A few years ago, when my husband and I took my aunt to Ireland with us, we stopped at the Knock Shrine. I wanted to bring home some Holy Water, so we got a big milk jug at a nearby gift shop made for this purpose and filled it up with Holy Water. It wasn't fun to lug it around Ireland with us, but the worst part came when I went through the airport and then got on the plane. In the post-911 world, I guess Catholics carrying Holy Water pose some sort of threat. The security folks murmured to themselves as I placed it on the conveyor belt to be scanned. Some even stopped and lifted it up for inspection. It even said "Holy Water" on the jug with a great big cross, which I know could just be a ruse in their minds. Some security folks even asked me what it was. Maybe their profiling has told them to be on the look out for people carrying Holy Water.
The worst part was when we boarded the plane. The flight attendant on our British-run flight treated me like a was a threat, a serious threat. My Holy Water was almost confiscated. In some respects, looking back, it seemed that she was more upset that it was Holy Water than she was worried about what I might do with it. Goodness, maybe I had a aspergillum (holy water sprinkler) and planned to sing the Asperges Me or recite the Miserere or Confitemini as I walked up and down the aisles sprinkling people. Actually, I have no doubt that the aspergillum would've been confiscated at the security check, along with my clippers and nail file.
Throughout our trip to Ireland, we stayed at Bed and Breakfasts nearly the entire time. That's kind of the way they do things in Ireland and it seems every town has at least one B&B you can stay at. Some are very nice and others, well, let's just say the bed bugs came free of charge. What many of these B&B's had, since they are usually part of the owner's home, were Holy Water fonts in the halls, in the rooms, every where. Even a new home we stayed at, built to be a B&B, had Holy Water fonts in each room. If Ireland could only stay this way forever.
Some info on Holy Water from this website:
Holy water is a sacramental that remits venial sin. Because of the blessing attached to it, Holy Church strongly urges it's use upon Her children, especially when dangers threaten, such as fire, storms, sickness, discord and other calamities. Every Catholic home should always have a supply of Holy Water. Did we realize now, as we shall after death, the many benefits which may be derived from Holy Water, we would use it far more frequently, and with greater faith and reverence.
The devil hates holy water because of its power over him. He cannot long abide in a place or near a person that is often sprinkled with blessed water.
Holy Water, sprinkled with faith and piety, can move the Sacred Heart to bless your loved ones, present or absent, and protect them from all harm of soul and body. When worry and fear take possession of you, give your dear ones the benefit of the Church's prayer.
Only in Purgatory can one understand how ardently a poor soul longs for Holy Water. If we desire to make a host or intercessors for ourselves, let us never forget them at the Holy Water font. The holy souls nearest to Heaven may need the sprinkling of only one drop to release them.
We have a Holy Water font in our house. Actually, it's been in the basement for about four years since we have been doing some remodeling. But, it makes me wonder why Catholics in America don't use this sacramental more often. With all the concern about our children and worries about our own personal (and spiritual) safety, we should be taking advantage of the sacramentals we are blessed with. Our parish keeps a large supply of Holy Water on hand, so it is very convenient to bring a bottle to Mass and fill it up. I just need to get the font out of the basement and get it back on the wall. According to our priest, we should have Holy Water fonts throughout the house, so maybe I should purchase a few more. A good place to hang them would be in my children's rooms under their crucifixes.
Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
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