Regarding Images/Statues

#21

I have to agree! I was non-denominational and thought I was doing what Jesus Christ predicted by “worshipping in truth and spirit” from anywhere! However, I have recently decided to make Catholicism apart of my born again conversion!
I like the simplicity of Catholicism which is disarming and the focus on sin! Yet, to the point, the second commandment says “You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it!”
I know God is merciful but I will see if I can try to avoid sitting where any of these images are!

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#22

Please be aware that Catholics, when bowing or whatever, are NOT bowing to the image or worshipping any image.
We worship God and God only.
We venerate images to worship God if God is depicted in the image, or if it’s an image of a saint instead (not God), to pay respect to/ ask for the prayers of the saint depicted in the image.

The image is just a reminder/ something nice to look at while we pray. I could say all the same prayers looking at a blank wall.

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#23

When I was very early on in my conversion to Catholicism, I had a background and history that had become entirely mistrusting of men in general. I had a very hard time with the concept of a “male” God (I also had been introduced to some very feminist/New Age concepts growing up and that probably had something to do with it, as well). Anyway, long story short, appropriate veneration of Mary was my way into the Church. Because she always points to her son, I was able to mature in my faith and come to love Him and adore Him as my Lord and Savior and to put things into their proper place.

My point is that He wants you to love Him. If your pre-occupation with images is preventing you from seeking Him in peace, put those things aside. In time, you may come to be able to put them in their proper place. Or you may never be truly comfortable with them. Statues and images are incidental, not obligations of the faith such as Holy Days, going to Mass, receiving the sacraments, etc.

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#24

I can understand your dedication! God is always aware of the I intentions of the heart! For me personally, when I was younger I just thought it not convenient to try to visualize God after watching the Ten Commandments Charlton Heston!
I just feel to myself though as remarkable the craftsmanship maybe that this living law encompasses this! I feel that if I give into what I naturally believe what they Bible says about matters such as this as stated in the Ten Commandments, that I will have my faith weakened in other areas where I have not realized yet!

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#25

As you read the bible , wont you think that your mind creates images ? Words dont mean anything unless you understand them , they act like signposts. Alphabets manifest as images too .

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#26

Heehee. Don’t forget that a few chapters later, after saying “don’t make yourself graven images and worship them”, God goes off and tells them to make statues of cherubim for the Ark, and to decorate the High Priest’s robes with pomegranates, and build a bronze serpent to look at to cure them of snakebite…

So the point isn’t “imagery is bad”, but the point is “direct worship to the proper source”. So if someone likes images, they can use an icon or a statue as an object to meditate on, but not the stopping-point for their prayers. But at the same time, if someone isn’t comfortable with imagery, for whatever reason— that’s okay, too. :green_heart:

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#27

Honestly, who gave Luther and/or other Protestant leaders their power?
I know who gave St. Peter his powers…

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#28

Absolutely not! We don’t need a picture of a saint to talk to them.

I look at using an image of a saint during prayer the same way as I view talking to my parents via Skype or Apple Facetime instead of via the phone.

I can easily talk to them just on the phone, but seeing their faces as I communicate with them simply makes it a fuller experience.

It’s literally no different talking to a saint with an image or statue. Think of the image or statue as the pre 21st century version of Skype or Facetime.

God bless

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#29

As St. John of Damascus pointed out long ago, there is no difference between a pictorial image of God, and a written image of God’s words, with shapes representing the sounds of speech. If it is not wicked to write down the Bible, it is not wicked to draw Bible people.

Jesus is God’s Word and God’s image.

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#30

OP, others may have already covered this, but I don’t believe there is any requirement in the RCC that you need to venerate or pray to images/statues.
I’ve attended Masses where no image or statue was even present, so it’s not as though they are inseparable from the Catholic faith.
As for praying for intercession from saints and angels, Catholics are free to pray for a helping hand from whomever they wish, but you can still go straight to God if that is your preference.
You don’t need to try to “force the issue” by placing them in your home if you are not comfortable with it, this is just a matter of personal preference.
You should be fine, provided you do not try to convince other Catholics that they are doing something wrong.
Don’t allow these minor differences to keep you from enjoying the full beauty and truth of Catholicism.

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#31

Actually, the Church teaches that it is a sin to venerate or pray to statues. We venerate and pray to saints for their intercession. We look at pictures or statues to help us visualize the person we’re praying to.

Statues and pictures of saints are the same as family pictures, we have both (statues of saints and pictures of family members) scattered liberally through our house.

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#32

@MikeinVA - My apologies, I didn’t mean to imply that we as Catholics venerate statues/images, I was merely pointing out that this idea is nowhere in RCC teaching.
I know that this is an area that many non-Catholics struggle with, and I prefer Patrick Madrid’s take on the subject:

Also, more on the veneration of Mary and Saints:

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closed #33

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

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