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St. Therese icon by Theophilia St. Therese icon by Theophilia
St. Thérèse of Lisieux icon
September 2nd 2013
4.5 x 6 inches
Ink, watercolor, gold leaf


“Truly I say to you, unless you change your lives and become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven”
- Matthew 18:3

"After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved..." - Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Happy Feast of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus! In this image of the dear Carmelite saint, I tried to capture her likeness (I think I succeeded a little), and I drew her in a fairly traditional pose, holding a crucifix with an armful of roses. Some of the petals are floating downward, reminiscent of her words: “After my death, I shall let fall a shower of roses.” I also have her holding a little booklet with the two images of her names in religion. She took the name “Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face.”

:iconrose5plz::iconrose6plz::iconrose7plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose-2plz::iconrose3plz::iconrose4plz:

:+: A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF THE SAINT :+:

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2nd, 1873 — September 30th, 1897), otherwise known as St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face or The Little Flower, was born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin in Alençon, France, to Blessed Louis Martin, a watchmaker, and his wife, Blessed Zélie Martin, a lace-maker. The couple had a total of nine children, though four died in their early childhood. The remaining five daughters (Marie, Pauline, Léonie, Céline and Thérèse) were all very tight-knit and affectionate. Surrounded by this trememndous love and affection, Thérèse grew into a beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed child who was everyone’s favorite. As a child, she was incredibly stubborn and threw terrible tantrums that exasperated her parents, but she was also very bright and marked for her honesty and frankness. When she was four, her mother Zélie died of breast cancer. The whole family was heartbroken, and their father moved them to Lisieux, France to be nearer to family. Thérèse later wrote: “When Mummy died, my happy disposition changed. I had been so lively and open; now I became diffident and oversensitive, crying if anyone looked at me.”

Her sister Pauline (twelve years her senior) became her new Mother. She and Marie educated the younger children, until they were sent to school at Notre Dame du Pre when Thérèse was about eight. Though Thérèse did very well academically (history and composition were her best subjects), she hated school because she was bullied and teased by older children. She later wrote: “The five years I spent at school were the saddest of my life, and if my dear Céline had not been with me I could not have stayed there for a single month without falling ill.” When Thérèse was nine, Pauline entered the Carmelite convent at Lisieux, and Thérèse was again devastated by this loss of her “second Mother.” Thérèse soon became very ill and had bouts of strange nervous emotional attacks. She was cured of her neurotic illness on May 13th 1883, when a little statue of the Virgin Mary was placed at her bedside. She saw a vision in which the Virgin smiled, and she said: "Our Blessed Lady has come to me, she has smiled upon me. How happy I am."

On the Christmas of 1886, Thérèse experienced what she called her “Christmas Miracle.” The family had just come home, exhausted, from the midnight Christmas Eve Mass at Lisieux’s cathedral, and the thirteen-year-old Thérèse was excited to open her gifts. She was going up the stairs when her father (thinking her out of earshot) told Céline, "Well, fortunately this will be the last year!" The emotionally fragile Thérèse began to cry, but suddenly seemed to pull herself together, went downstairs and happily opened all of her gifts without any further ado. She wrote later: "In an instant Jesus, content with my good will, accomplished the work I had not been able to do in ten years…I felt, in a word, charity enter my heart, the need to forget myself to make others happy - Since this blessed night I was not defeated in any battle, but instead I went from victory to victory and began, so to speak, "to run a giant's course."

Thérèse heard God’s call for her to become a Carmelite. In November 1887, their father took and Thérèse on a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome for the priestly jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. Thérèse had asked permission to enter Carmel before, but because of her youth, they had refused her. She was determined to go to Rome and ask the Pope for permission. They managed to see the Pope, and she asked for him to let her enter at fifteen. The Holy Father told her: "Well, my child, do what the superiors decide.... You will enter if it is God's Will.” Soon afterwards, her Bishop granted permission to the Carmelite prioress, and Thérèse became a Carmelite postulant on April 9th, 1888.

She began her life as a Carmelite postulant by learning the Divine Office, helping in the sacristy and in the refectory. She became a novice in January of 1889. She read many of the writings of the Carmelite mystics, studied the Scriptures intensely, and finally took her new name: Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She made her finally profession in September of 1890 when she was seventeen and a half. She found a great comfort in studying the Scriptures, saying: “It is especially the Gospels which sustain me during my hours of prayer...I am always gaining fresh insights and finding hidden and mysterious meanings.”When her sister Pauline was elected prioress, she made Thérèse her assistant to the novice mistress. Thérèse had a great talent for teaching the young novices in her charge. On July 29, 1894, her father, Louis Martin died. Céline had cared for him while he suffered from paralyzing strokes and infirmities of the mind. After his death, Céline, too, entered Carmel. In 1894, Thérèse wrote two plays about one of her favorite heroines—Joan of Arc—and they were both performed at Carmel in January of 1985.

