Understanding the Sacrament of the Sick
Australian Jesuit Fr Richard Leonard, author of Hatch, Match & Dispatch: A Catholic Guide to Sacraments, talks to Pat Coyle about the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. Pointing to the miracles, he emphasises that Christ’s mission was clearly one of healing with the sacrament as part of the tradition.
He notes that the sacrament had a connection with penance in the Church before becoming linked more to the power of love before death and going to heaven. He says, “So in the book I really make a case for having a more expectant faith.”
The Australian Jesuit believes that the sacrament often acts as a trigger for the latent potential of healing within us, for example, he points to neurological changes that result from the sacrament and he also speaks about the different elements of healing beyond just the physical. .
Fr Leonard is convinced that many miracles have been performed through the intercession of Dubliner Matt Talbot who is known to have brought healing to people with alcoholism, and which has had a healing effect among families too. He also looks at healing of mental health problems (citing the biggest killer of young people in Ireland and Australia under the age of 30 is suicide) and of people who have deeply traumatising memories.
Note: The piece contains strong language.