Blogging about life at a Benedictine monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Yesterday I was reminded again of the healing power of human connections. Each November the monastic community has a communal anointing service for those who request healing. Two aspects of this service create an amazing sense of solidarity and sacred space.
The Sisters to be anointed sit in the front pew of one small section of the chapel spaces. All the Sisters seated behind those being anointed walk up to each one, place their hands on their bowed heads for several seconds, and invite Healing Love to flow into all levels of their being. Human touch, accompanied by images of the recipient’s luminescent wholeness, invites each Sister to humbly receive the ointment of loving communal solidarity.
Many ministers of healing acknowledge that the explicit invitation for “Love to be manifest” always opens the recipient to an outpouring of wholehearted healing. Within this sacred sharing, there is a ripple of healing that extends well beyond those being anointed.
After the prayerful laying on of hands, each Sister’s name is called. Then follows a liberal and unhurried anointing of the recipient’s forehead and hands with oil. This powerful proclamation of each Sister’s unique identity, and their open receptivity to the oil-of-compassion, can create spaces for healing movements to gently unfold deep within. It invites each to move into the days ahead with renewed strength. With grateful hearts, those in solidarity with the anointed ones, share in this renewal of communal wholeness.
This blog is maintained by a group of Sisters at Saint Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota. We try to post weekly and often succeed at that.
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