Fullness of the Spirit

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Dear POP Folks,

In the last blog, “Pastoral Care is Ready to Take Your Call”, we talked about preparing for death.  An interesting – and often overlooked – aspect of the Church’s teaching and practice about death has to do with the sacrament of Confirmation.

First a quick review of what Confirmation is, from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1316:  “Confirmation:

  • perfects Baptismal grace (that is, it completes the birth process into God’s family begun at baptism);
  • gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation (sonship);
  • incorporates us more firmly into Christ;
  • strengthens our bond with the Church (our family) and her mission (bringing God to the world);
  • helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds (which show the face of Jesus to the world, draw others to Christ and build up the faith of our fellow Christians).”

Even if the end appears to be near, it is not too late to be fully initiated into the Body of Christ.  The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament of the dying.  But, Confirmation offers a strength and fullness of the Holy Spirit to help us in life, even when that life is soon to end.  In 1314, the Catechism says:  “If a Christian is in danger of death, any priest can give him Confirmation.  Indeed, the Church desires that none of her children… should depart this world without having been perfected by the Holy Spirit with the gift of Christ's fullness.”

For the rest of those who are not confirmed:

  • Children, helped by their families, should grow in their knowledge of the Holy Spirit (already in their hearts from Baptism) and learn to ask for and accept the Gifts (Isaiah 11:1-2) and the Fruits (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • High school youth can participate in faith formation, CONNECT!, SYNC, and Confirmation preparation.
  • College students will find a process of preparation at their college or university’s Catholic Student Center/Parish.

Adults will find a process in their home parish.  Here at Prince of Peace, it takes place in the spring, but anyone may contact Maggie Ragusa at (281) 469-2686 or mragusa@pophouston.org.  Considering human nature, don’t “put this off until after the holidays,” but contact her now!

For those who are unbaptized or were baptized in another Christian faith family or who were baptized Catholic, but not raised in the faith, we’d love to welcome you into the power and grace of our 2000-year-old faith community!   The first step is always simply “checking things out…” Contact Maggie!

At this Thanksgiving time, let all of us give thanks to God for our faith and for the wonderful gift of his Holy Spirit!