Hi, Betty —
Thanks for the question.
We don't post e-mails, just first and last names unless you want me to use an alias.
The general resolution to answering these type of questions is remembering that Christianity is a family-oriented faith that starts with the Trinity:
- The Father sharing all he has with His Son, and
- In return, His Son, Jesus, sharing all he has with His Father, and
that mutual love (the Holy Spirit) proceeding from both the Father and the Son is sent to us, the Church, (the Body of Christ) on earth. (See CCC 232)
This providentially parallels Christian family life:
- The husband giving all he has to his wife in his seed, and
- In return, his wife opening herself totally up to receive all that his husband has to give, and
- that conjugal embrace resulting in new children that bring forth the next generation of Christians.
- Why do we bother with saints when we should just pray to God alone?
We can pray directly to God alone! It's our choice.
Why do we bother with saints?
- they "can relate to what we are going through"
- have reach the sanctity we hope to reach, and
- they want to help us.
Our Catholic family is made of three groups:
- the Church Militant (us here on earth)
- the Church Victorious (the saints in Heaven), and
- the Church Suffering
(those saved by the Blood of Christ, who have remaining self-love being burned off in Purgatory, analogous to a Holy Hospital in Heaven.)
- Wouldn't God be angry with us for praying to saints instead of directly to Him?
To pray just means "to ask". Ask your friend this question:
- If you were very ill and you ask her to pray for you, would her husband get mad and say, "Why didn't she ask me to pray for her!?"
I have my doubts. In the same way there is nothing stopping your friend's husband from praying for you, there is nothing stopping any Catholic from praying directly to God, as well as to the saints; Again, we are a family!!
The saints aren't dead; they are more alive than we can imagine and want to help us on our spiritual journey against the devil and his legions.
- Also, isn't sainthood man-made?
- How do we know they become saints in heaven and that they are recognized as saints by God?
No, sainthood is not man-made. Sainthood, better known as canonization, is a divine confirmation by the Catholic Church that a person has lived a model life of holiness and is someone that the faithful should follow in order to live a Christ-like life of holiness and sanctity. The process does not start with the Pope or anyone at the Vatican, but rather with the acclamation of the local people who knew the person. Catholics can be assured of the holiness of these saints because Jesus promised to guide the Church in this area. (Matthew 16:13-20; Matthew 18:18, 1 Timothy 3:15)
It may "appear" like the Pope, being a man, is doing this, but he is being guided by the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit which was initiated among the local town's folk who knew the person.
Hope this helps,