The Power of Holy Water

By Charla Misse

In Louisiana, we know the power of water. From salt water to fresh water, muddy water to spring water, we know that it can bring life, change life and take life away.  

As Catholics, we also know the power of water … baptismal waters wash away our original sin delivering us into the arms of Jesus. And, the precious water which gushed forth from Jesus’ side at his crucifixion allows us to be cleansed – bringing us the possibility of eternal life in his loving presence.

Sometimes, though, it is easy to forget the power we have at our fingertips – in holy water. The use of holy water is a Catholic sacramental, a sacred sign that bears resemblance to the sacrament of baptism. It is the means by which spiritual effects are signified and obtained through the prayers of the Church. 

In this way, the pious use of holy water prepares us to receive God’s grace and to cooperate with it.

Each morning, I put a bottle of holy water near the door of our home. Before we depart for the day, my family and I gather together in prayer. We each take holy water to make the sign of the cross in remembrance of our baptism and our responsibility to act as children of God. (My son likes to drip holy water on the floor for the holy souls in purgatory, too.)  

Because parents can bless their children, I also bless my son before leading a prayer of love and thanks. Then, I petition that God give us his comfort, strength, guidance and support so that we may walk in faith – bringing his love to others and doing his will.  

Centering ourselves like this before we approach our day helps us to remember him and to be vigilant to discern his will. I find that holy water has the power to prepare us to receive and cooperate with his grace in a magnified way.  It strengthens and protects us.  

May we all know the power of holy water to change the course of our lives.     

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