Monday, October 21, 2013

Invoking Intercession by Outward Expression

I have a theological question for all of you.  :)

God has gradually and gently been bringing something to my attention so that I might learn from it, which certainly seems to be the way that a loving Father would teach His children.

I've been pondering it in my mind and heart these last few weeks, and I do believe that I've encountered a Truth.  I share it all with you today to see if it rings true to you also so that we might better understand our God, His angels, and the Communion of Saints.

We know that, by His very nature, God is omniscient, which is to say that He is all-knowing, all-wise, and all-seeing.  Nothing escapes His notice because He IS God.

To that end, God knows my thoughts.  He can read my mind and my heart.  So, if I am laying still in my bed at night, half-asleep but suddenly thinking of something important that I should probably remember for tomorrow, I could get up and write it down with a pen on a Post-It.  Or, I could think in my mind, "God, if You desire me to remember this and act on it tomorrow, please send the Holy Spirit to remind me."  (And I tell you, this always works for remembering the things which God deems to be important.)

Anyway, the first point that I am trying to make here is that God can hear my requests even if I do not express them outwardly.  I do not need to speak my prayers for God to know them.  I do not need to kneel in order for God to know that I am communicating with Him.  This is because only He and He alone is privy to my thoughts.  (And right now my thoughts are thinking that you're probably agreeing with me on this first point.)

The second point I'd like to make is that everyone else (angels, saints, and even demons) can--at best--only guess my thoughts.  Unlike God, they are not privy to knowing my thoughts.  So, to cite a similar scenario to the one I mentioned previously, if I were to lay in bed at night, and think in my thoughts, "St. Philomena, pray to God for me that tomorrow I might wake early enough to get to daily mass"--I suspect that she will NOT hear me.

Why?  Because she is not God.  She is not privy to my thoughts.

Now God could, if he wished, hear my thoughts and dispense St. Philomena to my aide anyhow.  But, then again, He might not.  And if He doesn't, perhaps it is because He wants to teach me how to properly invoke the assistance of the saints and angels.  Or, moreover, perhaps it is because God Himself has the privilege of doing what He wants in the manner and methods that He chooses.  And I believe that God helps His beloved children, not in the ways that would appear to be "best" in the short-term of this passing earthly life, but in the ways that are best for their eternal benefit.

If the saints and angels cannot hear our thoughts as God can, then this could be the reason why, in my little life, I have felt the powerful intercession of saints only when I have invoked them in a most loving and direct way.  Conversely, if I am careless and allow my sought of their aid to be nothing more than fleeting thoughts as I go about my normal activities, then it is no wonder that they have not responded to me.  They can't hear my thoughts.  The only way they could respond, in that case, would be if God Himself dispensed them.  (And this would be a bit backwards, really, since an intercessor is one who pursues God through fervent prayer and petition on behalf of another person.)

On the other hand, if St. Philomena sees me with folded hands and a bowed head in front of her icon, she can probably make a very good assumption that I am invoking her intercession, although for what exactly, she might have to guess.

But, if I were to speak ALOUD precisely what I am asking for her help with, then she would certainly know, even if I were uttering only a mere whisper.

Either way, her dutiful observations of my outward actions are the cues she needs to "get to work" in the very holy endeavor of helping to bring about God's plan in my life. 

I believe that she would immediately start praying to God and that she would help me and the circumstances of my life to be more open to God's perfect will me.

My final point, then, is that the angels and saints cannot truly be invoked by us unless we give some sort of outward expression of our desire for it.  But our heavenly friends are so attentive to us that even something as simple as an email would catch their notice.  I'm sure of it.

Last week, when my friend Marlene wrote to remind me that our guardian angels cannot enjoy daily mass unless go ourselves in order to take them, I responded in my email, "I hope that my guardian angel will wake me early tomorrow so that I might take us all!"

The next day, we went to daily mass.  Me, Liam, his sippy cup, and two powerful guardian angels trailing behind us crossed the street and squeezed into the back pew.  :)

So do you agree?  Does it ring true in your heart that only God can hear our thoughts and thus the assistance of saints and angels must be outwardly expressed for?  Does the Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church speak about this?  I am so very eager to hear from you, readers.  Please email me at