I am saddened by Paul Zerzan’s comments on the statue of Santa Marian Kamalen. We do not greet or respect the statue as if it were a living creature.
This is not what Catholics do when we pray before a statue. Catholics worship with all their person and all their senses. A statue, or any other religious art object, is intended to bring the soul deeper into prayer by helping the senses to remember the mystery it represents.
Statues and other pieces of religious art became a way for the Church to teach the Bible. A person could walk into a monastery or church and learn more about Jesus Christ just by looking at the religious art and the story the art told.
It is right to warn people of the sin of idolatry when they commit it. But to call Catholics idolaters because they have images of Christ and saints is based on misunderstanding or ignorance.
Common sense tells us that since God has revealed Himself in various images, most notably in the incarnate Jesus Christ, it is not wrong for us to use images of these forms to deepen our knowledge and love of God. This is why God revealed Himself in these visible forms, and this is why statues and images are made of Him.
Joe C. Nangauta is a resident of Las Vegas.
This article originally appeared on Pacific Daily News: Reader: Religious Art Draws the Soul Deeper Into Prayer