The grace of confirmation empowers us

By Pete Burak

The Grace of Confirmation Empowers Us

Confirmation is not graduation. The indelible spiritual mark imprinted on the soul of the newly confirmed signifies so much more than a merit badge or certificate of completion. Through confirmation, the grace received at baptism is increased and deepened to empower us to actually do what this monthly article is all about: to Grow and Go!

Don’t take my word for it; allow me to quote heavily from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • [Confirmation] roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”
  • It unites us more firmly to Christ.
  • It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us
  • It renders our bond with the Church more perfect.
  • It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the cross. (CCC 1303)

Two major things hold us back from experiencing what is described above: 1) We don’t know this power is accessible to us; and 2) We don’t say yes to it.

What if we spent time every day crying, “Abba! Father!”? What if we rejected sin and temptation and instead, consciously chose Jesus? What if we intentionally asked for the gifts of the Spirit to be activated in our lives and, better yet, believed they’ve already been given? What if we chose to embrace the Church in all her glory and brokenness and fought to see her healthy and whole? What if we believed that we had the power to bear witness to Christ’s love and to not blush at his name or teachings? Friends, confirmation, like baptism and the Eucharist, can change everything.

One final word from the catechism: “By confirmation, Christians, that is, those who are anointed, share more completely in the mission of Jesus Christ and the fullness of the Holy Spirit with which he is filled, so that their lives may give off ‘the aroma of Christ.’” (CCC 1294) The chrism oil used in confirmation emits a unique and delightful fragrance. May we Grow and Go through the grace of this sacrament, so even when the chrism wears off, people can smell us comin’ a mile away.