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  #1  
Old Dec 30, '08, 11:47 pm
Matthias123 Matthias123 is offline
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Default Smelling incense?

Praised be Jesus Christ!

For some time now I think I may have been smelling incense where there is no incense. Sometimes after I pray I can swear I can smell incense this also happens during prayer. I can only smell it for a fraction of a second. However it is just long enough to get my attention. It feels like it is just on the tip of my nose. This sometimes happens when I am thinking of God throughout the day. It happened to me once as I was walking to mass.

I am probably just imagining it, or there may be some kind of natural explanation. (My body spray does smell kind of like incense, but I have smelt it while not wearing it.)

Or perhaps the incense from mass is getting stuck in my nose, and I am just smelling its residue.

I am an extremely credulous person, so I am always inclined to rule out all natural phenomenons.


Now I know there are countless reports of God actually making people smell things which I believe are quite genuine. I know there are people that are close to Saint Theresa that wake ups smelling flowers. I also know some people smell flowers while in adoration where there are no flowers. (Attributed to the presence of Mary.)

But are there any reports of anyone smelling incense for no reason?

Yours in Christ,

Matthias
__________________
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

"When the devil tempts you in your thoughts, spit in his eye!" (Advice given to St. Camillus by a Capuchin friar)
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  #2  
Old Dec 31, '08, 4:23 am
Joysong Joysong is offline
 
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Yes, this happened to me many years ago. I had been praying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my bedroom, with a great deal of dryness. After I finished the Office, I groaned and asked, "Lord, is this really pleasing to you?" Just then my room was flooded with the most incredible scent of incense, far more beautiful than anything I ever smelled in church. There was no reason for it to be in my bedroom, so I walked into the living room and asked my family if they smelled anything. Of course, they hadn't, and I expected that they would tell me this. I just had to check all the bases, though.

The difficulty was in trying to discern the meaning of the incense. Did that mean the Lord was pleased with my prayer even though I had no devotion or fervor? Or was it the Evil One who wanted me to continue praying this devotion, even though it was difficult to stay recollected as I did so? Did the devil send this precisely to disturb my prayer and make me focus on this favor and become proud? Or was it God assuring me my prayer was heard because I desired to please Him?

I struggled between these two polarities for months, until I finally saw a verse from scripture that says "may our prayer rise like incense before thee." Even then, I couldn't be absolutely sure of the meaning and finally quit trying to analyze it.

There was one other time I smelled it during those days, and it was in church after receiving communion. There was no benediction or anything of the sort that would be a reason to smell it, and I always sat at the very back of the church where nobody else was present. How alert I became for a long period whenever any scent was in the air, always trying to reassure myself that I was NOT smelling incense. I became a virtual sniffer.

So you see, my friend, that it even when we are blessed with supernatural favors like this, they do not always bring us peace and joy due to their unexpected and unnatural gifting to us, and our worrisome human curiosity. Do you see that you are concerned enough to have posted here? I don't know how to advise you, other than to be grateful, thank God, and let it be laid aside in holy detachment.

God bless,
Carole

Last edited by Joysong; Dec 31, '08 at 4:35 am.
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  #3  
Old Jan 1, '09, 1:12 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias123 View Post
Praised be Jesus Christ!

For some time now I think I may have been smelling incense where there is no incense. Sometimes after I pray I can swear I can smell incense this also happens during prayer. I can only smell it for a fraction of a second. However it is just long enough to get my attention. It feels like it is just on the tip of my nose. This sometimes happens when I am thinking of God throughout the day. It happened to me once as I was walking to mass.

I am probably just imagining it, or there may be some kind of natural explanation. (My body spray does smell kind of like incense, but I have smelt it while not wearing it.)

Or perhaps the incense from mass is getting stuck in my nose, and I am just smelling its residue.

I am an extremely credulous person, so I am always inclined to rule out all natural phenomenons.


Now I know there are countless reports of God actually making people smell things which I believe are quite genuine. I know there are people that are close to Saint Theresa that wake ups smelling flowers. I also know some people smell flowers while in adoration where there are no flowers. (Attributed to the presence of Mary.)

But are there any reports of anyone smelling incense for no reason?

Yours in Christ,

Matthias
While it may be real and mean something you should really explore all possible natural things first and not jump to the conclusion too quickly that something special and supernatural has happened.
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  #4  
Old Jan 1, '09, 8:19 am
bpbasilphx bpbasilphx is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

While it happens, it could also be a temptation.

My suggestion is try not to pay any attention to it.

If it continues, seek out a good spiritual director.
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  #5  
Old Jan 1, '09, 5:07 pm
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Joyful_1 Joyful_1 is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

That has happened to me once. I don't remember all the circumstances and would likely never have recalled it again if I hadn't seen this thread. I simply took it as a sign that God was present during my prayer and continued to pray. I didn't sweat it or think really hard about why I had the smell. Maybe I should have, but I didn't really think about it.
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  #6  
Old Jan 1, '09, 6:50 pm
Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

If indeed such things are a favor from God, then just be glad of it and don't give it a second thought.

Otherwise we would be focusing on phenomena of one kind or another, and not on God!
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  #7  
Old Jan 1, '09, 7:32 pm
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Rawb Rawb is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

It would make sense, as incense is a sacramental with imagry of our prayers rising to Heaven, however, as others have said, I wouldn't focus too much on it. If it was supernatural, it was for you alone and only to help your faith. If it wasn't, then it was a funny coincidence.

To expect such things, or to gauge how 'effective' a prayer was by the presence of the smell, or other actions besides just appreciating that it was a gift from God, would, in my opnion, be wrong.

In the end, does it matter if it was supernatural or natural? It had an effect on you, increased faith and devotion. Does the source really matter, in that case? Enjoy it, either way, but don't linger on it.
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  #8  
Old Jan 2, '09, 4:56 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawb View Post
It would make sense, as incense is a sacramental with imagry of our prayers rising to Heaven, however, as others have said, I wouldn't focus too much on it. If it was supernatural, it was for you alone and only to help your faith. If it wasn't, then it was a funny coincidence.

To expect such things, or to gauge how 'effective' a prayer was by the presence of the smell, or other actions besides just appreciating that it was a gift from God, would, in my opnion, be wrong.

In the end, does it matter if it was supernatural or natural? It had an effect on you, increased faith and devotion. Does the source really matter, in that case? Enjoy it, either way, but don't linger on it.
Of course the source matters. It could be a trick of Satan.
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  #9  
Old Jan 2, '09, 11:35 am
himynameisjorge himynameisjorge is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

to make things short I have smelled things in prayer at work or in blessings. some of them are roses and chrism but not incense and i do rule out alot of possibilities.
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  #10  
Old Jan 2, '09, 4:26 pm
turtle18 turtle18 is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Yes, this has happened to me amongst other things. I have a Holy Hour every Sunday morning and read the LOTH during it. One of the readings in the LOTH was Psalm 141 that says your prayers are like incense rising to heaven.

That night, as I was falling asleep, there was a strong smell of incense in the room. (it was around 3:30 am). I was half asleep & then I bolted upright. It was as if a gentle breeze brought it and then it went away. It was a very beautiful experience for me.

I have no doubt that the origin was divine.

Here is a link to the psalm:

http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm141.htm
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  #11  
Old Jan 2, '09, 8:32 pm
Tenebrae Tenebrae is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Whenever you start to experience something like this, bless yourself (i.e. make the sign of the cross) and invoke God's protection.
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  #12  
Old Jan 4, '09, 5:56 pm
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Rawb Rawb is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Quote:
Of course the source matters. It could be a trick of Satan.
Of course, how silly of me. I had forgotten that Satan goes around increasing our Faith in God.
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  #13  
Old Jan 4, '09, 9:50 pm
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Madaglan Madaglan is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias123 View Post
Praised be Jesus Christ!

For some time now I think I may have been smelling incense where there is no incense. Sometimes after I pray I can swear I can smell incense this also happens during prayer. I can only smell it for a fraction of a second. However it is just long enough to get my attention. It feels like it is just on the tip of my nose. This sometimes happens when I am thinking of God throughout the day. It happened to me once as I was walking to mass.

I am probably just imagining it, or there may be some kind of natural explanation. (My body spray does smell kind of like incense, but I have smelt it while not wearing it.)

Or perhaps the incense from mass is getting stuck in my nose, and I am just smelling its residue.

I am an extremely credulous person, so I am always inclined to rule out all natural phenomenons.


Now I know there are countless reports of God actually making people smell things which I believe are quite genuine. I know there are people that are close to Saint Theresa that wake ups smelling flowers. I also know some people smell flowers while in adoration where there are no flowers. (Attributed to the presence of Mary.)

But are there any reports of anyone smelling incense for no reason?

Yours in Christ,

Matthias
I regularly burn church incense in my room, but every so often there are intervals when I do not (e.g. low on charcoal). One time when in my room, I picked up a distinct whiff of an incense I had burned over a week earlier. It could have been God making the incense smell; it could also have simply been leftover aroma floating around.

It may be that your church clothing picks up some of the incense scent and you bring it home with you.
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  #14  
Old Jan 5, '09, 5:07 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawb View Post
Of course, how silly of me. I had forgotten that Satan goes around increasing our Faith in God.
Where in the OP's OP did it say it increased her faith in God??
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  #15  
Old Mar 17, '09, 1:47 pm
oldD oldD is offline
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Default Re: Smelling incense?

Has anyone have information from Church teaching on this
At first I thought it was a mental suggestion. I am no saint, but I have a Strong faith in God..
I have in the past smell incense and the smell of roses while in prayer, during mass or other times just doing everyday routine. I look round to see where it is coming from like a soft breeze,I smell it, and it is gone..

Again It happen last night at a lenten service. I share this with some one and I saw the look , oh know they think, I must be crazy. So what is it. I guess I will shut up about it.
So looking at this sight , it looks like I am not the only one who has experience this,
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