Author Topic: What does Confirmation do?  (Read 496 times)

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Offline Dolores

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What does Confirmation do?
« on: June 26, 2015, 01:23:38 PM »
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  • I was reading through the thread about the validity of resistance Confirmations, and it got me thinking about the sacrament, and I realized that I do not fully understand what the sacrament does.  I know all of the common refrains:  it makes us soldiers of Christ, it seals us with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, it completes baptism, etc.  However, all of the other sacraments do something more tangible:

    *Baptism washes away both original and personal sin and makes us children of God of heirs of heaven

    *Confession absolves us of sin committed after baptism

    *Holy Communion is the very body and blood of our Lord, sacrificed for us, and received by us

    *Matrimony unites a man and woman as husband and wife

    *Holy Orders give a man the power and grace to administer the sacraments

    *Extreme Unction gives health and strength to the soul when death is near

    To me, at least, the graces attached to Confirmation are much more nebulous are harder to understand.  I recall reading somewhere that Confirmation's effects are "mysterious."  Can anyone help me understand better?

    Online Nadir

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    What does Confirmation do?
    « Reply #1 on: June 26, 2015, 05:36:21 PM »
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  • Dolores, I would suggest you do a Novena to the Holy Ghost. This may help clarify for you; after all, one of the gifts received is Understanding!

    Quote
    NOVENA to the HOLY GHOST

    The novena to the Holy Ghost is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the First Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light, strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

    First Day              Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
                          From Thy clear celestial height.
                                Thy pure beaming radiance give!

    The Holy Ghost Only one thing is important - eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared - sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

    Prayer Almighty and eternal God, Who has vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us Thy sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and
    Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge
    and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father (seven times)

    Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost
    On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body, to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion, to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus, and looking at His five wounds, and trusting in His  Precious Blood, and adoring His opened side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, "Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth." Amen.

    Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
    O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me
    the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal;
    the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth;
    the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven;
    the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation;
    the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints;
    the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable;
    the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.
    Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

    Second Day        Come, Thou Father of the poor!
                      Come, with treasures which endure!
                       Come, Thou Light of all that live!

    The Gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from the worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

    Prayer
    Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set Thee, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all things that can offend Thee, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Thy Divine Majesty in heaven, where Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God, world without end. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (seven times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Third Day          Thou, of all consolers best,
                    Visiting the troubled breast,
                    Dost refreshing peace bestow.

    The Gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

    Prayer Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


    Fourth Day       Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
                     Pleasant coolness in the heat;
                     Solace in the midst of woe.

    By The Gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and
    supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

    Prayer Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude uphold my soul in time of troubles and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give
    me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be
    overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Fifth Day        Light immortal! Light Divine!
                   Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
                     And our inmost being fill!

    The Gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth - in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

    Prayer Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Sixth Day         If Thou take Thy grace away,
                  Nothing pure in man will stay;
                    All his good is turned to ill.

    The Gift of Understanding helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

    Prayer Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the
    eternal light of Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision
    of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Seventh Day      Heal our wounds - our strength renew;
                      On our dryness pour Thy dew;
                       Wash the stains of guilt away!

    The Gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

    Prayer Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    Eighth Day         Bend the stubborn heart and will;
                     Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
                      Guide the steps that go astray!

    The Gift of Wisdom: Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of Wisdom it is written "all good things come to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light."

    Prayer Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts


    Ninth Day        Thou, on those who evermore
                   Thee confess and Thee adore
                   In Thy sevenfold gifts, descend:
                   Give them comfort when they die;
                  Give the life with Thee on high;
                   Give them joys which never end. Amen.

