Anointing of the Chaplains
There can never be too much prayer
By Chaplain Jane Profant
St. Joseph Medical Center
"What is inside me and how bad is it? How fast is it growing? What will my future look like: chemo, radiation, nausea, hair loss, wigs or head scarves? And why, Lord?"
Two days after the surgeon's news, the Franciscan Health System chaplains held a peer group meeting. I was invited to share my story. I knew I could trust my fellow chaplains, so I began to share and they listened with their hearts and souls.
I must have spoken for half an hour when I noticed one of the chaplains pulling out a small vial of anointing oil. "Jane, it is okay if we pray for you?" she asked. "Yes!" I replied. "There can never be too much prayer."
The five chaplains gathered around me, laying their hands on my shoulders. I could already feel their support and presence. As she prayed, the first chaplain opened the vial and finished her prayer by making the sign of the cross on my forehead with the oil.
She passed the vial to the next chaplain, who also prayed and anointed my forehead with a cross. The vial was passed from chaplain to chaplain, each one praying and anointing me.
My tears began to flow down my face and drip into my lap. It was such a gentle and holy moment. These precious colleagues created a time and space to invite God into our midst. God was indeed present and blessing all of us as healing power was requested.
As I cleaned my face before bed that evening, I didn't want to wash off the crosses. I only washed my face from the eyes down, leaving the crosses for my night's sleep.
A few days later, the lumpectomy revealed only benign cysts and I thanked God for the blessing. I will never forget the five crosses on my forehead and the beautiful memory of a very sacred moment in time.