Catholic Misconceptions #1: Do Catholics worship statues

Q: Do Catholics worship statues?

This is one of the most common misconceptions about the Catholic faith. Many well-intentioned, God-loving Christians of various denominations have heard this mistruth from trusted but ignorant teachers over the years, or have read it in books that claim to “expose” what they believe to be the Catholic faith. Unfortunately, as with most misconceptions, these conclusions are drawn with little or no true understanding of the faith or of the practice, or the purpose in question.

Before I answer this question, I’d like to quote a wonderful man of God, the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen, who said, “There are not one hundred people in this world who hate Catholicism, but there are millions who hate what they mistakenly believe Catholicism to be.”

So, is worshipping a statue wrong? Yes. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is wrong, in line with the Sacred Scriptures as it states in Exodus 20:4-5, “You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them”.

You see, an image is not an idol. There is a difference.That being said…

There are several places in the Bible where God commissions statues and images for religious usage:
Exodus 25:10-22

1 Kings 6:23; 7:13-51

Numbers 21:6-9

Judges 17:1-6

Is God sending Two Different Messages?

Not necessarily…keep reading.

God ordered His children to construct these statues and images, but He did not intend for His children to worship them. God was using the images to help them to recall situations, to see places as holy and set apart, and to help them to open their minds and hearts and turn them back to God.

You see, an image is not an idol. There is a difference.

“An image is simply a spiritual ‘visual aid’ that is used by the faithful to increase their spirit of prayerfulness and devotion to God. An idol, on the other hand, is an image that is worshipped by the unfaithful in place of the one true God (i.e., the ‘golden calf’ described in Ex. 32:7-8).”

In the Old Testament, images of God were forbidden because folks had not yet seen God in human form. In the New Testament, God HAS taken on human form…an image that we can see.

“He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God…” – Colossians 1:15

“For in Jesus dwells the whole fullness of the Deity, bodily…” – Colossians 2:9

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life – for the life was made visible…” – 1 John 1:1-2

When we profess that Jesus Christ is Lord, we must remember that we are professing the Incarnation…that is, that God became flesh…flesh in human form, Who we could see, smell, hear, touch and (through the Eucharist) taste!

When we look upon a statue as we meditate in prayer to God, our senses are illuminated. We are not worshipping the wood, plaster, plastic or paint. The image, though, appeals to our sense of sight, aiding in our visualization and helping us to focus on the pure, consistent and holy life lived by that saint…like the Blessed Virgin Mary, for instance.

Here’s a few more things to keep in mind:

Stained glass windows with images can work in the same way…but most people don’t seem to have a problem with those, because “they’re just pretty”.
Images were very important in the early times of our Church’s history, especially when most of the faithful were illiterate, and could not read the word of God on their own. The images helped them recall instances and situations in the Word that they had heard about, but could not read on their own.
We put framed pictures of loved ones on mantles and walls of our homes, but that doesn’t mean that we worship them.
If I hold my Bible during worship, and hold it close to my heart…am I worshipping the God who inspired and wrote it, or am I worshipping the leather, glue and paper?
The weatherman uses a visual aid of maps when forecasting the weather, but couldn’t he just tell us the facts and read the temperatures?
Is a Children’s picture Bible that includes animations and drawings throughout it, the worshipping of images? Those are images, too, just not 3-D.

Catholics may pray in front of a statue, but never to a statue…that would be idolatry.

Finally, consider these last two thoughts regarding what the early Christians did:

“Previously God, who has neither a body nor a face, absolutely could not be represented by an image. But now that he has made himself visible in the flesh and has lived with men, I can make an image of what I have seen of God…and contemplate the glory of the Lord, his face unveiled.” – St. John Damascene (749 AD)

“The early Church used statues and images as aids to devotion and as expressions of faith. One need only to visit the catacombs in Rome to see statues and frescoes representing no only Christ but also scenes from Scripture. When the Church emerged from the catacombs, it continued to decorate its houses of worship with statues, mosaics, frescoes, and oil paintings, all designed to increase a spirit of prayerfulness.”
-Albert Nevins, M.M.

