In an on-going discussion with my inquiring friend today, I respond to two questions. First, why do traditional Christians call priests father; and second, why do we pray to saints (i.e. why don’t we just go to God ourselves)?
Orthodoxy assumes that it takes a “village” to raise a Christian. And not just a village of people who live in the same time and place, but a village that includes all of our holy Fathers and Mothers who have gone before us. When we come to God, we come with everyone, never by ourselves.