The following people are encouraged to receive the anointing of the sick:
- people whose health is seriously impaired by sickness or old age
- people who have fallen ill after being anointed previously
- people who are having surgery
- elderly people who have become notably weakened even though no serious illness is present
- sick children if they can understand the purpose of this sacrament and not be frightened of it.
How do you know if you are seriously ill enough to receive the anointing of the sick?
A prudent or reasonably sure judgment, without scruple, is sufficient for deciding on the seriousness of an illness.
What is the purpose of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 1500-1532) teaches that illness and suffering have always been one of the problems we confront in life. In illness, we experience our powerlessness and limitations. Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, and sometimes despair and revolt against God. On the other hand, illness can also make a person more mature, helping them discern in their life what is not essential. Very often illness motivates us to search for God.
In the Anointing of the Sick we receive the strength of the Holy Spirit. We are given peace and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age. We are strengthened against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death. The Anointing of the Sick is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will.
Another effect of the Anointing of the Sick is that it unites us with the passion of Christ. Our suffering can become a participation in the saving work of Jesus as we are configured to the Savior’s redemptive Passion.
Please call Father Neil if you would like to receive the Anointing of the Sick. Father Neil is available for urgent needs by calling 952-492-2640 and press 3 to connect to Father’s cell phone. Father Neil may also be contacted at 952-492-4560.