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Confirmation

Confirmation is preeminently the sacrament of the Holy Spirit by which the Spirit seals and perfects the Christian life into which we were initiated by Baptism. But because Confirmation is not tied to any specific or particular purpose, and perhaps because of its rather generic name, we tend not to immediately appreciate its importance.

Fortunately, two brief catechetical audiences by Pope John Paul II clearly explain the power of this sacrament. In the first, the Pope emphasizes the role of Confirmation in perfecting baptismal grace, incorporating us more firmly into Christ and the Church. In the second, he calls attention to the seal of the Holy Spirit which marks us for service to Christ and guarantees us the Father’s protection.

A more comprehensive exposition by Bishop Alvaro Corrada considers Confirmation's relationship to the other sacraments and to the Christian life as a whole, as well as the question of when it should be administered. The Church permits considerable latitude on this question, but it is well worth our reflection because it forces us to meditate on the purposes of the sacrament and how best to achieve them.

If you only have time to look at three things, LOOK AT THESE.

  1. Confirmation Perfects Baptismal Grace (John Paul II)
  2. Confirmation Seals Us with Gift of the Spirit (John Paul II)
  3. Pastoral Reflection on the Sacrament of Confirmation (Bishop Corrada)

And if you've got more time...

For a very orderly treatment of all the basic aspects of Confirmation, see the section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which covers The Sacrament of Confirmation.

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