Catholics pray to saints and angels for intercession, correct? But do Catholics believe that the saints and angels have their own unique being and can help you out on their own with their own powers or influences? Can one have a Patron Saint or Patron Angel?
Sure, but all power or influences are only a share in God’s.
So essentially, it’s all interconnected?
Everyone in Heaven is a Saint. Those "Saints’ that are pointed to (St. Francis of Assisi for example) are those whom the Church holds up as a person to emulate in one’s life. But anyway, each saint has their own unique being since we will be a saint if we reach Heaven and will still be a “being”.
The “powers” deal. Everything the Saints do is through God. God gives them the ability to help those on Earth. This is mostly through praying for those down here. I mean, just because you are in Heaven doesn’t mean you can’t pray.
And folks do have patron angels. They are called Guardian Angels. They are angels assigned to each person by God. Folks usually pick patron saints to emulate. God doesn’t give you a saint to watch over you (although, who knows?). But all the saints do pray for us.
Let me ask it this way. Let’s say I’m an architect and I pray, “St. Joseph, give me the grace and knowledge to build this house,” would that be a legitimate Catholic prayer?
We each have a Guardian Angel assigned by God.
We can have a Patron Saint. It can be the saint our parents named us after, the saint whose name we choose for confirmation, or any other saint we especially like and want to help us. We can have more than one if we want.
But any “power” the saint or angel has is actually the power of God, working through that saint/angel or because that saint/angel asked God to help. Saints and angels do not have powers on their own.
So a prayer to a Saint or Angel is done with the understanding that the power comes from God and flows through them from God?
Yup. Perfectly fine.
Your prayer would be a little off. St. Joseph doesn’t give grace or knowledge. He can ask for God to help you in these areas. He can help you by praying for you and being with you. A more Catholic way of putting it would be, “St. Joseph, please help me to get the grace and knowledge I need to build the house” or “St. Joseph, please be with me and guide and protect me when I build this house” or “Dear God, in Jesus’ name, please give me the grace and knowledge I need to build this house. St. Joseph, please pray for my intention.”
I note that Mary does specifically give graces, again through the power of God, not just on her own, so it is okay to ask her for a specific grace. One doesn’t usually ask this of other saints though. Mary is special that way.
So Catholics believe that God is the power source of the saints and angels, correct? So does that mean that the Catholic theology is like a multi-faced diamond, in that God has many faces and powers through the saints and angels?
No, God is God. He doesn’t have to exercise power through any creature.
Hmmm. Power course maybe but not the many faces part. Think of asking your Mom to pray for you. That is basically what you are doing when you ask a Saint to pray for you. The Saints prayer would just be more perfect in a sense because they are closer to God and their wills are more directly aligned to God, but it is still the same thing in principle. God can channel grace through anything. But like Tis_Bearself said, God doesn’t have to channel grace through anything if he doesn’t want to.
Ok. What if I prayed it this way, “St. Joseph, by the divine power of God, give me the grace and knowledge to build this house?”
You’re still asking St. Joseph to give you something other than his prayerful support. St. Joseph would tell you, “Gifts come from God. Let’s both ask him together for what you need.”
I am not sure I understand the last question, but we believe in the Trinity.
Then we believe all of Creation declare the glory of God.
We believe all Goodness comes from God.
He is self sufficient.
But by choice, He created all Creation.
All power is by God.
He is who gives power and grants authority.
To understand this, a layperson can pray that bread become the Eucharist. A priest can demand it, and it will happen, for they are given such authority by God.
However, this is all by God and by His Will.
The prayer of one is stronger depending on his faith and righteousness. The prayer of the righteous is strong. The prayer of the angels and saints is strong, and all power and authority comes from God to answer the prayers we ask of saints.
This is very similar to asking someone alive for their prayers, but we are asking those truly alive in Christ.
So then, St. Joseph is like a lawyer for the architect, speaking to the judge who is God and asking for God’s favor upon me?
Or perhaps a better word would be advocate instead of lawyer.
In fact in the Hail Holy Queen prayer to Mary, we say, “Turn then, most gracious ADVOCATE, thine eyes of mercy towards us…”
They plead for our cause to the Almighty, who says yes or no.
I see. Thank you.
What about something like this?
“Saint Hubertus, Patron of the Woodlands, pray for us, that by God’s divine power, our wildlands be saved and preserved to the glory of the Creator. Amen.”