GRAVEN IMAGES: HOW WRONG ARE CATHOLICS?


By: Obinwogo Cynthia

I keep wondering why people won’t wake up from slumber and dump some beliefs.

Protestants who keep preaching against Catholics and our honor to Mary, do you really study your bibles?? I didn’t say read!

It is clear from Scripture that not all making and devout use of religious images amounts to “the worship of idols.”

For example, in the Old Testament, the Lord God commanded the making of two cherubim of gold to be set over the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25:18-20).

When God gave to Kings David and Solomon the divine plan for the building of the Great Temple in Jerusalem, it was to be adorned with carved wooden cherubim (I Kgs 6: 23-26; I Chr 28: 18-19).

The prophet Ezekiel also describes carved cherubim in the ideal Temple that he was shown in a vision (Ez 4:17-18).

Moses was actually commanded to make a bronze serpent and set it on a pole so that any Israelite who looked upon it might be healed (Num 21:8-9).

This shows that religious images can be used not only for decoration, but even as aids to DEVOTION and FAITH.

Of course, when the Israelites began to worship the bronze serpent itself as a snake-god, King Hezekiah rightly had it destroyed (II Kgs 18:4).

But it is clear from the Bible that not all religious use of images and statues amounts to idolatry.

Even “bowing down” to them or kneeling to pray before them is not necessarily an act of worship.

Bowing and kneeling can mean different things in different cultures.

For example, in Japan, people bow to each other simply to show mutual respect and honor.

Kneeling can simply be an act of humility, love, and supplication, as we ask for the prayers of the particular angel or saint depicted in the image or statue.

The intention is simply that the veneration or supplication that we offer passes on to the person that the image represents.

Catholics certainly do not intend to ask the paint on a canvas or the plaster or wood in a statue to hear their prayers!

Speaking of the Ten Commandments, we might well ask Did Jesus keep them?

All Christians surely believe that Jesus was without sin, the spotless Lamb of God, so he must have kept all of God’s commandments perfectly….

But that means that he also kept the commandment to “honor your father and your mother” perfectly.

As Christians, we are to be disciples of Jesus Christ and follow his perfect example of love for God and for one another.

It follows that if Jesus honored his mother and father, that is, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, then, as his followers, we should honor them, too.

It was St. Maximilian Kolbe who once said,

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”

Catholics are not worshiping graven images, rather the images serve as a reminder of the works and person moulded in the statue, in order to call our minds to their actual persons and evoke our reverence to them and seek their intercession, since they are already in heaven.

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