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30. The Effect of Extreme Unction

1. The chief effect of extreme unction is in the soul ofthe recipient, and is by way of bringing grace. Now, grace is notcompatible with sin. Hence, if there be sin on the soul of therecipient, mortal or venial, extreme unction takes it away,provided the recipient does not block this effect by his own badwill. Further, extreme unction removes from the soul the remains ofsin, that is, the weaknesses consequent upon sin, such as thereadiness to relapse into it. Thus this sacrament achieves its mainpurpose, which is to fortify the soul, to strengthen it and heartenit for the stresses of its last earthly hours, so that it may facedeath and judgment with resolution and confidence.

2. Bodily healing is an effect of extreme unction when thegood of the sick person's soul requires it. Otherwise, extremeunction has no curative effect upon the body.

3. The sacraments which give a person Christian existence(baptism), or set and equip him for a special sacred task and duty(confirmation, holy orders), imprint an indeliblecharacter upon the soul. Extreme unction is not one ofthese sacraments, and it therefore imprints no character.

"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"As the flesh is nourished by food, so is man supported by prayers"
St Augustine

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"Before a man chooses his confessor, he ought to think well about it, and pray about it also; but when he has once chosen, he ought not to change, except for most urgent reasons, but put the utmost confidence in his director."
St Philip Neri

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