Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Sixth Sacrament

A few weeks ago, a woman I know was telling me about her husband's experience with sepsis. He was very sick and he nearly died. When he was in the hospital, a priest came to visit him and give him a Catholic Sacrament called Anointing of the Sick. This is a special Sacrament that is given to people who are seriously ill and, most of the time, to people who are on their deathbed. Anointing of the Sick involves prayers, a blessing given as the priest lays his hand on the person's head, and then the person is anointed with a Holy Oil. The priest uses olive oil that has been blessed at a ceremony held just before Easter.

When this woman described her husband's experience, she told me that he said he literally felt a physical difference the moment he was anointed. He said it felt like the illness lifted from him and he immediately felt stronger. The doctors had told him that he was extremely close to death and he was fortunate to make it through that situation alive. you can imagine, after she told me her husband's story, the woman suggested that I ask for Anointing of the Sick on Caleb's behalf. I had never thought of that possibility before. Caleb hasn't even been baptized yet and that is typically the first of the Seven Sacraments that Catholics may receive. Caleb isn't officially a member of the Catholic Church so I was sure that he couldn't be anointed with a Catholic Sacrament until he has been baptized.

I figured I may as well ask our Pastor, Father Brad, to see if it would be possible for me to receive Anointing of the Sick on Caleb's behalf. Father told me that anything that is done in good faith should be okay. He felt like it was perfectly reasonable for Caleb to receive this Sacrament since it is my wish for it to be done.

So, tonight I received my sixth Sacrament; though this is the only time I have ever received a Sacrament on someone else's behalf. I am so grateful for the Catholic Church and the awesome faith we share as a community! I can't describe the gifts that have been bestowed on me, Caleb and Andy; simply because of the prayers being said for us.

A few days ago we went to a seminar. Andy and I met Father Rocky from our favorite radio station called "Relevant Radio." When the seminar was over and we talked to Father Rocky, we told him of the situation with Caleb and asked him to bless him and ask God for healing. Father Rocky blessed Caleb at our request and he also told me to call in during his show when it airs. He said that we'd pray for Caleb on air and he'd request all the listeners to keep him in their prayers as well. Relevant Radio reaches 30 million people so I can't imagine the deluge of grace that is about to fall over Caleb and I!

I am so over-joyed at the idea of even more perfect strangers praying for my son. How generous people can be with what little some of them have to offer. Prayer is the greatest gift anyone can give Caleb at this time, simply because it is the gift with the most to offer.

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