The power of sacramental candles


 It is a time of darkness. It is a time of light. As evil surges around us, the illuminations of God intensify.

But it does no good to deny the evil.

Do things feel strange to you right now? Does it seem like there is a "lull" -- a feeling of aridity, or vacancy; the spirit of lethargy? Have you perceived a spirit of antagonism with folks out there (and perhaps in your home)?

These all can be indications of evil and should be dispelled. The devil particularly seeks to bedim our perceptions and set us against each other (often with false thoughts). Let there be light!

When evil becomes too strong, we must always remember the efficacy of sacramentals. As exorcists will attest, these gifts from our Church lessen attacks.

No doubt, many of you have seen the powerful results of Holy Water, medals, the Scapular, statues, and blessed salt. It's why we seek to have these blessed at our retreats, and spread over the area we're in. But sometimes, when it comes to sacramentals, and warding off evil, we forget the role of candles.

Mysteriously, they have a role in purifying our surroundings.

They send light where there is darkness. They emit a "holy smoke" that pervades a room (and chases away the "prince of the power of the air"). If there is a disturbance in your home, place a candle at the center of the disturbance. Many believe there will one day be three days of darkness during which only blessed candles will shed light (for our discernment). Candles have melted into the form of the Blessed Mother 
[see video].

Occultists also use candles. Like anything else, there is the evil mimicry. But a candle blessed by a priest has undeniable power.

The smoke it issues, the light it radiates, pervades a room with holiness in the same way as do droplets of Holy Water (although, perhaps, even more pervasively).

Cleanse your home. Keep a stock of holy candles. If electricity fails, let it serve two purposes. Keep enough on hand to last a week.

 Explains one website: "The use of lights as an adjunct to worship goes back to the beginning of the Church, and even farther. Among the Jews and in many pagan rites the use of lights had long been looked upon as appropriate in connection with public homage to their God or gods. It is probable that among Christians they were first employed simply to dispel darkness, when the sacred mysteries were celebrated before dawn, as was the custom, or in the gloom of the catacombs; but the beautiful symbolism of their use was soon recognized by the writers of the early Church."

"Lit candles and icon lamps have a special symbolic meaning in the Christian Church, and no Christian service can be held without them," notes a website.

"In the Old Testament, when the first temple of God was built on earth, the Tabernacle services were held in it with lamps as the Lord Himself had ordained (Exodus 40:5, 25).

"The Acts of the Apostles mention the lighting of lamps during the services in the time of the Apostles."

From the twelfth century on, candles were used by priests during exorcisms and by farmers to ward off the bewitching of their fields.

And so they have carried on to our own time. 

How -- why -- is fire, are candles, so effective?

."Light is pure; it penetrates darkness; it moves with incredible velocity; it nourishes life; it illumines all that comes under its influence," notes another commentator.

This is its power: candles purify. It is related to incense.

The flame is a symbol of God and the Holy Spirit. Do you remember the fire that looked (right, above) like John Paul the Great?

At a typical Mass, two candles are lit.

A candle must glow when the Blessed Sacrament is present.

During Hurricane Charley, a tabernacle candle remained lit even though the church was destroyed.

God speaks through fire (Deuteronomy 4:32). He answers through it (1 Kings 18:24).

"As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God" (Psalms 68:2)

-- by Michael H. Brown