The Church teaches that relics are instruments of divine grace, and thus sources of healings and conversions. While devotion to relics may seem strange to non-Catholics, it is in fact a thoroughly biblical practice.
The Church reveres the bodies of saints as members of Christ’s Body and temples of the Holy Spirit (సెయింట్ పాల్ యొక్క చూడండి కొరింథీయులకు మొదటి లెటర్ అధ్యాయము 6:15 మరియు 19), and it views relics as proof that God does not forsake our physical nature, but redeems it “from its bondage to decay” (తన చూడండి రోమీయులకు లెటర్, 8:21).
The veneration of relics, అంతేకాక, points to the bodily resurrection promised to the followers of Christ (చూడండి, మళ్ళీ, the Letter to the Romans, 8:21).
This is especially true of the Incorruptibles: those rare instances, inexplicable to science, in which the body of a Saint has resisted decay.1
The Church also teaches that God’s grace may be received through the body of a holy man or woman because it has been consecrated to God, and there is a strong biblical precedent for this. ఉదాహరణకు, the Israelites carry the bones of Joseph with them through the wilderness (చూడండి ఎక్సోడస్ 13:19), and his bones were later buried in sacred ground at Shechem (చూడండి జాషువా 24:32). లో కింగ్స్ సెకండ్ బుక్, a dead man is resurrected when his body comes into contact with the bones of the Prophet Elisha (13:21), and in the New Testament, the followers of Saint John the Baptist come for his body after he is put to death by Herod (చూడండి మాథ్యూ 14:12).
People are healed by touching the fringe of Jesus’ garment (మాథ్యూ 9:20-22, et al.), by Saint Peter’s shadow (ది ఉపదేశకుల చట్టాలు 5:15), and cloths that have been pressed to the body of Saint Paul (చట్టాలు, మళ్ళీ, 19:11-12).
From the historical record, we learn that around the year 156 the Christians in Smyrna gathered up the charred bones of their martyred Bishop, Polycarp, who had been a disciple of the Apostle John. They wrote that they considered the Saint’s bones to be “more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold;” and reserved them in a special place for veneration (సెయింట్ మార్టైర్డోమ్ బలిదానం 18:2-3). This practice has been maintained by the faithful of all generations.
Others often have difficulty with the veneration of relics because of their own view of Creation. From their perspective, the thought of God using material things to convey His grace is utterly appalling. కాథలిక్కు, అయితే, in the likeness of the Lord Jesus, its Founder, is an incarnational religion, i.e, God as man: fully-god, fully-human in every way but sin.
Acknowledging man was created with a body as well as a soul, the Church does not denigrate the physical world, but raises it up to God for renewal (పాల్ యొక్క చూడండి కొరింథీయులకు మొదటి లెటర్, 6:19-20).
This is especially true of the Sacraments, which are visible signs that convey grace.
Other instances of material things used in Scripture as channels of grace include:
- నీటి: చూడండి ఎక్సోడస్ 30:17, ది Book of Numbers 8:6; జాన్ 3:5, et al.;
- flesh: చూడండి ఆదికాండము 4:4; ఎక్సోడస్ 12:8; జాన్ 6:51-58;
- రక్త: చూడండి ఎక్సోడస్ 12:22 & 24:6; ది Book of Leviticus 14:4; మాథ్యూ 26:28; జాన్ 6:53-56, et al.;
- bread and wine: జెనెసిస్ చూడండి 14:18; ఎక్సోడస్ 12:15 & 20; మాథ్యూ 26:26, et al.;
- చమురు: చూడండి మార్క్ 6:13;
- మట్టి: చూడండి జాన్ 9:6.
- Jesus taught that God “is not God of the dead, కానీ జీవన " (ల్యూక్ 23:43). కాబట్టి, the souls of those who have died in friendship with God are not “asleep” in the grave, but rule with Him in heaven. చనిపోయిన ఉండటం సాధారణం బైబిల్ సూచన "నిద్రలోకి" (చూడండి మాథ్యూ 9:24) is simply a way of expressing the transience of death and has to do specifically with the body of the deceased, కాదు ఆత్మ (చూడండి మాథ్యూ 27:52). The body remains on earth for a time while the soul enters into eternity. Catholics believe that at the Last Judgment, the body will be resurrected and reunited with the soul. ↩