Recently, the Father has gifted me with a little bottle of blessed oil, brought for me from an orthodox monastery in Greece. The aroma of this blessed oil is really powerful, profound and, yes, mystical.
Obviously, when I say mystical, I am certainly not talking about the esotericism, which, as the joint document issued by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for interreligious Dialogue entitled Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of life: A Christian reflection on the “New Age”, aptly describes as “a search for knowledge, and magic, or the occult”. On the contrary, what is mystical is revealed because it is not a theoretical knowledge for the chosen few but holiness as the everyday bread and butter for every person. As Jesus himself tells us: Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19). So, Christian mysticism is about being great and not being small. It is about being authentic and not fake by placing oneself above others.
The famous bible teaching which tells us that you and me, thanks to Jesus’ Spirit in us that we have both received at our baptism and were confirmed in, at our confirmation, lives in us, is found in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. Here Paul says: But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? (2 Cor 2:14-16).
Both Jesus Christ and Satan have their aroma. The aroma of Jesus Christ is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23). Moreover, the Bible tells us that Christ’s aroma is also compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, … patience, … forgive[ness], … perfect harmony… love… thankful[ness], teach[ing], admonish[ing] one another… do[ing] everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, [and] giving thanks to God the Father through him (Col 3:12-17).
Almost every person I anoint and pray upon with this blessed oil tells me: “Father! What a nice smell this oil has!” You are hundred percent right my dear brother and sister! Because, if you and me carry within our hearts love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, patience, forgiveness, perfect harmony, thankfulness, teaching, admonishing one another gently, doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and giving thanks to God the Father through Him we certainly smell beautiful! The reason being that it is no longer our weak smell of sin that we keep carrying in our hearts but Christ’s fragrance! And, when you and me let God’s Spirit live in us and cultivate within us these holy and beloved attitudes then Jesus can look at us and say to us personally: How sweet is your love, my sister, my bride! How much better is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your oils than any spice! (Cant 4:10).
Yes! The fragrance of our oils, the oil of the Holy Spirit, is much more powerful than the spice of this world of sin and death. That is why the aroma of Satan is so horrible! It stinks to death! The Bible aptly describes Satan’s aroma as being fornication, impurity, licentiousness,
idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit,
envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like (Gal 5:19-21). Satan’s aroma is eternally destructive! That is why the Bible lovingly warns us to keep away from it since, those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal 5:21).
When you encounter me, especially at Mater Dei as I visit patients, their families, staff and touring around the hospital on the example of the Merciful Shepherd, remind me to anoint you with this oil, place my consecrated hand upon you and pray that you too be transformed by Christ’s aroma.
Holy Spirit open my heart to let the aroma of Christ take hold of me forever. Amen.