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Author Topic: Silent Prayer to Saints?  (Read 863 times) Average Rating: 0
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Maximum Bob
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« on: February 29, 2012, 11:53:34 PM »

So this may be addressed here but I haven't found the right search terms to find it. Embarrassed

Can we pray to Saints silently? If we do will they hear us? I've heard it said before, don't remember where, that demons can't read our minds. That other than us, only God knows our thoughts. I don't know if that's correct but I've heard it. If it is in any way correct then what does that imply, if anything, for silent prayer to Saints, Guardian Angels, etc?

Mind you, at home during prayer time I generally pray out loud, and also standing, and facing our icons, and facing east. But there are other less formal prayers, say in bed with my wife asleep beside me, or out in public, or even upon entering church where praying out loud seems to me to not be appropriate.

So any ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 12:11:14 AM »

Maximum,

Where your heart is and all that.

I am sure people can turn at least three things you said into riotous arguments, but what of the mute?

BTW, I can assure you demons can read your mind. Humans read each other minds all the time. If I can pull it off on a daily basis, I am sure Satan can.

Prayer in "your closet" will certainly be heard. Perhaps even more so.

With a pillar of salt . . .
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 12:45:57 AM »

The Saints participate in the life of God and God has willed that those who live His life have the ability to intercede for those of us on earth who call upon them.  In a sense those who participate in the life of God participate in His omniscience, but only by grace and only in part. So yes, our silent petitions are heard. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 01:46:52 AM »

BTW, I can assure you demons can read your mind. Humans read each other minds all the time. If I can pull it off on a daily basis, I am sure Satan can.

I'm curious about this.  My understanding is that they cannot read our actual thoughts, but that they can often determine them through some version of observation and inductive reasoning. They probably know us better than we know ourselves.

On a related note, are demons able to gather intelligence during prayer/confession?
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2012, 01:49:06 AM »

Anytime a saint hears me, I assume it is only because God has permitted my words to be heard by them.  Consequently, I see no reason not to pray to them silently.
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2012, 01:03:36 PM »

Quote
BTW, I can assure you demons can read your mind. Humans read each other minds all the time. If I can pull it off on a daily basis, I am sure Satan can
Really? I was always under the assumption that they could not. Now, Im sure they can guess pretty well, as they know human nature better than humans do, but actually read out thoughts? Is there something to back this up?

Quote
Anytime a saint hears me, I assume it is only because God has permitted my words to be heard by them.  Consequently, I see no reason not to pray to them silently
Sounds like a winner to me Wink

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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 01:39:37 PM »

Anytime a saint hears me, I assume it is only because God has permitted my words to be heard by them.  Consequently, I see no reason not to pray to them silently.

This answer covers everything.

Anything that happens is because God permits it, anything..
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2012, 01:44:01 PM »

Quote
BTW, I can assure you demons can read your mind. Humans read each other minds all the time. If I can pull it off on a daily basis, I am sure Satan can
Really? I was always under the assumption that they could not. Now, Im sure they can guess pretty well, as they know human nature better than humans do, but actually read out thoughts? Is there something to back this up?

Yes.

I read people's thoughts all the time.

Satan is one of the few creatures of God with more guile and craft than I.

Ergo, Satan can also read people's thoughts.

Or see Cognomen's "modern" explanation. Really, functionally it is the same.

To believe thought is something which is necessarily "interior" requires a particular metaphysics, one which unfortunately abounds.

« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 01:44:13 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 02:39:24 PM »

BTW, I can assure you demons can read your mind. Humans read each other minds all the time. If I can pull it off on a daily basis, I am sure Satan can.

I'm curious about this.  My understanding is that they cannot read our actual thoughts, but that they can often determine them through some version of observation and inductive reasoning. They probably know us better than we know ourselves.

You are right about this.  The demons cannot read our thoughts, but they observe carefully our outward demeanor, movements, gestures, and actions to determine our thoughts and passions.

From ConferenceVII of St. John Cassian, who was commemorated yesterday on the New Calendar:

CHAPTER XIV.

An objection, as to how we ought to believe that devils see into the thoughts of men.

