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Friday, August 21, 2009

Blessed House!

I did an article for the parish bulletin back insert concerning 'house blessings'. It was a simple commentary about how, mostly, people - and I mean Catholics - do not necessary have a proper understanding of what a 'house blessing' is all about.

I remember my fair share of house blessings that I have done while I was at Holy Family. It was always an exercise of reminding the families or couple concerned that the blessing is always for them and not only for the house. The house blessing is always for this moment where the 'house' begins to take an important dimension of being a 'home':
... the Catholic house blessing imparts a special brand of grace and blessings which do not necessarily mean only for the house or the items that in it, but more importantly, for the family or persons within the house to make it a home where Christian values abound and lived out...
So, there you have it. It is the person or persons that matter and not so much about the house or the items in there per se. Most of the time, the superstitious element and fear of the unknown tend to creep in when a blessing is done upon a house because it can solely be seen as a ritual to chase away evil spirits that may still linger within the premises.

We must move away from this kind of myopic attitude of seeing ghosts and spirits at every corner of our house and to be encouraged into the rubrics of happiness where a semblance
of a caring, loving and Christian family within the household, radiating the love and blessings of God unto others...
will be found!
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tessa said...

While I agree with your take on house blessings ....
would like to get your views on..
1. what about houses with history of violence
2. at house blessings priests have been heard to advise owners to get rid of certain house items/even thorny plants like cacti...
3. so doesn't this foster the idea that house blessing is a mild form of pre-emptive strike against "unwelcome guests" who might lodge themselves into the wood-works ?

Unknown said...

you have brought a valid point regarding the other side of blessings and an interesting one too.

with regards house blessings, the main fundamental value and intention remains, that is to say, it is always for the fortification, growth and development of the person(s) or family in the house that is to become a home which promotes and radiates Christian values and living. The ritual blessing done for the house is, in essence, for the family and person(s) staying there. All the prayers and ritual in the house blessings call to mind this matter and must be respected in this form and regards.

The 'blessed house' ought to remind always or bring to mind to the family or person(s) living in it, to the presence of God in their lives and to walk in His ways. The more the family or person(s) exhibit the life of God within the household as well as without, the more blessed the place becomes - not the other way around.

The same can be said for all other sacramental objects, e.g bible, rosary, etc.

When it comes to 'unwelcome guests' and 'violence' in houses and the oppression of sorts with evil spirits and their like, such house blessings will take a different intention and will address this matter concerning deliverance and exorcism in their respective situations, very much different from a normal house blessing.

This still does not detract the real intention of a house blessing that is used under normal circumstances.

The problem arises when these two intentions are overlapped and used at the same time where all such blessings are seen as a form of deliverance or 'exorcism' when there is really no need to do so. This can give rise to misrepresentation of such ritual and can breed fear and unwanted superstitions among the recipient(s)

A clear and good common sense ought to be used, as well as proper discernment be done in order to appropriate this blessing/ritual in its proper context and circumstances.

Donatus Justin said...

Why not promoting Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the Home?


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