Why pray to Mary and the Saints when I can go straight to Jesus?

When a person is baptized they become part of the mystical body of Christ. A Christian is connected spiritually to other Christians through their baptism. Since Christianity is a communal faith we are suppose to help each other out spiritually as well as physically. The Bible actually tells Christians to pray for one another in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” Praying for one another is powerful and the prayers of a righteous person are very powerful. What human, other then the God-Man Jesus, is more righteous then Mary? She is full of grace (Luke 1:28) and blessed among women (Luke 1:42). Mary is our mother; Jesus extended her motherhood to all humanity when he was on the cross (John 19:26-27). What good mother isn’t concerned with her children? Mary loves her children and prayers for her children.

Mary along with the other Saints have died and gone to heaven, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned with the Church on earth. The Church consists of the Christians on Earth (Church militant), Christians in purgatory (Church suffering) and the Christians in Heaven (Church Triumphant). Christians on Earth may be physically separated from Christians in heaven but we are all connected supernaturally in the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ has conquered death; what is more powerful? Death or the blood of Christ? To say that death has cut off the Christians in heaven from the Christians on Earth is assuming that death is more powerful then the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.

The book of Revelation supports that humans and angels in Heaven are conscious of and pray for Christians on Earth. Revelation 8:3-4 reads “And another angel came and stood at the altar 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.” The above text clearly states that Angels in heaven are offering up the prayers of the Saints. Who are they praying for? This scene from the book of Revelation takes place in Heaven; the angels and saints aren’t praying for the people in heaven, they don’t need prayers they have been saved and are with God in Heaven. They aren’t praying for people in hell because they are eternally damned, their prayers are useless. They must be praying for the Church on Earth and Purgatory; this would imply that angels and saints in heaven hear the prayers of the Church on Earth and intercede on their behalf. The Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has always known and taught this from its start in 33AD by Jesus Christ.

Many times non-Catholic Christians accuse Catholics of praying to the Saints and not going to Jesus. Catholics have always gone to Jesus. Every day at Mass millions of Catholics recite the Lord’s Prayer. If one listens closely during Mass, everything is asked “Through Christ our Lord”. Practicing Catholics have the most intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, greater then any Protestant Christian group; by Christ’s command we actually consume his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Mass. Christ literally becomes part of us and strengthens us on our road to holiness and salvation. Protestants have communion services every so often but the bread and wine (or grape juice) is just a symbol of Christ’s body and Blood. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are the only Churches that have the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. What greater personal relationship can one have with Jesus then actually partaking in his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?

Just like Catholics who go directly to Jesus but also ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us, Protestants themselves ask for the prayers of their: pastors, ministers, elders, family and friends. There is nothing wrong with this; James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” and we are told to “pray for one another.” With this in mind, how greater are the prayers of Mary and Saints, particularly Mary, who is most blessed among women. All Christians should have an intimate relationship with Jesus but also be united with the other members of the Body of Christ in prayer. As said earlier death temporally separates Christians physically but death cannot separate those who have been baptized in Christ’s life, death and resurrection and live in Christ Jesus.