RE: my Jehovah Witness Mom says the rosary is idolatry- how would you respond?


#1

She told me that any visible “tokens” of Catholicism
(even crosses, my miraculous medal, etc.)
are all forms of idolatry- and of course I do not
go along with that belief system at all…
She spotted my rosary in my purse
and got this wierd look in her eye
and exclaimed “Get that thing out of my house!
That is an idol”… i felt like a little girl being scolded
for getting caught with hands in the cookie jar-
Anyway, how would YOU respond?
Thanks!
~Dalonia


#2

[quote=dalonia]She told me that any visible “tokens” of Catholicism
(even crosses, my miraculous medal, etc.)
are all forms of idoplatry- and of course I do not
go along with that belief system at all…
She spotted my rosary in my purse
and got this wierd look in her eye
and exclaimed “Get that thing out of my house!
That is an idol”… i felt like a little girl being scolded
for getting caught with hands in the cookie jar-
Anyway, how would YOU respond?
Thanks!
~Dalonia
[/quote]

Tell her you are not practicing idolatry because you are not worshipping the cross, rosary beads, the Bible, or other inanimate objects. You worship God, period. That should put that issue to rest.


#3

Tell her i is not anymore sinful to have an immage of God then it is to have a photo of her children or her own mother

The photo reminds her of her children and is a constant reminder of how much she loves them. She does not love the photo, but the person in the photo. She might even remember your birthday because she saw that photo

You do not love your rosary but you are reminded to follow Jesus, to honor worship and pray to Him.


#4

[quote=Meggie]Tell her i is not anymore sinful to have an immage of God then it is to have a photo of her children or her own mother

The photo reminds her of her children and is a constant reminder of how much she loves them. She does not love the photo, but the person in the photo. She might even remember your birthday because she saw that photo

You do not love your rosary but you are reminded to follow Jesus, to honor worship and pray to Him.
[/quote]

Thank you very much for your input-
i need as much advice on dealing with her as possible-
no matter what she says,
I am still determined to(and am looking forward to!)
enrolling in RCIA classes this September :slight_smile:

BTW: jehovah Witnesses do not even celebrate birthdays :frowning:


#5

[quote=dalonia]Thank you very much for your input-
i need as much advice on dealing with her as possible-
:frowning:
[/quote]

I can only add, “What he said (or she?)” to what KTM said. It’s not an idol if you’re not worshipping it. It is an object, but it’s used to help you concentrate as you pray and meditate, to help you focus.

For more info on JW’s, you should check out some of the tracts on Catholic Answers’ website:

catholic.com/library/noncatholic_groups.asp

Scroll down to the “Non-Christian” group and there are 7 links related to JW.


#6

Tell her that the next time she looks lovingly at a photo or a handprint or footprint of a child, loved one or new born etc. That she too is guilty of idol worship.

Does she watch TV? Does she make any historical moments present in her mind by watching images of times past? OH NOOOOO! Idol worship.

Does she ever ask you for help in things? Too bad. Idol worship again.

Does she use the phone to speak to someone who is not physically there? Oh bad news. Yup!!! Idol worship again.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If she condems you she will be condemed with the same measure. If she judges you she too will be judges by the same rule.

Of course I have gone too far but you get my idea(s).
I have a good friend who is a JW and I have great respect for her. She always critisised my faith and my heart held religious beliefs when she started calling. I never insulted or questioned hers. Now we sinply have a chat on common ground.
We have the Cross they have a pole. Common Ground?? Yup We both believe Christ died for us for the forgivness of sins.

Help her to focus on the common ground you have. St Francis taught his brothers to preach by example and if really necessary use words! excellent advise here.

The JW look for converts but the biggest puzzle to them is the one who is steadfast. They loose interest very quickly. That is unless they themselves think there may be something better???

My prayers are with you my friend. Go for it. Welcome to the family!!

Fergal
Naas
Ireland


#7

I thought the rosary, helped you keep you place when praying. :lol


#8

Thephilus,

Tell her to look up the definition in the dictionary the following words: worship, adore, venerate and pray. Next, you explain to her how Catholics use these same words in relation to Blessed Mary, the rosary and God and have her explain how JW’s use these same words. Expalin to her the rosary and how to pray it. Now have her try to explain the rosary as idolatry again using correct and proper definitions, she won’t be able to.

With luck, she’ll apologoze and admit she was wrong and fell for JW propaganda. At the least, she’ll learn the meaning of the word she used incorrectly. Hopefully she’ll learn the truth.

Allways love her and rebuke and rebuff with love also.

A prisoner of Christ


#9

[quote=dalonia]Thank you very much for your input-
i need as much advice on dealing with her as possible-
no matter what she says,
I am still determined to(and am looking forward to!)
enrolling in RCIA classes this September :slight_smile:

BTW: jehovah Witnesses do not even celebrate birthdays :frowning:
[/quote]

I’m sorry about the birthday bit…I forgot…:o …I had friends who were JW’s…and I argued this point with them…


#10

Explain to your mom what a false idol is. Does she really think that you worship bead? :rolleyes:

I would just keep it simple and talk about what is or isn’t an “idol”.


