Intercession of the Saints
Intercession of the SaintsIntercession of the Saints
By Archpriest Michael Azkoul
How is it that the Saints in heaven can hear the voices of men on earth? How can the awkward, stumbling words of deceitful men disturb the Blessed? There is a vast space-time complex, called the universe, between heaven and earth. Heaven is one reality and earth another.
These are questions that are asked of the Christian community concerning Intercession. (The are others, also, but we are concerned here specifically with the single problem of how it is possible that heaven and earth can even communicate). These questions can be answered with reasonable satisfaction: firstly, what does death of the body have over the soul? And does not the Sacrifice on Calvary mean the reconciliation of the mortal and the immortal, time and eternity? And secondly, what is heaven? It certainly is not, according to Christian tradition, a place. Heaven is not a place with a locality determined by physical boundaries, it is a state of being. Heaven is not a place in space and time, but a type of existence in eternity.
Thus, it is absurd to ask "how is it that the Saints in that place far-far away can hear the words of men down here on earth?" This merely betrays the objectors ignorance of the nature of heaven and spiritual reality. Those in heaven do not see with the limited eye, hear with the limited ear, or speak with the limited tongue, since they are not as we are. They are bodiless spirits until the Judgment Day.
I doubt whether even we mortals on earth are incarcerated by thebody. We have a soul capable of "self-transcendence." This unusual power is our ability to rise by prayer and contemplation beyond Nature to the spiritual world, above the common state of affairs and to con-tact non-material things and to speak with the Angels even as our Blessed Mother did. The human spirit knows no real barriers. The body may limit our activities but it cannot destroy them.
"Nonsense," someone might remark, "what evidence do you have from the Holy Scriptures for this fantastic doctrine? "Is it not true that Moses went up into the mountain to pray for the success of his people against the Amalekites and whenever he lifted his arms to pray for the Israelites they were victorious and when he stopped Amalek conquered? Now, if Moses exercised such power while on earth is it reasonable to assume that he is no longer influential in heaven with God? Has he forgotten us? Has he forgotten to love us now? There are many such illustrations in the Scriptures.
Can the death of the body obliterate the soul's love, memories, and desires? Indeed, God would be cruel if death of the body cuts our beloved friends and family from us. This would be cruel, but God is just and merciful. And surely, the love they bore us is intensified in heaven where there is nothing but love. As long as men live on earth the Saints (all in heaven are Saints) will not forget us, they cannot, because the Church is one and love unifies, and unity brings love.