becoming lighter than air

A few months ago, just prior to major surgery, I was blessed to receive the seventh sacrament, the anointing of the sick. With friends surrounding me, I was anointed and forgiven my sins…forgiven my sins. While I had, the day before received the sacrament of penance I felt so uplifted, so relieved to know that God is such a forgiving God. I felt so light; it was as if I could float. In that moment I felt completely at peace and loved, so loved. What a tremendous gift of grace we receive with this sacrament.

I never realized how many of the sacraments provide us with the opportunity to free ourselves from the darkness of sin; three out of seven sacraments specifically result in the forgiveness of sins: baptism, penance, and anointing of the sick. Two more, Confirmation and Eucharist, provide us with the graces to combat sin, avoid the inclination to sin, and to seek God’s forgiveness when we fall.

While we can be baptized only once, it is important to remember that with baptism our souls are cleansed of the stain of original sin and we are forgiven all our sins…all of them. We are made a member of the body of Christ, once and forever. We begin a new life, spotless and pure.

We can avail ourselves of the sacrament of penance—or reconciliation—as often as we wish. Think about that. We can seek forgiveness and be reconciled with God whenever the need arises. What makes this so special is in knowing that God will always forgive you, has forgiven you, and He loves you no matter what you may have done. I often wonder why so many fail to regularly seek reconciliation with God; refuse to receive the graces of this Blessed Sacrament.

The seventh sacrament, the anointing of the sick, is perhaps the least understood as well as the most misunderstood sacrament. Often erroneously called Extreme Unction or Last Rites, it is not just for the dying or those who are in danger of death. Rather it is available for those who are suffering from any illness, physical or emotional, whether it is a life-threatening situation or not. What I, along with many others who have been blessed by this sacrament received was tremendous peace of mind and a confidence in God that is almost overwhelming.

We are all broken, we are all sinners. It is comforting to know that we have been given so many opportunities, through these three sacraments, to be healed and forgiven. God loves you and He forgives you.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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