Dom Basilio Magno
the Areopagite: "Instead of attacking the veneration of images, we ought
to comprehend their sacred significance, and not despise their divine
origin or the sacred things which they portray, for they are visible
manifestations of hidden and marvelous wonders."
St. John of Damascus: "The devil, unable to attack God, attacked
His image, man. Unable to attack the Blessed Mary, the Holy Theotokos, and
the Saints, he attacks their images."
A. I am not worthy.
Though it is best for me to be silent, sorrowing over my sins,
nevertheless I find it good and necessary to speak when the Church is
tossed by the angry sea of evil spirits and their impious human instruments
out to divide the body of Christ.
St. Paul warns, (Heb. 10:38) “But if the righteous man shrinks
back, I will not be pleased with him, “If you see the sword coming and do
not warn your brother, I shall require his blood at your hand.”
Let me review the ancient practice of the Church which is upheld
by both Scriptures and Saints who were before us, whose conduct we should
admire and whose life we must imitate.
I beg you to receive this treatise with kindness, not dwelling on
my unworthiness or expecting eloquence, but considering the thoughts and
Purpose of this Treatise.
1. To explain the wisdom
in the Catholic Church’s practice of venerating the Saints by honoring
their images, since most Catholics do not know how to use this great aid to
salvation for their benefit.
2. To enlighten by the
use of irrefutable arguments those who, because of their ignorance of true
doctrine AND being deceived by false arguments, have set aside this holy
3. This treatise is for
those who believe in the usefulness of this practice and want to know how
to defend their belief.
4. And hopefully, to convert those who are violently attacking this practice.
C. The Main Arguments, in brief
1. The Teaching of the Catholic Church.
St. Leontius stated that the teaching of the
Church on images is based on a practice that began at creation and continued
through the Old Testament; it was maintained in the New Testament and
continued in the early Church.
The council of Trent summarized the Tradition
of the Church thus; “Honor given to images is honor given NOT to them but
to the prototype which they represent so that by honoring the image we
really adore Christ, and venerate the Saints whose likeness the image
The image of Christ is meant to remind us of
His love, life and sufferings and our obligation to love him in return by
obeying His commands. The image of Mary, the holy Theotokos and the Saints
are meant to remind us of how they loved God and obeyed the commands of
2. God forbade the making of images for the weak
but not for strong.
In fact, God made an image of Himself, man; He
ordered the making of images as the brazen serpent and gifted some people
with the art of making images for his glory.
3. Why were the Jews forbidden in Deuteronomy to
Because being corrupt and stiff-necked, they
had a strong tendency to worship the IDOL rather than God. Looking up at
the sky, they were easily enticed to worship the stars. God's prohibition
is like forbidding an alcoholic to touch wine because of his evil tendency
of getting drunk. But for the sober there is no such prohibition, because
wine is meant to cheer man’s heart and as in the case of Timothy, a help
for his frequent illness.
4. What happened at Sinai
God’s command was: “ You shall worship God
alone” “You shall have no other gods before me” And this we Catholics are
doing. I have not heard of any other gods.
At Horeb, Moses saw NO FORM. God had NO FORM,
so God told the Jews not to represent Him in any image, because having NO
FORM, any representation would be erroneous. But the Jews disobeyed and attempted
to represent God… of all things as a calf! This was their first mistake.
But their second mistake was worse. They worshiped the calf, not God. The
stiff-necked people rose up and said to Aaron, “Make us gods.” Having made
the calf, they ate and drank saying in their folly, “These are your gods, O
Israel.” They worshiped the calf as their God; it was not at all a mere
image of God.
Describing them, St. Paul writes: “They
exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images of...animals...and
served the creature rather than the creator” (Rom. 1:22-24). For this
reason God forbade them to make any image.
The prohibition, since God had NO FORM, does
not apply in the New Testament because God had taken the visible form of
man; so now we can depict Him as He conversed with man.
So this was what was forbidden: to make a
graven image in the form of male or female, the likeness of beast, or of
the sun and moon and stars and WORSHIP and SERVE them. We Catholics serve
calves alright … but only at table. St. Basil states: “Why should we
worship idols; they cannot even take care of themselves, they cannot even
The prohibition was for the sons of Israel who
were hard-hearted and who easily fell into idolatry, but not for the
faithful sons of Israel and not for the faithful of the new dispensation of
5. The first attacks.
The first attacks against the making of images
came from the Jews, probably Christian coverts, but who carried with them
the misinterpreted Old Testament prohibition.
