Loida Jordan wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have a friend with a different religious background asking me why we are praying to Mary and the other saints for intercession.

They said God cannot answer our prayers because the saints are dead and therefore cannot intercede for us.

Please help!

Thanks,

Loida

  { Why pray to Mary and the saints when they're dead and why don't they grasp Mary, Mother of God? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Loida —

For an extensive treatment of this search our knowledge base for keywords saints intercession. Briefly, proof that departed saints are alive and have a role in our prayers is in Revelation 5:8 and Revelation 8:5. Also see:

  • Hebrews 12:1 and preceding verses (the saints surround us like fans cheering us on)
  • Hebrews 12:23-24 (the souls of the departed saints are present with us in liturgy)
  • Jeremiah 15:1 (the departed saints intercede for us in heaven), and
  • James 5:16 (the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective).

Also consider the Transfiguration, when Jesus spoke with Moses who was dead.
See: Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36

Also check out this posting:

Eric

Loida replied:

Thanks.

Actually I have one more question.

My non-Catholic friend asked me some questions about the Rosary. Based on what I know, the Rosary is the mystical life of our Lord Jesus, starting from His birth to His Resurrection.

  • Why can't they understand why we called Mary, the Mother of God?

The part of the prayer:

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

to them, is a form of paganism like the repetition of prayers. Sometime it hurts to hear these things from her.

Again, any help you can provide would be appreciated.

God bless.

Loida

Eric replied:

Loida,

The answer to your first question can, again, be found in our knowledge base. As to why Mary is called the Mother of God, read this posting:

The quick answer is that calling Mary the Mother of God says more about Jesus than it does about Mary; it's a beautifully concise way of communicating delicate truths about Jesus that are hard to otherwise communicate. Those three words (two in Latin, one in Greek) refute centuries worth of heresies.

On the Rosary and vain repetition, read this article from Catholic Answers:

Also, note that it is condemning vain repetition, not repetition per se. What this means is that some pagans thought they could control their gods by multiplying the repetition of their names. They weren't being sincere in calling upon their gods, but just trying to manipulate them by going on and on endlessly about them. Think of the Hare Krishnas who think that salvation is attained by saying the name of their god thousands of times a day.

Repeating prayers sincerely, especially while meditating on the mysteries of the Gospel, is not vain. As the article I cited pointed out, even the Psalms use repetitive prayer.

Eric

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