It’s Day 208!!
THE EFFECTS OF THE CELEBRATION OF THIS SACRAMENT
The effects are REMARKABLE
Paragraph 1520 says, “A particular gift of the Holy Spirit.”
At the end of one’s life or for healing
Paragraph 1521 says, “Union with the passion of Christ.”
We are even more united to the Passion, suffering, and death of Jesus
Paragraph 1522 says, “An ecclesial grace.”
God pours out the grace of the Church upon the person and brings them to the heart of the Church in some ways
The Church, as the Body of Christ, continues to suffer for and with Christ
Paragraph 1523 says, “A preparation for the final journey.”
VIATICUM, THE LAST SACRAMENT OF THE CHRISTIAN
Bread for the journey
Food for the way
This holy moment at the end of one’s life has the capacity to be life changing
It could also be in dark moments of life of difficulty or sickness where all we can do is suffer
Sometimes all it seems we can do is just be in the midst of it
Jesus is also in the midst of it
The Church is also in the midst of it
So there we have it!!
There is so much beauty in these paragraphs
As we face death and suffering, we are facing something profound
Let’s listen to Fr. Mike’s story about Dr. Peter Kreeft…
Death is horrible
Death is obscene
We are not made for death because God made us for life
We don’t think about death very often in our culture
Maybe you have a culture in your family or community that keeps death before its eyes always
In the West, we don’t typically do that
We put it off to the side
DEATH IS GUARANTEED!!
The mortality rate for human beings continues to hover around 100%
How often do we NOT reflect on our own death?
Paragraph 1520 says, “The first grace of this sacrament is one of strengthening, peace, and courage to overcome the difficulties that go with the condition of serious illness or the frailty of old age.”
The Church is not saying that since suffering has been REDEEMED by Jesus, it is a piece of cake from now on
Death is the gateway to the NEXT life so no big deal
Death is scary
Death is difficult
Death is trying and troubling
Paragraph 1520 continues, “This grace is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who renews trust and faith in God and strengthens against the temptations of the evil one, the temptation to discouragement and anguish in the face of death.”
We don’t have to always be in the face of death to know whether or not our sickness makes us a BETTER person or a BITTER person
We can look at how we respond to the common cold or a stuffy nose because those are minor inconveniences
At some point in our lives everything in our lives will either be slowly or quickly stripped away
We NEED the grace to not become discouraged
We NEED the grace to not give in to anguish in the face of death
That is the temptation
WIll this suffering, sickness, or the end of my life leave me bitter?
Will it help me become better?
THOSE ARE TRULY TRULY THE TWO OPTIONS!!
A lot of times there can be a real healing
We are praying for healing but we are also praying for a deeper healing
That deeper healing can be the healing of the soul
The healing and forgiveness of sins
One of the effects of Anointing of the Sick is FORGIVENESS OF SINS
We are not just praying for healing
We are also praying for the strength and faith to be able to say, “Ok, God. Use this.”
Paragraph 1521 says, “Union with the passion of Christ.”
It gives us the grace to say, “God, configure my heart to the heart of your Son, Jesus. Use what I am going through in this moment. However small or great it is, use it for your glory. Use it for the salvation of the world.”
Suffering is not a good
Suffering is a mark of the brokenness of this world
Jesus Christ has transformed SUFFERING into POWER
Jesus Christ has transformed suffering into something useful
We can unite OUR suffering to Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world and the glory of the Father and the good of the Church
We are not alone in the midst of our suffering
None of us come to God alone
We live in this community
EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US is going through something right now
We keep pressing PLAY
Whatever inconvenience we have in our lives…
Whatever suffering, sickness, or reality that we wish were otherwise that is happening in our lives right now…
GOD CAN USE IT ALL!!
GOD WANTS TO BE PART OF IT!!
God doesn’t just want to be part of the good times or the moments of holiness
GOD WANTS TO BE PART OF ALL OF OUR LIVES!!
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING TO THE VERY END!!
From the beginning, God wants to be there at our Baptism
God wants to be there strengthening us through Confirmation and the Eucharist throughout our entire lives
Paragraph 1523 says, “This last anointing fortifies the end of our earthly life like a solid rampart for the final struggles before entering the Father’s house.”
What is a rampart?
Those castle walls
These castle walls keep out the enemy and keep us strong
That strength comes from Jesus in the VIATICUM
STRENGTH FOR THE JOURNEY
FOOD FOR JOURNEY
The last time we receive the Eucharist, there is something called THE APOSTOLIC PARDON
The apostolic pardon is a prayer that priests have been delegated to pray with a person who is at the point of death
It is a plenary indulgence
Through the authority of the Church and the grace that Jesus Christ has given to the Church by the Power of the Holy Spirit, the priest can extend this apostolic pardon on all those people who are dying, as a rite of the Anointing of the Sick
God’s grace in the sacrament of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick remove all eternal consequences of sin aka HELL
The apostolic pardon even REMOVES TEMPORAL CONSEQUENCES OF SIN
Yes, Purgatory is real and that purification of our hearts is real
By the grace that Jesus Christ won for us in His life, death, and Resurrection and extends to the Church, through the Church every dying person or a person in danger of death can receive this apostolic pardon which also removes all temporal consequences due to sin
If your loved one is in the hospital and the priest visits and gives Anointing of the Sick, ask for the apostolic pardon as well
They might say, “Oh they’re not in danger of death yet.” or “This is just a surgery, so we’re not going to do that.”
There might be some prudential judgments happening there
If your loved one is in danger of death, ask the priest if he can extend the apostolic pardon to your loved one who is dying
IT IS AN INCREDIBLE GIFT!!
To ask for and for the priest to be able to offer
The grace of God is an incredible gift
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!