Posted by: fvbcdm | May 4, 2013

Feast of Saints Philip and James (3 May 2013)

This morning, as I read the Vatican New Service daily report, I noticed that when our Holy Father went to the cathedral in the city of Turin in Italy to venerate the famous Shroud of Turin, he entered the church and went first to the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, there to adore Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Then, and only then, did he go to the chapel where the Shroud is on display. This gesture of his is very important for our instruction. However popular, however much an object of curiosity or devotion the Shroud might be, it cannot compare with the importance of the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Sacrament of the altar.

Every once in a while, we hear someone complain about the mistaken devotion and reverence of simple Catholics. They will enter a church, pay no attention to the Blessed Sacrament, but go immediately to some statue or picture or altar which happens to be their favorite object of veneration, and there pray or burn candles, or touch or rub the holy representation they find there. I remember once I went to a very popular shrine in south Texas. Large numbers of people were coming and going, and mostly they were burning candles before an image of Our Lady. I looked everywhere for the tabernacle, without finding it. So I turned to the person next to me and asked where it was. He didn’t know! He hadn’t come there to adore Christ in the Eucharist, but rather to venerate a picture or a statue. That gets pretty close to idolatry.

Let’s make sure that we get our priorities straight. Our Lord Jesus is superior to an image of him or any saint. He is the one who primarily deserves our adoration and worship. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.

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