Reflecting on the meaning of Confirmation
March 21st 2020 We Pray for the Confirmandi, who will have to wait a bit longer.
Today the boys and girls of our Friary Schools should have received the Sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Michael Router DD. After months of preparation they will now have to wait a bit longer. It certainly will be a story for them to tell in the future. So, what is it that they are preparing to celebrate?
The Second Vatican Council teaches that,
‘[The baptised] are more perfectly bound to the Church by the sacrament of Confirmation, and the Holy Spirit endows them with special strength so that they are more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith, both by word and by deed, as true witnesses of Christ’ (Lumen Gentium #11).
The Catechism informs us that:
#1316 Confirmation perfects Baptismal grace; it is the sacrament which gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, incorporate us more firmly into Christ, strengthen our bond with the Church, associate us more closely with her mission, and help us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
#1317 Confirmation, like Baptism, imprints a spiritual mark or indelible character on the Christian’s soul; for this reason one can receive this sacrament only once in one’s life.
What are the effects of Confirmation?
‘In short it is the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Confirmation brings Catholics a deepening of baptismal grace and unites us more firmly to Christ. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit and leaves an indelible mark on the soul just like baptism’ (https://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/catholic-confirmation-explained/).
There are six effects associated the sacrament of confirmation. (Catechism #1302-1303).
1. Increases and deepens baptismal grace
2. Causes us to cry out “Abba, Father”
3. Unites us more firmly to Christ
4. Increases the Spirit’s gifts
5. Bonds us more to the Church
6. Strengthens us to proclaim our faith boldly
What are the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit received through Confirmation are
4. Fortitude or Courage,
6. Piety or Love, and
7. Fear of the Lord.
As our young people prepare themselves to receive Confirmation, we who are Confirmed call upon the Gifts of the Spirit to help us face into this difficult time, and pray that the Fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal 5:22-23), will become more manifest in our lives. Let us remember the young people who should have been confirmed today; let us reassure them with our prayers and encourage them by our example. In remembering them, we continue to pray for their parents, families, guardians, sponsors, teachers, SNAs, chaplains and all who help to prepare them for such a powerful sacrament and moment in their lives.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.