Bishop Barron on Satellites and Praying to the Saints

Bishop Barron on Satellites and Praying to the Saints


recently I was in my Santa Barbara office I’m working at my computer and I encountered a problem I’m not very good with computers so I called my friend Brandon vaad who’s not only a very able a content director here at word on fire but he’s also a trained engineer and kind of a tech whiz so got Brandon the phone and he tried to kind of talk me through the issue but wasn’t going very well so finally he said let me just take over your screen so he has this capacity to make some moves where he is and he can actually take over and work on my screen and he was in Atlanta at the time at a conference and from Atlanta he begins then to manipulate you know the cursor and you solve the problem so what he was finished I said to him I’m always kind of amazed by that and I said no I know it’s a stupid question but it’s just all done to like phone lines or our satellites outer space involved what he just did so I’m sure he was suppressing a laugh but he he kind of patiently explained to me about digital data and breaking down and waves and phone lines and he said and in some cases or at least partially satellites are indeed involved in this process and then he said to me something that was kind of interesting and it kind of you know dreamy voice he said you know it only reminds me of the community of saints and I said well you better unpack that one for me and he said well you know look we send up all this information to satellites thinks from computers and GPS systems and iPhones and everything else going up to these satellites that receive the information huge amounts of it and then send information back to earth and this is happening all the time but he said it reminds me of the way we send information up to heaven and how influence comes back from heaven I said when I wouldn’t that make an interesting little reflections oh this is the reflection think for a second now as Catholics we invoke Mary all the time so this morning I prayed my rose you know so over and over again I trade hail Mary full of grace I’m not just you know exercising my mind or I’m not just the same pious things in some very real way I’m convinced that Mary hears those prayers and responds to them now think of all the people all over the world who are praying in different languages the Hail Mary think of the way we invoke the Saints all over the world every day all the time Catholics invoking the Saints praying for their intercession and asking for favors addressing them and more to it were convinced that the Saints can in some cases respond to us and actually have in effect in the world now I realize there’s a temptation especially today to see this as oh just so much you know free scientific mumbo-jumbo I mean how could anyone really take seriously that Mary in heaven is actually hearing these prayers I mean isn’t it just a lot of wishful thinking and kind of a pre-modern fantasy well I can keep Brandon’s comparison in mind there are machines of our contrivance up in the heavens right now that are indeed receiving enormous amounts of information and sending enormous amounts of information in such a way that the world here below is changed every time I get my car and I’m tooling along and there’s my GPS system working beautifully well that involves information going up now think of all the cars I don’t know how many go to which satellites all that but think of all the information from all these cars going up to these satellites and then coming down and very really influencing the world if it can happen at that level why couldn’t we say a fortiori even more powerfully can happen in regard to intelligences at a higher pitch of existence see now think about the angels and the Saints and the Blessed Mother not just you know other beings in our ordinary world but intelligences at a higher more intense pitch of existence if our little machines that we make can do this extraordinary thing how much more could these realities who listen oh ow are participating in the supreme and infinite intelligence of God think of the angels the Saints plus a mother as participating more intensely in the all-embracing intelligence of God why would we find it so hard to believe that Mary indeed here’s all the Hail Marys being offered to her that Mary indeed can’t influence the world the Saints can’t have an impact on the world here’s another angle on this thing we think of matter and spirit in a very modern way a Cartesian way so remember Rene Descartes said that the soul is like a captive inside the body it’s the ghost in the machine right it’s in there that’s not the way Thomas Aquinas thought about soul Thomas said the soul is in the body not as contained by it but as containing it that’s a line that I think spend a whole retreat thinking about that the soul is in the body but not as contained by it like a little ghost in the machine but rather the soul the spiritual is more embracing that the spiritual dominates the materials and it affects the material in the most dramatic way and sold them in the spiritual realm of the Angels the saints of God ultimately head has a massive impact on the material world because it’s at a higher pitch of existence okay here’s a last comparison think again of the satellites it’s worth going along in the highway we’re using our cell phones were using our computers and satellites are intimately involved intimately involved in the functioning of all these things how often even think about them I mean the satellite is is out of sight it’s up there somewhere I don’t even see it I don’t think about I’m at my computer sending messages and doing various things email and how often do I think of all this and yet these invisible realities these unseen realities have an enormous impact on our ordinary lives how much more the Saints the Angels the bus and mother who are unseen invisible realities and yet can have a massive impact on the world of our ordinary experience why would we find that we who are now so accustomed to these things why would we find this so hard to believe so I guess I’d throw this out as a little challenge maybe something that lifts you up spiritually is next time you’re using your computer you’re in your car with the GPS you’re using your cell phone maybe think of a community of sites

60 Replies to “Bishop Barron on Satellites and Praying to the Saints”

  1. Great point! It's such a blessing to be able to participate in the Communion of Saints. Thanks for the reminder of the community we participate in daily

  2. I have a problem with praying to saints. My problem is it ascribes divinity to saints. In order for saints to be able to hear prayers (from across the world) they have to be omnipresent. This is to my mind a Divine quality of God (Do Angels have omnipresence?).

