Why do are Catholics encouraged to pray to the Saints and Mary? If you do that, doesn’t it go against the commandment ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ (KJV).
This may help you understand…
A little bit, but you have to pray TO them to ask them to pray for you. Isn’t that wrong?
From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Main Entry: pray
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French prier, praer, preier, from Latin precari, from prec-, prex request, prayer; akin to Old High German frāga question, frāgēn to ask, Sanskrit pṛcchati he asks
Date: 13th century
1 : entreat, implore —often used as a function word in introducing a question, request, or plea 2 : to get or bring by praying
1 : to make a request in a humble manner 2 : to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving
So, when used to ask someone for something (as in “pray tell”), there is no conflict with the first commandment at all. Praying isn’t synonymous with worship or adoration. It can also just be a request made from one person to another, living or dead.
Why would that be wrong? Wouldn’t it be disrespectful not to talk to your spouse’s mom because you “only” want to be with your spouse? And do you really love your spouse if you don’t want to interact with the rest of their family (unless of course the family is full of jerks :D)? Mary is the most holy Christian and person this world has ever seen, save Jesus, and considering Christ made the Virgin Mary our Mother when he was dying on the Cross, don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to our Lord’s dying request and “behold our mother”?
Mary can only lead us closer to Christ. Mary leads us to the foot of Christ’s Cross so to speak. When we pray to Mary, Mary leads us to Christ and places us and our petitions before him, so that we, in our sinful human flesh, can become more presentable to God.
I assume you’re a Protestant, or just a troll. If you’re a Protestant, asking saints to pray for one is no different than asking for people to create prayer chains. Catholics consider those who have gone before as still being part of the community of the faithful. We see the church as comprising of three groups: church triumphant, church militant, church penitent. Asking saints to pray for us is no different than asking living relatives and friends to pray for you. When you ask the living to pray for you are you worshiping them?
Do you ask your friends to pray for you? Do you ever pray for your friends?
It is the same thing. Mary is Jesus’s mother. She is my friend. I look to Mary and try to see Her Son through her eyes. No one ever loved Him more. If I could understand her love maybe I could love Him even more.
Would you object having someone ask your Mother to help them love you more?
What is your relationship with your Mother? Do you want her discarded as simply a someone who bore you. Is that all motherhood is to you?
I think not. We belong to Jesus. We belong to His family. He loves us and He wants us to love His mother as well.
We don’t “have to” pray to her. She is a gift that Christ gave to us through the Beloved Apostle John. He does not force His gifts upon us. She loves Her Son and she loves His children.
Here is a good site to help answer your question.
Jesus responded to Mary’s intercession at the wedding feast of Cana.
When she made the hosts’ need known to Him, which required his miraculous intercession, he at first simply said that it wasn’t yet time for signs or miracles…but she simply trusted Him and told the servants to obey Him…and He met the hosts’ needs by turning water into wine. He brought His schedule forward simply because she asked Him. It wasn’t even a matter of life or death, but of family embarrassment. (John 2:1-11)
Asking our sisters and brothers in heaven to pray for us…we ask each other here on earth to pray for us.
No, it is not wrong. The saints in heaven, and the Mother of Jesus are members of the Body of Christ…they are family! Just as you can ask a friend to pray for you and/or your intentions, we can ask them to pray for us. Death does not separate us from other members of the Church.
Question, have you ever asked someone to pray for you? Is that wrong? Why don’t you go directly to God? Why do you ask for intercession from anyone?
Okay…next…we believe when we “die” that we don’t really die. For example, God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We believe he is the God of the living NOT of the dead. In fact, once at the transformation, Christ spoke with both Moses and Elijah!
So, in the same way that you, or I, find it not only very okay but a good idea to ask someone else to pray for us, we find it fine to ask people who have already died to pray for us.
Further, we actually believe it’s even a better idea to ask for a saint’s, angel’s, or the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession than any of our family or friends’!
Well, you know how sometimes we go to a father, directly, and the answer is “no”. We go to our mother and ask…“Mom, could you ask for me?” The mother will ask the father, and answer “yes” to the mother. We call this “intercession”.
We see nothing wrong with this. I can ask you to pray for me, and you can ask me. We see it as the same thing as asking someone who is already in heaven, except that those in heaven have the clear advantage. God would listen to them when sometimes, due to their merits, times he might not listen to us due to our sinfulness and unworthiness.
I find the largest hindrance is in linguistic issues of English and not an actual theological issue when saying we pray to saints (which I personally avoid that phrasing as to avoid confusion). Have you ever heard the phrase “pray tell?” You’re praying that someone tell you something - you’re not worshipping, just respectfully requesting.
I personally like to think of saintly intercession the way it’s written in Syriac, which is (for example, when addressing Mary) b-slootekh - through/with your prayer.
Think of it this way… if you had a parent or grandparent who has died, have you ever talked to them? Even if when only visiting their grave? And if you did, every say “Grandpa, please put in a good word for me with Jesus”?
Communing with the saints and Mary is kind of the same thing, except that we KNOW that Jesus listens to the Saints and Mary from the miracles they have has Jesus perform on behalf of the living.
ALSO, I highly recommend attending a Catholic Bible study before giving into the Protestant point of view. Keep in mind that their clergy are built on the idea that the Catholic Church is wrong, that’s notion slants their interpretation of the Bible and disregard of the Oral Teaching passed on by Jesus through his Apostles.
…or, maybe Christ himself waiting to see if we would be willing to do for him by doing for others by providing something greater than mere food or drink, catechesis, the best thing we can offer anyone?
What is your basis for using the KJV? Curious.
Why do are Catholics encouraged to pray to the Saints and Mary?
Because family sticks together! The saints are alive with God in heaven. They pray for us so we can be with God as they are with God. If your friend asks you to pray for them do you send them away, accusing them of violating the first commandment?
Not sure if the OP understands who is in heaven and who wills us to be there.
It’s the Communion of Saints. We can ask them to pray for us, and their prayers are more efficacious because they are with God.
Yet it does not make the list when Jesus clearly explains how we will be judged. Plus, if you read my post I did give OP a catechetical answer.
We pray to Saints,for them to Intereced for what we are asking for in our pray,and we pray to Mary because she is Queen of Heavan and Earth,weree are not praying to the Statues ,of Saints or Mary as we look upon them,but look at them, to let them know we are asking for their help,and theirs nothing wrong looking at the statue,when we pray.