Symphony of Grace

“Now for something completely different.”  – Monty Python

Sing for me, O broken heart, that symphony of grace.

Sweet melodies of memories of their presence and their face.

Longings unfulfilled, the lyrics I want to share,

Echo loud vibrations that they’re no longer there.

Death has a way of changing things in ways quite unseen.

It changes ordinary memories into a concert fit for a queen.

It twists the loving past into discordant cords of sorrow

Yet we cling to them even more than we look for the tomorrow.

This is the song I want to sing, the refrain I want to share,

This was the opus of loved ones gone, that whisper in the air.

Death cannot take this song from me that I have left to cherish,

I will sing my song of love for them until the day I perish.

Someday the one who conquered sin, will return to conquer death.

He wrote the song of love when he gave his own life’s breath.

So, sing for me, O broken heart, that symphony of grace

Until the song is finally sung and I have finished the race.

 

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The Dance of Penance.

“Conversion is never once and for all but is a process, an interior journey through the whole of life.”  – Pope Benedict XVI

 

I was thanking a friend at church for praying for my son, Collin, to find a job.  Our prayers were recently rewarded.  She answered, “Oh, praying is easy, it’s the penance that is hard.”  I had not thought about it like that, but she was right.  It costs us nothing to come before the throne of Christ begging except the humbling of our hearts knowing that there is nothing we can do on our own and faith that our prayers are heard and our sins forgiven.

“Repent your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of God is near.”   (Matthew 4:17)

But penance, that is another story.  I have had so many say to me, that penance is unnecessary since God forgives freely.  This is true.  His forgiveness is free.  It flows from a heart so in love with us, He desperately wants above all to take our sins and cleanse of our impurities that we may draw close to our Beloved.  But penance is not paying God back for our forgiveness.  Penance is the humble heart before an all deserving God, a heart that knows sin is incompatible with the glory of God and that no one can stand before the throne of God with sin on their soul.  Penance is the sincere desire to give up the sin and avoid all that lures us away from the grace of salvation, born in a heart broken and contrite.  The desire for forgiveness is empty without the desire to sin no more.  It would be like a husband who continually cheats on his wife and offers little more than empty apologies and broken promises.   There is a difference between being sorry that we are caught in a sin and sorry because of the deep fracturing of our relationship to God because of it.  The more we open our hearts to God, the more we desire to do penance if for no other reason than to draw closer to the forgiving and loving heart of Christ.

“Therefore, produce fruit consistent with repentance.” (Luke 3:8)  

“I preached the need to repent and turn to God and to do works giving evidence to repentance.” (Acts 26:20)

Lent is a beautiful season for introspection and deep soul searching.  It is a time to truly reflect that we were made of dust and to dust we will return.  It is a chance to ponder the limit to our days on earth and God’s purpose for our creation.  Only by surrendering the hollow activities that fill our time, can we truly give our undivided attention to our Beloved.  It is the graceful dance of love, where when we waltz too far away our Beloved, He comes to us with open arms to take us back.  Penance is our reentering the dance.

 “and man has no advantage over the beast; but all is vanity.  Both go back to the same place; both were made from dust and to the dust they both return.”  (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)

“Lord, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am.”  (Psalm 39:5)

Christ did not say, to “Follow me,” for us to sit out the dance.  To follow is to move with him.  It is not a ‘one time, stand up and say a prayer, then sit down or go elsewhere’ deal.  We are truly called to follow his footsteps.  To not join in the dance is our terrible loss.   St. Theresa of Avila was once allowed to see and feel the place in hell she would have occupied if not for the salvation of Christ.  As bad as it looked to her, it was not as horrible as the hopeless anguish it caused her soul.  Yet, she counted the vision as mercy saying,

“How could I possibly take any pleasure in those things which led me directly to so dreadful a place? Blessed forever be Thou, O my God! and, oh, how manifest is it that Thou didst love me much more than I did love Thee! How often, O Lord, didst Thou save me from that fearful prison! and how I used to get back to it contrary to Thy will.” *

  “Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us.  For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation.“  (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

Like the proverbial frog in the pot, our spiral out of grace is comprised of the compromises to sin we make each day, till we reach that point of hopeless anguish.   But all is not lost, as God’s mercies are new each day. He comes knocking at our door, looking to see,  if  you would like to dance?

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him and he with me.”  (Revelations 3:20)

  • “The life of St. Teresa of Jesus of the order of Our Lady of Carmel”, 1916
    by Saint Teresa of Avila, Reverend Benedict Zimmerman O. C. D.
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What About the Sex?

 “Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.” – St. Thomas Moore

 

I once worked with a young man, John, who at one point wanted to be a priest and after two years in the Seminary, he left because it was not his calling.  He then married a protestant woman and left the Catholic faith.  As I was coming in to work one morning on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, he was talking to another of my co-workers and questioning him if he knew what the feast of the Immaculate Conception was all about.  John knew full well the answer to the question he was asking and it can be a trick question for those who do not take their Catholic faith seriously since many assume the Holy day is about Jesus.  It is not.  The feast is about Mary, the mother of God, who Catholics believe was conceived without the stain of original sin, thereby making her worthy to carry within her the son of God.  I managed to intervene just in case my other co-worker did not know the correct answer.  I can be bad like that. That lead John to start a conversation on how could Mary be immaculate and remain a virgin if she had other children?  The gospels he stated contained references to Jesus’s brothers.  The answer to that is; the Catholic faith holds that Mary remained a virgin throughout her life and ‘brothers’ in the Aramaic language refers to any close male relative, such as cousins or uncles or close family friends much in the same way the black community uses the word, “bro”.   This language does not have a separate word for blood related brothers alone.  John was upset with my answers and left saying, “If that was the case, (Mary remained a virgin), then poor Joseph (i.e. Joseph would not be able to have sex with his wife).”   He did not leave me the opportunity to ask, “What are you willing to give up to love, hold and raise the son of the living God in your arms and in your home, as your own son?”

“’Truly I tell you,’ Jesus replied, ‘no one who has left home or bothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and gospel will fail to receive now in return a hundred times as many houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and property—along with persecution. And in the world to come that person will have eternal life.’”  (Mark 10:29-30)

   Too often, I have heard people say, “If there is no sex in heaven, then why would I want to go there?”  It is a question bore out of ignorance of heaven and a question I can only answer with a story I made up.

   There once was a man who was raised by monkeys, (no, not Tarzan).  He lived in the jungle and ate all the food the monkeys showed him to eat.   There were fruits and bugs and worms that supplied his daily nourishment.  One day, a rich man from the other side of the world was visiting the jungle and found him.  He took pity on the man raised by monkeys and brought him to his home across the sea.  He had a banquet filled with all the finest foods and drinks prepared by the most renown chiefs of the world and placed in a beautiful banquet hall.  When the rich man opened the door to the feast, the poor monkey man said, “Where are the bugs and worms to eat?”.  Then sadly he left the feast saying, “If there are no bugs and worms here, then I do not want to be here as well.”   The moral of the story is this: If you settle for only the joys you know here on earth then you will be settling for joys that could never equal the joy of heaven.  Even the joy of sex is worms compared to the ecstasy of being in the presence of the living God.   Ignorance of the truth of heaven keeps people bound to the sin of earth.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those how love him.”  (1 Corinthians 2:9)

     Many saints were allowed to experience this ecstasy here on earth as shown by the phenomena of levitation.  It was said that St. Joseph of Cupertino levitated so often that for thirty-five years, his superiors would not allow him to partake in any community procession or exercise least he disturb the event.  He would go into ecstasy and be carried off for some distances. Over 70 of his levitations were recorded making him the patron saint of airline passengers.  It was told that after one priest said to him, “Father Joseph, how beautiful God has made Heaven,” the saint flew up and rested on top of an olive tree branch and remained kneeling there for over a half hour.  On occasion the levitations could last six to seven hours.  St. Joseph is not alone in this mystery as the list of saints known to levitate is quite long.

