I have been meaning to write a post on sacramentals. But now I don’t have to. Pat Gohn is positively Sentimental about Sacramentals:
“Despite their name, sacramentals are not sacraments. Nor are they lucky charms or magical talismans. I harbor no superstitions about them, as no powers accompany them. Yet they do reflect all the special graces I have already received, pointing to the gift of God’s on-going presence in my life.
A sacrament actually confers grace that comes directly from Christ. If the sacraments are the big-ticket events—the most important moments of grace in the lives of Catholics—then sacramentals might be happily referred to as the small change of the sacraments. They do not confer any grace in and of themselves, but they prepare us to receive the fruit of the sacraments. They sanctify our daily lives.”
To get the low down on sacramentals go to Pathos and read Sentimental about Sacramentals by Pat Gohn.