The Sacrament of Confirmation: Grace for Fullness of Faith & Life
There is a close relationship between the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.
While Confirmation is a distinct and complete sacrament in its own right, its purpose is to perfect in us that which was begun in Baptism. We might say—in a sense—that we are baptized in order to be confirmed.
Growing beyond a self-centered spirituality we are born spiritually in the sacrament of Baptism. We become sharers in the divine life of the most Blessed Trinity. We begin to live a supernatural life. As we practice the virtues of faith and hope and love and as we unite with Christ in His Church in offering worship to God, we also grow in grace and goodness.
But at this stage our spiritual life, like the life of a child, is largely self-centered. We tend to be preoccupied with the needs of our own soul, with the effort to “be good.” We cannot be wholly self-centered, of course—not if we understand what it means to be a member of Christ’s Mystical Body, and not if we understand the significance of the Mass.
But in general our religious life does revolve around self.
Living for others
Then we are confirmed.
We receive a special grace by which our faith is deepened and strengthened, so that it will be strong enough not only for our own needs but for the needs of others with whom we shall try to share it.
With the onset of adolescence a child begins to assume, progressively more and more, the responsibilities of adulthood. He begins to see his place in the total family picture and in the community at large.
Similarly, the confirmed Christian begins to see more clearly (or ought to) his responsibility to Christ for his neighbor. He becomes deeply concerned (or ought to) with the welfare of Christ-in-the-world—which is the Church—and the welfare of Christ-in-his-neighbor.
It is in this sense that Confirmation is a spiritual “growing up.”
In order that we may have such a concern for Church and neighbor, in deed as well as in feeling, the sacrament of Confirmation gives us a special grace and a special power.
Just as the “mark” or character of Baptism made us sharers with Christ in His role of priest, giving us the power to participate with Him in divine worship, so also the character of Confirmation makes us sharers with Christ in His role of prophet or teacher.
We now participate with Him in the task of extending His kingdom, of adding new souls to His Mystical Body. Our words and our works are directed not merely to our own sanctification but also to the purpose of making Christ’s truths alive and real for those around us.
The Catechism’s section on Confirmation says that Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Its effects are to:
- Root us more deeply in divine filiation (being children of God)
- Unite us more firmly to Christ
- Increase the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us
- Strengthen our bond with the Church
- Associate us more closely to her mission of bearing witness to Christ
- Help us and more strictly oblige us to spread and defend the faith by word and deed
A generation ago, we said that confirmed Catholics were “soldiers of Christ.” This indicates Confirmation’s effects: it configures us for a full & active mission of service to Christ.
Excerpt from beginningCatholic.com
For teens in the 11th and 12th grade who wish to begin sacramental preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation please contact:
Shelley Michiels at email@example.com
For Catholic adults who wish to be confirmed please contact:
The Church office at 318-445-3693 and leave a message.