Tag: Sacramentals

A Little Reminder on Why the Sacraments Are a Really Big Deal

A Little Reminder on Why the Sacraments Are a Really Big Deal

It is critically important that we remember the sacraments are not traditions. They are not little rituals we play out like the make-believe games of childhood. They have the power to bring heaven to earth, rip the veil between all things seen and unseen, and allow humanity and eternity to commingle in mysterious, yet palpable ways. Through the sacraments, heaven comes, not just to visit, but to live with us and in us. In the sacraments, we are graced.

My appreciation for how the Church upholds and protects the seven sacraments has been vividly reawakened as I watch my brother prepare for the priesthood. Living a sacramental life is the great gift and calling of every Catholic, and we sometimes forget just how powerful and healing that is.

Learning the history of how a particular sacrament developed is a useful way to reignite our respect for its practice. For example, the rite of ordination has developed over centuries, but from apostolic times, we believe the prayers of consecration combine with the laying on of hands to effect the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Here, when the bishop calls upon the Holy Spirit, an indelible spiritual mark impresses upon the soul of a man and he becomes typos tou Patros, the living image of God the Father. Here, he is graced for the duties of his ministry. Here, he becomes a priest forever.

During the ordinations I have attended in recent years, as I watch the ordinands stretched out on the floor, knowing that one day soon it will be my own brother lying there, prostrate and anointed, there is one simple thought which consumes me: “This is a really big deal.” Here’s some more news: all the sacraments are—they’re a really big deal. For each of us.

It is particularly important for us to teach children that sacraments are so much more than a ceremony to prepare for; they are God’s way of reaching down to us and offering us a lifelong gift—a gift of grace that gives us a glimpse of heaven and a taste of eternity

Do These 4 Things To Get The Devil Away From You

Do These 4 Things To Get The Devil Away From You

Do These 4 Things To Get The Devil Away From You

After an exorcism, how does a person keep the devil from coming back? In the Gospels we read a story that describes how a person who was exorcised was then visited by a whole host of demons, and sought to reenter in a more forceful way (cf. Matt. 12:43-45). The rite of exorcism only expels demons from a person; it does not keep them from coming back.

In order to ensure that the devil does not return, exorcists recommend four ways that will keep a person’s soul at peace and in God’s hands:

1.Frequent the Sacraments of Confession and Eucharist

The most common way a demon can enter into someone’s life is through a habitual state of mortal sin. The more we divorce ourselves from God through sin, the more susceptible we are to a demon’s attack. Even venial sin can chip away at our relationship with God and can expose us to the enemy’s advances.

Confession of sins, then, is the primary way we have to put an end to our life of sin and start out on a new path. It is no coincidence that the devil relentlessly tried to scare St. John Vianney away from hearing the confessions of hardened sinners.

Vianney knew a big sinner was coming to town if the devil harassed him the night before. Confession has such power and grace that the devil must flee from a person who frequents that sacrament.

Along with confession, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is even more powerful in driving away the influence of the devil. This makes perfect sense as the Holy Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ, and demons have absolutely zero power in front of God himself.

Especially when the Eucharist is received in a state of grace after confession, the devil simply has no place to go but back from whence they came. St. Thomas Aquinas confirmed this in his Summa Theologiae when he wrote, “[The Eucharist] repels all the assaults of demons. Hence Chrysostom says: ‘Like lions breathing forth fire, thus do we depart from that table, being made terrible to the devil.’”

2. Consistent Prayer Life

A person who frequents the sacrament of confession and the Eucharist must also abide by a consistent daily prayer life. The key word is consistent! This puts a person in a daily state of grace and relationship with God. A person who regularly converses with God should never be afraid of the devil.

Exorcists always suggest to possessed persons to abide by strong spiritual habits, such as frequent reading of Scripture as well as praying the rosary and other private prayers. Having a daily schedule of prayer is most beneficial and keeps the demons at bay.

3. Fasting

This advice comes straight from the Gospels, when Jesus said to his disciples, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Each of us must discern to what kind of fasting we are called to practice.

