If you're just dropping by, this is Catholicism Explained, the part of the blog where Lucy Agnes comes out and explains....never mind, that Veggie Tales reference isn't working.
Our previous topics have included:
Veneration basically means "honor." Google defines it as "great respect; reverence." Catholics venerate saints because, as those who are closest to God, they deserve a great deal of respect, admiration, and love.
As with the honor we give Mary, the honor we give the saints is very different from the worship we give God. In fact, it isn't very different from the honor we give lots of other people.
The same could go for any noble or admirable figure in history.
In the Bible, great veneration is shown to the Patriarchs, Prophets, and other heroes of the Bible. The Jews revered these holy men and women, and this was right and fitting.
Veneration, then, is a natural human thing, allowed by and pleasing to God. There's nothing wrong with showing honor to honorable people, nor is there anything wrong with praising them in word and art and looking to them for inspiration.
If we show honor to great statesmen, military heroes, inventors, and authors, then why shouldn't we show honor to holy people? After all, doing God's will is a much more important and admirable thing than merely doing something splendid.
Catholics honor saints in much the same way that we honor anyone else: by praising them, whether through artwork or words, and by looking to them as role models.
(There's no better role model than someone who lived and died for God!)
Of course, Catholics' veneration of saints is different from our veneration of secular heroes in some rather significant ways. We don't pray to George Washington, for example.
That topic is worth discussing, but it'll need it's own post.
That's why next week's Catholicism Explained will be all about praying to saints!
Sorry once again for my tardiness, dear readers. (I'm disgusted with myself sometimes, really I am.) So, what do you think? Questions? Comments? Concerns? Suggestions? Let us chatter away in the comments!
And Happy All Saints' Day to my Catholic friends! (Or should I say All Saints' Night at this point?) Who are some of your favorite saints? Feel free to tell us a little bit about them! I'm particularly fond of St. Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Germain, and St. Augustine myself. :)