Saints Prayers seem to have worship?


#1

Listening to Madrid and White go at it about Comm of Saints. White quotes a prayer to a Saint having the words to some effect “We place our souls in your care” or " We entrust our souls to you."

I kinda had a problem with prayers like that I have seen. How can we refute the idolotry accusation when some prayers to certain Saints have language like this?


#2

Honestly…I don’t have trouble with it. My own children’s soul is in my care…It isn’t worship…it is love. God is never jealous when we love one another.

Worship is in the mind and heart…people do not accidently worship…

A lot of protestants, I could say most protestants, do not understand the communion of saints. I myself don’t have the ability to love a person that I do not know as well as the person who wrote the prayers that you quoted. I hope to get there someday!


#3

White quotes a prayer to a Saint having the words to some effect “We place our souls in your care” or " We entrust our souls to you."

I wonder if Mr. White has ever written his wife a love letter, read her a poem or perhaps just told her he loved her? And if he hasn’t, well then that is just a shame. :shrug:

But if he has, I sure hope he wasn’t worshipping her.

God bless


#4

I have had a hard time explaing these prayers and their wording to my pals. “I Enrtust my soul to you oh blessed St. X” very well seems like something you should only be saying to God. It mirrors Christ’s “Father into your hands I commend my Spirit.”

“I mean we wouldn’t say that to our neighbor or our pastors or priests would we? And if you think it is wrong to say that to a living person in the Body of Christ it should still be wrong to say that to a Saint in Heaven.” that was my friend’s arguement that still bugs me to this day.


#5

Why? Haven’t you ever heard the common (at least in Australia and the UK) older form of wedding vows where each spouse says to the other ‘with my body I thee worship’??? :confused:

Haven’t you ever heard a husband or wife say to their spouse ‘I love/adore/worship you with *all *my heart and soul’, or ‘my heart and soul are yours’, or more dramatically still just ‘I am yours’???

Are these people also worshipping their loved ones in a way that is only reserved for God alone? Of course not. Such emotive language is part and parcel of love. It doesn’t indicate an improper devotion, nor does it preclude a complete and proper devotion to God.


#6

No I’m in the states. I think “I am yours” would mean spouse. And if there was an “I worship you” in a prayer to a Saint then it would be open season on Comm. of Saints for Protestants!! I

get what you are saying about how there is love for God AND someone on earth. There is a difference between veneration AND worship but using those words in prayers makes it that much harder to convince them that there IS a distinction.


#7

What, none of them ever think or say the words ‘love/adore/worship with all my heart and soul’ themselves in regard to their own spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends, and have never heard them so used by others? That’s very difficult to believe if not impossible.


#8

They are VERY particular with the word “worship.” Only to God. Even adore…as in adoration…is only to God. I know how to use them in the ways you speak of, but when engaged in religious talk…adoration and worship are red flags.


#9

Then they’re being inconsistent - and it’s for you to point out their inconsistency. That they’re happy to say or hear that someone ‘worships the ground’ that their loved one walks on, and yet if we said the same thing about our loved ones, the Saints, who we love just like we love our families, spouses and friends and no more, somehow it’s supposedly wrong.


#10

Lots of Catholic prayers have language like this, especially Marian prayers.

It is troubling to us non-Catholic Christians for sure.


#11

They are VERY particular with the word “worship.” Only to God. Even adore…as in adoration…is only to God. I know how to use them in the ways you speak of, but when engaged in religious talk…adoration and worship are red flags.

If these people wish to reject the idea of Protestants using such words, phrases or what have you, fine. However this suggests that their problem is not the use of certain words in prayer, but with Catholicism… big surprise :blush:

God bless


#12

Atemi can u give us an example of a common prayer you know of that troubles you?


#13

That is exactly the point. It is the use of language in a religious and spiritual context.

I do not use such words in that context when addressing my wife who I love dearly.

I do not tell other Christians:

[LIST]
*]to “be my salvation”
*]to “Obtain for all men the priceless gift of mutual love”
*]to “release me from my fears”
*]to “provide for us in the necessities of life”
*]that “I dedicate myself and all who belong to me to thy service forever”
*]to “Obtain for me the grace to see Christ in all human beings”
*]to “Be for me the ladder and the way to heaven”
[/LIST]

Etc., etc…

I find the goal of distracting the moral objector with similar words used in a non-religious/spiritual/prayer context to be disingenuous.


#14

It shouldn’t be. James tells us, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” Is it wrong, then, for us to rely on the very people God has told us can and do “save our soul from death,” and to say, “I entrust my soul to you”?

Issue with such terminology is just another manifestation of the latent gnosticism in Protestantism, its implicit rejection of the fact that God works through matter, and through the people of the Chuch, our family, to achieve His goal of giving us eternal salvation.

Jeremy


#15

You’ve never asked another Christian to reassure you? That’s what ‘release me from my fears’ means. You’ve never asked them to help you get to heaven? That’s what ‘be the ladder and way to heaven’ means.