    The Fruits of the Holy Ghost The gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Ghost, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue becomes more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Ghost. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

    Prayer Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary on the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (7 times), Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts

    ****************************************************************

    Prayer to the Holy Ghost
    Come, O Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
    V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created;
    R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
    Let us pray - Oh God, Who hast instructed the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost, grant that by the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. (From the Roman Missal).
    ****************************************************************

    O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You.
    Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me.
    Tell me what I should do, give me Your orders.
    I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me
    and to accept all that You permit to happen to me.
    Let me only know Your will. Amen
     



    Offline poche

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    What does Confirmation do?
    « Reply #2 on: June 26, 2015, 11:52:55 PM »
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  • When you recieve the sacrament of Confirmation you recieve the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
    So, if a Pentacostal asks you if you have been "slain in the Spirit?" You can say "yes" because if you have recieved the sacrament of Confirmation because that is what the sacrament is in a manner of speaking, And your sacramental encounter has more efficacy than that of the Pentacostal because yours is for real while the jury is out on what his is.

    Online Nadir

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    What does Confirmation do?
    « Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 03:41:30 AM »
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  • Poche, are you serious? Slain in the spirit has absolutely NOTHING to do with Confirmation or the Holy Spirit. It is believed, even by most protestants, to be some form of demonic activity. It involves being thrown to the ground by an invisible force or swooning and falling to the ground, probably through auto-suggestion. This never happens when a person is confirmed and the person who is allegedly "slain in the spirit" receives no Grace whatsoever through the exercise.


    Dolores, I found that Novena to be very informative and enriching. I don't know if this is of any help.

    Quote


    from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04215b.htm

    Effects

    Confirmation imparts

    * an increase of sanctifying grace which makes the recipient a "perfect Christian";
    * a special sacramental grace consisting in the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ;
    * an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person.

    A further consequence is the spiritual relationship which the person confirming and the sponsor contract with the recipient and with the recipient's parents. This relationship constitutes a diriment impediment to marriage. It does not arise between the minister of the sacrament and the sponsor nor between the sponsors themselves.

    Necessity

    Regarding the obligation of receiving the sacrament, it is admitted that confirmation is not necessary as an indispensable means of salvation (necessitate medii).

    On the other hand, its reception is obligatory (necessitate præcepti) "for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church. This is especially true of those who suffer persecution on account of their religion or are exposed to grievous temptations against faith or are in danger of death. The more serious the danger so much greater is the need of protecting oneself". (Conc. Plen. Balt. II, n. 250.) As to the gravity of the obligation, opinions differ, some theologians holding that an unconfirmed person would commit mortal sin if he refused the sacrament, others that the sin would be at most venial unless the refusal implied contempt for the sacrament. Apart, however, from such controversies the importance of confirmation as a means of grace is so obvious that no earnest Christian will neglect it, and in particular that Christian parents will not fail to see that their children are confirmed.

    Offline poche

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    What does Confirmation do?
    « Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 04:22:42 AM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir
    Poche, are you serious? Slain in the spirit has absolutely NOTHING to do with Confirmation or the Holy Spirit. It is believed, even by most protestants, to be some form of demonic activity. It involves being thrown to the ground by an invisible force or swooning and falling to the ground, probably through auto-suggestion. This never happens when a person is confirmed and the person who is allegedly "slain in the spirit" receives no Grace whatsoever through the exercise.


    Dolores, I found that Novena to be very informative and enriching. I don't know if this is of any help.

    Quote


    from http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04215b.htm

    Effects

    Confirmation imparts

    * an increase of sanctifying grace which makes the recipient a "perfect Christian";
    * a special sacramental grace consisting in the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost and notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ;
    * an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person.

    A further consequence is the spiritual relationship which the person confirming and the sponsor contract with the recipient and with the recipient's parents. This relationship constitutes a diriment impediment to marriage. It does not arise between the minister of the sacrament and the sponsor nor between the sponsors themselves.

    Necessity

    Regarding the obligation of receiving the sacrament, it is admitted that confirmation is not necessary as an indispensable means of salvation (necessitate medii).

