Here are some quotes that have caught my attention as I continue to read The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich:
“How sad that the priests of our day are so neglectful of their power, we might even say ignorant of what the sacerdotal benediction is! Many of them hardly believe in it. They blush at a blessing as if it were a superstitious and antiquated ceremony, whilst some never reflect upon the power given them by Jesus Christ.”
And if that was true then, think how much more so it is true today! I think it is sad that so many priests today have probably never been taught about the power they have. They don’t know the power of Latin, for the most part, either. So many have not experienced the extraordinary form of the Mass; I find that particularly sad, because my own experience of the Old Mass is that it allows the priest to be a priest, rather than a talk-show host. Not only that, but the current English version of the Book of Blessings has been watered down so much that it seems to be (in the words of my spiritual director) nothing more than a “book of good wishes”.
Blessed Sister Emmerich understood the power of a priest’s blessing. The quote above continues:
When they neglect to give me a blessing, I receive it sometimes from God Himself; but as Our Lord has instituted the priesthood and imparted to it the power to bless, I languish with the desire for it. The whole church is but one body. All must be deprived of what one member refused to bestow.”
She knew the value of holy water, and sought to make that her only drink. She knew the value of blessed bells, too:
“The sound of blessed bells has always been to me like a ray of benediction which banishes hurtful influences wherever it reaches. I think such sounds terrify Satan.”
We seem to have lost so much of our understanding of these things in the Church today. That is why it is important to truly know the faith – the way it was taught “in the old days” before the bishops started making it politically correct and inoffensive.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.