“From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation.” – St. Teresa of Avila
When we read this quote from St. Teresa of Avila, we should be reminded of the importance of holy water. As a recalling of our baptism and our baptismal promises, Catholics dip their fingers in the holy water and make the Sign of the Cross when entering the church.
Our baptismal promises included renouncing Satan and disdaining sin. However, we probably rarely bring this to mind and take holy water for granted most of the time. Because we use it so regularly, it’s an easy thing to do.
We must remember that this water, through the priest, is blessed by God in virtue of Christ’s baptism. The Catholic Church possesses an enormous power of imparting sacramental grace, and holy water as a sacramental receives its power through the prayer and authority of the Church.
The rite of the blessing said over water by the priest to make it holy contains prayers of exorcism. It can banish demons, heal the sick, and send unwarranted grace upon us, and yet most of the time we cross ourselves with this water without even thinking about how holy it really is.
Read the priest’s profound prayers of blessing over holy water here and find a downloadable PDF here.
The fact of the matter is that holy water is a powerful sacramental and we ought to use it daily. To prevent us from using it without thinking, we should consciously find ways to use it more. Holy water can be used to bless people, places, and things that are used by humans in their goal of glorifying God with their lives.