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Life in Christ

517

2132

The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the

first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor

rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever

venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.”

70

The

honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the

adoration due to God alone:

Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves,

considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect

as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement

toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends

toward that whose image it is.

71

IN BRIEF

2133

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

and with all your soul and with all your strength”

(

Deut

6:5).

2134

The first commandment summons man to believe in

God, to hope in him, and to love him above all else.

2135

“You shall worship the Lord your God” (

Mt

4:10).

Adoring God, praying to him, offering him the wor­

ship that belongs to him, fulfilling the promises and

vows made to him are acts of the virtue of religion

which fall under obedience to the first

commandment.

2136

The duty to offer God authentic worship concerns

man both as an individual and as a social being.

2137

“Men of the present day want to profess their religion

freely in private and in public” (

DH

15).

2138

Superstition is a departure from the worship that we

give to the true God. It is manifested in idolatry, as

well as in various forms of divination and magic.

2139

Tempting God in words or deeds, sacrilege, and sim­

ony are sins of irreligion forbidden by the first

commandment.

2140

Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism

is a sin against the first commandment.

70 St. Basil,

De Spiritu Sancto

18, 45: PG 32, 149C; Council of Nicaea II: DS

601; cf. Council of Trent: DS 1821-1825; Vatican Council II:

SC

126;

LG

67.

71 St. Thomas Aquinas,

STh

II-II, 81, 3

ad

3.