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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Clarfication on Intercessory Prayer & Salvation

Praying to Mary
Intercession of Mary & the Saints
How is Praying to a Saint NOT Like Praying to God?

BUIMIRA:  Here is a crucial point which should be clearly understood. With respect to the older posts, if we have a good relation with Jesus, and pray ONLY to Christ, and not to any saint, angel, or even to Mary, then we can count ourselves still confidently saved! This is the point that you missed, or did not make it clear. You shouldn’t have missed it in your articles.

FATHER JOE:  No, this is not Catholic teaching. While all prayer is directed to almighty God, we do invoke Mary, the angels and the saints to assist us and to intercede before God. This is reflective of a “corporate” relationship we have with each other and God. Certain Protestant sects wrongly privatize or overly personalize faith. We are called to both a personal and communal relationship with the Lord. As for being saved, Catholics do not subscribe to the Protestant understanding of Blessed Assurance which flows from a rigorist Lutheran view of justification by faith. Such relies upon a notion of juridical imputation while Catholicism insists upon being born again as a new creation. While there is life, we can abide in the sure and certain hope of our salvation. The problem is that genuine faith can sour. We pray that we will faithful endure until the race is over. This is different from the presumption which you seem to espouse.

One Response

  1. Father Joe, I understand the Catholic hope for salvation (rather than the protestant presumption of once saved always saved) depend on our “enduring to the end.” In my religious experience (almost 50 years as a protestant and now a Catholic since Easter), I see protestants as limited in their prayer life. The protestants I know pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus, God the Son, in all prayer, private and corporal. Catholics are free to address God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, to say nothing of Mary, the Mother of Gad, any Saint they choose, and the angels. In this freedom. the Communion of Saints becomes much more than part of a creed. The Kingdom of God extends beyond the grave, as we all wait for Jesus to come again.

    But my question is this, are Catholics free to pray to those who have gone on before us, and are presumably in heaven, but who have NOT been beatified or granted sainthood? In other words, can we pray to our deceased relatives and expect them to pray with us and for us? Or is this presuming too much? We cannot prove they are in heaven. I understand that those in Purgatory can benefit from our prayers but not return the favor. I know part of this is mystery, but … you must know by now that I have lots of questions.

    FATHER JOE: Praying to particular persons who have not been canonized is discouraged. You may however invoke the saints in a general way for intercession to almighty God. Canonization certifies that a person lived a holy life and he is (in the reckoning of the Church) in heaven. Such a person has witnessed to the faith and is a model or example for our own discipleship. As for others who have died, the Church would prefer that we pray for them among the poor souls in purgatory. If any of them are actually in heaven then the graces of our prayers will be applied to other poor souls in need of help, especially if they have no one to pray directly for them.

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