Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Facebook Apologetics: Veneration vs. Worship, Pt. 3

Next, we hear from "Alexa." She has a very simple and honest question that I was happy to answer. I enjoy answering questions from people who truly want to learn a lot more than responding to the shoddy arguments of people who have already made up their mind about me. Also see Part 1 and Part 2.

At any rate, here is her question:

  • How else do you give honor to the saints cus I've heard from a catholic friend of mine about things like praying to Mary which I dont get.

Alexa, it is true that praying to the saints is another aspect of what we're discussing here. When we pray to the saints, it's a different kind of prayer and it's for a different purpose. When we pray to our Lord, it's an act of profound humility, that of a creature before his Creator, an attempt at communion with He who is the source and foundation of all things, an act that springs from a deep love and desire and dependence.

When we pray to the saints, it is by way of request or appeal. We know, as James tells us in his letter, that "the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (5:16). We respect the fact that the saints have come from every single walk of life, yet they now live with Christ in paradise. So, we ask them for their prayers, just as we ask one another for prayers, or I would ask you for your prayers.

The point of all this is to show you that the intention of the prayer is different. It is NOT an act of worship. It is informed instead by the same principle that compels you to ask one of your brothers or sisters in Christ to pray for you.

Pax Christi,
phatcatholic

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