Getting bored so decided to do a tiny bit of Bible reading, but look at what I found while digging around at home! It’s my dad’s RCIA book. [Note: Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)]. It is the first edition (1997) written by (then) Rev. Fr. Nicholas Chia, who is now the Archbishop of Singapore. 😀
This book was written as like an introduction to those who were seriously interested in the faith. As introduced in the Preface which very much sums up what I want to explain, “Many books on the RCIA have been produced to help inquirers in their journey into the Catholic Church. Each edition has its own good points but no one book is entirely satisfactory.”
Let me see what I can extract and share with you all from this book…
What Catholics Believe About Mary and the Saints
Why do we honour Mary and the Saints?
1. Mary is a creature of God, God is the Creator.
2. Mary is the masterpiece of God’s creation, God is the “Master Painter”.
3. The Fourth Commandment is “Honour your Father and Mother.” Jesus certainly observed it. Jesus committed Mary to St. John’s care and St. John to Mary.
4. The Saints are “special friends” of God. Their examples are sources of inspiration to us.
NB: Mary and the Saints do not give us graces but they PRAY and INTERCEDE for us.
My personal opinions…
Regarding points no. 1 and 2, if Mary was not and is not perfect, why on the entire face of this Earth did God choose her out of so many other women to bear His Son? He could had chosen a Queen or a highly respected woman or whoever, but why her? Because God knew and knows what was the best. Another thing is that, if Mary did not agree and accept God’s plan, we, here, will not have Jesus at all. In Luke 1:38, ” “I am the Lord’s servant,” said Mary; “may it happen to me as you (the angel) have said.” And the angel left her.” It is also good to look up at Mary’s Song of Praise in Luke 1:46-55. Praises to God for His wonderful plans!!!
Regarding point no. 3, in John 19:26-27, ” Jesus saw his mother and the disciple he loved standing there; so he said to his mother, “He is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is your mother.” From that time the disciple took her to live in his home. ” What I had just mentioned in the above paragraph ties in with this.
And so, to the uninitiated, there is no idol worship happening in the Catholic Church. Yes, there are many statues and pictures of the Holy Beings; Jesus, Mary, the angels and saints, but all these were made to remind us of them, like how we now have photos of our loved ones and friends on our desks and in frames around us. It is the same idea. Besides, if this was considered as idol worship, then we would had been in trouble with the very first and second commandments (see Exodus 20:2-5). From an aethestic point of view, making all these statues and paintings that were inspired from the Bible is not only to showcase our God-given talents but it is and was a way of showing our love and awe for Him. How else did the great masters like Michaelangelo, da Vinci and the others gain inspiration for their works? Art is the result of all things beautiful that God has made. Alleluia!