  “and I know that this man was caught up into paradise-whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know, God knows, was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.”  (2 Corinthians 12:3-4)

    Along with the demand that heaven include sex, is the notion that it is unnatural for men to be priests and never marry.  Our sex obsessed culture is so blind to the idea that men and women could give up the act of sex in order to serve God. I have actually heard people say that pedophilia would not happen if priests were allowed to marry which is so completely ignorant of the nature of pedophilia.  If marriage prevented pedophilia, then why are so many children attacked by married peoples or people in sexual relationships?  It is not about unmet sexual desire but about the unnatural desire to have sex with children and it a terrible sickness in and out of any type of sexual relationship.  Priests make the decision to abstain from sexual relationships in order to serve a greater love, the love of God.  That is what they are willing to sacrifice to hold and love the son of the living God.

“Some are born eunuchs, some have been made eunuchs by others, and some choose to not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Let anyone accept this who can.”  (Matthew 19:12)

    Sex is a wonderful gift from God.  God invented it and designed it for us to understand a small taste of heaven.  It is meant to give us an understanding of life in heaven. It is a glimpse of what God feels when He created us and the love He feels for us. It was to bound a man and woman together in love and to bring forth life in consecrated love.  In marriage, it is holy.  It was meant to be wonderful.  It was never meant to be the highest level of ecstasy we can ever experience.  

 “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth; for your love is better than wine.”  (Song of Songs 1:2)

 John, don’t settle for worms.

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They Cry for Us.

“What an irony that a society confronted with plastic bags filled with the remains of aborted babies should be more concerned about the problem of recycling the plastic”.  

~ Winifred Egan; Supporter of Right to Life ~

     A long number of years ago at a family gathering, my brother and his wife told a strange tale of being awakened at night by the sound of a crying baby.  My brother thought it must be a stray cat outside and would go looking around the house to no avail.  Nothing could be found that was making the noise.  It seemed to go on for weeks.  Only later we found out that my ex-sister-in-law had secretly had an abortion.  She could not have my brother’s baby get in her way of having an affair with a married man she worked with. Sadly, it would end two marriages and forever hurt the living children involved.  Some might say the phantom crying had nothing to do with the abortion. Perhaps the psychological effects of the abortion resulted in them hearing imaginary sounds, though this could not explain how my brother would hear the cries when he knew nothing of the abortion.  Others may dismiss the sounds altogether as simply some animal wailing in the night that no one saw.

“Listen to me, O coastlands, and give attention, you people from afar.  The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name.”  (Isaiah 49:1-2).

    This is not an isolated occurrence. It seems that life cries to life as many post-abortive men and women complain of the same experience.   Those who support abortion do not recognize the babies as human beings.  If they will not acknowledge the beating heart of human life within the mother’s womb, it must be nearly impossible for them to admit that this innocent human being also has a spirit that continues after death.  The carnage and mass grave sites are hidden within garbage dumps or ground up in garbage disposals.  Some body parts are sold for medical testing for profit.  Most believe they are buried and hidden forever like some small child who drops a coin and cannot find it so it must no longer exist.  But they do exist and their spirits live on.

  “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”   (Luke 1:41)

      In the book, “A Mother’s Ordeal”, Chi An Yang, would explain how she would go from being a pregnant women forced into abortion by the Chinese One Child policy and then later trained to preform forced abortions on other women in the same situation.  Dr. Wan, a kind and elderly obstetrician approached her and said, “When one day you are sent to the netherworld, you will have lots of little hands clawing at you.”   Like Chi An, he was forced to do the will of the Chinese Government and kill any babies for which the mothers did not have a legal quota.   They both knew that life does not end at death and both knew they would face the babies they had killed.  The Chinese did not stop at babies in the womb.  If the baby was born before they could kill him or her, then they stood by with lethal injections to plunge into the top of baby’s head.  Once we became able to kill the baby within the mother’s womb without necessarily killing the mother, it became open season.  It is estimated at nearly two billion souls have been aborted worldwide making it the largest holocaust in human history.   That is a lot of little crying spirits.

  “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?  Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it and will he not repay man according to his work?”          (Proverbs 24:11-12)

   Most everyone has heard a story of when after someone dies, a loved one will sense their spiritual presence.  Then why is it so hard to believe that life goes on.   We are connected on a spiritual level as much as we are a physical level.  God the Father, creator of life knows everyone one who is murdered.  He is not blind to their distress even in the womb nor is He deaf to their cries.  How long do we think He will allow us to continue in this destructive path before He intervenes? 

