The sacrament of Confirmation is the bestowal of Pentecost into the soul of every baptized Christian, and it is final sacrament of initiation into the Catholic Church. The bishop or priest prays for those being confirmed to receive the Holy Spirit and his Seven Gifts. What are the “Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit” and what do they mean?
A sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible spiritual reality. Because humans are a unity of a physical body and a spiritual soul, God uses the means of physical objects and rituals to convey spiritual truths that we cannot detect using our senses.
This outward sign functions as a channel through which God imparts sanctifying grace into the soul. The sacraments are seven in number and have their source in the saving work of Jesus in his passion, death, and resurrection, and were established by Him for the sanctification of every member of His Church.
Many people who are not Catholic wonder why we look for help from the saints. Even though I was born and raised Catholic, I used to feel more comfortable praying only to God, without an intercessor, until I realized the role of the saints in our lives.
It took me some time to understand and experience firsthand the graces that you can receive through their intercession. By reading about them and visiting their hometowns and seeing their relics, I came to learn about and value their legacy and their importance as instruments of God: “He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” (Mark 12:27)
One of the more meaningful and fulfilling parts of Catholic doctrine, that is not as well-developed in other Christian denominations, is the incredible value of suffering; “offer it up” habitually rolls off the Catholic tongue in response to the troubles that enter our lives. Unfortunately, many Christians believe that Jesus suffered and died for us so that we will not have to suffer at all. But that is only partially true.
Have you always wanted to participate in a Lenten retreat, but don’t have the time or money to spend a whole weekend away from home? Sometimes just managing to attend a one-day retreat can be difficult! Doors of Mercy: Exploring God’s Covenant With You is a wonderful option for an at-home Lenten retreat, that can be done at […]
Have you been asked to write a letter to someone who is preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation?
Many parishes have retreats in which the Confirmation candidates are given letters from their loved ones and friends to encourage and inspire them as they prepare to receive this sacrament. These letters are special because they come from different sources: friends, loved ones, or mentors within the Church. Trying to find words of inspiration from the Bible, the Catechism, or from our own personal experience can be difficult, though.
Catholics seem to be having a renewed interest in the topic of spiritual warfare these days.
Pope Francis has mentioned the devil in his homilies frequently, warning us against his infernal tactics to turn us away from God. Our headlines are filled with evidence of cultural unrest and societal decay in many parts of the world, including our own. ISIS is on the march and leaving scores of martyred Christians in their wake. The Church is enduring scandal and confusion is spreading.
St. Peter of Imola (406-550) became Archbishop of Ravenna in Italy, in his day the seat of the Roman Empire, giving him a very important role in the Church. His sermons were so eloquent, and his skill in making complex theological truths simple and plain was so renowned, that it earned him the name ‘Chrysologus’ meaning ‘the man of golden speech’ or ‘golden word’. Many of his 200+ homilies are featured in the Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours.
During one of this weekly Angelus addresses earlier this year, Pope Francis shared three essential tools for those who are far away from Jesus but who have a desire to get to know Him better:
The Sacrament of Confirmation is one of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church (together with Baptism and Holy Communion). This special anointing done by the bishop or priest has the effect of increasing and deepening the grace of God given to us at our baptismal; while baptism removes from our souls from the stain of original sin, confirmation pours into our souls the power of the Holy Spirit – just like the Apostles received at Pentecost.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1303) below are the five real spiritual effects that happen to Christians through the Sacrament of Confirmation.