Father Stefan working paper on the Sacrament of Anointing of the sick be asked to write an article showing the development of the sacrament. Main Point to emphasize, To anchor the sacrament of anointing of sick in healing and only secondly in the forgiveness of sins ‘Soul Institute”

(Part 3 the sacrament of anointing of the sick is more about healing than forgiveness of sins)

Dennis Linn and Matthew Linn in the book ‘Healing Life Hurts’ writes ” Early Church writers emphatically state that prayerfully anointing people in this way was common. (See James 5: 14-17…Are there any sick among you….prayer of faith will heal the sick person.) and that it did bring physical health. Hippolytus (250) writes how the oil for anointing was offered along with  the bread and wine at the offerory. People then took the oil home and blessed the sick their sick after forgiving one another. St John Chrysostom (410) complains that his lamps are always out of oil because the laity keep taking it for their sick. The account of St Irenaeus (150), St Ephrem (350) St Caesar (502) St Bede (753) any many others testify how anointing physically healed when all else failed.

(Important clarification. The sacrament of anointing was only administered by a priest or bishop. There was only anointing by lay people.) My point is to show the lively belief in an expectation of physical healing.

” Before the eight century, all known documents explain the rite of anointing as preparing the sick for health and not for death….Vatican II called for a return to the traditional way of celebrating the sacrament of the sick, not just on a person’s deathbed, but to bring physical healing.”

Francis MacNut in his book ‘The Nearly Perfect Crime How the Church Almost Killed the Ministry of Healing’ writes, ” The basic teaching of the books of Acts is that the early Christian simply carried on the work of Jesus by preaching that the Kingdom of God was at hand and then make they made it all come true by healing the sick and casting out evil spirits.

It is significant that right after Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) the first major event that followed was a dramatic healing. When Peter and John were going to the temple to pray , a crippled beggar was carried past them-crippled from birth. He looked at them, hoping fir a handout out, but instead Peter and John said, ‘Look at us.’ Peter than told him:

‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’  Taking him by the right hand, he helped up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he want with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.'” (Acts 3;6-8)

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