Sacramentals

Throughout the centuries, the testimony of many Christians, including a number of saints, confirms that objects blessed by a priest, through the power of the Church’s intercession, can repel demonic powers. Again and again, evil spirits have recoiled in dread, not just from the Sign of the Cross, but also from holy water and blessed oil, crosses, crucifixes, medals, candles, or salt (Manual for Spiritual Warfare, 55).

In a previous post, Spiritual Warfare, I mentioned that sacramentals provide protection from the devil.

Someone close to me suggested that I write a post on these valuable weapons.

In honor of Saint Benedict of Nursia, a champion in spiritual warfare whose feast we celebrate today, here’s a post dedicated to sacramentals.

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Stations of the Cross

The Stations of the Cross — also known as the Way of the Cross, Way of Sorrows and Via Dolorosa — is one of the most popular Roman Catholic devotions. It consists of fourteen events that took place during Jesus’ Passion.

History

Do you know where this tradition comes from? (I didn’t but discovered it while researching this post!)

After Jesus’ death, the Blessed Mother walked the path of His Passion daily. When she moved from the Holy Land, she created a similar outdoor route near her home. She used stones to mark each event and prayed while she walked.

Once Christianity became legal in the year 312, the “stations” were marked along the original route in Jerusalem. For centuries, people traveled to the Holy Land to honor these sacred locations.

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The Cross

About a year ago, I wrote a post on the cross. I decided to resurrect the post (with a few edits) since we’re in the season of Lent, journeying toward the cross with Christ.

If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you probably read it. However, you may not remember what you read a year ago — I sure don’t!

Even if you do remember, I recommend reading it again. The cross teaches us many lessons, and it’s essential that we continue to learn from it…

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The Cross +

Each of us has a cross. (I’m not referring to those that are worn as jewelry or on our clothing or bodies; I’m referring to the challenges and hardships that we each face in our lives.)

The cross comes in various sizes and weights. Sometimes our cross may be heavy, while other times it may be light. Our cross may remain with us for our entire lives or only for a specific period of time. Some of us may even have multiple crosses to bear, which seems to be more common than we may realize.

For Christians, the cross is the key to our faith: Jesus conquered death on the cross and rose to new life. I’ve heard it said that there can be no resurrection without the cross.  

Christians are called to embrace and even venerate the cross. We see the most vivid image of this on Good Friday when Christians venerate the cross by kissing, holding and/or touching it in a loving way. What once was an instrument for punishment and death is now a symbol for redemption and hope.

This all sounds nice in theory, but do we actually put this into practice in our lives? Do we embrace our own crosses? Do we carry our cross with patience and courage, believing that we will persevere and share in the glory of Christ?

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