Monday, April 25, 2016

Mary and the Saints - Excerpt from Common Ground

Common Ground 

- What Protestants and Catholics Can Learn From Each Other

Pastor Steve Andrews & Father John Riccardo

Published and Distributed by Nineveh's Crossing.

Chapter 15 - Mary and the Saints

FR. JOHN: So, we do not worship her, we worship God alone. We do honor her, just like you honor your two friends who are back in Kenya.


FR. JOHN: That's what we do as persons. Unfortunately you see it all too often in sports or entertainment. You know, we're going to honor people who made movies that none of us would ever go see, but somehow we're going to tell them that they were great works of art. We honor them. We honor somebody who's 6'9" who can dunk. I mean if we honor those people for doing things which have nothing to do with character, then how much more do we honor the saints, both alive and dead?

PR STEVE: For a Protestant to say I have a relationship with Jesus, that's normal. But to have a relationship with Mary, that'd be unusual. I'm really looking to understand this too. Is it to have a relationship with Peter as well? To be engaged with the history of our faith, with the people of our history?

FR. JOHN: Yeah, because our claim would be
that the saints are not dead.

PR. STEVE: Right, they're not.

FR. JOHN: It would be yours, too. But it's not like we're consulting mediums and putting our hands over a crystal ball and going, "Okay Peter, tell me the answer to the question." Or, "Give me the magic number to the lotto, Mary." No, it's a simple thing - the communion of saints for a Catholic is not broken by death.

PR. STEVE: I hope not.

FR. JOHN: So therefore, I can ask, just like I ask you to pray for me. And you don't say, "why bother to ask me to pray for you, just talk to Jesus. Why do I  need to pray for you?" You would never think of saying that to somebody - "why bother to ask me to intercede for you. You don't need to ask me to intercede for you, just go right to Him. What would I possibly do for you?"

PR. STEVE: Right.

FR. JOHN: We would say that same principle holds for asking those who, according to Revelation, are standing around the throne of God in glory. We ask them to pray for us. And they know what in fact we need to receive because somehow the perspective from Heaven seems to be a little bit better than out perspective here on Earth. So the simple fact that they're not dead means I can have some sort of relationship. It's a very different friendship than the one you and I could have. But some sort of relationship. We ask them to intercede.

PR. STEVE: They're part of the great cloud of witnesses.

FR. JOHN: Exactly. God is the God of the living, not the dead.

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