While in Carmel, Thérèse developed a spirituality of littleness and loving trust in God. She was greatly encouraged by Proverbs 9:4: “If anyone is a very little one, let him come to me.” Thus began her “Little Way” of love and trust. On June 9, 1895, she felt inspired to offer herself up as an oblation to the Merciful Love of God. Thérèse also found her vocation as a sister to priests and spiritually adopted priests and seminarians who were serving in the missions, and prayed for them and wrote letters of guidance and encouragement to them. On Good Friday of 1896, she felt blood bubbling up from her lips, and understood that she had tuberculosis. She suffered terribly but with great patience. However, her greatest suffering was the dark night of the soul that enveloped her. She felt a night of darkness and doubts envelop her, so that her soul was tormented with the thoughts that God did not love her, of atheism, and the non-existence after death. Everything became bitterness to her, but she persevered in her love of God with great patience and tranquility, which impressed the other nuns taking care of her in the infirmary. Her last words were: “Oh my God, how I love you!” She died from tuberculosis on September 30th 1897 at the age of 24. Her autobiography Story of a Soul was published exactly a year later. She was canonized on May 17th 1925, and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI on October 19th 1997.

“Since my longing for martyrdom was powerful and unsettling, I turned to the epistles of Saint Paul in the hope of finally finding an answer. By chance the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the first epistle to the Corinthians caught my attention, and in the first section I read that not everyone can be an apostle, prophet or teacher, that the Church is composed of a variety of members, and that the eye cannot be the hand. Even with such an answer revealed before me, I was not satisfied and did not find peace.

I persevered in the reading and did not let my mind wander until I found this encouraging theme: Set your desires on the greater gifts. And I will show you the way which surpasses all others. For the Apostle insists that the greater gifts are nothing at all without love and that this same love is surely the best path leading directly to God. At length I had found peace of mind.

When I had looked upon the mystical body of the Church, I recognized myself in none of the members which Saint Paul described, and what is more, I desired to distinguish myself more favorably within the whole body. Love appeared to me to be the hinge for my vocation. Indeed I knew that the Church had a body composed of various members, but in this body the necessary and more noble member was not lacking; I knew that the Church had a heart and that such a heart appeared to be aflame with love. I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more. I saw and realized that love sets off the bounds of all vocations, that love is everything, that this same love embraces every time and every place. In one word, that love is everlasting.

Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.”
- From the autobiography of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus


:iconrose5plz::iconrose6plz::iconrose7plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose-2plz::iconrose3plz::iconrose4plz:

In my own life, I’ve only recently come to the love the Little Flower. I cannot say I was ever really initially attracted to her. But, well, I think Thomas Merton puts it better than I ever could:

“The big present that was given to me, that October, in the order of grace, was the discovery that the Little Flower really was a saint, and not just a mute pious little doll in the imaginations of a lot of sentimental old women. And not only was she a saint, but a great saint, one of the greatest: tremendous! I owe her all kinds of public apologies and reparation for having ignored her greatness for so long: but to do that would take a whole book, and here I have only a few lines to give away…But what astonished me altogether was the appearance of a saint in the midst of all the stuffy, overplush, overdecorated, comfortable ugliness and mediocrity of the bourgeoisie…I first got interested in St. Therese of Lisieux by reading Gheon's sensible book about her — a fortunate beginning. If I had chanced on some of the other Little Flower literature that is floating around, the faint spark of potential devotion in my soul would have been quenched at once.

However, no sooner had I got a faint glimpse of the real character and the real spirituality of St. Therese, than I was immediately and strongly attracted to her — an attraction that was the work of grace, since, as I say, it took me, in one jump, clean through a thousand psychological obstacles and repugnances.

