The Catholic Church teaches that saints in Heaven can no longer merit.

So I was wondering if their merits run out at some point and how that works out for them. Related to this question, I want to know if the saints in Heaven are elevated to higher levels of intercession(power and frequency) based on how often or how fervently they are invoked to help the saints on Earth, this would be some kind of alternative to the system of merits when their merits would theoretically run out if they do.

  • Can you point to where the Catholic Church teaches Saints in heaven can no longer earn merit? Im looking for a reference without success. I believe the church teaches that the Saints, as Christians look at the lives of the Saints posthumously, and learn and grow from those examples, continue to earn Marit, not for themselves, as they are already Church Triumphant, but to add to the treasury of Merit, which is already infinate due to that of Christ, Immeasurable because of Mary, and boundless because of the Saints. Looking for Clarity
    – Marc
    Jan 24 '18 at 17:27
  • I have no on paper official quote, but I heard it from a traditionalist priest on the YT channel Sensus Fidelium. And he observed that the saints in Heaven are in eternal rest, so their works can no longer change their status in Heaven. Contrary views to this from official on paper documents I have not seen. But it's a good remark. Jan 24 '18 at 18:31
  • I'll continue to look into it, i'm curious
    – Marc
    Jan 24 '18 at 18:32
  • Possible duplicate of Can Saints refuse to pray for us?
    – isakbob
    Jan 24 '18 at 19:04
  • Well I was the one who asked that question about prayer, and no it is not a duplicate because on that question I was concerned about if saints in Heaven could pray for us while in mortal sin. Today here in this question I am asking how their intercession for us functions, regardless of who they're interceeding for. Jan 24 '18 at 21:20

The Catechism of the Church States

"The 'treasury of the Church' is the infinite value, which can never be exhausted, which Christ's merits have before God.

The idea that a Saint Merits anything on there own is the issue here. Many outside the Church believe for example that a Catholic Christian does some kind of work to earn Merit for salvation. Merit however has more to do with Penance. To understand fully how the Sacrament of Reconciliation works can be found in the CCC.

All works done by the Saints or Christians (Catholics) are done united to the Merit of Christ on the Cross, which is infinite.

Collosians 1:24

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church

There is of course nothing Lacking in Christ afflictions, He has completed the redemption of the world, every living person past present and future. What is lacking is not of Christ but of our participation in that redemptive work. Participation means of course, things that we "do". A person might say "There is nothing you can do to be saved" and strictly speaking there is nothing (Strictly) that we can do. Then a Catholic Christian could say biblically, "That I must do(Condignly) this is or that in union with Christ in order to be saved"

Matthew 6:19-21

Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Our Merit is Condign merit not strict merit. United to Christ our merit is pleasing to God.

So, the difficulty is here is in separating the our works from that of Christ, Works done for our own Glory, is like filthy rags, but work done in union with Christ is treasure. There is no end to that merit once united to the work on the Cross.

  • Problem being that saints actually have merits which are their own, of course strictly speaking Christ is the only one who merited in the first place and that in turn helps us to merit. That is taught by the Church, so if their own merits exhaust you could say they would begin using Christ's merits which are virtually infinite. But that seems to be ad hoc, as that would negate the purpose of having people trying to get more merit than they need to enter Heaven. And all cannonized saints have this overflow of merits. Jan 25 '18 at 20:15
  • People do not need Merit to get to heaven. Christ Strict Merit gets them to heaven by Grace thru the Obedience of Faith. Our Merit is Con-dignity, united to Christ. Our Merit is not for forgiveness of sins, but for temporal punishment due to sin. Sins are forgiven by the Graces Christ works through the Church in it's Sacraments. The merits of the Saints, continue to ad to the Treasury as long as the meritorious actions of their lives produce fruit. Doing Penance, or the requirements for indulgences, Penance, are positive things and bring people to Christ.
    – Marc
    Jan 25 '18 at 20:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .