A special Grace

Yesterday I had a very powerful experience that I will probably never fully understand. I was doing some reading yesterday morning and the phone rang: it was about 5:45 am. Sure enough, it was the hospital summoning me to the emergency room. I arrived and the nurse brought me to the room where a woman was lying on a bed, having some trouble breathing. There was some (I presumed) family present. I told her I was a priest from her parish and I would anoint her. Being a hospital chaplain, I have anointed many people in hospital beds, so nothing seemed too out of the ordinary at first. She grabbed my hand. I began the rite, and laid hands on her head. As I began anointing her, she began gasping–I did not realize she was actively dying, so suddenly the intensity picked up a bit. I finished the prayer and she gasped her last full breathe.

I imparted to her the Apostolic Pardon and blessed her before she finally died. I then prayed the litany of saints and commendation of the dying, giving her soul to God. A few minutes later she was pronounced dead.

As I walked out into the still dark morning, one of the men in the room (I am not sure if he was a son, a son in law, a friend) turned to me and said “she was waiting for you”. Indeed it does seem that way. What a special grace to experience this. I can only thank the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph, and my guardian angel for getting me there in time. Had I been five minutes later it might have been too late. Or maybe she would have waited-who knows. What a truly awesome gift is the priesthood.

I then returned to the parish for the normal morning schedule with Mass and Confessions.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat  in pace Amen.

One comment

  1. Praise God for your vocation. The faithful can only pray that we/they have the same graces bestowed on us at our last moment on earth.

    Like

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