I'm just going to post the Nun So Beautiful pictures in the order in which they were received. Thank the Good Lord we are not required to pick a winner.
Here's the very first one that came in and a great start to the big parade of nuns.
Hello Sister, I would like to enter my friend, Sister Agnes Marie of the Eternal OCD Who is one of the Extern sisters at our here in Buffalo, NY. She recently made her Perpetual Profession and we had permission from Mother Mariam of Jesus To take pictures.. I hope she wins.. Love, Ellen from Buffalo,NY
Now back to the grindstone.
Sister, I have a question for you about holy water. I understand there are two types - the kind consecrated by a priest (that I use to cross myself when entering and leaving church), and the kind from shrines such as Lourdes. I am wondering what Catholics are required to believe about these two types of holy water vs. what we might believe from Catholic small-t tradition (as you've called it in other posts.) Do we believe consecrated water has special powers of healing the sick, or the ability to ward off evil? Thank you.
Pretty much, yes we do. Although there is a difference between Lourdes water and holy water.
I have to have a nap before I try to explain. There is also a difference between blessed and consecrated.
If I sneeze and you say, "Bless you!" you are wishing me goodness and health. Blessings are the transference or prayer for good. Goodness is transferred from God to you. Are we on the same page here?
When the priest blesses someone or something (like your rosary) that's exactly what he is doing but, because he is a priest, he has supernatural power.
I hope that doesn't upset you. When we say supernatural we mean exactly that. Outside the realm of the earth. We aren't referring to werewolves, vampires and zombies.
I once had a third grader who was concerned that when Lazarus was brought back form the dead he came back as a zombie. I had to explain that Lazarus was just alive and happy again, not a dead person who had a spell cast on him to take away his will and make him forever slowly serve drinks on a silver tray and trudge around and strangle people one doesn't care for.
A priest giving a blessing is not a person casting a spell. He is bestowing good from outside nature. Supernatural good from God.
Still on the page?
The priest blesses objects to set them apart for sacred use for the Kingdom of God. Easy breeze lemony squeezy.
There are two types of blessings: simple and solemn, also called consecrations. What's the dif?
Consecrations are a bigger deal. It doesn't exactly make the object or person any more blessed. It makes the person or object more specifically blessed. A consecration is a more specific blessing, just like a prayer can be general ("Please look after the good health of my family") or specific ("please heal Aunt Agatha's gout").
Lourdes water is a whole other category. Lourdes water was consecrated by Mary herself, set aside for specific use (except for poor little Bernadette).
Anyhow, to answer your final question, 'are we to believe that holy water has supernatural power?', I would say, yes, by definition it does. Otherwise, during an exorcism the priest could just stick your head under the faucet or douse you with a hose.
Lazarus might make a fun Halloween costume. Everyone would think he was a zombie, but we would know better.