Intercession of the Saints throughout history

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Jellies, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    This is insightful. It begs the question what is prayer to and how is that more or less prayerful than prayer with.

    WE are told by our Lord, when we pray to say: Our Father etc. what follows is a mix of prayer with and prayer to, it seems to me.

    "Which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven", is a prayer with, in that it is more of a statement of what God wants and our aligning ourselves with God's desires in the matters mentioned and our agreement with God's intentions for everything and everyone.

    "Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us", are straighforward requests with qualifying conditions, but are also group requests, not just individual ones.

    "Lead us", is a general request in consolidation with all of God's children, to be guided by God in all we do, "Not into temptation, but deliver us from evil", is a statement of faith in God's benign intentions to guide us through this life rather than subject us to temptation, (we know that God can't be tempted and does not tempt anyone James 1:13). So it's more of a prayer with than a prayer to.

    The rest is a statement of our confidence in God's ability to bring everything in heaven and on earth to an eventually successful conclusion. So it's a prayer with, God not just a prayer to God.

    Nevertheless we are told by our Master to address prayer directly to Our Father, not even to Our Master Jesus Christ, let alone to a hierarchy of 'go-betweens' who are probably not omnipresent and able to hear our requests. Phil 4:6.

    Though having said all this I have to admit I may have been spectacularly helped by St Anthony on a number of notable occasions regarding 'lost things' which were remarkably restored to me and others after requesting his assistance. I feel that saints in heaven would be no less willing to offer assistance to a fellow believer than would saints on earth and would do it to the glory of God.
    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2021
  2. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Yes that’s pretty reasonable. Aside from the Hail Mary I don’t know what else I’d say. I don’t even really pray it I just wouldn’t really mind. It doesn’t add anything to my spiritual life.
    I’m uncomfortable with all the overly devoted ones and the novenas etc. asking Saints for specific things. Why would I do that when I can just go to God?
     
  3. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    If anyone is still interested or even get notifications from this. I found a great voice of reason through our all this: St Augustine.
    I’ve finally understood how exactly this practice developed. There were numerous visions of martyrs during this period. They were said to even torture the demons. The martyrs were said to be seen doing great miracles. Now, whether this is true or not, I’m not sure. Certainly Augustine in convincing. But I’m not sure if God did such miracles, because it lead to much confusion among the people. More over, 400 ad is well after the apostolic age. I’ll leave it undecided for now. Anyway, all these visions of martyrs going around and all the great things they do for people. It’s pretty superstitious. But this is exactly why they asked for their intercession. Not because they were praying to martyrs who were in heaven and from there heard prayers, but to martyrs who they thought were somehow physically present on earth; especially near their burial sites. Augustine is pretty skeptical of it all, but he believes in certain miracles he’s been told from trustworthy people, so he says. The whole thing was the martyrs and their burial place were extremely connected to each other, so that it was even profitable to bury your dead next to a martyr. Through your prayers and invoking the thought of where your loved one was buried next to the martyr, the “merits” of the martyr may be invoked from God. And they believed martyrs were in heaven, but everyone else was in Abraham’s bosom. The martyrs were in heaven because they interpreted “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” to mean martyrs went straight to heaven. Not Augustine, but some even said martyrs cleansed themselves of their own sin through their blood. :doh:
    Clearly Augustine was not aware of this excessive “piety” and neither were most of the church fathers. It was a fringe thing.
    And so, Augustine even goes on to say he has no idea how on earth martyrs hear prayers. He says he absolutely knows people on heaven aren’t informed of every minute detail on earth, as king David says, for example that Abraham and the patriarchs do not remember Israel. He says maybe angels tell specific people specific things of what is happening on earth. Maybe even some of the miracles of martyrs appearing might not be the martyr himself but an angel acting as him. And he says it may be possible that they appear in specific places, but that is a rare miracle from God and not to be taken as the norm. The patron system in Roman society must be taken into account as well. He says by burying the dead next to a martyr and associating the dead with him, the martyr becomes his “patron.” This is where patron Saints come from. The martyrs, like cyprian, were thought to be patrons over their church, for example. And this is where all the aberrant practices originated, where there is now a whole pantheon of Saints to pray to for harvest and health and keys, some sort of pagan system. But Augustine being as reserved as he is, knows that the Saints do not usually hear such things. He extorts people more to pray for their dead than to martyrs. Yet he’s still a man of his time. On a sermon about Peter on his feast day, he says he is sure Peter is present, and asks him to pray for the church. You see, even here, Augustine is reserved, and asks Peter to pray specifically on his feast day. It’s not like he was going in his room and saying 5 Hail Marys every 1 our father. You never see a trace of martyr invocation in any of his various works aside from this. And of course one of the main people to be invoked were the apostles, as chief martyrs. I think all in all this was a way for people to feel some sort of relief after all the terrible persecution. It’s one of the innermost human desires, to feel like our loved ones that have passed away are here with us in spirit and watching over us. But even Augustine knows this is not really true, at least he leaves it for special cases only.
    so it may be seen that the initial intercession of the martyrs is very different from the current practice. First, they were not offering prayer to them as if they were in heaven. The believed the martyr to be present in the room. Second, it was a system of patronage, not like the currentone where Saints function like pagan Demi gods, but patronage of people they actually knew, or were a few years removed from. The invocation of such ones for prayer was therefore never idolatrous. If Mary died 2000 years ago, what has she to do with me? It’s much easier to worship someone that is far removed from you. But if you invoke the prayer of a loved one or a martyr that was the bishop of your church, it’s much different. Add this to the fact that they believed the martyrs to be present in the room, and it lends itself to worship even less. It was certainly not a prayer to the queen of heaven, mediatrix of all graces, and co redimptrix Mother of God.
    So when an orthodox or Roman ever says the early church believed the same things they do, this is how you know it’s not true.
    I’m so glad to have come across this from Augustine. He’s a voice of reason amongst it all. He says he does not know how exactly a martyr could hear prayer requests, and says it hardly ever happens they are present, it’s like a miracle. He says that they don’t know everything is happening on earth, and gives several passages from scripture to prove his point. He also uses an argument I’ve personally used! That it’s not fitting they be made known of all our woes, or they never would have peace. So, it’s impossible for this to be an “apostolic tradition” aka taught by the apostles, since Augustine has no idea how it even works, or if it does.
    Here is the link to his work:
    https://www.fourthcentury.com/on-the-care-of-the-dead/
     
