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Non-Catholics often fall back on the "idolatry" charge when discussing the Mother of God with Catholics. But their criticisms are based on a faulty understanding of where Mary stands in relation to Jesus, the sole Redeemer of humanity. In accepting Mary’s role as mediatrix of all graces, we allow the Mother to draw us nearer to her Son.
With the enticing music of his pipe, the Pied Piper of legend lured young people away from their homes and families into the side of a mountain, never to be seen again. Parents today know too well that popular culture is rife with temptations—often disguised in seemingly innocuous books and movies. One noted entry in the fantasy-fiction genre, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, is about to make a big splash as a Christmastime film. Here are a few points to ponder before lining up for a ticket.
We often hear that it’s not worth getting upset about fiction. But fiction fails if it doesn’t convince us to accept the world presented at face value, a fact Philip Pullman knows well. Like his literary forebears C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, Pullman understands too that fantasy has an irresistible allure for the young. That makes it fertile ground for planting truth, as well as deceit.
You gotta believe. But in what? And where does belief come from? It’s trendy to call people of religious faith irrational, weak-minded, and even dangerous—and several current best-sellers do just that. To answer these charges, we must first answer the question of belief itself.
"We do not worship, we do not adore, for fear that we should bow down to the creature rather than to the Creator, but we venerate the relics of the martyrs in order the better to adore Him whose martyrs they are."
~ St. Jerome ("Ad Riparium", i, P.L., XXII, 907) writing on proper Catholic veneration of relics.