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Praying through the Saints; do we worship them?

Praying through the Saints is not expressly written in the Bible, it is rather an outcome of a mature understanding of the “Communion of Saints”. We the Church believe, as taught by St Paul, that “we are one body, one Spirit in Christ”. To the mind of the Church, this has a certain literalness in terms of religious actions. So that when you do good, the entire body is healthy and is affected and when you sin, you affect the entire body. When you pray as well the other members (parts) of this body is equally affected.

Christ came to the world as man and God, establishing his authority and dominion as Lord of the Living, both because he lived, died and resurrected. But also Lord of the dead because through this resurrection he conquered death. Since life springs from him only, and since he has walked the roads of the underworld, he himself has power that penetrates the grave.

This power is also inherited by his Body the Church, so that she is never torn apart or broken by death. NO ! She is actually strengthened by the death of a faithful since her glory shines as more members are glorified.

These glorified members since they are still attached to Christ’s body also help in its nourishment. So that when they praise God by chants, or pray to Him, the effects reach the entire body; the effect reach you and me. So even without asking for it, the saints pray for us. And we can raise our hearts to them since we’re bound by one body and spirit in Christ to aid us in our needs.

Kindly refer to my previous reply to understand more about worship “https://catholicgo.com/discussions/worship-to-saints-and-on-statues-catholic-doctrine-flaws”;

A simple request made to the saints isn’t an act of worship. There is necessarily a certain attitude required for an act to meet the requirement of worship. This attitude is met either unconsciously when a thing or a value is raised above God and is made the center of one’s life and consciously when someone acknowledges a being to be the source of his existence, the upholder of his being and his last end. Such being receives their worship which usually is sacrificial for most religions. In Catholicism, the only being occupying the center of our worship is God whom we acknowledge both in our creeds and in all our liturgies to be our beginning and our last end. We speak of Mary and other Saints as inferior to God, as closer to us since they’re all finite, but as being icons of hope, especially Mary. She is an icon of hope to us Catholics since in her we see the goodness of God and his mercy. We see how far his grace goes to sanctify and glorify mortal men, and finally we see in her the glory which we hope for.

These Saints are closely tied to us, they are close to us in Christ. Since we are IN THE SPIRIT, and they are in the spirit as well, tied to the same body of Christ. They are not “There”, they are “here” with us. So when we speak to them, we do not address “dead people” who are “far off”. For how can we boast to be Christians if we hope that after this life we’ll be just “dead”? We hope to rise with Christ when we sleep in death, these are already Alive in him, more alive than we ourselves can be. They are active in the Body of Christ, more active than we are. If we pray, and praise God, they too do the same. If we pray for our brethren on earth, they too do the same for us since they’re no longer in need of our intercession. They pray for us, our consciousness of this sublime truth (which is as old as Christianity itself) makes it easy to reach and receive their help. We simply “ask” them to “pray for us”. We do not ask them to have mercy or to bestow some gift upon us as though they are gods, we ask them to help us in bringing our imperfect prayers to the Lord Jesus. Since we all share in his love, since we all shared in one bread, we share in the same Life of Grace, a life which makes us all One Body, brethren of Christ and children of the Father.

It is simple really.

God bless !

 

By GabrielMary Alimba










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1

22 comments

  1. Barbara M Alfano Reply

    I am a convert and asked about idols, Jesus was admit about idols. In the Bible it says: you shall not make for yourself a carved image, or likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on earth above or the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. I was told that they are a reminder to pray…but there a lot idols of Angels and saints, and people pray to them and so do priests. It in the 10 Commandments. I believe what is in the Bible about Angels and Saints also the Blessed Mother whom I love. Talk to me about this subject please, for the Glory of God. Blessing on all, thank you. BARBARA

  2. Noel Reply

    The Bible says this and that. Do you also ask yourself ” Isn’t the Bible also made by human hands? (I’m not against the Bible) If you go to that line of thinking…Isn’t the pictures, the movies, even this facebook also made by human hands? What I’m saying is the paintings, the sculpture, the curved images we see today are the facebook during that time. They were used to teach and proclaim the teachings of the Church. Why do we pray and bow down to them? Because we are attached to their stories and /or teachings. When I see my mother’s picture I kiss it. Because I love her. Isn’t Saint Peter and Paul has powers too, even their shadows and their clothes when touched by sick people, they got cured. Just like Jesus (see Acts of the Apostles). God gives a little power to the Saints. And people respects and honor that. But we don’t adore them. Adoration belongs to God. We venerate the saints.

