It never fails; every time I hear something really profound in a homily, I either can’t write it down because I’ve left my purse down in the church hall, or it would cause major disturbance to get under the pew, get out the pen and notepad, and jot a few things down. I have forgotten a really fantastic reference our priest gave in his homily this morning, on something I thought “wow! I should go straight home and look that up!”
However, he did say one thing that I do remember. He was talking about how, at Theophany, this was the first inkling to most people that the Kingdom of God really WAS at hand…..then he said this put to death all the dependence on superstition etc. that was pretty prevalent among pagan people back in the day. He specifically mentioned horoscopes and actually said not to pay any attention to them, as they are superstition and pagan. I had never heard this in a homily before…..don’t get the idea, though, that I didn’t know this. I have read the CCC (and don’t have a copy at the computer or I’d give you the citation; if you want it leave me a note in the comment box and I’ll look it up for you). I’d never heard anything like this in a homily because for over 15 years I heard homilies about everything but what we should avoid as superstition/near occasion of sin, as good Catholics. I’ve heard lots of reference to sin, orthodoxy, etc. in the past 2 years, though – all of it from Byzantine Catholic priests (and bishops).
Today also was the Great Blessing of Water, after which we all had a sip and collected some to take home to use there throughout the coming year. I cook with it, occasionally, and sprinkle the children’s rooms every once in a while. I’ve even considered giving a bit to Eli to see if maybe his doggie Guardian Angel needs some help in teaching him not to be so enthusiastic when greeting visitors!
I guess some people might say that drinking Holy Water is superstitious. But I don’t agree. I don’t think the water itself has the power to prevent anything, or to help me grow in holiness…..but I do believe that reminding myself that I am a temple of the Holy Spirit, and carry Christ within me by virtue of the fact that I receive Him in Communion, and am a child of God, I draw down graces upon myself by using the Holy Water that aren’t fully available otherwise. Sort of like the difference between putting plain water (which is analogous to our prayers without any assistance from the use of sacramentals like Holy Water, relics, etc) in one’s car windshield washer tank, opposed to using the washer fluid mix (which is then like your prayers with the boost of a well-chosen sacramental or two). Both work, but one does the job much better and more quickly.
I’m not sure if that makes any sense. It did to me as I though about it, and I will post it as I am not in the habit of going to all the trouble of typing a decent-sized post and then ditching it because I think I rambled. If I rambled and was unclear, then tell me. And if I’ve said something heretical, please tell me that also…..I’m also not trying to lead anyone astray!
Christ is Baptized! In the Jordan!