And here is what strikes me as the most phenomenal thing about her. She became a saint, not by running away from the middle class, not by abjuring and despising and cursing the middle class, or the environment in which she had grown up: on the contrary, she clung to it in so far as one could cling to such a thing and be a good Carmelite. She kept everything that was bourgeois about her and was still not incompatible with her vocation: her nostalgic affection for a funny villa called "Les Buissonnets," her taste for utterly oversweet art, and for little candy angels and pastel saints playing with lambs so soft and fuzzy that they literally give people like me the creeps…And she not only became a saint, but the greatest saint there has been in the Church for three hundred years — even greater, in some respects, than the two tremendous reformers of her Order, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila…

The discovery of a new saint is a tremendous experience…the saints are not mere inanimate objects of contemplation. They become our friends, and they share our friendship and reciprocate it and give us unmistakable tokens of their love for us by the graces that we receive through them. And so, now that I had this great new friend in heaven, it was inevitable that the friendship should begin to have its influence on my life.”
- Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain


Discover this wonderful saint for yourself. She is very eager to help everyone, and beneath the hideous sentimentality that well-meaning people have hedged her in in their bad hagiographies, lies a real treasure of depth and greatness. It's so humble that even from a glance, it's hard to see. I would personally highly recommend Fr. Jacques Philippe's The Way of Trust and Love (www.amazon.com/The-Way-Trust-L….

:iconrose5plz::iconrose6plz::iconrose7plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose1plz::iconrose-2plz::iconrose3plz::iconrose4plz:

:rose: The Feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux is celebrated on October 1st. :rose:

St. Thérèse is the patron saint of missionaries and the missions, France, florists, and those who suffer from tuberculosis.

O God,
who opens your Kingdom
to those who are humble and to the little ones,
lead us to follow trustingly
in the Little Way of Saint Thérèse,
so that through her intercession
we may see your eternal glory revealed.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmaidenpaladin:
MaidenPaladin Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
This is brilliantly done! I can attest that while the Little Flower does possess that wonderful feminine sentimentality so oft-associated with the bourgeoise of the 19th Century, she is very active in the world and keeps her finger on the pulse of everything great that is happening in the world...and is going to happen.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
True that! She's a great friend! :aww:
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:iconmephetti:
mephetti Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It's her feast day tomorrow! :boogie: Absolutely love this, if I ever get to ordering prints from you (I should!), this will be first on the list! I featured this and your older St. Thérèse picture in my journal, I hope that's ok!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yay! It is! :aww: I love the Little Flower. Have you ever read Fr. Jacques Philipe's book on her? It really made me love her, and Fr. Jacques Philippe's spiritual works are all profound, but simple. :D www.amazon.com/Way-Trust-Love-…
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:iconmephetti:
mephetti Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I haven't, but it's going on my to-read list :) Thanks for the suggestion!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Absolutely! Happy Feast of St. Therese! :rose:
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:icon3-dali:
3-Dali Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Really gorgeous :)
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconpeachydreamy:
PeachyDreamy Featured By Owner May 9, 2014
Very beautiful! I love the roses! :dance: :heart: 
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner May 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! :meow:
Reply
:iconpeachydreamy:
PeachyDreamy Featured By Owner May 13, 2014
Your welcome! :highfive:
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:iconlarahyuuga-sama:
LaraHyuuga-sama Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Your drawings are perfect! God bless you!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! God bless you too! :hug:
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:iconhaius:
haius Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013  Hobbyist
She looks the happiest of all of them.  (And rightly so, right?  :XD:)
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hahah, thanks! ^^
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:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Beautiful!  Therese is certainly one of my favorite saints! :love:
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!!! She's an absolutely wonderful saint! :D
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:iconaranov:
Aranov Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
This is lovely! She sounds like someone you'd like to be friends with, and who always leaves you wanting to be a better person. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself, indeed!
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awww thanks! :aww: She definitely is. That woman gets things done. I ask her to help me all of the time. :XD:
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:icongudrun355:
GUDRUN355 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Such very beautiful work!! :iconroseplz:
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! :rose:
Reply
:icongudrun355:
GUDRUN355 Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconhiland-rose:
Hiland-Rose Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter

An appropriate tribute..... she's one of my favorites!

 

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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awww, thank you so much! :hug:
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:iconhiland-rose:
Hiland-Rose Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
:)
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:icongreen-eyed-reptile:
green-eyed-reptile Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Student General Artist
Exquisite.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:meow:
Reply
:iconpeekeeboo:
Peekeeboo Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very beautiful - it's a lovely icon.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconcracowpoland2013:
CracowPoland2013 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
ŚW. TERESO Z LISIEUX, MUDL SIĘ ZA NAMI! :-D +
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:aww:
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:iconruu-the-dasher:
Ruu-the-Dasher Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I read a part of her biography last year and was charmed by her passionate love for the Lord, truly an inspiring life. Gorgeous artwork, I love the book, cross and roses she's holding.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you thank you thank you! :glomp: She's an amazing saint. :D
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:iconpiewriter:
PieWriter Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I answered to a guy here who made false assumptions about our faith, but I see you have done a much more eloquent and detailed job than I have!

