Latin Catholic by birth, Byzantine Catholic by the grace of God.
Pro: Restoration of the Holy and Universal Christian Roman Empire.
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Friday, March 12, 2004

Retroactive prayer

The New Oxford Review has an interesting article this month on why Catholics pray for the deceased. I always wondered why, as their judgement is already sealed, as opposed to those now dying or living healthily. Apparently, God, living outside of time, anticipates your prayers and takes pleas for mercy into account before you, within time, actually do the praying. So it helps to keep praying fervently for the salvation of anyone who died before us.


Let's pray granpa doesn't get an opportunity to buy one of these.

An interesting idea, for which I will have to remember to poke around in the Catechism. If it is accurate, it brings up some interesting questions. For example, when in school, I always thought it was mostly useless to pray that I did well on a test after the test was taken. Can you pray after the test was taken and God will anticipate it? I've been noodling that one for the last day or so.

Now, let's assume for the sake of example that God answers prayers to win scratch-and-win lottery tickets (I don't think he moves on that prayer too often, personally). It would seem a pointless prayer, because the tickets are already printed and packed and sitting there. Your only effect on the situation is whether or not to buy a ticket, how many, and which one. Assume you play one ticket a week of the same game at the same time of the week. Now, you're standing in front of the cashier, and you pray to win. The variables are locked: can your prayer have already been answered?

And no "with God, all things are possible" cop outs. We all already know that.

(Incidentally, the NOR, which is an amazing conservative-orthodox Catholic magazine, doesn't really have a website. The above is by a fan, I believe. So the article is not there.)

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