Saints must be omniscient!


#1

:confused: If the Saints in Heaven can hear the world’s prayers…does that make them omniscient? I know the Church does not teach this but what is the explaination of this? They know and see all…is that not omniscient?

Or does God tell them what is going on and they pray for us? Or does God give them this ability?:confused:


#2

If I can hear all prayers does that mean I know the secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Omniscient is to know everything and is applicable only to God.

It is analagous to saying because I can hear everything in my field of hearing I am omniscient. But what of prayers directed to God alone? Why would Saints here those?

Even if Saints could hear EVERY prayer of all time and not just prayers directed at them in no way do prayers constitute all knowlege, even all knowlege in people’s hearts, the source of prayers.

Great knowledge is still infinitely less than infinite knowledge (omniscience) which belongs to God alone.

Hope this helped.


#3

Put it this way - my favourite example. St John in the book of Revelation was granted a vision where he saw and heard everyone - in heaven, on Earth and under the Earth - praising God. Certainly this went well beyond the normal bounds of human capability. Do you think it made St John omniscient though? Or even omnipresent? Certainly not. It just means that he saw and heard what God wanted him to see and hear.

Same with Saints. They may be able to see and hear (and do other things) well beyond our earthly capabilities. And the fact that they’re in heaven which is beyond time, for starters, certainly would help with this. It doesn’t mean their powers are infinite, or even that those powers are attributable to themselves, rather than being a gracious participation in God’s work such as all humans do from time to time.


#4

From cin.org/users/james/files/praying.htm :

Q: How can the saints hear our prayers? Aren’t you making them out to be omniscient and omnipresent?

A: Certainly not! That is a canard often tossed out by anti-Catholics who are not acquainted with the Catholic view of the saints.

The saints certainly have more knowledge than we do in this life:

“For [now] we know in part … but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).
We will never be omniscient, and certainly we will not be omnipresent, but we will be aware of many things which we are not now cognizant of.

The standard account for how the saints are aware of our prayers is that, because they have the beatific vision of God, they see in God all of the knowledge they need, all of the knowledge that is relevant to them, and so they see our prayers to them. On the standard account is thus by the omniscience of God that they become aware of our prayers, though they themselves are never omniscient and never take in the full scope of God’s knowledge, only those parts that are relevant to them.

However that may be, there is simply a big, huge difference-in fact, an infinitely huge difference-between being “multiscient” (knowing many things) and “omniscient” (knowing all things). We will never cross from the one to the other, and it is simply a straw man of anti-Catholic posturing to represent the expanded knowledge of those in heaven as if it were infinite knowledge. It is a classic case of triumphalistically bashing a position that nobody holds.

Jeremy


#5

Tobit (12:12, 15) and Revelation (8:3-4) seem to indicate that angels act as messengers and take our prayers to the heaven court. The English word angel is from the Greek word angelos which means messenger.


#6

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