“The Anointing of the Sick ‘is not a sacrament for those only who are at the point of death. Hence, as soon as anyone of the faithful begins to be in danger of death from sickness or old age, the fitting time for him to receive this sacrament has certainly already arrived.’ If a sick person who received this anointing recovers his health, he can in the case of another grave illness receive this sacrament again. If during the same illness the person’s condition becomes more serious, the sacrament may be repeated. It is fitting to receive the Anointing of the Sick just prior to a serious operation. The same holds for the elderly whose frailty becomes more pronounced” (CCC, 1514-1515).
We may at times experience sickness and pain, but God has given us the ability through the healing power of Jesus Christ, our Divine Physician, to help us unite our suffering to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the Cross so that it is transformed and given the sweet aroma of Christ as an offering to the Father.
Just as the other sacraments, Anointing of the Sick is a biblical based sacrament. “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (James 5:14, 15-16).