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  4. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    :pray3:I’m praying for God to have mercy on us all…
    I’ve been reading Martin Chemnitz response to the council of Trent, and he deals with invocation of Saints and angels. I would like to recall everyone to mind the words of our great apostle Paul In Colossians 2:18
    “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,”
    The colossian church was in laocidea. They had a council to address the continuing “worship” of angels. Let’s look at what they deemed worship, and cursed with anathema, like paul did to the judaizing Galatians (contrary to modern Roman claims, anathema doesn’t mean excommunication, it is a curse from God):
    Christians must not forsake the Church of God, and go away and invoke angels and gather assemblies, which things are forbidden. If, therefore, any one shall be found engaged in this covert idolatry, let him be anathema; for he has forsaken our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and has gone over to idolatry.”
    Canon 35
    We see theodoret of Cyrus, successor of chrysostom say this on his commentary on Colossians :

    “Those who were defending the Law also induced them to worship the angels, saying that the Law had been given through them.” (This error remained for a long time in Phrygia and Pisidia. Therefore also the synod that assembled at Laodicea, which is the chief city of Phrygia, forbade by law that they should pray to angels. And one can to this day see among them and their neighbors prayer chapels of St. Michael.) These therefore counseled and, as persons practicing humility, said that it is not possible either to discern, or to comprehend, or to come to the God of the universe, and that one ought to gain divine benevolence for oneself through the angels. And this is what Paul means when he says: “self-abasement and worship of angels.” By this, however, “intruding into those things which he hath not seen” , he means “using his own reasonings and thoughts”
    Everyone may remember the quote from chrysostom about praying to Paul the tent maker and Peter the fisherman as patrons. This is clearly false and Chemnitz points this out as well.
    These canons are completely genuine and can be found on the catholic encyclopedia website…
    If the apostle commissioned by Jesus Christ called angel invocation worship, I genuinely fear for millions of Christians all over the world invoking angels. Theodoret even talks about the invocation of Michael which is so popular in the RCC today, st Michael the archangel defend us in battle…..
    Any attempts of explaining away this canon as non ecumenical or angels not being angels but demons can be dismissed by any genuine Protestant, because we know the apostles never taught invocation of anyone but God. You can search up “worship of angels in colossians” and find numerous works explaining what these people actually did. And one of the things was invoke angels, there’s no question about it. Chemnitz says that Gnostics and platonists believed there to be one true god and then a sort of realm between the god and us humans of lesser intercessors….
    Yep, exactly what it sounds like.
    Ireneaus of Lyons specifically arguing against Gnosticism in his work against heresies say that Gnostics invoke angels, and catholic Christians invoke only the creator. So like the perpetual virginity of Mary and the assumption of Mary, this practice came from Gnosticism. It was never fully stamped out. Now I see the prophesies of the apostles and Christ himself about the destructive heresies. They’re not gone, just under a Christian cover. I don’t remember if it was @Stalwart that said this before in another thread, but someone said that Gnosticism was never fully removed. Whoever that was, is completely right. I genuinely fear for many Christians practicing invoking creatures now. Again, if Paul condemned it as worship, I trust Paul more than catholic answers or orthodox apologetic websites. You can only imagine what Paul would think about Mary the co mediatrix co redemptrix.
    Lord have mercy on us all:pray3:

