Well, first off, I searched for an answer to this and I have not found a definitive answer for my question. So, this may have been asked before but I have not found the thread, so I will ask again.
Secondly, I do not have a problem with the pictures and statues in Catholic Churchs (I clearly see the concentration during Mass on Jesus, and Jesus alone) but I have found it hard to explain to others that these are not worshiped and that they are only used as ‘visual aid’ for us twenty-first-century people who have no other way of visualizing these long dead brothers and sisters. So, on to my question:
The first commandment prohibits carven images:
"…You must not make yourselves any image or any likeness of anything in heaven above or on earth beneath or in the waters under the earth;…"
now, I have not personally used these statues and images for prayer or anything other than visual aids, and I feel I have a good relationship with God, even without them (not saying that they may not help), but it seems to me that the Church has pushed the envelope a little on the ‘images’ and ‘likenesses’. I feel like right now I’m trusting the Catholic Church a little more than I am taking all 10 Commandments to be law (only in talking about the images and likenesses). I suppose what I am asking is, I’m not fully convinced that these are not the images and likenesses that the decalogue is talking about. Are these really necessary to pray for the saints to pray for us? Because it seems maybe the Church is cutting it as close as they can with the statues and pictures. Any insight will help.
and let me finish by saying, I love the Catholic Church and I will never be a part of any other organization in my life, I feel sure. If history repeats itself with all of my questions about the Catholic faith there is a great answer to this question and I cannot wait to know it.
The italicized text is the meat of the question. Thanks for listening to me babble on. Just wanted to get it all out.