Where did the the idea of praying to saints and Mary originate? Is it even scriptural?
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 10/23/2007:
If you are an evangelical Protestant, you are in a tradition which locates all religious teachings in a literal interpret ion of the bible. Thus the prayer the "Our Father" is interpreted that all prayer must be directed to the Father alone and not to the Father through any appeal to the Blessed Mother and the saints. If you are a Catholic, you are in a tradition which locates all religious teachings in the authority of the Church, which is the sole interpreter of the Bible and the traditions handed down by Christ to the apostles. In this tradition one can pray to the Blessed Mother and the saints as creatures who are especially blessed by God as well as pray directly to the Father. Thus very much depends on what tradition of faith that one belongs to. Thus a Catholic would have no difficulty with the practice of the Jews in the Old Testament of their devotion to Abraham, Moses, and David because they were especially chosen by God to reveal his will. The basic principle behind this practice would be that God dealt with the Jewish people, not as individuals, but as members of a community. Thus God wold be honored when these great leaders of the community were honored. The Catholic Church regards itself as a community of believers who approach God in the way God approached them. God the Father approached them through Christ and his Apostles. The New Testament came later.It seems to me that the evangelical tradition omits this communal sense and sees the believer more as an isolated individual dealing directly with God. On this view God illuminates the soul of each individual as he or she reads the Bible and leans all that they have to know in this personal manner. This is not the Catholic sense of how God deals with his creatures.