    (I will post a final summary of Chemnitz’s work once I’m done reading it and looking up all the citations on my own, for anyone that’s interested on it. You can also find the book free online at b-ok)
     
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  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Did you happen to see where exactly it is that Irenaeus wrote this? It would save me from a time consuming search if you know this.
     
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  6. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Against heresies, book 2 chapter 32

    5. Nor does she perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or by incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, directing her prayersto the Lord, who made all things, in a pure, sincere, and straightforward spirit, and calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, she has been accustomed to work miracles for the advantage of mankind, and not to lead them into error. If, therefore, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ even now confers benefits [upon men], and cures thoroughly and effectively all who anywhere believe in Him, but not that of Simon, or Menander, or Carpocrates, or of any other man whatever, it is manifest that, when He was made man, He held fellowship with His own creation, and did all things truly through the power of God, according to the will of the Father of all, as the prophets had foretold. But what these things were, shall be described in dealing with the proofs to be found in the prophetical writings.”
     
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  7. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Also found this gem:
    “The controversy about Vigilantius at the time of Jerome shows the same thing. And it is possible that, as customarily happens in controversies, Vigilantius bent too far to the other side, disparaging the veneration and just honors owed to the martyrs—if the things are true with which Jerome in his criticisms charges him.
    38 Nevertheless one gathers from this that the churches of the Celts and the Germans were offended by this new persuasion of the invocation of the saints who had departed this life. For it was not the presbyter Vigilantius alone who rebuked it, but (as Jerome complains to Ripacius) also a bishop of the Gauls, a holy man, agreed (together with many others) with his opinion. For Irenaeus writes that the Celts and the Germans, whom he calls barbarian peoples, so tenaciously and stubbornly held fast to the simplicity of the apostolic faith that they immediately stopped up their ears if anyone proclaimed something different from what they had once received. Since therefore they had in the beginning received the apostolic teaching that only God should be worshiped and invoked in the name of Christ, the Mediator, they could not but be offended when the new opinion of the invocation of the saints was introduced.”

    I knew the English church had some basis for their claims:laugh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
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  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yup St. Irenaeus lists as heresies the invocation of saints, the veneration of images, and the adoration of Mary.
     
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  9. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Mary worship that early? Do you know where he said that?
    It is for sure something that started as a Gnostic practice. Have you seen catholic apologist defense for Mary being an intact Virgin after the birth of Christ? Thoroughly Gnostic works. Of course the people who believe Jesus didn’t actually become a man and had a phantom body made him beam out of his mother with no after birth or anything!
    It’s honestly insulting they’re willing to sacrifice the truth of our Lords humanity and natural birth in order to keep their weird superstitions about Mary.
     
  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Did you notice that Irenaeus says miracles and spiritual gifts were still in evidence in the Church during his lifetime? "...the name of our Lord Jesus Christ even now confers benefits [upon men], and cures thoroughly and effectively all who anywhere believe in Him..."

    The preceding paragraph (the one before your quote) goes into even more detail on this:
    Wherefore, also, those who are in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name perform [miracles], so as to promote the welfare of other men, according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe [in Christ], and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years.
    This was in the 2nd Century, well beyond the Apostolic age. :)
     
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  11. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    St. Augustine is a treasure Trove on this subject. It is good to read all his writings, he is extremely orthodox and far removed from any of this.
    "Neither do we erect altars at these monuments that we may sacrifice to the martyrs, but to the one God of the martyrs and of ourselves; and in this sacrifice they are named in their own place and rank as men of God who conquered the world by confessing Him, but they are not invoked by the sacrificing priest. For it is to God, not to them, he sacrifices, though he sacrifices at their monument; for he is God's priest, not theirs."

