Is this an abuse of a sacramental?


#1

I came across an examination of conscience that asks the reader if they have abused sacramentals by using them thoughtlessly or irreverently. Sometimes I make the sign of the cross if I'm happy about something, and often this involves doing it quickly while someone's back is turned (because they just gave me uplifting information, or because an interpersonal encounter went as well or better than I'd hoped).

Also, what if I realize that I'm holding an object (like, say...an old wiperblade, for instance :o) after I'm halfway finished crossing myself? I didn't intend any irreverence; is it irreverent anyway?


#2

By sacramentals, it is probbably reffering to blessed objects. For example a rosary that you have had a priest bless, or the palms you recieve on palm sunday, which are also considered sacramentals.

So your answer would be no. Nothing to worry about


#3

[quote="bknewto7, post:2, topic:293405"]
By sacramentals, it is reffering to blessed objects. For example a rosary that you have had a priest bless, or the palms you recieve on palm sunday, which are also considered sacramentals.

So your answer would be no. Nothing to worry about

[/quote]

Wikipedia article: Sacramentals

Some examples of rituals that are sacramentals are making the sign of the cross, bowing the head or bowing deeply, folding hands, genuflection, prostration, the imposition of blessed ashes (the ashes themselves are also a sacramental), the recital of blessings, the washing of feet, the celebration of the canonical hours and the seasons of the liturgical year, exorcisms, the reception of the minor orders, and the churching of women.

While your premise is incorrect, your conclusion is true. There is nothing for the OP to worry about. OP: You used a symbol of goodness with good intent. What could possibly be sinful about that? It is natural to be thankful to God for favors received. Many of us are thoughtless and wouldn't bother making a prayer of thanksgiving even when our wildest dreams come true. You are showing piety and devotion with a simple act here. I recommend that you continue this practice.

I can think of some examples of misusing sacramentals, though. If you juggled crucifixes as a joke or for the entertainment of others, that would be obviously irreverent. If you and a friend acted out a mock exorcism as a joke or a sacrilege, that would be sinful - however, reverently simulating the rite with actors in the context of a play or film could be acceptable. You get the picture: the intent matters here. Sacramentals are holy things sanctified by our reverent usage. You are naturally exhorted to make a good-faith attempt at reverence, but if somehow by mistake, an old wiper blade is in your hand at the moment, God in His infinite mercy can excuse such an oversight.


#4

This.

I don’t think you are being irreverent in any way. But even if you were, what I would say to you is not “stop doing it” but rather pray, study, meditate on what it means.


#5

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:1, topic:293405"]
I came across an examination of conscience that asks the reader if they have abused sacramentals by using them thoughtlessly or irreverently. Sometimes I make the sign of the cross if I'm happy about something, and often this involves doing it quickly while someone's back is turned (because they just gave me uplifting information, or because an interpersonal encounter went as well or better than I'd hoped).

[/quote]

Rejoice in the Lord always! (Phil 4:4)

The Sign of the Cross isn't just used for sad or solemn occasions. It can be used to express joy.

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:1, topic:293405"]
Also, what if I realize that I'm holding an object (like, say...an old wiperblade, for instance :o) after I'm halfway finished crossing myself? I didn't intend any irreverence; is it irreverent anyway?

[/quote]

Nope.

Think about this ...

There is scarcely any proper use of material things which cannot be thus directed toward the sanctification of men and the praise of God. (CCC 1670)

Not that you used the old wiperblade as a sacramental, but material things (even really mundane ones like old wiperblades) can be and should probably be used for the glory of God.


#6

[quote="Rejoice_Always, post:5, topic:293405"]

Not that you used the old wiperblade as a sacramental, but material things (even really mundane ones like old wiperblades) can be and should probably be used for the glory of God.

[/quote]

So it wouldn't cancel showers of blessings? :rolleyes: (Sorry, this is the lame joke that occurred to me afterwards.)


#7

[quote="SecretaryMonday, post:6, topic:293405"]
So it wouldn't cancel showers of blessings? :rolleyes: (Sorry, this is the lame joke that occurred to me afterwards.)

[/quote]

:D

:signofcross:


#8

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