The Sacramental Key to the Coffers of Grace
Many, upon hearing about sacramentals such as blessed salt, blessed oil, and blessed candles, wonder what the purpose is for these when we already have Confession and the Holy Eucharist. If the Holy Eucharist is Our Lord Himself, the “furnace of charity,” of what necessity is blessed oil and blessed salt and holy water, all of which, in addition to other uses, may also be consumed by the faithful?
The purpose of these sacramentals is to sanctify every aspect of our lives and impart special graces that will strengthen and advance the spiritual liberation which the Holy Spirit began in us at Baptism.
Meandering through this pilgrimage, we often get stuck in the mire of the valley of death, where serpents and lions prowl, seeking to sting and to devour our souls.
It is the lot of all men to be stung, at times, by the evils and temptations of this world. These stings and wounds set us limping along on our journey to eternity. The race of salvation cannot be finished well by one who is not equipped for the expedition, or by the one who fatally falls along the way.
Wouldn’t it be great if the Lord would bestow upon man abundant sacred remedies to strengthen him, defend him, protect him, and direct him? It would be. For those who do not yet know, Our Lord has already granted these through the authority of His Church. They are of varying orders of power and effect, the chief being the Holy Eucharist itself, while all the lesser ones, the sacramentals, like holy water and blessed crucifixes, are established to point and lead us toward that most excellent and Divine Sacrament.
What must we do?
Seek His priests who can bestow upon you, from the coffers of grace entrusted by Christ to His Church, healing oils, candles with supernatural flames, water which extinguishes the fires of Hell, and salt which drives away the devil’s legions.
NB: the following descriptions utilize the literal wording of the blessings from the Roman Ritual.
The priests of Jesus Christ can give you lights which cause the princes of darkness to depart in trembling from every place where they reside, fleeing in fear, along with all their legions, never more to disturb or molest those who serve Him.
In the process of making holy water, and distinct and separate from it, the priests of Jesus Christ also bless and hallow salt, to be used in like manner as did the great prophet Elisha (2 Kings 2:21). This salt is a means of health for those who believe and a medicine for body and soul. All that it touches is purified of uncleanness and the influence of the diabolical, whose malice and cunning are thwarted and scattered by its presence.
These same ministers of the Most High God can bestow upon you oil, blessed and fortified by the power of His grace, with the promise of deliverance from suffering and infirmity, and the renewal of health in mind and body. Further, this blessed oil is promised to deliver the one who uses it from all the wiles of the enemy, dispelling and driving afar the adversary’s power, the devil’s legions, and all Satan’s attacks and machinations. It will be a means of averting from man any kind of adversity, that he may never again suffer the sting of the ancient serpent.
Even the very homes of Christians can be elevated by the grace of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of the Church. The blessing, which the ministers of Christ can bestow, calls down from the Lord heavenly dew in good measure, sustaining health and the virtues of chastity, self-conquest, humility, goodness, mildness, obedience to His commandments, and thanksgiving to God in the hearts of those who dwell therein. Through this blessing, which remains always in the home and on those who live therein, angels of light are commissioned to preside and stand watch, giving comfort and encouragement to the faithful who live within its walls.
We must remember that the Eucharist is the “Sacrament of Sacraments” and the entire orientation of the Christian Faith. Christians seek union with God, and the Holy Eucharist is the source of that union while we remain away from our Heavenly homeland.
The Holy Eucharist, though, is not given to those who have not been made worthy, who have not been washed in the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb. It is only then, when our souls are set in God’s will and hold the gift of sanctifying grace, that we may approach the Altar and receive Our Lord’s Body and Blood.
To worthily and fruitfully receive Him, we must be properly and deeply disposed to enter into that state of communion with God. Every means must be adopted to purify our souls and purge them of the dross of sin and selfish desires.
A life of prayer, in particular the Rosary, which purifies our mind and calls down from Heaven abundant graces, will steadily align us more and more with God’s will. But Our Lord also gave us these additional tools, called sacramentals, which it would be wise to utilize in the pursuit of perfection.
Knowing now that these exist, who would not want to receive them? God is faithful to His word. If He promises to give you health, dispel demons, guide you in all virtue, and commission angels to guard you, He will do it. Then, further liberated from the evils and weaknesses of this fallen world, we will more easily fly up to Our Lord in prayer and in praise of His infinite love and goodness. Our Eucharistic communions, in this more lofty state of purity and liberation, will then merit for us a much more powerful share in the divine goodness.
Learn more about the beauty and power of sacramentals, particularly how effective they are in spiritual warfare, in the bestselling book, Slaying Dragons: What Exorcists See & What We Should Know.