1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Prayer to Saints and Mary?

Discussion in 'Catholic DIR' started by Mister Emu, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    I am a Southern Baptist that grew up going to a Catholic grade school, and with my dad's family being Catholic, and always wondered, what is the reasoning behind praying to Saints and Mary?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Praying to the Saints



    The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century.

    Can They Hear Us?



    One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of "golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

    Some might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when they are not directed to them!

    In any event, it is clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they are interceding.

    One Mediator



    Another charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ, which Paul discusses: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 2:5).

    But asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is a meditor. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us. Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses was the mediator (Greek mesites) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20).

    The intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul says that Christians should interceed: "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly, then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others something "good and pleasing to God," not something infringing on Christ’s role as mediator.

    "No Contact with the dead"



    Sometimes Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up spirits. "There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed" (Deut. 18:10–15).

    God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of common sense can discern the vast qualitative difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, "Mom, please pray to Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now." The difference between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf.

    Overlooking the Obvious



    Some objections to the concept of prayer to the saints betray restricted notions of heaven. One comes from anti-Catholic Loraine Boettner:

    "How, then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different languages, all at the same time?

    "Let any priest or layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one place at a time and to do only one thing at a time.

    "How, then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?" (Roman Catholicism, 142-143).

    If being in heaven were like being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the time/space limitations of this life.

    Further, the Bible indicates that the glorified human intellect enjoyed by the saints in heaven has a phenomenal ability to process information, dwarfing anything we are capable of in this life. This is shown by the fact that, on Judgment Day, we will review every act of our lives. But since Judgment Day is not going to take eighty years to review the events of an eighty year life (if it takes any time at all), our intellects will be able to process enormous amounts of information and experience once freed from the confines of this mortal life. And not only will we be aware of the events of our own lives, but of the lives of those around us on Judgment Day as well, for Christ stated that all our acts will be publicly revealed (Luke 12:2–3).

    This does not imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is, for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God.

    The problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer to the saints follows.

    www.Catholic.com Catholic Answers
     
  3. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    "Directly to Jesus"



    Some may grant that the previous objections to asking the saints for their intercession do not work and may even grant that the practice is permissible in theory, yet they may question it on other grounds, asking why one would want to ask the saints to pray for one. "Why not pray directly to Jesus?" they ask.

    The answer is: "Of course one should pray directly to Jesus!" But that does not mean it is not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately, the "go-directly-to-Jesus" objection boomerangs back on the one who makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian on earth to pray for us.

    Praying for each other is simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things, and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col. 4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked us to do so (Matt. 5:44).

    Since the practice of asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28, 17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on earth.

    Also, God answers in particular the prayers of the righteous. James declares: "The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit" (Jas. 5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious.

    Having others praying for us thus is a good thing, not something to be despised or set aside. Of course, we should pray directly to Christ with every pressing need we have (cf. John 14:13–14). That’s something the Catholic Church strongly encourages. In fact, the prayers of the Mass, the central act of Catholic worship, are directed to God and Jesus, not the saints. But this does not mean that we should not also ask our fellow Christians, including those in heaven, to pray with us.

    In addition to our prayers directly to God and Jesus (which are absolutely essential to the Christian life), there are abundant reasons to ask our fellow Christians in heaven to pray for us. The Bible indicates that they are aware of our prayers, that they intercede for us, and that their prayers are effective (else they would not be offered). It is only narrow-mindedness that suggests we should refrain from asking our fellow Christians in heaven to do what we already know them to be anxious and capable of doing.

    In Heaven and On Earth



    The Bible directs us to invoke those in heaven and ask them to pray with us. Thus in Psalms 103, we pray, "Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!" (Ps. 103:20-21). And in Psalms 148 we pray, "Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!" (Ps. 148:1-2).

    Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us. In the book of Revelation, we read: "[An] angel came and stood at the altar [in heaven] with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God" (Rev. 8:3-4).