    I should mention to him this sacrifice isn't propitiatory. Interestingly enough, he believes christ is offered to God. But he is offered to God because in the eucharist, the church offers herself as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise. In order to offer ourselves, we need christ to mediate. And so every time christ mediates, and especially when the memorial of his body and blood are laid out, Christ offers himself to God to mediate for us, so that we might offer ourselves to him in turn. It is a sacrifice of total self giving, both on the part of christ and his church. Because christ is the head and we are the body, we cannot do anything without him. Any notion of christ being offered should not scare us. We do not offer him in propitiation for sin, he offers himself as our mediator based on his completed atonement for sin, so that we might come to the father. And when he speaks of "offering the sacrifice of the body of Christ," the body is offered to God as a sign, and an entreaty to God to allow us to offer ourselves, for when God sees the sacrifice of the body and blood of christ laying upon the altar as a memorial, he "recalls" the death of christ "shown forth," as Paul says, and allows us to give ourselves imitating Christ. This is how Cyril can say its a propitiatory sacrifice, not in the sense that its offered for sin, since sin has been atoned for, but because it represents and recalls the reality of the one propitiatory offering of Christ, so it helps reconcile us with God through the continual showing forth of the memorial. The mistake of Rome and the east is to offer the memorial as a sin offering, which makes no sense.But you can see how easily the medieval mind would get confused, and say offering christ=sin offering. In his easter sermon, Augustine says Christ is sacrificed in the eucharist just like we say he has risen on the day of easter. It has a likeness to the thing it recalls, and is called by that name. And if there is no real sacrifice of body and blood, and is just a memorial sacrifice showing forth his death, then it can't really keep atoning sin day after day as the wish it would. This is a complicated subject, I'm not surprised people got confused about it to be honest.
    It should be noted Augustine sees prayer as a sacrifice too. So clearly it can't be offered to anyone but God. Most church fathers thought the same. Tertullian, for example, says prayer is like a sheep that is fattened, crowned, and slain before the throne of God. No way that can be offered to anyone but God.
    More augustine:

    "Whom could I find to reconcile me to You? Was I to solicit the angels? By what prayer? By what sacraments? Many striving to return unto You, and not able of themselves, have, as I am told, tried this, and have fallen into a longing for curious visions, and were held worthy to be deceived."


    "neither does He listen to those who pray otherwise than as He sees those that will pray. For, even when His angels hear us, it is He Himself who hears us in them, as in His true temple not made with hands, as in those men who are His saints; and His answers, though accomplished in time, have been arranged by His eternal appointment."

    He knows the angels hear prayers, but all prayer God hears as well. Therefore, it should all be directed to Him. Its funny Rome thinks Augustine is on their side lol:laugh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  12. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Also I know this thread isn't even on eucharistic sacrifice, but look at what Thomas aquinas says:
    "The celebration of this sacrament is called a sacrifice for two reasons. First, because, as Augustine says (Ad Simplician. ii), "the images of things are called by the names of the things whereof they are the images; as when we look upon a picture or a fresco, we say, 'This is Cicero and that is Sallust.'" But, as was said above (III:79:1), the celebration of this sacrament is an image representing Christ's Passion, which is His true sacrifice. Accordingly the celebration of this sacrament is called Christ's sacrifice. "
    Is this even in line with Trent? Im pretty sure the modern roman mass is termed not an image, but the real and true sacrifice, which Aquinas says was made on the cross. Am I mistaken here or does his eucharistic sacrifice differ from the Tridentine sacrifice?
     
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  13. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    At first, like many other posters on this thread, I was going to offer quotes from other fathers of the church on this issue, yet what will this really accomplish? We just end up arguing over which church father said what and why he said it. I am not saying such discussions are not important; however, I do not think anyone on this issue is going to post a "smoking gun" on this forum that proves or denies whether the saints hear intercessory prayers or not. Perhaps much of the venom against saintly intercession comes from a continental reformer mindset? Personally, I think the protestant restorationist view of the church is quite a perilous position to defend, as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and Adventists (amongst many others) actually find themselves arguing a restorationist position that is not much different than the arguments of the continental reformers. When did the Church stop being the Church? When did Christ get overthrown in his reign of the Church? Who gets to decide what period of the Church we need to "restore"? Of course it is true that the Church has contained a mix of error and truth from the very beginning, but the position of the Church ceasing (or lapsing) and needing to be restored is an untenable historical position in my view. The church in England existed outside of papal dominion and long before the continental reformers and did not need restoring to some previous period where error did not exist. Did we need to correct error that had crept into the Church? Yes, but the church in the British isles never ceased being the Church. Therefore, I think we should be considering what the practices were in the church in England prior to papal dominion. From this view and in my view, saintly intercession is quite strongly supported and is not an error than needs correcting.

