Yogananda used to say: “Company is greater than will power,” and certainly we cannot help but be affected by the people around us because all human beings emit energies that influence anyone within their aura, the magnetic field that surrounds them at all times. Material objects have their inherent vibrations as well as any energies that may have become attached to them in various ways. This being so we can extend Yogananda’s assertion and say that environment is greater than will power in many instances. For this reason it is extremely beneficial for the house we live in to be blessed (and the place where we work, if we can manage it). Certainly our automobile should be blessed with the general blessing of objects rite.
A place blessed by the Wedgwood-Leadbeater ritual becomes a great source of protection and blessing to those living or entering there. Here are some of my experiences I would like to tell you about. The first four are a bit spooky but very informative. The fifth is extremely satisfactory.
Blessing and healing
One day our monastery telephone rang, and when I answered it a woman on the other end of the line asked me if I ever did exorcism–that she had been under psychic attack for several months and no priest (she was Roman Catholic) would agree to come to her house and do one. She had even contacted the director of the local Franciscan Third Order and described her experiences with what she felt were invisible, malefic beings bothering her. In response the director laughed and said: “O! just wait till they start wrapping around your arms and legs and crawling all over your body!” Some help. Then she had written to several monastic foundations and gotten some very odd advice, such as to go to every door and window in the house and imagine she was smearing Jesus’ blood on them for protection. Need I tell you it did not work?
From our conversation I could tell this was a highly intelligent woman and very level-headed. There was no way I could refuse help, so I explained that the first step in exorcism was blessing, that often nothing further was needed. (Blessing can be an excellent diagnostic tool to determine evil influences, obsession and possession.) On a day convenient for her, one other monk and myself when to her house. Meeting her confirmed my positive impression of her on the telephone. As we entered the house I could see a child lying in bed within a side room. “That is my grandson,” she told me. “He has had fever for a few days. Maybe you can say some prayers for him after blessing the house.” I agreed, and with the other monk’s assistance I did the house blessing.
The woman was amazed at the total change in atmosphere. As she was expressing this, her grandson came running in, healthy and rambunctious as usual. This told me that his illness had come from the negative energies directed at the house. When they had gone, he had instantly recovered. “I guess he doesn’t need any healing,” his grandmother observed as he frisked around. I heard from her occasionally in subsequent years, and the trouble never recurred.
A mother-in-law’s curse
Once a woman who came our monastery Mass on Sundays asked if I would bless her house. She had married a man whose mother was an overt sorceress in an Eastern European country. After she came on a visit to them, everything went wrong between them and even with the house. So strong was the malevolence that the husband gave up and divorced our friend, hoping in that way to at least get his mother’s curse off of him. After the divorce things calmed down, but our friend felt that something was still not right, and asked if I thought a house blessing would help. Since it is a good thing to bless a house in all circumstances I suggested one be done.
Along with another monk I went and blessed the house, which had a very normal atmosphere right from the first. Because of this I assumed there was no problem. Right at the end of the blessing I asked the woman to open the doors of a glass-fronted cabinet where I could see many items of china displayed. “Oh!” she exclaimed, “my mother-in-law gave me those. She brought them from Europe and made a big point about my having them.” “Then I know they should be blessed,” I replied. She tried to open the doors and found them locked. “But I never lock them,” she said. It took a while to find the key, but she managed. The moment the holy water touched that china a tremendous negative force exploded out of them, terrifying our friend and certainly impressing us. In a moment the force was gone–literally running out the door. So all was well from then on. The potential harm had been defused.
The black magic house and garage
A local businesswoman came to our monastery one day and asked to see me (we had met briefly at a psychic fair some weeks before). She told me that she and her husband owned quite a few rental properties. One of them was in a rundown part of town, and a woman she had felt was very peculiar had rented it for a few years, always paying the rent by mail so they had not met with her since she had first rented the house. Occasionally neighbors had called and said strange things were going on in the house, but when they telephoned the woman about it she told them the neighbors were unhappy with her because she chased their children away when they came on the property. Recently the woman had become seriously ill and had to be taken to a hospital where she died.
When the owners went to look at the house to see about getting it ready for rental, they were stunned to find that a hole had been burned in the living room floor and the space below was filled with the decaying bodies and skeletons of many kittens. The renter had sometimes hired a young woman to help her in various ways and even stay in the house for a time. When they contacted her, the woman came to the house and told them that the renter had practiced black magic, part of which was sacrificing kittens–that the hole had been made by a sacrificial fire that had gotten out of hand. She told them that if they dug a bit they would find the bodies of many more kittens in the garage, which had a dirt floor. They went right out to it and found over two dozen skeletons buried there.
The owner had come to me because they could not rent the house because everyone who looked at it was repelled. She herself said that she hated spending even a few minutes there because of the evil atmosphere, and asked how much it would cost for me to psychically cleanse the place. I told her that there would be no charge–it was my job to take care of things like that. So in a few days two of us went to see what could be done. A great deal needed to be done.