    And those in heaven who offer to God our prayers aren’t just angels, but humans as well. John sees that "the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints" (Rev. 5:8). The simple fact is, as this passage shows: The saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

    WWW.CATHOLIC.COM Catholic Answers
     
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Mary: "Full of Grace"



    The Fathers of the Church taught that Mary received a number of distinctive blessings in order to make her a more fitting mother for Christ and the prototypical Christian (follower of Christ). These blessings included her role as the New Eve (corresponding to Christ’s role as the New Adam), her Immaculate Conception, her spiritual motherhood of all Christians, and her Assumption into heaven. These gifts were given to her by God’s grace. She did not earn them, but she possessed them nonetheless.

    The key to understanding all these graces is Mary’s role as the New Eve, which the Fathers proclaimed so forcefully. Because she is the New Eve, she, like the New Adam, was born immaculate, just as the First Adam and Eve were created immaculate. Because she is the New Eve, she is mother of the New Humanity (Christians), just as the first Eve was the mother of humanity. And, because she is the New Eve, she shares the fate of the New Adam. Whereas the First Adam and Eve died and went to dust, the New Adam and Eve were lifted up physically into heaven.

    Of particular interest in the following quotations from the Fathers are those that speak of Mary’s immaculate nature. We will all one day be rendered immaculate (sinless), but Mary, as the prototypical Christian, received this grace early. God granted her freedom from sin to make her a fitting mother for his Son.

    Even before the terms "original sin" and "immaculate conception" had been defined, early passages imply the doctrines. Many works mention that Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain. But pain in childbearing is part of the penalty of original sin (Gen. 3:16). Thus, Mary could not have been under that penalty. By God’s grace, she was immaculate in anticipation of her Son’s redemptive death on the cross. The Church therefore describes Mary as "the most excellent fruit of redemption" (CCC 508).

    WWW.CATHOLIC.COM Catholic Answers
     
  5. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Mr. Emu,

    Welcome to the forums! Very nice to have another Christian in the group!

    Hope these quotes answered your questions..... anything else?

    Peace in Christ,
    Scott
     
  6. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    I just want to make sure I got this right.

    You do not pray to the saints, you ask them to pray for you?

    and is there any scriptural evidence for Mary's immaculate conception?

    Also, I was wondering, I was baptized at birth as a Catholic, at 9 I had my first communion, and at 10 or 11 I was baptized as a Baptist(I had always gone to a Protestant church on sundays, as well as mass at school), does the Catholic church still view me as a Catholic?

    I am thinking of changing to Catholicism but there are still a few questions I have(I believe I was raised with quite a few misconceptions I would like to clear up before making my mind up) would you be open to answering them?

    Edit: Whoa, almost forgot to say thanks, for the answer and the welcome
     
  7. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Mr Emu,

    Bingo. :)

    Well, you are a Christian, by the grace of your baptism........ a "member" of the Catholic Church would have to complete the Sacraments of Initiation which would have to include Confirmation......

    We are all brothers and sisters in Christ..... believe it or not....... that's all that matters to me.

    I would be happy to........... my intention here on this forum is not to convert people, but education about my faith (even should you not "change" to Catholicism) can be beneficial.

    Peace be with you,
    Scott
     
  8. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    Thank you again.

    As you can see by me not even know I wasn't a Catholic in the first place, I am not very knowledgeable about Catholicism.

    And I understand "changing" was porbably not the best word, but for some reason I could not think of a better one.

    1. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, is there any scriptural evidence?(I undertand that a protestant bible has something like 10 books less, so if it is in one of those ten books please add that)

    2. I have never understood Purgatory, could you please explain it.

    3. I have heard that in catholisism, priests are considered closer to God than the general membership, is this true?

    4. I also heard that confessions must be given to annointed priests, or they are not considered true confessions(or something like that, general idea was that the priest is needed).

    Thank you in advance for the help.
     
  9. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951

    Mr Emu,


    I had some time tonight, so I thought I would start to answer your questions.