    However, I want to take a bit of a more nuanced approach to this topic. As another poster mentioned in this thread, asking one for prayers (or to pray for them) is certainly nothing new and it is as old as our faith (probably even much older than that). However, the controversy seems to be not over whether the saints pray for us, which they most certainly do, but whether they can hear our intercessory prayers. I guess I fail to see or understand the controversy over asking a saint for their intercessory prayer. When we go to the graveyard to visit a deceased family member, do not many of us talk to our deceased loved one whether they can hear us or not? Does this practice provide us great comfort, whether they can hear us or not? In what way then would asking a saint for their intercessory prayers (which they are already doing) be wrong or against scripture? I don't know about any of you, but it feels really good to know that our family, friends, loved ones, church family, and others are praying for us. How powerful is it to know that all of the saints in heaven are joining us on earth in intercessory prayer?

    Personally, I can say that saintly intercession has greatly expanded and strengthened my spiritual life. That said, I have no objection with those who are not comfortable with the practice. I like to think of saintly intercession as being one of many tools in my spiritual tool box. Do I necessarily need to use all of the tools at my disposal to complete a given project? Probably not, but it sure makes any project much easier when one uses all the tools at their disposal.
     
  14. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    The difference of course, is that when one talks to a loved one at a gravestone they are not praying to them, nor praying to them to intercede for them. It's a conversation, to give comfort to the living and a hope to grant comfort to the dead.

    When I ask you to pray for me I am not praying for you to pray for me. I'm simply asking you. My prayers still go straight to the Lord, I don't route them through you first.

    I don't much understand the tool being in the toolkit to be perfectly honest with you. As many often say on this forum, why should I pray to Mary when I can send my mail straight to Christ?
     
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  15. Annie Grace

    Annie Grace Active Member

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    As a former Catholic who used to pray to saints all the time, I often wondered why it would be more efficacious for me to ask them to ask Jesus when I could just as easily as him myself. A lot of my prayers aren't requests anyway, they are expressions of gratitude to God for so many things like life and health and family etc, and I relaly want these expressions to be directed through Jesus, not through saints or angels or even through Mary. Nowadays, I make my prayers to God through Jesus, and that is enough for me.
     
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  16. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a fair assessment and I am not trying to argue that someone must practice intercessory prayer. However, if I may counter some of the points you present here with other observations. If we do not know whether our deceased loved ones can hear us with absolute certainty, why do we bother? As you mentioned, it provides comfort for the family member (or friend) to do so and it is certainly not against scripture. Although I feel like I may be repeating myself, the practice of saintly intercession can also be a source of comfort for the believer and it is not contrary to scripture either. Once again, I believe the real debate regarding this issue is probably strongest when it is centered around a debate of whether the saints can hear us. The undivided Church believed they could and that is where I fall on this issue. However, if the saints cannot hear us, where is the harm if it is a practice which can provide comfort and spiritual growth for the devout believer? I must confess, it is quite amazing to know all the saints in heaven pray for us....without ceasing. I guess the important question to consider here is why do you believe saintly intercession is wrong and why is it a threat to you? (or other Anglicans who feel this way)

    Furthermore, I think it is important to note that saintly intercession should not take away (and does not) take away from going to Christ directly. I have never felt as though saintly intercessory prayer is taking away from Christ, but rather it adds to his glory. Additionally, even though you can go directly to Christ and may not have any real need for anyone else to pray for you, our Christian tradition and heritage affirms the power of prayer and the practice of praying for one another is a strong part of that heritage. I firmly believe in the power of prayer and saintly intercession is a practice affirmed by the undivided Church. If any other Anglican does not feel this way or is not comfortable with this practice, it is perfectly fine on my end. We can still be Anglicans of good conscience who have differing practices. Furthermore, in regards to your last sentence, I am fully aware of the tenor of the loudest members on this forum and their beliefs of what Anglicanism should be (which may heavily lean toward continental reformed Protestantism); however, the history of the early Church (and much of the history of the Church for that matter) is messy and not defined by perfectly uniform practice. I get the drive and desire to have an Anglican confessional statement of faith that is binding on all Anglican believers (much like confessional Lutheranism), yet the Church has been diverse from its very beginning and different people have different ways of communicating and worshipping, while still being united on the essentials of faith (the catholic creeds). Traditional Anglicans are united on the essentials and I believe this is what truly matters. I do not think a forum that serves as an echo chamber does Anglicans of any stream of Anglicanism any good.
     
