The Catholic Faith is so intricate and beautiful that it offers all of us more than what we even realize at times. One of the most beautiful pieces of our faith are sacramentals. Sacramentals, “are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church. By them, men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions in life are rendered holy” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1667). These sacred signs are everywhere! Rosaries, holy water, scapulars, crucifixes and so much more.
“Protestants believe that the sacraments are like ladders that God gave to us by which we can climb up to Him. Catholics believe that they are like ladders that God gave to Himself by which He climbs down to us.”
― Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock
One of the most powerful feelings that sacramentals bring is comfort. The comfort that can only be brought by a nice warm embrace from a loved one. God has given us these sacramentals to be there when we need a material reminder of His love and understanding.
I can’t count the number of times I have reached for my rosary in times of turmoil or looked up at a crucifix in thanksgiving for a prayer answered. These sacred signs keep us true to our faith and a little wink from the heavens when we need it most.
The crisp Autumn air and the increasing darkness are two tell-tale signs that winter in fast approaching. If you are anything like me, you are already game-planning the holidays that are around the corner including All Saints, Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas plans.
The holidays that accompany this season can be joyous but most certainly bring intense stress. Feelings of saddness can also be difficult to process if you are missing family that has been separated by distance or death. Combine all these tough emotions and situations and the holidays can be more difficult than pleasant. It is times like this in the Catholic calendar that sacramentals are most important.
“Sacraments are like hoses. They are the channels of the living water of God’s grace. Our faith is like opening the faucet. We can open it a lot, a little, or not at all.”
― Peter Kreeft, Jesus-Shock
I have a special statue of Mary that was given to me by father, it was his mom’s when she was still alive. My grandmother passed away when I was young but I always hear stories of what an amazing woman and devote Catholic she was when she was here on Earth. This beautiful statue has been blessed and on display on my home altar. It brings waves of comfort to me every time I am near it. My husband is aware of it’s significance but my children just recently began asking questions about the origins of this statue of Mary. When I explained the significance, both of my boys were smiling and the oldest said, “Wow! My great-grandma had this statue in her home?! That must make it super blessed!”
From the mouth of babes, right?
In any time or place in your spiritual journey that you have any emotion that is flooding into your soul, remember to grab hold of those sacramentals and never let go. Take a look around your home and make sure to fill it with the comfort that your heart desires from God. Display your bibles, religious statues and fonts. Allow that comfort to flow into your vehicles and work spaces. It will make a huge difference in your life and the life of your family.