“Provide for us in the necessities of life” - you’ve never asked anyone to give you things that you need? Not even your parents? And if you never said it you’ve certainly done the deed of being completely dependent on them for all things.

See Mary and the Saints, albeit they’re not physically alive, DO stand in a human relationship to us - they’re my mother, and my brothers and sisters in Christ. So when I use such language it is almost exactly the same way as I might speak to my natural mother, spouse or siblings. Not really different. And if I were in the heights of poetic rapture I might indeed use a lot of such flowery language.

The way I speak to and of the Blessed Trinity, however, and the relationship I stand in with the Father, Son and Spirit, is ENTIRELY different. And the context of the language I use is as well.


#16

One, James was addressing living Christians.

Two, he is talking about a living Christian personally intervening in someone’s life to correct them from a life of sin.

Three, who was the last living Christian you told that you entrust your soul to them?

Four, we are to entrust our souls to God:

Psa 25:20 “Keep my soul, and deliver me;
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.”

Issue with such terminology is just another manifestation of the latent gnosticism in Protestantism, its implicit rejection of the fact that God works through matter, and through the people of the Chuch, our family, to achieve His goal of giving us eternal salvation.

No. It is simpler than that.

Issue with such terminology arises because over 1,180 chapters of inspired Scripture, covering thousands of years, never even hint at speaking to the dead in any such fashion.

I cannot yet bring myself to believe that was an oversight.


#17

I was Catholic long enough to know better, Lily.


#18

John wrote in his first epistle, “If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.” James, as mentioned in my previous post, wrote, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” God has made it abundantly clear that the members of our spiritual family work with him in our salvation. How can it be wrong to ask them for their assistance in our salvation, then? Certainly you recognize that we Catholics seek God first and foremost for our salvation.

to “Obtain for all men the priceless gift of mutual love”

The Bible teaches that prayer genuinely causes things to happen. James writes, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.” When we ask a saint to obtain something, we’re asking him to pray for it, recognizing this fact: that his prayer genuinely does something.

to "release me from my fears"
to “provide for us in the necessities of life”

As above, and furthermore, what child has not asked his parents or older siblings this very thing? How can it be wrong to ask the our spiritual family to calm our fears or provide some of our needs (through their effective prayer) when it isn’t wrong when we ask our earthly family for such things?

that “I dedicate myself and all who belong to me to thy service forever”

Paul calls us to serve each other: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Does this somehow preclude our brothers and sisters in heaven?

And let’s not forget how similar this dedication is to any of several civil or military oaths we take in service to our country.

to “Obtain for me the grace to see Christ in all human beings”

Again, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Do you claim that we’re sinning by asking a saint to obtain for us something by prayer?

to “Be for me the ladder and the way to heaven”

If covering our sins and saving our souls from death does not qualify in some way as participation in Christ’s saving work, I don’t know what does.

All you have to do is go to one mass to see that we Catholics clearly do not ignore, reject, or otherwise diminish the work that Christ did on the cross for our salvation. What we do recognize, however, is that He has called us on earth and our family in heaven to work with him and the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the salvation of His people. How then can it be sinful to ask God’s coworkers to work with Him for our salvation?

Jeremy


#19

I don’t care how long your stint of Catholicism was, if you think we give Mary or the Saints anything that is due to God alone then you are entirely mistaken in your understanding of the faith.

If I honestly worshipped Mary or the Saints I’d be loudly and proudly saying so, and certainly I’d fear their wrath if I denied that they were divine!


#20

Yes, and his words apply just as much to Christians living with Christ in heaven. Of course James was addressing living Christians. That doesn’t mean that what he said was inapplicable to those in heaven who are praying for us.

Two, he is talking about a living Christian personally intervening in someone’s life to correct them from a life of sin.

That’s not what the passage says. The passage says, “if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back.” It doesn’t describe the method, would could be by personal intervention, or it could be by prayer (John specifically notes the efficacy of prayer in such matters, as I’ve previously noted). Don’t read your prejudices into Scripture and then expect me to accept them as the word of God.

Three, who was the last living Christian you told that you entrust your soul to them?

I don’t, generally, for the very reason that they still struggle with their own sin. Those in heaven do not: they’ve been made perfect, they have the holiness without which a person cannot see God, and they can be relied upon all the more to guard my soul as an earthly older brother or sister would guard my body.

Four, we are to entrust our souls to God:

Psa 25:20 “Keep my soul, and deliver me;
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.”

And we’re clearly free to recognize the biblical fact that God chooses to preserve our soul through people whom we are perfectly justified in asking to do God’s work.

Issue with such terminology arises because over 1,180 chapters of inspired Scripture, covering thousands of years, never even hint at speaking to the dead in any such fashion.

Except for, you know, that time that Jesus Christ Himself did it, and that time that we saw Jeremiah praying for Jerusalem in heaven, and that time we saw Dives pray to Lazarus, and so on…

Jeremy


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.