Our Lady of Fatima said: "Many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray for them and make sacrifices for them."Jack Johnson the unlucky man
-Not prayed for
-Went to Hell
John Jackson the fortunate
-Was prayed for by many people
-Went to Heaven
Did John Jackson go to Heaven simply
because someone prayed for him?
Does it make God unjust?
I share your confusion over this. There was One Who made the ultimate sacrifice for John Jackson. How does that need the addition of our prayers for John regarding going to/not going to hell?
As regards purgation, that is another story, and I can understand that there are favorable effects upon another's soul by my prayers. But such presupposes that the person I am praying for is already one who has received the forgiveness and mercy of God and is assured of eventually going to Heaven. To suppose that my prayers are in some way affect whether or not a person is an inheritor of eternal life poses a real problem for me.
Here's another problem: Suppose I pray and make sacrifices for my son, who at this time wants absolutely nothing to do with the Christian faith or with God. Let us suppose that he continues in this manner and dies unrepentant. What he has chosen, what he is ontologically, goes into eternity with him to meet Christ. That is, if he hates God, by what premise does one believe that after death he will change into one who loves God? In Eastern thought, the idea borders on preposterous.
The only way this might be said to happen would be that Our Lady meant that if we pray and sacrifice for another, such as my son, God will somehow intervene before he dies and bring him to repentance. But then, being God, He does not need my prayers to do so, does He? Why then are my prayers in this regard of any importance to my son's salvation? Certainly, the One Who endured the horrors of the Cross loves my son far more than I do and wishes his salvation much more than I do.
So then we have to factor in my son's free will -- his choice to refuse God and, as I have heard theologians say, God's response of respecting that decision rather than forcing the issue by making
my son believe against his will. How then do my prayers factor into this at all if my son has free will?
Do they bend the arm of the Almighty to change my son? Or do they somehow affect my son directly so that he will come to a point of repentance? And if so, again I ask why because God, being All-Powerful, does not need my prayers to affect my son's disposition, does He?
In answer to the last question, the Holy One of Israel is just in all that He does. Our lack of comprehension of His ways in no way implies injustice on His part. We are blind, slow of understanding and dim of sight. God is just.