 “What have you done?  Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.”   (Genesis 4:10)

   Babies in heaven do not feel cold or hunger.  They have no reason to cry because they are sick or afraid.  They cry out to God for their untimely deaths.  They cry because they know we have failed.  They cry because they know we will suffer for our foolish decisions.  They cry for us.

 “They shouted to the Lord and said, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge the people who belong to this world and avenge our blood for what they have done to us?”  (Revelation 6:10)

  

Mosher, Stephen W.   “A Mother’s Ordeal, One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy.”   1993. Harper-Collins Publishers, New York, NY.  – As told by Chi An Yang.

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We Thrive Under Persecution.

“A faith that has not been tested cannot be trusted.”  John C Maxwell

   Not long after 9/11, I remember a sermon given by our pastor, Msgr. Gregory Mikesch, in which he said something to the effect, that just as improbably as it may have seemed to the early Christians when they were being lead into the Colosseum to be martyred, that one day Christianity would overtake Rome, it seems to us that one day, Muslim countries in the Middle East would also be come Christian nations.  Yet in spite or even because of the terrible persecution, Rome became the seat of Christianity.   What evil tried to conquer and wipe out, instead conquered evil, not through violence and war but through the silent, spirit-filled, faithful witness of the martyrs to faith in Jesus Christ.  So, when I saw a book at the Christian Book Store called, “Too Many To Jail, The Story of Iran’s New Christians” by Mark Bradley*, I was intrigued.  Could it be that the improbable is a reality?  And there it was in black and white, that by all counts there are at the very least 100,000 Christians in Iran with the possibility the number being closer to one million making the Christian Church in Iran one of the fastest growing in the world.   Gathering in homes to avoid persecution they are desperately seeking Jesus through the word of God.  Risking their families, jobs, homes and their very life’s they gather together in the very heart of a Muslim nation to praise Jesus as their Lord.  They also suffer greatly to follow Christ.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4) 

  Even more repressive is the regime of North Korea.  The North Korean Government  will say there are no Christians in their country, but they exist in spite of persecutions we only pray we never have to even think about.  They risk the loss of everything dear in life to praise Jesus.  Priests, Bishops and church leaders languish in prisons in Turkey, China, and Cuba to name a few.  ISIS has decimated the Christian populations of Iraq and Syria, burning Christians alive, crucifying children in front of their mothers and raping women and children.   Their sacrifice is not in vain.  It is bearing fruit in ways we could never guess.  The blood of the martyrs cries out to the throne of God.  God’s life and spirit is flowing through their veins and giving testimony to the love of God for his children.

“Your faith is more precious than gold, and by passing the test, it gives praise, glory, and honor to God. This will happen when Jesus Christ appears again.” (1 Peter 1:7)

    We take our faith for granted.  Our very nation was founded by poor masses of immigrants looking for a place they could pray without fear.  Yet, we go to church when it pleases us and think nothing of what it cost to our forefathers to give us our right to worship.  In so many nations of this world, just praying to Jesus will get you killed while we barely have the conviction to stand up for our faith lest the world laugh at us.  Too many times, our flesh wants us to stay in bed on Sunday mornings rather than get up and go to worship God in our faith filled community churches.  I have heard it said, “I can worship God all by myself in my own home.”   I wonder if this is the view God had in mind for his Kingdom.  I pretty sure there is no parable for the Kingdom of God being like the man who gets up, makes some coffee and reads a little scripture before he goes and plays golf.  

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  (Matthew 26:41)

   Perhaps that is the gift of persecution, is to be brought to an insatiable hunger for Christ, a desire so deep that nothing in this world can keep us from it and the internal and external struggle to achieve oneness with God becomes an indescribable obsession unstoppable no matter the cost.  It is almost as if the more we want that communion with Christ, the harder the forces of evil come against us. And yet, the stories of those being called to Christ in the heart of the Muslim world are filled with graces and spiritual experiences as they are purified in the fire of persecution making them spiritually rich.   Christianity thrives and explodes under persecution.

