The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation
Sacraments are mysteries; they are signs of the sacred presence of our God in our midst today. Through the sacraments, Jesus remains with His people, strengthening, Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation. . and compare the relationship of Jesus with the Church to the relationship of a husband and wife. So it's our relationship with God that is all-important, and one of the ways Jesus through the sacrament of baptism, confirmation and holy Eucharist. the love of God -- as you're trying to do this, your parish family, your own. Baptism is not simply something we do because our parents or the church tells us to - we do it because it is meaningful to our relationship with God. of our belief in Christ's death and resurrection, it strengthens our faith.
Sacraments of Christian initiation — baptism, confirmation and Eucharist; Sacraments of vocation — Holy Orders and marriage; Sacraments of healing — reconciliation penance and anointing of the sick.
Although many believe sacraments should be received at certain ages or grade levels, Father said that the Church actually focuses on more significant criteria when it comes to sacramental reception. We think of first communion as usually being received around the age of 7 or what has been traditionally considered as the age of reasonor when a child is in the second grade.
Do they have some grasp of the sacrament as the gift that Christ left us to celebrate in memory of him? Do they have a desire to receive the Eucharist? Sacramentally, Christ becomes a unique part of their marital relationship providing the grace for them to live their lives in Christian faithfulness and love.
In the anointing of the sick, the ill or suffering are commended to Christ through the prayer of the faith community, trusting that Christ will provide for them in their present need. This graced encounter can be life-giving for a person who is seriously ill, even as the witness of their faith in the face of physical illness can be a source of life for the Church.
Baptism The Church calls for the local community to provide some form of preparation and formation for parents and godparents. A person must be baptized in order to receive any other sacrament. Parents must be willing to accept and follow through with the responsibility of raising a child in the faith community and understand what it means to be part of that community.
The Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation
It means living the Gospel message seriously and engaging in the mission of the Church. He wants us to be loving, good, gentle, kind, and humble people. However, the Word by itself will not get the job done.How can I strengthen my relationship with God?
The Word gives us the knowledge of what God is expecting from each one of us — but the Holy Spirit is the One who will actually make us more loving, gentle, kind, and humble. However, He will not do this for us unless we are first willing to spend some kind of regular quality time in the Word learning exactly what God wants to teach us.
- 1. Deepen Your Personal Relationship With God
- 2. Hunger for the Word of God
The Holy Spirit needs something to work with in order to be able to transform and sanctify us — and that something is knowledge — and that knowledge can only be received by reading and studying from the Bible. This is why you need both the Word and the Spirit working together through you, so you change into the kind of person God wants you to become in Him.
The Bible tells us that there are 9 specific fruits that come directly from the Holy Spirit. These are His fruits — not ours.
The Benefits of Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit
The 9 specific fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, self-control, faithfulness, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, and gentleness. What this means is that His love, His goodness, His joy, and His peace will start to be worked and meshed into your personality so that you can then start to become a much more loving, kind, and gentle person.
After having received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, these nine fruits will start to manifest into your personality much more quickly and much more powerfully! The Holy Spirit will also be working some additional qualities into your personality such as the qualities of boldness, courage, confidence, and passion.
Jesus says in the Book of Revelation that He will spew you out of His mouth if He finds that you are too lukewarm in your own personal relationship with Him. God is looking for passionate and intense people, and the Holy Spirit will help to work these kinds of additional qualities into your personality. The 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit are the word of knowledge, the word of wisdom, prophecy, the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, the discerning of spirits, the working of miracles, the gifts of healing, and the gift of faith.
Any one of these 9 gifts will now be able to be manifested through you at any time to be able to help either yourself or someone else. You will have a much better chance of getting some of these nine gifts to manifest through you after you have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit than you did before you had received this gift.
Communication From God After you receive this gift, you will be hearing from God with much more clarity and with much more frequency. God likes to supernaturally communicate to His children in a wide variety of ways. Again, this will be another whole article, but suffice to say, you can learn how to hear from God, and the Holy Spirit will teach you how to do it.
It is a skill which can be learned and taught. You will start seeing things as God sees them, not as man sees them. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will help guide you into all truth, and one of the ways that He will do this is by allowing you to see things from His point of view and perspective.
