Tuesday, April 18, 2006
My Thoughts: The Invocation of the Saints
From the Church Militant's earliest and best instinct that in the liturgy she was praying with the Church Triumphant (comprecation of the saints), it is only natural that at some point the Church's liturgy would begin to include general intercessions to members of the Church Triumphant (invocation of the saints). From there, it is not difficult to see where popular devotion would eventually take things. But it is an error to think that the invocation of saints stands on its own as a Medieval innovation or a departure from early church faith and practice; it is neither. Rather the practice of the invocation of the saints is grounded in, and follows from, the Church's earliest affirmations of the comprecation of the saints. That is why I find it helpful to think of saintly invocation in the following way: it is but prayer offered in the certain hope that God will answer the general intercessions of the Church Triumphant in specific ways for us.