This website sells "sacramentals," which are apparently things like "blessed salt," "holy relic water," and rosaries "touched to" relics. Reading over the descriptions, all I can think is that the term "voodoo" comes to mind. I had the same feeling when I was in a Catholic bookstore and they were selling brown scapulars with written assurance than anyone wearing one at death would be saved from hell.
Yes, I'm aware of Paul's handkerchief from Acts 19:12. While I don't claim to understand it, I can accept that a person touching a relic could be healed/blessed as a result. Once you go beyond that, though, then what? The relic touches a stand which touches a floor which touches the ground which is part of a country which is part of the world, and my part of the world has ground which my apartment touches which are in turn touched by (at the moment) my bare feet. Am I thus blessed in any way by this relic (other than perhaps abstractly by its existence)?
I can understand how things like rosaries and icons serve as aids to worship, and that the things advertised are meant to be accompanied by prayer. When we get into the realm of "lucky beans," though, I can't help but think that things have gone too far.
(via Mark Shea)