Anointing of the Sick
"The first grace of this sacrament is one of
strengthening, peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that
go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old
age" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1520).
Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of
every kind of illness are a splendid sign that "God has visited his
people" (Lk 7:16). His preferential love for the sick draws special
attention to all those who suffer in body and soul. Often Jesus
asked the sick to believe because he came to heal the whole person.
He gave us this sacrament of comfort and hope.
One of the two Sacraments of Healing is Anointing of the
Sick. This sacrament is not only for those who are in danger of
death, but suffering a serious illness. The priest prays that they
may be healed in body, mind, and spirit.
God created us body and spirit. We experience sickness,
suffering and death of our physical bodies as a result of original
"Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest
problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his
powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can
make us glimpse death. Illness can lead to anguish,
self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It
can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life
what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is.
Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him"
(CCC, 1500 - 1501).
The Anointing of the Sick strengthens the person against the
temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.
United in the passion of Christ, a person who suffers participates
in the saving work of Jesus. It is given to anyone suffering
serious illness, not just to those at the point of departing this
life. The power of the sacrament is meant to heal the soul, and
also the body if such is God's will.
The Second Vatican Council stated that the Anointing of the Sick
no longer needed to be reserved for the dying.
Contact a priest at St. Joseph to arrange for an anointing.