"Is any one among you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven."
Jas 5: 14-15
Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, we experience powerlessness, limitation, and our own mortality. Every illness has the potential to make us glimpse our own death. Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, and sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping to discern in life what is essential and what is not. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to Him.
Anointing of the Sick is not a sacrament only for those who are at the point of death. Hence, it would be fitting to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick as soon as anyone begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age. If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he or she can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person's condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It would be fitting, also, to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds true for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced.
The special grace of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick has as its effects:
- uniting the sick person to the passion of Christ, for their own good and that of the whole Church;
- the strengthening, peace, and courage to endure in a Christian manner the sufferings of illness or old age;
- forgiveness of sins, if the sick person was not able to obtain it through the Sacrament of Penance;
- restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of their soul;
- preparation for passing over to eternal life.
The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick is available by calling Fr. Timothy Reker at (507) 388-3766. (Day or Night).