Forum Posts on Saints (2)

Saints


continued from page one of discussion.

Martin,
"What does the church teach? Where can I read this in the CCC?" That concerns praying to Saints. Sorry I wasn't very specific.


Some outtakes from the Catechism. Oh by the way, this link from the CS Homepage is an excellent way of looking these type of things up:

Search engine for the Catechism of the Catholic Church

956. "The INTERCESSION of the SAINTS. 'Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.... They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.... So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.'[LG 49; cf. 1 Tim 2:5 .] Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life.[St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers.] I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.[St. Therese of Lisieux, The Final Conversations, tr. John Clarke (Washington: ICS, 1977), 102.]"

2634. "INTERCESSION is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men, especially sinners.[Cf. Rom 8:34 ; 1Jn 2:1 ; 1 Tim 2:5-8 .] He is 'able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make INTERCESSION for them.'[Heb 7:25 .] The Holy Spirit 'himself intercedes for us . . . and intercedes for the SAINTS according to the will of God.'[Rom 8:26-27 .]"

2635. "Since Abraham, INTERCESSION - asking on behalf of another has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God's mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian INTERCESSION participates in Christ's, as an expression of the communion of SAINTS. In INTERCESSION, he who prays looks 'not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,' even to the point of praying for those who do him harm.[Phil 2:4 ; cf. Acts 7:60 ; Lk 23:28, 34 .]"

2642. "The Revelation of 'what must soon take place,' the Apocalypse, is borne along by the songs of the heavenly liturgy[Cf. Rev 4:8-11; Rev 5:9-14; Rev 7:10-12.] but also by the INTERCESSION of the 'witnesses' (martyrs).[Rev 6:10.] The prophets and the SAINTS, all those who were slain on earth for their witness to Jesus, the vast throng of those who, having come through the great tribulation, have gone before us into the Kingdom, all sing the praise and glory of him who sits on the throne, and of the Lamb.[Cf. Rev 18:24; Rev 19:1-8.] In communion with them, the Church on earth also sings these songs with faith in the midst of trial. By means of petition and INTERCESSION, faith hopes against all hope and gives thanks to the 'Father of lights,' from whom 'every perfect gift' comes down.[Jam 1:17 .] Thus faith is pure praise."

2683. "The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,[Cf. Heb 12:1 .] especially those whom the Church recognizes as SAINTS, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were 'put in charge of many things.'[Cf. Mt 25:21 .] Their INTERCESSION is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world."

2692. "In prayer, the pilgrim Church is associated with that of the SAINTS, whose INTERCESSION she asks. "

2827. "'If any one is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.'[Jn 9:31 ; Cf. 1Jn 5:14 .] Such is the power of the Church's prayer in the name of her Lord, above all in the Eucharist. Her prayer is also a communion of INTERCESSION with the all-holy Mother of God[Cf. Lk 1:38, 49 .] and all the SAINTS who have been pleasing to the Lord because they willed his will alone: It would not be inconsistent with the truth to understand the words, 'Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,' to mean: 'in the Church as in our Lord Jesus Christ himself'; or 'in the Bride who has been betrothed, just as in the Bridegroom who has accomplished the will of the Father.'[St. Augustine, De serm. Dom. 2, 6, 24: PL 34, 1279.]"


Thanks Poly!

I'm heading there now to read. It does appear to be superstitious to me also. I know many people do take up superstitious rituals without the Churchís approval, guidance, and so forth. Iím trying to find out what it is all about and find out what the Church teaches on this.

I have to admit; I really do not personally feel the need to ask for intercessory prayer other than Mary. I do pray the Fatima prayer with Hail Mary and saying the Rosary.

I also am concerned for those who do pray for specific things, The Patron Saints. When God answers their prayers. Who do they give the credit to? Iíve heard pray to so and so, because I did and my prayer was answered.

I also do understand about asking for others to pray for you. But I guess it seems like trying to find a middleman for God, Jesus, when we only need Jesus. Why not pray directly. (Not saying they donít) But how many people in our Catholic Society are educated enough to search CCC? How many people have access to all these teachings? Yes Iím talking about the poor and even the middle class, and the wealthy. Talking about those who do because their neighbor does so they presume itís correct. Do you know what I mean?


Martin,

I am troubled by this part of your post.
"Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 12-08-1998:

The Church doesn't teach anything either way. As to how the practice developed I don't know. The countless stories I have personally heard suggest that it works. Theologically I would have to categorize it as an act of confidence in St. Joseph (and then not think too deeply about it!). :-)"

I personally think we must think deeply about this. What do you think?

