Gema

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Posts posted by Gema


  1. Catholics don't pray to Mary or the saints, we ask for their intercession. It's like asking a friend to pray for you. As for "worshipping" Mary, of course, most Catholics do no such thing. To "worship" someone or something implies that one recognizes in the object of worship the source of all worth and goodness. But the Catholic Church teaches that Mary is certainly not the source of all worth and goodness in the universe; she is just a creature, a channel and vessel of God's grace. We call her "Holy Mary" in much the same way that all Christians speak of the "Holy Bible," because the Bible, too, is a vessel, a channel of God's grace to us. As St. Ambrose (340-397) once wrote: "Mary is the Temple of God, not the God of the Temple."

     

    In technical, theological language, we say that we offer "worship" (in Latin, latria) to God alone, but what we offer to any created excellence fashioned by God is merely proper "veneration" or "honor" (in Latin, dulia). This is especially true of the greatest masterpieces of God's grace: his saints. Honoring the saints no more distracts us from the true worship of God than delighting in and praising an artist's best work distracts us from proper appreciation of the artist himself. Clearly, the honor given to the excellence of the artwork passes on and glorifies the artist and gives us all the more reason to appreciate and praise him. In a similar way, God is the artist of souls. As we shall see in this series, God has fashioned no greater masterpiece in all of creation than the mother of the Son of God, Mary of Nazareth.

     

    This means that when Catholics gaze on Mary, we always see shining in her the light of her Son, the pure reflection of his merciful and compassionate Heart. Here, then, is the first reason why the Blessed Virgin Mary is so important to Catholics: because she is like a window into heaven, a true icon for us of the God who created and sanctified her. Archbishop Fulton Sheen summed it up best in his book The World's First Love:
    God, who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun. The moon would only be a burnt-out cinder floating in the immensity of space were it not for the sun. All its light is reflected from the sun. The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son: without Him she is nothing. With Him she is the Mother of Men. On dark nights we are grateful for the moon; when we see it shining, we know there must be a sun. So in this dark night of the world, when men turn their backs on Him Who is the Light of the World, we look to Mary to guide their feet while we await the sunrise.

    Theologian Dr. Mark Miravalle, in his book Introduction to Mary, explains that these actions by Catholics do not necessarily imply that we worship her or even that we worship the statues and images of her that we use in religious devotion:

     

    A painting or a statue of the Mother of Jesus serves the same purpose as a family photo on an office desk, or a statue of a public hero or statesman erected in a town square. The image serves as a reminder of the person the image represents, and thereby possesses a symbolic or representational value... .

     

    As a father gazes upon the photograph of his family on his desk at work and feels the warming of his heart at the thought of his wife and children, so too, an image of Jesus' Mother can evoke similar feelings of filial love and devotion to her. Yet, as is true of the family photo and the public memorial statue, the Marian statue or image possesses no intrinsic power nor personhood; it only conveys an image of a Spiritual Mother most deserving of frequent remembrance and love. (2006 edition, pp. 214-215)

     

    Besides, 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. As St. Maximilian Kolbe once said, "Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."The Catholic Church teachesthat Baptism is both necessary for salvation and regenerative, causing us to be reborn as children of God. Through Baptism we receive the life-giving, sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit. This grace wipes away Original Sin that stains each soul because of the fallen nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. The Church prescribes Baptism by water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as the normative gateway to God and his family, the Church. The Church has baptized infants from the earliest times and continues to do so today. The Church also teaches that catechesis must follow Baptism to properly assist the baptized on his Christian journey. Both immersion and sprinkling are acceptable forms of Baptism in the Catholic Church.

    Takes away all sin. Now, why delay? Get up and have yourself baptized and your sins washed away, calling upon his name. Acts 22:16

    To be administered to children. People were bringing even infants to him ... whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it. Luke 18:15-17

    But thank you for your concern <3 

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  2. I want a crucifix and holy water in our bedroom. The smaller the bedroom the closer the family. I don't need much space as I don't wish to have much clothes or possessions. The clothes I don't wear belong to the poor. A minimalistic bedroom would be cool. I'd really like it if the crucifix also has a st. benedicts metal on it.


  3. Hi seabutterfly, Im also catholic and 16 years old. I joined when WTM.com when I was 15. Im so glad for you to join I have more than 20 teenagers in my chastity club who will join wtm.org this upcoming club day. Welcome :)

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  4. Im not a graduate student, but I just wanted to tell you to go for it in grad school. The person you are going to marry is worth waiting for. So regardless of how much time you may spend in grad school and working, she is worth waiting for as much as you are worth their wait. The sacrificies that we do now is the material the builds the future. And the material that you are using is of good quality. 

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  5. Virginity is extremely cool. It shows they have self worth. If they respect themselves, they can respect others. And that is very beautiful to find in people. Im catholic so to me virginity is a gift and it is proper to give it within the sacrament of matrimony with the willingness of bringing life, lending a hand to God in creation of another human being. Others offer their virginity to God and become consecrated virgins. 

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  6. My dream guy is:

    _ Christian/Catholic

    -has not lost his first kiss

    -loves St.Maria Goretti as much as I do

    -Values the Virtue of Chastity

    -Virgin

    -Prays Rosary Daily

    -Goes to Confession annually or every first friday of the month

    -Strives to be a saint

    -Has read the theology of the body

    -likes the Latin mass

    -would agree to NFP

    -pursues to live a virtuous life

     

     

     

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  7. On 6/5/2017 at 6:36 AM, Javier said:

    Yes! we do exist! 

    Personally, my story is not extraordinary. I was born and raised in Spain, my mom is spanish and my dad is american. Faith has always been an integral part of my family and I was raised in a strong catholic environment. Sex was always talked about as something good and special, as something worth waiting for, an intrinsical and special bonding experience in marriage. It's true that most of my friends that grew up in the same environment do not wtm, but as years passed by it made more and more sense to me; to wait for that special someone. I think seeing my older brothers wtm successfully has also been an encouraging factor for me. Of course it can get very hard and lonely at times, but I still think it's very worth it. It also helps me to think that somewhere out there my future wife might also be struggling as she still waits for me, so I keep going for her.

    I was raised catholic, but my family never talked to me about sex, which is sad but fortunately the lives of the saints influenced so much since I was 9 years old and then I found out about the virtue of chastity when I was 14 and decided to make a chastity club in my high school when I was 15. Im not a guy but I have guy members in my club in school who where raised catholic but did not know, what chastity was and now they now because of Pros and Consequences of Life Club and this school year they will sign up to WTM.com on Club day. 

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