    Well, I guess I was not clear....... ALL Christians are catholic (little 'c') but not all have yet to reconcile with the Church Christ founded and be Catholic (big 'C') .... :)

    On to question #1
    First, to clarify, the Immaculate Conception of Mary refers to Mary being conceived in her mother Anna’s womb without original sin.

    OK, with that out of the way, the answer to your question is yes, and no......

    Again, to clarify, it is important to understand that the Catholic faith does not subscribe to the anti-Scriptural doctrine of Sola Scriptura. (Why I feel it is contrary to Scripture we can save for another thread!)

    I hope you understand that Catholic teaching does not have to come totally from Scripture. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    97 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God" (DV 10) in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches.
    (Read the complete teaching here: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a2.htm

    “Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, ‘full of grace’ through God (Lk 1:28), was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses......: ‘The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin’ “

    The dogma was not officially defined until 1854, for it took time for the Church to understand it properly and define it; but its substance had been known and believed from the beginning, since it was present from the beginning in the original “deposit of faith” - like all dogmas, including the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the canon of the New Testament, all of which took centuries before they were understood and defined infallibly. The truth did not change with time; the Church’s awareness and understanding of it did.

    By God’s grace Mary was not only immaculately conceived without original sin (natural sinfulness), but also preserved from all actual sin (committed sins) during her life. This total sinlessness of Mary, far from detracting in any way from Christ was (a) wholly for Christ’s sake and (b) wholly from Christ’s power.

    Mary’s glory was wholly for Christ, for his Incarnation: “ To become the mother of the Savior, Mary ‘was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role’ (LG 56). The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as ‘full of grace’ (Lk 1:28)” Because of her vocation to be Mother of God, “it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace”. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily’ (Col 2:9) should herself be ‘full of grace’. It was for Christ’s glory that Mary was glorified.

    The simplest answer to the Protestant objection to the doctrine of Mary’s sinlessness in this: Suppose God had not made Mary “full of grace” and immaculate; would Christ have had more glory if Mary had thus had less? The objection has three hidden errors: Mary and Jesus are never rivals, glory is not a divisible quantity like money, and God is not a miser with his grace.

    Mary’s glory is wholly from Christ, too, as the moon’s glory is wholly from the sun. “The ‘splendor of an entirely unique holiness’ by which Mary is ‘enriched from the first instant of her conception’ comes wholly from Christ: she is ‘redeemed..... by reason of the merits of her Son’ (LG 53,56)

    Mary, too, needed Christ for her salvation, just as we all do, but she was saved before she sinned, while we were saved after we sinned. It is like one person being saved from a disease by an inoculation to prevent it, and another person being saved from the same disease by an operation to cure it - by the same doctor.

    (portions from Catholic Christianity by Peter J. Kreeft Ignatius Press)

     
  10. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    If you notice I used big "c" too, meaning I didn't realize I was never really a member of the Catholic Church :)

    I understand that Catholics do not soley rely upon the bible, I as well would like to read the outside-the-scripture writings that are of a credible source, I will just keep in mind(my mind at least) that they are not the infallible words of God as are the scriptures. Yes the belief of Sola Scriptura and whether or not it is right is for another thread :) (I believe that one can find salvation solely in the scripture, but I am open to other readings which I will determine the veracity of when I read)

    Please understand I never infered nor believed that any glory applied to mary would therefore decrease Christ's glory.

    As it stands now I have no evidence then others' words that Mary did indeed have an immaculate conception, can you give the other sources the church uses(used) to support the dogma? Once I read them I can come to my own conclusion.

    I wish to add another question, if I am pressing your time too much please say so, I have a Catholic church down the road and I could go ask the priest tomorrow, I have some views that might not be exactly the same as the official catholic view(comes from the papacy I guess) I was wondering if I joined the C(big "c")atholic Church if I could bring forth my ideas in debate, to help everyone understand the gosple better and to grow in spirituality, or would this be frowned upon?
     