    Now if we take the saints to not have omnipresence, then we must take it as the saints use God as a conduit (because God does have omnipresence or at least this is a general premise taken as True). Under this statement doesn't that raise some issues? Why would God need to delegate prayers to saints who would then intercede to God on your behalf? God already heard the prayer because he delegated it and has omnipotence (another premise taken to be True generally).

    So we have conflicts:

    1. If saints are omnipresent they are essentially another God which would mean disobeying one of the 10 commandments (no other Gods).

    2. If God is omnipresent but uses saints then God is not omnipotent.

    Thanks hopefully someone with more knowledge can explain or further my understanding.

  3. There is absolutely no credible evidence that prayer works that I'm aware of. However we have detailed credible evidence of how Sat Nav's work.

  4. Bishop Barron, I work in Cyber field and I also and always thought that computers and like devices are also like the choirs of angels sending messages back and forth from Heaven (like computer network traffic) and applying God's power (like software applications) back down to Earth. Excellent Video!

  5. What does "higher pitch of existence" mean exactly? And if God isn't a Being in the world that can be studied, are angels and saints like God in that sense or are they beings in the world of creation?

  6. Somebody with more technical experience can inform me on this. Is it true that GPS operates by satellites "sending" information continually on the face of the Earth and our GPS units simply receive it? If so, I think there's also an apt analogy of God's Grace continually and abundantly sending forth His Graces and our prayer acts as an accepting receiver by entering in communion with His "self-communication" (not my favorite definition of Grace, but I think it works here). In such a case, prayer is seen not only as an "asking something", but more so an "opportunity to ask" what has already been given in God's Providence.

  7. Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 seems to have pretty solid evidence AGAINST the communion of Saints, so I'm confused:
    "For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know nothing more, neither have they a reward any more: for the memory of them is forgotten.6Their love also, and their hatred, and their envy are all perished, neither have they any part in this world, and in the work that is done under the sun."
    Bishop could you please explain this

  8. We must not pray to saints and angels as deities, but we can ask for their intercessions, which God directly allows and even orders as He did to the Angel Gabriel in Daniel 9 even though He was speaking to Daniel as well.

  9. The only argument that I could use against the communion of saints and intercession would be the fact that Mary the Saints and the Angels are not omnipresent like God is, or at least I don't think they are. Is there any theological argument that can resolve this?

  10. Hi Bishop Barron,
    I find it hard to understand why we would pray to the Saints when we could go directly to God. Wouldn't it always be better to go to God with our prayers?
    Thanks 🙂

  11. hello Bishop Barron..can you send me a free copy of your new book? Im on a limited income…can you send it online in .epub form Z? Thank you…

  12. Makes total sense to me. The Lord is the God of the living and not the dead, asking for help from those who are close to the Lord and have a confirmed track record makes sense. Mary interceded at the wedding feast in Cana and had Jesus turn water into wine.

  13. Sorry for being mean, but the analogy presented in this video seems a bit hasty. I take it as a joke. I know that Satellites are mere relays to enable communication between us, humans. On the other hand, I.believe that in the spiritual realm, the Saints are conscient facilitators of God's love towards me, who prays. I never expect service quality for a prayer, yet it works

  14. No disrespect to Robert or Catholicism, but I cannot find a single verse or even an implication that we should pray to the saints or Mary. I believe they are with the Father but not on the same level as him. If anyone can give a good theological answer to correct me I would be happy to hear it.

  15. This is going to sound totally off the wall but your camera is set to a shorter depth of field than usual putting your library books out of focus. In other videos you make I am able to look over your shoulders and read the book titles to give me ideas of what I should pick up next 🙂 God bless you Bishop Barron.

  16. To people that have problems with praying to saints:

    Have you EVER asked another human for help? Would you EVER call 911? Because if you answer yes – then you are NOT following you own words. And per your logic, you're not turning to God. But rather, you're asking for HUMAN intercessors to save you.

    God bless!! 🙂

  17. Oh there's nothing like wishful thinking, Bishop ! Evidence for the higher level please, – or was that it written in the Bible ?

  18. I was hoping you could discuss your views on yoga and whether a catholic should not attend a yoga class. I find myself torn on the issue, I quite like what yoga does for my body but have conflicts about it

  19. These kinds of homely comparisons run the risk of desacralising the mysteries of the Christian faith. Or is prayer akin to information processing?

