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Chris wrote:

Hi, guys —

I know that the Church permits icons of Jesus and Mother Mary.

Speaking about the image of Jesus, worshiping the image of Jesus as God, in and of itself, is idolatry but when we generally pray or try to worship God and connect to Him in prayer, we call to our mind the images of Jesus. That is not a vision that we are experiencing. It's the same image that we are forbidden to worship as God. We call to our mind the images of Jesus in prayer and worship it as God.

  • Is that OK?

I asked many Catholics and they said that, because no one had seen Jesus, they recollect one or the other images of Our Lord and worship the image in their mind so what we have learned from young age we just continue.

  • Is that image worship or is it the correct way to worship?
  • If it's image worship then how come we can worship God without any figure in mind?

Chris

  { When we pray, is thinking about a specific image of Jesus, image worship? }

Eric replied:

Hi, Chris —

All worship of Jesus should be directed to His Person, not His image. Jesus is Himself the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15); He is the image we should worship. Any attempts to conjure up images of Jesus in our minds should just be means of helping us connect with the Person of Jesus. Our worship terminates, as it were, not in the image, but in the Person of our Lord and Savior. It's OK to worship through an image, e.g., to worship Jesus through a physical icon, but again we understand that the worship terminates in the Person of Jesus Christ, not in any image of Him.

You said:
We call to our mind the images of Jesus in prayer and worship it as God.

  • Is that OK?

No it doesn't to me but I rather doubt that people in practice actually do this, even if they say they do. Surely they understand that Jesus is in Heaven, and is not an image in their mind, and that they are worshipping the Jesus in Heaven, using the image as an aid, not worshipping their own imagination.

Eric

Chris replied:

Praise God!

Yes my question is answered. I don't worship the image but I worship the Lord and I use the image as an aid.

  • Because no image perfectly looks like Jesus, it it OK to think that Jesus looked like the image we have in our minds?

Chris

Eric replied:


Yes, it is OK to think that Jesus looked like the image we have in our minds.

Eric

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