Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dead People Can't Pray for You! A Catholic Response.

Q. People that have died cannot pray for you, we have access to the father through his son Jesus,and that's what he wants from all of us,a personal relationship. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 as it is appointed unto men ,once to die,but after this the judgment. ...Only by his grace, are we saved through faith,and that not of ourselves, is the gift of God,not of works lest any man should boast.We can't earn our way to heaven, because it cost God everything it cost his sons life Jesus, his shed blood, death burial and resurrection were for you . I love reading his word...Where does it say in the Bible to pray to dead people, or saints that went home to be with the Lord?

Good question! Let's open our Bibles and take a quick look...

Holy Bible
You Won't Find a More Catholic Book.

First, let's take a quick look at the Book of Revelation, especially 8:3-4.
And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel. 
And Revelation 5:8
And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Here we see the exact role the saints (and angels) play before the throne of God - they offer prayers to him, exactly as Catholics ask them to in our prayers to them. The angels and saints are not replacing or displacing Jesus, he is offering prayers in accord with Jesus' will for how the Church should work - we should intercede for each other.

And before you go off quoting 1 Timothy 2:5:

For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Let's look at the context of that passage.
I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all menFor kings, and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:1-5)
That is, St. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, is actually asking Christians to pray for one another (to intercede for each other), just as Catholics do all the time - with both living Catholics and those who have already "went home to be with the Lord."

You might also revise your understanding of the saints not being able to "hear" us in light of Matthew 17:1-5. 

And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him.And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him
The saints, as both Revelation and the Transfiguration make clear, are very aware of what is happening here below.

And the saints are most emphatically not "dead," they are, in fact, more alive than you or I.
And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven. And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. (Matt 22:29-32)
The saints in heaven are experiencing eternal life, not death.
And these (the damned) shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. (Matthew 25:46)

I'd also ask a simple question of you:

Where in the Bible does it say everything a Christian believes must be in the Bible? In point of fact, the Bible says the exact opposite (2 Thess 2:15):
Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle. 

You seem like someone who loves Jesus Christ. I'm guessing much of what you believe about the Catholic Church has come from non-Catholic sources. We don't believe men can be saved through good works (the Catholic Church condemned that heresy, Pelagianism, in the fifth century and has ever since (and before). I'd recommend you read something from the Church before attacking her. May I suggest:

 Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic 

Catholicism and Fundamentalism


The Protestant's Dilemma

or even

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

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