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The Profession of Faith
Life in Christ
Pope John Paul II
is the reverence or homage offered a person because of his excellence.
We adore God because of His infinite uncreated excellence. Latria is the
supreme worship and adoration offered to God alone. We venerate Our Lady
and the saints because of the manifestation of God's excellence in them.
Hyperdulia is that special honour or veneration paid to the Blessed Virgin because of Her supreme dignity as the Mother of God and her consequent unique holiness. It is quite different from the adoration due to God alone for it recognises that Mary is a creature. But since She is a holier and nobler creature than all the angels and saints, the honour She deserves is greater than that paid them. This honour implies the loving reverence of a child for God's Mother and ours and confidence in Her intecessory power with Her Divine Son.
Dulia is that veneration paid to the saints, those whose lives on earth were holy and blessed. They too are recognised for their intecessory powers in Heaven.
No person or thing should take the place of God, or be honored in a manner due to God alone, for this is idolatry ; which God forbade. All worship not directed to God Himself must.be subordinate to Him
"Thou shalt not have strange gods before me. Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, nor of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, nor serve them: I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me: And shewing mercy unto thousands to them that love me, and keep my commandments." Ex. 20:3-5
shalt not make to thy self a graven thing, nor the likeness of any things,
that are in heaven above, or that are in the earth beneath, or that abide
in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore them, and thou shalt
not serve them. For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation,
to them that hate me,
adore that which you know not: we adore that which we know. For salvation
is of the Jews."
Our worship should be from the heart .
"Keep therefore and do the things which the Lord God hath commanded you: you shall not go aside neither to the right hand, nor to the left." Deut. 5:32; 6:5;
"Yet so that you observe attentively, and in work fulfil the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you: that you love the Lord your God, and walk in all his ways, and keep all his commandments, and cleave to him, and serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul." Josue 22:5;
"With all thy soul fear the Lord, and reverence his priests." Ecclus. 7:31;
"And the Lord said: Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips glorify me, but their heart is far from me, and they have feared me with the commandment and doctrines of men: Therefore behold I will proceed to cause an admiration in this people, by a great and wonderful miracle: for wisdom shall perish from their wise men, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid." Is. 29:13-14
When this inner sentiment is expressed in words and actIons, as vocal prayer, prostration, genuflection, the sign of the cross, etc;, it becomes exterior worship. This external manifestation of our love and praise is also demanded by God, for we are made up of body and soul, and must honour Him with our whole being.
"And it came to pass after many days, that Cain offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord. Abel also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord had respect to Abel, and to his offerings. But to Cain and his offerings he had no respect: and Cain was exceedingly angry, and his countenance fell." Gen. 4:3-5
"And Noe built an altar unto the Lord: and taking of all cattle and fowls that were clean, offered holocausts upon the altar." Gen. 8:20;
"And he sent young men of the children of Israel, and they offered holocausts, and sacrificed pacific victims of calves to the Lord." Ex. 24 :5;
"Thou shalt make also a candlestick of beaten work, of the finest gold, the shaft thereof, and the branches, the cups, and the bowls, and the lilies going forth from it." Ex. 25-31
"The entrails and feet being washed with water. And the priest shall burn them upon the altar for a holocaust, and a sweet savour to the Lord." Lev. 1-9)
Again, our social nature requires that we worship with our fellowmen. Our external acts of public worship conform to a ritual, centering around the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which has been developed by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
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