Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Pray Thee

Richard III
Today reading Richard III by Shakespeare, of all things, reminded me of the protestant misunderstanding of the word pray.  Catholics are constantly accused of worshipping the saints in Heaven because we pray to them.  Well, I ask you, was Clarence worshipping the assassin (Act I, scene 4) when he said "Pray tell me"  who asked the man to kill him (Clarence)?  I think not.  And, if a protestant was honest with us and themselves, they would admit that 'pray' in English has more than one meaning (the act of worshipping God).
Merriam-Webster says:  "Definition of PRAY
transitive verb
1: entreat, implore —often used as a function word in introducing a question, request, or plea
[pray be careful]
2: to get or bring by praying

intransitive verb
1: to make a request in a humble manner
2: to address God or a god with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving

When Catholics or Catholic writings talk about praying to the saints, can't protestants even entertain the possibility that Catholics mean #1 of either the transitive or intransitive forms of this verb?  #2 "to address God" is not the only meaning.  Are they so entrenched in their anti-Catholic bigotry that they can't even make this concession to logic? 

When we pray to a saint we are making a request in a humble manner that they, as our brothers and sisters in Christ, pray to God for us.  Can't we ask God what we need on our own?  Of course we can!  However, you tell me whether or not protestants ask each other to pray for them.  I know my Baptist Church (the church I grew up in) members did it all the time.  We had prayer meetings every Wednesday evening in which we prayed to God for each other's needs.  Our prayers to the saints are the exact same thing.  Even if you don't see it that way, can't you see that we DO see it that way, and give us a tiny bit of the doubt here?  We do not worship saints.  Period.

Christ the King

Are Catholics idolaters?  No, we don't worship idols.  The statues, paintings, and stained glass windows are portraits of our friends and family, just exactly like that picture of your dead Grandmother on your piano or uncle Joe in Texas.  Do we pray to saints as if they we gods?  No, we ask our friends to pray for us, just like protestants do. 

I pray all who are reading, pray for peace in Jesus Christ's Church--His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

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