I went to the site on St. Joseph Home Seller. Whew is all I can say here. I believe Iíll address it in the other thread where it would be more appropriate.


I think you might be making a mountain out of a molehill. :^)

I've seen the St. Joseph Homeseller kits ... and it includes a prayer sheet to use. And like that one site made clear - the whole thing involves an act of faith. I did find a little more information on the background of this practice.

From a news article: St. Joseph Statues

Here is the prayer they use:

As with any act of faith, the St. Joseph kit notes, there is no guarantee -- ``You just have to believe.'

Apparantly, about 2 million of these statues are sold annually to people of all faiths.

According to the U.S. Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C., the tradition is traced back hundreds of years to Theresa of Avila, who prayed to St. Joseph when the convents needed more land and encouraged nuns to bury St. Joseph medals in the ground as a symbol of their devotion. Mary Jane VanBerg decided to follow the custom after her sister in California, who had a friend trying to sell property, had buried a St. Joseph statue and sold the house within a week.

The Rev. James Coen, head of the Catholic Information Center, in a New York Daily News article complained that real estate brokers "are turning this into a first-class sales gimmick."

According to the Dictionary of Saints by John J. Delaney, Joseph is a multifaceted saint. He is known as patron of the Universal Church, a model for fathers of families, a protector of workingmen and a patron for social justice.


Hello Duy mara,

I can understand your feeling ambivilant about praying to saints, I have been there myself. However, just because you don't feel the need yourself personally, does not mean that those that do ask saints to intercede have less "love" or "need" for Jesus.

A saint can not answer a prayer, a saint can not do anything except through the power of Jesus. Jesus alone is our means of salvation, Jesus alone is due our worship. When you ask fellow Christians to pray for you, are you worshipping them or detracting from your love and faith in Christ? No, that is a ridiculous statement. In simple terms, the Church teaches that since the saints are in heaven with Jesus and are not limited by earthly existence, than their ability to pray for you, to intercede your petition before Jesus, is greater than those still here on earth. We are filled with distractions and daily needs, whereas they have already reached their heavenly glory. Therefore, they can pray for you better than any other Christians here on earth. So if you can ask others to pray for you or raise other petitions up in prayer, it is similar to asking for the intercession of a saint.

Over the last couple of yrs I have started reading alot about the lives of saints. I started with Blessed Faustina, a victim soul, and have gone on from there. My own personal witness is this....the saints have lived such Christ centered lives, sacrificing all for Him and for the salvation of sinners. There is absolutely no way reading about their lives and examining my conscience in comparison to their lives can do anything except compel me closer and closer to Christ Himself. He is what the lived, suffered, and died for. I know that in their great love for Christ, and their compassion for sinners (remember many lived their lives solely for the reparation of sin and to save the souls of wretched sinners like me) that they listen to my petitions and pray in an eternal way (not limited by our earthly distractions) that Christ will have mercy on me and grant my prayer.

Yes, I could pray to Christ Himself. But my prayer is interrupted by my 5 children, my husband, and just life in general. The blessed saints don't have my interruptions, they are with Our Saviour and spend all time in honor and praise of Him. They can pray for my request unlike anyone else, me included.


Karen,

I'm not objecting to praying to the Saints. Perhaps you misread what I wrote, or I didn't explain it too clearly.

My objection is How these prayers are being said. For instance this St. Joseph home seller; is basically saying that St. Joseph is the power behind the house being sold, Faith and belief in St. Joseph. Not asking Him to pray for you.

I believe there is a big distinction to be made. You and Martin may not question the prayer, but I do.

I just find I do not need and I will not need to ask for prayers over materialistic things with a Saint. If I'm going to Pray to a Saint, it will be to bring me closer to the Lord. Which I do with Mary.


Martin,

Mountain out of a molehill..Perhaps was not meant to be said the way it came across to me, so Iíll only say this.... Instead of telling me what you think Iím doing. you should perhaps say what your personal belief is. That is what I did ask. Not for your interpretation of mine. (Now if my question to you was not explicit enough and you misunderstood. I am sorry.)

