Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What's missing from this picture?

Missing Stained Glass
Originally uploaded by Cardinal Fang.
I lost a long post I had written about this when I hit a wrong button...but maybe I'll take a different tack:

I came across this travesty when I was touring Canterbury Cathedral in England this past summer. You'll notice that some of the beautiful medieval stained glass is missing. It was shot out, according to my tour guide, during the Reformation by Cromwell's troops. Most pictures of saints were destroyed, leaving mostly "Bible stories."

Why would Cromwell's troops do such a thing? It has all to do with a deficient view of the Ten Commandments, not reading them in the light of Christ as well as reading them too literalistically. It's the combination of the two that produced an iconoclastic movement that destroyed much of England's Catholic art heritage.

I'll come back tomorrow and elaborate, but what do you all think about those two factors that I mentioned?

(Oh yeah, and we can register at Flikr and thereby post images to the blog...)


At 11:13 AM, Blogger BekahS. said...

Interesting that they left the Bible stories. Were not those people, too? Can one only be a holy person if one is written about in Holy Writ? Such a perspective seems to lead more toward fictionalizing Scripture rather than avoiding idolatrous worship. If pictures of people in a church is idolatry, but pictures of Bible stories is not, then the reasonable conclusion is that those Bible figures were not real people.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger Chris said...

People have such a skewed vision of idolotry. The way that I see it - worshipping anything other than God. Does that mean that when a Catholic venerates a cross he is being idolotrous? Of course not. They are not worshipping the cross. They do not believe that the cross itself has any special power to save or help them. Now, the person that suffered on the cross does! So when I venerate a cross, I am paying respect to God for what He did for me by recognizing the instrument used to kill Christ and bring forth my salvation.

When I pray to Mary, I am asking her to pray for me. She CAN NOT save me. She can pray for my soul. She can ask the Father to help me. She can beg her Son to help me. She CAN NOT save me.

When I ask the angels and saints to pray for me, I know that they can not save me. They can intercede and ask God to help me.

IMO, icons are just a reminder of what we should aspire to be everyday - saints. Whether it be an icon or Jesus, Mary, or any saint or angel...they are all in Heaven which is where we should aspire to be every day.

At 3:16 PM, Blogger BekahS. said...

To carry on from Chris's comments, icons also help remind me that others have walked the roads and encountered the struggles that I am experiencing, and have successfully made it through. They give me hope and they give God glory.


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