254 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who
frees you from sin save you and raise you up” (CCC, no. 1513).
For those who are about to depart from this life, the Church offers
the person Penance, Anointing of the Sick, and the Eucharist as
(food for the journey) given at the end of life. These are “the sacraments
that prepare for our heavenly homeland” (cf. CCC, no. 1525). These
rites are highly valued by Catholics as powerful aids to a good death.
Since Holy Communion is the effective sign of Christ’s Paschal Mystery,
it becomes for the recipient the opportunity to unite one’s own suffering
and dying to that of Christ with the hope of life eternal with him. The
special words proper to
are added: “May the Lord Jesus pro-
tect you and lead you to everlasting life. Amen.”
EFFECTS OF THE SACRAMENT
When the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick is given, the hoped-for
effect is that, if it be God’s will, the person be physically healed of ill-
ness. But even if there is no physical healing, the primary effect of the
Sacrament is a spiritual healing by which the sick person receives the
Holy Spirit’s gift of peace and courage to deal with the difficulties that
accompany serious illness or the frailty of old age. The Holy Spirit
renews our faith in God and helps us withstand the temptations of the
Evil One to be discouraged and despairing in the face of suffering and
death. Also, a sick person’s sins are forgiven if he or she was not able
to go to Confession prior to the celebration of the Sacrament of the
Anointing of the Sick.
Another effect of this Sacrament is union with the Passion of Christ.
By uniting ourselves more closely with the sufferings of Our Lord, we
receive the grace of sharing in the saving work of Christ. In this way, our
suffering, joined to the Cross of Christ, contributes to building up the
People of God.
This Sacrament also prepares us for our final journey when we
depart from this life. The Anointing of the Sick completes our identifi-
cation with Jesus Christ that was begun at our Baptism. Its grace and
power fortify us in our final struggles before we go to the Father’s house.