    1. mike MCDONALD Reply

      Venerate: regard with great respect; revere.synonyms: revere, regard highly, reverence, worship, hallow, hold sacred, exalt, vaunt, adore, honor, respect, esteem.

      It’s a bit disingenuous to equate facebook and movies to Idols that are specifically spoken against in the Scriptures. Barbara specifically asked about the explicit direct command of God to not bow down to or serve images made by human hands. And yet in The Church I see people doing exactly that. Offering money, jewels, trinkets to statues to gain favour with them. Going to them as opposed to obeying the Bible and entering into His Holy Presence confidently through the Son Jesus alone! ( Heb 4).
      Remember the History… these doctrines were added to placate pagan peoples who had goddesses ( thus Mary was “venerated”) and ancestor worship ( thus the saints) and could not tolerate a religion devoid of these icons.

      Indeed, Peter and Mary would find modern day Church practices of veneration deplorable and would greatly lament the thought of us placing our eyes and hope on them and not in the Great and Mighty God, through the One Son who is our Great High Priest!

      Barbara, you do not need another intermediary, priest, go-between between you and God the Father. Do not make the mistake of setting Jesus aside in place of graven images, or the saints they represent. God IS a Jealous God– Jesus is God, the Son. The rest of us are only servants. Please, I beg of you, Don’t allow anyone on earth or heaven the share the glory of the Father or His Son!

  3. Osahon Okhueleigbe Reply

    Mike McDonald, look into the bible from genesis to revelation and you will find that the one sin that GOD detest the most is idolatry. He destroyed kingdoms, kings and anything becos of idol worship. Obviously you are not catholic,so you will never understand. That is why Jesus said until you become like little children you will not enter the kingdom. Modernism and Protestanism have both questioned everything the Church does, but the church gets even stronger. For over 2000 year, the catholic church worshipped idols and its still here? Do you think its possible. where are all those sects in the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th centuries spreading heresies everywhere. they all faded away, died with their founders just as Gamaliel said to the council in Acts 5 when they flogged Peter and the other apostles.

  4. alpha Reply

    yet, it is the law of God to never worship any idol on earth. It is said, do not make any idol, anything that is on the land, below it and on the skies. let us finish the verses, never worship them. not all rational, as we see visibly by our bare eyes, are true. what we can see on catholics are mere actions and not feelings, for only God knows the heart of men. why are there statues around? there is a statue of liberty in america. but there are statues mentioned in the Bible, the angelic creatures are figures made to cover the most HOLY PIECE which is the ARK OF THE COVENANT. we know that because it was very holy that no man, except the High Priest is the only one allowed to look on it. and the High Priest worshiped God in front of it. then what mere action does it violate God ,that God Himself ordered it? let us make no conclusions on actions beyond our comprehensions.

  5. mike MCDONALD Reply

    No one has yet convinced me of the biblicalness of the veneration of saints. You all have argued that there is no specific prohibitions to veneration (ignoring the plain reading of Scripture in favour of allegorical or rhetorical reasoning).
    But why is it even necessary? I have unfettered access to the King of Kings through His Son! What is the reason someone would offend that Son and disobey the King by instead pleading with the servants who are bowing at His feet worshipping Him? They are creatures on par with all others who are washed by the blood. Why go to washed when I have unfiltered access to the washer?
    It makes no sense.
    Look at the history to find out why contradictory popes invented certain doctrines. They were people pleasers. The people get the doctrine they want. Look no farther than the current pope who is desirous of changing what scripture says about the sin of homosexuality to appease the masses of unbelievers.

    You are responsible for your own souls. Do not rely on others to save you when God has given you the Scriptures to read to tell you how and through whim comes salvation and the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin.

