Part 5 working paper on the sacrament of anointing of the sick, primary thesis the Sacrament of Anointing is primarily about healing and only secondarily about forgiveness of sins

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic

And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. Immediately[a] many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.

When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”

And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts,“Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

This reading is one of the selection that a priest can read when giving the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. In this reading we see both inner and physical healing. Science is rediscovering that inner healing such as, forgiveness of sins, healing of guilt and shame and bring about physical healing. In the Gospel story the man first received an inner healing and than a physical healing. Jesus is stressing that the inner healing is more important, but it also leads to the physical healing. When Jesus restores a person’s body this is to show that the soul of the person was first made Whole.

Developing argument for thesis that Anointing of the sick is primarily about healing and only secondarily about forgiveness of sins,

1514 (3) CIC Canon 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in manifest serious sin.

What does this mean. It means that even if person is unconscious they still need to have the life of grace in their soul. This means that anointing of the sick last Rites is not primarily disposed to forgive sins, even those it does forgive venial sins. But as the Cannon above states, giving the sacrament of anointing you believe the person tho unconscious would have wanted the sacrament. What does this mean? It means among many things that Jesus looks for faith in the heart even if the person is unconscious. Meaning would the person have asked for the anointing if they were able.

Cannon 1007 does not mean that we pick and choose who can be anointed. We let God sort everything out. But it does mean that the sacraments and in this case the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick doesn’t work like magic. As St Thomas Aquinas said. This Sacrament presuppose that the life of grace is in the soul of the person even if they are unconscious.

What can we conclude from this. Many things. But for one I believe it support my basic thesis that the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is primarily about healing and only secondarily about the forgiveness of sins.

About to Go to bed and it struck me

Developing argument for thesis that Anointing of the sick is primarily about healing and only secondarily about forgiveness of sins,

1514 (3) CIC Canon 1007 The anointing of the sick is not to be conferred upon those who obstinately persist in manifest serious sin.

About to go to bed and it struck me. What this Cannon means is this. If someone obstinately persists in manifest serious sin. They first need to go to confession which is the sacrament that forgives serious sin. And then they can receive the sacrament of anointing of the sick for healing if they have a serious illness. It is so simple.

(Please forgive me for errors in syntax, grammar, spelling. I am trying to lay out my argument for my thesis)

2 Comments

  1. Also, the paralytic demonstrated faith in Christ’s ability to heal him. But, how could it be known in the Scripture passage that the people coming to Jesus were also coming to confess sin? If Jesus was implying that sin was the cause of the paralysis, was this really Original Sin about which He was speaking, and not actual, personal sin? I see no evidence that anyone seeking healing were also seeking to confess sin, else they would have gone to confess instead of going to be healed. True? So, is it possible that the Lord meant Original Sin, not personal sin as the cause of the illness?

  2. But what is the actual history and context surrounding the initial creation and subsequent alterations to Canon 1007? Is it possible that it was written with heretics in mind, such as those popping up in the 14th to 16 th centuries?

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