(Based, in part, on Unabridged Christianity, by Fr. Mario Romero)

*****

Source: Lifeteen.com

http://www.lifeteen.com/default.aspx?PageID=BGQADETAIL&__DocumentId=413

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Define Hit song: A song that hits…

I’m so bored and trying to keep my mind and senses when I accidentally bumped into this song in Youtube… I know it’s lenten season and all but I just thought this song was cool enough (melody, story and humor) to be shared to everyone (facebook especially) but unfortunately, I can’t…What a bummer!

But since I have a personal blog… This is where i’m gonna share it…

Well what do you think of the song? I just love iiiittttt…. haha

Hit Song right!?

Cat got your tongue!? Raawwrrrr….

Just yesterday, after a lunch-out with friends from the studio, I received a text message from an unknown number. Reading through it, the person introduced herself as the wedding coordinator of a couple of mine. (Note: I haven’t met nor heard of this coordinator yet). What she wrote after her introduction was something that I didn’t particularly liked. She went on like:

“Just like to inform you na kayo dapat kumukuha ng permit ndi coordinator…. Yung amin is all about d church requirements….”

When I finished reading it, I blurted out “WHOA…” aloud…. and shared to my friends about this person who was trying to provoke me…

If this happened years earlier, I wouldn’t have the wisdom nor the patience to do what I did yesterday. I would probably have turned myself into digital signals, transported myself through cellular frequencies and popped right out of her cellphone and pounced her … But reading the words of God gave me the wisdom I needed to know how to answer to these kind of people. The only problem was, I haven’t started my prayer time and scripture reading that day so I stopped for awhile and asked God, “Lord, i know I haven’t had a talk with you yet today and I’m sorry but please give me the wisdom and the guidance I need for this person.” . And These are some of the verses that I was reminded of that time:

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” – Proverbs 21:23

and

“If your enemy is hungry, feed them; If they are thirsty, give them a drink.

You will make them burn with shame, and the Lord will reward you.” – Proverbs 25:21-22

So I took a deep breath and made the text message for that coordinator.

“Hi…(name withheld)…What are you referring to because I don’t know what you’re talking about (Well, she didn’t exactly tell me what she was talking about or what kind of permits she was telling me, right?)… Anything na napagusapan niyo nina (name withheld) wala akong alam so I would appreciate it if you would fill me in. Wala kmeng inuutos sa inyo na anything from our side. If you need to talk to me re: anything you may contact me at our studio”

She said she will call up after that…. after an hour, I followed up and was still waiting for her call but she didn’t even text what time she was gonna call…

Oh well, that’s what you get for jumping at someone without thinking about your actions first…

I praise God for giving me a cool temper and reminding me about his messages on keeping your cool and dealing with your enemies.

Anyway, here’s a reading that I had for today:

“The Lord is my protector, He is my strong fortress.

My God is my protection, and with him I am safe.

He protects me like a shield;

He defends me and keeps me safe.

I call to the Lord, and he saves me from my enemies.

Praise the Lord!”

Psalm 18:2-3


One Month to Live…

If you just learned that you only have one month to live, What would you do? And what would you change in your life?

These are the things I asked myself when I saw this book on a shelf. And I remembered Bo Sanchez share something about this during The Feast. I browsed inside and out the book cover to see reviews and check how this book can change my outlook in life. In a leap of faith, I decided to buy this book because I feel like I’ve been living in fear and that, “something” is constantly holding me back. I feel like I’m just living in a life of cycle of self-esteem issues, complacency, sudden anger bursts and remnants of some painful memories and I trust God will change all this within me this month. At least, that’s what I’m praying for.

Right now, I’m only at my Day 2 and God is already leading me to a ride of my life and I can’t wait to go through all the twists and turns He prepared. Sharing for the updates and realizations soon.

An Overhaul…

I’ve been keeping this blog for a long, long time already and that time, its purpose was very unclear in the world wide web. But now, since a lot have happened and a lot have changed, changing the blog title from Chasing Moments to Overhauled is just but appropriate.

So what’s the main purpose of this blog?

Just so I can remind myself always, I will post here my 3 reasons for creating this overhaul:

1. To share my thoughts, experiences and daily conversations with the Lord. (Reflections)

2. Share the challenges I encounter in life and updates on how God works in me. (Outlet)

3. Post pictures of things that reminds me how great and praiseworthy He is. Hopefully not wedding-related =P. (A Break from work)