Thursday, May 28, 2009

From the combox

These profound words by my favourite Doctor of the Church, St Alphonsus Liquori, were left in the form of a comment from my earlier post, Cry of a Lost Soul. Thank you, Anita, for sharing them with us.

He who prays is certainly saved. He who prays not is certainly damned. All the blessed (except infants) have been saved by prayer. All the damned have been lost through not praying; if they had prayed, they would not have been lost. And this is, and will be, their greatest torment in hell, to think how easily they might have been saved, only by asking God for his grace; but that now it is too late, -- the time of prayer is over.


Anonymous said...

What a great quote and message. Thanks for putting this up. Last year when you put Cry of a Lost Soul up, I made copies to give to all my friends.

paramedicgirl said...

Thanks, anon. It's good to know that some of my posts have been helpful to others.

Adam said...

Alphonsus Liquori didn't know his Bible very well, and you call him a Doctor?

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

Praying to the dead saints won't save you, especially since the Bible forbids such things. Pray to Jesus from your heart and he will save you. There is no other Mediator, except Christ so trust in him.

paramedicgirl said...

Adam, it appears you are understanding the Bible from your own interpretation, which is faulty. I can show you where the Bible most certainly teaches us to pray to the dead.

When Jesus was conversing with Moses and Elijah during the Transfiguration(Mark 9:4) according to your own logic, He was conversing with "dead saints". So not only does the Bible not forbid this, it shows us the perfect example of Jesus conversing with saints.

And what about Luke 16: 19-30 where the departed rich man asks Abraham to intercede for him? Abraham was dead, and here again, is an example of the intercession of the saints.

You should also look up Ephesians 6:18-19 where the Bible mentions praying to the saints.

And if you have ever read the book of Tobias, you know full well that the angel presents Sarah's and Tobias' prayers to God. (Tobias 12:12) That my friend, is intercession.

And wait, there is more Biblical proof that we should indeed pray to the saints for their intercession: Revelations 5:8 And when he had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the "prayers of saints""The prayers of saints"... Here we see that the saints in heaven offer up to Christ the prayers of the faithful upon earth.

paramedicgirl said...

One other thing, Adam - when Catholics pray to the saints, we are asking them to intercede before the throne of God for our intentions. We are not praying to them as though they are God. We are simply asking them to multiply our prayers; to help us get our intention heard in heaven.

Venite Missa Est! said...

Hey paremedicgirl,
You, my friend, rock.


Adam said...

>>When Jesus was conversing with >>Moses and Elijah during the >>Transfiguration(Mark 9:4) >>according to your own logic, He >>was conversing with "dead saints". >>So not only does the Bible not >>forbid this, it shows us the >>perfect example of Jesus >>conversing with saints.
Jesus also accepted worship, raised the dead, healed the sick, forgave sins, controlled the weather...because He is God. God also has the right to take innocent life, but for us, if we did the same, that would be murder. The disciples were shown the transfiguration as a witness to Jesus' deity, after which, God the Father tells the disciples "Listen to Him". You're pulling passages out of context to try to justify a false teaching of the Church.

Adam said...

>>And what about Luke 16: 19-30 >>where the departed rich man asks >>Abraham to intercede for him? >>Abraham was dead, and here again, >>is an example of the intercession >>of the saints.
The departed rich man is already "dead" and in hell and Abraham and Lazarus are "dead" as well, but in Heaven. There is absolutely no justification in this passage for "living" people to pray to "dead" people.

Adam said...

>>You should also look up Ephesians >>6:18-19 where the Bible mentions >>praying to the saints.
paramedicgirl, you cannot take scripture passages out of context. The Bible also says "There is no God" in Psalm 14:1. But if you read the whole context of the verse, it says "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;" Keep that rule in mind whenever you try to interpret any passage of scripture correctly. Now about Eph 6:18: the author writing Eph is Paul the Apostle. If you read the context of the passage, Paul (who is alive at the time of writing it) is clearly asking his brothers and sisters (also alive) in the faith to pray for him to fearlessly proclaim the gospel. It has absolutely nothing to do with praying to dead saints.

Adam said...

