Blog 12 On working paper on anointing of the Sick, Thesis is that this Sacrament is primarily about healing and only secondarily about forgiveness of sins

Most days in the hospital I am at the bedside of someone who is actively dying. In fact, on most days I am at the bedside of 2 or 3 persons who are actively dying. I consider this sacred ground. I am honored to escort the soul into Heaven with prayers.

When I am at the bedside of someone actively dying I give them Last Rites as well as the Apostolic Blessing. I also recite the Litany of Saints. How powerful and beautiful to imagine the saints praying for us as we enter into eternal life. After the Litany I then pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

One of the best means of assisting the dying is the one that Jesus revealed to St. Faustina and insisted that she use often — even continuously: The Divine Mercy Chaplet. Jesus said: “My daughter, encourage souls to say  the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. … Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior (Diary, 1541).

Earlier, Our Lord said to her, “At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same” (Diary, 811).

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is not in the Rite. I would suggest that it include when the ‘Rite of Anointing and Viaticum’ is revised.

We read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church ” Thus, just as the sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist form a unity called  ‘the sacraments of Christian initiation,’ so too it can be said that Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and the Eucharist as viaticum  constitute at the end of Christian life ‘the sacrament that prepares for our heavenly homeland’ or the sacrament that complete the earthly pilgrimage.”(CCC 1525)

After I pray all these prayers usually with the family present. I place a rosary in the hands of the person as a reminder of this great blessing that they have received.


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