The Seven-Fold Gifts of the Holy Ghost
Wisdom — Understanding — Counsel — Fortitude — Knowledge — Piety — Fear
of the Lord
Today many children
— and some adults — will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
It is one of the Seven Sacraments (Baptism, Penance, First Holy Communion,
Confirmation, Holy Orders (the Priesthood), Matrimony, and Extreme Unction
or Anointing of the Sick.
It is a beautiful and a beautifully memorable day in the life of a Catholic,
for under the Bishop's hands, the infusion of the Holy Ghost Himself
will come into the souls of those who receive this Sacrament. As it
were, the winds of the Heavens will rush in upon them, bearing the fire
and anointing of the Holy Ghost.
Faithful Sons and Daughters
confirm, as young adults — and for some who are older
and coming into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church — what
was pronounced for them by their parents and God-Parents on the day
of their Baptism as infants. They will confirm all that
was said, making it fully their own by an act of free will, ratifying
what was spoken for them in the beginning of their life in Christ at
Baptism. They will pronounce themselves disciples, followers of Christ
who have chosen to take up their Cross daily, and to follow in His footsteps
of Christ in His Holy Catholic Church. It is a sacrament of great moment,
for at this time they will publicly declare that they belong to
Christ and to His One, True, and Holy Catholic Church as faithful sons
They will also ... at that moment ... become Soldiers of Christ.
How seldom you hear of this, although our parents and all generations
before us understood this clearly: that through Holy Confirmation they
became Soldiers of Christ: obedient, filled with courage, ready to fight
the world, the flesh, and the devil; unflinching in declaring their
Faith, and prepared to lay down their lives for Christ and His Church.
The Apostles and the Prophets before them knew that life is warfare,
an incessant battle against principalities and powers, against things
seen and unseen, against evil, the evil one, and sin. It is spiritual
warfare. How well St. Paul knew this! And how deftly we forgot ...
as a primer, we present you a teaching, ever ancient, ever new,
that you may have forgotten — that you should have been taught
— and probably were not — in your Catechism or CCD classes:
do we receive the gift of Wisdom?
We receive the gift of Wisdom to give us a relish for
the things of God, and to direct our whole life and
all our actions to His honor and glory.
do we receive the gift of Understanding?
We receive the gift of Understanding to enable us to
know more clearly the Mysteries of Faith.
do we receive the gift of Counsel?
We receive the gift of Counsel to warn us of the deceits
of the devil, and of the dangers to salvation.
do we receive the gift of Fortitude?
We receive the gift of Fortitude to strengthen us to
do the will of God in all things.
do we receive the gift of Knowledge?
We receive the gift of Knowledge to enable us to discover
the will of God in all things.
do we receive the gift of Piety?
We receive the gift of Piety to make us love God as
a Father and obey Him because we love Him.
we receive the gift of Fear of the Lord?
the gift of Fear of the Lord to fill us with a dread
From the Baltimore Catechism
Rite is not a Right
It is absolutely vital to understand
— and to make your children understand — that this is not a “rite
of passage”, something perfunctory that is undertaken lightly, and
with little or no thought given to the momentous sacramental reality
the occurs within the individual. One does not receive the Sacrament
of Holy Confirmation simply because “it is what Catholics do”, and
certainly not for the monetary gifts that most often follow this
occasion. One former CCD teacher was very clear about this with
his pre-Confirmation students:
“If this is meaningless
to you, if you are studying for Confirmation simply because
your parents are compelling you — and if you are not fully cognizant
and ready and willing to become Soldiers of Christ, to
follow Him at all costs and in complete faithfulness to the
Church and Her teachings — don’t do it! Leave now.”
This advice was well-given.
We now find ourselves in a Church, “that not only does not know
the basic aspects of Christian dogma, but in great part has lost
even the memory of the cultural elements of Christianity.” in
the words of John Paul II. It is now a Church where fundamental
Catholic doctrine is not tolerated even in many Catholic institutions
of education. Recently, a habited Nun —Dominican Sister Jane Dominic
Laurel — also a scholar and professor, apparently gave a “presentation
of social science data about the alleged causes of same-sex attraction”
— which was faithful to Church teaching concerning homosexual activity
as intrinsically disordered and sinful — was met with open hostility
and strident criticism by nearly a thousand Catholic
parents ... at a Catholic high school!
The presentation, it appears, conflicted with the burgeoning homosexual
agenda that now permeates our schools, politics, and “correct” society
at large. But this is not surprising:
According to the extremely
liberal National Catholic Reporter (NCR):
“We found that
half of adult Catholics (50 percent) know the church’s teaching
regarding the real presence and half do not. We also found
that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics (63 percent)
believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass,
the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Jesus
When even the most fundamental,
the most basic tenets and teachings of the Catholic Church are largely
unknown by its members — because they have never been taught
to its children (see:
) it is no surprise that the vast majority of candidates for Holy
Confirmation cannot coherently state why they wish to receive the
sacrament ... or even what the sacrament is that they are about
As a consequence, we have
chosen to tell you as simply as possible — because few, if any,
Boston Catholic Journal
Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in Rome
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum
Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power, and
yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name.”
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