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  17. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    I don’t think you can find anyone aside from the cappadocians and maybe chrysostom talking about saint intercession. The issue I have with it is that it’s not asking a friend to pray for you. It’s asking Mary to pray for you because she is the mother of Jesus, she is above every one of us and even above angels, and Jesus or judge will hear the prayer of merciful Mary more than ours. It is an issue of whether the prayers of those in heaven are any better than our own. Even John chrysostom has several commentaries where he says that God is more willing to help us if we ask ourselves than have others ask on our behalf. If you take this approach, and you just ask Saints to pray to feel in “communion” with the church in heaven, I doubt many Protestants would have that big of an issue. But it has transformed into something wholly different. Moreover, it is closely tied to “venerating” Saints in public worship. Have you ever heard the akathistos hymn of the orthodox? It is a song that goes back and forth between singing glory to the trinity and glory to Mary. I take issue with having prayers or songs directed to a creature that could be exchanged with a song or prayer to God. Many Marian prayers can be made prayers to God if you just switch out Mary’s name with Gods. Open the book of psalms, and you will see David asking God to “save him,” “deliver him,” “redeem him,” “listen to his petitions,” etc. all things that people ask of Mary. Is that really ok?
    As for Protestants like me being revisionist, that’s a case of wether you believe the church can ever go into error or not. Popular Mary piety, for example, started off as a private devotion, not a doctrine of the church. Yet these traditions later became gradually accepted by the church, despite having no basis on apostolic teaching. Look up “orthodox nativity icon.” You will notice they all have Mary, Jesus, and Joseph, in a cave instead of a stable. This is because popular Marian piety and the non apostolic practice of icons (don’t have an issue with icons per se, but it’s silly to claim Luke was the first icon painter. The church was iconoclastic the first 200 centuries and that’s a fact) melded together. Mary giving birth in a cave is from the proto evangelium of James, which was deemed apocryphal by the Roman bishop. Here you clearly see the common people upholding non canonical writings above the inspired ones passed down from the apostles. You can also read the 6 books apocryphon of Mary. Here are the famous “kollyridians” epiphanius of salamis refers to. These books are about Mary and her assumption, and her powerful prayers. There is a scene where a Jew goes to touch Mary and his hand falls off. He asks Peter to help him, and Peter tells him to ask Mary for help. Only after Mary agrees does Peter help, and “in the name of my master Mary.” This is not apostolic practice. In the Septuagint, it says we should not worship (latria) other gods or serve them (doulere/ doulia). In Jewish thought, there was no way you could be a servant of someone in a religious sense and not also worship them. These kollyridians from the 6 books apocryphon also syncretized Mary with the pagan goddesses of their time, and thus Mary became the patron saint of harvest and in Byzantine also the patron of the fortress of the empire. The apocryphon says we must keep 3 Marian feasts in order not to incur the wrath of God. One of them is in may, which is still the month of mary. They prayed for crops and a good harvest. They then offered bread to God in the honor of Mary to thank her for her intercession. Epiphanius got confused and said they had female priestesses but they didn’t. He also said scripture is completely silent about the death of Mary so we should not say we know what happened to her. And that these people were worshipping the creature rather than the creator, and Mary is to be honored but they were going way overboard. This is what happens when you let the “tradition” of the masses dictate your theology. I don’t think quoting any church fathers in the position of saint intercession will do much because like I already said they don’t say much about it. The issue is you can hope the Saints hear your prayer. But in catholic and orthodox circles it’s accepted as a doctrinal fact. Moreover, they claim this is a practice the church always held. This is false, as you can see if you read any of my previous posts. You should also be worried what the apostles would think. If Paul thinks invoking angels is worship, you have a problem. If the apostles didn’t teach Saints can hear our prayers, why make it an issue of doctrine? Clearly there were people like Augustine and epiphanius who were against this practice, no one is saying the whole church accepted false beliefs. Idk what to tell you if you genuinely think Paul or Peter would feel comfortable singing worship songs to Mary in a church service and asking her to “save” them.
    I’m not trying to bash on anyone that does ask for saint intercession. But the way Catholics and orthodox defend it as “always” being a practice of the church is just not true. This became a thing through individual piety and rejection of apostolic teaching and writings in favor of “tradition.” Neither am I saying that the church went apostate. In fact, Luther believed the Church of Rome was in “Babylonian captivity” and yet he claimed it was still holy and a true church because it preached the gospel and sacraments. So it is not by any means my intention to say the church went apostate. To apply this to Protestants only is also just not right. Many easterners believe the Roman church apostasized from the true church and has been a false church for 1000 years. They literally believe the whole west has been devoid of a church for 1000 years. That’s the traditional orthodox position. The more liberal ones will be more ecumenical, but they still don’t even say the Romans have true sacraments, they say they don’t know. I’ve even seen someone on an orthodox forum say Eucharistic adoration in the Roman church is idolatry because they have false sacraments lol…
    Clearly I don’t believe in the papacy, but it’s undeniable the Roman church thought itself important as early as the fifth century, the first time a pope claimed the keys of Peter. So really, before saying some Protestants are restorationists, consider the East and Rome too. For a long time Rome taught the “schismatics” were going to hell. I have never said anyone will go to hell for praying to Mary or an angel. But I do not think the apostles would approve of this practice if they were alive. I also don’t think God lets Mary hear all the blasphemous prayers calling themselves her “servant” and placing their salvation in her hands. That would make her very unhappy.
    Also where can you support the undivided church knew Saints could hear us? Augustine didn’t believe this. Ireneaus didn’t believe this. Epiphanius didn’t believe this. there have always been 2 sides of the coin. The East never believed in the papacy but Rome believed in it very early on. Should we become papists now? A thousand year old error is still an error. My issue is not as much with saint intercession as claiming like you do that it’s the universal practice of the church in order to support the practice. It’s just not. The only quotes you can find are catholic answers and the like quote mining about Saints in heaven praying for us. That doesn’t mean they can hear us. If you want to know where this really started, read Mary in the early Christian faith and devotion. I’m pretty sure the author is not Christian because he pits the gospels against each other saying mark is hostile to Mary but luke and John arent. This should dissuade your worry of it being anti catholic or whatnot. The book examines the history of Mary veneration, and it started in Gnostic and heterodox groups, that’s why the church fathers don’t bother with it. It became the popular piety and soon made its way into the church practice. The first time a Mary prayer was said in the west during church was in 600 ad. Let that sink in. It took that long for the Roman church to officially approve a practice that took hold in personal piety and heterodox Christianity by mid fourth century. This is not apostolic teaching or practice. If the apostles didn’t teach it, you can’t claim it’s the practice of the undivided church. Also the syncretism of patron Saints with pagan goddesses should give you pause.
     
