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  One of the most important activities for a Catholic is prayer. Without it there can be no true spiritual life. Through personal prayer and the communal prayer of the Church, especially the Mass, we worship and praise God, we express sorrow for our sins, and we intercede on behalf of others (1 Tim 2:1-4). Through prayer we grow in our relationship with Christ and with members of God’s family (CCC 2663-2696).


  The family includes all members of the Church, whether on earth, in heaven, or in purgatory. Since Jesus has only one body, and since death has no power to separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:38), Christians who are in heaven or who, before entering heaven, are being purified in purgatory by God’s love (1 Cor. 3:12-15) are still part of the Body of Christ (CCC 962).


  Jesus said the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22-39). Those in heaven love us more intensely than they ever could have loved us while on earth. They pray for us constantly (Rev. 5:8), and their prayers are powerful (Jas. 5:16, CCC 956, 2683, 2692). Our prayers to the saints in heaven, asking for their prayers for us, and their intercession with the Father do not undermine Christ’s role as sole Mediator (1 Tim 2:5). In asking saints in heaven to pray for us we follow Paul’s instructions: “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,” for “this is good and pleasing to God our Savior” (1 Tim. 2:1-4).


  All members of the Body of Christ are called to help one another through prayer (CCC 2647). Mary’s prayers are especially effective on our behalf because of her relationship with her Son (John 2:1-11).


  God gave Mary a special role (CCC 490-511, 963-975). He saved her from all sin (Luke 1:28, 47), made her uniquely blessed among all women (Luke 1:42), and made her a model for all Christians (Luke 1:48). At the end of her life he took her, body and soul, into heaven--an image of our own resurrection at the end of the world (Rev. 12:1-2)


Source: Pillar of fire Pillar of truth, The Catholic Church and God’s Plan for You,

Catholic Answers, PO Box 17490, San Diego, CA 92177





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