Reflection About Anointing

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The anointing of the sick is easily one of the more complicated and less understood sacraments in the Catholic Church. The purpose of this sacrament is to bring spiritual and sometimes even physical strength and occasionally even healing in the duration of an illness, especially when one is near the time of death. It is usually and almost hopefully one of the last sacraments one will receive. The sacraments are an outward sign established by Jesus to confer inward grace. In simpler terms, they are a rite that is performed to convey God’s grace to the recipient; through the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Like all the other sacraments, the anointing of the sick was instituted by Jesus during his ministry on earth. The anointing of the sick conveys many graces and gives gifts of strength through the Holy Spirit against anxiety and temptation, and will even convey peace and fortitude. The oil used in administering the sacrament is called the Oil of the Sick. It is one of three Holy oils blessed by the bishop of the diocese in their cathedral on Holy Thursday morning, the other two being Holy Chrism and the Oil of Catechumens, the latter being used in Baptism. The Oil of the Sick is pure olive oil—nothing is added except blessing by the bishop. It is appropriate as part of the outward sign of Anointing of the Sick through the healing and strengthening effects which are associated with olive oil. The grace of the sacrament lies in the anointing and the short prayer which

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