A common misconception is that Catholics worship Mary, or that we worship the saints. Rather, Catholics honor and venerate Mary and the saints, and worship God alone. But you may be wondering: what’s the difference? What does it mean to worship, and how is it different than the honor we give to the saints?
Fr. Keith Romke, a priest in the Diocese of Rockford, stopped by The Inner Life® to discuss praise and worship, and what worship itself really looks like.
“It’s such a gift to be able to worship God,” he said. “What it truly is at its core is adoration, and it’s humbly recognizing God’s greatness. It’s exalting Him, showing gratitude, placing our hope and our life in God’s hands, and handing ourselves over to Him.”
Fr. Romke pointed out that the starting point of worship is recognizing the greatness and the glory of God.
He said explained that worship is about, “Knowing who He is, knowing who we are, and being grateful and putting ourselves out there for Him in recognition of who He is and the relationship that we have with Him.”
We see this worship and this desire to give God glory in the lives of the saints. In fact, one of the greatest hymns of praise and worship came from the mouth of Mary in her Magnificat.
“She begins by saying, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,'” Fr. Romke noted. “Mary doesn’t say, ‘I’m great! Look at me!’ She is great because of what God has given her, but she says, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.’ She puts all that glory toward God.”
The prayers of the saints, their writings, and their lives show that their holiness is not for their own reputation or legacy, but to point others toward God. If we follow their example, we too will be lead to worship God and lead others to Him.
“We worship God and we give Him all that glory,” Fr. Romke said. “But the beautiful thing is that we can see that glory reflected in the saints. God has given them greatness, just like God gives us greatness and beautiful things. And hopefully, people are able to see that in us and be inspired by us.”
What are your gifts and talents? What brings you glory in the eyes of the world? Make an act of worship today by thanking God for His gifts, and giving Him the glory for all He has given you.
Father Romke offered an example, saying, “True worship is humbly saying, ‘Yes Lord, you’re incredible. Whatever greatness I have is only because of you. So Lord I praise you, I thank you, and I glorify your name for who you are and the fact that you love me.'”
Listen to the full conversation below and tune-in to The Inner Life® weekdays at 11:00 a.m. Central on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.