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32. The Conferring of Extreme Unction

1. Extreme unction is a sacrament of spiritual healing andstrengthening. This is signified by the bodily healing whichsometimes accompanies its use, and may accompany it in anyinstance of its being administered. Hence, this sacrament is notfor those who are in health, but for the sick. And Scriptureindicates as much: "Is any man sick among you? Let himbring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him,anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" (James5:14).

2. Extreme unction is not to be conferred in slightillnesses. It is a proximate preparation of the soul for death, andjudgment, and heaven. Its name indicates the fact that it is to beadministered in extremity; it is extreme unction. Thissacrament is conferred upon a person seriously ill, not necessarilynear to death, but suffering an illness that may prove fatal.

3. Extreme unction is sometimes conferred upon a personwho has lapsed into unconsciousness. It is not refused to anunconscious patient whose previous life has indicated, at leastimplicitly, that he would wish to be fortified with the sacramentswhen he comes to die. Hence, extreme unction is not conferred uponlifelong imbeciles or insane persons; their previous life couldcontain no evidence of desire for this sacrament.

4. The sacrament of extreme unction requires, in therecipient, real devotion, actual or habitual. Hence, it is notgiven to infants, who have not come to the use of reason. Besides,a baptized child under the age of reason has neither sin norremains of sin on his soul.

5. In administering extreme unction, the priest anoints,not the whole body, but special parts of the body, namely, thosethat serve a person constantly and directly in his daily life.

6. These parts are: eyes, ears, nostrils, lips, hands, andfeet.

7. Deformity in a bodily member to be anointed is no barto the anointing. Absence of members does not prevent the patientfrom receiving extreme unction.

"God speaks to us without ceasing by his good inspirations."
The Cure D'Ars

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"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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"It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy abides. "
Thomas á Kempis

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