Anyway, lovely icon of the saint.  I always love the little details you put into everything you make.
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:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you! You did a beautiful job. I think you said everything I said, except much more succinctly and in a far more articulate manner. I have a tendency to wax on and on... :XD:

And thank you again! I'm glad you like it! :aww:
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:iconpiewriter:
PieWriter Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! :)
Reply
:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
I'm not much for iconic art or graven images such as statues to be worshipped in any way. These are earthly un-spirited things, and they divert people from Jesus Christ and the simplicity and truth in him.

Any- and everyone serving the LORD God through his only begotten son Jesus Christ is a blessing and should never be turned into icons, nor objectified or celebrated as either of these.

Also, while acts of men and women may benefit man in earthly ways, it is not the acts of men paving the way for salvation. Only though the faith in Jesus Christ can a person be saved.
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:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So raising your children as Christians does nothing to pave the way for their salvation? That's an act of men or women. QED on that one, I hope.

As for "worshipping" images, some pagans might be able to say that Christians worship Mary and the saints, or their images. But in the same sense, Jews worship the Torah and the Temple, and Muslims worship Muhammad, and since you're quite likely to get hurt if you suggest either of those latter things, the pagan sense of "worship" must not apply here.
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:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Reading the Bible and accepting Jesus Christ through faith saves people. Whomever lead you to Christ is not important, nor when this takes place in your life.

And it was not what I meant by acts of men anyway. I'm speaking about rituals, chantings and behaviour God tells us not to partake in. God doesn't care for any of it as far as the Bible, his own WORDS goes. Most of it are not spoken of in the Bible at all. Jesus even says in the last part of Revelation: DO not add or subtract to anything spoken of in this book. If you do you are either Taken out of the Book of Life or cursed with the plagues spoken of in my words. That's what it says by the meaning of it.

It's right there. Read it for yourselves. These are not my words. They are God's. He says: Don't add or subtract to what I have written about in my book. That means practices, traditions, or bending the least of his rules or changing anything in the Holy Bible itself.

As for worshipping: Well in that case the pagans are right because Christians are not supposed to act as pagans do. God hates it :) It's the principle of bowing down to objects of any sort and worshipping them God loathes according to his own words. The words of the Holy Bible.

If someone should hurt me for telling what God himself speaks of, he will deal with them accordingly if they do. You either serve God and the LORD Jesus Christ or mens own ideas and creations, or mens love of money and power.

One last thing: If the 'quite likely to get hurt' you mentioned, in anyway was meant as a subtle threat against me on your part, then I have seen it. And if I have and it's true, God has seen it 10 times more clearly than I.
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:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
"Subtle threat"? If I wanted to threaten you, I would threaten you, and nobody would have any doubt about my meaning. I don't do subtle. I was merely pointing out that if you told a Jew they worshiped the Torah and the Temple, or a Muslim they worshiped Muhammad, they would be quite likely to be very angry with you. Why would I threaten you for saying those things about Jews or Muslims? You need to read more carefully.
Reply
:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
Let me refrase it: Was the fact that you mentioned "...likely to hurt you", with the purpose of putting fear in me because of the things I write and the questions I ask? That someone might hurt me because of my words? Subtlety is implying something. A direct threat would be saying it bluntly.

And remember, I included a lot of if's in my words did I not? These are to make clear of uncertainties in what I asked. Using If implies conditions to be met before something can be established as true.

I know too well the passion and love felt in these matters, regardless of where any person stands in his or her own beliefs. And yet you continue with saying that it might anger someone. Should I instead lie or ask no questions at all in matters of God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Bible to not upset or anger anyone who does not do as God commands us to? Is it not our task as servants of Christ to make anti-christian worship a no-good thing and make these known to others? And should I not even be able to discuss these matters with other Christians without being told that I'm likely to get hurt by people full of wrath because I speak plainly about these things?

I read carefully enough already. Both the words plainly written and the spirit within them when others write to me or reply to me what I write. Whether they are meant good and are of joyful spirit, or whether they have trickery and subtlety within them. Or both of these combined. Or none of them at all.
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:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No. I was saying that, if you told a Muslim or a Jew they worshiped the Quran and Muhammad or the Torah and the Temple, they would be very angry with you. They are very invested in the fact that they do not worship those things, indeed to a Muslim that he does not worship anything but God or follow any prophet but Muhammad is the entire cornerstone of his identity. A Jew is just as vehement that he is not an idolater, since 26 of the 613 laws are about idolatry (at least that I counted, there might be others, and a bunch of the others—like the prohibition on tattoos—have to do with idolatry indirectly).

