March 16, 2009

The Devil Went Down to Daytona

I know in some Catholic churches it's their practice to drain the Holy Water fonts during Lent. If you are like me, you load for bear before Ash Wednesday (translation: fill your Holy Water bottles) just in case you are unfortunate enough to encounter a drained font during your travels.

I had the misfortune once to enter a Catholic church that carried the meaning "go into the desert" WAY to far. They put cacti in the empty Holy Water font. Yep. There I went dipping my hand right into a thorny cactus! Unless you attend a snakecharmer church in the Applachians, I fail to realize how yelling "OW!" is an expression of evangelistic fervor.

I can take or leave covering the statues during Holy Week. I know the intent is to remove our focus from them to the Central Mystery of Our Faith about to unfold. I also know that the statues are just statues. Despite what our haters say, Catholics do NOT pray to statues. It's like having a photo of a loved one on your desk at work. It's an image that you can look at with a smile, but you know it's not REALLY them.

But, my sacramentals like Holy Water? You're kidding, right? Is the Devil on vacation for 40 days? You may think you are safe as long as you are not on Spring Break but you are wrong. The Devil is everywhere.

If Satan could tempt no less than Jesus during His 40 days in the desert what will Satan try to do with us? All I know is: I'm not Jesus so I'm worried. Give me the weapons I need. Keep those fonts filled. Teach the people why they are there.

Now, I know some parishes teach that we don't need Holy Water fonts because that's so medieval and not Vatican II etc. etc. and thus if they even still have the fonts they are always empty-whether it's Lent or not. If anyone can show me any official Vatican document that says something along the lines of "Take holy water fonts out of your parishes because we don't believe in them anymore" I'll concede the point.

Save yourself some time because you will not find one. Holy water is as necessary today as it was since it poured out of the side of Christ with His Blood.

If you believe, if you BELIEVE that water can be blessed. If you believe that an object can be blessed. If you believe that YOU can be blessed than you have Faith.

I'm a simpleton. I'm naive enough to believe that water can be blessed by a priest. I'm cowardly enough to believe the Holy Water sprinkled on my bed before I lie down to sleep can protect me from Satan. Not only that, it can protect me from myself. How many times, has the presence of Holy Water on my person stoppped me from committing serious sin? Who would want to sin with a blessing upon them? Yuck.

Maybe that's why so many Holy Images are gone from our schools and our homes. It's easier to sin and teach error without them staring at you. I know, believe me, I know.

Friends: Got Holy Water? Use it.


Blogger Vincenzo said...

me like you

March 16, 2009 7:40 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Sounds like someone should have printed out my anti-cacti sign and brought it along!
I have been going through holy water lately like...well, like water! ;D After the kids are asleep I go in their rooms and cross their heads with holy water and sprinkle it in the room while saying the St Michael prayer. I have also been sprinkling it around the house and in our bedroom. (I don't think my Lutheran husband knows about this, but he already knows I'm gung-ho hyper-Catholic so I'm sure it wouldn't shock him).
I have a tiny little Holy Water bottle I keep in my purse with a small crucifix and rosary. You just never know when you're going to need them. ;D

March 16, 2009 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our parish keeps the holy water during lent--Satan is working hard all the time--we NEED the water! Okay, when my daughter moved back home with me (she's not Catholic), I had Father bless an entire gallon--and I use it liberally--often! If Satan comes into my home, I'm going to make it very uncomfortable for him--it should also be very uncomfortable to come into our churches--KEEP THE HOLY WATER!!!

March 16, 2009 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

In our parish we have one of those jacuzzi like tubs as a baptismal font and it's drained during Lent, but at least Father keeps the fonts just inside the doors filled.

One nice side benefit, draining the tub meant that when there was a baptism on Sunday, the traditional font had to be used.

March 16, 2009 5:53 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I think it would be freak out time if I stuck my hand in a font and hit a cactus. I dread to even think what I might do (besides leaving that church post haste). You do not want to rile up a little old (but very hot) Italian lady!!!!!

March 16, 2009 11:42 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I'm going to have to come up with an avatar for "Hall of Fame" Catholic posts. Like my "Laughing Jerries." This one certainly qualifies, JCM!

Great work!

March 17, 2009 7:59 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Hi Everyone!

Yeah, Chris! Send me some copies!

Fortunately, my parish does keep the fonts filled but I know that is not the case everywhere-including some parishes that surprise me.

March 17, 2009 1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love this post! Chris, I can relate. Holy water at home; small bottle of holy water in my purse (used in my cubical at work among other places). When my non-Catholic sister and her agnostic/atheistic family stayed with us last year, I used an amazing amount of holy water before, during and after their visit. Holy water and the St Michael prayer before sleep.

March 26, 2009 12:42 AM  

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