Why do Catholic churches have statues and icons, when most protestant churches avoid them?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  06/25/2023  |  Why do we do that?

In the Ten Commandments, it says “You shall not make for yourself an idol” (Ex 20:2) and the battle against idolatry was one of the central issues in Hebrew history. In Jewish theology, God is beyond all human comprehension and can not and should not be confined or limited by worshiping an idol, in the way that the Egyptians worshiped a golden calf, or the Philistines or Babylonians worshiped images of clay. Therefore, the use of images is strictly forbidden in the Jewish faith, and likewise in the Muslim faith as well.


Why does priest where different colored vestments?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  06/18/2023  |  Why do we do that?

The use of liturgical colors to mark various occasions and seasons is almost as old as the Church itself. Most cultures find ways to mark different seasons and periods of life, and Christianity was no different. Based on artwork from the early centuries, we know that a wide variety of colors of vestments were used for various ceremonies – with a particular emphasis on white as a symbol of the resurrection and of the new life through baptism. For the first millennium of the Church, however, the use of liturgical color was based on local custom, rather than a standardized practice. It often had to do with what materials and what dyes were available in a given region.


Why does the priest break a piece of the consecrated host and add it to the chalice?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  06/11/2023  |  Why do we do that?

The Eucharistic Prayer ends with the Fraction Rite. At this time, many things happen all at once, and since we are singing the “Lamb of God,” it may be difficult to see all that is going on. The Fraction Rite is named for the breaking of the host into many parts so that it can be distributed to the people.


Why do we do “Catholic calisthenics?” That is, why do we stand, sit, or kneel for various parts of the Mass?

by Fr. George Teodoro, S.J.  |  06/04/2023  |  Why do we do that?

From ancient times, it has been recognized that our posture and affect the way we think and pray. Hindu mystics use the lotus position to enhance their meditations, while faithful Muslims prostrate themselves on prayer mats to signify their submission to God. In the Catholic tradition, we too use postures to both symbolize our relationship to God as well as reinforce our prayers as individuals and as a congregation.