  20. Yes, we have the spiritual network with the all saints and divine angels through, with and in the source who is our Lord Christ Jesus. This is a wonderfull exaple!!!!!

  21. I am 36 my wife and I are in RCIA we want our kids in Catholic schooling I think…..we grew up heavily involved in our Protestant denominations. The title of this video confuses me. We've been taught thus far that we don't pray to the Saints. We ask the Saints to pray for us. We pray to God the Father the Son and Holy Spirit. Please clarify. I will bring this up at RCIA but I would say without clarity this may be a deal breaker.

  22. Sorry, bishop, but you're copying exactly what old polytheists said about their "deities" hearing them, answering their prayers, and acting as intermediaries between mankind and God. You only replaced these deities with "saints" but it's still polytheism, and it's still what God so detests and always will.

  23. Rev: The Elect of God who keep the commandments, to the two 1) Love thy God 2) Love thy brethren, & have his testimony, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. For them, His Saints interact with God , for the reason that prophecy is given unto them, in other words they are recognised by God , interacting with them through prayers is very much to fulfilling the 2nd. commandment , to which Christ is very particular about without doubt, for as is said " If you cannot love thy brethren whom who can see, how then can you love God who you cannot see. The very fact that Protestants deny. Mary being the factor. For the universal truth of mankind is that a child goes through his Mother, who in turn gets what is necessary from the Father. True on earth, the truth of heaven
    For those who have been revealed her, given Mary as Mother by Our Lord, know what a delight our Lady is, a sheer delight unto the sons of men The perfect Woman off God himself by his Son, especially so to the Elect , whom Rev calls as her
    " Remnant Seed."

  24. Hello Father Barron, I humbly ask that you address the following concern if you have the time. I am a Catholic but probably like any believer in any denomination there are certain beliefs about Christianity that seem a little sketchy. And as a Catholic, the concept of "the community of Saints" is one of those areas that troubles me. However, more to the point. The idea that "God" is incapable of knowing all things, at all times, without complete or infinite awareness troubles me. The idea that we need to pray to saints, or anyone besides God, points to a God who is not really who we claim he is. If he is, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient & omnibenevolent he should be able to handle all of our prayers and concerns without having to be reminded, or coerced through the influence of saints or anybody else to act on the behalf of his creation. There is just something deeply wrong with the idea that God needs to be influenced by anyone other than the person seeking his help. If God is anything close to what we say he is, I don't think he needs anyone whispering in his ear, "I think you should help so-and-so, yeah would you do that for me?" It deeply troubles me to think that God is a political being.

  25. Also, IMO, because the dead are concious of nothing, there would be no 'time' inyterval between their passsing and waking up. Intersesting interpretationof Y'Shuah's 'Watch, for you do not know the hour…' and 'I cvome as a theif in the night..'

  26. As a Protestant who has great respect for Bishop Barron's contribution I'd like a question answered. It is a question I think a lot of Protestants have and I haven't ever heard it answered by Catholics. It is this: If we have direct access to God through Jesus Christ His Son. If we can ask for His grace directly, as one of the Trinity, if we can know that He understands what it means to be human and so is sympathetic to our experiences and condition, WHY would be call upon the Saints, or Mary, as intermediaries? NB: I do recognise that we, from time to time need a human intermediary – someone to act as our priest – particularly in times of distress when the clarity of a vision of God is better discerned by someone outside our particular circumstance. In this situation a fellow living mortal can and often does act as our effective intermediary. However, this is on a different level to Saints or Christ Himself. It seems to me not simply unnecessary to pray to Saints or Mary but something like taking the scenic route to get somewhere. Sure you will get there but isn't it better to take the most direct route and appeal to God through the persons of His Son & Holy Spirit?

  27. In context of spaceflight, a satellite is an artificial object which has been intentionally placed into orbit.

    Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as Earth's Moon.

    In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1.

    Since then, about 6,600 satellites from more than 40 countries have been launched.

    According to a 2013 estimate, 3,600 remained in orbit.

    Of those, about 1,000 were operational; while the rest have lived out their useful lives and become space debris.

    Approximately 500 operational satellites are in low-Earth orbit, 50 are in medium-Earth orbit (at 20,000 km), and the rest are in geostationary orbit (at 36,000 km).

    A few large satellites have been launched in parts and assembled in orbit.

    Over a dozen space probes have been placed into orbit around other bodies and become artificial satellites to the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, a few asteroids, and the Sun.

    Satellites are used for many purposes.

    Common types include military and civilian Earth observation satellites, communications satellites, navigation satellites, weather satellites, and space telescopes.

    Space stations and human spacecraft in orbit are also satellites.

    Satellite orbits vary greatly, depending on the purpose of the satellite, and are classified in a number of ways.

    Well-known (overlapping) classes include low Earth orbit, polar orbit, and geostationary orbit.

