This Easter vigil, I was honored to be a sponsor for a friend who is now fully Catholic. YEA! The deal was sealed as she was anointed with the oil of chrism.
“In treating the rite of Confirmation, it is fitting to consider the sign of anointing and what it signifies and imprints: a spiritual seal. Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1293)
This Easter Monday morning there’s been a new twist to this whole anointing thing. I’m staying here in Monroe at our IHM Mothership and frankly couldn’t sleep very well. So I was sorting through my stuff and settling into my room (just here for a visit while Sister Maxine and I get our new office and convent together — see A Moving Experience for details). And lo and behold on the guest towels are stitched these words: BE ANOINTED.
It caught me off guard. Maybe it’s because it is only 4:13 in the morning or maybe it’s because of the boldness of the command. The words are strong, powerful, compelling, and they are directed right at me. BE ANOINTED.
I’m not sure just yet what these words mean for me personally this day, but I do know that they are a reminder to me and to you that each and every day we experience our own anointing from God. There are the wonderfully rich moments as in the receiving of chrism oil and the oils of the catechumens and of the sick. And there are the other sacred moments when we are anointed in a special moment with our God.
When I saw the towels this morning, I thought instantly of a time in my life about 10 years ago when I had just in the beginning stages of chemotherapy — I had had my head shaved and for the first time I experienced raindrops falling on my bald head! BE ANOINTED.
Another thought was when I was driving home from work one windy day. All of a sudden the white blossoms from a tree cut loose and were dancing around the street alighting upon my car and everything in sight. BE ANOINTED.
These moments of anointing can happen at the most random, unexpected times. They can happen in good or tough times and in the ordinary stuff of everyday life. In what ways have you experience a random act of anointing?