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Anointing the Sick

Thursday, October 6, 2016 10:26
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In the midst of a priest’s ministry is the sacraments, in fact at its very heart is this daily encounter with Christ. The sacrament of the sick is administered quite frequently by a priest engaged in active parish ministry. The circumstances differ, the people are different, yet the aching familiarity is present in my mind, when I am called to anoint, be it in a hospital, or at a bedside in a nursing home. The enormity of the act of anointing is not lost, as this weak, ordinary human being, called to serve as a priest, arrives to bring the peace of Christ. The priest, through the holy anointing, is to allow that presence of Christ to be felt, so that it brings the hope sought after, the reassurance too. So that in the desolation and despair of the human condition, Christ is there abiding forever, supporting, bringing his peace to the weakness of our mortality. I wrote this poem after praying these words today at a hospital, for a beautiful soul, preparing to depart this earth.

Through this holy anointing
may the Lord in his love and mercy
help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.R. Amen.

May the Lord who frees you from sin
save you and raise you up. R. Amen.

Anointing the Sick

Called to administer this most sacred rite, a sacrament of anointing;
Grateful tears mingle with trustful prayers, a privilege of Christ's abiding
Trembling with the responsibility, spoken words heal, soothe, allay fear
Oil soft to the touch, pressed gently to human flesh, bring Christ’s peace here  
Inviting a calm moment, a stillness amidst the noise, in the midst of confusion,
A moment of clarity, an echo of awaiting eternity, a hint of heavenly recognition.

Fr Patrick Brennan © 2016 all rights reserved

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