#11

[quote=Meggie]I’m sorry about the birthday bit…I forgot…:o …I had friends who were JW’s…and I argued this point with them…
[/quote]

Please don’t tell me there’s something wrong with not celebrating (my) birthdays!!


#12

Idolatory is an action of the mind and committed only in
the mind. The statue or icon is not the focus here.

There is a school of thought that say’s that any definitive assumption
of God or the truth ( which at the end of the day is a mystery ) is
a form of idolatory. Since all religious traditions claim some sort
of definitive truth, then all faiths are guilty of idolatory.

So tell your JW friend that we catholics in good company. :slight_smile:


#13

Your response can be quite simple.

One of the roots of the word “idolatry” is “latria” (sometimes spelled “latreia”). This is the Greek word for WORSHIP.

Unless you are worshipping an object, you can not be guilty of idolatry.
In other words, if there is no “latria” going on, then there can be no “idolatry!”


#14

well I ment the point about the rosary/objects of idoltry.

But about birthday’s too, yes some carry it too far with huge celebrations but birthdays should be remembered becasue its the day that God (through our mothers) brought us into the world. Among other days it is significant in our life and should be celebrated. Not celebrating life feeds the culture of death.


#15

I know that one’s normal reaction to an accusation like your mother’s is to “tell her” the reason why your rosary is not idolatrous, but as a former JW myself, I can pretty much tell you that that response will only start an argument, or alienate her. Why not, instead, ask her why she feels that way. Use questions to guide her through the scriptures to show her why her JW beliefs are not founded on truth.

God Bless

John


#16

"I’m sorry you feel that way mom, but thanks for telling me. It gives me a chance maybe to clear up what the Rosary is. I’m afraid that to an outsider it can appear that we are worshipping Mary or even the beads on the Rosary, but we really aren’t.

"Most Christian religions agree that Mary was the mother of God, and that she conceived and gave birth while physically a virgin. If there were nothing else to her story, this alone would make her special! But the meditation of the Rosary goes much farther than that!

"First are the words of the Hail Mary. “Hail, Mary, full of Grace” comes from the greeting given to Mary by the angel that came to tell her she was God’s chosen to give birth to his son (yes, we added the word Mary, but only for clarification). “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”. Is also a quote from the bible. This time from Elizabeth (we added Jesus, for the same reason we say Mary in the first part). We finish off the hail Mary by asking her to pray for us now and at our death. I know this may seem strange, mom, but is it really any different from how many Christian religions ask one another here on Earth to pray for them?

"Now you should also realize that the Rosary itself is a meditation. We recite the Hail Mary and other prayers not as an end unto themselves, but as a way to calm and clear our minds in order to meditate on the mysteries of our faith. The vast majority of these are based on scriptural passages. Two of them involve Traditions about Mary that the Church has handed down from its beginning. And the beads themselves are likewise to help us focus and enter a contemplative state that allows us to better worship God, not Mary or the Beads.

So you see mom, while it might appear to be idolatry, it really isn’t. I know that from where you are in your faith it looks that way, and I know I’m not going to change your mind all at once, but I hope this helps you see that there is a lot that goes into this meditation that is hard to see from the outside. I love you, mom, I hope you’ll never hesitate to comment on and ask me questions about my faith. If I ever don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you!


#17

Your mom needs your understanding and maybe just show her how you practice your faith as a Catholic. Remember, the Master was persecuted and we are not more than Him. And if one day, you sense that she is willing to know yours, then by all means, bring her to the light. I hope you wont argue with her, just show that deep conviction you have that faith. I’m sure, she will be curious if you keep ignoring her scoldings… God bless… keep in touch.


#18

[quote=Fergal]Tell her that the next time she looks lovingly at a photo or a handprint or footprint of a child, loved one or new born etc. That she too is guilty of idol worship.

Does she watch TV? Does she make any historical moments present in her mind by watching images of times past? OH NOOOOO! Idol worship.

Does she ever ask you for help in things? Too bad. Idol worship again.

Does she use the phone to speak to someone who is not physically there? Oh bad news. Yup!!! Idol worship again.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. If she condems you she will be condemed with the same measure. If she judges you she too will be judges by the same rule.

Of course I have gone too far but you get my idea(s).
I have a good friend who is a JW and I have great respect for her. She always critisised my faith and my heart held religious beliefs when she started calling. I never insulted or questioned hers. Now we sinply have a chat on common ground.
We have the Cross they have a pole. Common Ground?? Yup We both believe Christ died for us for the forgivness of sins.

Help her to focus on the common ground you have. St Francis taught his brothers to preach by example and if really necessary use words! excellent advise here.

The JW look for converts but the biggest puzzle to them is the one who is steadfast. They loose interest very quickly. That is unless they themselves think there may be something better???

My prayers are with you my friend. Go for it. Welcome to the family!!

Fergal
Naas
Ireland
[/quote]

Well, thank you very much to all-
I’m going thru a very rough time right now-
like a ship lost at sea - my heart has been broken recently
and now my family scorns and ridicules my new-found path…
at least I find comfort in all of your kind words…
just hoping that soon i find my “Spiritual Family”…
God Bless.


#19

I think you’re doing fine Dalonia, and there are a lot of people who already belong to your “spiritual family” right here. Hang in there on the home front and don’t hesitate to talk to us here whenever you need!


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