On Saturday 13 March 2021, a community celebration of the anointing of the sick took place at the Convent of Vaylats, France. On the road to Easter, it was experienced as a mercy to be received, a strength for living in the present.
In the days leading up to the event, each person had the opportunity to prepare for the sacrament.
A word of introduction
“The sacrament of the anointing of the sick is a sacrament that gives life, strength for living in the present, the grace of comfort, courage and peace… The heart can open to something greater than itself and be soothed.
Christ comes to share His burden with those who consent. The sick, fragile, suffering, or distressed person can freely offer his or her suffering and give himself or herself as a participation in the work of Jesus. The Lord comes to save him or her personally of course, but not only that. He or she is with Christ who gives his life for all the human beings that God awaits in his mercy.
Christ is with us in this struggle.”
Love took the first steps
Twenty-two of us gathered in the large hall where twelve Sisters of Vaylats, along with two from the community of Lalbenque, two priests, a deacon, and a resident were to receive the Anointing of the Sick.
After the proclamation of the Gospel, the song “I come to you, Jesus” introduced the time of the anointing of the forehead and hands.
We thank you for so much tenderness!
“I see it as a Sacrament given by the Church to calm, to welcome the particular graces to calm my sufferings, to heal me, spiritual graces, given by the oil … it is a spiritual comfort, a spiritual healing, an enrichment for me, for all the rest of my days.” said a Sister.
“As far as I am able to understand this Sacrament … I have experienced the Lord’s forgiveness.”, said another.
A moment of conviviality
After the Mass, the sharing of a small glass of Pineau des Charentes or peach sparkling wine accompanied by wafer biscuits offered by the Sisters of Montcuq, prolonged the festive atmosphere of the evening.
We bless You for so many wonders,
You give life, you give the Spirit!
Sr Marie-Jo, fj, Lalbenque, France