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Wednesday, September 07, 2011

About Catholics and Statues? ~ The Truth!

About Catholics and Statues

As a child I rode home from school on a bus stuffed-full of public school kids. My siblings and I were the only Catholic school kids on the bus. I was a petite girl and my fashionable Catholic-school uniform was a mark to show all the tough public school kids I was free for the taunting. The good news is I was lucky enough to befriend a public school girl just about my age. She was very sweet. After years of sitting next to her, we became very good friends. She told me one day that she asked her mom if I could come over for a slumber party. But her mother refused, because I was one of those "statue worshiping Catholics". After explaining that her mother was 100% wrong and that we really DON'T worship statues, she took the explanation home to her mother. Later that year her mother was kind enough to allow me to sleep-over. I was an ecstatic young girl who had just begun to learn the true depth of the common misconceptions that circle around the Catholics faith.
Even most so-called Catholics seem to think that statues are pointless and find it odd to have them....I'll say it again, Catholics don't worship statues, BUT we do have a personal need for them.

 
The Catholic beliefs are very deep and for the average non-catholic the idea of statues seem a bit strange, but once a true understanding of the faith is revealed it's not as strange or as pagan as it may appear to be.........

Most people have pictures of their family members or friends hanging on their walls, on a fridge, or they may carry them around in their wallet, on a key-chain or carefully preserve them in an album. Why? It's a way to remember those who we love or it may be a way to honor them. When you kiss a picture of you dearly departed love one, and hang their image on your wall or sit it next to your bed are you worshipping them? No, of course not!! It is your way of remembering them. Just like these family pictures the statues that a Catholic keeps are nothing more than an image of someone they admire and/or love. They are NOT a God worthy of worshiping. They are only an image cast of plaster, concrete, wood, or paper, but having these statues, crucifixes, or pictures of Jesus, Mary, or other holy people help remind all who see them what is important in life and how we should be acting.
They are a gentle reminder to all. That is why so many people hate to see them, especially those who are not religious.


Years ago there was an old tradition of hanging a Crucifix in every room of your home. Sadly, today that tradition has died out, but the reason for keeping a crucifix in each room was to remind us that God is always watching and with us. It was a reminder of the wonderful deed Jesus did for us, and that our personal sacrifices are never in vain. So the more images one has in their home the more often they can be reminded of what is right and what is wrong, of what is a good action and what is a bad action. They are also a reminder that we should always put God first, and that we should always think of God throughout the day and pray to him for every need.

Who would be crazy enough to worship concrete, plastic, plaster or any other man-made item in our modern society!!! 
Do you worship those cute little figurines you have on your shelf?
No, and Catholics do not worship statues or images either. The statues are nothing more than a reminder of the ones who have gone before us and their holy lives. At times it can appear that Catholics are worshipping statues, but we are only honoring to the person who is in heaven. We can not honor the REAL person, because they are not here on earth with us. So a statue is the "stand-in". It's kinda like when you put flowers on a grave. You are remembering and honoring a deceased love one. To a person who doesn't understand, it could look like you are giving flowers to a stone, but things are not always what they appear.
Although those who do not fully understand the Catholic faith statues can seem sinful or crazy, they are really a tool to help remind us to stay on the correct spiritual path that Our Lord placed us on.
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Biblical Writings about Statues

 Some have criticized statues (also known as graven images ) as being a straight up defiance of the second of the ten commandments:

Exodus 20:4
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

But elsewhere in the old Testament, King Solomon himself had no problem with graven images. He used them in the making of the temple:

1 Kings 7:36
"He engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, in every available space, with wreaths all around."

So the idea of having an image is okay according to the Bible , but problems creep in when someone believes the plaster image is actually a real true god.

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Buying Catholic Statues, Crucifixes, and Pictures

Buying statues, crucifixes, and holy images can be a bit costly, but these are a few tricks I learned:
***Buying from non-catholic sellers is often cheaper:
I've bought from:
www.collectionsetc.com
(I've bought, Holy Family statues, a Palm Sunday set, a Easter set, Jesus with his disciples, 12 Apostles statues, Stations of the Cross statues and more)
http://www.terrysvillage.com/
(I've bought a Mary, a St. Frances, and Jesus with the children statues)
http://www.designtoscano.com/
(I've bought outdoor garden statues)

PLEASE NOTE: They all DO HAVE SOME QUESTIONABLE merchandise, but I feel if they see a large amount of interest in the non-sinful direction they may decide to sell more of the holy items. I just skip over the other sections on their site and go straight to the religious section.

***If you prefer to buy from a Catholic Site, I recommend:
www.autom.com They have cheaply priced statues and crucifixes.

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The Statues In Our Home
Personally, we have a over-abundance of statues in our home, but we only  display the statues and pictures that are appropriate for the season or month. The other statues are kept in a locked cupboard,  so the little kids can't brake them.  They are safe there until the season/month they are to be displayed.
This helps to keep the interest of the kids since the statues are always changing, and as we change them from one month to the next it gives us an opportunity to talk about the virtuous people the statues represent.

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God Bless,
~Jennifer and Jon

2 comments:

  1. While I grew up Catholic, we had no statues or crucifixes in our home. Perhaps just a small cross was hung. Now I started collecting pictures and statues. They are such comforting reminders of our faith. I "rescue" statues when I see them at thrift stores or garage sales. I feel so bad that someone decided to get rid of them mostly not knowing of the statue or crucifix had been blessed. Jill L

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  2. There is absolutely nothing wrong or weird about having statues and pictures of the saints in your home! It is a lovely reminder of life of that saint. He or she loved God very much. It is good to be reminded that we can pray to our friends in heaven - our heroes and role models in the faith.

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