    A launch vehicle is a rocket that throws a satellite into orbit.

    Usually, it lifts off from a launch pad on land.

    Some are launched at sea from a submarine or a mobile maritime platform, or aboard a plane.

    Satellites are usually semi-independent computer-controlled systems.

    Satellite subsystems attend many tasks, such as power generation, thermal control, telemetry, attitude control and orbit control.

  28. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:15.

    The Saints, including Mary are all sleeping until Jesus Christ comes back again, and all the sleeping believers will be raised up.

    Only Jesus Christ can hear the prayers of millions of believers simultaneously, because he is God.

  29. Finally, someone who gets it. Between this video on the one about Risen (wherein Bishop Barron states that if we entered the room we'd see our savior, actually, really there) I am so grateful.

  30. Think about all the people all over the world like the billion Muslims and nearly a billion Hindu also thinking their creator is listening to them lol

  31. Well put, "Higher Pitch of Existence" is now part of my vocab. I have a special place in my heart and prayer for Mary. I know people who dismiss anyone but Christ b/c "to the Father through me" words of Jesus. I dont care if they dont believe personally, but for teaching purposes how can I better explain the legitimacy of Mary and the Saints?

  32. FR. THANK YOUR FRIEND FOR THAT ONE ,ITS SO POWERFUL SO MUCH SO I CANT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT …..POWERFUL….

  33. The Saints are alive, not dead. They are still members of the Body of Christ, the Church, even though they are in Heaven. Asking them to pray to God for you is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for you to God. As Christians we are always asking, or, should be asking people to pray for us for particular things that we need help or guidance for. Contrary to what some may think, praying to a Saint in Heaven does not take anything away from God. It also does not take anything away from Jesus, "the one mediator between God and man", because ultimately He is the one mediator. But by Paul telling us " First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered on behalf of all men," he is saying that we all, the Body of Christ, participate in mediating in a certain sense, to God.

  34. Now, this is the kind of thing people (including myself) need to hear! It is such a simple, yet very effective, way to make so much sense out of something that can sound sooo unbelievable. More of this please! Truly. I believe you will reach the 'nones' in a more convincing way. I know. I am on the edge of being one and not. Convince me, please! Convince me that there is a God and Jesus – that the bible is the truth – with external sources – like science etc. to convince me. Tell me exactly why YOU believe it – setting the word 'faith' aside for a time. Tell me YOUR story. You are a bright guy. I just might believe you.

  35. I know what you're talking about right about 43 seconds into this, Bishop, regarding what your buddy did, he remote desktoped into your machine to correct the problem- we had to learn how to do that at Porter & Chester for CNT class at one point, and it was really kind of nifty, now if you really want to have some fun: have you and your buddy do that to oneanother's machines at the same moment and watch the chaos result- it's really rather nifty, as it keeps on taking a picture of taking a picture, or something like that!

  36. Thing is, it's done by radio frequencies, phone lines, and also satillites, Bishop Barron, it's done by a variety of means… in fact, you name it, any way electronic communications can go from point "A" to point "B" and all points inbetween, including numerous points that're scattered all over the place, it's done by them all, in fact.

  37. Thing is, you want it to be as redundant as possible, for redundency is the protection you have against data loss.

  38. Your buddy's pretty right about it resembling the Communion of Saints, Bishop Barron, for essentially prayer is "telepathic emails" as it were.
    That*, Bishop Barron, is one thing that's so wrong about sinful prayer, as it's essentially "emailing the mob" as it were, and once you do that, you're enslaved by them- think in regards to Star Wars novels, sending a radio-message to Lwekk, the Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium's homeworld- those things are, culturally speaking, as diabolical as it gets: first they capture you, *then they kill you (by and large), then and only then do they enslave you; so: like how death in mortal sin is slavery for all eternity, that's very similar to what those monsters do… but they're fictional (as far as we know!)., and that's the good thing: that those aliens are fictional.

  39. Here's the scary part regarding approximately 1:58 into this: in a way, you really shouldn't want to send any information to any government, for anything you send to any government they *will always use against you*, including God's government!

  40. Reference approximately 3:21 into this: the idea of the viewpoint regarding messaging the next world, even Heaven, is far more alarming than "pre-mumbo-jumbo nonsense", and I was forced to agree with the secular world in regard to this, ironically by the Catechism of the Catholic Church: it's messaging the next world- something that's distinctly forbidden by the Papal teachings, something unbelievably dark in reality!
    I so wish it were merely "pre-mumbo-jumbo nonsense", and I'm a pretty devout Catholic, at least in my practices.

  41. Well, here's the thing: we live because we humans are a "fusion" of matter and an animus, a spirit; we're a mix, same with any corporeal being that's alive- that's the essence of physical life.

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