The present day attack on images has its
origin, however, in the 8th century with Emperor Leo, the “Isaurian of
Constantinople” (717-741) who needed gold, silver and precious stones to
finance his planned invasion of Italy. Seeing that these precious metals and
stones were easily available in religious images, he had them all
confiscated, decreeing that the making of religious images was against the
orthodox religion. He conveniently burned the wooden images but melted the
metal ones into coins with his image; just like Henry VIII who conveniently
used his desire for a mistress to break away from Rome. Both kings looked
for learned men to rationalize their voices. No learned men would do so …
precisely because they were learned.
Emperor Leo burned his learned theologians in
their library; Henry VIII beheaded Thomas More.
So the two kings employed their "bottom of
the barrel" theologians. Leo’s theologians picked up the Jewish
ferrous interpretation of God’s Old Testament prohibition. Understandably
so, for if they had chosen the right interpretation, they would had been
burned alive too.
Poor Leo, did you not see that the fact you had
so many images confiscated, shows that these images had been in those
churches being honored by Christians long before you were born? Long before
During Leo’s persecutions, Stephen, a monk,
went to Leo and presented a coin bearing the imperial image; “Sire, whose
image is this?” “It is mine.” The monk threw the coin down and trampled it.
The emperor had him seized and condemned to a painful death. The monk’s
last words were: “If I am punished for dishonoring the image of the
emperor, what punishment is in store for those who dishonor the image of
Christ and His Saints.”
See Leo, you yourself believed that honor given
to the image is honor due to the prototype. You knew the truth; but you
needed the funds more.
Leo’s heresy did not survive the onslaught of
the holy and learned men of the Church. So it disappeared for a while until
the 16th century where it found fertile ground in the errors of
Protestantism. Their main argument, just like the Jews and Leo’s, was based
on the same misinterpreted Old Testament prohibition.
The confusion and misinterpretation of God’s
Old Testament command was partly caused by the word used: PROSKINESIS,
which described everything from adoration to veneration, to mere
friendship. Even in English, the words adoration, worship and veneration
mean the same thing.
So St. John of Damascus used LATREIA for
absolute worship of God and PROSKINESIS for the veneration given to Saints,
relics and images.
Today, we have this heresy in a more alarming and hideous state.
For as they set aside all images, they go further, like praying directly to
God (thus removing the Saints and the Blessed Mother); next is confessing
directly to God (dispensing with confessors and priests); next will be
receiving Christ in spirit (putting aside the Holy Eucharist).
II. OUR ARGUMENTS IN MORE DETAIL
The Old Testament Prohibition
The error of the iconoclastic argument may be clearly seen by
searching Scriptures. Note that God spoke in many and various ways adapting
Himself to the sick, healthy, to climates and seasons, one kind of medicine
for a child another for grown-ups.
What was forbidden was idolatry, not the making and veneration of
images. Though a prohibition was made to make images, it was for the weak
who are susceptible to idolatry and easily abandon the worship of God. It
does not apply to the healthy and the strong. Idolaters believe that the
idols are gods with power and intelligence. Christians know those images
have no intelligence and power. Idolaters make statues and worship them as
god; Christians make statues to recall the deeds of the Saints. Pagans make
statues and call upon the devil; Christians make statues and call on God
and His friends.
The Jews knew what was forbidden and was allowed. So Moses knew
the golden calf was forbidden, but he knew that the cherubims were allowed.
God’s words were: "...you heard the sound of the words but
saw no form...beware you do not make an image of what has no
form."(Deut. 4:12). But now God has become visible, has taken up a
form, so we may now depict His visible form.
Before I could not see God; but now, after God became incarnate, I
make an image of the God I see. I do not worship matter but the Creator of
matter who became matter for my sake and worked out my salvation through
matter. So do not despise matter for it is not despicable. God made nothing
despicable. Only one thing is despicable, sin.
calf was forbidden to root out material impiety and to keep the people safe
from apostasy and idolatry. The brazen serpent was commanded to prefigure a
truth. The calf led to idolatry; the brazen serpent led to the expectation
B. God in
fact ordered the making and honoring of images.
God even gifted some to make artful images; He commanded others to
make images and allowed some who took it upon themselves to make images.
And the righteous men of old honored images.
Proofs that the Catholic Church's practice of veneration of
Saints, people in authority, religious objects, holy places, etc., has its
origin in the old Testament:
1. St. Athanasius: "Jacob bowed down before
the point of Joseph's staff, not honoring the staff but its owner."
