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.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sacred Images Bring Us Closer to God

My wife Deborah wrote this post. In her essay, you can see how images and statues can bring someone closer to the heart of God.

"Yesterday as I was sitting in the chapel of our beloved St. Joseph's Church, I couldn't help but notice all the images of our Lord.
To the right, there is a stained glass window of the Good Shepherd with several sheep.  It  always reminds me of His tender care and patience with me.  I see myself as the little sheep in his arms, ever resting, fully trusting.
To the left of the window is a statue of the Sacred Heart and I am drawn to it with the reminder that His heart is ever beating with love for me.  When I contemplate that Sacred Heart, I beseech Jesus to turn my heart of stone into a heart that beats in rhythm with his, a heart of love for all people especially those to whom I have been entrusted to love.
Moving further left, my eyes are drawn to the large Crucifix on the wall.  There I see my suffering Jesus, the visible wounds of his broken Body remind me of His nearness to me in my own times of trial.  I imagine myself standing with Mary at the foot of the cross, clinging to Him and offering all my suffering in union with His for the salvation of souls.
Behind the altar on which the monstrance sits, is a wall sculpture of the Holy Family.  I am especially intrigued by Jesus the boy who left his parents to "go to His Father's house."  The boy Jesus gives me confidence in times of great anxiety.  I look to him and I pray the 5th Joyful Mystery of the Rosary (Finding of Jesus in the Temple.)  When I contemplate this image of Jesus, I trust that although a battle may be raging about me, I am about my Father's business, the business of prayer and service to others in a spirit of love and humility.
The final image of Jesus which sits peacefully on the wall of the chapel is a beautiful painting of Him being gently cradled in the arms of His mother.  This image of Jesus reminds me to rest in her arms as well.  I remember his words to John at the foot of the cross "behold your mother" and I accept them as if they were spoken to me.
At the center of all these blessed images and icons is the one who is not an image at all but truly and substantially present in the Monstrance.  He humbles himself under the appearance of bread to become food for my weary soul.  As I contemplate Him and look at the images around me, a sense of peace fills my heart.  At those moments in front of Jesus in that little chapel at St. Joseph the Worker, I know I am exactly where God wants me to be."


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