“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”  (Romans 5:3-5)

My PSR students would come to class as if being dragged there and I truly believe some of them really were dragged there in many cases.  I told them how lucky they were to be able to come to class without fear. Like typical American thirteen year old boys and girls, they grimaced.   They never realized how close they came to not being allowed to use the local public high school rooms to meet for their religious education. In their sheltered uneducated minds, religion was being forced on them.  They could not comprehend the wonderful gift of freedom of religion they were enjoying.  Why do we really have to wait until it is gone to appreciate what we have? 

   “More over the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” (Romans 5:20)

 

 

*Monarch Books, Oxford, UK, & Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 2014.

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Machiavelli, You Are Wrong.

Everything worthwhile in life is won through surmounting the associated negative experience.  Any attempt to escape the negative, to avoid it or quash it or silence it, only backfires.  The avoidance of suffering is a form of suffering.  The avoidance of struggle is a struggle.  The denial of failure is a failure.  Hiding what is shameful is itself a form of shame.”  – Mark Mason.   “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.”

 

    In the summer of 1939, at the address, Number 4, Tiergartenstrasse,  Hitler’s solution for building his master race began.  Nicknamed after the address, the  T4 program was described as “Mercy Killing” and Hitler’s program did not start with the killing of Jews or Gypsies.  It started with the handicapped.  Within twenty months, the T4 organizations killed 70,000 to 90,000 disabled people. They found the use of lethal injection easier to use on babies and young children, but far too slow for use on adults.  The adults were harder to deal with.  Germans, known for their efficiency, pioneered the use of ‘shower’ rooms perfect for killing the disabled and later perfected in killing Jews at Auschwitz and other concentration camps.    We cringe today thinking about it.  But maybe not.

  Aug. of 2017, Iceland boasted that they had eradicated Downs Syndrome.  How did they do it?  Did they find a cure?  Did they develop a treatment?   Did they work on the Human Genome and discover how to turn off the functions of the extra chromosome 23?   Sadly no.  They started their own T4 program.  Seek out the defective babies before they are born and kill them.  Problem solved. And they are not alone.  In the Danish Government boasts of a 98% kill rate. United States is between 80 to 90%.  In our efforts to create a society without suffering, we have started with the easiest to kill.   We can test and find these babies before they become a problem to society.  How very convenient. 

   “In as much as you have done it to one of the least of my brothers or sisters, that you have done unto me.”   (Matthew 25:40)

   If people delude themselves into thinking that this will only apply to Downs Syndrome babies, they are sadly mistaken.  It is already done again children with other physical defects such as cleft-lips and other physical malformations.  Sex-selection in China and India has caused projections of 30 to 40 million more men than women of marriageable age in both countries by 2020. [1] Already, there is a horrible increase of young female children being used in sex-trafficking in China, and it is directly related to the shortage of available women and placed squarely at the feet of the one-child policy. [2][3]

“These six things the Lord hates:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, “  (Proverbs 6:16-17)

 

  I did not know when I was expecting Collin, that he had Downs Syndrome.  While at dinner with one of Chuck’s clients who was also expecting, before Collin was born, we both agreed that even if our babies had problems, it would not matter.  We would not abort.  It was a shock when Collin was born with Downs, but looking back now, I think, “why was I so scared?”   He is a joy.  Not perfect, but full of love.  Not brilliant, but gentle and loving.  I do not wish that all families would have a Downs Syndrome child, but I would hope they would know and be loved by such a one as this.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

    Any nation that thinks killing the handicapped is making its nation stronger is so wrong.  They are killing their spirit.  Any nation that thinks this so-called “Mercy Killing” will make them more compassionate is ignorant.   You will never become more compassionate without someone to show compassion to in the greatest and deepest position, that of being a parent to a special needs child.   Mercy killing is just another phrase for murder.   Any nation that thinks this act will make them a smarter more intelligent nation, has just proved how wrong they can be by showing their stupidity in action. 

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”  (Proverbs 3:5)

    In our attempt to prevent suffering, we create greater suffering.  In our attempt to avoid giving, we lose what little we have.  In our attempts to create good out of evil, we create greater evil.   In a bid to avoid grief, we never really love.  

