I’ve always thought the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick was for someone that was dying. Deep down, I know this isn’t true.. I wasn’t taught that, but I have always had it in my head that way. I have experienced this sacrament a few different times in my life. Every time that I have been a part of it, it is during a life-changing moment. It really hits your mind, body, and soul in a way that is like jumping into a freezing cold lake. It shocks you into reality of why faith is so important in life.
Many of you may remember last December our son, Wil, was very sick. He had a rare bacterial infection that had overtaken his body. It had eaten away at his bones and caused him to be very sick. On December 21, 2015, we were sitting in a hospital room at St. Mary Hospital, Mayo. My son was limp, ashen, and needing constant care; he was having a very hard time fighting. I was watching him through tear stained, tired eyes - Wil so sick that he didn’t even want to look at water - when Father Dave texted me. I looked twice at my phone, completely shocked that Father was texting me!! He said he wanted to come visit Wil. I said, “Oh, you don’t need to do that. That’s four hours in the car, and the weather isn’t good. Just pray for him.” And then, my mind left the thought as I cared for Wil. A few hours later, Father Dave showed up at our hospital door. I was shocked! He sat down with us; talked, laughed, and prayed with us. He was just what we needed. He blessed Wil and celebrated the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick with him. At that same time, a 24-hour Adoration Vigil had started at St. Mary. All of a sudden, my son, the one who hours before couldn’t even look at water, asked if he could have a drink. We all watched him sip some water and then proclaimed to Father Dave, “I guess I should call this holy water now.” We all laughed, over-joyed with the presence of God in that room. In that moment, I knew he was going to be okay. All of the prayers, the blessings, the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick had worked; prayer works!
Father Dave blessed Wil with a powerful sacrament that many of us don’t get until our last few days of earthly life. Wil became our Christmas miracle because of prayer. Anointing of the Sick isn’t just for those who are dying. It’s also for those who want to live - live with God in their lives.