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How does the Anointing of the Sick work?

The Anointing of the Sick imparts consolation, peace, and strength and unites the sick person, in his precarious situation and his sufferings, with Christ in a profound way. For the Lord experienced our fears and bore our pains in his body. For many people the Anointing of the Sick brings about physical healing. But if God should decide to call someone home to himself, he gives him in the Anointing of the Sick the strength for all the physical and spiritual battles on his final journey. In any case, the Anointing of the Sick has the effect of forgiving sins.

Many sick people are afraid of this sacrament and put it off until the last minute because they think it is a sort of death sentence. But the opposite is true: the Anointing of the Sick is a sort of life insurance. A Christian who is caring for a sick person should relieve him of any false fear. Most people in serious danger sense intuitively that nothing is more important for them at the moment than to embrace immediately and unconditionally the One who overcame death and is life itself: Jesus, the Savior. 

Dig Deeper: CCC section (1520-1523)

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