2. Stephen of Bostra: "Moses bowed down
before the Ark of the Covenant, the altar, the mercy seat, the golden jar
which held the manna, the table, the inner sanctuary and everything in the
holy of holies. In doing so, he did not honor the stone or gold but the
Lord who ordered them made."
3. St. Leontius: "And God showed a vision of
the temple to Ezechiel and from floor to ceiling the walls were covered
with images of cherubims having the faces of lions and men pictures of palm
trees." "Solomon knew the law and yet he made images, filling the
temple with metal figures of lions, oxen and palm trees and pomegranates. .
. but God did not reproach him because these things reminded them of
4. St. Leontius: "Abraham bowed down before
faithless men who sold him the cave and bent his knees. But he did not
worship them as gods. Jacob honored Pharaoh and bowed before Esau but did
not worship them as gods."
The whole Old Testament was meant by God as an
image of things to come; so it is filled with images. How can He forbid
5. God even gifted some to make images: "I have called by name
BEZALEL and I have filled him with the spirit of God. . . with knowledge
and craftsmanship to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver and
bronze, in cutting stones. . . in craving wood. . ." (Exod. 31:1-5).
6. Severianus, Bishop of Gabala: "God had
just ordered, "You shall not make for yourself a graven image...' and
then ordered Moses to make a brazen serpent?"
Scripture has it that God, at the beginning, made an image of
Himself, man, from whence we see the image of God but not the essence of
God. Just as a statue is an image of Christ but has not the essence of
C. Tradition further
shows that this was the practice in the early Church.
The early Christians were known
to revere St. Peter's shadow and the handkerchief and apron that touched
St. Paul's body.
1. Amphilochius: "The emperor and his statue
does not make two emperors but only one. Only one receives the homage for
the honor given to the statue is transferred to the prototype. So the
images of Christ represent the Son of God."
2. St. John of Damascus: "He who refuses to honor
the image also refuses honor to him who is portrayed. And he who does not
honor the Saints does not honor Christ."
3. Eusebius of Pamphylia: "God appeared to
Abraham at the oak of Mamre. Even now the inhabitants honor the place as a
holy place and a picture of those whom Abraham entertained..."
4. Eusebius, in his church history states that by
the gate of the house of the woman with the issue of blood in Ceasarea is a
bronze image showing the woman kneeling before Christ. And a plant grows at
the base that is remedy for all illness.
5. St. Basil: "If things made by man were bad
then let us not use words which are fashioned by man." Basil praised
the maker of images, "...you reknowned painters of the champion's
brave deeds, my writings are dull compared with your brushes and radiant
"Images are the books of the illiterate,
while words are for the literate. Both are made by man."
6. St. Gregory of Nyssa states that the picture of
Abraham sacrificing his son is more eloquent than mere words.
7. In the life of St. John Chrysostom, it is
narrated that blessed John loved St. Paul so much, he had an icon of the
holy apostle which he kept in a place where he would occasionally go.
8. The righteous Euphraxia is known to have
revered an image of the Lord (the Shroud?).
Mary of Egypt prayed before an icon of our Lady.
The early Church has borne testimony to the above practice by
adorning her churches with statues, paintings and other man made works of
art. And so to say that this is not the doctrine of the Church is to throw
Christ's flock into confusion and pollute the waters from which the people
of God drink.
10. St. John Crysostom: "If you insult the
image of the emperor you insult the emperor; so when you show contempt to
the statue of Saints you show contempt to the Saints.
Chrysostom is also known to have
encouraged the people to place the image of Meletius on rings, goblets,
dishes and bedroom walls.
Ambrose relates that once he was caught up in ecstasy during which a face
was revealed to him which resembled the blessed apostle Paul, the same face
which was printed on the icon.
Maximus, the confessor, describes in his Acts how the people rose with
tears, joy and bowing down low, kissed the gospel, the cross, the icons of
Christ and Mary, the all-holy Theotokos.
states that icons of St. Simeon the Stylite were found in the gates of
workshops to gain his protection.
Athanasius: "We do not worship images as do the heathens. Our only
purpose and desire is to see in the image a reflection of people we love.
When then image is damaged, we throw it into the fire like scrap
states that Gentile converts kept pictures of Jesus, Peter and Paul.
Leontius: "I depict Christ and His suffering in homes, market places and
storehouses, on clothes and vestments so that the remembrance of them is
always before my eyes and never is neglected as you (those against images)
have always disregarded the Lord your God."
