Why are icons needed?

“The destruction of images [has] left behind a void, the wretchedness of which we are experiencing in a truly acute way. [It has become] a symptom of the crisis of man’s very existence . . . a blindness of the spirit” (Benedict XVI, The spirit of the liturgy). While “in the period of iconoclasm the Church struggled for the icon, in our time it is the icon that struggles for the Church” (L. Ouspensky, Theology of the icon) because the icon is embodied prayer.