GERMANUS: In this way, which you describe, those spirits cannot possibly see into our thoughts. But we think it utterly absurd to hold such an opinion, when Scripture says: "If the spirit of him that hath power ascend upon thee;"[393] and again: "When the devil had put it into the heart of Simon Iscariot to betray the Lord."[394] How then can we believe that our thoughts are not open to them, when we feel that for the most part they spring up and are nursed by their suggestions and instigation?

CHAPTER XV.

The answer what devils can and what they cannot do in regard to the thoughts of men.

SERENUS: Nobody doubts that unclean spirits can influence the character of our thoughts, but this is by affecting them from without by sensible influences, i.e., either from our inclinations or from our words, and those likings to which they see that we are especially disposed. But they cannot possibly come near to those which have not yet come forth from the inmost recesses of the soul. And the thoughts too, which they suggest, whether they are actually or in a kind of way embraced, are discovered by them not from the nature of the soul itself, i.e., that inner inclination which lies concealed so to speak in the very marrow, but from motions and signs given by the outward man, as for example, when they suggest gluttony, if they have seen a monk raising his eyes anxiously to the window or to the sun, or inquiring eagerly what o'clock it is, they know that he has admitted the feeling of greediness. If when they suggest fornication they find him calmly submitting to the attack of lust, or see him perturbed in body, or at any rate not groaning as he ought under the wantonness of an impure suggestion, they know that the dart of lust is already fixed in his very soul. If they stir up incitements to grief, or anger, or rage, they can tell whether they have taken root in the heart by the movements of the body, and visible disturbances, when, for instance, they have noticed him either groaning silently, or panting with indignation or changing colour; and so they cunningly discover the fault to which he is given over. For they know that every one of us is enticed in a regular way by that one, to the incitement of which they see, by a sort of assenting motion of the body, that he has yielded his consent and agreement. And it is no wonder that this is discovered by those powers of the air, when we see that even clever men can often discover the state of the inner man from his mien and look and external bearing. How much more surely then can this be discovered by those who as being of a spiritual nature are certainly much more subtle and cleverer than men.

http://www.osb.org/lectio/cassian/conf/book1/conf7.html#7.14
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2012, 03:32:38 PM »

Kudos to Jah777 for being an example of what a Convert Issues Response should look like. Simple direct response with references.

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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2012, 11:42:32 PM »

I am sure people can turn at least three things you said into riotous arguments, but what of the mute?

Only three things?  Wink I'm sure with only a micron of encouragement people could make infinite arguments...depends on what the meaning of is is...and all that. laugh Good point about the mute though.

I'm curious about this.  My understanding is that they cannot read our actual thoughts, but that they can often determine them through some version of observation and inductive reasoning. They probably know us better than we know ourselves.
This sounds like what I remember hearing.

Thanks to everyone for your responses, you've all been helpful.
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2012, 12:24:42 AM »

Can we pray to Saints silently? If we do will they hear us?

We can pray to the saints silently and they hear us by the Holy Spirit.  This is what St John of Karpathos says in the Philokalia:

"Do the Saints, whom we call upon, pray for us? They certainly pray for us. If I, a sinful man, a cold-hearted, sometimes wicked and malevolently disposed man, praying for others who have instructed or have not instructed me to pray for them and do not doubt, do not weary of saying their names during prayer, although sometimes not heartily, then will not God’s Saints—those lamps and torches, burning in God and before God, full of love to their earthly brethren— pray for me and for us when we call upon them with faith, hope, and love, according to our strength?

"They, our speedy helpers, pray also for our souls, as our divinely enlightened Mother, the holy Church, assures us. Pray, therefore, undoubtingly to God’s Saints, asking their intercession before God on your behalf. They hear you in the Holy Spirit; only pray in the Holy Spirit, from your soul, for when you thus sincerely pray, then the Holy Spirit breathes in you, Who is the Spirit of truth and sincerity, and is our truth and sincerity. The one same Holy Spirit is in us and in the Saints. The Saints are holy through the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies them and eternally dwells in them."
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2012, 10:42:45 AM »

Interesting thread. Growing up, I always just went ahead and prayed to the saints, never really wondering whether it needed to be out loud for them to hear me.

Anyhow, I don't really want to contribute an opinion here, just want to say that I'm following the thread with interest.
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2012, 11:46:37 AM »

I sure hope they can hear silent prayers.  I usually pray pretty quiet if not completely silent. 

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