A few years ago, Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up had people across the country cleaning out the clutter in their houses. Now with a recently-released TV show on Netflix, Marie Kondo is once again inspiring people to tidy up their homes. But while many were binge-watching this show about tidying up, others last weekend were making sure that their homes were spiritually clean.
A tradition on Epiphany is to mark the doorway with blessed chalk as a way to bless the house and drive out any demonic forces that might be dwelling there. It was a good reminder for many that keeping our homes spiritually clean is even more important than cleaning out clutter.
Fr. Rick Heilman recently stopped by The Drew Mariani Show™ to discuss house blessings, sacramentals, and the importance of keeping our homes spiritually tidy.
Fr. Heilman explained that demonic spirits are not only present in so-called “haunted houses,” but are actually more common than many realize. “In the last few years you’ve seen that there is a rise of satanic instances around, and that has lead to a rise of more exorcists,” he said. “How important it is right now for us to understand that [Jesus] is divine, that there is such a thing as the power of God, that we need to rely on it, to count on it, and to use it in any way that we can.”
One reason house blessings are a tradition on Epiphany is because it is a feast in which we celebrate the revelation of Christ’s divinity. Claiming a home for Christ and cleaning it of evil is an act of trust in the divine power of Jesus.
“When we do this on Epiphany and you chalk the house to say the devil is not welcome here, part of that tradition is to go through the house with holy water and sprinkle each room,” Fr. Heilman explained. “You’re basically sweeping that house clean, purifying it, and saying only the Lord is welcome here. Not the devil.”
When you think of inviting evil into your home you might envision something dramatic, like a seance or a Ouija board. And while those are certainly dangerous activities, other sinful actions can invite the demonic into your home, whether you realize it or not.
Fr. Heilman offered an example, saying, “When somebody opens up their phone or their laptop and opens up pornography, that’s just a portal to let evil into the house. And you need to cleanse that, you need to sweep the house clean after something like that. Or anything like satanic practices or horoscopes – all these are saying the devil is welcome here. And all of a sudden you’ve got these demonic influences in the house. According to these exorcists you’ve got to sweep that house clean.”
But even with a rise in demonic instances, Fr. Heilman said that he has great hope for the times we are living in. Because as dark as it gets, the light still shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
“I’m loving the age that we’re living in right now,” he said. “Yes, there is a rise of the demonic, but what else is happening is a rise of faith, or belief, in the power of God that is happening right now. And so more and more people are saying, ‘Yes, I believe in the power of God. Yes, I believe in things such as holy water, blessed salt, the scapular, and everything that has been revealed to us to keep the devil at bay.'”
Drew echoed the sentiments of Fr. Heilman, encouraging listeners to make use of sacramentals such as holy water and blessed salt to protect their home and clean out the evil spirits dwelling there. “We need to use our spiritual weapons, our spiritual armor,” Drew said. “It’s foolish not to arm ourselves with it. Put on the armor of God.”
Listen to the full conversation with Fr. Rick Heilman below: