Hmmm, I wonder how much faith that dead guy had when his corpse touched the bones of Elisha, which brought him back to life. I’m sure everyone there was surprised, especially the dead guy!
Several Biblical accounts show that there was no faith present at all when a miracle took place via a holy object or substance. Naaman was actually skeptical when he dipped in the waters of the Jordan river, but he got healed anyway.
I keep hearing two extreme views on this subject:
True, those who claim the objects have power in themselves have gone too far and are guilty of superstition which the Church condemns. But those who claim that the objects are merely a reminder to stir up our faith have gotten off the bus too soon. It’s such a safe, no-risk position that even a Protestant could embrace it without hesitation (I can say that with impunity since I was a Protestant for the first 54 years of my life). And I’ve seen many abuses that came out of the “people are healed through their faith” position, such as the faith healer saying “God did not heal you because you lacked faith.”
There’s a third, balanced position that sees sacramentals as channels of God’s power. This position seems to be backed up by scripture and history.
For an inadequate comparison, but the only one that comes to mind, think of a satellite dish; it does not contain any TV programs in itself, but it can bring us lots of TV programs from an outside source, programs we might not be able to receive any other way.
I don’t want to play “my source can beat up your source” but I’ll go with the Bible and also with what the Abbot of Solesmes has documented in his book, which I quoted above.
Have a little more faith in what God has chosen to do via sacramentals which have been blessed by the Church!