Is this veneration holy?


#1

This is in a prayer of The Infant of Prague...

"Behold me, in spirit I kneel before Your miraculous image on Your altar in Prague. * and lay open my heart to You, * with its prayers, petitions and hopes."

It is something I am uncomfortable with. What do you think?

Thanks,
Michael


#2

It is a reverent prayer.


#3

First of all - remember that no one is required to hold specific private devotions or to the common prayers associated with same...

That said....

The "infant of Prague" is Christ - correct? That being the case...I don't see what should be troublesome with the prayer...
Could you clarify?

Peace
James


#4

[quote="JRKH, post:3, topic:335206"]
First of all - remember that no one is required to hold specific private devotions or to the common prayers associated with same...

That said....

The "infant of Prague" is Christ - correct? That being the case...I don't see what should be troublesome with the prayer...
Could you clarify?

[/quote]

Well, if we venerate statues and images for what they represent in spirit and heaven, why if we are not near to the object would we kneel in spirit to it? Why not kneel in spirit to who that object represents? IOW, the purpose of an icon is that it is visable and the Lord is not, so if the icon is not in front of you, why go through it in spirit? It is very strange to me.


#5

[quote="rcwitness, post:4, topic:335206"]
Well, if we venerate statues and images for what they represent in spirit and heaven, why if we are not near to the object would we kneel in spirit to it? Why not kneel in spirit to who that object represents? IOW, the purpose of an icon is that it is visable and the Lord is not, so if the icon is not in front of you, why go through it in spirit? It is very strange to me.

[/quote]

OK - I see now....
I'm afraid I cannot answer this...

Best advice I can give you is this...If the prayer is not comfortable for you then simply do not use it....

Peace
James


#6

[quote="rcwitness, post:4, topic:335206"]
Well, if we venerate statues and images for what they represent in spirit and heaven, why if we are not near to the object would we kneel in spirit to it? Why not kneel in spirit to who that object represents? IOW, the purpose of an icon is that it is visable and the Lord is not, so if the icon is not in front of you, why go through it in spirit? It is very strange to me.

[/quote]

The statue is considered miraculous: ewtn.com/library/christ/infhist.txt. For those who do not have access to a physical statue, one can pray "in spirit before" it to receive the promises given to those who venerate the statue. IOW, it's asking to receive by proxy what one would receive if one were praying before an actual statue. Such devotions do not appeal to all, and as JRKH cited and we aren't obliged to do them, but it is perfectly in line with Catholic teaching. For the Czech people devotion to the Infant of Prague has been a mainstay in all their troubles.


#7

[quote="Della, post:6, topic:335206"]
The statue is considered miraculous: ewtn.com/library/christ/infhist.txt. For those who do not have access to a physical statue, one can pray "in spirit before" it to receive the promises given to those who venerate the statue. IOW, it's asking to receive by proxy what one would receive if one were praying before an actual statue. Such devotions do not appeal to all, and as JRKH cited and we aren't obliged to do them, but it is perfectly in line with Catholic teaching. For the Czech people devotion to the Infant of Prague has been a mainstay in all their troubles.

[/quote]

Thank you, that helps some, I will let it resonate, with prayer as well. I do hope to understand, in order to believe the truth in it.;)

Michael


#8

[quote="rcwitness, post:7, topic:335206"]
Thank you, that helps some, I will let it resonate, with prayer as well. I do hope to understand, in order to believe the truth in it.;)

Michael

[/quote]

You're welcome. :tiphat: If you are new to Catholicism or just haven't looked into these things until now, it takes a bit of research to understand these kinds of prayers, especially when they are foreign to our experience/new to us.

The prayer you cited is probably tied to an indulgence that may or may not still be in effect. It's like in the year of St. Paul that Bl. John Paul II called for a couple years ago. If you wished to receive an indulgence you were to visit a church/shrine named for St. Paul, but if that was not possible you could go to any church and fulfill the requirements for the indulgence. So, the other church could "stand in" for one named for the saint. It's meant to make it easy to receive whatever is promised through the devotion.


#9

[quote="Della, post:8, topic:335206"]
You're welcome. :tiphat: If you are new to Catholicism or just haven't looked into these things until now, it takes a bit of research to understand these kinds of prayers, especially when they are foreign to our experience/new to us.

The prayer you cited is probably tied to an indulgence that may or may not still be in effect. It's like in the year of St. Paul that Bl. John Paul II called for a couple years ago. If you wished to receive an indulgence you were to visit a church/shrine named for St. Paul, but if that was not possible you could go to any church and fulfill the requirements for the indulgence. So, the other church could "stand in" for one named for the saint. It's meant to make it easy to receive whatever is promised through the devotion.

[/quote]

Im a convert from evangelical free. 10 yrs

Most intercessory devotions are strange to me. Why would Jesus give us a statue to worship through after abolishing worship to statues.

I think there is truth in the new economy of imagery revealed in the incarnation. But sometimes I feel like the religious puts these things between our relationship with God.
Icons can bring our minds closer to worship, but when we make them a source of the worship, it confuses me. Meaning, when we seek them in order to seek God.


#10

[quote="rcwitness, post:9, topic:335206"]
Im a convert from evangelical free. 10 yrs

Most intercessory devotions are strange to me. Why would Jesus give us a statue to worship through after abolishing worship to statues.

