How Do Saints Hear Our Prayers?
As God is omniscient, I can understand that he would be able to “hear” prayers whether they are vocalised or not. However, does the same apply to Our Lady and the saints? Can they know prayers which are not expressed vocally? Michelle Everts
Christ assured us: “When you pray, go to your private room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in that secret place, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you” (Mt 6:6).
It is the “Father” who heeds our prayers and who knows even our most secret thoughts and desires.
We must remind ourselves why God is our Father who lovingly hears our prayers. It is not because we are his creatures depending on him for earthly life. It is because God has adopted us as his special children destined for eternal life. As adopted children of God, we are siblings of Jesus Christ, and it is only through Jesus, this divine brother of ours, that his Father becomes our Father as well (Eph 1:5).
Every single prayer we pray goes through Christ as the only mediator between ourselves and our Father: “There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human being Jesus Christ who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim 2:5).
The saints who now live in the presence of God remain the brothers and sisters of this holy human and divine being, Jesus.
Saints Are Not Divine Like God
They, of course, are not divine. They cannot “hear” our prayers as God can. Their awareness of our prayers for their help has to be provided by God alone. This is the role Jesus takes here. He brings divine grace to us and as mediator, he brings human longings to God our common Father.
We loosely speak of the saints granting our prayers. They cannot do so. God alone hears and answers our prayers, or not, according to his will. Within the mystery of life among the redeemed in heavenly glory, the saints in union with Christ, are made aware of our requests for help and they in turn pray for us.
The Church shows its firm belief in the intercession of the saints when it requires that none of her faithful may be enrolled among her canonised saints unless there is irrefutable proof that God has worked a miracle in a particular case through the intercession of a certain potential saint.
Jesus Christ is forever our one and only way to God. We on earth pray in his name, and the saints in heavenly glory do exactly the same. They can “hear” us and know our most secret thoughts and desires because they are enwrapped in total communion with Christ and one another.
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