"I honor the martyrs who destroyed idols
and the saints who threw wooden idols into the fire. I honor the three
young men of Babylon who refused to worship the golden idol. How can I
Cyril: "If we honor the wooden image of earthly kings why not the
wooden image of God."
The Magisterium of the Church, the traditional
practice of the Christian community and the writing of the holy, orthodox
Fathers of the Church are unanimous in upholding the ancient practice of
venerating the Saints and honoring their images.
Jerome: "Nowhere in Scriptures are we commanded to bow before the
cross, but nowhere also in the Old Testament did God command the Jews to
kiss the Ark of the Covenant."
Euphraxia is said to have offered her maid servant to the service of God in
front of an image of Christ.
The veneration of Saints and honoring of their images had been a
treasured practice of the early Church.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF THE PRACTICE
The Lord called the disciples blessed because they saw what the
prophets did not see. We also, did not see; but we can get an idea of what
they saw through the Word, pictures and images. We did not see the true
face of Christ; but we have an idea through the Shroud. We did not see the
true face of Mary; but we have an idea through Juan Diego's tilma.
1. St. Dionysius: "truly, sensory images make
invisible things visible."
2. St. Basil: "Brave deeds. . . are
remembered by the words of orators, the paint brushes and canvass of
artists. . . these inspire everyone with valor. Words are for the ears,
pictures are for imitation."
3. St. Stephen of Bostra: "We can make images
of the Saints to remember such people as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob... and holy
martyrs who gave their life to God. Everyone who looks at these Saints
remember their deeds and glorify the ONE who glorified them."
4. St. Leontius: "I venerate the cross so
that the remembrance of His suffering is always before my eyes; without the
image of the cross I shall forget He died for me."
"When Jacob caressed Joseph's
multi- colored coat, he was not weeping over the coat but over his son. So
too when we embrace the cross or icon of Christ and His martyrs."
5. Blessed Dionysius: "Our inability to
immediately direct our thought to contemplation of higher things makes its
necessary that what is with form be utilized to give an idea of what is
formless. By this we are able to construct understandable analogies."
6. St. Gregory warns: "The mind which is
determined to ignore corporeal things will find itself weakened and
frustrated. So God created nature to lead us to the concept of God."
7. St. John Damascus: "We use the sense to
further our knowledge of God. The noblest are the ears and sight. So we
have words to edify the ears and forms to stimulate the eyes. What book is
to the literate, the images are to the illiterate."
I have omitted many other saintly and learned
bishop's quotations because they say the same things. The rationale of the
veneration of Saints and honoring of their images is simple and short; it
can be expressed in two lines. The long list of quotations was meant more
to show the universality of its practice in the Catholic Church.
"For this reason God ordered the Ark to be
made. . . to provide an image for remembrance of the past and a
foreshadowing of the future. And the people praised and worshiped God before
the Ark. They did not worship the wood and gold; but through them they were
led to remember God's wonders and to worship Him."
"God also ordered twelve stones to serve
as an image commemorating the day passed through the Jordan dry shod. If we
may honor twelve stones to remind us of a past event, why not a cross to
remember our redemption."
"Solomon decorated the temple with
cherubs, etc. to increase the people's devotion; wouldn't the image of
Christ, His Mother and Saints also increase the faithful's devotion?"
8. Blessed Dionysius: "It is good for us to
clothe with shape and form that which is shapeless and formless, that we
may remember them and so be moved to imitate them."
"For aren't we led by natural things to supernatural
things; aren't we led to the perception of God and His majesty by visible
9. St. Basil: "Images remind us of those who
accomplished righteous deeds that we may zealously imitate their holiness.
This way we glorify the master of the servant."
10. Leo, Bishop of Neopolis: "If God can work
wonders through the bones of Elisha or the staff of Moses or through the
brazen serpent or through the rod of Aaron, why not through the images of
Christ and His Mother."
11. St. John Damascus: "It is good...to accept
with honor images which are the books of the illiterate. Embrace them with
your eyes, lips, and heart, bow before them, love them for they are the
likeness of God incarnate, of His Mother, the holy Theotokos and of the
communion of Saints who shared the sufferings and glory of Christ, who
conquered and overthrew the devil, his angels and his deceit."
St. Ephiphanius is purported to have objected to the use of
images. But the writing in question has been proven to be fictitious and unauthentic.
