Spring 1969

Page 84


an/ lAc ~th The sick must never be forgotten ..They a-re a body of people advancing the Kingdom of God on the earth.



Every age has a distinct religious emphasis. Today there is great concern for the poor of our nation and the world. The Church, along with politicians, sociologists, and the man in the street, is interested in the poor. There is another segment of our population which should be of interest to the Church and is in danger of being forgotten. This segment is the sick. These people are too often given perfunctory service within the Church. In addition, the present emphasis upon liturgical acts, which has led to the loss of various prayer services and novenas for the sick, has left a vacuum in the life of many people who are physically sick. This article is an attempt to present both a theology of the sick and to offer some specific pastoral suggestions regarding their care. I. THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS

In this section what is 'proposed is a theological construct regarding the relationship of the individual sick person to the ecclesial community and, in tum, the ecclesial community's relationship to the individual sick person. Basic to the understanding of this relationship are a number of concepts which must be treated: community, individual as a psychosomatic unity, representation, and healing. 87