    For you see, Machiavelli, the end can never justify the means because the means will never create good, if they are evil.  It never worked for Hitler and his T4 program.  It will not work for Iceland or America.

“Give and it will be given to you:  good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be given to you.  For with the same measure you measure, it will be measured back to you.”  (Luke 6:38)

 

References.

1.       Hsu, Jeremy. “There are more Boys Than Girls in China and India”.  Scientific American. Aug. 2008.

2.       Fetterly, Madeline.  “Sex Trafficking and China’s One Child Policy.”   The Diplomat.  Nov. 2014.

3.       Morse, Anne Roback.  “Sex Trafficking in China.”  Population Research Institute.  June 2013.

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HOLY WATER!!

“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. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation.” – St. Teresa of Avila

 

 

     As a good Catholic, I have a small supply of holy water around my home for use of blessing my family, home and vehicles.  But once in a while, I take a plastic bottle – preferably sixteen ounces or more, fill it up with holy water at church and bring it home to thoroughly bless and pray over every door, window and corner, inside and out as well as the property line of my house.  A couple of years ago, it paid off very dramatically.  A terrible thunder storm hit our neighborhood.  Everyone who lived around us was busily having things fixed at their house.  They concurred the worse of the lightning strikes hit the yard of the house directly in front of our house.  They lost their irrigation system and several other electronic devices.  The house to the left and right of us lost garage door openers and copy machines.  Almost everyone on the block lost their cable.  Up and down the street were stories of loss, TVs, garage door openers, computers, for one thing or another.  But at our house, nothing was lost, not even the cable was down.  The wings of the angels protected our home that day through the blessing of Holy Water.

  I do not believe in co-incidences.  Everything happens for a reason.  And as a Catholic, I love the wonderful blessing of holy water.  Water is blessed in the name of Jesus Christ and becomes holy by the virtue of Christ’s Baptism. Sprinkling the holy water, it is as if you are spreading the blood of Christ all around you and your home and family.   The history of holy water, it is true, can only be reliably traced to the fifth and sixth centuries where a blessing of water and oil at Mass is found in a Syriac composition called the “testamentum Domini”.   Less reliable sources give history to the second century so that it is reasonable to assume the use of water for purification and expiation purposes required under Jewish Laws would have in some form been incorporated into the early Christian churches.  And though there are blessing for water, oil and salt, I prefer the blessed water over the other two even though they contain the same amount of healing and protecting powers as the water.  Holy water does not leave a mess to clean up after.  

   There are numerous examples of the symbolic use of water in purification leading to healing of body and soul in the bible.

 The healing of Naaman from leprosy by washing in the river Jordan.   “So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”  (2 Kings 5:14).

 The healing waters of the Pool at Bethesda.  “For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the water stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. (John 5:4) 

The baptism of John for the forgiveness of sins. “I baptize with water, but there stands one among you whom you do not know.  It is He will, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worth to loose.”   (John 1:30)

  Jesus disciples baptizing more than John.  “Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but his disciples.  (John 4:2) 

 Jesus as the source of the living water.  “If you knew the gift of God, and who it was who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”  (John 4:10)

As they pierced his side, “Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’s side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out.” (John 19:34)

        It is well known by those who do exorcisms that demonic forces hate anything blessed including the blessed water and oil.   Father Walter Halloran, as a seminarian, assisted the priests, Father Raymond Bishop and Father William Bowdern, who presided over the famous exorcism that occurred in St. Louis in the late 1940’s.  He stated that at one point a bottle of holy water they had set on a dresser was thrown across the room during one of the sessions.   

    The healing waters of Lourdes, still flow and there are still healing miracle happening there.  See www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/approved_apparitions/lourdes .

     When Catholics bless themselves with holy water, they are renewing their baptismal promises.   As we make the sign of the cross, saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen”. By this, we declare our rejection of Satan and all his empty works and promises.  We declare our belief in God the Father and creator, His only Son Jesus, our Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit.  We believe in one Holy Catholic church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.

   It is said that you can never have too much grace or blessings in your life.  So spread the holy water and renew your baptismal promises with this final piece of the baptismal promise:

God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever.

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