Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Catholic Statues and Icons Explained
Why do Catholic's have statues and icons? Do Catholics worship statues? These are things I have been asked when my Protestant friends and family found out I was becoming Catholic. Some seemed to feel that Catholics are pagans and hold to pagan beliefs such as statue worshiping. This is not true. We can honor saints, but not worship them. Catholics do not worship anyone but God. Statues and icons are simply just that. Statues and icons. They are earthly visuals or reminders. Like the cross is for non-Catholics and Catholics alike. It's a reminder of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for us. Statues and icons are the same. When we look at a statue of Mary it's a reminder of Mary being the Mother of God and the scriptures telling her story and how she too suffered along with Christ just for being his Mother. (Luke 2:34-35 "Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: 'This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.") When we look at an icon or statue of any saint we recall their Christian story, their testimony and faith and the trials they endured for the love of God. There is nothing pagan about this. We here in America have statues of our nations Founding Fathers. We don't worship them. They are simply reminders of those people and their lives. When we look at a statue of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln we think of their presidency and what it meant to our nation. If we look at an angel pin someone is wearing we might think of all the scripture verses about angels and how they are messengers from God. If a person looks upon a replica of the Crown of Thorns they are not worshiping the replica, but recalling how it was used on our Lord. EWTN's Mother Angelica put it best when she calls these things "holy reminders". Catholic statues and icons are holy reminders. Not pagan worship items. Here's a video from "That Catholic Show" which further explains Catholic statues and icons.
That Catholic Show Video