Does an image of the cross glorify God?


#1

I just had an argument with someone over this and being that the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is coming; I figured this would be a good time to ask this question. Does an image of the cross glorify God? I believe it does.


#2

I’d say you are correct. I’m curious as to why your friend would say it dosen’t? Was he arguing crucifix over a “barren cross?” I agree–go crucifix…but I’m not understanding where he’s coming from.


#3

[quote=Sanctus]I’d say you are correct. I’m curious as to why your friend would say it dosen’t? Was he arguing crucifix over a “barren cross?” I agree–go crucifix…but I’m not understanding where he’s coming from.
[/quote]

What it was over is that my church re-painted its interior durring the winter. The last time the church was painted was in 1968, it badly needed to be done. Over the altar we had a beautiful painting (actually it was wall papered on) of Christ the King sitting on his throne with angels worshiping him. My pastor wanted to go for a Roman Basilica look; because of this, the painting would look out of place (it would have needed to have been restored anyways.) Many people were upset about this, but we had a vote, and the vote said yes to the restoration.

For those who are not familiar with the Roman Basilica look, it is very Byzantine, the walls are adorned with elaborate patterns of lines, squares, and circles, look at these website and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

In this cite, notice how the interior of the dome of the Hagia Sophia is adorned with lines and circles: travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2793412-action-imgsearch-hagia_sophia_istanbul-i

Notice how St. Mark’s in Venice also has this:
photo.net/italy/venice-san-marco

Take a look at the Sanctuary of St. John Lateran:
di-forgod.com/rome2003/StJohnLateran.htm

Our church sancturary looks very similar to this now; this is what my pastor had in mind and so did the artist.

She was trying to tell me that the artist adorned the wall with pagan symbols. When I told her that it was Byzantine Art because we were going for a Venecian look, she stated that we shouldn’t give New Agers the wrong impression. :banghead:

After she was I was unflinched she basically told me that Satan has taken a hold of my pastor, because of what he did to the Church; that the communist had infiltrated the church (and intern, my church; and because I didn’t agree with her; me.) :mad:

Her reasoning for this is because we took down the painting of Christ the King. She said why would anyone want to take down that Glorius picture of Christ being adored by Angels (who wasn’t a communist.) and then replace them with clouds. “Clouds?” I said. (My church is shaped like a cross, the artist painted across the middle of two ceilings thin strip of blue sky and cloud, giving the appearnce of a skyline. Where the two lines meet, there is a dove descending out of a sunburst.) I told her, “I don’t see clouds, but I do see a cross with the Holy Spirit descending from it.” What better way did God recieve glory, then by the cross? In my opinion the cross is the greatest sign of his glory. Not too mention that the center window above the sancturary is of the Glorius Resurrection of Our Lord, and the painted sky line flows down and around it, so your attention is drawn to it. I would say my church is still full of glory.

She ended by saying we have our opinions and ended with a lecture about how the communists have infiltrated the church; and how many times that she fought with “Catholics” who did not believe in physical presence in the Eucharist, the sanctity of life and marriage, etc, etc. And I told her so did I and my pastor (he spoke of these issues many times from the pulpit. I was very offended because basically she was putting me and my pastor in that group and its not true at all.

It’s one thing if you didn’t like the paint job, not everyone likes the Venican look, many did not want to see that painting go. But what she was saying was very unreal and I was personally offended. Was I out of place?


#4

Yes. If it gets its intended result across: Contemplation on the suffering that Jesus had to go through for our salvation. Then, and only then does it glorify God.


#5

Ok, now that I understand…this appears to be much more an argument of taste rather than theology.


#6

St. John the Apostle says that Jesus on the Cross is Jesus in his glory! John says this many times in his gospel. Here is just one example:Now there were some Greeks among those who had come up to worship at the feast. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me. “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours. Now is the time of judgment on this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” He said this indicating the kind of death he would die.

“when I am lifted up” = “when I am lifted up on the Cross”.

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” = the time has come for Jesus to be crucified


#7

[quote=Sanctus]Ok, now that I understand…this appears to be much more an argument of taste rather than theology.
[/quote]

Thank you, and that is what I was trying to get across.


#8

[quote=Psalm45:9]After she was I was unflinched she basically told me that Satan has taken a hold of my pastor, because of what he did to the Church; that the communist had infiltrated the church (and intern, my church; and because I didn’t agree with her; me.) :mad:

[/quote]

I meant to say “after she saw I was unflinched.”

