Sacramentals are visible things used for a spiritual effect greater than the power in the thing itself.
Jesus used sacramentals in His ministry. For example, when he was healing the blind man in John 9, Jesus spat on the ground and made mud, then put that on the man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool.
The disciples also used sacramentals in their ministry. They anointed the sick with oil in Mark 6, for example. St. Paul used the sacramentals. They learned this from Jesus.
Put simply, a sacramental is a visible tool to do a certain spiritual job through the power of Jesus.
Jesus himself used sacramentals. He had his disciples use sacramentals. And he wants his followers to use sacramentals today.
The sacramental cannot do the job itself–it must have the power of Jesus. Sacramentals work today because the Church has official prayers which give these sacramentals the power that is asked for in the prayer. When the Church acts, Jesus acts. When the Church blesses, Jesus blesses.
Father Thomas looks at four sacramentals of the Church that are very useful for our Christian life and for spiritual warfare: holy water, blessed salt, blessed candles, and blessed oil.
- John 9:6-7
- Mark 6:12-13
- Matthew 28:18-20
- Mark 16:15-18
- Acts 19:11-12
- Ephesians 6:10