Q. I understand that ‘praying’ to Mary and the saints has to do with asking them to ask God things for you, what I do not understand is how this is better than directly asking God?
A. I don’t know. It just is. Our Lord likes for us to pray for one another. If we were only supposed to pray directly to Him then scripture would not exhort us to pray for one another. Where in Scripture does it say that we must only pray for ourselves and directly to God at all times?
Q. Also even though you do not worship Mary or the saints where did anyone ever get the idea that praying to dead people, yes dead people because that is ALL that Mary or any of the saints is, dead, is going to help anything?
A. We do not think of them as dead. I am sorry that you lack the faith to realize that even though our bodies die, our souls are alive and immortal, in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Therefore, since their souls are ALIVE, they are able to intercede for us.
Q. Nothing makes the saints or Mary holy in any way except that human beings decided they wanted to be.
A. No, it is not that easy to be declared a Saint with a capital “S”. The life of the person is examined with a fine-toothed comb. Writings, witnesses, friends and relatives are consulted if still alive. But then two supernatural miracles must occur as a result of a person asking for the intercession of the person to be elevated to Sanctity.
These miracles are not just lightly accepted the way a lot of people talk about, “it was a miracle!” The disease or disorder must be verifiable by medical, scientific records, doctor reports, lab work, X-rays, etc. The person must have been praying to this individual and then be cured. The cure also must be medically/scientifically verified with physician testimony, lab reports, X-rays etc. It must be determined beyond doubt that something supernatural occurred.
Q. Jesus also died but the difference is that he came back to life afterwords.
A. Jesus’ body was resurrected. But His spiritual being never died. He is God. He cannot die. And it is the same with our souls. Our bodies die but our soul is immortal. At the end of time all bodies will be resurrected and reunited with their soul in Heaven or Hell.
Q. The scripture verse above that Star posted is extremely relevant and in my opinion too much over looked in our society today.
A. The scripture verse: Jesus said, “No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me”: John 14:6
Of course, this is true. Jesus’ life, death and resurrection made it possible for man to be reconciled to God. Not Mary or any of the Saints. I think you seem to have some misinformation about what Catholics believe. Protestantism is riddled with misinformation about the Catholic Church.
Q. So what I would like to know is how it is possible to justify the belief that Mary and the Saints can do anything at all for you and whether or not Catholics view them as holy?
A. Yes, since we believe that they are ALIVE in Heaven, as evidenced by miraculous signs through their intercession, we believe that they can join their prayers with ours to our Lord. They do not, by their own merely human power, answer our prayers. We do view them as Holy. But we are all supposed to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is holy.
Q. One last point I would like to make is that there are many graven images of the Virgin Mary, one in almost every Catholic church, as well as images of the saints, and that even if you yourself do not worship Mary many people out there actually do.
A. I would say that you are wrong. Have you ever asked a Catholic if they worship Mary? Did they actually say, “Yes”?
Protestants are taught that Catholics worship Mary and the Saints. They have no pictures or statues in their churches. Therefore when they go to a Catholic Church, because of the biased teaching they have received, they jump to an uncharitable conclusion that Catholics worship Mary, etc. Any Catholic who actually does worship anyone other than God is a HERETIC!!! Pure and simple. No Catholic is EVER taught to worship anyone other that God.
Q. This tradition began in the 11th century when St.Bernard began a cult completely dedicated to the worship of Mary.
A. You are mistaken.
Q. It is completely ungrounded in scripture that any dead person can intercede between you and God.
A. Where does scripture assert what you say here? Where does Scripture say that a person who’s body has died cannot intercede for other members of the Body of Christ? Where does Scripture say that a person who has died is dead, dead, dead, until the end of time or whatever it is you believe about the soul?