The first of my children is to be confirmed in her Catholic faith tonight. Sarah has been attending “prep” sessions at LifeTeen since September, but she has prepared since her Baptism for this time. I look at my young woman of a daughter and I believe she is ready.
The Catechism of the Catholic church teaches us that “Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the ‘sacraments of Christian initiation'” and that receiving Confirmation is “necessary for the completion of baptismal grace.” (Article 1285) This is the final step for Sarah to be fully initiated into the Church, it will give her the strength she needs to go the distance to know, serve and love our Lord. It is also a responsibility to spread and defend our faith…I think she has learned that part recently.
I often reflect on Sarah’s baptism as a turning point in my faith life. I told her about that last summer in a letter I wrote to her for her to read while she was at Steubenville Conference. I can’t say that I’ve never made mistakes when it comes to raising her and teaching her the Catholic faith, but I can say that I have always tried my best. This is the final sacrament she will receive while she continues to grow up, living with us. The next time she receives a sacrament she will be completely on her own, most likely, making her own decisions. She makes a lot of her own decisions now, but we are here to guide those. In the next few years, she will make more decisions independent of us, her parents. She seems ready for this responsibility.
It has brought joy to my heart to see Sarah continue to grow these past months as she has attended high school, continued to play volleyball, made new friends and enriched existing friendships. She has had an opportunity to express herself through writing on a couple of occasions where her strong faith and beautiful heart have shown through her words. She has also made some new friends and been unabashed in her ability to share her faith with them.
Every time I meet with teachers and/or coaches of Sarah, I am reassured that my impressions of my daughter are not just my feelings as her mother clouding my vision. Others see these actions and values in her and that is so reassuring. Many times early in the school year, new friends would ask Sarah where she had gone to school before high school and when she mentioned “Catholic school” they often followed up with questions. One of her friends enjoys talking with her about it and Sarah’s even extended invitations to LifeTeen events/retreats. She is unafraid to defend her position on core beliefs (life) and has made good, sound decisions on where to be, what to do, who to be around and talk to.
Tonight, she will be filled with the Holy Spirit! Her responsibility will extend to proclaiming “the mighty works of God” (cc 1287). She will receive the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, knowledge, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord. I can only imagine how these gifts will propel Sarah forward in her faith.
I continue to pray for her and all young adults who are receiving this Sacrament.