You will start seeing the truth in the many different situations you will find yourself in. Not only will you start seeing the truth that is in the Bible, but you will also start seeing the truth in many different areas in your everyday life.
The Bible says that the truth will set you free. The Holy Spirit will help make sure that you see what the real truth is on a wide variety of matters and issues in your life.
Once you see what the real truth is on a certain matter, then you will know how to properly handle it. The reason He likes to do this is so that we can properly prepare ourselves for something that may be coming down the road, whether it be good or bad. He will do this in a wide variety of ways. Again, this will be another whole article. Help Increase Your Intelligence Levels Since you now have the Holy Spirit operating up in your soul area — He can now help improve your intelligence levels, which will also include improving your ability to remember things.
He will help improve your memory and your ability to retain and remember things. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit will help bring back up to our remembrance Scripture verses when we will need them on the spot. Only the Lord really knows, but in my judgment, Confirmation is the most ignored sacrament of our faith. Biblical Witness The biblical grounds for our faith in Confirmation are Christs promise to send the Holy Spirit on the apostles.
Not surprisingly, it is the evangelist St. Luke who records the Saviors promise. Just before His ascension, Jesus told His disciples, I am sending down to you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city, then, until you are clothed with the power from on high Lk On the same occasion, the Lord promised His followers, You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and then you will be my witnesses, not only in Jerusalem, but throughout Judea and Samaria, and indeed to the ends of the earth Acts 1: In the same context, we are told that converts to the faith were first baptized, and then the Apostles laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit Acts 8: Immediately we see that the basic reason why Christ instituted the Sacrament of Confirmation was that His followers would witness to Him, even to the ends of the earth.
The original revealed Greek term for witnesses, as quoted by St. Divinely Conferred Effects There is a mountain of implications hidden in this precious sacrament. We shall therefore concentrate on the effects of Confirmation and our responsibility to live as not only baptized, but confirmed Christians in our day. We define Confirmation as the sacrament of spiritual strengthening, in Latin, roboratio spiritualis.
Our English word robust comes from the Latin robur, which means oak wood or hardwood. More concretely, Confirmation strengthens the supernatural life we receive in Baptism. Confirmation increases our sanctifying grace in every way, but mainly in deepening our capacity to remain spiritually alive. It gives us the power of resistance, the ability to resist dangers, and the strength to become more Christ?
Confirmation gives us, even before the age of reason, the title to such fortitude as no one else except confirmed believers can claim. It does nothing less than provide us with superhuman strength against hostile forces from within our own fallen nature and from the world and the evil spirit who is literally hell-bent to destroy us.
There are three sacraments that give a person what we call an indelible character. They are Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. Confirmation confers the character of assimilation to Jesus Christ, the priest, teacher, and king. On each of these levels, the assimilation is associated with Christs role as Savior. As we know, the priesthood of Jesus is the mission that He came into the world to fulfill by offering Himself in sacrifice on the cross.
We cannot repeat too often what sacrifice means. Sacrifice is the voluntary surrender of something precious to God. On Calvary, Jesus offered His human life for our salvation. But the heart of His bloody sacrifice was in His human will, freely surrendering Himself to the Father. On this first level of assimilation to Jesus Christ the priest, Confirmation gives us the strength to bear suffering passively in union with Him and the courage to sacrifice pleasant things actively out of love for the One who died on the first Good Friday out of love for us.
Confirmation assimilates us to Christ the teacher. We acquire a strong will in adhering to the faith in the face of obstacles, a strong mind in not doubting the truths of faith, a strong humility of spirit in professing the faith, and a strong wisdom that knows how to communicate the faith to others effectively.
Finally, Confirmation assimilates us to Christ the King. It gives us a quality of leadership that can direct others on the path of salvation. It gives us a strong character that can withstand the ravages of bad example or the snares of seduction, and a strong personality that will attract even the enemies of Christ to His standard. We might describe the sacramental character of Confirmation by calling it the sacrament of witness to Christ, in the Church and before the world.