That is all I was saying.
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:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013
I know they would. It's the most obvious part of it. But should I silence myself and not speak at all, even amongst other Christians of what God tells us, because of the wrath of others not agreeing with what God tells us or what his son Jesus Christ teaches?
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:iconnkhyi-naonzgo:
nKhyi-naonZgo Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Not my point. My point is that since it is total anathema to those people to worship those things, they do not worship those things. If their reverence for those things looks like worship to you, maybe you don't know what "worship" is.

I could accuse you of bowing down in groveling heathen idolatry to a pile of pulp with some vegetable dye on it—that's what a book is, and "Bible" is just the French pronunciation of the Greek for "book"—but while your attitude to the Bible is much closer to idolatrous worship than our reverence for the saints and their images, we both know that would be unfair. Try extending the same courtesy in reverse.
Reply
:iconpiewriter:
PieWriter Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
We don't "worship" icons.  Icons and other images are made to express devotion to the subject that is being created and to remind us of God and godly people and their deeds.  It's similar to keeping pictures of family and friends, or erecting a statue in honor of a great leader.

We also don't think the saints are needed for salvation: they are simply servants of God who have been sanctified through God and godly works and live to spread His greatness to others.  We look up to them as models and we pray with them, just as we ask Christians on earth to pray for us.  The Body of God extends beyond this earth, you know.

You apparently have little to no understanding of Catholic traditions and beliefs, so I suggest you go to a Catholic website and study for yourself.  Here's a couple articles to help you get started: www.catholic.com/tracts/the-in… www.catholic.com/magazine/arti…
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:iconr-a-z-z:
R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
If you want to remember God and keep him holy in your heart and mind why would you even think of making an object to do it? The Holy Bible is for that purpose and the words therein are his living words. They keep you in touch with him because they have his Spirit within them. An icon has none of what his words can offer. Let his words remind you of him. Preferably by reading them, or just by carrying your Bible with you resting in your hands.

Let Jesus Christ lead you. He is the way and shepherd of all Christians and while the Saints of God and Jesus Christ have done according to God's will, none of them can compare to or lead you better than Christ himself.

I don't care for any specific traditions or beliefsystems tied to certain branches of Christianity regardless of what they call themselves, nor the magnitude of any of them. The Bible is my foundation and if I see things in any Christian beliefsystem which is not endorsed nor found in the words of the Holy Bible I will have nothing of it.

Also, It's the Catholic construct i dislike and not everyone in it, who has a true love for God, his only begotten son LORD Jesus Christ, and each and everyone of God's prophets and Saints.
Reply
:icontheophilia:
Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You have made a number of very unjust assumptions. Your premises are also very fallacious.

I'm not for iconic art or graven images to be worshiped either. So that makes two of us. Worshiping (Latria) anything or anyone other than God is idolatry (idol-latria "idol-worship") and is gravely sinful. It's also really stupid to worship a creature and not the Creator.

Anything can be used to worship, that is, anything created can aid us and assist us in worshiping God. For example, the beauty of nature can inspire us to praise and worship God for His greatness. Nature isn't being worshiped; God is. Nature is simply acting as an agent to help us lift our minds to God and worship Him. People are made in the image (icon) and likeness of God. The good that people do through the grace and help of God helps and inspires us to worship God, more than anything else in creation. Seeing a mother tenderly loving her child with unconditional love gives us an idea of how the Father loves us. People serving the poor and needy also reveals God's goodness, compassion and generosity to us. All of these things can lead us to praise and worship God. We don't worship the people who do them; we worship God. We can honor them, however, because they are cooperating with God's grace to do His work on earth. If you can't honor virtue in your neighbor, what is worth honoring in your neighbor at all? Unless you argue that somehow repecting and honoring your neighbor somehow detracts from the honor due to God, which is rather silly. It's like saying that admiring the beauty of the moon detracts from the beauty of the sun; as if the moon's very light and beauty did not COME directly from the sun. God is marvelous in His Saints. God is honored in his saints. How could a man be honored by you if you dissed his friends? Wouldn't he rather be insulted? To not honor the people God loves is to not honor God.

"These are earthly un-spirited things"

Wait, so something has to be spiritual to be good? Is not nature good? Is not the whole of creation good? Genesis Chapter 1 says that when God created the universe, "He found it good." And the evil spirits are spiritual beings...and yet they are evil. Just because something is spiritual doesn't mean it's good. And what about the Incarnation? God became a man. The Word became flesh. God, Who is Pure Spirit, became a True Man with real flesh. He became earthly for our sake. Don't disdain the "earthly" reality of our God.

