Holy Water

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“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.” St. Teresa of Avila

 

When we read this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, we should be reminded of the importance of holy water. We Catholics dip our fingers in holy water and make the Sign of the Cross when entering a church in order to recall our baptism and our baptismal promises.

 

We must remember that holy water, through a priest, is blessed by God in virtue of Christ's baptism. The Catholic Church possesses enormous power in being able to impart sacramental grace, and holy water as a sacramental receives its power through the prayer and authority of the Church.

 

The rite of blessing said over water by a priest to make it holy contains prayers of exorcism. It can banish demons, heal the sick, and send unwarranted grace upon us. The fact of the matter is that holy water is a powerful sacramental and we ought to use it daily.

 

If you would like a bottle of Holy Water for your home, please reach out to St. Anthony or St. Mary Parish offices to make an appointment with Fr. Linn or Monsignor to bless your bottle of water.

Here is a list of eight ways to use holy water in your everyday life:

  1. Bless yourself - Use holy water daily. Keeping a holy water font in the home is a great idea so that you, your family, and guests can be blessed in the comings and goings from your home. Keep the font right by the front door to ensure you never leave home without it.

  2. Bless your house - If you have not taken the time to bless your house with holy water, then no time is better than the present. Your home is the domestic Church and is in need of spiritual protection. You can sprinkle holy water in your home yourself, or have a priest formally bless your home using holy water as part of the house blessing ceremony.
     

  3. Bless your family - Use holy water to pray and make the Sign of the Cross over your spouse and children before they go to sleep at night. Bonding the family to each other and to God in this way is a great family tradition to adopt. Keep a holy water bottle by the bedside for this purpose.
     

  4. Bless your workspace - If you work outside of the home, sprinkling your work space with holy water is a great idea, not only for spiritual protection on the work front, but also to sanctify your daily work for the glory of God.
     

  5. Bless your car - The car is probably the most dangerous place where you spend a significant amount of time each day. Never underestimate the power of holy water applied to your vehicle to keep you safe from harm's way, when used in faith and trust in God. In fact, you can also have a priest bless your car with holy water.
     

  6. Bless your food - It was a common practice in the Middle Ages for people to sprinkle their vegetable gardens with holy water. In times when people were very dependent on crops for their livelihood, lack of rain or early frosts could be devastating. Using holy water to bless and sanctify the plants that would be used for the family's sustenance showed their reliance on God's grace.
     

  7. Bless the sick - If you know of any sick friends or family, then blessing them with holy water probably counts as a corporeal and a spiritual work of mercy. If you visit the sick in a hospital or nursing home, bless their living space with holy water and leave a holy water bottle with them as a comfort in their time of need.
     

  8. Bless your pets - Many parishes on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi have a rite of blessing for pets. Pets are loved companions for individuals and families and often provide a great service to them, and even these can be blessed with holy water because all creation has the end of giving glory to God. This also applies to livestock and farm animals that provide labor, livelihood, and nourishment to humans.

 

Here is a simple prayer to say when using holy water:

“By this holy water and by Your Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord. Amen.”

 

There is no specific prayer to pray when using holy water, other than making the Sign of the Cross: "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." You can also pray an Our Father or even the St. Michael Prayer when using holy water. Keep in mind that holy water has already been blessed by the prayers of the priest.

 

Resources from: The Catholic Company