Saints On Display, Ctd

by Chris Bodenner


A reader bristles over this post:

I disagree with the focus on relics, no matter who is doing the venerating or how much the apologetics try to explain that they are not idols. When I look at what people do aside from what they say, the physical objects are serving as idols if only for a small fraction of the orthodox followers. On top of that, to imply that if I do not idolize the relic then I am less worthy of approaching G0d is taking this even further in the wrong direction.

There is a strong human tendency to slip from veneration into idol worship. The Bible goes out of its way again and again to urge us to steer away from idolatry and to focus on one true G0d that does not manifest a physical presence. That the one G0d chose to be unseen and non-physical is the most sublime and wise decision in the history of humanity. Similarly that Moses was taken up without a physical trace, and that Jesus was taken up without a physical trace, goes a long way to preventing the focus on the physical remnants and to keep the focus were it is better set – on the one, unseen G0d. It keeps people focused on living better lives, now bowing to physical objects. (I once watched pilgrims bow to objects at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.) If we had a grave of Moses or Jesus, there would be a constant stream of millions of people and an almost irresistible tendency to turn them into idols. Similarly the Jews have to keep in mind the Kotel is not the focus and the Torah scroll is just a book, not something to be worshipped.

Another sends the above photo and writes:

From my travels, we recently saw two very different churches where bones were on display. The first was Sedlec Ossuary, in the small town of Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, east of Prague. We had gone on a day tour and this small church is close to the railway station, from where we walked. We saw a construction on the wall that claimed to have used all the bones in a human body, and another one where a chandelier is made of bones.

And more recently, our travels took us to Goa in western India. In the Basilica of Bom Jesus is the remains St. Francis Xavier.

Seen above. Another reader:

Reading the post on the relics of saints, I was reminded of the Bible referencing others who rose from the dead along with Jesus.

Matthew 27:50-53
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. (NIV)

I wonder what happened to those dudes.