Why Do Catholics…Part 3 – Have Statues?

sacramentals2Catholic homes are often obvious by their décor – statues, crucifixes, rosaries.  My parents have a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes and I always love the welcoming feeling when we come to visit them.  But our children may notice the differences when they visit the homes of non-Catholics which may lead to the question, “Why are we different?”

So here’s a great way to explain it to them, maybe even pre-empting their question by pointing out some of the beautiful religious features of your own home.

Kids’ Explanation:

Have you noticed the crucifix in our house?  The statues?  The holy water fonts?  The rosaries?  Those are all called sacramentals!  They are beautiful sacred signs that open us further to God’s grace.  When we look at them, with think of God and of his love for us.  We remember Christ’s sacrifice for us.  We feel the Holy Spirit with us!  We remember those who walked the earth before us, trying to be like Christ.

sacramentals3There are lots of sacramentals: candles, crosses, crucifixes, statues, rosaries, bells, ashes, oils, and sacred images.  Which ones do you see at your home or homes of family and friends?  Which ones do you see at church or in your classroom?

Long ago, before Jesus was even born, God had his people make some of these images to bring them closer to him.  He had his people make golden cherubim on either side of the Ark of the Covenant, which held the Ten Commandments.  He had them make a bronze serpent on a stick to help heal those who suffered from snake bites.  And today, he is happy that we fill our homes with those images and our hearts with love for Him.

Now we don’t worship the sacramentals themselves.  People who didn’t believe in God long ago did worship idols as their God.  They believed that the statue itself was their god.   But our images just represent those who we love.  They are visual aids of sort.  Like the way your teacher uses pictures, diagrams and maps to help teach you, we use sacramentals to teach us more about God.

Also, we have pictures of those we love in our house – grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  In the same way, we have pictures or statues of those we love who are in Heaven – Jesus on the crucifix, Mary, and saints.  We can look to them as examples of being good here on earth.

So your home may be different but it is rich with the presence of God and will help bring you his graces every time you look upon them!

 

Coming next week!  Why Do Catholics…Part 4 – call our priests Father?

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