    Lovingly, I beg you to repent and trust in Jesus alone while you can. Take off the veil and walk in unfiltered light.

    The saints will rejoice when you do.

    1. Patrick Reply

      Mike..thanks for your passionate caring in trying to SAVE us poor Catholics from our misguided ways. We never claimed that prayer to the Saints was Biblical…but that does not matter. The Bible itself says that not all things are written in it (Luke and Matthew). For over 1400 years the Church also relied on Tradition…and teachings of the Fathers of the Church. The Apostles and next generations of writers and apologists who inscribed many words. Many of which we call Saints today. The Cannonized Saints only represent a sub-set of everyone we believe to be accepted into heaven with God…(Father, Son, and Spirit). To follow your reasoning…we should NEVER pray anything but the Our Father…directly to the Father…as Jesus was sent to earth to bring us to the Father (if you have to look that up…you never read the Bible). In fact, Jesus tells us the Father knows what we need before we even ask…but that if we feel we need to ask…we say the Our Father. The extension of asking the Saints to pray for us…which is what Catholics do…we don’t pray TO the Saints…we petition their assistance in a prayer…do you ask you Mother to pray for a special intention for you? Or a friend? Or a pastor? I seem to hear Christian Radio stations praying for others and asking for prayers all the time. God wants us to pray in community…we consider the Saints part of the community…part of the Body of Christ…so we ask them to join us in prayer. In Acts it says we should pray in community and for each other…this is an extension of the idea by tradition. The Saints have lived lives of great example, so much so, that some of them upon being exhumed even hundreds of years later have been found incorrupt in the Earth…search for the Incorruptibles. The greatest example of this is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. We see the Saints as alive in Christ and thus closer to Him than ourselves who are still corruptible human vessels. We ask them to pray for us…their statues and paintings are reminders to us of the life they led and the ones that aspire to as they were given the Grace by God to be examples for us. Solo Scriptura as a Philosophy essentially says that all teaching from God ceased after the year 125 AD…and when the Bible was assembled from all of the possible writings in the 400’s that God ceased inspiring authors and leading the Church. You commentary about the Popes as political people pleasers assumes that they were not placed there by the Holy Spirit to lead us…Catholics believe otherwise. Were there bad Popes? Yes…just as Satan has influenced leaders around the globe throughout history…he attacked Peter from the very beginning (see His denials during the Passion). Some fell more to Satan’s influence…but their teachings and leadership did not stand the test of time and the process of developing doctrine in the Church. That has been sound and worked through Council’s and Synods of the Apostolic Leadership throughout history. The current Pope is not currently changing ANY of the Church’s teachings nor will he…unless the Holy Spirit desires it in the long run. Search for former evangelical pastors who, when trying to disprove Church Teachings, came home to the Church…Scott Hahn, Peter Kreft…among many others. We invite you too to come home to the true faith.

      1. Jun Reply

        very well said Patrick

      2. Miles Reply

        Ive been having difficulties in explaining all of these to my non-Catholic friends as i have not known the bottomline yet. This explanation makes me feel better Patrick. Very well said. Thank you.

      3. meli Reply

        What a sound explanation Patrick, thank you so much for that great and modest answer. God Bless

    2. Jong Mateo Reply

      Num.. 21:4-8 Serpent a symbolical of Ambulance, Medicine, Medical practitioneer: The Lord said to Moises, make a bronze snake and put it on a pole, whoever bite by the serpent and look at it will recover. Moises made a bronze snake what the Lord command to him. Jn. 3:14-16 The crucified Jesus at the Altar of Catholic Church. The stone of the 12 tribe of Israel when they cross the Jordan river, it became Memorial. All images of Catholic Church is a remembrance/Memorial from them. as a model to follow The Jesus.

  6. Noel Reply

    [14:28, 12/10/2014] adrian_slash@hotmail.com: Praying through the Saints is not expressly written in the Bible, it is rather an outcome of a mature understanding of the “Communion of Saints". We the Church believe, as taught by St Paul, that “we are one body, one Spirit in Christ". To the mind of the Church, this has a certain literalness in terms of religious actions. So that when you do good, the entire body is healthy and is affected and when you sin, you affect the entire body. When you pray as well the other members (parts) of this body is equally affected.

