Hi all! I haven’t been a regular at church in a while, but I have attended a couple masses, since I’ve started to get interested in Catholicism. I seem to like mass better than my regular Protestant services but there are a few large questions I’ve had. My main question is about the saints and Mary. Now I do realize you don’t pray to Mary or the saints. I’ve had my 2 catholic friends try to explain it, but frankly both aren’t very intelligent. (One converted to Catholicism last year simply because it accepted drinking more than his baptist church and he has a strong hatred for gay.) Do Catholics pray through these saints and Mary because they are already in heaven? Or am I completely off point? Thanks in advance for any responses.
Catholics ask the saints to intercede for them through prayer, just as we ask our friends to pray for us. Since the saints are in Heaven, they are close to God.
He’s going to be in for a big surprise and some Christian growth - Catholics love people with same-sex attraction.
(It’s the acting out on sexual urges outside of marriage that sinful)
So does LCMS.
If by “pray to” you mean worship, no we don’t worship Mary and/or the saints. However we do pray to them for their intercession.
The saints are a part of the “communion of saints” of which there are three parts, those still on earth, those in heaven and those in purgatory. All three are part of the Body of Christ and are one, not divided for death does not divide us except physically. We are all joined to Christ and so are one in him no matter if we are living or dead. Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us about it: scborromeo.org/ccc/p123a9p5.htm#946.
Watch the interviews with Marcus Grodi (Journey Home) on YouTube.
You will find dozens of highly intelligent people answering all your questions!
Thanks for all the info. Another idea that’s is very foreign to me is purgatory. What scripture backs this up? I’m not attacking it I just want to know so I can research it.
When I first converted to Catholicism I was quite unsure about Mary and the Saints. I accepted that it was OK to ask them to pray for me since all are alive to God but I didn’t really feel the need to do so. And that’s fine, lots of Catholics rarely invoke the aid of the Christians in heaven, the only thing required is to believe that it is both possible and helpful to do so.
The longer I have been a Catholic though and the more I have read or heard about the lives of the saints and the reflections people have made about Mary the more I have realised that they are each of them instruments of God at work in the world. In their lives on earth they conveyed the goodness of God to each person they encountered, in their lives in heaven they continue their work of saving souls for God through prayer and adoration. And so it helps us here below to ask them to include us in their Holy work by adding their voices to our petitions.
My most recent blog Mary and Christian Meditation is about just this. But remember even if you don’t find having a relationship to our Lady and the saints helpful at this time it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a Catholic.
It always pleases Jesus when we show love for His mother and it always pleases Mary to lead us to Jesus.
An article that might be helpful: matt1618.freeyellow.com/purgatory.html.
The Bible does not mention the exact word “purgatory,” but instead it makes reference to a place which can be understood as what is referred to as purgatory. To claim that purgatory does not exist because the exact word does not appear in Scripture is a failure to understand Scripture.The first mention of Purgatory in the Bible is in 2 Maccabees 12:46: “Thus he made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin.”
Some people do not accept Maccabees as book of the Bible. This is unfortunate since it is that their Bibles have been edited and are missing books. Even if a person does not accept the book of Maccabees, it at least has historical value for we can learn what the pre-Christian community believed.
In Chapter 12 of Second Maccabees we read Scriptural proof for Purgatory and evidence that the Jews had sacrifices offered for those of their brothers who had lost their lives in battle. That the Jews prayed for the dead shows that they believed in a place where they could be helped (which we now call purgatory) and that the prayers of their living brothers and sisters could help them in that place. This is closely related to the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints.
During the Reformation in the 15th century, when Martin Luther was deciding to remove books from the Bible, these words in the book of Maccabees had so clearly favored Catholic teaching, that the whole book was removed from the Protestant Bible. Unfortunately for Protestants, even if they feel that the book was not inspired, it still tells us of the practice of God’s chosen people.
In Matthew 5:26 and Luke 12:59 Christ is condemning sin and speaks of liberation only after expiation. “Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” Now we know that no last penny needs to be paid in Heaven and from Hell there is no liberation at all; hence the reference must apply to a third place.
Matthew 12:32 says, “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.” Here Jesus speaks of sin against the Holy Spirit. The implication is that some sins can be forgiven in the world to come. We know that in Hell there is no liberation and in Heaven nothing imperfect can enter it as we see in the next part. Sin is not forgiven when a soul reaches its final destination because in heaven there is no need for forgiveness of sin and in hell the choice to go there is already made.
Revelation 21:27: “…but nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who does abominable things or tells lies.” The place that is to be entered (the place to which this passage refers) is heaven (read the text around it for context).
The Bible clearly implies a place for an intermediate state of purification after we die in the many passages which tell that God will reward or punish according to a person’s life.
Exactly. Also I think it’s disappointing he has a ‘strong hatred’ for anyone. That’s not what Christianity is about.
Think of Mary the way you might your departed Mom…Think of the Saints the way you might think of a dear grandparent or friend who’d died…you might feel like saying every now and then to any of them “I miss you…I wish you could help me…please pray for me.”
That’s really the essence of it.
There is no catholic REQUIREMENT to direct prayers to saints.
But why not have friends in heaven?
Think of Purgatory as a gift…where we get to get rid of some of the lingering issues and sins of our lives, so as to be better prepared for Heaven. We don’t think of it as a punishment (as most outside catholicism do)
Now I have to say I’m baffled by your friend. Hating gays is certainly NOT part of catholicism. Is he for real?
(Maybe I should be asking: are you?)
A resource to help with questions with the faith,
The catechism is free online. Check half-price books, I got two copies there, one in English and one in Spanish for under $5. Also, I am over half a century old, and realized that the protestant motto of ‘sola scripura’ and the practice that something can only be true if its in the Bible, is actually not a Biblical teaching. The Bible does support scripture AND church tradition AND what was passed from the Apostles to the church from Jesus. The Catholic faith contains the fullness of the faith.
Sorry, but I do not get that part “(It’s the acting out on sexual urges outside of marriage that sinful)”. Do you mean if same sex-attracted people get Married it is OK for the Catholic Church?
He’s very much forreal. We’re only 20 year old kids and one day sitting at lunch he says “I decided to become catholic!” When I asked him why his reasons were 1. They’re fine with him drinking (he regularly gets hammered at all church events), 2. "I hate gays and Catholics don’t like em ", 3. He doesn’t believe women should speak in church and his last church had a woman preacher. His argument were women can be priest so it’s fine.
I hope his conscience is tweaked and he matures in the faith!
Wow, it’s kind of unbelievable that he passed RCIA then… First, Catholics aren’t fine with being alcoholics. Second, we love gay people, we just don’t support them acting in sin in a homosexual relationship. Third, the Catholic Church has great respect for women. Look at Mary, nuns, female saints… And female lectors read in my church all the time. Just because they’re not priests doesn’t mean women aren’t active!
Either way, if you have questions, come to us on here before going to them and I hope you find your path!
(One converted to Catholicism last year simply because it accepted drinking more than his baptist church and he has a
The Bible spells out what consequence of drunkedness could be. It’s isn’t pretty.
strong hatred for gay
There’s no place for hate in the Catholic Church.
I suggest if you really are interested in catholicism, you call the catholic churches in your area and find an RCIA program.
It’s not just for people who already decided to become catholic…it’s also for enquirers.
Although you’ve gotten some excellent answers so far here, RCIA would be the best place for you to get your questions answered. …