+JMJ+ It happens more often than one might expect: non-Catholics see a post or a tweet, or my Rosary threads on Twitter, and they immediately pounce. “You shouldn’t pray to dead people. That’s necromancy.” “You shouldn’t use images. That’s idolatry.” I’ve written about prayer to saints before. Tonight I want to share something about the use of images, holy images, sacred images. It boggles my mind how things that were settled in the Church hundreds and hundreds of years ago can still be imagined to be open to debate all this time later.
Can it be true that most poeple have no idea of Church history? Of arguments made and bad arguments refuted and defeated? Of two thousand years of prayer and meditation and reflection and being led by the Holy Spirit? Sadly, yes, it is true. We live in a sea of ignorance of Christian history and teachings, a sea of distortions of the history and the teachings, and even of outright lies about it all. Usually when I search the web for something about Catholicism I get more links to non-Catholic sites than to Catholic ones and most of what I find there is either a misunderstanding of Catholicism or a mangling so severe that it’s hard to believe it isn’t deliberate. I’m not saying it is deliberate, I am saying it’s hard to believe it isn’t.
(Jack Chick comes to mind. He died in 2016 but his anti-Catholicism lives on. I saw his awful anti-Catholic tracts when I was a Methodist kid in high school and I knew even then that there was something horribly wrong with them and with the mind that created them. I helped a friend distribute some–not anti-Catholic ones–once. Never did it again. Even the memory of that one time makes me want to go wash my hands. UGH!)
Below are some things I’ve found to be helpful in talking about holy images to non-Catholics.
Video, Are Statues in Catholic Churches “Graven Images?” from Catholic Answers. (The caller makes the most consistent point I’ve ever heard a Protesant make about this.)
Video, Why do you pray to “statues”? Aren’t statues & icons idolatry? Ask A Priest, Father Joseph Matlak, from Good Catholic.
Video, A lesson on iconography: a look at Christian Art, from Rome Reports.
Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. I pray that you and I will stay holy and virtuous this Lent, and may we become who the Lord intends us to be: SAINTS. God bless you and may His Peace be always with you. +JMJ+
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“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” — Padre Pio
Notes and Links
- Praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints is Biblical
- Second Council of Nicaea, 787 A.D.
- Did the Church condemn the use of images as idolatrous in the past?
- A Biblical Defense of Religious Images
- Are Statues in Catholic Churches “Graven Images?” from Catholic Answers.
- Why do you pray to “statues”? Aren’t statues & icons idolatry? Ask A Priest, Father Joseph Matlak, from Good Catholic.
- A lesson on iconography: a look at Christian Art, from Rome Reports.
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Image: Christ Pantocrator, Mosaic in the Cathedral of Cefalù, Sicily. Photo from Wikimedia Commons and © by Gun Powder Ma, licensed under Creative Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.
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