A Message from Debbie Olla
In the Church, we celebrate “new life” through the Risen Christ, in our liturgical environment, in the celebration of new catechumens, and the sacraments of First Communion and confirmation.
This spring, my head is full of thoughts about confirmation and how it brings new life into the candidates we have been journeying with over the past year.
“Be sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.” This is what the bishop says as he anoints with the Holy Chrism. I don’t know about you, but for me this is exciting.
The Holy Spirit strengthens us for ongoing service as the Body of Christ, the Church in the world. The Catechism states it this way for the sacrament of confirmation: “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. God the Father has marked you with His sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.” (CCC 1303).
Working with the candidates each year, I am so thankful for the reminder it brings to me as a confirmed Catholic of the importance of the Holy Spirit in my own life. It makes me take time to reflect on how I call on the Holy Spirit to help me defend my faith in all circumstances. How I live for Christ.
I heard this saying awhile back, “If you were put on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?” It sure made me stop and think, is there? I like to switch out the word Christian for catholic, witness, disciple. Confirmation is not only an anointing, but also a commissioning to live out our faith in the world. I need to constantly call on the Holy Spirit to help stir within me the gifts received at my own confirmation, to continue to allow the Holy Spirit to move in and around me.
As our young people present themselves to be fully initiated into the church, to be “sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit,” to receive “New Life” in their faith journey, please pray for all those who present themselves for the sacrament of confirmation during Eastertime and take a moment to renew the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your own life.
Debbie Olla is Director of Youth Formation for St Dominic Catholic Parish.