A weasel can chew through a cable and knock out a particle accelerator, but I can’t chew through an egg salad sandwich.
I had what might be called a “dental emergency”. I knocked off the distal cusp of a mandibular molar. Thus, pulling the priest card, I contacted a dentist friendly to clergy, who promptly opened his office, called a staffer, numbed a bunch of nerves (pretty obviously branching of the trigeminal, one of the cranial nerves), and repaired me. They were super helpful and I’m grateful.
I was then told to rinse in the evening with salty water and asked to bless the dental office… which I did… both. I might have also rinsed with a little rye… medicinally, of course, and to balance the humors, wry and other.
Which brings me to the next point. Our relationship with salt.
Saline solutions are used to replenish our bloodstream. We wash our eyes out with saline, our sinuses, our mouths. Salt flavors our food and helps our bodies to work properly.
Saline solution, blessed, Holy Water, shoos away the Devil when we make the Sign of the Cross with it. We splash it around before Mass in the Asperges and, during Paschaltide, the Vidi aquam. We add it in the blessing of Epiphany Water. We bless objects and sprinkle it. The Lord used salt as a metaphor for our zeal and love in the Faith.
Bringing body and soul together in a single beautiful instant, in the traditional rite of Baptism, we put a little salt into the mouths of baptizandi before they are led into the church. “Accipe sal sapientiae: propitiatio sit tibi in vitam aeternam…. Receive the salt of wisdom: may it be for you a token that foreshadows life everlasting.”
Symptoms of corporal salty deficiency (hyponatremia) include nausea and vomiting, headache, short-term memory loss, confusion, lethargy, fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps, seizures, and decreased consciousness or coma. Hmmm… sort of like what sin does to us. No? Translated into spiritual terms, if we lack what the Lord describes in being ourselves salty in the Spirit, we might say that sin makes us stupid and spiritually sick… until we die from the lack of habitual saving grace and wind up in Hell.
When a priest blesses Holy Water he exorcises the salt, addressing it personally, as if it were a living thing.
Blessed salt can be used for spiritual purposes alone or also for consumption! The prayer in the traditional manner says:
O you creature of salt, I purge you of all evil by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, who commanded by the Prophet Elisha that you be put into water in order that the sterility of the water would be healed: so that you might be rendered a purified salt for the salvation of believers, and so that you might be a healthiness of soul and body to all who consume you, and so that you may put to flight and drive out from a place in which you will have been scattered every phantom and wickedness, and cunning trap of diabolical deceit, and every unclean spirit be solemnly banished by command through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. R. Amen.
Consume! Health of soul and of body!
As you can see, blessed salt is for the blessing of holy water, for sprinkling in places, and for consumption. And the Devil hates it.
We really need salt, for our bodies and for our souls.
In nearly 25 years as a priest (anniversary coming in May) I have only… only…. used the older Rituale Romanum to bless salt and Holy Water. I will not change in the next 25 years, if I am granted them.
Blessed salt and Holy Water.
Obtain them. Use them.
Hell’s minions and the catch-farts who help them do not like blessed salt!