"And I love the generousness we see in God's ways and means of providing "grace upon grace" to the faithful."
+Anthony the Great reminds us that God's grace falls on all of us, the good and the evil, like rain falls on the Earth. Its a shame there are those who think God refuses His grace to any one and a greater shame that there are those who do not accept it.
"So it's nice to be in a company with those who say "Let yourself go! You want a blessing? Here's some water! You want an efficacious window into the Divine? Here's an Icon! Enjoy! Use! Rejoice! Take heart!"
The Faith and the practice of The Faith is supposed to make us joyful. Believing with every fiber of our bodies and souls that Christ is really present in the Eucharist, that Icons are windows to the Divine and we get to kiss those sacred images, that we have a Mother above all Mothers in Panagia, that being splashed with Holy Water is a blessing from God Himself, that +Gerasimos really had a lion whose best friend was a donkey and which, when the saint died, dug a grave for him, laid down upon it and died of a broken heart, that in the presence of theosis, nature itself returns to the pre-Fall state are matters and occasions of great happiness. When the people in the world see us prostrating ourselves in prayer, doing metanias in front of and kissing icons, telling stories of miraculous things from the Desert Fathers to our children and kissing each other two or three times, they think we are mad, at the least very, very odd. But we are the one's who have found the "pearl of great price".
You can't believe what an impression reading saints stories made on me in my protestant youth...windows into heaven!
Sacrementals are a sweet gift. The Sacraments are fountains by which Heaven touches us.
(and of course, I have religious art and zillions of things like Rosaries and prayer books scattered everywhere around me...having been deprived of them growing up, I appreciate their value!)
Maybe I'm a silly old woman, but I am thankful to a God who knows how to touch and comfort silly old women!