On a Stolen Heart, Idolatry and Roman Catholicism’s Omission of the Second Commandment

I was struck by these amusing newspaper headlines recently… “Somewhere in Ireland a Burglar has the Heart of a Saint.” The heart in question was reported to have belonged to Laurence O’Toole, “patron saint of Dublin” who was canonized in 1225 by Pope Honorius 111. Laurence O’Toole’s preserved heart had been displayed in Christ Church Cathedral since the 13th Century and it appeared that whoever had stolen it had no interest in financial gain since they had ignored other artefacts made of gold in the vicinity. The cathedral’s director of operations described the recent theft as “completely bizarre.” Why, indeed, should anyone want the ancient remains of another human being?

My mind travelled back a few years to the time when the ‘relics of St. Theresa’ had been brought around Ireland and somehow I felt that I knew a possible answer to that question. I believe that many people have a desire to possess something that they superstitiously believe may bring them ‘good luck’ – yes, even if they have been stolen! While giving out tracts of a former priest’s testimony at the viewing of these ‘relics of St. Theresa,’ I was awed by the large crowds of local people who had eagerly been queuing for some time to see the relics.

Wikipedia’s definition of a relic is as follows: “In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions. With regard to veneration, I learn that… “Roman Catholicism practices ‘the veneration of relics,’ which is often shown by bowing or making the sign of the cross before a saint’s icon, relic or statue.”

Surely the holding of any part of a person’s remains for the purpose of veneration is tantamount to idolatry? This brings us to the matter of Roman Catholicism’s desecration of the Second Commandment…

This second commandment is as follows: “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, 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 of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20v4-6)

Few Roman Catholics are aware of the fact that this commandment has been omitted from their catechism, while the tenth commandment has been split into two in order to make up the ten…

(9) “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

(10) “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.”

As we read God’s Word in both the Old and New Testaments we are left in no doubt that He hates idolatry. To ignore such a large portion of scripture, one that commands that we shun idolatry, is a very serious matter indeed.

In Revelation 22v19 we discover the gravity of tampering with God’s Word… “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Every one of God’s Ten Commandments are as valid today as they were when they were given thousands of years ago and my prayer is that dear souls for whom Jesus shed His precious blood would have their eyes opened to the great sin of idolatry, amongst others that are condoned by Roman Catholicism.


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