Confirmation 

  • First things first.   

    We were created by God for God out of his sheer infinite, divine love. Our primary purpose in life is, in the words of St. Paul, to "win the race", that is, to participate in God's eternal, ineffable, divine joy and love for all eternity. In the Byzantine Catholic tradition, this is known as "divinization". It is not automatic simply because we breathe. God does not force us to choose him because true love is not forced. Rather, he created us with a free will to love him "with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength" (Dt 6:4; Mt 22:37) or reject him. We can choose to follow Our Lord who said, "I am the way the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me" (Jn 14:6), or make ourselves our own god making the mistake of only accepting God if he believes what I believe, thinks the way I think, and allows me to behave as I want to behave. That is not God, but a pitiful shadow of our own shallow thinking. On the other hand, life in the True God is life in abundance (John 10:10). 



    Why be confirmed?   

    Just as God created us with physical muscles which must be strengthened to act physically in the world. So, too, must we exercise our spirit. In the same way that God designed all human processes, to be good at something takes work. It means striving to fulfill our potential. It is no different with the things of God. Why would we think it is? Just being confirmed without exercising the graces given in confirmation is like allowing our physical muscles to atrophy from disuse. Neglect them enough and we become invalids. It is no different with our spiritual life. The Catholic Church is filled with baptized in-name-only spiritual invalids who have allowed their spirit to atrophy by giving up on God and the Catholic faith of their ancestors. Don't be one. Rather, St. Paul tells us, "Do not be conformed to the spirit of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may know the good, pleasing and perfect will of God" (Rom 12:2). Confirmation gives us the potential to be Supermen and Superwomen of great and amazing faith. Amazing things happen when we walk with God. Let the graces of confirmation lead you to an amazing life of joy and abundance with God!


     

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  • Confirmation is one of the Church's three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). Confirmation is the sacrament that completes the graces given to us at Baptism. It gives us the graces we need to grow stronger and more resilient in our faith. It increases the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity first given to us in Baptism. It bonds us more tightly to Christ and his Church. It gives us the courage to more fully immerse ourselves into the Church's three-fold apostolic mission (as priests, prophets, and kings, that is, her sanctifying, teaching, and governing missions). It strengthens us to be more perfect and faithful Christians, especially as courageous witnesses to the world, and marks us in an invisible way as Christians clothed with these graces. 



    Not a magic formula. 

    Without making a conscious effort to build our love relationship with God through prayer, asking him to help us understand his ways, actively participating in Sunday Mass (and Holy Days of Obligation), going to confession regularly, and receiving Holy Communion in a state of grace with humble and pure souls and minds, reading his Divine Word, studying the example of the Saints and what our faith teaches us by reading the Catechism or the works and letters of the Popes, we cannot hope to have the strength and will that is necessary to reach Heaven. You read that right. Going into the world as a baptized Catholic without receiving Confirmation and doing that which is necessary to strengthen those graces is no different than going on the field to play an NFL football game with little knowledge of the game and no personal protective equipment. You won't walk off, you'll be taken off on a stretcher, most likely within minutes of the game's start.

    Not graduation from Church or from learning about our faith.

    Confirmation is the beginning! It is said the average Catholic in the pew has the knowledge of the faith of a 3rd grader with a "C" average. No wonder so many so easily leave the Church and give up on their relationship with God. When our learning stops, we cease to improve and grow as human beings. It is no different with our Catholic faith. When our praying stops, when we neglect our obligations and duties to God and stop acknowledging him as our Creator we are in serious jeopardy. Then, we have real reason to fear death. Many times in the Gospel, we hear Jesus tell his disciples, "Do not be afraid." There is no need to fear anything if we are walking in the right paths of God. Jesus shows us the way. 

    The Church teaches that baptism opens our path to eternal life through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Our Lord who conquered our fate to be eternally separated from the purpose for which He created us by choosing sin and rejecting Him (i.e., Redemption). Confirmation magnifies our chances of winning the "crown of glory" (1 Pt 5:4) (i.e. Salvation). Think of it as baptism on steroids.