The power of the Holy Spirit at confirmation

| Father Michael Van Sloun | May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

Editor’s note: Father Van Sloun’s series on the Eucharist will return next month.

Confirmation imparts the gift of the Holy Spirit. The person who receives this sacrament has already received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of baptism, and the Holy Spirit abides with a person always. The Holy Spirit comes when a person prays or reads Scripture, or when a person asks the Holy Spirit for guidance, inspiration or courage. Confirmation is not the new arrival of the Holy Spirit, but rather an intensification of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and impassions the heart. It gives increased knowledge and understanding of Jesus, his Gospel and the mysteries of the faith. It also moves a person to love Jesus more dearly and strengthens the desire to please and obey him.

The gift of the Holy Spirit in confirmation completes the sacraments of initiation and equips a person to live one’s faith as an adult. A Christian child has the support of parents and family, but when it is time to leave home and live independently, the Holy Spirit gives the interior strength to make good decisions and to live a holy and virtuous life.

Confirmation serves as the foundation of the sacraments of commitment: marriage and holy orders. The Holy Spirit often points a person toward a lifelong Christian vocation, to live the faith as a wife or husband, and as a mother or father, or as a priest or vowed religious. The Holy Spirit may also guide a person in other directions, such as the consecrated life as a religious sister or brother, or as a dedicated single person. The Holy Spirit also directs a person toward a profession that is of service to others and improves society.

The Holy Spirit emboldens a person’s words and deeds. The special graces of confirmation enliven a person to speak more often, more openly and with greater clarity and conviction about their faith and beliefs; to be an evangelizer, ready and willing to spread the good news of Jesus and his Gospel; and to be better prepared and more determined to testify to the truth.

The Holy Spirit stirs a person to give bolder public witness to their faith, to give outstanding example through love, joyfulness, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and service. The Holy Spirit empowers a person to do mighty deeds and to perform good works that do much good, with actions that are visible, make a strong statement and are persuasive to others.

The gift of the Holy Spirit at confirmation draws a person into a stronger bond with the body of Christ, the Church. It encourages a person to receive the sacraments and pray with the community regularly; to make friends at church who are fellow pilgrims on a journey of faith; to have partners on larger tasks and service projects; to pass on the gift of faith to others, particularly children and those searching for God; and to give collective or corporate witness.

The Holy Spirit prepares a person for battle. The Spirit gives a person the firm resolve and fierce determination to reject temptation, stand up against evil, refute errors, defend the faith and withstand attacks. The Spirit also gives the strength and stamina to persevere in the battle, to remain true to Christ, unwavering in belief, and constant in goodness.

Father Van Sloun is pastor of St. Bartholomew in Wayzata. Read more of his writing at CatholicHotdish.com.

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Category: Faith Fundamentals