I formerly was a Presbyterian, and am currently Lutheran, but I struggle with the idea of kissing, bowing towards, reverencing, or praying before images and statues. In my mind, Christianity is/was/always has been a Word based faith, and that our words may speak truth, while images, of necessity, fall short of it, but attempt to capture what a word says without saying more than it says.
I tried to put a couple of images in my room (attached), but, as soon as I did, whether by my feeling of superstition, wrongness, or merely pure imagination, I felt like the images were possessed of demons, and allowed them something to latch on to. I just felt such an evil presence in the images, despite the fact they were portraying Jesus, and I don’t feel the same way regarding reading Holy Scripture.
All that said, I think many Catholics and Eastern Orthodox can pray to Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Ghost before an image without thinking they are praying to the image, but I personally cannot.
Further, when I attempt to begin to consider adding an invocation to a Saint, Angel, or Mary, I feel like doing so is evil, and allows the demonic to attack me directly because I had the gall to view these as more capable of fulfilling the prayer than praying to Him through all blessings flow.
Ultimately, I feel like a convicted and guilty sinner either praying to Saints, Mary, Angels, before an image or statue, but also feel like the Eastern Orthodox Church or Roman Catholic Church has the historic faith, and that many do these things without it being sin to them, but I do feel like to do these things is sin to me.
Is it possible to have personal problems with Catholic Dogma and still be a Catholic? I don’t mean disagreeing with the Church’s teaching, but being weak enough to equate a Statue/Image in my mind with prayer to the image/statue, but knowing by reason better than this, and the same with prayers to the Angelic hierarchy and Saints of yesteryear.
I really love the Catholic Faith, but I cannot bring myself to do these things from personal weakness. Should I just stay away from Catholicism and be content with Protestantism?