For us who live in the world and have many responsibilities (such as our families) we cannot fast so much as to neglect our own vocation. At the same time, if we are to keep the demons away, we must challenge ourselves to fast beyond giving up chocolate for Lent.

4. Sacramentals

Exorcists not only use sacramentals (the rite of exorcism is a sacramental) but advise possessed persons to frequently use sacramentals. They are a powerful weapon in the daily fight to keep the devil from ever coming back. Exorcists suggest such sacramentals as blessed salt and blessed water not only be kept at home but to be brought along wherever a person goes.

Even sacramentals such as the brown scapular have great power over demons. Venerable Francis Ypes recounted how one day his scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the devil howled, “Take off the habit that snatches so many souls from us!”

If you want to ward off any evil powers, take seriously these four methods. Not only will they keep the devil from having power over you, you will be on the pathway to becoming a saint.



4 Powerful Ways to Keep the Devil Away. It Works!!!

4 Powerful Ways to Keep the Devil Away. It Works!!!

Not only will they keep the devil from having power over you, you will be on the pathway to holiness

After an exorcism, how does a person keep the devil from coming back? In the Gospels, we read a story that describes how a person who was exorcised was then visited by a whole host of demons and sought to reenter in a more forceful way (cf. Matt. 12:43-45). The rite of exorcism only expels demons from a person; it does not keep them from coming back.

In order to ensure that the devil does not return, exorcists recommend four ways that will keep a person’s soul at peace and in God’s hands:

1. Frequent the Sacraments of Confession and Eucharist

Sacrament of Confession

The most common way a demon can enter into someone’s life is through a habitual state of mortal sin. The more we divorce ourselves from God through sin, the more susceptible we are to a demon’s attack. Even venial sin can chip away at our relationship with God and can expose us to the enemy’s advances.

Confession of sins, then, is the primary way we have to put an end to our life of sin and start out on a new path. It is no coincidence that the devil relentlessly tried to scare St. John Vianney away from hearing the confessions of hardened sinners. Vianney knew a big sinner was coming to town if the devil harassed him the night before. Confession has such power and grace that the devil must flee from a person who frequents that sacrament.

Along with confession, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is even more powerful in driving away the influence of the devil. This makes perfect sense as the Holy Eucharist is the real presence of Jesus Christ, and demons have absolutely zero power in front of God himself. Especially when the Eucharist is received in a state of grace after confession, the devil simply has no place to go but back from whence they came. St. Thomas Aquinas confirmed this in his Summa Theologiae when he wrote, “[The Eucharist] repels all the assaults of demons. Hence Chrysostom says: ‘Like lions breathing forth fire, thus do we depart from that table, being made terrible to the devil.’”

2. Consistent Prayer Life

Prayer

A person who frequents the sacrament of confession and the Eucharist must also abide by a consistent daily prayer life. The key word is consistent! This puts a person in a daily state of grace and relationship with God. A person who regularly converses with God should never be afraid of the devil. Exorcists always suggest to possessed persons to abide by strong spiritual habits, such as frequent reading of Scripture as well as praying the rosary and other private prayers. Having a daily schedule of prayer is most beneficial and keeps the demons at bay.

3. Fasting

Fasting

This advice comes straight from the Gospels, when Jesus said to his disciples, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:29). Each of us must discern to what kind of fasting we are called to practice. For us who live in the world and have many responsibilities (such as our families) we cannot fast so much as to neglect our own vocation. At the same time, if we are to keep the demons away, we must challenge ourselves to fast beyond giving up chocolate for Lent.

4. Sacramentals

Sacramentals

Exorcists not only use sacramentals (the rite of exorcism is a sacramental) but advise possessed persons to frequently use sacramentals. They are a powerful weapon in the daily fight to keep the devil from ever coming back. Exorcists suggest such sacramentals as blessed salt and blessed water not only be kept at home but to be brought along wherever a person goes. Even sacramentals such as the brown scapular have great power over demons. Venerable Francis Ypes recounted how one day his scapular fell off. As he replaced it, the devil howled, “Take off the habit that snatches so many souls from us!”

