A THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATION PALLIATIVE CARE IN THEOLOGICAL CONTEXT
Keywords:sacrament, Roman Catholic, annointing, pastoral care, hospice, palliative care
This article seeks to explore the richness of meaning contained within the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. In circumstances where a person receiving palliative care is struggling against illness, the sacrament supports them in that struggle, and yet points beyond it towards a gradual acceptance of powerlessness. The author explores the themes of powerlessness and hope, and describes a powerlessness out of which hope may spring, because it is an entering into Christ’s own experience. It becomes therefore a prelude to resurrection hope. The sacrament of the sick encourages and engenders this hope, which is wider than the individual, and extends to the whole body of Christ. The sacrament is also an invitation to action; to a caring, a solidarity in suffering and a compassion which imply a deeper sharing in the very life of Christ.
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