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On The Road To Perfection
Episode 58: Why Do Catholics Use Incense?

Incense has been an important part of Judaeo-christian culture since Moses. The book of  Revelation gives an even better reason than “Because that’s what we’ve always done.” The physical image of our prayers rising to heaven reminds us that during mass we are as close to heaven as we can possibly be until our death. While God does not need incense to hear our prayers, we do in order to stay focused. When we smell something different, we stop and think what it means. An ill wind can mean we need to watch for dog-doo. Smelling barbecue can mean that food is almost ready or there’s a party down the street. In the same way, when we smell incense, it means something theologically important is happening!  God, in his infinite wisdom, knows we get distracted. By giving us physical cues, he helps us pay attention.

Read a short article on Incense from

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