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  18. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    amen and amen sister
     
  19. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    And to show you why so many Protestants have a knee jerk reaction to the “innocent” saintly intercession, here are some excerpts from the Glories of Mary, approved by the Roman church and her popes:
    “I am thine; save me."† Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine, take charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine; to thee do I give myself. If, during the time past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasions of honoring thee, for the future I will be one of thy most loving and faithful servants. I am determined that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in honoring and loving thee, my most amiable Queen. This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to execute. Amen.”
    “Hence we must consider the glory of the Son, not only as being common to His Mother, but as one with her."†”
    “My King and my God, if ever I have found favor in Thy sight" (though the divine Mother well knows that she was the blessed, the holy one, the only one of the human race who found the grace lost by all mankind; well does she know that she is the beloved one of her Lord, loved more than all the saints and angels together), "give me my people for which I ask"? "If Thou lovest me", she says, "give me, O Lord, these sinners, for whom I entreat Thee." Is it possible that God should refuse her? And who is ignorant of the power of the prayers of Mary with God? "The law of clemency is on her tongue."* Each of her prayers is, as it were, an established law for Our Lord, that He should show mercy to all for whom she intercedes. St. Bernard asks why the Church calls Mary "the Queen of mercy." And he replies, that "it is because we believe that she opens the abyss of the mercy of God to whomsoever she wills, when she wills, and as she wills;”
    “Have pity on us, then, O Queen of mercy, and take charge of our salvation.
    "Say not, O holy Virgin," exclaims St. George of Nicomedia, "that thou canst not assist us on account of the number of our sins, for thy power and thy compassion are such that no number of sins, however great, can outweigh them. Nothing resists thy power, for our common Creator, honoring thee as His Mother, considers thy glory as His own;" and the Son, "exulting in it, fulfils thy petition as if He were paying a debt;"* meaning
    “thereby that although Mary is under an infinite obligation to the Son for having chosen her to be His Mother, yet it cannot be denied that the Son is under great obligation to her for having given Him His humanity; and therefore Jesus, to pay, as it were, what He owes to Mary, and glorying in her glory, honors her in a special manner by listening to and granting all her petitions.”
    “Command me; employ me as thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey; for the chastisements that come from thy hands will be to me pledges of salvation. I would rather be thy servant than the ruler of the earth. "I am thine; save me."† Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine, take charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine; to thee do I give myself. If, during the time past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasions of honoring thee, for the future I will be one of thy most loving and faithful servants. I am determined that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in honoring and loving thee, my most amiable Queen. This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to execute. Amen.”

