Philip Neri's prayer life is what kept him so joyful. His entire life became a prayer. He only ate once a day and, even then, it was only bread and water. Though he had a bed, he usually opted to sleep on the floor, without a pillow. He had few possessions, endured great spiritual attacks, and daily, during his intense prayers that lasted hours, it was not uncommon for him to experience ecstasies and visions.
Deep in the heart of Paris, there is a Catholic Church that you could walk right past, if you weren't paying attention. It's on a cobblestoned road lined with shops and apartments with classic french windows that you half expect the characters of Beauty and the Beast to pop out of, yelling, 'Bonjour!' and 'I need six eggs!' It was only at the tip of a local that my friends and I ventured down ru de SÌÄ®ÕÌâå¬vres and into the Chapel of the Priests of the Congregation of the Mission. We were told that it was the burial place of St. Vincent de Paul and not to be missed.
It's kind of fun to imagine what Jesus was like as a young boy.
In St. Joseph, then, we're given a glimpse into the heart of God the Father. It would be completely illogical to think, after all the trouble of the incarnation, that he would fail to choose a man who reflected his divine image of paternal love with the highest possible measure of human faithfulness.
Catholics do not pray to statues.
That would be idolatry and therefore, a violation of the First Commandment. If a person prays to a statue out of superstition, believes that the statue has special powers or is even God – that is idolatry.
However, this is not what Catholics do when they pray in front of a statue. Catholics worship with their whole person and all of the senses. A statue, or any other piece of religious art, is intended to draw the soul deeper into prayer by helping the senses to recall the mystery that it represents.