Image of God

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St Gregory of Nyssa said every image of God is an idol. We become worshippers of a false god unless we can let go of our ideas about God. This is the terrible embarrassment and the terrible curse really of religion, that it so easily and quickly ends up in idolatry – worshipping false gods, building the golden calf. Remember the story of the golden calf. The Hebrews were frightened because Moses hadn’t come back from the mountain and they were getting a bit restless, so that took off their jewellery and melted it down and made it into this golden calf. So we can take what is most precious to us, most valuable to us, and we turn it into this construct of our own imagination, and we worship that. And then we do what we like because it’s our god. So you can have an orgy around it if you like or you can condemn everybody else to doing something different or thinking about something different. If it’s your god then that allows you to justify basically anything you want to do or to think. That’s how we justify violence in the name of God. 

 Laurence Freeman OSB 


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