Saints praying for us questions

As a protestant, I’m having difficulty understanding praying together with a departed Saint about something. Aren’t they kind of busy worshipping God? (This is a serious question - I apologize if it doesn’t look that way). How much of their time/energy is spent interceeding for others on earth, and how much is spent on purely heavenly things?

A second, related question: What exactly does veneration mean? Is it the same type of thing as honoring a 90-year-old pastor for their decades of sacrifice and humility and putting others before themselves, being the kind of Christian that we all want to be like? Or am I missing the concept completely?

Thank you.

In Revelation 5:8, and 8:3-4, we see that the Saints’ prayers are offered up before the throne of the Lord. The Saints are no longer limited by time or space, and so human limitations no longer apply to them.

As to veneration, you are close. In venerating Mary, for instance, we are only recognizing the honor that the Lord gave her when He conceived of her in His mind and created her expressly for the bearing, raising and serving of His only Son. In the 100s, Saint Irenaeus wrote of Mary as the “cause of our salvation” inasmuch as her obedience to God in saying yes to Gabriel undid what Eve’s disobedience did at the fall from grace.

As to veneration, here is a section from the catechism:

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.” The honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.

For this reason, it is not sinful to have an image of Jesus, or to venerate a faithful pastor who is a servant of God.

That makes a lot of sense. But with the glories of heaven all around them, why would they choose to focus on us? Is it part of the job description for being in heaven?

Thanks, but…Do you have a “for dummies” version?

Well in Heaven you are going to be a part of the beatific vision. Which means you are going to be wanting to do good all the time. Part of worshiping God is doing his will. God’s will is that we have life, and abundantly. What greater sign of worship is there than to care for and love one another? Showing your love for another by praying for them is in fact, doing God’s will.

Veneration is just a big word for show great respect for. Like when someone puts their hand over their heart while the pledge is being said, or stands when the POTUS enters the room. These are all signs of ‘veneration.’ That is how Catholics are supposed to feel towards the Saints. They are supposed to be honored and respected because of the way they lived their lives. These were all people who allowed God to work so freely through them that it was apparent they were blessed. They were reflections of God’s love in a way that all of us can hope to have, but few will achieve in this life.

Being in the presence of Goodness Himself, and being a part of the Body of Christ - that portion that is triumphant in heaven, it is a good and holy thing to pray for other parts of the body. After all, a Saint wants others to experience the absolute joy that he or she experiences, and so it is only right to offer prayers - prayers which are much more effective than ours, since the Saints are perfected and stand in God’s presence. We know from the 5th chapter of the Epistle of James that “the prayers of a righteous man avail much”

There is Catholicism for Dummies (which may be used as a catechism), and the Compendium of the Catechism, which encapsulates Catholic teaching. Both are excellent references.

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