CCC 1499 By the sacred anointing of the sick and the prayer of the priests the whole Church commends those who are ill to the suffering and glorified Lord, that he may raise them up and save them. And indeed she exhorts them to contribute to the good of the People of God by freely uniting themselves to the Passion and death of Christ.

CCC 1500 Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations, and his finitude. Every illness can make us glimpse death.

CCC 1501 Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not essential so that he can turn toward that which is. Very often illness provokes a search for God and a return to him.

The Anointing of the Sick

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Among the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, there is one especially intended to strengthen those who are afflicted with an illness, the Anointing of the Sick. The sacrament dates back to ancient times, when the sick were anointed with blessed oil by priests as a means of asking God’s blessing on them for both healing and strength.

The Anointing of the Sick is not only for those who are at the point of death. It is appropriate for any member of the faithful who is in danger of death from sickness or old age, and even just prior to a serious operation.

In an emergency, a Catholic priest will do his best to rush to the bedside of a person in need of the sacrament of anointing. However, some of the most beautiful celebrations of this sacrament take place at home, where the person to be anointed can join in prayer comfortably and in an unhurried manner, and be strengthened by the presence of family members.

Quite often, a person who is dying will also request the presence of a priest to hear his/her confession, and/or the Eucharist as “viaticum,” or strength for the journey to meet God face-to-face. A desire to receive the Eucharist should be expressed at the time the priest is called, so that he can bring Holy Communion with him. CCC 1601 "The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament."

1602 Sacred Scripture begins with the creation of man and woman in the image and likeness of God and concludes with a vision of "the wedding-feast of the Lamb." Scripture speaks throughout of marriage and its "mystery," its institution and the meaning God has given it, its origin and its end, its various realizations throughout the history of salvation, the difficulties arising from sin and its renewal "in the Lord" in the New Covenant of Christ and the Church.