These patterns have been used by the Church for centuries, starting from Constantinople (where they adorn the Hagia Sophia) to Italy adorning the great Roman and Veneician Basilicas. By her logic we should stop kneeling in front of Statues of Mary and the Saints because it gives the Fundamentalists the wrong impression about us.

What made me even more mad is she was speaking sarcastically the whole time, especially about the “Clouds”. (Mind you, she is old enough to be my mother.) Well, unfortunatley she was blinded and could not see the glorius cross adorning the ceiling point to the glorius resurrection of our Lord, with the glorius Holy Spirit descending from its midst.

This is a matter of personal preference in church decor. Just like people have preferences in the Liturgy (Charismatic and Traditonal worship.) Everything else is compleatly far-out.

I took this a sign from the Holy Spirit (with the coming of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) that does an image of the Cross glorify God? Yes it does, because it is the instrument of our Salvation. Although a cross with the corpus of the suffering lord on it (a crucfix) has a stronger meaning, a bare cross still glorifies God. St. Helena saw this when she cured the lepords upon her finding of the bare true cross.


#9

I just found this website about restoration of Hagia Sofia, they have close up picture of one of patterns adorning the interior of the dome, scroll down to where it says, “a cross still seen from the distant past.” Although not as elaborate, a pattern similar to this adorns the wall of my church. This Church was dedicated in 536. aydingun.com/Hagiasofia.htm


#10

I just went to the website that she wrote down for me, now I feel very uncomfortable. When I told her that the geometric patterns were part of Byzantine Art, she responded, “How do you know they weren’t trying to get you to think it is Byzantine Art.” Basically she was saying that I was brainwashed. She is trying to brainwash me into thinking that circles, squares, and diamonds (dominant in Byzantine Art) are really these: [/font]

(I’m not endorsing that website at all.)

The only one that would come close are the circles for the new age symbol of freedom. However, circles are also depicted in Eastern Icons (the ancitent Byzantine Art of the Church.)

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ikon/top-bvm.gif

Notice the two circles on both sides of Our Lady’s head.

Here is the website she gave me: educate-yourself.org


#11

Psalm, to be blunt, I think your friend is suffering from serious problems with conspiracy theories and is quite unstable. Do not let her problems overwhelm your own peace of soul. It might be best to “simply” pray for her and leave your discussions aside.


#12

TASTE…that’s all it is. Whether you prefer Byzantine Art or Roman Art is a matter of Taste. Your friends zeal for sniffing out “New Age-ism” is misplaced—send her off to Churches that have a risen Christ Cross.


#13

[quote=Sanctus]TASTE…that’s all it is. Whether you prefer Byzantine Art or Roman Art is a matter of Taste. Your friends zeal for sniffing out “New Age-ism” is misplaced—send her off to Churches that have a risen Christ Cross.
[/quote]

:thumbsup: :yup: :clapping:


#14

[quote=Sanctus]Your friends zeal for sniffing out “New Age-ism” is misplaced—send her off to Churches that have a risen Christ Cross.
[/quote]

Or to this Church: spiritdaily.com/yogareiki.htm

My church does not have statues like this, and the only meditation we have is the rosary group.


#15

[quote=Psalm45:9]I just went to the website that she wrote down for me, now I feel very uncomfortable. When I told her that the geometric patterns were part of Byzantine Art, she responded, “How do you know they weren’t trying to get you to think it is Byzantine Art.” Basically she was saying that I was brainwashed. She is trying to brainwash me into thinking that circles, squares, and diamonds (dominant in Byzantine Art) are really these: [/font]

(I’m not endorsing that website at all.)

Here is the website she gave me: educate-yourself.org
[/quote]

That first site is just weird.
The 2nd one is scary…They are talking about channeling spirits, & all that…
This is sad, but it sounds like she is either very confused, or else she has been drawn into something that is “new age” herself.
I agree that the best thing is just to pray for her. It doesn’t sound like she is thinking clearly enough to hear any explanations that you–or anyone else–could give her.
God bless.


