Don’t get me wrong, I am committed to becoming a devout Catholic but there are certain traditions I simply cannot fathom. In the past few days I have decided to rekindle my favorite forms of worship, which are to attend mass and say my prayers in Church. However, I have noticed several “rituals” that I find absurd and do not, in any way imaginable, understand the need for such displays of affection, I presume.
One ritual I cannot comprehend and refuse doing is that of having the need to touch, wipe off, hold, knock upon, or even kiss the images of saints, the Blessed Virgin, or Jesus, for that matter. Is prayer not enough? Offering flowers or gifts is more understandable for me than having to physically touch these images. I think this is why other religious sects accuse us of idolatry and having too many ‘gods.’ And really, I cannot blame them when I see all these people go crazy just to do these. We pray to these saints, or even to Mary, because we ask assistance from them, when we have a certain need or petition. I think it would be better if we strive to be like them, instead of merely asking them to intercede for us. In any case, prayer here is defined as an act of communicating with a revered being, not necessarily as a sign of worship.
Another ritual I find hard to accept and fulfill is that of purchasing and owning medals, figures, pictures and the likes of saints and the like. Save for the rosary, which serves as a guide in remembering and celebrating God’s mysteries, I do not see why we need the other physical reminders of our faith. Again, this is a point against us in our faith as Catholics, pertaining again to the same issue: idolatry.
Suffice to say, the sacraments, I suppose is more than enough to preserve the sacred traditions, just as the Bible is more than adequate to preserve and explain the sacred teachings. Prayer is and will always be the best way to keep our relationship with God alive and wonderful.