Choose a topic from Part 2B:

94. Idolatry

1. Idolatry is that form of superstition which sets up falsegods, and pays divine honor to what is not divine. St. Augustine(De Doct. Christ, ii) says: "Anything invented by manfor making and worshiping idols, or for giving divine worship to acreature, or any part of a creature ... is superstitious." Thesuperstition here indicated is that of idolatry.

2. It is certainly a sin to worship idols, outwardly orinwardly. It is right to give honor to superiors, but not to regardthem as gods. Idolatry is utterly inordinate; it is flatly contraryto reason; it conflicts with religion; it is a thing evil initself. Hence, idolatry is never to be tolerated. We mustreject the error of those heretics who say that, in times ofpersecution, it suffices to hold the true religion in the heart,and, for the sake of freedom from trouble, to take part in theoutward worship of idols.

3. It is a sin, and in itself the gravest kind of sin, topractice idolatry. For it is directly against God, like hatred ofGod which we have called the worst sin in its kind. Idolatry wouldupset the order of the universe by ascribing universal control andabsolute power to a creature. Some sins may be worse than idolatryby reason of the contempt for God and his law that exists in thesinner's heart; but no sin is worse in itself.

4. Men cause idolatry by their excessive affections,inordinate loyalties, too high an esteem for artistic objects, andalso by ignorance. Scripture says (Wisd. 14:14): "By thevanity of men, they [idols] came into the world." A furthercause of idolatry is found in the solicitation of demons who offerthemselves to be adored.

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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"Obedience is the true holocaust which we sacrifice to God on the altar of our hearts."
St Philip Neri

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