From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession
Concerning the Invocation of Saints
As I have said above, the entire knowledge of Christ is suppressed when other mediators are sought besides Christ, and trust is placed in others. The facts demonstrate the reality. At the first mention of the saints, as in the ancient prayers, it seems to have been done in a tolerable manner. But invocation followed, and with it, immense abuses that are worse than pagan. From invocation, the next step was to images. These were also worshiped, because it was believed that magical power existed in them, just as sorcerers imagine that power exists in horoscopes carved at a particular time. In a certain monastery we have seen a statue of the blessed Virgin, moved like a puppet on a string, seeming to nod yes or no to those making requests.
Pulling It Together
It is a slippery slope. It is one thing to ask someone to pray for you, but quite another to expect that person to mediate between you and God. Yet this is the slope so many descended. Initially, dead saints were asked to pray but eventually they were expected to answer those prayers. The saints have no such power—either in images of them or in any reality. Christ alone is the Mediator between people and God. This is because he is the atonement of God, the only one who may stand before the Father on our behalf. We ask people to pray for us, as we pray for others, but we pray only to God in Christ.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for caring to hear my prayers, through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
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