To discredit the holy Bishop, the heretics of the church produced some
heretical writings and signed the name of the Saint. When St. John of
Damascus visited the holy Bishop's church it was adorned with sacred images
of Christ, the holy Theotokos and the Saints.
12. St. John Chrysostom states that we make images
and monuments to remind us of great deeds. No one ever makes monuments for
cowards and deserters because we want to forget their deeds.
13. St. Athanasius: "We venerate the images of
the Saints that we may remember them and their lives."
Simeon the Great: "Christians live by faith. Through the visible we
see the invisible. Through the visible we honor God who is ever present and
the Saints who are present because they are alive in God."
IV. THE HATERS OF IMAGES
The Fathers of the Church did not hesitate to
call this heresy, like any other heresy, the work of the devil.
1. St. Basil the Great: "The devil, seeing it
useless to attack God, attacked His image, man, instead. In the same way,
unable to kick the emperor, an angry man would kick his statue instead.
Obviously, to strike an image is to strike at him whom it represents."
2. St. Sophronius in his book
"Spiritual Garden" narrates that the devil appeared to Abbot
Theodore Aeliotes and swore he would never tempt the Abbot as long as he
stops bowing to an icon of our Lady, the Holy Theotokos. The demon is more
pleased if we stop bowing to the image of our Lady than if we stop being
3. St. John of Damascus: "Will you allow an imperial
edict to overturn the body of teachings handed down from the Fathers? An
unjust decree was forced by the Emperor but condemned by the 2nd Council of
Ephesus. Those who had rejected the veneration of images ended up
losing their entire Faith."
4. St. John of Damascus: "This is the work of
a. To make images of man, birds and beasts and
have man worship them as gods.
the Church, through false lips and treacherous tongues, misinterpreting the
word of God for evil purposes. Teaching that it is wrong to make or display
images of the saving wonders of Christ and the struggles of the Saints
against the devil."
does not want man to recall how the Saints overcame him that man may remain
ignorant on how to defeat him. The devil also wants man to forget what
Christ did that man may become ungrateful.
5. St. Leontius: "You mock us that we are
worshipers of wooden gods. If I worship wooden gods, then I should worship
every piece of wood. Yet we use these wooden images for firewood when they
fade. If I worship stone gods, then I should worship every stone on the
"When I honor Scriptures, I do
not honor paper and ink but the word of God."
6. St. Athanasius: "They forbid us to venerate
the images of the Saints that we may forget their life and example."
7. St. John of Damascus: "Christians treat
images the way they treat each other since both are images of God. But we
don't treat each other the way we treat God."
8. St. Dionysius: "Do not attack what you do
not understand... do not attack our images just because you do not
comprehend their sacred significance. For us, images are visible
manifestations of hidden and marvelous wonders."
9. Leo, Bishop of Neapolis: "If you reproach
me for bowing before the cross of Christ, reproach Jacob for bowing before
Joseph's staff and Abraham to faithless men."
10. St. John of Damascus: "Since when did an
emperor become a maker of Church doctrine?"
"If you wish to observe the commands of
the Old Testament, then observe also the Sabbath, circumcision, taking your
brother's wife and never sing the Lord's song in a foreign land."
quotations are mostly from the Eastern Fathers of the Church. I have not
even quoted the teachings of the Western Fathers. But this treatise has
become too lengthy. If, by now, you are not convinced of the Church's
teaching and practice, another proof will be of no help.
V. HOW CHRISTIANS SHOULD
VENERATE THE SAINTS AND HONOR THEIR IMAGES
are Images for.
1. St. Simeon the Great:
"The sacramental life of the Church essentially consists in believing
in the invisible through the visible."
2. St. Cyril of
Alexandria: "Images are representatives of their archetypes and
therefore are similar to them."
3. St. Gregory of
Nazianzus: "The nature of an image is to be an artistic representation
of its archetype."
St. John Chrysostom: "The image is just the figure of a man, but not
How do we use
1. St. Leontius:
"The Chaldeans used musical instruments to worship their devilish
idols; the children of Israel used the same instrument to worship
their God. The same way you must distinguish the way Christians venerate
their icons from the way heathens worship their idols."
C. What Christians do when they
venerate the Saints and honor their statues.
St. Gregory: "When we venerate the Saints, we simply recall their good
deeds, their struggle against evil, their prowess and virtues."
prohibition was not meant for us.