  11. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Mr. Emu,

    Well..... now we are getting somewhere. Here is a link to the papal bull about the IC.... you will have to read it and check for any references you need.... I am sorry I don't have the time right now.
    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_pi09id.htm

    As far as the second part of this quote from you: "Once I read them I can come to my own conclusion." Very interesting.... I wonder how you applied the same thing to your Bible.
    • Please show me in writing where your Bible came from using an outside source as proof of it's validity.
    • Please show me in writing where your Canon of Scripture came from and how you believe it is the correct canon....... again, using OTHER sources.
    • Please show me from other sources where you defined the Trinity.
    See where I am going...? Just as long as you can apply the same level of scrutiny to your CURRENT beliefs, I am sure you will have no problem coming to the same conclusion I did.

    Don't be silly.... I LOVE answering these questions! The Lord has blessed me with a love for my faith and a desire to learn more about it...... by answering your questions, it helps me to draw closer to him....... I owe you thanks!

    I would ALWAYS suggest that you speak to a priest before you spoke to me. I am here if you are not willing to do so, or if something in either of your schedules do not allow a timely meeting.
    I AM NOT a priest. I DO NOT have a degree in theology........... In fact, I have been a member of the Catholic Church for less than a year.... :)

    I am here if you need me, but a priest face to face would always be better!

    YES. To disagree with an established dogma of the deposit of faith is to cease to be Catholic.
    That being said, I am sure that you don't understand what the deposit of faith means to a Catholic, but maybe we can go over that later.

    In MY opinion, to be Catholic means to be in communion with the Church of Rome. You can not be in communion with the Church and think that the Church may be in error. I know many protestants who have "Catholic tendancies" and I love to discuss several issues with them at a Baptist Bible study I attent twice a month...... but you can not become Catholic (again in my opinion) until you have come to accept the teachings of the Church. You don't have to understand all of it, but you must know that it is the truth.

    I will try to work on question #2 Purgatory, later this afternoon.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Purgatory exists because God is both just and merciful.

    Purgatory is “like a refiner’s fire” (Mal 3:2). It refines and purifies those who at the moment of death are neither good enough for an immediate heaven or bad enough for hell.

    1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

    1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:



    As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

    The existence of purgatory logically follows from two facts: our imperfection on earth and our perfection in heaven.

    At the moment of death, most of us are not completely sanctified (purified, made holy), even though we are justified, or saved by having been baptized into Christ’s Body and having thereby received God’s supernatural life into our souls, having accepted him by faith and not having rejected him by unrepented mortal sin.

    ......but in heaven we will be perfectly sanctified, with no lingering bad habits or imperfections in our souls.

    Therefore, for most of us, there must be some additional change, some purification, between death and heaven. This is purgatory.

    Is purgatory found in Scripture? You decide:

    Scripture speaks of a cleansing spiritual fire: (1 Cor 3:15, 1 Pet 1:7)

    In death many of us are still imperfect: (1 Jn 1:8)

    In heaven we will all be perfect: (Mt 5:48, Rev 21:27)

    Scripture also distinguishes sins that cannot be forgiven either before or after death from sins that can be forgiven after death: (Mt 12:31-32)

    The reality of purgatory is found in Scripture, though not the word - just like the Trinity.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Closer to God? No. Closeness in an individual thing...... there are many Saints who were lay-people, many Priests were criminals, and vise versa.......

    Are Priests holier than laity?

    There are two anwers: No, not necessarily and Yes, they should be. :)

    1584 Since it is ultimately Christ who acts and effects salvation through the ordained minister, the unworthiness of the latter does not prevent Christ from acting. St. Augustine states this forcefully:


    As for the proud minister, he is to be ranked with the devil. Christ's gift is not thereby profaned: what flows through him keeps its purity, and what passes through him remains dear and reaches the fertile earth. . . . The spiritual power of the sacrament is indeed comparable to light: those to be enlightened receive it in its purity, and if it should pass through defiled beings, it is not itself defiled. 1589 Before the grandeur of the priestly grace and office, the holy doctors felt an urgent call to conversion in order to conform their whole lives to him whose sacrament had made them ministers. Thus St. Gregory of Nazianzus, as a very young priest, exclaimed:


