Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This past Monday, a wondrous event occurred. The lives of our eighth grade students were fundamentally altered for the better. They received the Sacrament of Confirmation.
While all of the Sacraments are powerful experiences of God’s grace and love, the Sacrament of Confirmation in our modern times is an especially momentous occasion. For you see, Confirmation has become the final
Sacrament of Initiation in most cases. This grouping of Sacraments, of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist, stands as the way in which a person comes to be a true Christian and know God in their life. Without having received all of them, the individual is still not enjoying the full depth of their relationship with God.
Too often, Confirmation is seen as a kind of graduation. Perhaps this is due to its ties to eighth grade in the current practice, but Confirmation is and needs to be seen as being so much more than moving on from parochial school or religious education program. It is a transformative event.
Many of us probably did not feel much different after we received Confirmation. Sure, our foreheads may have smelled like Chrism immediately afterward and we might have felt relief that we had reached an important milestone, but few if any, of us were so moved by the event that it was life-altering. It was most likely a nice
ceremony, but not much more. But that perception does a disservice to ourselves and to the power of the Holy Spirit, who is so generously given to us in the Sacrament. The Holy Spirit and his dwelling within us by virtue of our Confirmation is something we should never underestimate.
It is the Holy Spirit that enlightened the Prophets to speak the wisdom of God. It is the Holy Spirit that impelled the sniveling and cowardly Apostles out to preach the Good News and to die for the faith. It is the Holy Spirit that is with us to support us in the darkest, most challenging, and hardest moments of our lives.
See in the Sacrament of Confirmation the great grace of becoming emboldened and empowered by God Himself. See it as the means by which the Holy Spirit becomes our own personal Advocate who builds us up in holiness.
Let us pray for those who have just received Confirmation and for all of us here at St. Charles Borromeo: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Peace and Goodness,