Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

More On Icons

MMF posted this comment on my blog regarding the recent point on Billy Graham on icons. She makes an excellent point regarding history and the development of iconography:

I'm very fond of the Grahams and actually participate in some of their causes, such as Operation Christmas Child, which is wonderful!

I get your puckish point with the picture, but our Protestant friends can't get the point without one additional important historic fact. Before the reformation most people in the world could not read. They simply had no education, could not read or write, and certainly did not have religious instruction and crusades (I mean the public gatherings type.) They were too busy breaking their backs in the field trying to get some turnips to grow so their children wouldn't starve. The reformation conveniently came along with the printing press and more widespread ability to read "among the masses." Back when the church was one, it was a VITAL part of the transmission of faith to have paintings, stained glass, statues, illustrated Psalters (for the wealthy) and architecture that "told the story" because that was the only means by which so many of the poor and unread were educated in the faith! I know people like to put on the Catholic church that it's all the pomp and idolatry, but they could not be more wrong. Their own Christian ancestors learned their faith by being able to go into a Church whose very art was for instruction to the poor. The statue of Mary was the way to instruct about the Incarnation of Jesus. Parables and saints in their stories are in the window's glass, and painted on plaster to explain who they were and what they did. The stations of the cross are the obvious example. All of the imagery in the Church came about because that was the means to truly be "Catholic" and instruct those who could not read or write, or attend education. I grind my teeth when "experts" don't understand how human beings lived for the first 1500 years after Christ and then try to smack down the Church that provided the art that gave them the very faith that they can now criticize. Grrrr!
LOL. :-)

Thanks MMF


Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Susie from RECON said:

Hi TJ.

I couldn't get my comment to publish (??) so sending it re: your latest post on Icons.

"Touche!!! Zing! I find that many don't seem to even care to go beyond the 1500 year mark, which is frustrating. I mention Early Church Fathers and get ignored.

Great post- Thanks!"


May 15, 2007 2:56 PM  
Blogger MMajor Fan said...

Hi tiber, and thanks susie!

I just posted the following on Weekend Fisher as comment to the nice post about icons:

MMajor Fan said...
I'm also fond of icons. You wrote a very nice essay here. There are definitely three approaches that vary in their objectives. Protestant art tends to very much illuminate "life and teaching of Jesus." Catholic art tends to illuminate the "heart" of the faith. Orthodox icons attempt to illuminate the "spirit" of the person being represented.
My stepfather (rest his soul) was Russian Orthodox and I loved his church, and the icons, because icon artists take responsibility for illuminating the essence of the spirit of the saint. It's like a time machine because one feels in the presence of an old friend! As such, I think of it as venerating and paying respect to the memory of the spirit that lives on in Christ. Catholic art, which is my "home boy" art :-) is to me a journey within the heart of the Roman Catholic faith, which is the sacrifice of the lamb, the New Covenant, and the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Catholic art is like walking through the Apostles Creed, visually.

One of my hobbies is design and paint pictures of monstrances with the Holy Eucharist present.

May 15, 2007 4:29 PM  

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