I have recently had cause to think about some of the "little" things Catholics do because they are Catholic.
Some of these appear to be regional beliefs. I would welcome additions or explanations anyone cares to send my way.
I was recently at a wedding. It was out of town and a group of us were driving there together. The weather was "iffy" and we knew the wedding was to take place outdoors. One of our friends, who grew up in the area, said that she should have put her beads on the clothesline.
My husband looked at me quizzically. I told him that this was a local (as far as I know, anyway) custom. To ensure good weather for a wedding, women hung their rosary beads on the clothesline. Uh-huh said dh.
Not too long ago, a friend was talking about selling her house. She said she'd buried a statue of St. Joseph in her garden and the house sold quickly. Uh-huh...said the priest. Actually, I've heard that the statue must be buried upside down, according to the protocol for this practice. I told the priest that there are actually house-selling kits which include a statue of poor St. Joe.
Last week, my daughter was talking to an adult friend. I am not sure where the friend grew up, but when my daughter spoke about swimming, her friend expressed surprise. When she was growing up, they did not go swimming outside until St. Jean Baptiste Day (St. John the Baptist) after the priest had blessed the lake.
I'm sure everyone has seen the "ads" run in newspapers thanking various saints for "favours receieved". These notes are usually run for several days.
Some of these practices may cross the line between devotion and superstition. I have no problem with someone publically announcing favours received through the intercession of a particular saint, but does it have to happen nine times? My personal preference, if I were selling a house, would be to ask St. Joseph to pray for us as we did this. If I had a statue of him, I would NOT bury it, but display it somewhere. In my book business, which is entirely Catholic, I do not sell the St. Joseph's house selling kits.
Some of these practices are charming, although I do fear for those who do not look deeper into their faith. As long as these practices do not comprise the bulk of ones faith, I do not think they can cause harm. Kinda like wearing a scapular...