    Christ came to the world as man and God, establishing his authority and dominion as Lord of the Living, both because he lived, died and resurrected. But also Lord of the dead because through this resurrection he conquered death. Since life springs from him only, and since he has walked the roads of the underworld, he himself has power that penetrates the grave.

    This power is also inherited by his Body the Church, so that she is never torn apart or broken by death. NO ! She is actually strengthened by the death of a faithful since her glory shines as more members are glorified.

    These glorified members since they are still attached to Christ’s body also help in its nourishment. So that when they praise God by chants, or pray to Him, the effects reach the entire body; the effect reach you and me. So even without asking for it, the saints pray for us. And we can raise our hearts to them since we’re bound by one body and spirit in Christ to aid us in our needs.

    Kindly refer to my previous reply to understand more about worship “https://catholicgo.com/discussions/worship-to-saints-and-on-statues-catholic-doctrine-flaws";

    [14:28, 12/10/2014] adrian_slash@hotmail.com: A simple request made to the saints isn’t an act of worship. There is necessarily a certain attitude required for an act to meet the requirement of worship. This attitude is met either unconsciously when a thing or a value is raised above God and is made the center of one’s life and consciously when someone acknowledges a being to be the source of his existence, the upholder of his being and his last end. Such being receives their worship which usually is sacrificial for most religions. In Catholicism, the only being occupying the center of our worship is God whom we acknowledge both in our creeds and in all our liturgies to be our beginning and our last end. We speak of Mary and other Saints as inferior to God, as closer to us since they’re all finite, but as being icons of hope, especially Mary. She is an icon of hope to us Catholics since in her we see the goodness of God and his mercy. We see how far his grace goes to sanctify and glorify mortal men, and finally we see in her the glory which we hope for.

    These Saints are closely tied to us, they are close to us in Christ. Since we are IN THE SPIRIT, and they are in the spirit as well, tied to the same body of Christ. They are not “There", they are “here" with us. So when we speak to them, we do not address “dead people" who are “far off". For how can we boast to be Christians if we hope that after this life we’ll be just “dead"? We hope to rise with Christ when we sleep in death, these are already Alive in him, more alive than we ourselves can be. They are active in the Body of Christ, more active than we are. If we pray, and praise God, they too do the same. If we pray for our brethren on earth, they too do the same for us since they’re no longer in need of our intercession. They pray for us, our consciousness of this sublime truth (which is as old as Christianity itself) makes it easy to reach and receive their help. We simply “ask" them to “pray for us". We do not ask them to have mercy or to bestow some gift upon us as though they are gods, we ask them to help us in bringing our imperfect prayers to the Lord Jesus. Since we all share in his love, since we all shared in one bread, we share in the same Life of Grace, a life which makes us all One Body, brethren of Christ and children of the Father.

  7. dexter Reply

    Yes correct that God gives them power to continue his mercy to all mankind.

  8. Joe Reply

    “Biblicalness” comes from a belief that Christ gave to the world a book. Christ established His Church on Earth and that Church assembled the Holy Bible to help her on her mission to spread the Good News of the Resurrection throughout the world.

    The same authority that Christ gave to Peter that allowed his successors to ordain a Holy Bible free from error out heresy also allows for the traditional understanding if the Communion of Saints to exist free from error or heresy.

    1. mike MCDONALD Reply

      Hey Joe… The problem I see with your statement is that the Bible has not been altered or changed or reneged, but the “institutional church” doctrine has changed dramatically over the years, often in an attempt to appeal to the masses.
      Knowing Jesus, it does not seem likely that He would give His life to establish an institution. He is about people, His body, an organism not about hierarchies, political alliances and flavour of the century anti-biblical doctrines.

      The Church needed the reformation. Unfortunately some love the Church more than Jesus. He will not share His Glory with another. That is where the institution has grossly failed.

      I’m not saying that there are not real followers of Jesus within the Roman Catholic Church, but it is despite the institution more often than because of it.

