Friday, March 15, 2013

Adult Confirmation: Be Sealed With the Gift of the Holy Spirit!

Isn’t confirmation just for 8th graders? If you missed it back then is it too late to still be confirmed? Why would you want (or more accurately NEED) to be confirmed?

Confirmation is for ALL baptized Catholics! It is never too late to receive this powerful sacrament. It is not necessary as an indispensable means of salvation, but it is obligatory for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the sacrament of Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace. Specifically:
It roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, "Abba! Father!";
It unites us more firmly to Christ;
It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us (wisdom, knowledge, counsel, understanding, piety, fortitude, fear of the Lord);
It renders our bond with the Church more perfect;
It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross. (CCC 1303)

The roots of this ancient sacrament can even be found in Sacred Scripture. We read in the Acts of the Apostles (8:14-17) that after the Samaritan converts had been baptized by Philip the deacon, the Apostles "sent unto them Peter and John, who, when they were come, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost for he was not yet come upon any of them, but they were only baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus; then they laid their hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost."

So that’s the “technicalities,” but what this sacrament really is is a love story that can lead you on an incredible journey. You see the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, but also known as the love between the Father and the Son. This is the type of love that absolutely captivates, envelops, embraces, and consumes. This is the love that will transform your life if you let it. If you can even begin to perceive and experience the love that God has for you, you will never be the same.

The Holy Spirit is also the spouse of the Blessed Mother. She joined her will to God’s and consented to the Holy Spirit to come upon her and this obedience produced the greatest fruit of all...Jesus Christ himself. The fruits of the Holy Spirit you can enjoy include Charity, Chastity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Generosity, Goodness, Joy, Kindness, Modesty, Patience, Peace, and Self-Control. These are the fruits that will enable you to be a better spouse, parent, sibling, daughter, son, friend, and human being.
If you choose to receive these gifts of the Spirit you may find yourself yearning to spread and teach the faith as a catechist, serve in various ministries of charity, pray more deeply and peacefully, listen more intently, judge less, offer mercy and compassion, be less self-absorbed and more concerned with the needs of others, live your life selflessly and with more purpose knowing where you came from, why you are here, and what your ultimate destiny is.

If you were confirmed as an adolescent but didn’t appreciate the gifts with which you were empowered, it is never too late to open and use them! A gift left wrapped and in a dark closet is of no use to anyone.

Classes for adult confirmation will be held April.  Contact Susan Doyle in the parish office for more information.
For more information on confirmation visit the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Catholic Encyclopedia.
You can also pray the Novena to the Holy Spirit.
For further reading on the Holy Spirit try The Sanctifier: The Classic Work on the Holy Spirit by Luis Martinez.

No comments: