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I just said that prayers are not useless when not in a state of grace. Its just that God isnt as likely to answer the prayers of those who are His enemies, it doesnt mean that He in His mercy cant make an exception and answer the persons prayers anyway.
(08-10-2017, 03:31 PM)Dominicus Wrote: [ -> ]Its just that God isnt as likely to answer the prayers of those who are His enemies

It is hard to see how a person who prays to God for another person (i.e. without selfish interest) can be an 'enemy of God' in that very moment.

Charity and mortal sin cannot coexist  (that's a dogma). And if an intercessory prayer isn't an act of charity, I don't know what is.
I will try explaining my view in less philosphical terms.

One who has committed a mortal sin without sincerely asking forgiveness has willingly abandoned God and turned from His mercy. That is basically the definition of mortal sin. Having rejected God this person can do no good without the aid of God's mercy, this comes in the form of "actual grace" and is inherent within, before, and after any good act whether an act of charity or prayer or any other thing. When one cooperates with this grace he draws closer to God and may be led to reconciliation with God by asking forgiveness and having recourse to the sacraments. With this reconciliation comes renewed friendship with God which is referred to as "sanctifying grace". 

The prayers of one who is in sanctifying grace are much more effective because he is more perfectly cooperating with Gods grace. One who is not in a state of sanctifying grace won't even pray of his own will without being led to do so by actual grace. Also God listens to the prayers of those in a state of grace because He sees the life of His son living within the person, whereas a person in mortal sin has rejected that life. A person in sin may be led to pray by God but God isn't listening to the person because of his own merits but rather purely out of His mercy. This is why the prayers of the saints are so powerful, because they more perfectly mirror God himself.
If I understood correctly, according to your view, the prayers of a sinner have God as their first cause ('causa efficiens') and the sinner as their instrumental cause ('causa instrumentalis')...the sinner only agrees to a prayer which was initiated by God.

Curiously, this is the exact definition which St. John of the Cross gives of perfect prayers which are performed by saints in mystical union with God. Ordinary believers start their prayer by their own initiative, perfected saints, on the other hand, continuously agree to self-impelled prayers initiated by God.

My view on the subject:
In the end, God will fulfill all authentic prayers. Because every real and authentic prayer, in whatever form or circumstances it is uttered, can be sumed up as this:
"Thy will be done."
Who knows whose prayers God is listening to? He heard the prayer of the publican while not that of the Pharisee. Oh that I pray in a manner that I be worthy to be heard by Him.
(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]If I understood correctly, according to your view ...

Actually, it's not his view, but the Catholic teaching on how prayer works.

Anything supernaturally good we do must originate with some grace. This is because we're not supernatural creatures. We cannot perform supernatural acts because they are beyond our natural powers. That's where grace comes in elevating our natural acts.

If we have habitual grace, aka Sanctifying Grace, we can call upon this quality in our soul by which we can make supernatural acts.

If we're not in the state of grace we don't have this habit in our soul, so any act which has supernatural value has to come from a special, individual, actual grace given by God.

This is the case with confession after mortal sin. Anyone could choose to go into the box, but to have even an imperfect contrition (i.e. attrition), one has to have at least some actual grace from God.

If we were to say that some grace (either actual or haibitual) wasn't necessary to make supernaturally good acts (like efficacious prayer), then we'd fall in to the Pelagian heresy.

We also have to separate the material act of reciting certain words and doing certain gestures (which many call prayer, even though there is no true elevation of the mind and heart to God, but perhaps at best a certain emotionalism), from formal prayer (the elevation of the mind and heart to God).

To reach God requires grace, so any action which is formally a prayer must have some grace at it's origin, even if we do a great part materially.

(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]Curiously, this is the exact definition which St. John of the Cross gives of perfect prayers which are performed by saints in mystical union with God. Ordinary believers start their prayer by their own initiative, perfected saints, on the other hand, continuously agree to self-impelled prayers initiated by God.

That's a bit different. St. John is describing mystical union (not prayer in general), where the gifts of the Holy Ghost are active and the soul has infused contemplation. That's done by the action of the Holy Ghost alone, because the Gifts can only be actuated by Him, and infused contemplation can only come from Him. As regards these, the souls of one in mystical union is quite passive (at least initially). It is prayer, yes, but not the kind most think of.

In normal prayer, however, if it is to be true prayer, it must begin with some grace (but grace and the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not the same thing). Even a sinner can pray (in the formal sense) only with grace.

Interestingly enough, that mystical state is not reserved to a few Saints, but is meant to be the normal state for the Christian soul by the end of it's earthly life -- it is only because of our weakness, faults, negligence and sins that we fail to achieve it.

(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]My view on the subject:
In the end, God will fulfill all authentic prayers. Because every real and authentic prayer, in whatever form or circumstances it is uttered, can be sumed up as this:
"Thy will be done."

If the prayer is authentic, it always starts with some grace, and is always conditioned on God's Will, as you suggest. Even if He says "No" it is because that achieves a higher good, and is His Will.

And it must be that way too, since prayer does not in any way change God's Will. God is totally immutable, unchangeable. Prayer does not affect God, it affects us. Still, he wants us to pray and he conditions certain things he has willed on our having prayed for them.
(08-09-2017, 05:05 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]Can you clarify on the "praying publicly" part? Because the reparations to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts are sort of public, but in a Catholic setting.

Communicatio in Sacris is not permitted.

Thus we're not permitted to mingle with heretics or schismatics in sacred things. That include public non-Catholic prayers. We're not allowed to go to a Protestant or Orthodox Church and publicly participate, because that would be an implicit denial of our Faith. (We could, for a serious reason, like a wedding, passively attend)

However, we're happy to have people prayer Catholic prayers with us, so long as there is no danger of scandal. It'd be one thing to invite your friend to the church for the devotions. It's fine to do the devotions in your home or hers.

It'd be quite different to go to a Protestant church for this, or to participate in non-Catholic prayers, or prayers led by a non-Catholic.

If she's privately praying along with Catholics, that's fine, so long as it won't scandalize anyone.

Even better, teach her some of the most essential prayers and get here habitually saying those. That might just be the grace she needs to convert.
(08-13-2017, 07:09 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]If I understood correctly, according to your view ...

Actually, it's not his view, but the Catholic teaching on how prayer works.

Anything supernaturally good we do must originate with some grace. This is because we're not supernatural creatures. We cannot perform supernatural acts because they are beyond our natural powers. That's where grace comes in elevating our natural acts.

If we have habitual grace, aka Sanctifying Grace, we can call upon this quality in our soul by which we can make supernatural acts.

If we're not in the state of grace we don't have this habit in our soul, so any act which has supernatural value has to come from a special, individual, actual grace given by God.

This is the case with confession after mortal sin. Anyone could choose to go into the box, but to have even an imperfect contrition (i.e. attrition), one has to have at least some actual grace from God.

If we were to say that some grace (either actual or haibitual) wasn't necessary to make supernaturally good acts (like efficacious prayer), then we'd fall in to the Pelagian heresy.

We also have to separate the material act of reciting certain words and doing certain gestures (which many call prayer, even though there is no true elevation of the mind and heart to God, but perhaps at best a certain emotionalism), from formal prayer (the elevation of the mind and heart to God).

To reach God requires grace, so any action which is formally a prayer must have some grace at it's origin, even if we do a great part materially.

(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]Curiously, this is the exact definition which St. John of the Cross gives of perfect prayers which are performed by saints in mystical union with God. Ordinary believers start their prayer by their own initiative, perfected saints, on the other hand, continuously agree to self-impelled prayers initiated by God.

That's a bit different. St. John is describing mystical union (not prayer in general), where the gifts of the Holy Ghost are active and the soul has infused contemplation. That's done by the action of the Holy Ghost alone, because the Gifts can only be actuated by Him, and infused contemplation can only come from Him. As regards these, the souls of one in mystical union is quite passive (at least initially). It is prayer, yes, but not the kind most think of.

In normal prayer, however, if it is to be true prayer, it must begin with some grace (but grace and the gifts of the Holy Ghost are not the same thing). Even a sinner can pray (in the formal sense) only with grace.

Interestingly enough, that mystical state is not reserved to a few Saints, but is meant to be the normal state for the Christian soul by the end of it's earthly life -- it is only because of our weakness, faults, negligence and sins that we fail to achieve it.

(08-11-2017, 03:50 AM)JosefSilouan Wrote: [ -> ]My view on the subject:
In the end, God will fulfill all authentic prayers. Because every real and authentic prayer, in whatever form or circumstances it is uttered, can be sumed up as this:
"Thy will be done."

If the prayer is authentic, it always starts with some grace, and is always conditioned on God's Will, as you suggest. Even if He says "No" it is because that achieves a higher good, and is His Will.

And it must be that way too, since prayer does not in any way change God's Will. God is totally immutable, unchangeable. Prayer does not affect God, it affects us. Still, he wants us to pray and he conditions certain things he has willed on our having prayed for them.
Someone the same site as this girl, asked about the same things you are explaining here, specifically, she asked about "preparing to be in a state of grace" and having grace to ask for the repentance of sins. Can I quote some of the stuff you've said here, and can you provide a more condensed explanation of this?
(08-14-2017, 10:48 PM)MaryLover Wrote: [ -> ]Someone the same site as this girl, asked about the same things you are explaining here, specifically, she asked about "preparing to be in a state of grace" and having grace to ask for the repentance of sins. Can I quote some of the stuff you've said here, and can you provide a more condensed explanation of this?

You're welcome to use anything here in that regard.

All I ask is that you use it as your own (i.e. don't "quote" me, but you're welcome to borrow my words without attribution). Change it as you wish. The only thing I warn you is to understand it well first, because I may not be able to spend much time to provide you the background explanation behind it should you get questions.

As a fair warning, it is not as nuanced as a proper theological understanding of grace and prayer should be, but if you want that it wouldn't be a condensed version.

Looking at it, I don't think I could "condense" it anymore than you see, but you're welcome to try.
A couple of points. Luke 15:7 "I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Second, since God is love, and wants all of us "poor banished children of Eve" to be reunited with Him, anytime we pray for the redemption of a soul or reunification with Mother church we are cooperating with God's permissive will.

So we can and should pray for those separated from God, because it is a work of mercy. It is a great privilege. Jesus said; "Go forth and make disciples of all men" so..praying with someone for their salvation would seem to always have some merit. We just don't know how much and what it might take for them to convert. ST. Padre Pio said "pray and trust". It is interesting to note that he had divine knowledge. So you might consider asking the Holy Spirit how you might pray, or fast, or make some other reparation,  with hope to make your prayers more efficacious and cooperative with God's divine will.
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