>>And if you have ever read the book >>of Tobias, you know full well that >>the angel presents Sarah's and >>Tobias' prayers to God. (Tobias >>12:12) That my friend, is >>intercession.
Let's stick to universally accepted books of scripture, not disputed books like Tobias. Even so, even in that passage Raphael the angel says that he (Raphael) "offered thy prayer to the Lord".
The Bible describes one duty of angels and that is to serve man. Matt 18:10 says "See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.", This passage, speaking of children and their child-like faith, seems to be indicating that angels hear believers' prayers and forward them to God. In this case, due to the great faith of little children, their angels see the face of the Father more often and so their prayers to God get answered more often. However, notice that the children are praying to God, not angels or dead saints.

Adam said...

In regards to Revelations 5:8: my last response answers this very well.

If you read the whole passage in context and the surrounding chapters, you will understand that the prayer of the saints is referring to the prayers given by the saints still alive on earth, not ones who are already dead. If the dead saints are in the presence of God, they don't need to pray to him, just talk to him - He's right there.

Adam said...

>>One other thing, Adam - when >>Catholics pray to the saints, we >>are asking them to intercede >>before the throne of God for our >>intentions. We are not praying to >>them as though they are God. We >>are simply asking them to multiply >>our prayers; to help us get our >>intention heard in heaven.
paramedicgirl, I understand but it's not Biblical. We (living) believers are to pray for others (alive) but nowhere in the Bible does it ever mention praying to those who have past away or on their behalf or for them to pray on our behalf. These were considered pagan practices throughout history and forbidden by God.

Look, you sound like a woman who is seeking God and want to know his truth. Jesus said that we "must worship the Father in spirit and in truth". However, as I have demonstrated, prayer to the saints is not God's will and you should obey God rather than the teachings of men. I'm not trying to criticize you or offend you - my desire is that you worship God in truth, and as you do you will grow even closer to God.

paramedicgirl said...

Adam, you just don't get it. Catholics pray to God, and ask the saints to intercede for them so that their prayers will be multiplied. Who is closer to God than a saint who is already in heaven? Who would have God's ear?

I figured you would dispute the Book of Tobias - that's why I didn't quote from Macabbees 2:46

It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.After all, I do realize that you only belive in a portion of the Bible.

Adam said...

>>I figured you would dispute the >>Book of Tobias - that's why I >>didn't quote from Macabbees 2:46
These are both highly disputed books, even among some Catholic scholars, for good reasons because they are inconsistent and contradictory with the existing universally accepted 66 books of the Bible. Be very careful to base your whole doctrine on such books, especially when they contradict the rest of the Bible.

>>It is therefore a holy and >>wholesome thought to pray for the >>dead, that they may be loosed from >>sins.After all, I do realize that >>you only belive in a portion of >>the Bible.
"It is appointed once for men to die, and then the judgment". This verse alone, amongst others clearly states that once you die, you will be judged for your sins or enter heaven via the merits of another, Jesus Christ. Nowhere in the Bible does it state that once can still be saved after having past into the next life. Trust Jesus now while you have the chance - don't trust such doctrines of men with no basis in the Bible, your only source of absolute authority.

"If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of ALL unrighteousness". Jesus has forgiven us once for all our sins, both past, present and future. This is absolute clear teaching in the new Testament. There is no need for purgatory.

paramedicgirl said...

Nowhere in the Bible does it state that once can still be saved after having past into the next life.Adam - the doctrine of Purgatory, (though not as you stated above) allows souls that die in a state of grace- but are not perfect enough to enter heaven - to expiate their sins.

Their is much biblical reference for the belief in this doctrine, which is, of course, why Catholics believe it.

May God remove the blinders from your eyes.

paramedicgirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anita Moore said...

Adam, Adam, Adam...I will overlook the towering arrogance it takes for you to set yourself up above the extremely learned and holy St. Alphonsus Liguori to ask you one question:

Must you dredge up the tired and discredited sola Scriptura? That sola Scriptura is not true is painfully demonstrated by the proliferation of "Bible-based" Protestant denominations, none of whom can agree on any principle except one: that it's wrong to be Catholic. Not even Luther himself, the author of sola Scriptura, really believed in it, even while he professed it: if he really believed that Scripture is the sole rule of faith, he would never have dared to take a pair of scissors and a blue pencil to Scripture, and change or cut out the stuff in it he didn't like. Besides: if the Bible really is the sole rule of faith, then you are in a lot of trouble, because since Luther changed the Bible to suit his own tastes, you don't have the complete rule of faith, and are therefore missing information that, according to your own philosophy, is vital and indispensable. (And since prejudice prevents you from going for the full rule of faith to the Church that gave us Scripture, your plight is even worse.)