  9. Bonnie Jay Olivo Dagaang Reply

    mike MCDONALD has missed a point in Jesus’ words. Jesus promised to the apostles the coming of the Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen His Church that even the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. If the Institution which is the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit, how can it err? The bible is one of the products of the Church and the name ‘bible’ is too. So to make grounds that bible alone is the sole source of faith is outright wrong. mike also wanted to negate Paul’s preaching that we are one body in Christ Jesus. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ. We make up His Body that through it God’s infinite Love and Mercy shall flow for humanity. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”… AMEN. Let us become authentic parts of His Body. And may God’s Light shine on us all, only if we accept Him and His Words, because His sheep alone can hear and understand His calling voice.

  10. Bonnie Jay Olivo Dagaang Reply

    There are of course people outside the Catholic Church who lived godly lives. There too are people within the Catholic Church who are living in sin and error including priests, but that doesn’t mean that the Doctrines safeguarded by the Church since its creation has changed.

    1. mike MCDONALD Reply

      And yet the doctrines HAVE changed. One change contradicting the last and/ contradicting the Bible and Jesus Words themselves. That is the issue. How can we trust an institution that is so inconstant? One that changes as the wind blows? One that is so un “God-like” in its whimsicalness. That may make some laugh because in this last drip in the bucket of time the church is standing up for righteousness in some unpopular areas, but not for long. We know that. History tells us that.
      The institution has NOT been saved from error, nor from pure evil, nor from corruption nor from heresy. If we will run away from God, He will allow it. Not all that are part of Israel are truly Israel.
      Trust in God, revealed through Jesus, not in the institution of the Roman Catholic Church.

      1. Mama W Reply

        I know this is an old thread, Mike, but you seem adamant that the Church’s teachings have changed as the wind blows. I would be interested to know what teachings have “changed to appease the masses”, and please be specific. As far as the truth only being the truth as long as NO evil or error at all tries to destroy it, well I guess we must abandon Christ, then. I mean, look at that Judas character. However, as far as the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is concerned, Christ said the gates of Hell would not prevail against it (including the great deceiver’s attempt to lead people away from Christ’s Church during the Protestant Apostasy), but he did NOT say the gates of Hell wouldn’t die trying, which they most certainly will. There have been so MANY Catholic martyrs and saints who literally died standing up for what Our Lord revealed to His Church as good, true, and beautiful, that it actually intrigues me to hear your thoughts on how the Church has changed what she teaches, or how she contradicts the Bible. And let’s also be clear, I plan on defining terms, if need be, and I expect historical accuracy, and thorough research. My intent in discussing these things with Protestants is always and only to convert their souls to the fulness of truth that Christ gave as a treasury to His Church. If your intent is the same, you’ll have to be intellectually and theologically honest. I suggest, as a bit of light reading on the Liturgy of the early Church, Saint Justin Martyr. In his writing on the Holy Eucharist you will see the same Liturgical Rite still exercised by the Catholics today, and the same belief in the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord as present in the Eucharist each Mass.

        Further, the Bible has absolutely been changed. The final unified agreement on Bible canon occurred at the Councils of Hippo (393) and Carthage (397, 419), and included the books Protestants commonly refer to as the Apocrypha, which is actually named the Deuterocanon because they were originally written in Greek, rather than Hebrew. This canon remained unchanged until the Lutheran heresy, when Martin Luther himself removed, replaced, further removed, and finally agreed upon his own personal interpretation of the canon of the current Protestant Bible. So, the reality is that at least in that area, Protestants corner the market on “changing as the wind blows”. It took 400 years, three councils, and many bishops to decide which books were not only inspired by God, but had God, and not man, as their primary author. And yet, all of this and 1100 years of Catholic teaching, were swept away by Protestants, because one man, in grave error, said he knew better.

  11. stephen Reply

    Is the image of divine mercy really the image of Christ? how can that be assured cause I have faced a challenge where I was accused of worshipping.

  12. Rogers Muhangi Reply

    I love this page because it has helped me a lot to understand catholism. Please keep sensitizing us we wish to understand more our faith from the grass roots.

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