If you want to ward off any evil powers, take seriously these four methods. Not only will they keep the devil from having power over you, you will be on the pathway to becoming a saint.

Source: aletia.org



3 Powerful Sacramentals To Have In Your Home And Workplace

3 Powerful Sacramentals To Have In Your Home And Workplace

3 Powerful Sacramentals To Have In Your Home And Workplace

These small religious items pack a big spiritual punch that can protect your family.

The use of sacramentals is one of the most misunderstood practices in the Catholic Church. They have been part of the Church’s life from the very beginning, but are commonly viewed as some sort of superstition.

This is largely due to the fact that many Catholics over the centuries have used sacramentals in a superstitious way as they were not taught how to use them properly. Instead of using them with faith, some Catholics used them as magic charms rather than instruments of grace.

This is unfortunate, as sacramentals are meant to enrich our spiritual lives, not hinder them. They have been instituted by the Church to draw us into a deeper relationship with Christ and are focused on sanctifying every part of our lives. Sacramentals are extensions of the seven sacraments and bring the grace of God into everything that we do.

One place where sacramentals are especially powerful is in the home. If used in a spirit of faith, sacramentals can protect us from spiritual harm or inspire us to live a holy life dedicated to God.

Here are three such sacramentals that, if used properly, can provide a spiritual boost to the home as well as keep away spiritual enemies that are lurking in the shadows.

Holy Water

Holy water has a double meaning of reminding us of our baptism as well as a symbol of spiritual cleansing. Holy water is said to have great power over the devil as the devil cannot stand this “clean” water, since he is entirely unclean for all eternity. It is a reminder of the water that flowed out of Christ’s side, which is a symbol of Baptism, and brings to mind the day of the devil’s defeat (Christ’s crucifixion).

It is an ancient custom to have what are called “holy water stoups” or “holy water fonts” on the walls of a home. They are elaborate or simple cups that hold holy water, which can then be used to bless oneself throughout the day. It is especially helpful to have them at the doors that lead outside the house as well as in the bedrooms of family members. That way we keep ourselves always fixed on Christ and remind ourselves to remain pure. It also keeps the holy water handy when needed to ward off any influence of the Evil One.

Blessed Salt

If possible, it is also good to have a small container of blessed salt in your home. You would have to specifically ask your parish priest to provide that for you and odds are likely that your parish priest would not be familiar with it. This is one sacramental that is often neglected and is not typically used in parishes. However, it is a powerful weapon against evil as can be seen by the following portion of the blessing said by the priest found in the Roman Ritual.

Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly implore you, in your immeasurable kindness and love, to bless (+) this salt which you created and gave to the use of mankind, so that it may become a source of health for the minds and bodies of all who make use of it. May it rid whatever it touches or sprinkles of all uncleanness, and protect it from every assault of evil spirits. Through Christ our Lord.

Crucifix

Another very powerful sacramental that is more typically found in our homes is the crucifix. Not only does a crucifix remind us of the great love that God had for us, but it also is a strong deterrent to spiritual enemies. The crucifix is the bane of Satan’s existence and is the sign of everything that he despises. It is beneficial to have a crucifix in every room in your house (or apartment) so that you can frequently meditate on Jesus’ great sacrifice of love as well as have an image to remind you what you need to focus on during times of temptation.

Here are two prayers of blessing a crucifix in the Roman Ritual which sum up all the reasons we need them in our homes.

Holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, be pleased to bless + this cross, that it may be a saving help to mankind. Let it be the support of faith, an encouragement to good works, the redemption of souls; and let it be consolation, protection, and a shield against the cruel darts of the enemy; through Christ our Lord.

Lord Jesus Christ, bless + this cross by which you snatched the world from Satan’s grasp, and on which you overcame by your suffering the tempter to sin, who rejoiced in the first man’s fall in eating of the forbidden tree. Here it is sprinkled with holy water. May this cross be hallowed in the name of the Father, + and of the Son, + and of the Holy + Spirit; and may all who kneel and pray before this cross in honor of our Lord find health in body and soul; through Christ our Lord.