"Any- and everyone serving the LORD God through his only begotten son Jesus Christ is a blessing and should never be turned into icons, nor objectified or celebrated as either of these."

Yes, everyone is made in the image and likeness of God, and because of that, is good. However, there's that whole sin thing: we can choose to NOT cooperate with God's grace. We can freely choose to reject God and Truth and Goodness. Those who don't--those who choose to do God's will, and choose to love Him and serve Him--are God's friends. St. Paul calls them the "holy ones." That's all "saint" means. "Sanctus" is Latin for "Holy." They are holy because God makes them holy (as, indeed, He wishes to do to all of us). We celebrate their lives because they have already "run the race" and "fought the good fight" ahead of us, and are our friends who can help bring us closer to Jesus. We don't celebrate them for their sake. We honor them for the sake of Christ, who has honored them far more than anyone on earth could. The saints are not "objectified" by us honoring them. The images are here to remind of us of them and to inspire us to be like them in following God. Icons are a means to an end, they are never ends in and of themselves. Their only purpose is to lead us closer to God by representing to us the person they depict.

"Also, while acts of men and women may benefit man in earthly ways, it is not the acts of men paving the way for salvation. Only though the faith in Jesus Christ can a person be saved."

Yes, Only Jesus Christ can save us. But God chooses to use other people in our lives to bring us closer to Him. We are His instruments He uses to helps save other people. If a man throws down a rope to you and pulls you up, do you say the man saved you or the rope? The man of course. Jesus throws us the rope that we can choose to take or reject. Other people act as the rope--the means by which He saves us. That's why He's given us our family and friends and all of the people in our lives. That's why he puts us in certain situations to try us so we can learn to serve Him and love Him.

I don't understand that first part. The actions of men and women are NOT constrained to purely temporal things. WE are not purely temporal creatures. We are both physical and spiritual. Every action and each word spoken echoes in all time and in eternity. How about St. Paul? Was his missionary activities just "beneficial to people in earthly ways"? NO! How about all of the apostles and martyrs and faithful witnesses who have proclaimed Jesus Christ throughout the past two millenia? Have they just "benefited people in earthly ways"? NO! In the same way, St. Therese says: "My mission is to make God loved."

I hope that is the mission of every Christian's life.
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R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
As for worshipping idols we agree according to the commandments of God. Yet Catholisism is riddled with both idols, icons, statues and graven images. Some bow to these while others kiss the feet of them. God specifically forbids it. They divert the attention from the Words of God and Jesus Christ.

Graven images are dead man-made creations with no Spirit in them. We're not supposed to be infatuated with them by God's own words and commandments. The Bible clearly says so.

Yes anything can be used for worship, but God says not to do it. So why do it all? It goes against his words doing so.

We agree also that God is Almighty and that his creation of everything in existence proves his everlasting goodness, almightyness and grace. And yes we are made in his own image, but his creations are living beings with Spirit spoken into existence by his words. Our creations of images are GRAVEN and without life and Spirit and not to be worshipped. We are not even supposed to worship other men or women: "Let God be true and every man a liar." So why worship liars and sinners amongst men and women? We are all guilty of lying along with all others sins to various degrees. And so there's no point in worshipping either sinners or hand-made objects.

And btw...honoring God's people is not the same as giving worship to them. These are two entirely different things. Because even God's people are fallible and sinful.

Man's nature is NOT good. Even Jesus says that he himself is not good. Only God our father in heaven is. We're wicked sinners because of Lucifer and the whole world is corrupt because of him. That's why God totally destroyed the world one time and the reason why Jesus Christ is returning in the last days.

I'm not disdaining anything earthly. I've been provided with food and things by God's Grace in abundance. I enjoy them and need them to manage by. But the world is still wicked and so my mind, heart, soul and Spirit is towards Heaven.

By actions I'm referring to odd and irrelevant practices, ceremonies and rituals conducted by men, and which have nothing to do with what God says, nor his only begotten son Jesus Christ. Nor are many of these practices endorsed or spoken of in the Holy Bible.

Any- and everyone, Saints or no, who confessed or testified, or is confessing and tetifying today that Jesus Christ is the way and the life, the only son of God and the way to everlasting life has benefited. Not by odd and peculiar rituals but by the confessings themselves.

I will also confess that Jesus Christ are the things I mentioned about him above, and that the words of our LORD God are true and everlasting, and that faith alone in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation for a sinner such as myself.
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Theophilia Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
As for worshipping idols we agree according to the commandments of God.

