“From long experience, I have discovered that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from returning 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.”
As you know, the baptismal promises included renouncing Satan and disdaining sin. We don’t remember this, however, and take holy water for granted often. If we use it always, that’s an easy thing to do.
We must recall that holy water, through a priest, is blessed by God in virtue of Christ’s baptism. The Catholic Church possesses massive power in being able to impart 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 a priest to make it holy contains prayers of exorcism. It can banish demons, heal the sick, and send unwarranted grace upon us—yet most of the time we cross ourselves with this water without even thinking about how holy it really is.
The fact of the matter is that holy water is a powerful sacramental and we ought to use it daily. To stop us from using it without wondering , 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 aim of glorifying God with their lives.
Here is a list of seven ways to use holy water in your everyday life:
1. Bless yourself. This recommendation is clear, but if we are only blessing ourselves with holy water on Sunday, then aren’t we missing out on the rest of the week? You can never have too much grace or blessing in your life. Use holy water every day. Keeping a holy water font in the home is a wonderful idea so that you, your family, and guests can be blessed in the comings and goings from your home. Keep the font right by the front door to make sure you never leave home without it.
2. Bless your house. If you haven’t taken the time to bless your house with holy water, then no time is better than the present. Your home is the domestic Church and is in search for spiritual protection. You can sprinkle holy water in your home yourself, or call a priest to formally bless your home using holy water as part of the house blessing ceremony.
3. Bless your family. Use holy water to pray and make the Sign of the Cross over your spouse and children before they go to sleep at night. Bonding the family to each other and to God in this way is a great family tradition to adopt. Keep a holy water bottle by the bedside for this reason.
4. Bless your workspace. If you work outside of the home, sprinkling your workspace with holy water is a nice idea, not only for spiritual protection on the work front but also as to sanctify your daily work for the glory of God.
5. Bless your car. The car is probably the most unsafe place where you spend a reasonable amount of time each day. Never look down on the power of holy water applied to your vehicle to keep you safe from harm’s way, when used in faith and trust in God. In fact, you can also call a priest to bless your car with holy water.
6. Bless your vegetable garden. It was a common practice in the Middle Ages for people to sprinkle their vegetable gardens with holy water. In times when people were very dependent on crops for their livelihood, insufficient rain or early frosts could be destructive. Using holy water to bless and purify the plants that would be used for the family’s sustenance showed their hope on God’s grace.
7. Bless the sick. If you know of any sick friends or family, then blessing them with holy water probably counts as a spiritual work of mercy. If you visit the sick in a hospital or nursing home, bless their living space with holy water and leave a holy water bottle with them as a comfort in their time of need.
Here is a simple prayer to say when using holy water:
“By this holy water and by Your Precious Blood, wash away all my sins, O Lord. Amen.”
There is no specific prayer to pray when using holy water, other than making the Sign of the Cross: “In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” You can equally pray an Our Father or even the St. Michael Prayer when using holy water. Have in mind that holy water has already been blessed by the prayers of the priest.
How do you use holy water?
Holy water is one of those wonderful gifts (and weapons) from God to keep us sanctified and holy in our daily routine and to keep the things we regularly use sanctified and holy. (Some parents even use holy water to bless things their children always use such as bicycles and school books.) If we stop and ponder about what a generous gift holy water is, we will use it more frequently, thoughtfully, and gratefully!