Grounded Bibles and Other Holy Things

15 Dec

I am curious as to what your thoughts are on this topic that popped up ever so briefly this morning.

A companion of mine in formation went to put her Bible on the ground after getting up from the chair to go get something she need before our shared meditation  (keep in mind there are no tables near).  As she went to put it down, she was told that she should not do that as it is a lack of respect for the Bible and the Word of God. 

What do you think of this?  I am coming at it form a Catholic background.  If it makes a difference, and it may or may not, it is good to know what background your stance is from.  Also, if you have thoughts on any other things in relation, I would love to hear thoughts!


Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Inner Reflection


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7 responses to “Grounded Bibles and Other Holy Things

  1. tcdprayers

    December 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    TO be honest, I feel the sign of a well loved Bible is a worn-out one. Yes I take care of my Bible and don’t abuse it but if there are no tables; i would either put it on my chair or the floor. I have done both many times. I have never been told don’t.

    My personal opinion is respect the bible but it is only a symbol of the TRUTH!; not an idol.

    As you know, I am Catholic.

  2. Ash

    December 16, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    The sign of a well loved Bible is being worn out, I agree. How it gets worn out of course, could show if it was respectful or not. The best point you make is that it is a symbol of the truth, not something we should hold as idol. The comparison was made of the Bible to the Sacred Vessels that hold Jesus during the Eucharist. I find a difference in those and that they are not comparable. The Eucharist is actually Jesus there. While the Bible is the word of God, it is the paper that it was written down on, not the literal voice talking to us, if that makes sense?

    I agree the Bible is a sacred symbol, but to the extreme of not being on the ground, the place where feet walk, is maybe too much for me.

    What about other things, like the Rosary and such?

  3. Fr. Larry

    December 17, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I remember a Jewish colleague being upset when I took my breviary into the bathroom and placed it on the sink. My Catholic mother would always kiss a religious object that fell on the floor because she wanted to show the Lord how sorry she was that it fell on the floor. As a Catholic priest, I think it is a sin of love and devotion not to put the Bible on the floor. If we are fed with the Word of God, would we be comfortable with putting our food on the floor? Why if your friend got up from her chair, did she not place the Bible on her chair? Showing respect for sacred articles will lead to a deeper love and respect or God.

  4. Josh Tandy

    December 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm


    Absolutely. There is danger in elevating any object as holier than the thing it reflects. It is easy to swing in extremes of idol worship and not showing respect.

    As with many things it is a matter of the heart.

  5. Ash

    December 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Fr Larry, using the food on the floor analogy is actually not a good one for me because I would actually do that. Either way, I understand your point. I have had my bible and breviary on the floor before, but never in an intention of ill-harm. I put it down with respect. It is all about where I am located. I am also a floor person, especially on retreats. Again, I do get the greater respect aspect of taking care of those things.

    On the flip side, I like what you said Josh. What we do is a matter of the heart and looking at the intention behind it. Some things are Sacraments and must be treated with higher respect. Some things are sacraments and they lead us to the something greater. They should be treated with respect, but remember they are not always the holy thing itself.

    I hope I am not contradicting myself, though that shows the mixed feelings on this.

    • Fr. Larry

      January 1, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      I re-read my post. I hope that you realized that I should have typed “sign” rather than “sin.” Rather then use a “s” in the word sacrament, the better word would be referring to it as a “sacramental”

  6. Ash

    January 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I have always considered the Bible and other holy things to be a sacramental. Where I tend to get frustrated can be when people confuse sacramentals with Sacraments and think the reverence shown them is the same. While both should be shown reverence, they are not the same.

    Is there really a correct answer to this? Could it depend on the person what is right and wrong? Does one person’s view warrant them to impose it on others?


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