As for "dead" saints, the saints are not dead. Since you require biblical proof, I give you Luke 20:34-38:

And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now He is not God of the dead, but of the living; for all live to Him.Cf. also Matthew 22:31-32 and Mark 12:26-27.

paramedicgirl said...

Adam said - "If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you of ALL unrighteousness". Jesus has forgiven us once for all our sins, both past, present and future.Let me get this straight - I only need to make one confession of sins in my life and that takes care of any sins that I might commit down the road of time? By that logic, I can confess all my sins today and commit murder next week and be forgiven?

And how again does your above statement deflect the entire doctrine of Purgatory?

Anita Moore said...

By the way, Adam, I can't help noticing you do not dispute the truth of the quote from St. Alphonsus, despite his abysmal ignorance of Scripture.

Adam said...

>>Their is much biblical reference >>for the belief in this doctrine, >>which is, of course, why Catholics >>believe it.
Show me those references from the universally accepted books of the Bible.

Adam said...

>>Adam, Adam, Adam...I will overlook >>the towering arrogance it takes >>for you to set yourself up above >>the extremely learned and holy St. >>Alphonsus Liguori to ask you one >>question:
I apologize if I have come off as arrogant, that was not my intent. As for Alphonsus being holy, well, only God is truly holy.

I will respond to the rest of your comment later.

Anita Moore said...

Adam, the doctrine of Purgatory does not state that a person can be saved after death. The souls in Purgatory are saved. But it takes a pure heart to see God (cf. Matthew 5:8); so what is to become of those who are not quite good enough for heaven, but not bad enough for hell?

There are two kinds of punishment for sin: eternal and temporal. Although by His Crucifixion and death Jesus delivered us from the eternal punishment due to our sins, we still have to satisfy God's Justice; and if we have not done so in this life, that is why God, in His unfathomable Mercy, gave us Purgatory. I give you 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any one builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw -- each man's work will become manifest; for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

paramedicgirl said...

Adam said - Show me those references from the universally accepted books of the Bible.By "universally accepted", I take it you mean I should show you the references to Purgatory from the Protestant Bible.

Here goes:

First, a little on punishment for sins: God punished David even after He has forgiven him (2 Kings 12)

Jesus confirms Purgatory in Matthew 5:26 in the Sermon on the Mount: Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

Also as Anita mentioned, 1 Corinthians 3:15

Just who do you think Jesus was preaching to when He preached to the "spirits in prison?
2 Peter 3:18 18 Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, 19 In which also coming he preached to those "spirits that were in prison"Look up 2 Peter 4:6 as well:

6 For this cause was the gospel preached also to the dead: that they might be judged indeed according to men, in the flesh; but may live according to God, in the Spirit. And Saint Paul prays for his dead friend Onesiphorus, in 2 Timothy 1: 16-18

Lastly, in 1 Corinthians 15: 29-30, Saint Paul mentions people baptizing for the dead, which is understood by the Catholic Church to mean this:

"That are baptized for the dead"... Some think the apostle here alludes to a ceremony then in use; but others, more probably, to the prayers and penitential labours, performed by the primitive Christians for the souls of the faithful departed; or to the baptism of afflictions and sufferings undergone for sinners spiritually dead.

Anita Moore said...

As for Alphonsus being holy, well, only God is truly holy.Here is illustrated an obstacle to mutual understanding: the classic Protestant doctrine that the filth of our sin cannot be cleansed, but only covered over. This is entirely counter-Scriptural. Witness:

Psalm 51:10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.Isaiah 1:16-18: Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before My eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD: "though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool."Ezekiel 11:19-20: And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and obey them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God.Mark 6:20: ...for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. Notice that here is the Holy Spirit Himself in Scripture calling a mere man holy.

And the piece de resistance, from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:48: You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Mark said...


would you stop if Jesus were to personaly intervene, and answer us, setting controversy to rest?


