Praying to Saints Question?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Theology' started by Dave, Aug 31, 2012.

  1. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    One item that has perplexed me is that I've heard and read about how Mary is the greatest saint.
    If she is the greatest saint, then when praying to other saints, do those saints then pray to Mary since she is the greatest? For that matter why not pray only to Mary all the time?
     
  2. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't think so, since they're in the presence of God. Her intercession wouldn't benefit those who are sinless. This is pure speculation on my part, of course. I am not advocating a particular stance on this issue.

    That is a genuine question and one that I leave to Catholics in communion with Rome. That won't stop me from taking a stab at it, though. :D If the question is "Why pray to any saints other than Mary?", the answer has something to do with their areas of special interest and focus. Some are seen as especially interested in specific petitions. They are individuals with unique lives, ministries, and gifts (while on Earth). They are still sensitive to those in similar situations now.

    If the question is "Why not pray to Mary all the time rather than God or other saints?", the answer has to do with her role in distributing graces. She is the Mother of the Church who intercedes as our mediatrix and advocate before the Terrible Judge.

    Again, before anyone says anything, I never gave my opinion regarding these beliefs.
     
  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Roman Catholic reason for praying to Mary 'first', or preferring her before the other saints, is simply that she is the mother of all Christians. Would you go to your mum with a problem first, or to your brothers and sisters? Most people would say mum.

    It's a silly, sentimental, non-scriptural reason, but it's a reason nonetheless. :p

    Adam's description of the sweet queen mother persuading the terrible judge not to be angry is almost a parody, but it's sadly quite true. In the early legends of Franciscan and Dominican friars (13th-14th centuries), the friars often see Mary pleading before an angry Christ who is about to destroy the world, but who is placated by His sweet mother. It's complete rubbish, but there we are.
     
  4. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Truly heart breaking that anyone could hold such a view
     
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  5. Seeker

    Seeker Member

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    If she is the greatest saint she might be intimidating for some people, or some might think she does not have time since all will be going to her (rather logical). I have no idea about the saints though. And why not pray to Mary all the time... The first question that comes to my mind is why pray to her in the first place. I mean sometimes you do feel you want to ask someone's intersession and that is beautiful but pray for...
     
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  6. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    That is a question that would probably be answered more fully on a Catholic forum, although I know of one rather prominent forum that might ban you for even asking. :D Still, their hagiography and Mariology are well-developed and firmly entrenched. Their theology sees a number of layers between us and God, and the Saints are much closer to him than we are. Their current state of perfection, and their proximity to God, are supposed to make their prayers more effective than ours. And the Mother of God is truly a queen in their system. Her petitions are more likely to be heard than ours, and she is almost seen as more sympathetic to us than God is.
     
  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    God is everywhere at all times - not sure how two people across the planet from each other can pray to one saint at one time; that'd necessitate that saint having God-like qualities, wouldn't it? I like to follow what the Bible says: they are asleep, so let's not disturb them. The Lord Jesus is ever-wakeful for us at the right hand of His Father, and none are greater or less under His equalizing and precious blood. :)
     
  8. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Consular,
    The idea that Mary would need "God-like" qualities to answer multiple petitions is certainly a valid issue. I don't have an answer. We really don't know all that much about our "abilities" once we are with God, or the afterlife in general.

    Interesting issues, Consular.
    Anna
     
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  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Very interesting... the answer of those who do promote speaking to the saints, is that the saints have experienced total theophany, theosis, and are made partakers with the Divine Nature. Since they are in eternity, they don't have to wait - the beginning and end are simultaneous to them. Not sure how to mesh that with the idea that the saints are "asleep".
     
