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Confirmation - Witnesses to the Risen Christ

The sacraments in the Divine Will

1/14/2020
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"Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20,21-22).

So, Jesus entrusts a great mission to his disciples. They are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5,13-16) because they are filled with His Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit of Christ can truly become the salt that gives flavour and protects against corruption, and the light that illuminates the world! - Pope Francis said  in his catechesis on the Sacrament of Confirmation- both a lack and an excess of salt spoil the taste of food, just as a lack or an excess of light impede vision.

At Confirmation we receive the Holy Spirit as a gift. The sacrament of Confirmation is called also "Crismation" from the fact that we receive the Spirit through the anointing with ‘Chrism’ — a fragrant oil mixture consecrated by the Bishop —, a term which refers to Christ Anointed by the Holy Spirit (Mt 3,16). This anointing highlights the name "Christian," which means "anointed" and derives from that of Christ himself whom God "anointed with the Holy Spirit."  (Heb 10,38) - as the Catechism of the Catholic Church  says (n. 1289). Jesus presents himself in the Synagogue of his village as the Anointed One, the One who was anointed by the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Lk 4:18).

It is called ‘Confirmation’ because it confirms Baptism and strengthens its grace. Confirmation must be understood in continuity with Baptism, to which it is inseparably linked. These two Sacraments, together with the Eucharist, form a single saving event — called “Christian initiation”. If the Spirit works in every sacrament, it is in a special way that in Confirmation “the faithful receive the Holy Spirit as a Gift”.  Confirmation unites us more firmly to Christ, it renders our bond with the Church more perfect, and it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of his Cross (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1303).

The first step is being reborn to divine life in Baptism; it is important to behave as children of God, or to conform ourselves to Christ who works in the Holy Church - Pope Francis reminds us - allowing us to engage in his mission in the world. This is what the anointing of the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us: he gives us the power to go forth. As Jesus’ entire life was enlivened by the Spirit, so too is the life of the Church and of each of its members under the guidance of the same Spirit.

The “Breath” of the Risen Christ fills the Church’s lungs with life.. This breath then descends to each disciple and is transmitted to all generations, to the ends of the earth. It wishes to clothe all generations with divine light so that they, repeating the same life of Christ, live in the Divine Will.

It is the breath of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. It is the same breath that our Heavenly Father has transmitted to man in Creation. God, through the breath, not only gave man life but also gave him the divine image and likeness. It is the unique, multiplied and eternal act of which Jesus speaks to Luisa in her Diary : “In my Will there are all the acts that my Humanity did, both external and interior. Of the external acts, it is known more or less what I did; and if the creature wants to, she can unite with Me and share in the good I did. And I feel contentment because I see my good in the midst of creatures as though multiplied by virtue of the union they form with Me” (Vol. XIV - October 19, 1922).

Unfortunately, the Sacrament of Confirmation is often left to the decision of the faithful. But, also in this case, the Pope insists, parents should take care that their children receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is important to prepare young people well, reawakening in them a sense of belonging to the Church. Parents should do everything possible to ensure that their children complete their Christian initiation and receive the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit (General audience 29 January 2014).

“Through Confirmation, I restore his courage, I give back to him the lost strengths, rendering him invincible to all enemies and to his passions, and he is admitted to the ranks of the militia of his Creator, that he may fight for the acquisition of the Celestial Fatherland, and the Holy Spirit gives him His loving kiss again, lavishes a thousand caresses on him, and offers Himself as the companion of his career” (Jesus to Luisa-Vol. 18 -  November 5, 1925).

If in Baptism it is the Holy Spirit who immerses us in Christ, Pope Francis concludes - then in Confirmation it is Christ who fills us with his Spirit, consecrating us as his witnesses, participants in the same principle of life and of mission, according to the design of the heavenly Father. The witness given by the confirmed shows reception of the Holy Spirit and consists in doing only and all that the Spirit of Christ asks of us, giving us the strength to accomplish it (General audience May 23, 2018).

But, in this sacrament, how many close themselves to the action of the Holy Spirit! they lose the dignity of being Christians, of being children of God; many embitter God and cause His moans: “How many moans, how many sighs for his return, how many secret voices to the heart, for the one who shuns Him - to the point of tiring Himself from speaking. But – no, it is in vain. Therefore, do you not want to give your requital of love, your loving kiss, your company to the Holy Spirit, who moans because of so much neglection? (Jesus to Luisa-Vol. 18 -  November 5, 1925).

Recall that you have received the spiritual seal,

the spirit of wisdom and understanding,

the spirit of right judgment and courage,

the spirit of knowledge and reverence,

the spirit of holy fear in God's presence.

Guard what you have received.

God the Father has marked you with his sign;

Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge,

the Spirit, in your hearts.

(Saint Ambrose)

 

Fiat!
Riccardina Latti
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