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Anointing of the Sick Theology

The Anointing in baptism and confirmation identified us as Anointed Ones, as members in the Body of Christ.  The responsibility in this can feel like a great burden, but never more than when the weaknesses of our bodies keep us from following the promptings of our spirit.   At these times, the Church reaffirms our identity in Christ by Anointing the Sick.

Our sufferings are images of His suffering on the Cross.   With Jesus, we pray that suffering may pass us by, that we might be healed of our infirmities.   Always we trust that our suffering will lead to our resurrection with Jesus.

"If anyone is ill, let him call for the priests that they may anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and pray for him" James 5:14

The Roman Catholic Church sees the effects of the sacrament as follows.   As the sacrament of Marriage gives grace for the married state, the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick gives grace for the state into which people enter through sickness.   Through the sacrament is given a gift of the Holy Spirit that renews confidence and faith in God and strengthens against temptations to lapse into discouragement and anguish at the thought of death and the struggle of death.   It thus leads to spiritual healing with forgiveness of sins.

An extensive account of the teaching of the Catholic Church on Anointing of the Sick is given in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1499-1532