What exactly is a blessing?

What does it do for a person? And what does it do for an inanimate object?

And what is a curse? Does the church recognize curses/“spells” as real?

I’ve heard a couple different things. One the one hand, I heard that a blessing, for a person, helps prepare them to receive grace. But then what does it do for an inanimate object?

On the other hand, I heard Fr. John Corapi, SOLT, on EWTN saying that a blessing, in a sense, attaches a prayer to a person or object and that prayer follows that person/object wherever they go. For example, you bless holy water in order to vicariously bless the people anointed (or baptised) with it. In the same way, he said, curses can vicariously affect people through inanimate objects. Is that Church teaching??



Hey, just a thought on inanimate objects. There seems to be Biblical support for inanimate objects to possess a “blessing” the first that comes to mind is in the OT when Elijah took his mantle, rolled it up, struck the water with it and the water parted in 2 kings 2,8; after Elijah was bodily assumed into heaven, Elisha picked up this mantle, struck the water and it again parted the water, 2 kings 13-14. It would appear that this mantle did in fact possess some “power” since the parting of the water was not restricted to Elijah, but thru the mantle passed to Elisha also. Of course the power ultimately comes from God, He seems to use this inanimate object; this is also showing the passing on of the role of prophet from one generation to the next. As you mentioned Holy water, you see the OT example of water being used for a healing in 2 kings chap 5. Just off the top of my head I can think of Moses using his staff to bring forth water, holding the staff up in front of the battling armies, when the dead man was thrown into the grave of the prophet and the dead man returned to life by touching the burial clothes of the prophet, when the woman was healed by touching the tassel of the cloak of Jesus. There are of course many, many more. Keep in mind that the object has no power outside of the power God gives it, but, God does seem to give some blessing to objects as well as people. Just my opinion of course.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit