Does praying directly to Jesus and asking for favors have the same kind of impact with God as praying to Mary and/or the saints and asking for their intercession? If its better to ask Mary or Joseph or whatever saint to intercede, should I stop praying to Jesus altogether? On the other hand, in the Bible it quotes Jesus as saying “no one comes to the Father but through me”, so that really confuses me.
Never, never stop praying to Jesus. The Church has never taught that we should pray to the saints INSTEAD of praying to Jesus. We ask the saints to pray WITH us. All prayer goes through Him to the Father because He is the perfect mediator.
The ultimate prayer is His passion. At Mass when the priest takes His Body and Blood and says: "Through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all glory and honor is Yours, Almighty Father for ever and ever, we add our “Amen.” WIth this, His perfect prayer becomes our own.
We ask the saints for prayer just as we ask each other because we care about each other. It’s a matter of love. It’s not a matter of how we can best get the results we want. The source of such love is Jesus. If He determines that what we are asking for is ultimatley not good for us, then we must accept His answer, trusting in His love for us.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.