Yep.

Yet Catholisism is riddled with both idols, icons, statues and graven images.

No. Statues, icons, pictures and other forms of representational art are not idols. That's like saying having a picture of your mother or friends in your house is an idol. That's also like suggesting any image of Jesus or of angels, or really of anything, is an idol. What distinguishes what you call "an idol" from any other image or statue.

Some bow to these while others kiss the feet of them. God specifically forbids it.

I think it would be beneficial here to define our terminology. Define what "worship" is for me. Tell me what you think it is. When we Catholics speak of worship and veneration, we use the more precise theological terminology latria (adoration) and dulia (veneration). The difference between the two is vastly different in kind. It doesn't just indicate degree. It indicates a vastly different nature. Latria (adoration, or worship) belong by right to God, and God alone. When latria (adoration) is given to anything or anyone else, it becomes idol+latria (idolatry). Dulia (veneration), however, is the just respect and honor we give to God's holy ones.

As St. Thomas Aquinas says: "Reverence is due to God on account of His Excellence, which is communicated to certain creatures not in equal measure, but according to a measure of proportion; and so the reverence which we pay to God, and which belongs to latria, differs from the reverence which we pay to certain excellent creatures; this belongs to dulia...[D]ulia, which pays due service to a human lord, is a distinct virtue from latria, which pays due service to the Lordship of God. It is, moreover, a species of observance, because by observance we honor all those who excel in dignity, while dulia properly speaking is the reverence of servants for their master, dulia being the Greek for servitude."

So, to answer your comment, God forbids the worship of other people and things. He does not forbid us to venerate the images of our loved ones or His loved ones. God forbids latria to anything else besides Himself. He does NOT forbid veneration (dulia) to other creatures that He has elevated in sanctity.

Another point. External performances do not determine the interior dispositions of a person. They can indicate it, but they do not dictate it. If someone was worshiping a statue of a saint, they would be in gross and mortal error. That would be idolatry. But adoration and worship is something that comes from the heart, from the intention. In some cultures, people bow to each other. In our culture, we wave. But in the former culture, does the bowing indicate that they are worshiping the other person? Certainly not. In some cultures, people greet each other by kissing the other on the cheek. Is this idolatry? No. Because the intention is not there. Any person or object can become an object of worship. It's nothing wrong with the person or object themselves; it has everything to do with the person doing the false worshiping. So no, bowing or kissing does not equal worship. That's another false assumption. When we bow to the statues, we are not bowing to the statues. We are honoring the person they represent, not the statue itself. If we kiss a cross, it is not that we are honoring the wooden-two by four. We are honoring the sacrifice of Christ which it represents. When we kiss the Bible, we are not worshiping the paper and glue or the ink on the page. We are honoring the Word of God because it deserves respect as God's revealed Word to us.

They divert the attention from the Words of God and Jesus Christ.

Not when they are used properly. And that's another false assumption. Anything can be used to divert people's attention from God. The saints, (if anything does) remind us of God, and call Him more and more to mind. When I see a statue of the saint, I immedietly think of them, and then I think of how much they loved God. They are reminders of God's presence in the world. So no, not only do they NOT distract us from God, they remind us of Him and help us to love Him better. As I said before, we use these things as an aid to worship God. They're a means to an end. The end is the worship of God, the means is the image of the saint, which recalls us to God, to help and inspire us to love Him and serve Him more.

Graven images are dead man-made creations with no Spirit in them. We're not supposed to be infatuated with them by God's own words and commandments. The Bible clearly says so. Yes anything can be used for worship, but God says not to do it. So why do it all? It goes against his words doing so.

See my above comment on how the images themselves are not the things being honored, but rather that which they represent. We're not infatuated with the images. There's another assumption. We love the saints they represent because God loves them. We don't believe the pictures or statues are alive or anything ridiculous like that.

What? God says not to use things as aids to worship Him? Where in Scripture does it say that? God says not to worship things or people. Not to not use His creation in loving and serving the Creator. The Psalms clearly disagree with you. Off of the top of my head, the Psalmist in Psalm 19 is clearly using nature as a means to help him worship God. He says:

The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.

There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hid from its heat.



We agree also that God is Almighty and that his creation of everything in existence proves his everlasting goodness, almightyness and grace. And yes we are made in his own image, but his creations are living beings with Spirit spoken into existence by his words. Our creations of images are GRAVEN and without life and Spirit and not to be worshipped. We are not even supposed to worship other men or women: "Let God be true and every man a liar." So why worship liars and sinners amongst men and women? We are all guilty of lying along with all others sins to various degrees. And so there's no point in worshipping either sinners or hand-made objects.