The vibrations of the house were really foul, but the blessing cleaned it up without a bobble. It seemed a good idea to take a look at the garage. There we found a definite, eerie feeling to the place, including a broken crucifix partially buried just inside, so we did the blessing. Things got better, but were still not right. This really puzzled me. What more was needed? Then I remembered reading a book where a man told of having to bless the outside of a building as well as the inside. We walked around the inside of the garage and I could tell that the whole thing was completely clear. But when we went outside and walked around the building it was very wrong indeed. We decided that more dead kittens must be buried around the whole structure. Not being interested in digging them up, we decided to sprinkle all around the garage with a good deal of holy water and blessed salt. When that was done, all was clear. In two days the house was rented.
Portrait of a demon
A man once came and did some work for our monastery. In conversation with one of the monks he said that his father-in-law had committed suicide a day or so before and that no priest would agree to hold a memorial for him, much less a Mass. Our chapel could not hold the large amount of people who would attend a service for the man, since he was very beloved by many, so we celebrated a Mass that only the family attended, and then we had a public memorial service in a large cemetery chapel. We continued to pray for his soul, confident that God was much more merciful than man. As Saint Therese of Lisieux once said: “God’s justice means that He understands.”
The family became very friendly with us, and one day we got a phone call from the suicide’s daughter asking if we could do something about strange phenomena in their house. They had been told that the previous owners had been involved of some kind of negative occultism, and every so often really odd things would happen, usually more annoying than frightening.
When I went to the house to bless it, they took me into their bedroom and opened the closet door to show a childish, cartoon-like line drawing of a little demon. It was exactly like the one shown in the book The Amityville Horror. I figured it was a kind of silly affectation on the part of the prior owners, but Judy said: “We have painted over that more than six times, and after a few days it reappears just like it is newly painted.” And it did look like it was freshly done, not like something that was just showing through layers of paint.
Since I had no idea about the matter, I just went ahead and blessed the house, making sure to douse the the picture with a lot of holy water. That very day the drawing began to fade and in a week or so was completely gone. The proof of its nature was in its disappearance.
Holiness becometh Thy house
“Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever” (Psalms 93:5).
There was a house out in the country that was to be moved quite some distance to another rural property. The owners were worried as to how successfully it could be moved since it had been built in 1914, so I went to bless it before the move in hope that would make a difference. I decided not to do the blessing myself, but brought along one of our monastery priests and a visiting friend. I just sat in the living room and observed. The house had a very peaceful, homey atmosphere and I felt very much at ease sitting there. But suddenly a tremendous positive force surged through the whole structure as the walls, ceiling and floor were transformed in vibration. It no longer felt like a house but a holy temple. I am not exaggerating in the least. If ever a building could be sanctified, that house had just been canonized. All three of us were awed. And the capstone was that all this took place at the very first drawing of a line of holy water at the front door. Just the beginning of the blessing had done so much already.
Rites of unique power
We have consistently observed that the simplest acts in Bishop Wedgwood’s rituals possess a power and produce an effect to a degree not seen by us in any rites intended for the same purpose. For example, in the traditional Western rite for Holy Saturday there is an elaborate ceremony for the blessing of new fire and the Paschal Candle that represents the presence of the resurrected Christ for the next forty days. Every time I witnessed it done in the traditional manner I found it truly impressive. But the first time we did the Wedgwood form, which basically consists of four simple sentences, we were astounded at the power conveyed by them. And when the candle was lit an atmosphere was generated like I had never experienced on previous Holy Saturdays.
Yogic Blessing of a House
When the priest enters the house he says:
Peace be to this house and to all that dwell herein.
In many cultures there is a strong belief that invisible guardians live at the threshold of a place. The ancient Romans used to prostrate themselves before the threshold before they entered a new house for occupation. And friends used to do similar acts and even make offerings asking for the blessing and protection of those who lived there. The custom of carrying a new bride over the threshold comes from Roman times.
Taking holy water, the priest draws a line with it at the front door as he prays:
We pray Thee, O Lord, so to bless this doorway by Thy mighty power that those who enter here may leave behind them all unworthy thought and feeling, that Thy children who dwell in this place may ever serve Thee in peace and holiness of life; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
He then goes to all other entrances to the house and draws a line of holy water before each, repeating the same prayer. This seals the house and prevents negative energies from entering there. I have seen negative people unable to enter a blessed house even when they wanted to. One man that came to our monastery looked like he was pushing against some invisible barrier. He had come with three other people who were already inside and watching him in bewilderment. “Come on in!” snapped of of them in annoyance. His response was to turn around, run down the walk, jump in the car and drive away, leaving them with no way to get home. Later we learned that this man was a fervent practitioner of magic by which he manipulated the behavior of others, even making them purchase things in his store that they did not really want. After four years of tremendous profits the whole thing collapsed when thieves carried away everything and he had no insurance.
So a threshold is no simple thing.
Purification and blessing
He next blesses incense and censes and sprinkles with holy water the entire house for purification.
Returning to the front door he prays:
O God, Who in Thy providence hast appointed a wondrous ministry of Angels, we pray Thee to send down Thy holy Angel to ✠ bless and to ✠ hallow this house, that they who dwell herein may live in the power and love of Christ our Lord and Master and may continually serve before Thee in all good works; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
In the way the house is not just blessed by the priest but by the angels and by their Master Christ. All that remains is for those to live there to increase the blessing by their daily lives of dedication to God and man.
“This day is salvation come to this house” (Luke 19:9).
Next in Yoga of the Sacraments: Consecration of Holy Oils