Today, Western culture, now followed by many others, has passed from an almost instinctive awareness of God’s presence to what is often called a more “scientific” view of reality. Everything must be explained in terms of our daily experience. Whatever makes one think of miracles immediately becomes grounds for suspicion. As a result, all symbolic actions and objects, known as sacramentals, once part of the daily religious practice of every Catholic, are today far less evident in the religious panorama than they once were.
The reasons for such a change are numerous and diverse, but they all come down to the noticeable cultural shift from traditional forms of religion to more personal and individualistic expressions of what is now being called “spirituality”. It seems that there are three specific reasons at the heart of such a change.