Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation and Anointing

The theme , Sacraments of Healing”, is timely. First, all of us experience the need for healing. Each is subject to sin, suffering, disease and death. George Bernard Shaw with a sparkling quotable quote wished to have inscribed on his tombstone, “I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this would happen”. Even after Baptism, Christians still carry this new life “in earthen vessels”. The second reason is that the practice of both sacraments has entered into crisis. Thirdly, these sacraments offer a response to the two fundamental questions raised by Pope Benedict XVI in his 2005 Encyclical Letter, Deus Caritas Est (DCE), “What does this path of ascent and purification [of eros] entail? How might love be experienced so that it can fully realize its human and divine dimensions?”[1]. Fourthly, just as there is a unity among the Sacraments of Christian Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist, “so too it can be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as Viaticum, constitute at the end of Christian life ‘the Sacraments that prepare for our heavenly homeland’ or the sacraments that complete the earthly pilgrimage”[2].

It must be kept in mind throughout that we are saved by faith and the sacraments of faith.

   Prayer for the health and dignity of the sick.