Excerpted from The Invitation Heeded, (Pg. 109ff) by James Kent Stone.

Part II, Chapter I
The Incarnation and the mission of the Holy Ghost
The loftiest of the ancient philosophers confessed the incompetence of reason to determine spiritual truth, and looked forward, with an instinct of prophetic anticipation, to the advent of a god who might remove uncertainty by the word of divine authority (Plato in Epinomide). It is time for Protestants to ask themselves whether they are any better off that Plato was. For them, a God has come – and gone. The Divine Word walks the earth no more; and for the ascertaining of truth it is as if he had never descended from heaven. Christianity has furnished many new and glorious ideas, so novel indeed and so beautiful that men call it a revelation. But when we come to sift the meaning of this expression, it only signifies that a new domain of speculation has been thrown open, in which the human intellect may wander up and down, and admire – and doubt. The relation of truth to reason, the appeal to which it makes to the mind, is the same now as before. The reception of what are called Christian doctrines is simply the assent of the understanding to propositions the truth of which appears probable (As Chillingworth has not only admitted, but endeavored to prove).


Mark said...

...continued from The Invitation HeededMen have what they call faith. But it is evident that this belief is only a number of opinions, more or less strong, and differing from any other intellectual judgments only in this, that they are of such a nature as to excite emotion, suggest comfort, and inspire hope. The very hope thus awakened in the mind is of a sort which shows the character of the belief from which it springs; for it is a looking anxiously forward – I am speaking, be it remembered, of protestants – to a future state, in which present doubt shall be exchanged for knowledge, and the mists of uncertainty be dissolved in the effulgence of light. This is in effect precisely what Plato did. ‘And exactly what St. Paul did,’ you quickly exclaim. Ah, dear friend, how clearly, if you could only see it, this very appeal of yours shows how utterly you have failed to comprehend the nature of Catholic faith! You quote St. Paul as if he had said, ‘Now I doubt, but then shall I know.’ St. Paul was a Catholic, and he spoke as a Catholic. And his words were: “NOW I KNOW” – I know now, and I shall know then; the assurance is the same, the measure of cognition alone is different; “now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.”


If the Lord Jesus Christ were to come back to us, in the glory of his majesty, how quickly would we cease our dogmatizing, and hush our disputings. With one accord we would exclaim, ‘the Messsias is come, and he will teach us all things.’ Dear friend, he is here now; he is here today in the midst of us, radiant with the irresistible tokens of divinity, addressing us in awful tones of authority; in the person of his Church he comes and lays his hand upon you, and says, “I that speak unto thee am he.”

This is not a fiction of speech. It is no bold metaphor. The Church is the voice of God, speaking to the world now as it spoke eighteen hundred years ago. The God whose possible coming was dimly conceived by the intuition of the Greek philosopher has actually come. And has the meaning of that advent ever shown in upon your mind? Have you ever apprehended, have you even begun to apprehend, the appalling fact of he Incarnation? The infinite, eternal God brought himself within bounds; he took upon him a reasonable soul and human flesh; he suffered death as a sacrifice for the sins of the world; he created a Church, and built it upon a rock, and said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” he chose his representatives, an in words of omnipotence he invested them with their awful commission; to one of them he gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven; to all of them he said: “whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven;” he breathed upon them, saying, “receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained;” he pronounced upon them those sentences of unutterable import: “as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you:” “he that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me:” “all power is given to me in heaven and in earth: go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

Mark said...


you deny Jesus come in the flesh. what does that make you? repent.

Mark said...

So the question is, if God has made his revelation to man, does it even make any sense that God would leave it up to man to determine for himself what God's revelation meant, what it promised, and what was expected of man in return? That God would leave us alone to argue over what He had meant when He made His definitive revelation through His Son Jesus Christ, that we are in no better position than the Jews were and are when it comes to God's Word? that he would leave us alone and divided, when He promised to stay and prayed that we would be united, so the world would believe that the Father had sent Him?

My friend, eveyone knows what a Catholic is, but no one knows what a protestant is, and there is no religion called "Christianity" - there never has been and there never will be.

Paul Nichols said...

Wow. I'm so glad we have so many protestants who seek to save us poor benighted Catholics.