For those persons who have gone on to heaven, can they hear our petitions and offer those prayers to Jesus? If so, what about Mary the mother of God; how would she be able to hear all those prayers of intersession coming from thousands of people at the same time? Wouldn’t she have to have some omnipresence about herself?
Asking Mary and the saints to pray for us is just like asking someone on earth to pray for us. St Paul instructs Christians to pray to Jesus on behalf of one another; “…I ask the supplications, prayers, petitions and thanksgivings to be offered for everyone…This is good and pleasing to God our Savior…(1 Tim 2:1-4).” So to, when we petition those in heaven, they can also pray on our behalf. We see this taking place in the book of Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering up our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls of incense, which are prayers of the saints.” If they are offering up prayers, then God is giving them the ability to hear them in some way known only to Him.
When it comes specifically to Mary, she is a finite being and a creature like all of us. She is not like God, but the reason she can hear our prayers and respond to them, is that God and his providence allows it to take place. So it is really through the Omnipotent power of God that our prayers can be made known to Mary and the saints in heaven.
Now if we look to Scripture and Sacred Tradition, they don’t specify the way our prayers are made known to Mary and the saints. So, when we pray to Mary, is she instantly aware of my petition to her and all the other petitions from around the world at the same time? Well, such a thing is possible, because if God wants to make everyone of those petitions known to her, he could do that. But even that’s not necessary. It could also be that Mary is simply caught up in a perpetual loving gaze at God and simply willing that all those who seek her intercession find their answer in God and His great mercy. She may constantly will for God to hear all the prayers of intercession.
For more on praying to Mary and the saints, go to my article at:
Until next time, God bless.