Explain the Images of the Word
Below are brief descriptions of the images that are used to make up The Word is Catholic. They are given so you have a place to start that conversation with a non-Catholic or a lapsed Catholic. Always be prepared, you never know when the Lord may need you to be an Evangelist!
“Do whatever he tells you.” These are the words of the Blessed Virgin Mother to the servants at the wedding feast at Cana; they are also her words to the Church. Mary is the Mother of God, the Immaculate Conception, and the Queen of Heaven. In all things, she points us to her Son, whom she carried into the world. She is the New Eve, whose obedience is the model for us all.
The word Rosary comes from Latin and means "Crown of Roses." A set of rosary beads may appear to be superstition or jewelry, but they are neither. The rosary is a scriptural meditative prayer, focused upon the great “mysteries” in the life of Our Lord. The rosary is nearing a thousand years old; some trace it back to St. Dominic in 1214. The recitation of the rosary is a powerful spiritual weapon, allowing the one praying it to meditate upon their prayer intention and the scriptural mysteries.
Catholics often wear crucifixes, a cross with the body of Christ suffering on it. It is a constant reminder of what Christ did for us and how much He loves us. The Catechism of The Catholic Church explains, “The Church, following the apostles, teaches that Christ died for all men without exception: There is not, never has been, and never will be a single human being for whom Christ did not suffer.” The Crucifix reminds us of this great truth. It is a sign of hope.
A cathedral is the home church of a diocese, containing the “seat” of the bishop, who is the "shepherd" of the diocese. It comes from the Latin word “cathedra” which means “chair.” Bishops are successors of the Apostles, and the cathedral is the heart of the Church in the diocese.
Marriage, or the sacrament of Matrimony, is where the love of Christ should flourish. A husband and wife make a covenant with one another, promising to make a complete gift of self to each other, until death. In this way, they are striving to be Christ to one another, and to model the Gospel to their children and the world at large. Catholics hold firm to the biblical principle that marriage is between a man and woman.
As the shepherd of his people, the bishop carries a staff called a crosier during Mass or other official ceremonies. The top is curved like a hook, symbolizing the bishop’s obligation to draw back those “sheep” who stray from the faith. The rod represents his obligation to stand as a firm support for the faithful in his flock.
A monstrance is a beautiful gold vessel used to hold and display the Holy Eucharist. Catholics believe that a miracle occurs in every Mass: the bread and wine brought up to the altar becomes the true Body and Blood of Jesus. We take Christ at His word when he says repeatedly in John 6: “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you shall have no life within you.” Sometimes the consecrated host is placed in a monstrance so that the faithful can come before Him and pray. Catholics call this Eucharistic Adoration.
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles at Pentecost, filling them with gifts to boldly proclaim Christ and His Church to the world. The Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church in her teaching office, the Magisterium, protecting it from error, thus ensuring the transmission of the truths of the Faith to all generations. The sacrament of Confirmation seals the gifts of the Holy Spirit within the recipient.