The other day a fellow blogger, Angela Messenger
, posted a quote from a Peter Kreeft's -Heaven; The Heart's Deepest Longing
"Anything - anything - can be an idol. Religion can be an idol. Religion is not God but the worship of God; idolizing religion means worshipping worship....Every divine attribute, separated from the divine person, becomes an idol."
She wonders, "I Think I Am I a Catholic Snob
?" The most interesting thing about the post is how the comments so quickly started focusing on different parishes kneeling or not kneeling during the consecration of the Eucharist. That may seem trivial to some, but consider some of the debates we have had in the Methoblogosphere the last few months - Are we following tradition and conformity or is what we are doing scriptural?
The post is important to me because it delves into a complex, and for some, often overlooked, issue in the church: idolatry. To summarize Peter Kreeft's statement: ANYTHING within our faith, no matter how trivial it may seem, can ultimately become an idol. Sometimes our concerns about making sure that the liturgy is done in a certain format, or, from the Catholic perspective, kneeling even when the parish as a whole has decided not to pull us away from what the liturgy is all about: worshipping God. Is it a concern about not giving Christ His due respect, or is it our own need to continue the tradition to a point that it becomes less about glorifying God and more about edifying our own needs to show "I am a better (insert denominational title here) than you?"
As you go through the week, and start this New Year, think about the things in your life that you may not necessarily looked at as an idol. The one thing that Christ did do was not let His conformity to His religion take away from, and become the center of, His ministry. We should all look to the reason and method for sharing our faith. Is it the Glory of God, spreading of the Kingdom, bringing souls to Christ? Or is it to have the most trafficked blog, the wittiest comments, and the most thought provoking content? I hope that we all are trying to further the kingdom, but I think we all struggle with finding that balance.