Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
“I started to contemplate the awesome privilege that Mary was given, being able to hold God in her arms, but also keeping in mind that He was still her baby. This cute little child whom she bore was also God in the flesh. And yet, she cuddled and kissed Him, just as all mothers do with their babies. This thought propelled me right into this painting which I wanted to be a very human representation of divinity. My prayer is that the viewer will be struck, as I am, with the amazing way that God chose to send His Son into this world — in pure humility.” Morgan Weistling (Artist)
A Parent’s Prayer When Children are Leaving Home
you blessed me
with the gift of my child
and entrusted me
with his/her care.
Now he/she leaves this home
and begins a new life
apart from me.
with good people
and watch over him/her each day.
And let him/her know that I will always be near
whenever he/she may need me.
Heal any hurts we may harbor with one another
and forgive our failings as we learn
to be in a new kind of relationship with each other.
And when the sight of his/her empty room
pierces my heart with sadness,
may I find comfort in knowing that my child is your child too,
filled with your grace and sheltered by your love. Amen. ❤
Do Catholics worship statues or images?
Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures or statues of them.
Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching certain people and have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.
God forbids the worship of images as gods, but he doesn’t ban the making of images. If he had, religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things would be banned. It is when people begin to adore a statue as a god that the Lord becomes angry. Thus when people did start to worship the bronze serpent as a snake-god (whom they named “Nehushtan”), the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4).
Think about Mt. Rushmore, the Lincoln Memorial, the 911 Memorial in New York, and all the statues in Washington D.C. and around the world. People go to see these statues and stand in front of them, sometimes bow their heads in prayer, or stand their staring at the statue or piece of marble in awe. Does this mean these people are worshiping these statues? Absolutely not.
Since many Catholics sometimes bow or kneel in front of statues of Jesus and the saints, many non-Catholics confuse the legitimate veneration of a sacred image with the sin of idolatry. Catholics do not believe their statues, made of plaster, are God. A statue, or any other piece of religious art, is intended to draw the soul deeper into prayer by helping the senses to recall the mystery that it represents. Crucifixes, a statue of Mary or stain glass windows help for a soul to meditate and contemplate the great mysteries of God.
Though bowing can be used as a posture in worship, not all bowing is worship. In Japan, people show respect by bowing in greeting (the equivalent of the Western handshake). Similarly, a person can kneel before a king without worshiping him as a god. In the same way, a Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshiping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshiping the Bible or praying to it.
The bottom line is, when God made the New Covenant with us, he did reveal himself under a visible form in Jesus Christ. For that reason, we can make representations of God in Christ. Even Protestants use all sorts of religious images: Pictures of Jesus and other biblical persons appear on a myriad of Bibles, picture books, T-shirts, jewelry, bumper stickers, greeting cards, compact discs, and manger scenes. Christ is even symbolically represented through the Icthus or “fish emblem.”
Common sense tells us that, since God has revealed himself in various images, most especially in the incarnate Jesus Christ, it’s not wrong for us to use images of these forms to deepen our knowledge and love of God. That’s why God revealed himself in these visible forms, and that’s why statues and pictures are made of them.
The Church absolutely recognizes and condemns the sin of idolatry. What non-Catholics fail to recognize is the distinction between thinking a piece of stone or plaster is a god and desiring to visually remember Christ and the saints(who are alive in heaven, not dead) by making statues in their honor.
The making and use of religious statues is a thoroughly biblical practice, and a beautiful way to deepen your faith and grow closer to Christ.
No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Many of the things we take for granted, someone else is praying for. Be grateful for everything – even the crosses in your life. They are all a grace.
God will take your sufferings and bring some kind of good out of them, though you may never see the numerous effects of this grace in your lifetime. It may be that because of what you are going through someone else is praying more, loving more, or turning back to God. Offer everything up to God and thank him for the many blessings in your life. Be grateful. God loves you.
Dear Love Being Catholic friends,
My mission is to help you grow deeper in your love for Christ, His Church, and our Blessed Mother, while at the same time give you some easy-to-understand answers to questions you might have been asked by others about our faith. Through the grace of God, this page and my blog now have over 195,000 friends and are reaching several million people around the world each month.
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In Christ, ♥