In other words, Confirmation is the sacrament of fearless apostolic zeal. Having said this, we are ready to spell out in as clear words as possible what this sacrament gives us the grace to do. In the words of the new canon of law, issued by Pope Jolu1 Paul II on the first Sunday of Advent inwe are told that by the sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized are made strong and more firmly obliged by word and deed to witness to Christ and to spread and defend the faith.
Immediately we see that Confirmation is exactly what its name implies. It is the supernatural, which means superhuman, courage we receive to be apostles of Jesus Christ. Witness To witness means to testify to others of what we are absolutely sure is true. To be sure of the faith means to be certain that what God has revealed is unchangeably true.
Certitude of faith is in the mind, convinced that the mysteries of our faith cannot be questioned because they are revealed by the all? We get some idea of what Confirmation does by what happened on Pentecost Sunday. In the Churchs tradition, it was on Pentecost that the disciples received the graces of their Confirmation when the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples, gathered with Mary, awaiting the coming of the power that Jesus had promised to send them.
Remember, it was just over fifty days before that Peter, the coward, three times denied that he even knew Jesus Christ.
Yet now he stood before several thousand people in Jerusalem and spoke to them with such courageous conviction as he never had before. Men of Israel, listen to what I am going to say: Jesus the Nazarene was a man sent to you by God. Miracles and portents and signs God worked through Him when He was among you, as you all know. This man, who was put into your power by the deliberate intention and foreknowledge of God, you took and had Him crucified by men outside the law.
You killed Him, but God raised Him to life Acts 2: The result was that some three thousand Jews were baptized that very day. The lesson is obvious. No less than what the Holy Spirit did to Peter on Pentecost Sunday, the same Spirit has done to us when we were confirmed on our Pentecost day.
The Benefits of Being Baptized in the Holy Spirit
We have received nothing less than miraculous power to witness to Jesus Christ. Spreading the Faith Confirmation develops our sense of mission and inflames our desire to share with others what others had so generously shared with us.
John Chrysostom, on the Last Day, we shall be judged mainly on our practice of charity in spreading the faith. The number of ways of spreading the faith is beyond human reckoning. But the one way that has been most effective from the dawn of Christian history has been by living a life of selfless charity.
The charity of which we are speaking is not only, or even mainly, the charity of the corporal works of mercy. Certainly, as Christ tells us, we are to do everything we can to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and care for those who are in physical need.
However, the principal form of charity, which is nothing less than a miraculous means of spreading the faith, is the interior charity of selfless love for others. Charity, he says, bears all things. Charity is longsuffering in all things. There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity, all the elect of God have been made perfect. Is it any wonder that by the end of the first century of Christianity, over one hundred dioceses were established along the shores of the Mediterranean Sea?
Without exception, the Church spread because Christians were confirmed by the Holy Spirit to love others with heroic charity. They loved those who hated them. They loved those who persecuted them. Like Jesus, they even loved those who crucified them. We are talking about spreading the Faith as one of the gifts of the sacrament of Confirmation. It is especially by our love of others that we communicate our Faith to them.
This spreading of the Faith is not only evangelizing unbelievers or converting sinners estranged from God. Confirmation so deepens the faith of a sincerely believing Catholic that he is the conduit for deepening and strengthening the faith of others in the measure of his own practice of self-sacrificing love.
How misguided we can be! We see all around us millions who either do not believe in Christ at all, or whose Christianity is confused, or whose faith in the Churchs teaching is shallow at best and make? How to bring to this ocean of souls the fullness of the true faith? Surely, our understanding of the faith is important. Our ability to prove the truth of our faith is imperative. But, the infallible talisman for spreading the faith, far beyond our wildest dreams, is living a life of loving surrender to the will of God and of selfless generosity in our dealings with everyone who enters our lives.
In one sentence, the key to putting the gift of our Confirmation into practice is to share with others the treasure of our Catholic Faith. Defend the Faith Here we could begin all over again. The Sacrament of Confirmation provides us with nothing less than miraculous power to defend the faith that we profess. We cannot defend what we do not understand. Nor can we defend what we are not ourselves convinced is true. On this basic level of defending the Catholic Faith, there is no substitute for knowing what we believe.