These little religious items can help protect your family
The use of sacramentals is one of the most misinterpreted practices of the Catholic Church. They are part of the life of the Church from the earliest times, but they are usually seen as a kind of superstition.
The reason is, to a large extent, the fact that many Catholics throughout the centuries have used the sacramentals in a superstitious way , since they had not learned how to use them properly. Instead of using them with faith, some Catholics used them as magical amulets rather than as instruments of grace.
Which is a pity, since the function of the sacramentals is to enrich our spiritual lives, not to undermine them. They have been instituted by the Church to bring us closer to a deeper relationship with Christ and are focused on sanctifying all areas of our lives. The sacramentals are extensions of the seven sacraments and bring the grace of God to everything we do.
A place where sacramentals are especially powerful is home. If used with a spirit of faith, sacramentals can protect us from spiritual damage or inspire us to live a holy life dedicated to God.
Next, they have three of those sacramentals that, if used properly, can offer a spiritual stimulus to the home, as well as keeping the spiritual enemies lurking in the shadows at bay.
The holy water has a double meaning: it reminds us of our baptism and it is also a symbol of spiritual purification.
It is said that holy water has great power against the devil, since the devil can not stand this “clean” water because he is impure for all eternity. It is a reminder of the water that flowed from the side of Christ , which is a symbol of baptism, and brings to mind the day of the defeat of the devil(the crucifixion of Christ).
It is an ancient custom to have ‘piles’ or ‘sources’ of holy water on the walls of a house. They are simple or elaborate chalices that contain holy water that can be used to bless oneself during the day. It is especially useful to arrange them next to the doors to leave the house and in the relatives’ bedrooms. In that way, we always remain fixed on Christ and we remind ourselves that we must remain pure. It also makes it easier for us to have the holy water at hand when it is necessary to repel any influence of the Evil One.
If possible, it is also good to have a small bowl of blessed salt at home. You should specifically ask your pastor to provide it to you and it is most likely that the priest is not familiar with it. It is a sacramental that is often neglected and it is not customary to use it in parishes.
However, it is a powerful weapon against evil, as can be seen in the following fragment of a blessing spoken by a priest in the Roman Ritual:
We beseech you, almighty God, that you bless (+) in your goodness this salt created by you. You sent the prophet Elisha into the sterile water to make it fertile. Grant us, Lord, that upon receiving the sprinkling of this water mixed with salt we will be free from the attacks of the enemy, and the presence of the Holy Spirit will always protect us. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Another very powerful sacramental is the one most commonly found in homes: the crucifix. The crucifix not only reminds us of God’s great love for us, but also has a powerful deterrent effect against spiritual enemies . The crucifix is the scourge of the existence of Satan and is the sign of everything he despises.
It is beneficial to have a crucifix in each room of the house (or apartment), so that you can meditate frequently on the great sacrifice of love of Jesus, besides having an image that reminds you to keep the center during the moments of temptation.
Here are two prayers of blessing of a crucifix in the Roman Ritualthat summarize all the reasons why we need crucifixes in our homes:
O Holy God, Almighty Father, eternal God, bless this cross so that it may be of help to save mankind. Allow it to be of support for the faith, a stimulus for good works, redemption of souls, consolation, protection and shield of the cruel darts of the enemy. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, bless this cross by which you snatched the world from the clutches of the enemy and by which you conquered through your suffering to sin, who rejoiced in the fall of the first man by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. [The priest sprinkles water bless on the cross]. Sanctify this cross in the name of the Father, (+) of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit (+) and that all kneel and pray before her in honor of the Lord to have health of body and soul. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.