There is a man in the hospital who is being treated for cancer. He is estranged from the Church. He has this long list of things he can name for you in his indictment. He doesn’t like the Church in its present institutional form. But he is in the hospital.
One day a priest walks into his room. He didn’t invite him in, he just walked in. The priest asked him, “Do you want to be anointed?” That is the Catholic rite for the sick.
The man said, “Yes.” Then he wrote this. “Lying on my narrow, hospital bed, feeling the oil of gladness and healing, I knew I had little time.
More importantly though, I felt by a wondrous grace that this was the first time in my memory that the Church was paying attention to me, individually, by name, naming me, praying for me to deal with my painful circumstances and my suffering, the suffering that is uniquely mine. A God Touch
All of a sudden I realized, I matter, I really matter. I still can’t get over the power of this feeling of mattering, of being an irreplaceable individual.”
When the angel came to Mary, Mary must have said, “I matter, I really matter. I know now that I am an irreplaceable individual.”