Holy Water

There  were Clorox bottles lined up in five columns a dozen deep, easily occupying most of the floor space of the monastery’s sacristy.  Each was filled with water, and the Abbess, white-hairedand well- spoken, was blessing them.   Taken aback, I simply stared.

“Where did you think Holy Water came from?” she laughed.

And I had to admit I had never thought about that.

As with so many aspects of home, the comfort of familiarity had precluded wonder.  It was, like so many things, something I simply took for granted.

But her pragmatic openness, the simplicity, the reminder that blessings are borne through one another, those were real gifts. She reminded me that each of us carries something of the sacred; strength comes in connecting one to the other. Blessing the water connects the consciousness of something greater than self to real reminders of someone greater than self. What is held as most ordinary, most mundane, gathered meaning in the act of blessing.

Catholicism is at home in the world.  There is the call to be attentive to creation, to experience awe, to know the sense of something far beyond self.   And that can happen in such simple ways, like Clorox bottles filled with holy water.



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