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Dear Catholic.com visitor: Summer is here, and you may be thinking about a well-deserved vacation, family get-togethers, BBQs with neighborhood friends. More than likely, making a donation to Catholic Answers is not on your radar right now. But this is exactly the time we most need your help. The “summer slowdown” in donations is upon us, but the work of spreading the gospel and explaining and defending the Faith never takes a break. Your gift today will change lives and save souls for Christ this summer! The reward is eternal. Thank you and God bless.

Why does the Church allow images when the Ten Commandments forbids them?

Question:

The Ten Commandments forbid the use of images but the Catholic Church allows it. Why?

Answer:

The Jews were forbidden to have images under the Old Covenant (with a few exceptions). The reason for this was that the temptation to worship the image was strong for them. But, as C. S. Lewis says, it was the destiny of that people to be turned from the thing that resembled God to God himself. When God the Son becomes incarnate and becomes the express image of the invisible God (Heb 1:3), our relationship to images changes. The prohibition of images is discovered to be provisional until the true incarnate Image appears. Images are now permissible since God himself has become a kind of image in Christ. Thus our images of God are now windows into his Incarnation rather than fertility images, figments of our imagination, or idols. We do not worship images. We see through them to the Incarnate God and his saints, who are also images of Christ.

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