"The Church doesn't teach anything either way. As to how the practice developed I don't know. The countless stories I have personally heard suggest that it works. Theologically I would have to categorize it as an act of confidence in St. Joseph (and then not think too deeply about it!). :-)"

1.) I believe we need to find out where this practice began. Where the foundation came from. Would it change your view if you found out some Heretic started this?
2.) Just because it works, doesn't make this Holy or right in the eyes of God. (How many people do you know who consult fortunetellers and psychics? They will tell you it works, but that doesnít make it Holy or right in the eyes of God either.) Satan will use all means to lead us away from our loving Father
3.) What does an act of confidence in St. Joseph have to do with God answering your prayer? What about Faith in God, an act of confidence in Him.
4.) As for not thinking too much about it.. To me that is simply a cop out. Which goes with what Iíve posted in 2. I believe we need to be informed and teach the truth not blindly let things continue just because ďwe donít want to think too much about it.Ē

My concerns are valid I assure you.


1.) I believe we need to find out where this practice began. Where the foundation came from. Would it change your view if you found out some Heretic started this?

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm simply dismissing your concerns. That is not my intention. As I posted in my previous posts, the origin of this practice is from orthodox Catholics ... at least from what information I have been able to gather.

Would my view of this practice change if some heretic started it? Maybe. But I can also point to many now acceptable practices that had their origin from heretics or pagans. The wedding ring is one such example of a object with pagan origins. It carries alot of symbolism. This can also carry some superstition with some people. For example, let's say a man who is happily married, forgets to put on his wedding ring and has left out of town on a convention. His co-workers may believe he is "playing around" while out of town and start rumors to that effect within his business. This man may even feel that he has done something wrong by neglecting to wear his wedding ring.

My point is we have to look at the intent of the practice. If someone thinks that burying a statue of St. Joseph in and of itself will sell their house ... they are being superstitious. If they are humbly asking St. Joseph for his interecession and as an outward sign of this faith, bury the statue .... I don't see the problem.

2.) Just because it works, doesn't make this Holy or right in the eyes of God. (How many people do you know who consult fortunetellers and psychics? They will tell you it works, but that doesnít make it Holy or right in the eyes of God either.) Satan will use all means to lead us away from our loving Father

Does St. Joseph intercession work? You bet your booty it does. It is right and holy. It is necessary to even bother with a statue. No, of course not. Just as it's not necessary for a married couple to wear wedding rings. Do wedding rings make a marriage holy? No ... God does.

3.) What does an act of confidence in St. Joseph have to do with God answering your prayer? What about Faith in God, an act of confidence in Him.

We are asking St. Joseph with confidence for his intercession. Faith in God and confidence in Him is a given when you ask for someone's intercession. Just like when someone posts a prayer request here on the CS Message Board. Does this mean they don't have faith and confidence in God to answer their prayers. Of course not. They have confidence that our intercessory prayers have a positive effect.

4.) As for not thinking too much about it.. To me that is simply a cop out. Which goes with what Iíve posted in 2. I believe we need to be informed and teach the truth not blindly let things continue just because "we donít want to think too much about it."

Duy Mara, maybe the priest didn't address it as well as he could have ... but I think you have to look at intent of the person who uses a St. Joseph statue. Yes, it can appear superstitious and with some people, it probably is. I don't want to condemn the practice since I know the intent of many peopel who might do this. I think that was the approach the priest from EWTN has.


Martin,
I wasnít questioning St. Joseph intercession working. My point; I do not believe it is representing asking for his prayers. It is, basically saying St. Joseph is the one doing it. I see nothing in the wording at that web-site that Glorifies God. All credit is given to St. Joseph. The prayer does give some Glory to the Lord, but Iíve stated my concerns of the wording in the other thread.

I see that the practice is very wrong. Iím sure it is quite abused by so very many who do not understand the Churchís teaching on praying to Saints.

At least my questions were answered and mind put at ease when it comes to the Church.

(also)
Just because my intensions are good when I sin, that doesn't make the sin ok.


Let's say I go to see Oral Roberts. "Brother Oral", please help me! My arthritus is hurting me something awful bad. I need your gift of healing."

If, in fact, a healing does occur, I might tell others that I was healed by Oral Roberts. I think most people understand that the source of the healing is actually from God.

Just as you will find numerous examples in the bible of the apostles healing people. We don't question these, do we .... saying that only God can heal people directly?

An example ....

Acts 28:8 "His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him."

It goes on to say that they honored him (Paul and others).

Did Paul heal him or God? Is Paul circumventing God?

No. God is ultimately responsible for the healing, but, of course .... working through Paul.


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