Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Praying to Saints

Amy, on her blog The Daily Weaving, has a nice, clear, concise explanation of why we Orthodox Christians "pray" to saints.  I place "pray" in quotes because it's perhaps a misleading word, implying, for some people, worship.  We don't worship saints, of course; we ask them to pray to God with and for us, as Amy explains in more detail.

So I commend her post to you, and would like to add perhaps one point to it.  Many times we are asked how the saints in heaven, even granting they are still alive, can hear us here on earth. 

Well, "hear" may also be a misleading word, as they, not yet reunited with their resurrection bodies, have no flesh-and-blood ears.  Nevertheless, they "hear" us the same way they "see" the face of Christ without eyes or "sing" His praises without voices.  How can this be?  They are all filled with the Holy Spirit, Who enables them to do these things in Him and by His power.  That's just as they do everything, and just as all Christians are meant to do everything.


amy said...

Many thanks to you, Anastasia, for sharing the link and adding more commentary to the topic. I am one who doesn't understand why some (actually, many!) people misinterpret the word, "pray". Few from our modern generation continue to use the word with its original meaning: to entreat/implore,.. as in, Pray tell, what is going on here? Intellectual laziness? or am I just an archaic curmudgeon refusing to take part in the (d)evolution of language? ; ' )

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Yes. You, like me, are, if not an archaic curmudgeon, at least refusing to take part in the devolution of language. That's a virtue!

But then, so is communicating.


Deacon Benjamin Harju said...


I have been thinking of this lately, too. If you consider the work of God in the Church, it is not hard to "get" how we can ask those who have passed on into heaven to pray for us.

In the Church God imparts His Grace through the Sacraments. What happens to those who participate in the sacramental life of the Church? They become en-sacramented, that is, themselves transformed into Grace-bearers. This is basic and intrinsic to our salvation. The saints are those who through union with Christ in the Church, through their faithful working with Him, have been transformed into energetic Grace-bearers. They are similar to sacraments themselves, as icons are similar, and other things in the Church are similar (though not strictly sacraments).

It just seems simple to me that those who live in and from the sacramentally charged and defined Church of Christ should themselves reflect that reality by the efficaciousness of their prayers.