    On the other hand, its reception is obligatory (necessitate præcepti) "for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church. This is especially true of those who suffer persecution on account of their religion or are exposed to grievous temptations against faith or are in danger of death. The more serious the danger so much greater is the need of protecting oneself". (Conc. Plen. Balt. II, n. 250.) As to the gravity of the obligation, opinions differ, some theologians holding that an unconfirmed person would commit mortal sin if he refused the sacrament, others that the sin would be at most venial unless the refusal implied contempt for the sacrament. Apart, however, from such controversies the importance of confirmation as a means of grace is so obvious that no earnest Christian will neglect it, and in particular that Christian parents will not fail to see that their children are confirmed.


    Maybe most Protestants believe that it is from the Devil. They could be right. However, for Pentacostals it is a work of the Holy Spirit. However when we recieve the sacrament of Confirmation we recieve the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt when the sacament is worthily recieved.


    Offline Stubborn

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    What does Confirmation do?
    « Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 04:25:53 AM »
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  • Quote from: Dolores

    To me, at least, the graces attached to Confirmation are much more nebulous are harder to understand.  I recall reading somewhere that Confirmation's effects are "mysterious."  Can anyone help me understand better?
    Maybe these few snips taken from Fr. Wathen's; Who Shall Ascend? can help:


    Baptism makes one a child of God, but only a child; Confirmation makes him a mature Christian, a soldier, and an apostle..........Confirmation brings its subject to maturity as a son of God, by filling him with the Holy Ghost and His Sevenfold Gifts.




    Even after a long life of sin, if the Christian receives the Sacrament of the dying with the appropriate dispositions, he will go straight to heaven without having to go to purgatory.

    For what confirmation is to baptism, extreme unction is to the Sacrament of penance. As confirmation gives the fullness of the grace of configuration to Christ inaugurated in baptism, so does extreme unction bestow the fullness of the grace of purification begun in penance. In the view of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, this Sacrament is, above all, the "consummation," the completion of Christ's purifying action in the soul. Its effect is to remove every last trace of sin. All is forgiven; the soul's cleansing is complete. The very symbolism of the Sacrament of extreme unction is strikingly suggestive of the effect it produces, namely, the utter removal of all trace of sin In every part of man, in body as well as soul. In the name of Christ the priest applies the holy anointings to every organ of sense, because it is in the senses that every moral defilement has its beginning.




    There is another element which is integral to the moral life of every Catholic, namely, that of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost. By these Gifts, which are a part of the spiritual raiment of Baptism (and moreso of Confirmation), the Holy Spirit lends his power and knowledge, so as to assist and guide the Christian in all his decisions and actions.

    The Gifts are above nature and above supernatural virtue, so that he who posseses them can be expected to tend toward God and His truth and toward supernatural righteousness, without always knowing the reason, without always having a discernible reason for his understanding or his conduct.

    We see this among Traditionalist Catholic people, whose education may be slight, or practically nil, but they have perceived from the very beginning that THE CHANGES are not of God, are not Catholic.

    They instinctively reacted against the New Mass, recognized its devious, evil nature, without being able clearly to explain their aversion, or even to understand it. It is these simple people that the Conciliar clergy hate most of all, because they ask embarrassing questions (We should say, they used to ask questions; they have given up by now.); they accuse with ingenuous penetration, and they argue with such annoying insight. An example:

    An ordinary Catholic, a convert at that: "Father, this 'Communion-in-the Hand' business-it is not right. It is very wicked."

    Father: "No, there is nothing wrong with it. You must remember that at the Last Supper, everyone at the table handled the Eucharist."

    O.C.: "But, Father, they were all BISHOPS!"

    F.: "Hrumph! Learn to obey!"

    We say, therefore, that Our Blessed Lady, not to mention the lesser saints, would never have participated in any way in the atrocities of the New anti-Religion. By the light of the Holy Spirit, her Divine Spouse, she would have perceived in an instant, without the labor of any syllogizing, that what is happening is of the Evil One.


    For a small gain they travel far; for eternal life many will scarcely lift a foot from the ground. - Thomas A Kempis

     

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