Charlotte was posting about Holy Water Founts in homes and it got me thinking about ours.
We have 3, but only one is in constant use. My husband babysits it dutifully and it is rarely without fresh, blessed, Holy Water. When our gallon jug gets low we invite our dear priest over again for dinner and he blesses new water and salt for our home.
We do this because Holy Water is a sacramental of the Catholic Church.
At Saints.SQPN.com it says….
“Holy water – A sacramental blessed by a priest to invoke God‘s blessing on those who use it.
There are four kinds
* ordinary holy water blessed by the priest for the sprinkling of the people before Mass, for use at the door of the church, for the blessing of persons and things in the church and at home, sometimes used with salt, as a symbol of wisdom and of preservation from corruption
* Baptismal water, in which the oil of catechumens and the holy chrism are mingled, used only in the administration of Baptism
* water of consecration, or Gregorian water
* Easter water
There is an indulgence for using it. Water is the natural element for cleansing; and symbolically it denotes interior purification. It has been used in many religions. The laws of Moses enjoined the sprinkling of the people, the sacrifices, etc. In the Christian Church its use goes back probably to the 2nd century. Holy water is usually blessed just before the principal Mass on Sunday, but may be blessed at any other time. The priest reads several prayers, including an exorcism of the salt and the water, and puts the salt into the water in the form of a threefold cross, in the name of the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. He then asks God‘s blessing on it.”
Holy Water is a reminder of our Baptism. Using it is a good habit as it remits venial sins when we bless ourselves with it and so we instruct our children to always do so before Mass to worthily receive Our Lord in Holy Communion.
It is a protection, too.
St. Teresa of Avila attested to the power of this holy water, and in her autobiography writes:
“From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue.”
So, our main font is right by the front door of our center hall colonial which means it is right by the staircase.
My heart warms when, without mention, my children “visit” it nightly before heading up for bed. Long ago, for the older ones and still for the younger ones we tell them of how it can help their fears.
Sometimes, I will visit it during the school day when I need to refocus, asking God for forgiveness. We turn to it when we’re going out the door and want to take a blessing out into the world. This next one is by the garage door.
And off our master bedroom, in the prayer room approaching our kneeler is the 3rd and final font. I think we’d feel lost without them in our home.
A Spiritual Treasure
THE DEVIL HATES IT
Holy Water is a powerful spiritual armor in times of temptations. St. Teresa of Avila, whose temptations were as terrible as anyone’s, has left us these wise words of counsel:
“I have found by experience that there is nothing from which the devils fly more quickly than from Holy Water. They also fly from the Cross, but they return almost immediately. Certainly, the power of Holy Water must be great; for my part, my soul feels particular comfort in taking it, and very generally a refreshment and interior delight which I cannot express.”
Long before St. Teresa of Avila, Holy Water was a sacramental in the Catholic Church. Water, which as a symbol of purification held a high place in biblical times, has retained its rich symbolism.
According to the Apostolic Constitutions, a document dating back well over 15 centuries, the use of Holy Water is attributed to a recommendation issued by St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.
The lives of the saints are packed with instances of heavenly protection and blessing secured through the reverent use of Holy Water.
KNEW IT FOR A GOOD THING
The saints knew, as we know by faith, that Holy Water is sanctified by the blessing of the Church, that it benefits the faithful by obtaining actual grace and the remission of temporal punishment; that it is a most effective aid in all conflicts with the powers of Hell.
A calm and reverent tracing of the Sign of the Cross with Holy Water upon oneself will often prove most helpful in subduing a temptation.
IN THE HOME
Take an empty bottle to the parish church, fill it with Holy Water and bring it back home for the spiritual and temporal protection of the family. It should not be tucked away in a remote corner but be made available to all.
Holy Water is a sacramental that helps us to be sorry for our sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, the Holy Church strongly urges its use upon Her children; especially when dangers threaten such as fire, storms, sickness and other calamities. Every home should always have a supply of Holy Water in it.
Holy Water has its great power and efficacy from the prayers of the Church which its Divine Founder always accepts with readiness.
THESE ARE SOME OF THE PETITIONS THE PRIEST MAKES TO GOD
WHEN HE BLESSES WATER
May this, your creature, become an agent of divine grace in the service of your mysteries, to drive away evil spirits and dispel sickness, so that everything in the homes and other places where your faithful gather that are sprinkled with this water may be freed of all uncleanness and delivered from every harm (Let no breath of infection, no disease bearing air remain in these places). May the wiles of the lurking enemy prove of no avail. Let whatever might menace the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by the sprinkling of this water so that the health obtained by calling on your Holy Name may be made secure against all attack. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
DISPOSES US TO BE SORRY FOR OUR SIN
Because Holy Water is one of the Church’s sacramentals, it disposes us to be sorry for our sin. Keep your soul beautifully pure in God’ sight by making the Sign of the Cross reverently while saying:
“By this Holy Water and by Thy Precious Blood wash away all my sins, O Lord.”
DISPELS THE DEVIL
The devil hates Holy Water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with this blessed water.
In case after case of possession, both exorcist and onlookers are in complete agreement on this particular point: it is impossible to sprinkle Holy Water on any man or woman in a state of possession without deadly effect on the possessing spirit. “You are burning me, you are burning me!” he cries. There is thus anactive power in the Holy Water which cancels out hidden demonic activities.
DO YOUR DEAR ONES LIVE AT A DISTANCE?
Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to bless your loved ones and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of your heart, hasten to your Holy Water font, and give your dear ones the benefit of the Church’s prayers.
THE HOLY SOULS LONG FOR IT
Only in Purgatory can one understand ardently the poor souls longing for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host of intercessors for ourselves, let us try to realize now some of their yearnings, and never forget them at the Holy Water font.
When sprinkling Holy Water for your loved ones, your friends, etc., do not forget the priests, especially those of your own parish, who have served the sacraments and holy masses. In gratitude, you should give them sprinkling of Holy Water several times daily and have Masses offered up for the repose of their souls.
Sprinkle a few drops of Holy Water and pray fervently: “O God, in Your Mercy multiply these drops into as many drops of Holy Water as there are souls in Purgatory, and allow them not to fear the pains of Purgatory, as long as the moisture of Holy Water is present.”
WHAT SOME PARENTS DO
Some parents make it a regular routine to sprinkle their sleeping children with Holy Water. Others install Holy Water fonts in all the bedrooms and encourage all the members of the family to bless themselves, morning and night and during the day.
Whenever the faithful make the Sign of the Cross devoutly with Holy Water and pray: “ In the Name of the Father, etc.” they gain a partial indulgence.