Friday, March 18, 2011

Why am I Catholic? (Part V: Saints)

It is said, why do Catholic talk to the dead such as talking to the Saints? Should they not only talk to God? Are they not offending God? Well, we talk to them, because Jesus talked to them. At the transfiguration we read: “Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him [Jesus]” (Matthew 17:3). Was Jesus not talking to the dead when he said: “Lazarus come out” (John 12:43), or “Talitha Koum [Little girl arise!]” (Mark 5:41), or “Young man, I tell you arise!” (Luke 7:14). Were they all dead to him? Jesus himself answered this question: "Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive" (Luke 20:37-38).

To answer the first question above, we must also ask in return why does God sometimes talks to us directly, such as when he spoke to Abraham, “I am God the Almighty” (Genesis 17:1), Moses, “I am who am” (Exodus 3:14), or Saul, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5), and other times talk to us through his prophets and angels such as when the angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah and to Mary (Luke 1)? Just like God talk to us sometimes directly and other times indirectly through angels, prophets, and Saints, we too communicate with him directly as well as through angels, prophets, and Saints. It gives God glory to work through all his created beings in heaven and on earth to communicate his message of love and salvation, and all due worship to God alone.

If my best friend came to see me and he walked in my home and hugged me and kissed me and said nothing to my wife and kids for fear of taking away from me, then he does not really know me. My joy would be greater if he acknowledges my family and loved them for my sake. It is the same way with God. Asking Mary to pray for my wife as she gives birth, reminding her that she gave birth to the baby Jesus one day is pleasing to God. Asking St. Paul to help me teach a new lesson to a new group of people that I never saw before is pleasing to God. Asking St. Peter to pray for me when I deny Christ several times, or St. Thomas to pray for me when I am anxious and doubtful is not counter to God rather it gives glory to God. As long as I worship God alone I am within his will.

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