This came up in another thread, so I need your collective Ortho-minds to help me understand the practice of praying to objects that are not people. I understand a holy object being venerated and honored. I understand and take no issue with certain objects being endowed with a special holy power, such as the Holy Cross on which Christ was crucified, the Chains of St. Peter, et cetera.
What I do not understand is why the objects are addressed as though they can hear and understand people. No matter how holy the Cross is, it cannot hear my requests for protection. Christ can, and he can use the Cross as a means to transfer that grace, but I just can not wrap my mind around this. It seems totally absurd to me.
The Orthodox criticize the Catholics for venerating certain parts of Christ's and the Theotokos' bodies, but somehow they think it appropriate to lavish praise upon objects? Sure, go ahead and write songs about the miracles that these mighty objects have been used to transmit. Kiss the Chains, bow to them out of reverence for what God has done through them. But to speak to the chains??? I just don't get it. Help me, the sinner!