    We must begin by purifying ourselves before purifying others; we must be instructed to be able to instruct, become light to illuminate, draw close to God to bring him close to others, be sanctified to sanctify, lead by the hand and counsel prudently. I know whose ministers we are, where we find ourselves and to where we strive. I know God's greatness and man's weakness, but also his potential. [Who then is the priest? He is] the defender of truth, who stands with angels, gives glory with archangels, causes sacrifices to rise to the altar on high, shares Christ's priesthood, refashions creation, restores it in God's image, recreates it for the world on high and, even greater, is divinized and divinizes. And the holy Cure of Ars: "The priest continues the work of redemption on earth. . . . If we really understood the priest on earth, we would die not of fright but of love. . . . The Priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus."
     
  14. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    This question, as I see it is not so much about confession, but about the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

    1461 Since Christ entrusted to his apostles the ministry of reconciliation,65 bishops who are their successors, and priests, the bishops' collaborators, continue to exercise this ministry. Indeed bishops and priests, by virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, have the power to forgive all sins "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
    65 Cf. Jn 20:23; 2 Cor 5:18.

    A priest is needed because Christ said so............:D

    .... just remember that it is the "interior confession" of the sinner that comes first, and determines the "power" of the confession:


    1451 Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."50

    1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.51

    1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.52 1454 The reception of this sacrament ought to be prepared for by an examination of conscience made in the light of the Word of God. The passages best suited to this can be found in the Ten Commandments, the moral catechesis of the Gospels and the apostolic Letters, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the apostolic teachings.53

    Any other questions are welcome.

    Peace in Christ,
    Scott
     
  15. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    *** Admins Or Mods Please Move To Religious Debate ***
     
  16. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    Sorry, didn't mean to turn it into a debate

    Let me delete those two posts and change to questions, again sorry.

    Edit: Done, nor more reason(hopefully) to change venue.

    1. Mary was not born without sin, she was born already forgiven of it?

    2. In glory and honor she is second to the Trinity?

    3. Could you explain the belief of the ever-Virgin Mary to me?

    If you answer thanks, I will not post debate style posts again.
     
  17. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,303
    Ratings:
    +951
    Mr Emu,

    Please don't take offense to my asking for a forum change..... I don't mind a debate, but the Catholic forum is not the correct place for that.
    You can ask your other questions or post items for debate over there, and I will be happy to play along! :)
    Mary was born without original sin, by the grace of God. She remained without sin her entire life.

    Yes. By her fiat and life, she is the perfect example of human faith. Mary said yes, where Eve said no......

    I saw in your deleted post that you think Mary had other children after Jesus........I don't think she did.
    I believe she remained a Virgin.

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  18. Mister Emu

    Mister Emu Emu Extraordinaire
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Messages:
    11,581
    Ratings:
    +1,340
    Religion:
    Christian
    Ok I didn't take offense, I was afraid you had, and plus this thread had been a discussion and I really didn't want to turn it into a debate.

    If you want to debate go ahead and start one, I am still learning, so that one day I can debate about it intelligently.
     
  19. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,748
    Ratings:
    +167
    Not even being a Christian (any more), I don't really belong here, but I would like to make one point. It was mentioned that the Protestant Bible contains 10 fewer books than the Catholic Bible. The Bible of the Church of Sweden (Lutheran) has always, except for financial reasons during one period, included the OT Apocrypha (12-14 texts). The remark in older Swedish Bibles (probably from Dr. Martin Luther) was that those books were not in the Hebrew Bible, and therefore they were not considered equal to the other books, but that they never the less were useful reading.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. johnnys4life

    johnnys4life Pro-life Mommy

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,135
    Ratings:
    +154
    What exactly is the purpose of pennance? Is it's purpose supposed to be to work towards and obtain forgiveness or is it just an arbitrary punishment for sin?
     
    • Like Like x 1
Loading...