When the end of life threatens, it's easy to lose hold of hope. There is often a tremendous amount of pain and suffering. Regret for the things left undone in life can cloud the mind. Grief at letting go of things once prized and valued can be sharp and intense. It can be bitterly disappointing to find yourself standing on the threshold of life and realize that you never truly lived. It is at times like these that the Anointing of the Sick becomes a vital beacon of hope, reminding us that there are greater things than this still to come.
Not My Will, But Yours, Be Done
With the help of the priest, the sick person is given the graces needed to find peace in letting God direct the course of their life. They accept either healing for the body, if Love wishes them to continue their journey on Earth, or preparation of the soul for entrance into Heaven if Love wishes to take them home.
Unburdening Themselves of Guilt, Bitterness, Sorrow, and Regret
Nothing is as damaging to the ability to give and receive love as a stock pile of guilt, bitterness, sorrow, and regret. Those things are heavy burdens that prevent the soul from ascending into heaven when the time is right. They are also the things that most often cause the diseases we suffer from in the first place. The priest offers them the chance to get all of that out of their system and to receive forgiveness for whatever failures they feel burdened by.
Armor for the Final Battle
The final battle with Death is intense. Satan brings everything he can against that soul in the hopes of taking it down. Doubt, discouragement, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, helplessness, anger at the seeming injustice of it all, despair, and all manner of negative emotions may assault the soul that stands on that final battle field. If the soul is not properly prepared, it can be easy to give in and quit fighting the negative emotions that clutch at it and allow themselves to believe that life has been pointless and futile, and to turn away from Love's embrace.
Comfort In Distress
The anointing of the sick offers the ill comforting reminders that Love has not forgotten them in their hour of need. It brings the hope of peace and infuses the soul with the graces needed to endure whatever illness is faced. It invites Love to unite itself to the suffering person and to bring with it hope and joy into the midst of the darkness that surrounds them.
A Reminder of Greater Things
Life's nd to receive Love. The Anointing of the Sick reminds the person who receives it that it does not matter when that lesson is learned, Love will always welcome you home. It invites them to reflect on the world beyond this one where they will be taking that lesson and living it to the fullest. Their body will sleep for a time, but the soul will continue to live, to love, and to rejoice with Love.
Comfort and Peace for Those Left Behind
For those who remain, knowing that their loved one has received the anointing of the sick brings a comfort and a peace as well. They know that the soul has been entrusted to the care of Love, and that Love will take on the task of either healing them or shepherding them into eternity.
If you have questions about the anointing of the sick, feel free to ask. This is your chance. I don't promise that I have all the answers. But I know where to find the answers.