#16

[quote=Zooey]That first site is just weird.
The 2nd one is scary…They are talking about channeling spirits, & all that…
This is sad, but it sounds like she is either very confused, or else she has been drawn into something that is “new age” herself.
[/quote]

:hmmm: You think? After going to that website now I feel very uncomfortable. I wrote a letter to my pastor, if she is telling the uneducated at my parish that my church is covered with “New Age-ism” it will be very damaging. She got very mad when I answered each of her objections to the new look of our church. It’s one thing to say you liked how the church looked before better, it’s another to come up with all of these far-out things.

She inadvertently said my pastor is a communist; while she lectured me about how they have infiltrated the church and they deny the physical presence in the Eucharist, etc, etc. I was thinking, “Lady; you don’t know who you’re talking about.” He has adressed these issues from the pulpit, he is very orthodox and follows the magesterium.


#17

Psalm, as I mentioned earlier, she seems to be quite unstable. It’s good that you have alerted your pastor to this problem.


#18

[quote=FCEGM]Psalm, as I mentioned earlier, she seems to be quite unstable. It’s good that you have alerted your pastor to this problem.
[/quote]

He laughed at the idea of him being a communist. He told me not to let it get to me; I know that what’s she’s saying is bogus. If people have a question about the circles, squares, and diamonds adoring the walls, then I’ll answer it. It’s the ancient art of the Mediterranean Church.


#19

[quote=Psalm45:9]What it was over is that my church re-painted its interior durring the winter. The last time the church was painted was in 1968, it badly needed to be done. Over the altar we had a beautiful painting (actually it was wall papered on) of Christ the King sitting on his throne with angels worshiping him. My pastor wanted to go for a Roman Basilica look; because of this, the painting would look out of place (it would have needed to have been restored anyways.) Many people were upset about this, but we had a vote, and the vote said yes to the restoration.

For those who are not familiar with the Roman Basilica look, it is very Byzantine, the walls are adorned with elaborate patterns of lines, squares, and circles, look at these website and you’ll see what I’m talking about:

In this cite, notice how the interior of the dome of the Hagia Sophia is adorned with lines and circles: travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-2793412-action-imgsearch-hagia_sophia_istanbul-i

Notice how St. Mark’s in Venice also has this:
photo.net/italy/venice-san-marco

Take a look at the Sanctuary of St. John Lateran:
di-forgod.com/rome2003/StJohnLateran.htm

Our church sancturary looks very similar to this now; this is what my pastor had in mind and so did the artist.

She was trying to tell me that the artist adorned the wall with pagan symbols. When I told her that it was Byzantine Art because we were going for a Venecian look, she stated that we shouldn’t give New Agers the wrong impression. :banghead:

After she was I was unflinched she basically told me that Satan has taken a hold of my pastor, because of what he did to the Church; that the communist had infiltrated the church (and intern, my church; and because I didn’t agree with her; me.) :mad:

Her reasoning for this is because we took down the painting of Christ the King. She said why would anyone want to take down that Glorius picture of Christ being adored by Angels (who wasn’t a communist.) and then replace them with clouds. “Clouds?” I said. (My church is shaped like a cross, the artist painted across the middle of two ceilings thin strip of blue sky and cloud, giving the appearnce of a skyline. Where the two lines meet, there is a dove descending out of a sunburst.) I told her, “I don’t see clouds, but I do see a cross with the Holy Spirit descending from it.” What better way did God recieve glory, then by the cross? In my opinion the cross is the greatest sign of his glory. Not too mention that the center window above the sancturary is of the Glorius Resurrection of Our Lord, and the painted sky line flows down and around it, so your attention is drawn to it. I would say my church is still full of glory.

She ended by saying we have our opinions and ended with a lecture about how the communists have infiltrated the church; and how many times that she fought with “Catholics” who did not believe in physical presence in the Eucharist, the sanctity of life and marriage, etc, etc. And I told her so did I and my pastor (he spoke of these issues many times from the pulpit. I was very offended because basically she was putting me and my pastor in that group and its not true at all.

It’s one thing if you didn’t like the paint job, not everyone likes the Venican look, many did not want to see that painting go. But what she was saying was very unreal and I was personally offended. Was I out of place?
[/quote]

My parish has a webpage now! Here are pictures of my church:

stmattsschool.org/st__matthew’s_church.htm


#20

It seems like the underlying question is, does the crucifixion glorify God? Does the greatest love, to give one’s life for another, glorify the giver?


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