Once again, you are laying against Catholics a most abominable and outrageous accusation that has no foundation. I have said already that we do not worship the saints. I don’t think I can say it any more clearly than that. I’ve already said why it is that we honor them. In the secular world, we give birthdays to honor the lives of our relatives, we honor heroes, people who’ve saved others’ lives, and we’ve built monuments to soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for their country, and a whole host of similar things (though, maybe you also have a problem with honoring anybody for any reason, I don’t know). If ANY monuments or statues or images should be made, they should be of God’s heroes, the saints, His friends who have served Him and loved Him despite their own sins and failures. If that’s not worth honoring in a person, I don’t know what is.  

And btw...honoring God's people is not the same as giving worship to them. These are two entirely different things. Because even God's people are fallible and sinful.

I have been trying to say this a thousand times over.

Man's nature is NOT good. Even Jesus says that he himself is not good. Only God our father in heaven is. We're wicked sinners because of Lucifer and the whole world is corrupt because of him. That's why God totally destroyed the world one time and the reason why Jesus Christ is returning in the last days.

That’s actually not what Jesus said at all. The verse you’re referring to (Luke 18:19), Jesus says this: And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” He’s not implying there that He isn’t good. He’s inviting the man who just confessed His goodness to see that He is God.

So, if I may ask, you think Jesus Christ is not good? My assumption was that you were a Christian of a Protestant background. I’m sorry for the assumption. I should perhaps have asked you what it is you do believe, because you seem not to be a Christian since you reject the divinity of Jesus Christ.

About your other points, I could argue, but since I don’t know where you’re coming from theologically, that might be rather futile.

I'm not disdaining anything earthly. I've been provided with food and things by God's Grace in abundance. I enjoy them and need them to manage by. But the world is still wicked and so my mind, heart, soul and Spirit is towards Heaven.

See my above response about not knowing where you’re coming from theologically. The Catholic Church teaches that God’s creation is good. After the Fall of Man, sin has marred creation, but not completely corrupted it. We still all naturally strive towards the Good, which is God, even though we also have our sinful natures to contend with that give us an inclination also to evil. We still desire the good. No one does something because they think it’s evil. They do something because they (mistakingly) think it’s good. In essence, they have their priorities wrong, when they place the good things of creation ahead of their Creator. You seem to believe that creation is completely corrupted. Well, I don’t know what you believe, since you clearly don’t believe in Jesus’ Divinity, and therefore in the Incarnation, and therefore not in the salvation of mankind by Christ on the Cross. If I had to make an assumption about your theological background, I’d say it sounds like you’re a Manichean, or a Cathar (or something otherwise related), since both heresies believe that the material world is evil and that only the spiritual world is good. They believed that essentially there were two gods, one evil (which was the ruler of the material world) and a good god, who was the ruler of the spiritual world (well, the Cathars painted it up as the evil god was the devil, but it essentially amounted to the same dualistic nature of things)…But correct me about that if I’m wrong.

By actions I'm referring to odd and irrelevant practices, ceremonies and rituals conducted by men, and which have nothing to do with what God says, nor his only begotten son Jesus Christ. Nor are many of these practices endorsed or spoken of in the Holy Bible.

You say it has nothing to do with what God says, but I reply that, not only does it have to do with what God says, it is by God’s command. Now, I would defend the various rituals that we have , but since this was such a vague statement, I’m not sure which one you’re talking about, so it would be rather wasteful to defend what I don’t know you’re attacking.

Any- and everyone, Saints or no, who confessed or testified, or is confessing and tetifying today that Jesus Christ is the way and the life, the only son of God and the way to everlasting life has benefited. Not by odd and peculiar rituals but by the confessings themselves.

What? I’m sorry, I’m confused by what you said. Please elaborate or explain it differently.

I will also confess that Jesus Christ are the things I mentioned about him above, and that the words of our LORD God are true and everlasting, and that faith alone in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation for a sinner such as myself

Namely, that He is not good, is therefore not divine, and therefore has no power to save anyone? Well, as for myself, I do believe that Jesus Christ is the Word made Flesh, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who, in His Incarnation became a true man, the Son of the Virgin, and when His time had come, He died on the Cross for the salvation of all mankind and three days later, rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father, where He will later come again to judge the living and the dead. That’s what I believe, and that’s the Faith of the Catholic Church.
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R-a-z-z Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2013
Theophilia: I will answer your reply shortly. I have just replied to some of the others before yours, and right now my mind needs a bit of rest.
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