Icons Not Idols

I love religious icons.

This Christmastide, I received another  print of an icon, this one of the Blessed Mother holding the Infant Jesus in her arms. Wow–I had wanted an icon of the Madonna & Child for many months & I am so delighted to finally have one for my home. I shall add this one to my home altar as soon as I find a frame for it. Since I have great devotion to the Blessed Mother this  will be a perfect addition to my  private prayer place.

Even during my time as a Protestant Christian, I always loved icons & other forms of visual liturgical art.  When I was a Protestant Christian, I kept my love of icons & other forms of visual liturgical art secret. Thanks be to God…not anymore & I eventually hope I will get a chance to take an icon-writing workshop some day at Kanuga.

Most Protestants don’t understand icons. We Catholics do NOT, do NOT  worship these images. That is a misconception , and one which frankly really makes me angry.

Icons & other liturgical art, are created to give glory to the One Who is the supreme Artist.

Good liturgical art{ and yes, this includes icon-writing}  is done to  express the inexpressible God.  One has photos of family & friends  all over one’s home, so why is it so ” wrong” { according to many Protestants I know} to have pictures of our Lord, Jesus Christ & His Mother? 

Just as images of family & friends as seen in photographs  call to mind our beloved Earthly loved ones, icons  are visual reminders of The One who loves us so much. God gave us the Beloved Son so that we too, can be fully adopted as kin with God. We ARE kin with God through Christ & I don’t know of any Christian who would dispute with me on that fact. But when it comes to the use of icons{ either privately or  in a public worship setting} many Christians I know  raise their hackles, metaphorically. I don’t understand all the fuss.

Our Eastern Orthodox sisters & brothers employ icons in their corporate worship even more than we western { Anglican & Roman} Catholics do & I think it is  a beautiful  way to pay homage to God.

When I was at my Cursillio weekend one of the priests led a prayer service{ I think it was Evening Prayer or Compline} Where she asked us to sit quietly in the darkened nave & meditate on an icon of the face of Christ. Having never been exposed to the use of icons in corporate worship before this contemplative meditation on the image of Christ as written on an icon was totally new but yet natural to me.

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