As Catholics our abundant use of symbols and material objects like water, oil, bread, wine, and incense can open us to superstitious beliefs and even magical thinking. This occurs when symbols lose their purpose to point beyond themselves to deeper realities and are somehow imbued with powers of their own. It’s not holy water itself or even the cross itself that can put demons to flight, but the power of the God working through them. Even the great gift of the Eucharist does not magically transform us simply by our partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. Like the Israelites and their refrain the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, our use of holy things and holy objects avails us nothing if our hearts are not open and yielded to the Holy Spirit. As commendable as using holy water is, it will avail us little if we are not simultaneously striving to expel the demonic forces from our hearts in the daily battle against sin. So when it comes to the material symbols of our faith and worship let us engage our faith and not our superstitions—otherwise we will also be chanting in vain, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!