men.

That itself is unBiblical :wink:


#15

[quote=jc91087]How come Catholics pray to Saints?
[/quote]

We pray with our whole family. We are the Church Militant (here on earth), we are the Church Suffering (in Purgatory), and we are the Church Triumphant (Heaven). We praise GOD in HIS Angels and in HIS Saints.


#16

[quote=jc91087]How come Catholics pray to Saints?
[/quote]

I have from time to time attended Protestant services and heard the minister ask the congregation to pray for someone in need.

Now, that’s the minister praying to the congregation (“pray” means “ask.”) And what’s he praying they do? Intercede!!

That’s exactly what Catholics do – we ask other people to pray for us. Some of those people are dead and in Heaven.


#17

[quote=jc91087]But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?
[/quote]

The bible must rely on an outside source for its authority otherwise we have a circular argument similar to the Koran or Book of Mormon.
Those both claim to be the inspired word of God as well, and yet we do not beleive that they are.

I would ask you, where did the bible come from, and who was it that determined the books that go in it.

Nowhere does the bible say that it is the sole rule of faith and morals. So if it does not say that, then what outside source do you use for your belief that the bible alone is the sole rule of faith?
That would logically be outside of the bible, which is a contradiction.


#18

Who was promised to be guided by the Holy Spirit into all truth?


#19

[quote=jc91087]But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?
[/quote]

How can you base all that you believe upon a doctrine that says all must be based upon the Bible to the exclusion of tradition, when the Word of God says, (1st Timothy 3:15) But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (Emphasis mine)

And again: (2nd Thessalonians 3:6) And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us. (Emphasis mine)

Re: The intercession of the saints…See Hebrews 12:1 & Romans 8:38-39. Do we cease to be part of the Body of Christ at death? What does St. James say is the avail of the prayers of a righteous man? (James 5:16)

Now… what does the New Testament say is the pillar and ground of the truth? And is all tradition wrong according to the New Testament?

Pax tecum,


#20

[quote=jc91087]But the Bible is the Word of God, how can you say that you don’t base all your faith and what not on the Bible?
[/quote]

A) No one disputes that the Bible is the Word of God.

B) You must have missed the part of my answer where I explained that Scripture itself nowhere teaches that it is entirely sufficient. If it does, will you please show me where?

While you’re at it (you must have missed this part of my answer too) how do you know what books even belong in the Bible? The table of contents is not inspired and had to be decided by an authoritative Church.

Maybe this will help:
catholic.com/library/Scripture_and_Tradition.asp


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