Grabbing coffee with friends with whom I used to attend church before I became Catholic is always… interesting. The subtle accusation of praying to idols has a tendency to rise to the surface. The one-liner I usually end up hearing muttered at one point or another is something along the lines of “I only pray to Jesus… because that’s what the Bible says.” Yep. Can of worms opened. Comments like that are generally loaded and in search of conflict. More and more often, however, I am noticing that people are open to hearing why we Catholics ‘pray to idols.’ In any case, I (do my best to) respond charitably and to use each of these conversations as opportunities to
indoctrinate them share my faith.
One important truth that the Church faithfully teaches and defends concerns the reality of the communion of saints. Christians have, from the beginning, venerated and sought intercession from those who have gone before them in the faith; those who, according to what has been revealed to and interpreted by the Church concerning grace and justification, are said to have died in a state of grace and enjoy the Beatific Vision. Sacred Scripture affirms the mystery of this supernatural communion of believers. The Church exists as the mystical body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23); a body that extends throughout heaven and earth. Death does not separate the members of Christ’s Body from one another, because Christ has conquered death. All who are ‘in Christ’, the members of His mystical Body, are united in such a way that absolutely nothing; not life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities, etc. could ever cause separation among those who profess the name of Jesus. (cf. Romans 8:35-39)
“Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus…”
“It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself” [Catechism of the Catholic Church #956-957]
Now, sit back and allow the ordained spoken word master, Fr. Claude Burns AKA Fr. Pontifex, to explain the role of the saints in the prayers of the faithful here on earth:
Spirit Juice Studios/YouTube