used with permission of Rev G
Originally Posted by Skatsing
I’m new to this site so I hope I am replying to Steve How. Steve, in the Catholic religion we proclaim a belief in the communion of saints. Those saints recognized by the official Catholic church uniquely express the will of God in their lives as each of us are invited to do. When we use statues, they are an aid in helping us to imagine other Christian lives that successfully mirrored Christ’s. They (the saints represented by those statues) continue to be living (in heaven with God), as separate and unique individuals, and are given special grace by God because of their complete trustworthiness to carry out God’s will, as emissaries for Him. Sometimes, because they seem to have an affinity for us or our particular needs, God encourages us to communicate with them through prayer and ask for their help. This never means we have used them to replace God or Christ in our hearts which is what idolatry is.
They never replace God but are His trusted, adopted children.
Think of how a father who trusts a son he is proud of feels when others also accept him and trust him and ask for his help. This is no insult to the father but an added reason for the father to feel love and pride in his son.
I was part of a charismatic group for many years. You are lucky to be in a place that provides that sort of worship. Keep on praising the Lord!
Rev G’s response:
In response to this, I must say that this shows a flawed understanding of the teachings of the Bible and places tradition above Scripture. The Bible does not teach anyone to pray to anyone except to God. Catholic church tradition teaches the idea of praying to the saints. To try to justify the idolatry to praying to a false god, or a graven image (which violates the 3rd commanment), by comparing the realtionship of a father and son to our realtionship with God is an insult to God. I realize I am in a minority here, but I think the Biblical revelation is how we should guide or practices of worship. God says to pray to Him, the Catholic church says its ok to pray to images of people they felt deserving to be called saints. The Bible never says anyone has special grace, this is a false teaching of the church. The traditions of the church are not revelation from God and do not carry the authority of the Bible. The teachings of tradition as having authority was one of the causes of the Protestant Reformation. When the clergy recognized that the church was teaching ideas not found in Scripture they tried to reform the church. In response the Catholic church introduced the Septuagint into thier Bible calling it Deutero-canonical. I just think maybe it is best to stick with what the Bible says, and not what church tradition teaches.