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Friday, August 20, 2010

Catholic ritualism was icky


I remember thinking “my goodness, all that catholic stuff with the saints, Mary, kneeling, candles, statues, etc…..just seems like a huge distraction from what really matters.” What could that be? Our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ of course! All that catholic stuff all seemed grossly excessive. It was all idolatrous to me and that Catholics honored saints far too much.

The vivid memories of my mom making offers to a saint with a cigar in his mouth and a bag (with money I think) on his hands was just absurd to me. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that saint wasn’t a catholic saint at all, but a mayan pagan saint with a history of opposition to the Catholic Church. How ironic…There is no question I can relate to people who feel this way. In fact, I still struggle with some of those feelings to this day; always keeping a watchful eye that Catholics don’t take it too far.

The shift for me started when I was listening to 107.9 (local Christian radio that flourished from the Chuck Smith / Calvary Chapel movement). Raul Ruiz was the hosting pastor and I enjoyed (still listen to him) listening to him daily. His comments about St. Paul being the most this and most that sparked my thoughts and icky feelings of hearing similar rhetoric about Mary. At that moment in time it became readily apparent to me that non-catholic Christians could talk all day and night about St. Paul and never feel as though by focusing so much on him was in any way "worshipping Paul" or "giving him "too much honor". Paul-centered sermons were so normal and prevalent in most of the protestant churches I attended that it never crossed my mind that it was excessive and too much. Why? Well, because I knew (along with most of the members in our congregation) that Jesus comes to us through St. Paul and there is no conflict between the two. Yet if a catholic even had a statue of Mary or had the slightest mention of her, it immediately brought a flood of warnings upon most of our congregants. It made me think, that maybe……just maybe, Catholics honored Mary in the same way we honored Paul. Not only that, but I can’t recall hearing a single sermon on Mary, why?

Looking back it, I can’t help but give a gentle smirk at it all.

I was originally intending to get into the details of Mary and the Saints but there is so many good resources out there; no sense in reinventing the wheel:

Why do Catholics pray to the saints?

The link above covers an array of questions so hopefully you find it a helpful and fruitful read.

1 comment:

pf said...

i try to get people not to worship me, but they still do anyway! what to do, what to do??? well, if you cant beat 'em, let 'em worship you i guess?

st. paul fu