  10. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We are all entitled to our own views and certainly all of us on this Board have views of our own and we all protect them strongly, I would have thought that was marvellous ,but now I wonder? . Why did God the Holy Ghost develope the idea of Bishops within the Church, why did he not just go to M&S and borrow a few directors or administrators?. Why join an Episcopal Church in the first place? Even in scripture their were dissenters and nonconformists! Why go to all the trouble we've had over the two thousand years of our history and the mayhem that the episcopal principle has caused! It would have served the papacy well, it would have left the field clear for him, it would have caused a great deal of joy amongst the protestant dissenters, it would have saved us Anglicans a lot of worry and angst, look at the way we have discussed the Councils on this board , when we could settle the score ourselves!
    Because that is what we are trying to do, the Episcopal Church, Scot's variety, tells us in their catechisms,"The Church upon earth and the Church in Paradise communicate together mutually by praying for each other".The question was asked,"How is this union maintained?" the answer? "By mutual prayer and thanks giving."
    Antiquity, Holy tradition, Councils, Bishops and priests and Deacons are a part of our faith, they have meaning and are either the product of the Holy Trinity!
    Dean Field, says,"That as we hold it impossible that the Church should by apostasy and misbelief ever wholly depart from God,..... so we hold it that it never falleth in to heresy!
    When there is such clear evidence from the Fathers and the Councils, i.e. the Body of Christ on this matter ,how can we doubt!
     
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  11. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. . . .
     
  12. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We must be honest and take the Fathers in their whole stride. They give us invaluable information as to early practice and theology.

    Augustine too,

    These are the only two definite witnesses to praying to the saints in the Fathers. The rest mention intercession, but not our praying to the saints specifically.
     
  13. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    That's correct. I do have an opinion; I just didn't share it. :D
     
  14. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thanks be to God! :rolleyes: ;)
     
  15. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    If we don't need the departed Saints to pray for us, why do we need anyone to pray for us?

    Also, if the Saints are "asleep" how can we have Communion with them?

    Just wondering.
     
  16. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Christ never said that we need people to pray for us - He commanded us all to pray for one another. Every Christian denomination believes that that is exactly what the saints are doing. The fact that they are asleep means we cannot communicate with them, but their "sleeping" status is only a metaphor for our inability to contact the dead, I think.

    "The Communion of Saints", as far as I've always thought, means "unity of all Christians on earth" in the bond of Christ's new commandment of love. :)
     
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  17. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely agree with the view sleeping means we don't generally have contact with them (exceptions being moments like when Elijah and Moses came down briefly, or perhaps some of the many stories during ww1 and 2 of loved ones appearing to say goodbye to their wives though they died many miles away at the time). but I believe the Bible is clear in not trying to contact those who have died.And I see no reason why the invocation of saints shoudl be viewed differently

    I do think the communion of saints involves not just those on earth but those in heaven too. We're united in Christ, by one holy spirit, one body. The church at rest and the church militant may be temporarily split from contact as we wait for the end time butnevertheless there is real unity there between us. I view the issue like this. I may want Anna to pray for me on earth, however it would be considered rather newage-ish if I tried to use my mind to tell her this :p Why? because we are miles apart even though we are united in Christ. The only way round this is by soemthing like telephone or email. It's the same thing in heaven. except I don't think heaven has a telephone line :p

    I love the idea of the graveyard being next to the church - the symbolism is of the congregation past and present worshipping togther as one before the throne of God, That is such a beautiful reminder of how we take part in the heavenly worship each Sunday

    About the idea of Mary being the mother of the church, that always struck me as being strange. I mean if she has Christ as her saviour, then that makes her our much beloved sister :)
     
  18. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Equating the Church with the fathers and councils seems a bit small. Isn;t the church the whole people of God?
     
  19. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Our Community Obedience Prayers finish off with this prayer, and I am pretty sure God doesn't consider we are doing any more then asking our brothers and sisters in Christ to remember us in our their prayers.

    May our blessed Lady pray for us.
    May Saint Francis pray for us.
    May Saint Clare pray for us.
    May all the saints of the Third Order pray for us.
    May the holy angels watch over us and befriend us.
    May our Lord Jesus give us his blessing and his peace. AMEN.
     
  20. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Yes that is how I see it as well...
     

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