Dear Beloved in Christ,
God is with us!
If you’ve been Orthodox for any amount of time, you’ve probably acquired your own collection of holy oils—from St. John Maximovich, St. Nektarios, the myrrh-streaming icon from Hawaii, or other sources. Each household’s collection is a little different (like the one pictured above). I say “collection” because, for many of us, these bottles just sit on a shelf or in prayer corner for years, never used. So why do we have them?
Holy oils, which have been blessed over a relic or a miracle-working icon, are blessings from God and vessels of His grace. They are medicines which God gives us for physical, psychological, and spiritual healing. However they impart no grace at all by sitting on a shelf unopened.
If you have holy oil, I encourage you to anoint yourself and those in your household each day, either in the morning or in the evening. (Holy oils, since they are not sacramental, may be used to anoint non-Orthodox as well.) Simply say a brief prayer to the saint who is connected to the oil, asking for his/her intercessions in your life.
In this way, the divine grace which comes from our Lord, through his holy saints, into these blessed oils, then enters into our own lives, sanctifying our days—especially these present days, with the uncertainty and worry that accompany them.