Here is a picture of my new holy water font. Isn’t it nice?
Actually, “new” is not quite accurate. Scott gave me this last Christmas, but we only got it up on the wall a few weeks back. Since having kids, eight and a half months is how long it takes me to attend to any household task that is not absolutely necessary to sustain life.
To be honest, when I first saw the gift, part of me was slightly hesitant. A holy water font? In my house? I had never considered myself a domestic holy water kind of gal. Holy water font people are people who go to Mass daily and can recall saints’ feast days from memory. They are not people who occasionally drop four-letter words or who watch “The Bachelor,” both of which I have done do.
But a gift is meant to be used, isn’t it ? So I am using it. And, more than that, I’m really getting into it.
At this point, you no doubt have a few questions for me.
Where do you get the holy water?
It comes from my husband’s office. This is one of the perks of having a spouse who works at a church. (Having four priests concelebrate your wedding is another.)
Where do you keep the extra holy water?
In our kitchen, in an Arrowhead bottle.
As you can see above, I have marked the bottle with large, hard-to-miss penmanship. Without the label, it would only be a matter of hours before I accidentally took a swig.
What was it like the first time you blessed yourself in your own home?
Kind of weird, honestly. I was on my way out for a jog, and dipped in my fingers and made the sign of the cross, and it felt utterly bizarre and out of context — but also quite nice. Then I forgot to do it for a few days. The next time I took a dip, all the water had evaporated.
So now that you’ve had it a few weeks, what do you think of it?
Honesty, I’m totally into it, and here’s why. It’s so hard to maintain a strong spiritual routine when you have kids. I have little time in which to sit and pray (and when I do try to sit and pray, I invariably fall asleep). So I’m finding that I pray quickly, on the go — I think of God at random moments and say Hi and then go on with my day. It’s like I am working spirituality into the fabric of my daily routine, in little subtle ways.
And the holy water font helps with that. Evey time I head out the door, I can pause for a second, dip my fingers, and get a little blessing. It takes almost no time at all but it is so concrete, so about the senses, that it is pretty powerful; it gets through to me in a way that a verbal prayer can’t. And it makes the least holy of moments — dashing out the door in the morning, wishing I’d left five minutes earlier — into a very tangible chance to remember God. It’s a chance to remember my baptism, and to recall that I belong to a big and messy but ultimately wonderful faith. It is a reminder to try to reflect the best aspects of that faith to the people I encounter in the course of my day. It makes the mundane holy … and that’s pretty amazing.
So who knew? I’m a holy water font kind of gal after all.