41. ANOINTING OF THE SICK
Retreat, Mother House, Alba, Piazza S. Paolo, June 1947
Collaborate, cooperate with the Heavenly Father, because as Jesus wants to have persons to cooperate with him in the Redemption, so does the Heavenly Father wants to have those who will cooperate with him, especially in two ways:
- Provision for those who govern
- Provision on the material order
The Lord is unlike men. He is patient, full of goodness, mercy and wisdom. Whoever governs represents the Heavenly Father and imitates him.
Listen to, obey the one placed in charge: in reality, you are submitting yourselves to and obeying God himself. The persons placed to govern can change, but God whom they represent never change.
Cooperate by making provision for the construction of your house. The Father is the origin of every good. Turn to him and be thankful for every gift, even the smallest that he grants you.
In calling you to cooperate with him, the Lord gives you a big grace, he shows you great kindness and grants you a great merit.
If God's works are fruits of pious offerings, they become more valuable. Besides, it has always been like that. I began with zero and I carried on with zero. The Lord placed the unit before the row of zeros.
Cooperate with the Heavenly Father not only in building the cage, but also in searching for the sparrows. When we say, give us also our nest, we mean to ask for the cage and for the birds.
The vocations are much more numerous that those who come. Let no vocation be lost through any fault of ours.
God prepared that person, with those certain dispositions for a vocation. It is necessary that we cooperate, making the way easier and opening the door.
First of all, pray, then invite, set to work, carry out.
In this regard, in some persons at times, there is a real laziness, human respect, indifference, lukewarmness. In reality, the person who loves the Institute gives proof of this love and seeks to cooperate effectively for its good and the first good in a family are the persons - numerous persons, good persons.
If you see the house being built and think of the good and new vocations who shall live there and recommend them to the Lord, you make a very effective prayer. The Lord shall send you the nest in proportion to the birds. He always does useful things. If the house shall be filled, the Lord will send you the means to reconstruct it and he will build it as big as necessary to fill it with vocations. Take care to correspond.
Anointing of the Sick. It is the last sacrament that completes the work of the other sacraments. Extreme Unction is the sacra-ment of completion.
The whole life of a person must be mortification and penance; penance as virtue and as sacrament.
The virtue of penance is that which we must always practice. Whoever is diligent in the examination of conscience and does it well with constancy, fulfills a real penance.
The soul is God's temple and must be cleaned, purified and dusted everyday, as it is done in the churches.
Nothing that is polluted shall enter Paradise.1 Blessed are the souls who are purified here on earth, who make their purgatory in this world!
Besides the virtue of penance, there is the sacrament of penance which takes away the serious sins as well as the venial ones. Does it always take away all the temporal punishment also? Not always and here then, how Baptism is the sacrament that is completed by Penance, and in turn, Penance is completed by the Anointing of the Sick.
St. James says: Is there anyone sick among you? He should ask for the presbyters of the church. They in turn are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Name of the Lord. This prayer uttered in faith will reclaim the one who is ill, and the Lord will restore him to health. If he has committed sins, forgiveness will be his.1
These words are the promulgation of the sacrament of Anointing of the sick instituted by Jesus Christ.
The anointings are made on the senses, because the senses are the doors through which sin enters the person, thus, they must be cleansed.
For example, have your eyes been the cause of useless and harmful glances? Cleanse them before you go to see God. Per istam sanctam unctionem et suam piissimam misericordiam indulgeat tibi Dominus quidquid per visum...auditum...odoratum...
deliquisti. Amen.1 (Through this holy anointing and his most tender mercy may the Lord forgive you whatever you have committed through your sense of sight...hearing...smell. Amen)
The Holy Oil has to bring the whole life to perfection. It is not enough to sweep the church, but it must also be adorned, and so with the soul. Anointing of the sick gives the final touch, it completes the work of adornment and perfection.
Get the soul ready to join the Blessed, the Angels, the Saints of Heaven, so that it will not be out of place.
The Holy oil always bring about the acceptance of death as fruit.
It is the sacrament that completes and perfects the grace.
It is the last effort of the mercy of Jesus to save a person. It is the obstinacy of the Heart of Jesus in wanting to save, sanctify and accompany us until the end, so as to make us beautiful, worthy of Him.
It is the sacrament of the living, because the person who receives it lives by the grace of God.
Fruits of the Sacrament: it cancels the punishment
It brings relief to the sick; relief from distress, temptations, because the last battle is the time of the greatest temptations and the devil tries to incite presumption or desperation at the last hour.
Anointing of the sick brings the opportune assistance at the opportune moment. It allows the Holy Spirit to carry out his saving, purifying and sanctifying role.
It can also restore bodily health if it is expedient to the well-being of the soul.
The Lord has established a remedy for every illness.
Prayer done with faith shall save the infirmed person. There is none which can equal the Holy Oil among all the medicines. This works however, not in an extraordinary way, but in an ordinary manner. For example: it shall increase the courage, will and hope to be cured. Will-power works much on healing.
The grace of the Anointing of the sick exerts an influence on the doctors so that they may know the nature of the illness better and may give the remedies; it works on the nurses so that they may give the proper treatment.
It is a mistake to delay such sacrament when the serious-ness of the illness is known.
Ask for the grace to receive the Anointing of the sick. It is not always granted to everyone. Ask for it in health; ask for it in sickness.
Take good care of the sick and suggest this sacrament to them. Prepare the persons to receive it.
Make this sacrament known, also with the carrying out of your apostolate, with illustrations, pictures, diffusion of the liturgical books.
In manus tuas Domine, commendo spiritum meum.1
1 Cf. Rv. 21, 27.
1 Jas. 5, 14-15.
1 Cf. Rituale Romanum, Unzione dei Malati: Unzioni sacramentali.
1 Lk. 23, 46.