We are no longer under the Old Testament but under grace. And we
have seen God made man. And the law was not laid down for the just. We have
reached the state of mature manhood and are fed on solid food, not on that
which leads to idolatry. The laws for the weaklings of the Old Testament do
not apply to the strong ones of the New Testament.
would God allow the image of Holy Mary to be imprinted on Juan Diego's
tilma and Christ's image to be imprinted on the burial shroud if venerating
these clothes were against His will.
VI. CATECHISM OF CHURCH DOCTRINE
ON THE USE OF IMAGES
is an image, a statue or painting.
It is a mere likeness or figure of what it depicts. An image is
always a far cry from what it signifies for it has no life, no
intelligence, it cannot speak, hear or move.
do we make images.
Images reveal and make perceptible those things which are hidden.
Images were devised as aids to advance in knowledge so that what is
invisible and difficult to understand might be made visible and easier to
understand, thus becoming for us a source of spiritual profit and
Kinds of Images.
1. Natural images; as the
son is the natural image of the father.
2. Images of God's
foreknowledge of things which have yet to happen; like the brazen serpent
was a foreshadowing of Christ.
3. Images made by God as
imitation of Himself, like man.
4. Images wherein we
construct understandable analogies of invisible realities; like the sun or
running fountain symbolizing God.
Images for the remembrance of persons and past events which encourage us to
flee evil and desire good; like Aaron's staff.
- What may be depicted by
Physical things which have shape, bodies which are circumscribed and have color
are suitable subjects for image making; like a statue of a beautiful lady
to represent the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Or in the case of angels who have NO forms, we may depict them according to
their nature; as messengers we can show them with wings.
- What may NOT be depicted.
The Divine Nature ALONE may never be depicted because it is without form,
without shape and can never be understood. This was the mistake of the Jews
- Who first made images.
God the Father, in the beginning, begot the living image of Himself, the
Then THEY made man into their own image and likeness.
Then man made images of God as man because when Jacob struggled with God,
God appeared to him as a man. Moses saw the back of a man. Isaiah saw Him
as a man sitting upon a throne. Daniel saw the likeness of a man.
- What is WORSHIP.
Worship is an act of submission shown in
acts of abasement and humiliation.
- Kinds of worship.
1. Absolute worship is
directed to God alone shown as adoration, as acts of awe and yearning, as
acts of thanksgiving, as acts inspired by our needs and hopes, as acts of
Relative worship or veneration is directed to those places where God rests.
God rests in holy people, like the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, for
they are children of God, not by nature but by adoption.
We venerate the Saints, not because they deserve
it but because they bear in themselves Him who is worshiped; because God
has glorified them and through Him they have become fearful to the enemy
and are benefactors for the faithful. They are obedient servants and
friends but they are not gods.
God had used their shadows, handkerchiefs and
aprons to benefit man. But those who, because of their presumptuous
arrogance and contempt, refuse to honor God's servants will be convicted as
arrogant impostors who dishonor God. Those who mocked and laughed at Elisha
to scorn were devoured by bears. (St. John of Damascus)
Relative worship is also given to places and
things by which God has accomplished our salvation, like Mr. Sinai,
Nazareth, the manger at Bethlehem and Golgotha.
Relative worship is given to objects dedicated to
God; like the gospels, chalices and altars. Remember how Belshazzar drank
from the sacred vessels and God slew him that night and brought his kingdom
to an end.
We also render relative worship to one another
since we are God's inheritance, and to those who have been given authority
to rule over us. So Jacob bowed down before Esau, as well as to Pharaoh.
Relative worship is also given by servants to
masters and by petitioners to benefactors; just as Abraham did reverence to
the Hittites when he bought the cave.
God ALONE is worshiped
absolutely; whatever is reckoned to be due the others is given for God's
of Damascus concludes: "Strength and power is given to him who uses
the images of the Saints with faith and a pure conscience."
Let us stand on the rock of Faith and on the Tradition
of the Church, not removing the ancient landmarks which our holy Fathers
have set; not allowing any room for those who would decree innovations and
destroy the structures of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of God. If
all those who make new decrees are allowed such license, in a short time
the church would come to an end.
Let us receive the Tradition of the Church in
simplicity of heart, without vain questioning, since God created man to be
straight- forward, but man has entangled himself with an infinity of
Do not allow yourself to adopt a new Faith in
opposition to the tradition of Fathers.
May God make us worthy to follow in the footsteps
of His Son with the help of Holy Mary, with the intercession of the Saints
and with the guidance of the holy shepherds and teachers of the Church so
that we may attain His love and glorify Him forever with the Son and the
Holy Spirit. Amen.