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Monday, 20 October 2014

On Merit Again

When someone asks why Catholics ask the intercession of saints, as many of us are by our Protestant friends, one answer may be based on the idea of merit.

See other posts on the definition of merit.

The saints merited graces on earth by their holiness. They are in glory, and can continue to share that merit with the entire Church.

Most of us are not holy enough to gain or use merit, which we should be "working on" in the process of purification. Therefore, it is necessary for us to ask the saints for aid in prayer.

For example, as noted in the past few weeks, one of my personal patrons is Blessed Jacinta of Fatima. Even as a very young child she gained tremendous graces, or merit through suffering intensely. Therefore, when I ask her to join me in prayer for certain persons or situations, I can be assured that her merits help me and those for whom I am praying.

I made a list of patrons years ago and tend to ask the same saints for help. Yesterday, on the day of Blessed Paul VI's canonization, I entreated him to help me with something. I got a little answer, an indication that he listens to prayers from me. His merits have been recognized by the Church and we can ask his intercession.

The saints may be seen like elder brothers and sisters who are wiser, holier, closer to God than we are and who want to help us. We are all part of the Church-we the in the Church Militant and they in the Church Triumphant.

Consider the merits of the saints.