This is a confusing and frustrating question for many. Thanks for asking. I need to say right off the top….Catholics don’t pray TO anyone but God. And yes, that includes Mary! Let’s take God out of the equation…..I can’t believe I just said that!...and focus on the others hanging out in heaven.
An important and heady Catholic concept comes into play here…the Communion of Saints. Let me try to break it down. The Church is composed of three groups of people: those in heaven, those waiting to be called up (in Purgatory), and those of us down here still fighting the good fight. The Church teaches that we are all very connected and that this connection doesn’t end in death. That is what anyone who has lost a love one wants to believe so it would be hard to argue, right?
It is because of this connection that those of us still slugging through life look to those who did it right for help. And that is all we are asking them to do. They made it, they are before the Throne and just might hang out with Jesus from time to time. We, as Catholics, ask them to put in a good word for us.
Think of it this way…you know someone who is a great teacher in great school. You want to teach there too. You have a friend who works there and has earned the respect of the principal. Wouldn’t you ask him/her to put in a good word for you?
The great news is, we Catholics, have a saint for any situation you find yourself in. I doesn’t hurt to ask..so go ahead!