    One which compares Jesus Christ our lord to Mary as a CREATURE:
    “God made two great lights; a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser light to rule the night."* Cardinal Hugo says that "Christ is the greater light to rule the just, and Mary the lesser to rule sinners;" meaning that the sun is a figure of Jesus Christ, Whose light is enjoyed by the just who live in the clear day of divine grace; and that the moon is a figure of Mary, by whose means those who are in the night of sin are enlightened.”



    The clear issue here is Mary is a mediator. Mary is the merciful mother and Jesus is the cold judge. So if we sin, we best pray to Mary first lest Christ be angered with us. This is utter blasphemy. So i rather just not practice saint intercession at all, because it always turns into this at the hands of those attracted to idolatry. And this is sheer blasphemy against the merciful and loving Christ. This is basically Monophysitism, making Jesus wholly Divine and Mary our human itnercessor. The whole point of the gospel is that we can freely approach Christ because he is just as human as we are and unlike Mary, he died for your sins! That should be enough proof that he is more merciful than she can ever hope to be. If the Roman and orthodox churches would admit this is blasphemous, I wouldn’t have that much issue with saint intercession. But they promote this instead, and on the basis of “apostolic practice.” I say that the apostles would be absolutely horrified to read any of this.
     
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  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    1 Corinthians 15:26-32
    The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’ But when it says, ‘All things are put in subjection’, it is plain that this does not include the one who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to the one who put all things in subjection under him, so that God may be all in all.

    Otherwise, what will those people do who receive baptism on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?

    And why are we putting ourselves in danger every hour? I die every day! That is as certain, brothers and sisters, as my boasting of you—a boast that I make in Christ Jesus our Lord. If with merely human hopes I fought with wild animals at Ephesus, what would I have gained by it? If the dead are not raised,
    ‘Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.’​

    This passage in 1 Corinthians opens many questions in term of what death means, and what Christ's victory over death mean.

    I would hold the view that there would be few here if any who would champion the doctrine of Mary as Co-mediatrix. As Anglicans we take the first 18 verse of John's Gospel very seriously, and would be unlikely to consider Jesus as 'the cold judge'. As an Anglican I would have to say, if you are not comfortable with intercession to the saints, then you should not do it.

    Monophysitism is the belief that in the one person Jesus of Nazareth there is one nature (monos, “single”; physis, “nature”), as opposed principally to the Chalcedonian formula, the Definition of Faith of the Council of Chalcedon (451), which declares two natures (dyophysitism) coexisting in one person.​

    Your description of Monophysitism is a long way removed from what is understood by this. Jesus is, as you correctly highlight, entirely divine and entirely human. We are, as Christians en-Christo (in Christ) and appropriately we reflect that the Church (the body of all believers) is the body of Christ.

    The purpose and aim of this site to to provide an avenue for discussion of all manner of things ecclesiastical, doctrinal, orthodoxical orthopraxical, with in the context of, and providing a vehicle to promote classical Anglicanism. It is not the purpose of this site, or of Anglicans in general, to rip into our sisters and brothers in faith in the RCC, The Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, or any other Church.

    As Christians our purpose to to build up one another, and to lift Jesus higher. We don't accomplish this by building walls, or by demeaning others who are trying to do the same.
     
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