Some facts about Sacramentals

Sacramental imitates the Church’s official rituals. They are sacred signs that remind us of the sacraments. Sacramentals are both physical objects such as rosary beads, chaplets, scapulars, devotional medals, statues, candles, anointing oil and Non physical objects like prayer, often followed by a specific sign, such as the sign of the cross, or the sprinkling of holy water (which recalls Baptism), novenas and some devotional prayers.

Sacramentals are also built for the sanctification and purification of certain ministries of the Church, certain states of life, a great variety of circumstances in Christian life, and the use of many things helpful to man. But to some people, sacramental is like an array of meaningless trinkets and gestures; to others, it seems like talismans and superstitions. Of course, sacramentals are none of those things but are in fact sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments.

Its good to know that sacramentals do not give the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but through the prayers of the Church, they prepare us to receive grace and make us cooperate with it. For members of the faithful that are well disposed, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals purifies almost all the activities of their lives with the divine grace that flows from the mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. And from here do all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power.

Sacramentals do not give grace rather, they excite and encourage pious dispositions and are made effective through faithful devotion, love of God, prayer, and sorrow for sin.

Sacramentals in any way should not be thought as contracts, investments, or good luck charms. For an example, wearing the scapular does not give us free will to commit mortal sin and still be assured of heaven. The scapular is only a symbol of Marian devotion and a silent prayer to Our Blessed Mother in heaven for salvation that she certainly will not ignore. Likewise using holy water is not a sure means of wiping away our venial sins unless we have contrition for our sins when we use it. The power of sacramentals, however, depends mostly on the devotion of both the priest who gives the blessing and the person who is receiving the sacramental. They also depend on the prayers of the Church, the prayers of the blessings that are imposed on them, and the merits of Jesus Christ, the Blessed Mother, and the Saints. Which are the means for securing heavenly help for those who use them properly.

Moreover, the extraordinary effects of sacramentals are their ability to drive away evil spirits, such as the St. Benedict medal. Their ability to forgive our venial sins. Their ability to give us actual grace, Their ability to remise our temporal punishment, and finally the ability to give us good health and material blessings.

So, the Holy Mother Church encourages us to happily acknowledge and embrace sacramentals because it aids in the spiritual life of any Catholic and should be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.

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