Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Holy Harry Potter
Sometimes I am really not up to the task here on the old blog. Sometimes it's because people ask questions that would be irresponsible for me to answer.
Hello Sister Is there a saint for women in abusive marriages and what are your thoughts as to whether they should stay or leave?
I've talked why I can't just answer this is some Dr. Laura, blanket type statement.
The patrons saint of bad marriages is St. Rita. She had a hum dinger. Her husband was so rotten the mob bumped him off.
And no one should stay in a place where they are abused. What constitutes abuse is a whole other kettle of fish. I would go out on a limb here and say that if a person feels they are being abused, they are correct. Everyone deserves respect and children must always be protected.
Then there are questions that are so large in scope that I never feel I can adequately explain.
I am not sure where to put this, so I am going to try here. Can you please explain holy water to me? I know why it is used in baptism and in the church fonts, but why do Catholics bless objects with it? I would like to be able to properly defend the church and its use to people who say we use it like magic. Thanks.
My hat's off to you to try and explain this one to the separated brethren. And I really don't take my hat off, you know. Deep breath.
You might try this tactic. Rather than go into a whole long, falling on deaf ears explanation of sacramentals and blessed objects, maybe you should just explain the difference between God's grace and magic. I think they might actually understand that. Especially if they are of the 'if you read Harry Potter you'll go to Hell" stripe.
And the difference is really, really simple. There is no such thing as magic and there is such a thing as God's grace. No one can wave a wand and say abracadabra and change a toad to a ruben sandwich. But holy water can wash away sins.
It's not the water. It's God's grace.
Unfortunately, this is a very half baked explanation. The separated brethren don't seem to differentiate between mortal and venial sins. Holy water only washes away venial sins.
The separated brethren also seem to confuse 'magic' with devil worship, which is why Harry Potter scares them. It seems to scare some Catholics as well. I say, since there is no such thing as magic or Harry Potter, you might just as well fear Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. There are witches over there, too.
There are people who use incantations and 'prayers' to call upon the power of Satan. A powerful tool to keep them at bay: holy water.
I have a headache. I'll offer it up to the Poor Souls in Purgatory. The separated brethren aren't 'into' that either.
In order to understand why we bless objects with holy water, one has to first understand all about holy water, which is a giant topic reaching far back into the Old Testament and on into the Fulfillment of the New Testament and all the rituals of all of that time, from cleansing oneself to enter the Temple, to Jesus Himself being baptized, to Jesus using mud to heal blindness.
Mud. That would be water, blessed by Jesus, and dirt with water blessed by Jesus on it.
Holy water 101:
Water sustains life.
God sustains life.
Holy water cleanses and sustains the life of the soul, as it is blessed with the Grace of God.
So we cleanse and bless objects that help us to sustain the lives of our souls by calling on the Grace of God.
Hey! My headache's better!