I mentioned in a previous post that, after leaving hospital, I wrote to a priest friend of mine living a great distance from me, Father Francis Maple, and told him of my experience.
He replied that I should have had in hospital the Sacrament of Annointing the sick.
I asked my parish priest and he visited me at home and after some prayers he annointed my forehead and hands with oil. He said this Scrament is important because I had been in a life threatening experience.
I did not have much time to discuss this with him.
But what is exactly the Sacrament of Annointing the sick?
When I was young there was something called Extreme Unction. Is it the same?
Does the Sacrament of Annointing the sick forgive all your sins? Like Confession?
If you die do you go to Heaven?
Is it instead of Communion? Say the patient is "nil by mouth" and cannot take Communion?
This led me to thinking. If whilst I was in hospital, fully conscious and waiting to go to the operating theater, a priest approached me to give this Sacrament. How would I have reacted? Would the fear of seeing him there resulted in a second heart attack?
How do we view a priest on such occasions? A sign that this is the end? Would we rejoice that we're leaving having made our peace with God? Or would we fear what is to come?
Does this Sacrament suffice to forgive sins? Or should Confession and, if possible, Communion also be taken for us to be at peace with Our Lord?
I welcome your comments.