Pastor’s Piece – June 6, 2021
Attention! SKD members who are reading this before June 6. Please, make plans to join us for Mass this Sunday, the day of the D-day anniversary. It may not be as historic as storming the beaches of Nazi held Normandy, but we do have some good news regarding building the church that you’ll want to hear.
Last week was filled with good news regarding lifting COVID restrictions. There was so much that I’d like to take more time to go over some of the items. E.g., during the Masses at SSM, I explained how I wish to continue to distribute Holy Communion at the altar rail as long as it is practicable. Many folks were habitually social distancing because of the three cushions at the rail found on the either side of the main aisle. These are not there to mark the need for social distancing, but rather just the fact that we don’t have a longer cushion yet.
I hope that many of you found the Holy Water. Perhaps you’re doubting the efficacy of Holy Water. I feel very badly that it wasn’t more readily available to you in the time of crisis and need. We might be tempted to think that the Church no longer believes in the power of this sacramental. Perhaps, but maybe the reason the bishop was fearful in making it more available was theological?
Unlike the words of the priest at consecration during Mass that bring about the miracle of Transubstantiation, a sacramental is more subjective. In the sacraments, we have a guarantee by Christ Himself that when a priest expresses the words, such as those of absolution, at Confession, He, the Lord, brings about the forgiveness of sins. Because salvation depends on this, it happens regardless of whether the penitent is paying attention or whether the priest is holy. On the other hand, a sacramental doesn’t work that way. Rather, it depends more on the faith and holiness of the minister and user. And then, in addition, there is an option of more than one prayer we priests can use to bless Holy Water. Lamentably, they don’t uniformly speak of the intention to ward off pesky pestilence.
I can assure you that here at SSM & SKD our Holy Water is made with the intention to not only reaffirm us in our baptismal promises and strengthen our struggle with sin, but also, to ward off “all illness and every snare of the enemy.” I pray explicitly for “soundness of body and soul” for all who use it. Additionally, it is made with an optional ritual that includes blessed salt. Naturally speaking, this helps reduce the pond scum that gathers in the stagnate water of the Holy Water stoups, but supernaturally speaking, it provides additional prayers repulsing evil and disease.
Please, feel free to make liberal use of this powerful sacramental.