God loves us so much and desires us to have such a personal
relationship with Him that He always meets us where we are. Since He created
people to be made with both spirit and matter (body and soul) He uses material
things to convey spiritual and physical healings, blessings, and even His very
own life or sanctifying grace to His people (Jn 9:1-12, Mk 7:31-37, Lk 8:44-48,
James 5:14-17). These blessings are manifested in the seven sacraments:
Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist,
Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick.
Beyond these sacraments God guided His Church to give us even
more ways to get close to Him in everyday life by instituting sacramentals.
Sacramentals are objects and sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the sacraments
but do not directly convey the same sanctifying grace.
Catholic sacramentals offer spiritual blessings and effects that can
help people get closer to God and His saints in heaven. This occurs by the
intercession of the Church and by the pious disposition of the one using them
(CCC 1667). When a priest blesses an object he does so by virtue of his
ordination with the entire intercession of the Church upon it and consecrates
it to God. It is then a sacramental. If
the sacramental is used in a prayerful way God will use this to draw others to
Him and bless them.
Sacramentals come in different forms. Many are easy to obtain
and can be used privately to help one live a more devout life and sanctify
their entire day. Priestly blessings are sacramentals, as are blessed objects
like rosaries, medals and jewelry, wall pictures or statues of saints, scapulars, and wall crucifixes. When used in faith with
prayer, a sacramental like Holy Water can drive away evil spirits and remit
venial sins. One can purchase Holy Water bottles and have them filled for free at any Catholic church.
Catholic Supply sells many items that can be blessed by a
priest and used as sacramentals at home. Statues by Heaven's Majesty are
currently on sale from as little as $9.95. These beautiful, full-color statues are the perfect size
for private devotion in homes as sacramentals, whether you wish to increase
your devotion to God through meditation on the Divine Mercy of Jesus, set a
small shrine to ask your favorite saint like St. Anthony (pray to him for lost items) or
St. Jude (pray to him for hopeless causes), or St. Joseph (pray for Fathers and help selling your home), or St. Peregrine (pray for those inflicted with cancer) or have an image
of Mary, the Mother of God as a sign of your total consecration to her
Posted by: Chris Baer M.T.S.
Catholic Supply of St. Louis