[/quote]

If we were worshiping a statue that would indeed be idolatry, but that's not what this is. The statue merely represents the Christ Child. In the OT when people worshiped statues, they offered sacrifices to them as if they were gods. That is not what this devotion is asking us to do--or any such devotion. :)

I think there is truth in the new economy of imagery revealed in the incarnation. But sometimes I feel like the religious puts these things between our relationship with God.
Icons can bring our minds closer to worship, but when we make them a source of the worship, it confuses me. Meaning, when we seek them in order to seek God.

In our times, when most of us can read and write, statues seem somewhat pointless to us. But until quite recent times most people in the world were illiterate. Statues, paintings, icons, mosaics, stained glass windows stood in for the written word for most. When you see a statue of Mary, who do you think of? Mary, yes? And who does she represent and where is she now? She represents her Son and she is in heaven, so we think of those things when we see her statue.

I wasn't brought up kneeling before statues, either and for many years I saw doing so as idolatry, as well. But I saw an older woman kiss the hand of a statue of Jesus and it suddenly hit me that she saw in her action a way to say "thank you" to God and to make a physical connection to him. God knows we use all our senses. We are moved by beautiful music, for instance, but no one thinks we shouldn't have hymns or that they come between us and God. Statues are like that--they are simply another way to lift our hearts and minds to God.


#11

If we were worshiping a statue that would indeed be idolatry, but that's not what this is. The statue merely represents the Christ Child. In the OT when people worshiped statues, they offered sacrifices to them as if they were gods. That is not what this devotion is asking us to do--or any such devotion. :)

I understand. And this makes sense to me when we are in front of a statue.

In our times, when most of us can read and write, statues seem somewhat pointless to us. But until quite recent times most people in the world were illiterate. Statues, paintings, icons, mosaics, stained glass windows stood in for the written word for most. When you see a statue of Mary, who do you think of? Mary, yes? And who does she represent and where is she now? She represents her Son and she is in heaven, so we think of those things when we see her statue.

but this is not seeing the statue

I wasn't brought up kneeling before statues, either and for many years I saw doing so as idolatry, as well. But I saw an older woman kiss the hand of a statue of Jesus and it suddenly hit me that she saw in her action a way to say "thank you" to God and to make a physical connection to him. *God knows we use all our senses. * We are moved by beautiful music, for instance, but no one thinks we shouldn't have hymns or that they come between us and God. Statues are like that--they are simply another way to lift our hearts and minds to God.

this prayer is not calling on our senses, but our spirit to kneel to the statue, which is not even present!

You see, what i'm getting at? It sounds like there is a desire to lead people to the statue in spirit, when our spirit is suppose to be centered on God and the statue just reminding us visually. Its like us trying to kneel in spirit to a hankerchief (sp?) of St Paul that people were healed through...Thank you for being patient with me here. I am trying.


#12

I could only repeat my previous explanation, I'm afraid. I'll try another example. Let's say you're getting married, but you get called up to serve in the armed forces and can't be there for the ceremony. You could still get married by proxy--someone else could take the vows for you before a legal witness, such as a priest. You'd be there "in spirit."

By praying that you are "in spirit" before the statue, you are there by proxy. It's the same as praying before the statue, but you can't be physically present in Prague where the statue stands. Does that help? :)


#13

I could only repeat my previous explanation, I'm afraid. I'll try another example. Let's say you're getting married, but you get called up to serve in the armed forces and can't be there for the ceremony. You could still get married by proxy--someone else could take the vows for you before a legal witness, such as a priest. You'd be there "in spirit."

By praying that you are "in spirit" before the statue, you are there by proxy. It's the same as praying before the statue, but you can't be physically present in Prague where the statue stands. Does that help? :)

Isnt the benefit of a statue because it is physically in front of you? If you are no longer in front of the statue (just as we are not in front of Christ) why then STILL go thru the statue to worship/pray to God in the spirit. Doesnt that contradict the very essence and benefit of a statue? And furthermore, elavate that statue to a medium?

I guess you have answered the question earlier. That the Lord actually gives blessings to venerate the statue, not Just God. In that case it is still troubling.

I think I will ask an Apologist this question.... But need to word it better:)

Thanks for all your effort Della,
Michael


#14

To the former Evangelical (welcome aboard!) please check CCC 2132, and this site, which explains the distinction between veneration/honor and worship. I wish I had had this kind of instruction in my RCIA.

To the OP, be patient with yourself. It took me nearly 20 years after my conversion to get "comfortable" with the Holy Rosary:D


#15

Again, you're welcome. We are used to thinking in a certain way because of long held beliefs or culture, upbringing, etc. It can be difficult to wrap our heads around new concepts/modes of understanding. Jesus told Nicodemus that the "Spirit moves as he wishes." We see in this that we are not limited by time or space. Prayer transports us to another realm of reality in which God moves as he sees fit. When we pray by proxy, as the prayer says, we are putting ourselves before the Christ Child as given to us through the devotion to the Infant of Prague. It is the Christ Child we are putting ourselves before, not a statue. The statue/being in spirit before it, only represents him, but it represents him in a certain way that means something to those who know what the statue means. Without knowing what the statue means, it means nothing. So, I can see why it isn't attractive to you and even confusing. :)


#16

[quote="BaltoCatechist, post:14, topic:335206"]
To the former Evangelical (welcome aboard!) please check CCC 2132, and this site, which explains the distinction between veneration/honor and worship. I wish I had had this kind of instruction in my RCIA.

To the OP, be patient with yourself. It took me nearly 20 years after my conversion to get "comfortable" with the Holy Rosary:D

[/quote]

Thanks, i will look into that. I never minded the rosary, but then again i dont pray it often:rolleyes: I love the Church, for Jesus and neighbor, which is endless reason.


#17

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