The prayers of those who have gone before us are powerful.
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. (1 Tim. 2:5-6)
It’s because of these words that many non-Catholic Christians don’t believe we need saints to pray for us in Heaven. Jesus is the one mediator we have with the Father. “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens.” (Heb. 7:26)
The Bible says that God hears every single prayer his children address Him (Psalms 32, 22; Lk. 11:9). This is the reason St. Paul always asked the faithful to pray for other communities and for himself (Ep. 6:18-20; Cor. 4:3-4). In Heaven. an angel offers “prayers of all God’s people” (Rev. 8:3) to the Lord.
All Catholics know that it’s through Christ and in Christ that these prayers take on their significance. So, how can we gauge the efficiency of prayers said by someone who is in Heaven?
Saints are the examples for all Christians
God appreciates the deference and the trust we show toward our elders in the faith. This is why, during exorcism, He manifests his power only after the priest has asked the saints and the angels to intervene on the behalf of the unfortunate person tormented by demons.
We ask the saints to intercede on our behalf because we appreciate their generosity and their love for God. Just as we ask others to pray for us here on earth, we can ask them to pray for us from heaven.
God is overjoyed to see us ardently desire to emulate the saints. Our hearts become more merciful and our prayers more righteous, even though the Lord hears all of our prayers.
Our prayers can lead to an eventual beatification or canonization
Humility allows us to see the progress we still must make to join those in paradise. It’s yet another triumph over our vanity and despair, for the Spirit whispers in our ear: “You can do this and much more!”
Finally, when we recite a novena, asking someone who died “with an aura of saintliness” to heal us or our loved ones, we give the Church an opportunity to proceed with a potential beatification or canonization. For we must remember that God always hears the prayers of His most humble children.
Father Pierre Descouvemont
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