I have heard the argument several times that Catholics worship statues, and graven images to gods known as Saints of the church or better yet to the virgin Mary. So the question goes, is it Holy to have these images or is it a sin against the commandments of worshiping false gods? We need to look at a few different things in order to answer a question so important as this one.
What happen to the 70’s
Let’s face it, as Catholics we have, as our back drop, images and statues all over the place! More so in older churches, the parishes from the 70’s and 80’s took a downward trend with regards to the adornment of Churches to save money and to look more modern. Personally, I think they look like sterile excuses of a Church. (More on that later, or I will fall down a rabbit hole). In recent years Churches have started to remodel and have gone back to the older look, bringing in statues and paintings to add to the ascetics of the church. Gold and nicely done woodworking adorns the Church and draws you up into the beauty of the place. It almost feels like your in a Church! But the return of Catholics worship statues has reemerged.
More than just a building
Churches are supposed to represent something or maybe someplace different. They are to draw you up into the heavenly liturgy. We teach that when you step past the threshold of a Catholic Church you have one foot in heaven and one in this world. Present before the Lord Jesus, and preparing for the Liturgy which the Saints and Angels of Heaven will be there, absolutely present! I think we take it for granted what we have in the Church. It isn’t a fairytale, its reality the trueness of reality, beyond the fall of man. The Saints and Martyrs will be present at the heavenly liturgy, smoke will be rising from the incense, the realities of the liturgy we see today in our Church, will be seen.
Road signs to heaven
The images we have in our Churches, homes, cars, yards and you get the picture… are reminders of who has run the race before us and won. They remind us the ways God asks us to live, and to show us it is not impossible. Because they also have faced life and all it’s challenges and now are in heaven, we are also reminded of those who stand at the throne of the Father and intercede for us. So no, Catholics do not worship statues.
Picture this…Do Catholics Worship Statues?
Having images is not permitted in any form. Simply ask if they have pictures of their kids, grandkids, husband or wife in their wallet, or in their home, do they have pictures of their family? I would say we all do. I went to a funeral about a year ago and noticed there beside the casket was a picture of the deceased when he was first in the Military. Was the family worshiping it? Did this fit into the same grouping of graven images? Of course not. It was showing someone who had gone through hell for his country, and out of respect the picture was there to tell a story. Just like the Churches.
Stained glass windows were originally put in place to help teach the gospels. Their beauty showed bible stories about the message of salvation, through the images people were catechized about the faith. I have found myself in a strange church and seen an unusual Saint statue I didn’t recognize, finding out who it is, and then the story they tell, brings me to a closer relationship with God. I see the different ways each person worships.
We don’t need your stinking images….Catholic Worship Statues
We don’t need anyone else but Jesus to intercede for us. It says there is no mediator between God and man but Jesus. This one is always my favorite. I don’t know of a church member who has never heard, or said “will you pray for…..?” Prayer lines and prayer chains are all around us here. I live in the heart of Bible Belt country and they have prayer chains that will wrap around twice and smack ya in the head! We do the same thing- but we believe those who have gone before us can pray as well for us. They are in heaven and can bug the Lord even more face to face!
I gotta do what??
Our faith is an active faith. We forget how much we are called to participate in the work of salvation. God does not want a bunch of floating spirits now or when you die. We have a duty now, and a call to action. When we die we don’t go to heaven and float around, we continue to assist in Salvation, by offering prayers and praise to the Father. So much for Heavenly Retirement, and “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” Nope – your gonna still have work to do!
What are some unusual Saints you have seen through paintings or statues that have made you go back and see who they were and what their story is?