Sunday, June 3, 2012

A Sensible Religion

Yesterday, in preparation for my surgery Tuesday, I received three sacraments: Reconciliation, Eucharist, and the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. In the aggregate, these three sacraments engage all of the senses. I was thinking about this on the way home as the scent of the oil filled the car, and the oil ran down my forehead into my eye into which I am not supposed to allow even tap water. I figure it will be all right.

God has made us with these five senses, and what are we to do with them if not use them to worship Him and grow closer to Him. This is one of the reasons that I love being a Catholic. The Church knows that what happens to our bodies happens to our souls. 

I had to look a long time to find a picture of a person receiving the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (I would like to call a council or something to find a shorter name for this sacrament.) in this way. Most of the pictures are either people who are in bed or who are standing in line in a communal celebration of the sacrament, but I wanted a picture that was more like the way I received the sacrament, which was to go into the sacristy with the priest after Mass.

We read a lot in Church documents about the dignity of each person, and it seems to me that being able to receive the sacrament in this way really demonstrates this teaching of the Church. It is so personal. When you have a need for healing, the priest in persona Christi puts aside whatever he had planned in his busy day. He prays for you by name, and Jesus comes to heal you.



  1. Thanks for sharing, Janet. I pray,also, that you will be healed.

  2. "The Church knows that what happens to our bodies happens to our souls." As you're probably aware, this is a fairly close echo of something Lewis says in Screwtape. Of course Screwtape is talking about how to exploit it, but it's one of those cases where he's right about the facts, where naive human beings might not be.

  3. Well then, Lewis must be the echo. ;-) I don't mean he's echoing me; I mean he's echoing the Church.

    I have never actually read Screwtape all the way through for some reason.