THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK
"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."
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation," whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be explained to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed.”
The holy Eucharist completes Christian initiation. Those who have been raised to the dignity of the royal priesthood by Baptism and configured more deeply to Christ by Confirmation participate with the whole community in the Lord's own sacrifice by means of the Eucharist.
"At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet 'in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”
The decision to dedicate one's life to the service of God is a much different one than that of choosing a career.
Selecting a career field—in most instances, an occupation—involves decisions about education, personal skills, preferred job characteristics, desired income levels, and often geographic location. The decision impacts on family life, personal interests and long-range goals. A career decision answers the question, “What will I do with my life?”
The more important decision in life is, "What will I be?" Everyone is called to be with God, whether married, single, clergy or religious. Some people are called to be with God as a priest, brother or sister. It is not a calling to do anything, go anywhere, or become something. It is a call to a state of being.
Commitment to a religious career often flows from one’s whole being. This commitment is rooted in the core of inner being, and it affects and involves the totality of the person. If one is concerned only with external manifestations in a religious career, then that person is making more difficult the acquisition of a deep and inner sense of fulfillment and personal growth to be found in the pursuit of such a career. Religious careers enable persons to express adequately the being they are. External witness touches generally on the demonstrative; it manifests the character of a religious career, but this alone is not enough. When one attempts to justify the rationale and the validity of a religious career in today’s society, there is a strong tendency to remain engrossed merely in its circumferential elements such as service to people in need, improvement of the qualitative aspects of human interaction, and the like. However, there is an important pivotal point from which all other elements spring and in which they are resolved. The act of feeding the poor or comforting the sorrowful is not in itself the living core of a religious career.
What then constitutes the being and validity of religious careers, and makes them relevant today? The same mystery that made religious careers relevant in the past and inspired men and women to dedicate their lives is present today.
At this point one may ask: "What then is the essence of a religious career? What constitutes the state of a religious career choice? What makes it what it is? What gives it its particular identity?" That by which the very being of a religious career as a state of life can be distinguished from another state is very simple; it is a very specific consecration, a consecration often contrary to popular belief. It is not a ritual of a self-gift to the Almighty, nor is it man-made. It is ultimately the Almighty who consecrates and invests a person in a religious career.
"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."
PENANCE AND RECONCILIATION
"Those who approach the sacrament of Penance obtain pardon from God's mercy for the offense committed against him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion."