Statues of Christ …
The Catholic world is filled with such statues, some of them small, some of them mighty and monumental indeed.
For example, overlooking Rio de Janeiro, we find Christ the Redeemer. Here is a closer view than the one above.The statue is roughly two thirds the size of the Statue of Liberty.
And sometimes I compare this figure of Christ towering over Rio with that other world renowned monumental statue, off the shores of Manhattan. Liberty: it is a noble ideal at the heart of Christianity. For Christianity is all to do with the Mystery of Love and there is no love, where there is no freedom.
Still, I ponder this statue. It is actually a Roman Goddess: Libertas – the goddess of freedom.
And it was a gift from the French, during the Third French Republic – that brutal anti-Catholic Republic.
Even the name of the statue is significant here: : La Liberté éclairant le monde – Liberty Enlightening the World.
The names invokes the French Enlightenment, whose champions held the Church in contempt.
Liberty – Americans have pioneered liberty and rights in this world in ways that are important.
I should be grateful beyond measure that I have the right to practice my religion and there can be no doubt that historically the American people have played an important part in securing rights that were not always taken as granted!
Thus dear Reader, please do not read what I am about to say as Anti-American. I am an American myself …
But permit me to wonder aloud to you about those waters in the New York harbour.
It is inconceivable – is it not? – that a statue like this one in Bolivia could ever be erected in New York Harbour.
In any event, one is not likely to find in America the kind of statues that one finds throughout the Catholic world, not simply in Brazil or Bolivia, but in Spain, France, Mexico.Here from Mexico is another emphasising His Most Sacred Heart …
Catholics in the past erected these to orient their societies to Jesus Christ as the centre of all aspiration and all their hopes. King and centre of all hearts …
And countless other examples could be offered of statues to Our Lord – and Our Lady – throughout the Catholic world.
But truly, it is not simply in a far away past that people regarded Christ as their King. For as recently as the year 2006, the Polish people erected the most monumental statue of all to Christ the King – said to be the tallest statue of Christ in all the world …
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